Monday, April 30, 2007

Dueling Degeneration

Impeachment demonstrations took place throughout the country this last weekend. A28 The resonance from these exercises in democracy in themselves provide a hopeful quality amidst more tragedy in Iraq and more scandal in the US government.

The occupation of Iraq and the ongoing civil war continues its slide. On Saturday the 28th, 9 US troops were killed and the deaths of Iraqis enmeshed in a civil war continues.

Over the weekend there was the revelation that certain US Iraq reconstruction projects are failing and crumbling, laying partial waste to the pillar reconstruction of Iraq theme. Recall that the - as they stand up we will stand down - pillar collapsed the preceding week.

George Tenet is the latest in a long string of former Bush high level employees to reveal the failings of the administration in the run up to the war. The administration is well practiced in issuing its multifaceted counterattack with its war chest load of denials and character assassinations to go with sycophantic paternalistic chiding frequently delivered by the Secretary of State, apparently the Bush administration's voice of reason.

As Iraq devolves, concurrently so does the Bush administration. We have seen a weekly and sometimes daily stream of incongruence and disunion. All levels of the administration seem affected and many reveal the worst and bitterest strains of hypocrisy.

Along with the Tenet revelations and from the voice of reason office of the Bush administration, there is Randall L. Tobias, the Deputy Secretary of State and Condi Rice favorite, resigning amidst a widening sexual scandal. Tobias carried the baton of the Bush approach to AIDS with fidelity and abstinence being the tandem remedy. Once again the all too familiar theme of moral dissonance re-arises within the allegedly morally superior and irreproachable party. Hopefully more in the general population will come to recognize that pure authoritarianism is a grave and threatening mental state. Perhaps only impeachment is its remedy.

It is the Alberto Gonzales testimony before the Senate that gives some clues as to how the Bush administration will try to maintain the facade of competence in the future.

First, welcome all questions, whatever they may be, and assert that they are fair and valid, and that the questioner is swell for asking it.

Second, admit and accept responsibility, and that the burden is now on your shoulders. Simultaneously, never even imply what accepting responsibility means or how that will affect anything, if in fact it does.

Third, if someone touches the slightly exposed nerve of your culpability and a small weakness is exposed, then say you will look into the matter or say you need further clarification. Once again never mention what will happen because of this.

Finally, if someone touches the bare raw nerve of extreme culpability, then simply look them square in the face, say you don't remember, you can't recall, you can't recollect, and smile.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Spring Medley

Today we went to the local outdoor ice cream joint. I counted 12 women and myself standing in line. Is outdoor ice cream code for girls only?

I partly understand this occurring: Student arrested for essay's imaginary violence

excerpt: "CARY, Illinois (AP) -- A high school senior was arrested after writing that "it would be funny" to dream about opening fire in a building and having sex with the dead victims, authorities said."

We are on high alert since the tragedy at Virginia Tech. I am not about to defend this student's essay. However if you examine the Grimm Fairy Tales, you will find killings, severed bodies, kidnapping, violence of all sorts, and host of other dehumanizing activity to go along with jealousies, aggressions, and sufferings. We need to remain aware of the fact that the realm created by artists including writers, visual artists, filmmakers, poets, and such, is not a literal realm. The work of the best artists is at least partially symbolic, and points to the shadow side of human tendencies in order to refresh the movement towards the elevation of humanity.

For me the literalist is far scarier than any work of art I have ever seen.

The piece de resistance occurred when the Deputy Secretary of State quit when it was revealed that he visited with whores regularly.

Rice Deputy Quits After Query Over Escort Service

He states that he only received massage and nothing else harkening back to the Clinton smoked but didn't inhale nonsense of the 90s.

Whenever we have back problems, we forget about the doctors, chiropractors, and licensed masseuses, and run right over to visit with the whores. Why that is perfectly sensible.

In reality, I don't care what this guy did in his free time. The hypocrisy of his moralizing is the issue. Also notice that this news comes out on a Friday night, once more demonstrating how the Bush administration attempts to hide its corruption from the public.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Positive? Signs

The right wing complains about the steady flow of articles that describe the Iraq occupation as disastrous while ignoring positive signs.

I decided to do searches using words like "positive signs Iraq", "Iraq improvements", etc etc.

Here are a few examples and the sources:

From Reuters on January 24, 2007: US Iraq envoy sees positive signs on militias

excerpt: "It's too soon to say everything will be positive from here on so one needs to be cautious," (US Ambassador Khalizad said.)

Curious this line comes at the end of the article and it basically refutes the title of the article. The rest of the article is somewhat vague.

From The Hill on April 2, 2007: McCain: Americans are not fully aware of Iraq progress

excerpt: "Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Monday in Baghdad that Americans “are not getting the full picture of what is happening here.”

“But I am not saying, ‘Mission accomplished,’ ‘last throes,’ ‘dead-enders,’ any of that,” the senator said. “It’s long and it’s hard and it’s very, very difficult — a very, very difficult task ahead of us.”

McCain gives no specific examples of something positive in Iraq in this article, and there is no mention of the flotilla of troops that protected his behind every step of the way in Baghdad. Do we smell a half-truth, or a full out lie?

