Saturday, March 31, 2007

Resuscitating Dying Democracy

I found Bush's accusation that the Democrats were not fully funding the troops with their Iraq troop withdrawal provision to be about as disingenuous as it gets. Recall that over the past several years during the Bush administration, that returning wounded vets were inadequately and irresponsibly treated in hell holes like Walter Reed. So on one hand Bush rants about a Democratic provision that actually does fund the troops and goes to great lengths to bring adequate funding to injured troops while over the past several years he has allowed the treatment of wounded troops to be inadequately funded. This is hypocrisy at its height.

The Attorney General scandal is shaping up to be another attempt by Rove and Republicans to subvert the vote. The intent is to place Republicans back in control of the House and Senate. All of this is being done at the expense of the American taxpayer. Select a few Federal attorneys who will investigate Democrats and simultaneously suppress the vote and voila.

I believe that this investigation with Leahy at the wheel with pull the entire rat out.

Patrick Fitzgerald was only able to pull the tail out while the rat body remains.

The implications are far reaching and will probably lead to impeachment hearings. The reason is simple. With the Democrats in control of Congress they now have the power to do so and they are very ticked about this new coupe d'etat attempt. Apparently massive lies to start immoral wars are one thing, but when you step on the toes of the opposition party, then watch out.

Rove is untouchable. He may be subpoenaed. He may even willfully lie about his role in the firings and other related actions to subvert the 2008 election by favoring Republicans in selected districts. But he will never be allowed to face any recriminations. There is a way though, and it is to impeach Bush. Then Rove is a fish out of water.

Friday, March 30, 2007


With the Congress and Senate both approving provisions for troop withdrawals from Iraq, finally there is a minor sense that this misguided disaster can be halted and the troops brought home.

However this will not happen without the full ranting objection of Bush and company. The redemptive quality is that Bush is more and more isolated and lonely in expressing the dire need to continue with stay the course except more so.

The country is waking up from what one could call the Bush stupor causing a country to lay down for this incompetent. Such is the power of 9-11.

Bush won't go down without swinging and the list of absurdities are already piling up. The accusations that the Democrats support terrorists, that the Democrats want defeat -these notions are so bizarre that they should never even be addressed. Why acknowledge pure nonsense. But the nonsense is expected and predictable. The Bush P.R. machine is always hard at work defining wedge statements that work well in the main stream media. These are the statements that catch the dumb ear as they are designed to do.

However, there is a new trend even in the main stream media. The MSM has been noticeably missing for the past several years in presenting facts and accurate news. Obsessed with not ruffling the feathers of an authoritarian cranky administration and working lockstep with corporate powers, the MSM forgot journalism and replaced it with ventriloquism. Bush and company worked the mouth to perfection.

But here we have NBC questioning the "President's logic", and with this president that term is an oxymoron. See for yourself.

From Raw Story: NBC contradicts Bus's dire troop withdrawal scenario

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tangential Connections

Certain articles tend to escape our attention. I suspect its unlikely that this one will be seen on the MSM.

From the BBC: Students raid Islamabad 'brothel'

excerpt: "Dozens of young women from a religious school in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, have broken into an alleged brothel and kidnapped the owner."

The other night former ambassador to the UN, John Bolton was being questioned on CNN about the Iraq Occupation, why it was started and why the surge is beneficial.

BOLTON: "He himself (Saddam Hussein) and his regime were the threat to international peace and security. The president never made the argument that he constituted an imminent threat. It was the existence of the regime that was the threat. And that is why it was right to overthrow it."

BOLTON: "I think the decision to overthrow him was unquestionably correct. I don't think somebody like him or Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong- Il are really susceptible to classic theories of deterrence. I think there is a second question analytically that it's fair to ask, and that is, after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, was the conduct of policy correct? And I think on that question, reasonable people can disagree. In hindsight I'd have turned responsibility back to the Iraqis a lot earlier than we did. The question now going forward is, what is the best strategy? I think the president's surge is really the only strategy there is."

First its important to remember that Bolton is a neo-conservative and as such was one of the people that pushed for shock and awe to begin with. Bolton signed the PNAC document. (Project for a New American Century) As such he will support the Iraq occupation always. Bolton is also an authoritarian personality, he speaks with a disdain for anything that challenges his position and he speaks with certainty.

If you examine the statements above you will see that Bolton actually says - nothing. That is correct, absolutely nothing. There is no fact, no basis of fact, nothing.

He claims that it was Saddam Hussein and his regime that were the threat to international peace and security. How could that be given that Saddam was completely boxed in through international sanctions that cut him off from the world and completely depleted Iraqs' resources, reducing the country to third world status.

What Bolton is doing is handing out the outrageous lie that Saddam was next to Hitler in terms of power and force in the world. Saddam was not even minutely close. Saddam was virtually powerless, stripped of all weapons through UN inspectors. The only card he held was OIL.

Bolton attempts a consistent strategy; build Saddam up to be feared, when in fact he was militarily powerless.

Bolton claims that the mere existence of the regime was reason for a massive unending war. This is akin to stating that the very existence of someone being alive is reason for a massive war. One person's existence does not merit a war, a war which has cost untold costs.

Bolton agrees that the policy to go to war was correct. However remember he is a neo-con, he helped to devise the strategy to begin with, why would he condemn something of his own creation. He is essentially patting himself on the back for his ideology. This is akin to anyone going on TV to say how great they are, it is a self aggrandizing maneuver. If someone tells you they are a great person, do you nod or do you think, they are full of it?

Finally if there was anything that Bush and company did it was to create the sense that Iraq was an imminent threat to the US, first by directly lying in stating that Saddam was the cause of 9-11, and second by ringing the alarms about WMD.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Spring is in the air and I really want to write about something that is light - lighter than politics. Politics for me is mostly the Bush administration and the neo-cons. A big problem of mine was always attempting to tackle far more than I could handle.