One more from the Financial Times on March 8, 2007: Iraq surge will ‘continue beyond summer’

excerpt: "General David Petraeus said there were “encouraging signs” that the military escalation in the Iraqi capital following the arrival of two of the five brigades scheduled for deployment to Baghdad was having a positive impact."

Yet to be fair and balanced we find this article from The News and Observer on April 26, 2007: Death toll excludes bombs

excerpt: "Car bombs and other explosive devices have killed thousands of Iraqis in the past three years, but the administration doesn't include them in the casualty counts it has been citing as evidence that the surge of additional U.S. forces is beginning to defuse tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims."

So if you don't count the car bombs and other explosive devices, then the surge is working! This is a classic Bushrovian.

Now this is ridiculous. Why not stop counting American troop deaths as well? Some of us suspect that the count is how shall we say it politely, not quite accurate to begin with considering some of these men and women are dying in the US and in Europe after being lifted out of the battlefield. Also we are not really certain how many mercenaries from outfits like BlackWater have died.

Positive signs appear to be in the dreams of a select few.

Addendum - Oh and this just in: NYT: White House will not assess 'surge' until September

So now there are positive signs but they can't be assessed? What a joke!! Impeach!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Taking Stock

The Democrats have mercifully passed a bill that would begin the withdrawal of troops from Iraq in October 2007. Predictably, Republicans are acting like the hornet nest that got whacked with a nasty stick.

If one were to do a performance review of the last 4 to 5 years of Bushchenian Iraq policy, this is the conclusion - why were these two not impeached 3 to 4 years ago.

The philosophical theme at play here is this; how can something good come from something hideous. For example, how can a woman fall in love with the man who brutally rapes her, kills her family, and takes her wealth? If you're George Bush and you are reading this example, not only do you expect the woman to fall in love with the rapist, you are actually upset that she hasn't, and even more upset that somebody wants to get the rapist out of this woman's life.

Let's stop walking on eggshells here. Everybody knows this was a concerted and coordinated effort to deliberately sell America a bad bill of goods. People had the crap scared out of them with 9-11 and capitulated to a mega-list of media failures. Even the Republicans know it. The Republicans are loyalists to the core, no fact is going to budge that loyalty. That's fine and I appreciate that, but even old Uncle Ernie gets the boot after he wrecked the car for the tenth time.

The list of screw-ups, shortcomings, bad plans, generalized incompetence, bogus assertions, brutalizations, and glossed over tragedies is so vast that nobody can accurately keep track of it all. This stuff doesn't win hearts and minds.

Obama says the bill only needs one signature or sixteen signatures. Its not going to happen either way because the President has a plan, a surge.

Speaking of surge here are a few numbers to keep in mind:

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

-Size of Iraq is 437,072 square kilometers

-Size of Vietnam is 325,360 square kilometers

Vietnam is 3/4 the size of Iraq and that's North and South Vietnam together, different terrain of course, different in many ways. No need to rehash the final results even with 536,100 troops there in 68.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Segue Screamin

Its been a busy day with positive new changes and adjustments.

Screamin' Jay Hawkins is the musical entertainment model for revealing that each moment holds the potential for humor and/or instantaneous change. Jay is there to plant the seed that breaks the plaque of monotony and to exploit the feeling we all have from time to time to just make a quick dash for it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Either or Both

Congratulations are in order for Congressman Dennis Kucinich. I'm thinking nothing will come about as a result of his bringing articles of impeachment against Cheney. But there is a certain wry pleasure that one gets from the resonance of this action. Cheney is perhaps the impeachment heavyweight, no one more deserving.

I was reading through Cheney's short list of medical procedures... WOW. Its somewhat amazing that the man is still vertical and running on vitriol to boot. My understanding used to be that cortisol did not do a body good. Cheney refutes science on this issue. Perhaps this is the basis of his intractable contradiction of all things factual from global warming to no links between Iraq and Al Qaeda while tacitly approving the Bushrovian neo-pseudo science doctrine.

Otherwise the sense is that Bush is in damage control mode. Two events point in this direction.

First comes Bush heaping praise on his (and our) Attorney General. This is equivalent to looking at a train wreck and praising the conductor for getting the train to this destination. Of course the obvious thing to do would be to get help and do rescue work, not here, not at this train wreck.

The second event comes from the Office of Special Counsel investigation of Karl Rove. The true virtue of this action already looks pretty questionable. A setup some would suggest, undertaken by Bush to do somewhat less than a thorough and complete investigation, and then what do you know, Rove comes up smelling like a blossom.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Precision to Chaos

I was thinking about the start of the Iraq War. Rumsfeld was proudly talking about the humanity of the smart bombs. The bombs that didn't kill people. Of course the smart bombs did kill people as they would go off target periodically and end up destroying neighborhoods. But that got played down, and besides there is a price to war.

So we all got convinced, and the media trumpeted the notion that we could get comfortable with the Iraq War. Lives would be spared and a new type of warfare was going to replace the old. We were going to have a smart, safe war. In the Project for a New American Century's PNAC document the neo-conservatives, like Wolfowitz, Feith, Abrams, Cheney, et al, the people that brought you the Iraq War, wrote of a new generation of safe nuclear weapons. Somehow these nuclear bombs would be like their counterpart smart bombs and nobody would get hurt, it was safe, it was smart.