Exactly how many days in a row can someone dig through that (mess) without losing the little itty bitty semblance of humor that remains somewhere in the psyche. I've grown fond of itty bitty, ever since Bush used the term to refer to his unfair, unjust, and immoral tax cuts. By the way, whatever happened to complaints about the tax cuts?

So that's really all I'm trying to say. Make it lighter for a while. Actually I will go further, make it lighter all the time. You can know about political corruption, deception, and abuses of power, all too prevalent with Bush, we all must say, even the right wing crowd, but you still can remain lighter in spirit. You don't have to go to bed gnashing your teeth.

Somewhere in Germany during the Nazi period, somebody was fully aware of the monstrosity that had overtaken his or her country, but had not lost his or her sense of humor and general sense of optimism for humanity and specifically Germany. There had to be someone like that.

So its turning to spring. That matrix of political garbage is invisible when you take a walk, or take a peak out the window. Actually its always invisible and the depth of its toll on your psyche is pretty much in your hands. The CIA isn't knocking down doors and taking liberals away for extreme rendition. For a while I was thinking it was very possible, but right now I think they might be getting a little clearer on where the screw up truly is.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Milli Vanilli President

Before I explain my article's title, there is Howard Zinn who provides a breath of sanity.

Are We Politicians or Citizens? By Howard Zinn

He argues that a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq is a bad choice. His logic is strong.

excerpt: "Timetables for withdrawal are not only morally reprehensible in the case of a brutal occupation (would you give a thug who invaded your house, smashed everything in sight, and terrorized your children a timetable for withdrawal?) but logically nonsensical. If our troops are preventing civil war, helping people, controlling violence, then why withdraw at all? If they are in fact doing the opposite—provoking civil war, hurting people, perpetuating violence—they should withdraw as quickly as ships and planes can carry them home."

Robert Novak on the other hand, has unleashed a fury of contempt for his role in the outing of Valerie Plame. His article is one of many recent articles that suggest a splintering of the Republican party and a President who is more and more isolated from his own party, and this is where I start my explanation.

Bush isolated from GOP lawmakers March 26, 2007 BY ROBERT NOVAK Sun-Times Columnist

Bush has been described as a negative/positive president. This would be a president that has a negative view of policy and a positive view of campaigning. Some would say this is the worst combination of basic values for a president. The best presidents have been those who are almost exclusively interested in policy and profoundly incompetent at campaigning, the positive/negative.

Frank Rich's recent article on Bush and Gonzales "When Will Fredo Get Whacked?" reveals Bush as the negative/positive president.

His close advisors Rove and Gonzales work to keep Bush sharp in the political arena. Gonzales is also the Attorney General so there is an itty bitty complication.

Rich writes, "He's(Gonzales) been present at every dubious legal crossroads in Mr. Bush's career."

Is it worth noting that Bush has raised the stakes with a squad of insiders whose main activity is to keep Bush in the political drivers seat where power is retained and expanded while willfully ignoring any of the affects of policy?

Recall that when Libby was convicted a few weeks ago, that it came out that there was no internal review in the White House to investigate the leak. Even to me that seemed rather mind blowing. This is like not bothering to get rid of the pack of rats that are destroying the house that you live in.

In this case those rats are political dragons. This is the painful reality of Bush. He has an exemplary group of insiders that work to maintain and shield his power as president. They are practiced and skilled in the art of ruthlessness. So on this plane Bush is the superlative politician. Yet, the policy side of his presidency, the part that actually affects Americans is negligible and missing in action. Some would call it destructive and incompetent as Novak notes in his article.

And there it is. Bush is superlative at retaining power, and less than inferior in creating policy. This is why he must maintain his Gonzales. Gonzales works to keep Bush in power.

The metaphor for Bush is that he is like a musician who succeeds in the music business but actually has no musical talent. George Bush is the presidential equivalent of Milli Vanilli.

Monday, March 26, 2007

George F. Kennan

With virtually everyone, minus Bush of course, jumping all over the Attorney General including Tom Tomorrow, Gonzales' goose is cooked, another authoritarian personality in the Bush administration down, many more to go.

Bob Geiger's blog has some great comics on the topic and on Cheney's method of cooking the goose.

If you are talking about Bush and company you are talking about the authoritarian personality. Its really a beast of its own special color.

In my excursions through the web, I came across this:

CNN Cold War - Interview: George F. Kennan

Kennan was there at the start of the cold war. What is interesting about the interview is that he talks about Stalin, and its first hand. He dealt with Stalin and knew how Stalin dealt with others.

Stalin was a ruthless authoritarian. His tactics were unbelievable and brutal. He would have the spouses of his staff taken away and imprisoned. Then he would see how the staff person would react, loyalist or not.

Note: Loyalty is a key component of the authoritarian, just like the way Federal attorneys were replaced by Bush loyalists. Loyalty is more important that actual ability and especially impartiality. The loyalists is beyond being partisan, he or she is a true believer.

Stalin would have various staff people executed and then see how the rest would react. The capricious use of authority and power to the end of killing, torturing, and creating paranoia were his tools of control.

This is why when we talk about the use of torture by Americans, we must acknowledge that the perverted authoritarian is at work and in the house. The Bush administration is all about authoritarian personality.

Here are a few excerpts by Kennan on Stalin:

1. "You must remember one thing, that Stalin was distrustful, in a pathological way, of anyone who professed friendship or fidelity to him. Those abnormal reactions did not affect the foreign statesmen who came to see him. They had never said that they were partisans of his, and then he couldn't punish them anyway. So he treated them in quite a different way than he did his own people...."

2. "Stalin felt that in order to get public support for the things he was doing -- which were very harsh policies -- he had to convince a great many of the people, the common people and the party members, that Russia was confronted with a conspiracy on the part of the major capitalist powers: especially England, but Germany too. That they were confronted with efforts by these people to undermine the Soviet government by espionage, by trying to paralyze Russian industry through sabotage, things of that sort. There wasn't any truth in this, but he didn't care: he saw the safety of his own regime being endangered if he could not make people believe that Russia was a threatened country."

Can you think of a situation where a regime stands to gain by ramping up fear in the general population? Does WMD ring a bell or perhaps better Baghdad than Boise, mushroom clouds?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Gonzales as Bait

With the latest Bush fiasco involving Attorney General Gonzales, a few thoughts come to mind.

Why does this particular problem and mess within the Bush White House generate continued attention. After all relative to all of the problems and fiascos of Bush and company this seems relatively small, although it certainly is typical of Bush and it certainly is a malfeasance.

Look anyone paying attention knows that the Iraq War was started deliberately on a ground base of known lies. Yet we simply allow the occupation to chug along on its merry apocalyptic way without going after Bush and the neo-cons. They are skating away from the responsibility.

If there was ever a reason to impeach Bush it has to do with the deliberate gross abuses which Bush used in the run up to the war. The keyword is "war", with several million displaced people and perhaps a million casualties and deaths total from all sides. But hey, what's a few hundred thousand deaths especially if you have no tangible connection with or concern for not one single human being caught in that death trap machine.

The key seems to lay in the fact that Gonzales is getting caught with his lie. All politicians lie and lie with impunity. Bush lies with impunity and with facile belligerence. But he has a fallback position. There are enough lackeys buffering his free lie zone. Someone like George Tenet falls on his sword and voila the Iraq war problem is taken care of, just like a good mob coverup.

This happened to Clinton. He got caught in a lie. Didn't matter that it was about a consensual affair, the issue was that the lie was available, not well enough buffered. Clinton got real sloppy, he couldn't cover his cheating hide, and there are always enough sharks out there to rip you up. There is no shark shortage in politics.

So Gonzales got caught, he didn't buffer his lie zone well enough, and his enemies found out. I mean for me, take him down but not over this. Take him down because he is the torture lawyer. He writes the rules for torture. The keyword here is "torture." Despicable.

Gonzales trusted a subordinates word that he would escape his partisan firing frenzy with nary a scratch. He slipped up and believed it. He also got the White House message to do the job. So he's pressured from above and his trusted below says fine no problem, you'll be fine. This was his vain mistake. He was being setup, put on a bait hook because they were desperate to do some damage to democrats. They lost the congress and senate.

Probably Gonzales didn't have a choice, but he didn't find enough buffer. I don't know how he could have done that. I lack the knowledge. But I know that he got sloppy. Ultimately that is the reason why he loses his job.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Pathos meets Loyalists

I recently viewed an exchange between Bill O'Reilly and Rocky Anderson. Rocky is the mayor of Salt Lake City and an outspoken critic of George Bush. Rocky is now calling for the impeachment of Bush as are many other people and with good reason.

O'Reilly was his regular self. He utilized his standard bag of tricks, blatant insults, cutting Rocky off in mid sentence, bringing up incorrect dubious information, and attempting to frame Rocky in a distorted light. Rocky fought back and raised the main point in that O'Reilly fails to advance the debate and discourse, he only polarizes it further, to the unfortunate chagrin of and with a psychological toll on the American people,

We see this approach frequently and predictably from the right. The framing of the opponent as being fundamentally insane and consequently not relevant. Doesn't matter if you are bringing factual information to the table. Facts have no value in this "discourse."

The same tactic is coming up in the defense of Gonzales as Attorney General. All evidence points to a partisan attack to remove perfectly fine Federal attorneys and replace them with "Bush loyalists." The loyalists would undertake the Bush agenda in going after Democrats and neglecting corrupt Republicans. Its a fine tactic for boosting your political power, the only problem is that it completely corrupts and subverts the judicial process. The judicial process is something which is fundamental to upholding the facade of democracy that Americans hold in high regard and expect.

Little wonder that Bush would have no problem subverting the judicial system, after all he has already subverted it plenty. A few of the key words to this would be the removal of habeus corpus, a fundamental right of civilization for the past thousand years or so - the right to know why you are being held, and applying this removal of habeus corpus to "the enemy combatant", a brand new Bush designation which disregards the international establishment of the Geneva Conventions. This last point paves the way for the "conservative compassionate" use of torture.

Lets be clear, if you support torture you have a long way to go to retrieve that little thing called humanity.

None of this has adversely affected the pundits and pundit sheep that continue to embrace Bush. The degree to which loyalty blurs the distinction between ideology and reality is mind boggling. You see it is mind boggling that O'Reilly and his cohorts would defend Bush from impeachment.

I have maintained all along that a major aspect of the political divide in this country has to do with loyalty versus reality and facts.

I appreciate loyalty. If I am hauled off, it would be nice to know that there are some people in my corner supporting me regardless of my guilt or innocence. At the personal level we want people who will hold us in good esteem regardless of our faults. As always, there are exceptions.

For me, when the stakes are the country and the direction of the country, the truth beats loyalty 100% of the time. George Bush is not the country. I agree with Rocky, the country needs to eject Bush. It is virtually impossible to get into a conversation where there is the notion that Bush is a real true role model and guiding light for America.

Its just the opposite. Bush is a drag on the American psyche, a massive drag. We are enabling someone who is unfit, and not up to the job in the best way. He has failed the exam. He has lost our energy and our support. We hold our breath and hope his future predictable failures will be smaller. We are certain that time will continue to reveal massive failures at all levels.