George Bush exlaimed - Mission Accomplished - and it looked like the smart bombs and the death toll would be low, or at least relatively low, compared to other wars.

A little problem developed. The insurgency arose, the civil war arose, the death tolls grew, the deaths got more gruesome, and the tragedy keeps gaining momentum. How can you compare a car or truck bomb to a smart bomb.

We forget about our recent past. We forgot about the safe smart bombs and how the unplanned, the unrecognized occur, and how the tragedy deepened and got really bloody.

In retrospect the smart bombing of Iraq, the shock and awe, was the only planned and calculated part of this unmitigated bloodbath. Think about it, nothing else has come close to being as precise and exact in this war turned occupation. Shock and awe was a display of military might that we have never seen. It was a remote control precision attack that eliminated the structures that held the power in Iraq.

One could even get the very eery sense that the speed and accuracy of the destruction of Baghdad was the only victory that was sought. It was an experiment in military tactic and the crumpling of a dark city led by the always reliably vicious Saddam Hussein was all that was sought. We hold our breath and imagine with all our sanity that this cannot possibly be.

What does this tell us? The most obvious thing is that Americans are really really good at destroying infrastructure with bombs. I'm not so sure that is something to be happy about, but its true.

Perhaps the planners of the next war might drop the notion of a smart safe war. They saw that chaos does not turn instantly into a pretty picture of humanity wrapped in a harmonious industrious glow.

Perhaps they will explain to us the problem is fixed, they now know how to follow up with a plan that creates instant democracy. They will create a shock and awe army of white shirt bureaucrats that arrive from distant shores and as fast as the infrastructure is destroyed, these bureaucrats seamlessly form a new democratic governing body.

Here's what will happen. Nothing. We will forget all about the failures. No lessons will get learned. Bush wants to attack Iran, a far more complex and vigorous country than Iraq, especially considering Iraq had spent years under sanctions and no fly zones AKA continuous bombing.

At some point we truly hope we get a leader that is on the page of humanity. Someone that can speak and we truly hear the truth. Its that simple.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Stalling Tactic Number 50

We are hearing a new and frequently repeated slogan from the ranks of the war party. The war party includes the supporters of an unlimited never-ending war agenda in Iraq and the Middle East; McCain, Brownback, Lieberman, Cheney, all scurrying neo-conservatives, and supporters of Fox News willing to embrace anything that comes from our ultra-conservative bible-shielded authoritarian President.

The new slogan is; setting a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq is the same as handing a victory over to the terrorists.

First one thing needs to be made clear. The Iraqis are not terrorists. The vast majority of people involved with the insurgency are not terrorists. They are Shiites and Sunnis. The designation 'terrorist' comes from the 'with us or against us' simple minded logic and sadistic tendency of the Bush administration. By this rationale almost the entire world's population including the majority of Americans are terrorists.

The real message of the slogan is to maintain an endless war and military presence in the Middle East. It is simply the most recent public relations devised word play to express that sentiment, specifically designed to baffle and capture the 5 second sound byte logic desperately sought by the culpable-free main stream media.

What were some other public relations firm slogans designed to maintain the endless war presence, 'As the Iraqis stand up we will stand down.' Yet we have this: Training Iraqi troops no longer driving force in U.S. policy Poof another slogan bites the dust.

Previous slogans included; 'cut and run', 'the war will pay for itself.', 'the insurgency is in its last throes', 'six months tops.' You get the idea.

When examined logically 'setting a timetable for withdrawal is the same as handing victory to the terrorists' is meaningless. Dissect the syntax and meaning and you are left with a never ending feedback loop, same as placing a microphone in front of a speaker. It literally removes any possibility of withdrawal virtually ever, because as soon as we go, why then the terrorists come back and attack of course. Its a slogan that is akin to an addiction. Once the drug is there, we better keep using it because if we get off it, well then .....

Bush chose to go down the path of the neo-conservative ideological mayhem long ago. He has dodged, obfuscated, lied, told half-truths, ruined lives beyond repair, ruined careers, divided the country, his dirty laundry list is massive.

Let's not fall for this new phoniness. Let's wise up ok.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Glaring Contradictions

George Bush fiddles the notion that there is ongoing security progress in Iraq. However all signs indicate that this means extreme measures are being used to overwhelm the Iraqi population while the civil war continues unabated and as nothing short of chaos.

Bush upbeat on Iraq security plan

Part of the plan includes building a three mile "security wall" around a Sunni enclave in a predominantly Shiite section of Baghdad. I wonder if it is the same construction firm that the Israelis used to section off Palestine. Regardless, the concept of building a wall to keep people apart is crass and dehumanizing. It does run consistent with the profile of the authoritarian personality endemic to George Bush. On one level it is a forced sadistic effort similar to torture, no one but the Great Decider has a choice in the matter. Perhaps this is why Bush is so upbeat, he is seeing the physical expression that an authoritarian personality can only dream about.

As Bush goes about the job of promoting the positive side of Iraq along with the American occupation and its escalation, the Iraqis continue to kill each other with intensifying hatred.

April 19, 2007 Deadliest Day in Baghdad Since Surge Began

Take the killings at Virginia Tech which any sane person feels with intense grief and disbelief, then multiply it by ten and see it occur every day, now we are approaching the Iraqis situation. This is taking a devastating toll on the Iraqi psyche.

As we have all heard for years the Amercians will stand down as the Iraqis stand up. Well it appears that this great notion is another in the unlimited list of Bush failures and/or deceptions to the American public. What exactly has George Bush done that has not failed? What has he said that was not a lie?

Training Iraqi troops no longer driving force in U.S. policy

The State of Vermont has the right idea. Impeach Bush.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

McCain Sings Bomb Iran

McCain will not be getting my vote.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Ducking 101 to 401

I listened to the Gonzales Senate hearing today. Certainly all signs point to a deliberate conspiracy to remove Federal attorneys who were going after the all present large volume of Republican officials involved in political scandals. After all it looks bad for those interested in pure power AKA Bush and company. Surely it would be in the Deciders best interest to have no investigations and to allow the scandals to go unimpeded.

There are a few side kickers to the equation as well such as finding ways to cook elections in favor of Republicans and personal crony appointments for the aspiring protege. Curiously this doesn't sit well with the Democrats and even more curiously this doesn't sit well with many but not all Republicans especially those in the Senate.

Gonzales was in classic primped for ducking the question form. He really only had four answers.

When the question got to the very heart of the discrepancies in his previous testimony, Gonzales didn't recall.

When a question was asked that picked at a raw nerve, Gonzales would say that that was a fair question. Simultaneously attempting to stroke Senator x's ego or soothe his temper. It was his own special way of starting off on a positive note. His own special way of saying hello and maintaining a nice pleasant smile.

When one of any number of Senators caught Gonzales in his own mud, he would say the second most popular conventional statement that he accepted the responsibility and he would make amends. The most popular ducking answer is of course I don't recall.

Finally the best Gonzales dodge was his question directed to the questioner. He needed clarification, or he needed a text, or he needed to look into it.

You got to hand it to Gonzales, he sucked it up, he bravely sat through a practically endless verbal assault for despicable actions for a full day. He has courage, its misdirected and wasted but he has it.

By listening to Gonzales you will learn how to duck the question as only the best can.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Common Denominator

Within a span of one week, two major sources have come forth with direct insight and understanding into the planning methodology at the Bush White House.

First came the announcement that Bush is seeking an Iraq War Czar.

From Reuters on April 11: White House seeks war "czar" for Iraq

excerpt: ".... three retired four-star generals approached by the White House in recent weeks had turned down the position."

AND

"Retired Marine Gen. John "Jack" Sheehan, a former top NATO commander who rejected the White House overture, told the (Washington) Post: "The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going.""

The salient words are, "they don't know where the hell they're going."

Keep this statement in mind as we go onto Bruce Bartlett, an economist and official in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, who also helped President George W. Bush craft his tax cuts.

Bruce Bartlett on PBS Travis Smiley Show on April 17.

excerpt: "... I think the main thing is that it appears now in retrospect that this president didn't really have any clear economic plan. That a lot of things were done on an ad-hoc basis or based solely on political considerations without much thought as to how all the pieces fit together..."

Placed side by side the same planning methodology used by the Bush White House emerges and basically it comes down to this, there is no planning.

There are no plans for Iraq, no plans for how tax cuts affect the American economy, and just to mention one other major item were no planning was "the plan", recall the response to Katrina.

Bush detractors make the claim that Bush is incompetent. The facts do not support a different conclusion.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

April 18

As the details of the Virginia Tech shootings emerge, we all try to make some sense out of the magnitude of the violence and loss of life.

We are left with only the deep and uncomfortable feelings, and maybe a fleeting sense that something could have been done to prevent the tragedy. We imagine ways to stop the killing and we take actions to try to derail any future related tragedies. We think through various scenarios that we truly wish had happened - if only the school was more active in alerting the students of the potential danger, if only the gun laws were stricter, if only some supremely talented fighter could have tackled the shooter before his rampage. There are lots of "if only-s."

People are reacting in many ways, intense anger, students that want to riddle Cho Seung-Hui's corpse with bullets, more debate over immigration rules, blatant racism, even Bush couldn't help but try to score points with the NRA by insisting on his support of the right to bear arms. Predictably, I even read where liberalism is to blame for this disaster; leave it to the authoritarians to salt the wound.

I used to work in a hospice. I saw many people die right before my eyes. It was of course different, they suffered from cancer. Some died by drifting away slowly and peacefully, some died quickly and with difficulty. Most were older, although a few were younger. There is a certain precise clarity and there's no room for nonsense in the hospice. That is at least one characteristic of death and dying.

We imagine these 34 people still living in some way. That somehow their energy continues.

An excerpt from Thich Nhat Hanh 'no death, no fear.'

"In Albert Camus' novel 'The Stranger,' the main character, out of despair and rage, shoots and kills someone. He receives the death sentence for his crime. One day, while lying on the bed in his prison cell, he looks up at the square-shaped skylight over him. Suddenly he becomes aware of and deeply in touch with the blue sky above. He has never seen the sky in that way before. Camus called this a moment of consciousness, which is a moment of awareness or of mindfulness. For the condemned man, it was the first time in his life that he really came into touch with the sky and realized what a miracle it was."