Loyalty is one thing but at this point we are witnessing the pathology of loyalty.

Friday, March 23, 2007


I found this to be a salient article. It expresses one aspect of the all around disastrous Bush administration, complete lack of oversight by a Republican controlled congress. Also it points to a hopeful sign with the new Democratic controlled congress, the reinstallation of oversight.

Who's watching the president? The GOP abandoned White House oversight, and the results were disastrous.

excerpt 1: "He(Bush) combines a distaste for details with a tendency to prize loyalty over performance.'

excerpt 2: "The Republican majority so completely abdicated its responsibilities to conduct oversight on the executive branch that its governing motto might have been "don't ask, don't tell.""

I maintain that the reason why the presidential election process is beginning so early is that Americans want to consciously attempt to look past the abysmal presidential administration. Having the process begin now helps people to remember that at some future point this nonstop car wreck will end.

A quick glance at Iraq Coalition Casualty Count shows that the deaths of American troops in Iraq is not slowing down in fact it is above the average. Even having to describe an "average" in itself is brutal and consistent with a brutal occupation. From March 13th through and including March 20th there were a total of 28 GIs reported killed. That is almost 4 per day.

We need to cut and run from the Bush war policy. This is a policy of failure, mismanagement, no diplomacy, and endless war. This is a policy that can only fail. Amercians are clearer on this point.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


One of the very best unintended mishaps to happen to me was my TV breaking down last summer. It has not been replaced.

There is a subtle sense of impoverishment that comes about through watching TV. There's all that stuff that you want, all those people seemingly happy and doing things that you would like to do, and then there's your actual life. The gap between the TV fantasy and your life can sometimes produce that uncomfortable sense of impoverishment, the sense that you are lacking and not achieving what is important.

There may be aspects of impoverishment that are good. Perhaps it can motivate you to further yourself in some way.

Setting aside the good side of the issue, and getting back to the unsettled side of the issue, how can your life become more elegant and complete as it presently is.

Its a big question and certainly not answerable by the likes of me. But I can tell you that getting rid of the TV has helped.

Also suppose if the whole gestalt of wanting more and working to collect more was energetically replaced with a gestalt of wanting less and moving to simplify one's life.

Think about it. Instead of owning closets full of clothing, own a few beautifully elegant pieces that are classic and fit perfectly, made of high quality fabric that is appealing and soothing.

Then extend this same idea to all the other components of your life. Reducing your collection down to the things that you absolutely need and that enhance your life. All of a sudden your money becomes even more precious, more valuable, and there's simply more of it because you are no longer investing in extraneous things and objects. Your choices become very very picky from the soap to the car or house.

Its an interesting notion to me and I intend to explore the issue further. It also surrounds the issue of resource usage and conservation, so this aspect of it is appealing as well.

There are many resources dedicated to this idea of simplification and reduction to the elegant basics.

Here is one such website that deals with housing. I am not completely overwhelmed by these particular designs but they do tackle the issue of reduction and they do stimulate the possibilities and they are cute. I mean what about living in a house that is only 100 to 300 square feet in size or less.

Tumbleweed Houses

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Student Activists

In the most recent Nation magazine, April 2, there is a short but descriptive article on student activists in American colleges.

In particular there was a segment that caught my eye.

excerpt: "Almost all major campus antiwar groups are working closely with veterans, through groups like Iraq Veterans Against the War, and bringing them to speak on campus at teach-ins. Iraq vet and Bowdoin student...recalls his unit receiving a CARE package in Iraq from Bowdoin College Democrats and a Bowdon peace activist group. "When the other guys in my squad found out where the food came from, they reacted very positively." ....."It changed their perception of the College Dems and peace activists.""

This is telling and something that all antiwar activists need to understand. You can make a connection with these young soldiers and help them with a CARE package.

Imagine what might occur if all antiwar activists sent CARE packages and made that connection.

And in case you have not seen this: Mass recall of dog and cat food after pets die

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I intend to run this news article all week.

Mass recall of dog and cat food after pets die

Please pass this information along. We may disagree on Bush and his policies but Americans are universally pet lovers.

At the four year anniversary of the Iraq invasion and subsequent occupation:

Poll: Confidence in Iraq war down sharply

I participated in a demonstration this weekend. It was the largest gathering of people in my community, that I can recall, protesting a war. People were respectful, peaceful, supported by each other's presence, and many were mournful and grieving.

It is the loss of life that brings out the grieving. It is also the way in which these lives have been lost and will continue to be lost that causes grieving and sadness.

As it was so directly expressed, the word killed does not adequately describe it. These people were literally torn and ripped to pieces by bombs and gunfire. There is no peaceful warm natural death in war.

And who are these people; young, vibrant, amazing, and brave people. Many of the American troops killed were in their early 20s. They were handsome fresh faces, and the tragedy of their deaths is inescapable. Above all else this is the greatest travesty.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Gonzo Journalism

A quick note to all pet lovers and owners of all political persuasions. There has been a major recall of pet food for cats and dogs.

Please read:

Mass recall of dog and cat food after pets die

We may disagree over Bush but we do share a great affection for our feline and canine friends.

Regarding Gonzales: The word is that he is about to go as Attorney General. In the same way that Libby is taking the fall for Cheney, Gonzales is taking the fall for Rove.

Please don't read this as a defense of Gonzales, I'm enthused to see him go.

Considering that it is George Bush who will be choosing his replacement, the prospects of someone better are virtually zero to none.

Bush will choose someone who will tow his line. What's his line?

Approve his unconstitutional policies such as torture, enemy combatant status, removal of habeus corpus, illegal wiretapping, the extension of his powers into the unitary presidency, etc etc.