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tragedy

These shootings at Virginia Tech are horribly sad. I can't imagine getting the news that your son or daughter was shot to death at college. That is a hard one.

I watched the clip taken on a student's cell phone. On the clip you can hear the booming sound of gun shots, they're so loud. But its realizing that each one of those shots is killing an unsuspecting innocent person that is devastating. It brings home the sense of the fragility of life and the shock of facing death in a fatal twist of a moment, unprepared, and in stunned disbelief.

We lost an excellent friend in a college shooting years back. His presence remains strongly etched in my mind. In a small way he accompanies me in my life.

The last thing I wanted to think about were words from Bush. The message sent out of the White House meant to show support to all the people at the NRA are out of place and thoughtless. Not the time to make points with your precarious support base. It would have been better to remain silent.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Bee Good Bee Gone

Back in February 07 we started to become aware of "colony collapse disorder."

This is the name given to the dying out populations of honey bees which now appears to be a world wide problem.

JCSande Blogspot on Bees Click and the article will appear below this one.

Cynical me, I just assumed the genetically modified seeds and strains introduced into the environment by the greedy SOBs of agribusiness megalomania were intentionally or unintentionally killing off honey bees. (When did we vote on giving the OK to genetically modified food?) Some bright MBA from Harvard I cynically assumed, labeled the honey bee as unfair capitalistic competition and as such hurt business growth and profit. Its the same model that says water barrels are unfair competition to those privatizing water.

Turns out I might be wrong. But still don't count my theory out. Let's just put it on hold for now.

Are mobile phones wiping out our bees? Scientists claim radiation from handsets are to blame for mysterious 'colony collapse' of bees.

excerpt: "The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up."

If this is true, would you give up your cell phone in order to save honey bees from extinction? Cell phones, the new lead paint, DDT, asbestos, and tar and nicotine rolled into one handy little communication device.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Meyssan

Thierry Meyssan is a writer and political activist.

Someone recently brought his work and theories on 9-11 to my attention. Not surprisingly, his views run contrary to the most prevalent understanding of the events of 9-11.

From the UK Guardian Unlimited an article from April 2, 2002: US invented air attack on Pentagon, claims French book

excerpt: "Mr Meyssan's conspiracy theory argues that American Airlines flight 77, which killed 189 people when it smashed into the headquarters of the US defence department, did not exist, and that the whole disaster was a dastardly plot dreamed up and implemented by the US government."

A talk given by Meyssan on April 19 2002 in the United Arab Emirates on 9-11: Rense.com

excerpt: "The official version does not include the attack on the White House annex, the Old Executive Office Building (called the "Eisenhower Building"). Yet, on the morning of the eleventh, ABC television broadcast, live, pictures of a fire ravaging the presidential services building."

When I read this my response was like yours, ....huh.....

Were they seeing the smoke from the Pentagon and that smoke seemed to be from the Old Executive Office Building? Can someone explain this?

I dug around and found this from Peter Jennings on ABC News on the day of 9-11-01 - "....Want to hold our breath here, it seems to me, for a second and--and--and--and--and not get into a mode that the country is under attack. But we now have two attacks on the twin trade towers center, US buildings, city buildings completely evacuated in New York City. We have this mysterious black smoke at the southwest corner of the White House which is to say there's something going on behind the old Executive Office Building. We now have a report that fire has been confirmed at the Pentagon. ABC's John McWethy, our Pentagon correspondent who's been plugging in as quickly to the intelligence and counterintelligence units there this morning, has been temporarily evacuated. But that is as much as we know for sure at the moment."

9-11 Pentagon video

Saturday, April 14, 2007

A Record of Lies

I first saw this article on Truthout. There will be a 90 minute PBS presentation put together by Bill Moyers that shows the outright lies by Bush and company along with the failings of the complicit and unconscious main stream media all of which got the Iraq occupation in full swing.

Record of Iraq War Lies to Air April 25 on PBS

A favorite excerpt: "Spending that 90 minutes on this will actually save you time, because you'll never watch television news again..."

I came to that same conclusion around the end of 2002 when I witnessed the complete cave in of journalists to simply re-mouth the words coming from the White House. It didn't matter that there were important qualified people out there screaming that those words were fabrications. We didn't here from those people on the MSM. It was a disgraceful period in American history, and we continue to muddle through the mess created by Bush and his neo-conservative cabal. A change in course may be the last chance for Democracy in America.

Is it any wonder why Brian Williams can say something like "I'm up against a guy named Vinny in an efficiency apartment." Its a pretty ugly comment. The truth is the MSM lost its credibility with Bushco in charge. The MSM news is now frequently non factual and the energy required to decipher fact from fallacy can be better spent on the alternate media.

Here's one of the little gems that got into the main stream media. Perhaps someone can check to see if Mr. Williams helped to amplify this outright lie. Vinny may not know a single thing but knowing nothing is far superior to knowing fantasies and lies.

September 8, 2002 Condi Rice on 'Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer' - Rice asserted that Saddam Hussein was acquiring aluminum tubes that were "only suited" for nuclear centrifuge work.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Lennon Clapton Richards Mitchel

MSNBC drops simulcast of Don Imus show AND CBS fires Imus

If we could only get rid of Limbaugh.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Get Out of Iraq

Enough already, get the US troops out of Iraq.

When the US was involved in its civil war, what possible help would French soldiers have provided in the situation? At least one could argue that the similarities between French and English are far greater than the similarities between English and Arabic. Still the French would be clueless about how to speak with the Americans. How would the French be able to figure out what is what?

September 7, 2002, Bush appears with Tony Blair and states, Iraq was "six months away from developing a (nuclear) weapon" and "I don't know what more evidence we need."

That statement to most seems absurd and to some reckless at this point. Yet without a doubt, the American people were scared into the Iraq occupation.

The fear of Iraq subsides, and the majority knowingly understand that they were manipulated into accepting this unmitigated disaster. Yet we still here the fear factor revved up with the unsubstantiated argument that if we don't fight them there they will follow us here. This is an argument dreamed up in the highly financed walls of P.R. firms.

September 8, 2002, Rumsfeld speaks on 'Face The Nation.' He says, "Imagine a September 11th with weapons of mass destruction. Its not three thousand, its tens of thousands of innocent men, women, and children."

Rumsfeld pushes three major false buttons with this reckless statement. In the real world, there were no nukes in Iraq, there were no WMD in Iraq, and there were no ties between the terrorists of 9-11 and Iraq. Yet we are still facing the continuation of a failed policy. How can a policy based in such false reasoning suddenly turn into something of value? This is like a criminal raping a woman and then wondering why she won't love him. Its absurd. As recently as last week Cheney was on national media making the same points as Rumsfeld and we must remember that Cheney is the Vice President.

It only took 4 years and 2 months to ditch Rumsfeld, the man Cheney called the greatest Secretary of Defense.

All the reasonings for this occupation were wrong or deliberately misleading. Bush still carries on with the notion that there is a yellow brick road in the middle of a desolate hell like place.

And now this: Gates announces longer tours in Iraq

With the escalation of the occupation, the troops are the ones getting the brunt of this side of the policy. The Iraq civil war is the other side of it.

Enough is enough. Cut the funding, get the troops the hell out of there.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Probe

The news is taking a unique turn lately. With a Democratic Congress and Senate and in particular with chairs of the various oversight committees now in the hands of the Democrats, a new view of the previously Republican dominated government is starting to emerge.

What we are seeing is an investigation into the practices of the Bush White House. Also we are seeing leaders of the oversight committees committed to fully investigate relevant issues from Attorney gate to Iraq.

For example: Senators Press for More Files on Removing Prosecutors

In the case of the Gonzales Federal Attorney Gate matter, there is a vigorous energy being applied to literally get to the bottom and heart of the matter.

The suspicions are in and there is a great deal of evidence to indicate that the White House was directly involved in using its power and position to create an atmosphere where Republicans would gain a further consolidation of power with among other things, carefully orchestrated biased elections. Now there is the revelation of a secret e-mail service to keep it all invisible and carefully hidden. Considering that the President is supposed to "govern" the entire nation in a non partisan way, the effect helps to galvanize public opinion that impeachment is on the table and required.

If there was ever a President who fell to the criteria of impeachment, it is Bush.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Universal Health Care

HR 676 is the bill cosponsored by Kucinich and Conyers which provides Universal Health Care for all Americans. This is an idea whose time has come.

H.R. 676

From Iraq via the BBC: Hundreds of Thousands of Iraqi Shias Protest US Occupation

I found the following excerpt from this article to be disturbing: "Spokesman Col Steven Boylan (US forces) said: "This is the right to assemble, the right to free speech - they didn't have that under the former regime.""

On the one hand it applauds the protest as an action, on the other it completely ignores the meaning and intention of the protest which is for the US to leave Iraq.

In case you have not seen this article: Earth faces a grim future if global warming isn't slowed, U.N. report says

Monday, April 09, 2007

Hometown Baghdad

A metal band from Baghdad

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Talk Nation

A progressive site with news and analysis, its very well done. Much of the information is on audio files: Talk Nation Radio

And from Talk Nation an interview with Francis A. Boyle.

Francis Boyle is a professor, he is intimately familiar with the neo-cons as he attended school with several of them. In this interview he discusses a wide range of issues including impeachment.

I support the movement to impeach Bush. Although it may not necessarily or ultimately happen even if the process were to be formally undertaken, the effect would be to tie Bush up for the duration of his term. That would be a very good thing.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

He's Gone Cheney

In case you have not heard, the Vice President was on talk radio show Limbaugh on Thursday. On the show Cheney once again put out the old line that Saddam Hussein was connected to Al Qaeda and that Al Qaeda was established in Iraq prior to the Shock and Awe U.S. Invasion.

In a most curious synchronistic development, the Pentagon released a report at about the very same time, that stated in unequivocal terms that there were no links between Saddam and Al Qaeda and that Al Qaeda was not based and supported in Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion.