The next Attorney General will probably be a neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute trainee, or a member of the Federalist Society, or an Evangelical of extreme right wing orientation, or a Bush family crony who will work with uncharacteristic alacrity to defend our poor encumbered president from his freedom and democracy oriented rivals (sic).

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Free Music Recording Software

Here are two links to free music software.

I haven't used them myself yet, but reliable sources lead me to believe that they are good.

If you already use music software for recording on your computer, then here are two more programs. If you are a novice then here is a fine way to start.



Saturday, March 17, 2007

Get Out of Iraq

Despite the recent surge of troops into Iraq, the deaths of American troops continues unabated.

On March 15th alone, 6 GIs were killed in Iraq:

There are many aspects of this occupation that are hard to swallow.

One part has to do with the level of the debate that is pursued by the main stream media.

There is a complete amnesia surrounding the start of this invasion. One would think that the indictment of Scooter Libby for perjury and obstruction would refocus attention onto the origins of the invasion.

Recall that not one single statement told to the American people about the "reasons" for this invasion given by the Bush administration has proven to be true. The key word is true.

Not one single aspect turns out to be true. There is no tangible reason to lend credibility to Bush based on this fact.

We need to get out of Iraq. Very simple, get out of Iraq now.

There is a minor amount of unthawing of the American political process occurring. With a Democratic Congress at least there is now some discussion taking place. Previously with a Republican Congress approving massive failure was the norm.

I believe one reason why we are seeing the presidential campaign begin so early in the process, is because we are consciously and unconsciously wishing that Bush were gone. So we are covering over the reality of his remaining 20 months, something which most have a hard time stomaching, with the potential for someone else. This gives a glimmer of hope in an otherwise disastrous American period.

Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

Friday, March 16, 2007

Another Day, Another Bash

I was listening to a well known right wing radio talk show the other day. I tune in once every three months or so to get the drift, the new points, the new attacks. I'm interested in knowing where this segment of the population is at.

Generally, its still the same bashing of "liberals." Also there is the same exclusion of the most recent sins of the right. Liberals are the problem, the right doesn't make mistakes, no need to even go there. This on a day when even the GOP is calling for the firing of the Attorney General. The fact that George Bush is about as popular as a hernia doesn't even make a ripple. The reasons why George Bush is as popular as a hernia don't even rise to consciousness.

Al Gore is a very popular target. The brunt of the attack on Gore is on global warming. Gore's film is regarded as a model in absurdity that goes beyond any previous absurdity that a single man or mankind has ever generated.

It occurred to me that perhaps we need a simple incremental questionnaire for the right in relation to global warming. The idea being to try and gauge the level of willingness to tackle the topic. For example:

Do you believe that you can get a toxic substance under your fingernails?

(Now the questions will push the envelope a bit more)

Do you believe that if you were in a room filled with poison gas, no open windows, and had to directly breath the poison, that you would get sick? Could you die from poison?

If several people were in a room filled with a toxic gas, could they become sick, or possibly even die?

Are you aware that there are rivers in the world that have become so polluted with chemicals that the river actually can burn, or has caught fire?

Do you know that there are "dead" lakes, lakes that no longer support fish because they are too acidic? Do you know where the acidity comes from?

Are you aware that there is air pollution in major cities sometimes called smog? Do you know that this smog can cause health problems?

Do you know that there are sections of the ocean that are "dead", that no longer support the abundant animal life that once thrived there? Do you know why they are dead?

(Now we are going onto even larger environmental systems so be careful.)

Do you know that there is a hole in the ozone layer of the atmosphere? Do you know why the hole got there? Do you know what substances have been banned in order to keep the hole from getting larger, and what measures mankind as a totality have agreed to take in order reduce the ozone hole? Do you know that there are risks to health and life as a result of there being no ozone?

Final question. If you have knowledgeably answered all of the preceding questions and can see that toxicity can effect small systems from one individual to a very large system like the ozone layer, and if you can see that pollution can drastically affect large environmental bodies like rivers, cities, lakes, and oceans, then why can you not take that understanding one step further and understand a global problem, called global warming?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Building 7

There are eerie qualities, to put it mildly, that surround the attacks of 9-11.

Lots of questions are still unanswered.

In this video clip, which very well may disappear from the internet soon, the BBC announces the collapse of Building 7 which was adjacent to the twin towers. The only problem is, the building does actually not collapse until after the BBC announcement is made. Why would they announce that the building has collapsed 30 minutes before it actually does?

Building 7

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Four in Iraq

The four year anniversary of shock and awe's commencement is a few days away.

Many communities across the US are planning peace walks. This is an effort to call for the end of US involvement in the war/occupation and to show support for the families of those killed in this brutal war.

This war is perhaps the biggest foreign policy mistake undertaken by the US. One can no longer even recall why this war was started in the first place. Why did it begin? WMD? Democracy? Iran? Nuclear weapons in Iraq? The reasons change as the years go by.

As one who was skeptical of the idea that it was solely about oil and controlling the world's energy resources, I now believe that it was in fact for this reason. When one looks at a principal funder of the American Enterprise Institute, a base camp for neo-conservatives, one sees that it is Exxon-Mobil.

President Bush appears to be in an ether other world. He's a godlike being that stares out over a vast blooming thriving valley. He opens his arms and the valley turns black, withered, and dead. The godlike being then sees even more thriving and blossoming. Its very odd to witness.

It is good to see that there is now a movement among Evangelicals to speak out against the use of torture by the US. What if Evangelicals now consider voting for candidates that do not support the use of torture?

Torture, just one of many reasons why the Iraq occupation must end.

If you are seeking the answers to the usual suspect foggy questions put out by the right and the main stream media on why the occupation must continue, read this article:

Beyond Quagmire - A panel of experts convened by Rolling Stone agree that the war in Iraq is lost. The only question now is: How bad will the coming explosion be? by TIM DICKINSON

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I Switched

I live in a small 4 bedroom house, wood frame, built in the early 1900s, its nice but its not energy efficient. I have added insulation and changed windows and this has improved energy efficiency. There's a lot more to do.

Yesterday I changed the light bulbs from the standard design type to the energy efficient fluorescent bulbs. Basically I am now paying approximately 1/4 to 1/5 less in lighting energy costs for making this change. Also the new fluorescent bulbs last much longer, 5 to 7 years are promised.

Here is a list of the types of energy efficient bulbs:

-A fluorescent bug light $7.98 - One for the back porch and one for the front porch. They use only 14 watts, and the yellow light is comparable and very bright. Its a replacement for a 60 watt standard bulb.

-A rounded standard bulb looking replacement light which uses 13 watts and replaces a standard 60 watt light bulb $9.98. I didn't buy too many, they are pricey, but the light is similar to a standard bulb. I used them in a few lamps.

-A ceiling fan/light fixture replacement bulb $11.98 for a pack of 4. It uses only 9 watts per bulb as opposed to the 40 watts per bulb standards.

-A mini twist replacement uses only 19 watts per bulb, it is a replacement for a standard 60 watt bulb. The cost was $6.58 for a pack of 6 regulars, and $7.98 for a pack of 3 soft lights. Some were used in the basement and attic, some in lamps. These are replacement for a standard 60 watt bulb.

-A 13 watt daylight twist replacement. This is also a replacement for a 60 watt standard bulb. The light is very clear and works well in a living room lamp, $5.98 per bulb.

-A couple of 100 watt replacement bulbs and a 75 watt replacement bulb, $8.48 - $6.98. They are large and will only fit in a lamp that is large enough to accept it. If there is a lampshade, the light is similar to a standard bulb.

The total cost for replacing the whole house was $166.04 includes tax.

The light on the replacements does not go to full strength immediately. They take a few minutes to reach full lighting strength. So when you first turn them on the light seems inadequate, but it gradually increases to adequate.

Generally, the adjustment to the different light quality was easy. Some of the new bulbs are very similar in light quality. I say this because I generally really dislike fluorescent light, but I can live with these.

Do it, you will save money in the long run.

Monday, March 12, 2007


The European Union is making a great move in banning the ordinary light bulb in 2 years.

Two years to change EU light bulbs by IAN JOHNSTON


1. "Environmentalists said the change would save the public up to £5.4 billion ($10.5 billion) a year in fuel bills and also about 20 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year."

2. "Australia last month said it would become the first country in the world to ban traditional, incandescent light bulbs ... announcing it would phase them out within three years."

One of the comments to the article reads: "What about the real producers of these gasses (USA, China, India etc) cutting their emissions ? Then we would see a realistic difference to the world's greenhouse gas levels."

One of the biggest obstacles in the road to moving the USA in this direction are conservatives. A quick survey will easily find that conservatives not only dispute the evidence of global warming, ridicule the thought of global warming, but also ridicule those that want change to avoid catastrophic global warming collapse to the earth.

One wonders if they now ridicule the entirety of the European Union. This would not surprise most.

My thought is that when debating conservatives on global warming, initially don't mention the catastrophic effects involved. This would be like throwing marbles at a brick wall.

Instead go for the pocketbook. Talk about the savings that one can realize if one were to switch to energy saving bulbs, cars, etc. This is the key - global warming no, saving you money yes.

Address the idea that you become wealthier with energy efficiency, what conservative doesn't want that.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Authoritarian Breakdown

There is an interesting reaction occurring. The recent rejection of Fox News by the Nevada Democrats surrounding Fox's sponsorship of a presidential debate, is part of the reaction. Fox stepped over the line.

We are seeing a rejection of the authoritarian persona. The authoritarian is exemplified in the policies and behaviors of Bush and many others on the far right. For good or bad, the Republican Party is now the authoritarian party.

Coulter's recent public breakdown in her adolescent name calling episode is her expression of her authoritarian personality. She does not need to substantiate her views, she has no need to define unique characteristics and distinctions. She has the moral authority from above and sideways that allows her to "decide" who will receive the fate she always surprisingly bestows.

Now there is a reaction to her, and it goes beyond the usual wrath of the left. Corporations are withdrawing their advertising support from her site. The authoritarian is not in commercial vogue. It is being rejected.

It is curious that the same moralists who derided Clinton's perjury during Monicagate, are now frantically falling over themselves with Libby's four count conviction, a conviction which includes not only perjury but obstruction as well. To the authoritarian moralists this is unacceptable because Libby is part of the their tribe. He's one of them, moral beyond reproach and incapable of violating the law because he resides in the moral plateau above the law.

This is the ether of George Bush. He supremely resides above the law and eagerly makes clear his authority in so doing. He can point his finger at anyone, declare them an enemy, and off you go with your complimentary beating to be tortured.

Libby will be pardoned because their is a capriciousness to the authoritarian. He personally chooses who lives and dies. This is done according to the relationship the pardoned has to the pardoner. When full submission and acknowledgment of superiority along with loyal historical agreement to said superiority is visible, the pardon is provided. The superiority includes the supreme leader's grand vision and decider consciousness bestowment which Bush clearly exhibits. It needs to be repeated that in some circles Bush is the closest thing on earth to god.

But still there's a problem. The Rejection has begun and it is taking hold, in spite of an all out right wing assault. Note that Bush's approval dwells in the low 30%, this number is an indication of the percentage of people that are willing to grant great power to the authoritarian leader.