From the Washington Post: Hussein's Prewar Ties To Al-Qaeda Discounted

excerpt 1: "Captured Iraqi documents and intelligence interrogations of Saddam Hussein and two former aides "all confirmed" that Hussein's regime was not directly cooperating with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, according to a declassified Defense Department report released yesterday."

excerpt 2: "Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), who requested the report's declassification, said in a written statement that the complete text demonstrates more fully why the inspector general concluded that a key Pentagon office -- run by then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith -- had inappropriately written intelligence assessments before the March 2003 invasion alleging connections between al-Qaeda and Iraq that the U.S. intelligence consensus disputed"

How do we explain the Vice President's statements?

First, Cheney is a loyalist neo-conservative. As such he owes allegiance to the neo-conservatives who originally put forth the idea of invading Iraq. He will never ever dislodge his thinking rationale from that ideology. To do so would be an acknowledgment of his deception, authoritarians do not acknowledge their malfeasance.

Second, Cheney is still relying on the false information propagated by the Office of Special Plans. An office established at the Pentagon by neo-con Douglas Feith to essentially make up reasons to invade Iraq while usurping all other intelligence agencies. If there was ever a case of supreme malfeasance in the U.S, government, it would be from this office.

Third, all of the above link back to, yes, the Project for a New American Century, which includes participant Cheney. PNAC continues to raise its unsightly head directly into the mainstream of American discourse, most recently from the mouth of Cheney on neo-con radio host Limbaugh's show.

Make no mistake, Cheney is fully aware of his deception. Impeachment is the remedy.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Cheney: Unparalleled Recklessness

Cheney has been making the rounds flinging insults at Democrats at every opportunity.

Let's take a look at some of the most reckless statements directly from Mr. Cheney's mouth to you.

August 26, 2002: "Simply stated there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is NO DOUBT (my emphasis added) that he is amassing them to use against our allies, and against us."

Comment: Cheney was fully aware while he was making this statement that there was anything but "no doubt" regarding Saddam having WMD. Saddam had zip. No WMD of any sort have been found in Iraq. The prevailing American Intelligence reports all stated the same thing, no WMDs of any kind whatsoever. Yet Cheney went ahead and made this statement.

December 9, 2001: On 'Meet the Press' - "it was pretty well confirmed" that lead 9-11 hijacker Mohamed Atta had met with the head of Iraqi intelligence in Prague in April 2000.

Comment: The evidence of this meeting came from an uncorroborated allegation! If you went to Washington DC and made this statement that would have been good enough for the Vice President of the United States because that is the level of "evidence" he was pushing on a scared American public. This is how Cheney and Bush went about the work of linking the attacks of 9-11 to Saddam.

If you want to know why there is such a tremendous level of disdain for Cheney, you can start with these statements and many others made by his cadre of neo-conservatives that were intentionally designed to scare and mislead the American public into a disastrous, costly, and pointless war.

As a growing majority maintains, there is only one legitimate answer to Cheney, impeachment.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Not All Fun and Games

When I watched this clip I literally couldn't breathe I was laughing so hard. However the producers were absolutely serious: Evolution disproved with Peanut Butter

Followed by: Bush Refuses To Set Timetable For Withdrawal Of Head From White House Banister

Give your useable old stuff a new home, give it away for free rather than dumping it in the landfill: Freecycle

Major movies in bunny-vision: The 30-Second Bunnies Theatre Library

On a serious note: Scott Ritter: Calling Out Idiot America

If you are wondering how Detroit is functioning with the erosion of its economic base: Houses cheaper than cars in Detroit

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Bush as Zorro?


Supporting Rosie

Rosie O'Donnell is facing a lot of flack for pointing to the fact that the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 is virtually unexplained.

She is not pointing to the Twin Towers, which for me is still very suspicious. Building 7 was not hit by a plane yet it inexplicably collapsed later in the day on 9-11.

In case you are wondering there is no official explanation for the building's collapse. It barely registers a blip in the 9-11 report.

So what gives? What's the problem? How about a straightforward explanation. Fire does not melt steel and collapse a 47 story building. Open up an investigation.

On the Iraq front.

From Henry Kissinger himself: Iraq victory not possible

excerpt" "Kissinger says the best way forward is to reconcile the differences between Iraq's warring sects with help from other countries. He applauded efforts to host an international conference bringing together the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Iraq's neighbours - including Iran, Washington's longtime rival in the region."

Kissinger incredulously goes onto explain why we must therefor keep the troops in Iraq. At least he gets it partially correct.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Atwater's Heir

In the bizarro world of modern Republican/neo-conservative politics, it is understandable why someone like Rove partners with Bush. Rove is the modern incarnation of Lee Atwater, attack dog for Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush aka Bush I.

From the NY Times, an unusual call for Rove's head: The Rovian Era

excerpts:

1. "Turn over a scandal in Washington these days and the chances are you’ll find Karl Rove. His tracks are everywhere..."

2. "But Congress should bring equal scrutiny to the more powerful Mr. Rove. If it does, especially by forcing him to testify in public, it will find that he has been at the vortex of many of the biggest issues they are now investigating."

3. "After his re-election in 2004, President Bush formally put Mr. Rove in charge of all domestic policy."

Curiously that "domestic policy" is but a single theme, to feverishly work to ensconce the Republican Party as the only political party. The 2006 election was only an abberation. This is the basis of the Attorney General fires Federal attorneys scandal. Bush has less than 2 years to go, each day becomes more and more precious to this administration to relentlessly gather more and more power using all tactics with apparently illegal and dirty being just fine.

The following large excerpt is from Green Institute. Its a little bit of the history between Atwater and Rove.

"Lee Atwater recanted his attack political legacy as he was dying from brain cancer. He had been “the hitman” for the Reagan-Bush team and shaped how politics was practiced. In college in Texas he managed a campaign for Karl Rove against Terry Dolan, who went on to become one of the ‘inventors’ of soft money campaigning, creating a veritable politics-for-payola bartering system, and forming the National Conservative Political Action Committee before he died of AIDS in 1986. (note: no comment on the familiar theme of a gay ultra conservative) Dolan and Rove became close allies of Charlie Black, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone who, in direct succession to Spencer-Roberts worked for Reagan in the 1970s, became the chief public PR/political consulting firm in Reagan's 1984 presidential campaign."

"Atwater joined Black, Manafort and Stone after the 1984 election and with Dwight Chapin and another of Nixon’s dirty tricksters, Fred Malek, were key in directing the 1988 Bush-Quayle campaign. In 1980, Karl Rove had been the first person George H.W. Bush hired for his presidential campaign. At the time, Atwater was chairman of the Republican National Committee and with Rove as intermediary became one of Bush's closest political advisors. In 1981, after Bush became Ronald Reagan's vice president, Rove had set up his own political consulting firm, Karl Rove & Co. His initial client was Bill Clements, the first Republican in a century to become Texas governor. In 1984, Rove shaped the far-right campaign of Texan Phil Gramm, who defeated Democrat Lloyd Doggett in the race for U.S. Senate. He sank his teeth into the Reagan-Bush direct mail campaign and made a name on the national scene, while his hard charging political stratagem for Texas was successfully turning the Democratic state into a Republican bastion. Rove became George W. Bush strategist when he announced his candidacy for Governor in November 1993. By the end of January 1994, Bush had spent $613,930 on the race against Governor Ann Richards. Over half, $340,579, went to Karl Rove."

"Rove’s influence in Texas politics and political muscle is the stuff of Texas legend. In a state that had been dominated by Democrats, mostly right-wing ones, the Rove-led Republican stampede captured of every statewide elected office by 1999 and a Texas-size helping of state legislative seats and ‘law and order’ judgeships. As Governor, George Bush went on to prove his law and order bent by signing more execution orders than any governor in US history, making Texas the ‘death penalty’ capitol of the nation. The governor’s tenure is not open for public review, however. His papers have been deposited under seal in the Texas library of George H.W. Bush."

Monday, April 02, 2007

Diligent Watch

Lately I've been thinking about what it is that keeps people involved in negative patterns. What is it that keeps negative patterns regenerating and appearing over and over.

What is the problem, what is it that causes repeated depressed moods, anxieties, behaviors, hatreds, angers, obsessions, social inequities, negative presumptions, generalizations that lead to racist/sexist/agist behavior, violence, self-righteous impunity - the list is massive.

Most of these things are self destructive - negative thinking about ability and potential, things that keeps people stuck.

One of the curiosities of Bush is seeing this played out on the world stage. Seeing how someone can be so destructive and simultaneously so ignorant, blind, and unaffected by the results of their own actions. Even if you disagree with this judgement, and it is a judgement, you still have to admit that Bush doesn't present much in terms of a guiding figure, a role model. Yet we see that there is small percent of people that view Bush as a role model and guiding light. The rest of us diligently search for what it is that they see.

My task on this blog is tiny, write a few simple statements and leave it at that. So I can't answer what I'm describing within the context of this blog.

There is one thing I can say with a degree of confidence. Continuous, consistent, and steady effort are probably fundamental to making any kind of gain. You usually have to work at it, and work at it with efficiency, attention, creativity, and determination.

What you direct that continuous, consistent, and steady effort at, is your choice. Hopefully you get exposed to many positive things or at least a few positive things or at least one positive thing - something that can really change the negative cycle if that is in fact what we want, and you have to know if you do.

George Bush - what can we say about the man. He's authoritarian, and that's a huge problem. Authoritarians don't have a lot of give, call it rigidity just shy of rigor mortis. Can we imagine Bush as a graceful dancer, oh hell no. Can we imagine him in a brainstorming session where ideas are freely flowing and the energy and creativity are practically tangible, very oh hell no. Authoritarianism is a disease, I really mean that, but it is only my opinion. When Bush came out as pro torture this became clear to me. There is no such thing as a democratic, culturally advanced, civilized society that condones torture.

The trick seems to be to create the change through steady hard work and then one day without you being so poignantly aware of it, it is a regular part of your life and I'll drink to that.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Break Time

Can we just impeach him already?

Just saw "Blades of Glory" with Will Ferrell and Jon Heder. This was a fun movie. The Saturday Night Live movies usually run the same scenarios and stay in the same comedy territory. This one was tighter and sharper than the rest with Ferrell in fine comedic form.

Here's Will Ferrell as George Bush