The authoritarian personality needs to be understood. People that exhibit the sadistic traits of the authoritarian pop up in everyone's life usually to our utter disappointment be it the grotesque boss, the uncooperative postal clerk, or the government agency employee that you unfortunately have to deal with.

We need testing for this personality. Pay attention to traits that are exhibited by authoritarian children, then get these people help, big time, because these people ultimately make a huge mess for everyone.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Master Sun on Iraq

Even Master Sun knew what the effects of a civil war would be. Curiously he does not mention democracy.

From "The Art of War":

"According to the rule for military operations, there are nine kinds of ground. Where local interests fight among themselves, on their own territory, this is called a ground of dissolution."

Photo: Embalming during the American Civil War.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Wise Free

Just as we are hearing that the surge must continue well into 2008, we are simultaneously hearing that military force alone cannot provide the answers in Iraq.

Petraeus: More needed to end Iraq unrest

I suppose its one of those, see how well you can somehow keep two conflicting statements in balance in your mind, type of pronouncements.

I can understand why the surge must continue at least through 2008. It certainly gives political cover for Bush. He gets a screen from the military while he shoots brick after brick.

Scooter Libby is now a four time convicted felon. Libby is viewed as the fall guy for Cheney. Both Cheney and Libby are leading neo-conservatives, along with others in the Bush administration like Rumsfeld, Feith, Wolfowitz, Perle, and Bolton.

We still know that the neo-conservatives were the igniting force behind going to war with Iraq. We also know that in the first Bush administration (1988-1992), the neo-conservatives were regarded as the "crazies" by members of the GHW Bush administration itself.

We also know that GHW Bush, George W's dad, helped to get the Iraq Study Group together to find a way out of Iraq for Bush Junior And we know that Bush Junior wanted no part of the Iraq Study Group's recommendations.

So what comes forth is perhaps two distinct wings of the Republicans, the old school GHW Bush group (a few were members of the Iraq Study Group), and the neo-conservative school GW Bush group.

OK, a few questions come to mind here:

Why did GW Bush, Bush Junior decide to throw his hat into the ring with the neo-conservatives when he entered office, as opposed to going with the old school Republicans of his father? Why go with the extremists?

As the neo-conservative movement implodes, especially now with the conviction of Libby, how does Bush Junior's choice of going with the neo-conservatives hold up, i.e. how wise a choice was it to bring in the "crazies"?

What benefits, if any, has the reliance on the neo-conservatives brought to the country?

to be continued...

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Big trouble in the air for the Bush administration.

They are expanding and escalating the Iraq occupation to the dismay of the majority of the population. Almost 60% of the population, according to The Gallup Poll, now believe the war was a mistake.

Fifty-nine percent say it was a mistake to send troops, ties for the highest on record

Also according to Gallup, Bush continues to remain in the low 30% approval range.

March 06, 2007 - Bush Approval Rating Remains Low - Just 33% of Americans approve

Add to this, failures at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center to provide adequate health care for wounded and injured Iraq occupation vets, and now Libby found guilty on 4 counts, which turns the right hand man to Cheney into a convict.

There is an implosion taking place, regardless of how quickly or harshly the right attempts to spin it.

Libby Verdict Deals Blow to Bush Administration

excerpt: "Democrat Geoffrey Garin argued...."For the general electorate, this just adds to the feeling that there's something really rotten at the core of this administration and that the country needs a pretty big change," he said."

Even former employees of the White House are at odds with Bush.

Former Press Secretary McClellan: White House Should 'Answer Questions' Now on CIA Leak Case

excerpt: ""There's clearly something they don't want to come out," he said. There's "a lot more to know," he (McClellan) said."

Finally add to this mess the actual news of how the people of Iraq, we all remember them right, the people who are being brought democracy (sic). Well things are going from worse to unthinkable for these people caught in the middle of the occupation.

Nearly 2 million Iraqis have fled violence to other nations

excerpt: "The United Nations estimates 700,000 Iraqis have fled to Jordan -- more than one-tenth the entire kingdom's population. As many as 1 million more Iraqis are estimated to have sought refuge in Syria, about 120,000 are in Egypt and 40,000 in Lebanon, according to the United Nations."

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Libby Is Guilty!

The title says it all - guilty on 4 out of 5 charges!

My fervent wish is that Fitzgerald points his impressive skills directly at Cheney.

My thought keeps coming back to wondering what type of loyalty oath did Libby sign in blood with a first born baby kicker in order to take the fall for Cheney. Could it simply be that the promise of a future pardon was all that was needed?

Please if Libby doesn't get pardoned, this aint the America we all know.

In spite of the hit taken by the neo-conservatives with Libby going down the penal highway, (Libby being a prime PNAC signee and supporter, a neo-con dream soldier as it were.) this has not in the least hindered the Bush administration from placing another neo-con into a high profile position.

Take a look at the new guy over at the State Department. Its Eliot Cohen. And just like Libby, a neo-con through and through.

What are the implications? Simple, the neo-cons want war with Iran. We already know they wanted and got one with Iraq. But that is not enough.

Cohen is just the man to help get the Iran War into full gear. Right off the bat he gets a big microphone along with a well used playbook on how to lie err misspeak to the American people about war benefits.

And here it is once again - the PNAC document calls for war with Iran and dang it, as long as Bush is the neo-con President, war with Iran it will be.

You know the pretext for this war with Iran is a little shakey. I mean ok they go into Iran and blow up all kinds of nuclear related facilities and such. But where is the other end of the deal?

This is the part that expressly says to the rest of the world, "We want to end all nuclear weapons and proliferation."

I don't see that happening, do you?

Where is the DIPLOMACY, where is the bigtime American diplomat who has it in his or her power to negotiate for an end to nuclear weapons? Its not happening, on the contrary, America is in the process of building a whole new exciting and "safe" batch of nuclear bombs. Exactly how safe can a nuclear bomb be? Sorry but "safe" does not get to go next to "nuclear bomb."

How in the hell is bombing Iran going to stop Iranian nuclear dreams? You would have to kill all Iranian scientists for the next unlimited number of generations. This of course is absurd with a capital A.

Is the new American vision to be a reinvention of the depths of shortsightedness?

NY Times A Judgment on Cheney Is Still to Come

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Walrus Time

I've had this tune on my mind lately. You know how you get the mental tape playing over and over. Anyhow, its still a ground breaking piece of pop music.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Testing on You and Yours

In this clip, soldiers are assembled to watch a nuclear bomb explosion close up. Directly after the explosion, the soldiers are instructed to march into the blast area, 1/2 mile from ground zero.

This clip is beyond bizarre - a nuclear explosion, followed by a look and see at how the bomb affects different housing structures, clothing, roast beef(!), and a variety of objects all to the wonder bread equivalent of pleasant, innocuous, and consequently unthinkable 1950s string music. This civil defense film was for real.

Here's a cheery little atomic bomb clip. Good luck.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

PNAC Again

This is a highly recommended article for those unfamiliar with the neo-cons and how they have affected the course of the US under the Bush administration.

Libby Trial Exposes Neocon Shadow Government By Sydney Schanberg

Its all there, straight forward and easy to follow.


1. "They came out in the open in 1997 when they formed a Washington think tank of their own—the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Their first public act was a 1998 letter to President Bill Clinton, calling for the swift “removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime.”"

2. "Perhaps the eeriest sentence in the document is found on page 51, conjuring up images of 9/11: “The process of transformation … is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor.” (The PNAC documents can be found online at"

This eery sentence, has sent chills through the community. This is because a careful investigation of PNAC from the origins of its precursor right after WWII, through Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush I, up to its present incarnation, "the neo-conservatives", one will find a trail that legitimizes massive distortions and lying to the public, plots that involve killing American citizens while placing blame on other governments in order to coalesce public support for war, erosion of democratic rights, and the undeniable rise in fascism and corporate power. Sound familiar? That is just a tiny part of the story.

Could there possibly be any wonder why people are out there completely dissatisfied with the findings of the 9-11 commission?

One of the ugliest kickers about all of this? The fact that most mainstream Republicans are clueless about the neo-conservatives and their true bent. In spite of this Republicans will blindly and faithfully support and defend neo-conservative policies which blatantly go against Republican values!!! Such is the power of party loyalty.

Don't believe me? Just ask your Republican uncle about the neo-conservatives and PNAC. His answer, "you're a conspiracy nut."

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Thumbs Down

George Bush continues to race to a O% approval rating. Newest polls have Bush losing ground even among his base supporters. I still maintain that his approval ratings are highly inflated, he deserves far far less.

Poll Shows Bush Is Losing Support of Republicans

Here is a fascinating interview with amazing revelations about Rumsfeld:

Andrew Cockburn Author, "Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy"

In the interview, Cockburn explains a situation which caused a rift in the otherwise swell relationship between Rumsfeld and Cheney. Rumsfeld decided to run for president (gulp and gasp) in 1988. He wanted Cheney in his camp.


"And so, Rumsfeld reached out to Cheney and said, OK, I’m about to announce and I’m embarking on this thing and I want you by my side. And Cheney said, I’d do almost anything for you, but not this. I’ve moved on politically."

".... Cheney ... he was forging a close relationship with the (George H W) Bush campaign."

"So, he turned Rumsfeld down, and Rumsfeld was furious. He was absolutely furious. He said, everything you are, I’ve made you. You know, he couldn’t believe that his sidekick, his faithful fellow, had actually – was disobeying orders, was jumping ship."

Friday, March 02, 2007

Frustration, Bitterness, and Irritability

Sound like an average day?

We all know the extreme bitterness that comes with getting stuck in the bowels of some bureaucratic governmental agency.

One wonders how the injured soldiers returning from Iraq must feel, facing this kind of insanity at home.

Walter Reed patients told to keep quiet

Homelessness in America is on the rise. Place the onus for this directly on the Bush administration, with its anti-entitlement/anti-social needs policies.

Gov't estimates 754,000 homeless people


_Nearly half were single adult men.

_Nearly a quarter were minors.

_About 59 percent were members of minority groups.

Now here is the kicker.

There is also a trend in homelessness among vets returning from Iraq!

Back from Iraq - and suddenly out on the streets

Iraq War Veterans Already Joining Burgeoning Homeless Population by Ron Chepesiuk

If you alter the slogan according to the way the US under the direction of an extremist right wing administration is actually functioning, the slogan becomes, "let them die there, so we don't have to care for them properly here."

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Examining the Violence

This article takes the often heard rationale, "fight 'em there so we don't fight 'em here", completely apart: The Iraq Effect: War Has Increased Terrorism Sevenfold Worldwide

excerpt 1: "Our study shows that the Iraq War has generated a stunning sevenfold increase in the yearly rate of fatal jihadist attacks, amounting to literally hundreds of additional terrorist attacks and thousands of civilian lives lost..."

excerpt 2: "The fact that the Iraq War radicalized some young Saudis is underlined by studies showing that more Saudis have conducted suicide operations in Iraq than any other nationality."

Why is the Saudi connection to the suicide bombers virtually unknown to Americans?

The article utilizes information from the MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base.

Is the neo-conservative all out war agenda designed to actually increase the threat of terrorism? There are two possibilities. Either the increase in terrorism is intentional or neo-cons are truly complete and utter hapless fools.