April Fool's Palm Sunday, 2007

Back in Fantasyland

CAPE TOWN -- More gibberitic nonsequiturs from AOL News: "Rosie Opens 9/11 Conspiracy 'View' Debate". Typical for AOL, this story doesn't make the slightest hope to even hang together logically. It goes like this: "Rosie O'Donnell has never been one to shy away from speaking her mind, but her latest controversial topic of conversation on 'The View' brought up a taboo that most daytime talk shows would never go near Đ the possibility of a conspiracy on 9/11."

To belabor an obvious point, the government is telling us it was a conspiracy. For six years now, since a few moments after the first plane hit one of the towers the media has been telling us this was a conspiracy led by Osama bin Laden from the mountains of Afghanistan. Is there anyone saying this was the work of a "deranged loner" or a "lone gun"? If so, I missed that.

Obviously this story is not designed to inform, to clarify. It starts right out by muddying the waters. Our great and honorable government is telling us the 9/11 attacks were the work of a conspiracy, so it's hardly news when Rosie O'Donnell opens discussion on "the possibility of a conspiracy".

Why anyone would automatically believe the American government on anything is beyond me. George Bush tells lies publicly every day of his life, probably every waking hour. Why are these people to be believed? It's hard to find an instance when they tell the truth, except for an occasional slip of the tongue.

The story pits O'Donnell against champion bigot and liar Bill O'Reilly who is allegedly outraged, of course. This is the guy who tried to provoke outrage over Macy's putting up signs that said "Season's Greetings" -- this, he said was a terrible affront against Christianity. The likes of O'Reilly, of course have no problem with torture, mass murder, driving a country to war with phony threats, etc. No affront to Christianity that.

The story is that the story, the questions can no longer be entirely suppressed in spite of the efforts of the likes of O'Reilly. ABC may well fire O'Donnell. The AOL poll shows a vast majority advocating her dismissal for suggesting that there was a conspiracy, as the government said. Maybe ABC should fire the government.

Obviously Rosie's idea of conspiracy is a different one than the government theory, but AOL can't get near to uttering the words "inside job". If the poll on AOL has any meaning at all, it would be to show that Americans are still scared to death to even think about the possibility that their government is as bad as it looks. Every day more outrages come forth, more lies. Do Americans believe their government officials? Is that possible? After thousands of bald-faced lies, could they still believe?

Meanwhile, back in reality:

Partial Memory Restoration -- Honest Gonzo now says he remembers -- oh yeah, now I remember, I was involved in those firings. He still doesn't remember being very conscious during any of those acts, he now alleges. "I don't recall being involved in deliberations involving the question whether or not a United States attorney should or should not be asked to resign," he said. NY Daily News

April 1, 2007

Chocolate Bad, Murder Okay -- A chocolate sculpture of Jesus so outraged Cardinal Edward Egan and other Catholics that it was pulled down, according to CBS. I'm trying to recall if the Catholic church or any faction within it has registered its outrage at the mass murder in Iraq as the result of a policy based totally on fabrications. Have I missed that, or did it happen? Yet somehow a chocolate sculpture of Jesus is a great outrage. What would Jesus do? Would he sit calmly as thousands are murdered under false pretenses and yet be terribly upset because one of a million graven images of him was made of chocolate? What is going on here? At least Pope John Paul came out strongly against Bush's hideous lies and mass murder. Former Hitler Youth Pope Ratzinger doesn't seem to care, nor does his flock apparently.
  • More Lies -- Lying by Bush or Gonzales or any of the rest of the mob is hardly even news it's so common. ABC reports that "For weeks after his death, the Pentagon maintained that Pat Tillman was killed in an enemy ambush, even after a top general tried to warn President Bush that the NFL star-turned-soldier likely died by friendly fire, according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press." Why bother to tell the truth? It's not something that enters Bush's mind normally. The truth for its own sake has no value or meaning to a calculating political animal like Bush.
  • Why Bush is Insane -- by Harold Pinter. ZMag
  • Giuliani No Hero -- New York firefighters defy the false image of Giuliani as a hero of 9/11. "We want America to know what this guy meant to New York City firefighters," said Peter Gorman, head of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association. "In our experiences with this man, he disrespected us in the most horrific way."

    April 2, 2007

    Australian Bagged in Kangaroo Trial -- There are no words to describe how disgusting and disgraceful this military tribunal kangaroo trial is of this Australian who has been held for five years without trial, without charges in inhuman conditions and tortured. For the American government to hold prisoners without trial for years, to torture them until it gets confessions out of them is so disgusting that Americans should be up in arms if they still care anything for what their country used to stand for. (See story at LA Times)

    He's called a "detainee" in our media. There's a nice euphemism for you. A "detainee". He's been "detained". Oh excuse me, I was late for tea because I was detained. Let's be real. These people, and this is only one of hundreds, are being imprisoned in the most barbaric conditions and tortured on the assumption that they are "bad people", as Bush and McCain call them. But there is no process for separating the people who want to attack the United States from any person who just happens to get caught in the web. Of course they are going to confess to anything after a while, after years of imprisonment and torture as this Australian.

    And this scumbag Australian politician Prime Minister John Howard does not come forth to protect one of his people being unjustly held and tortured. He doesn't give a damn for the rule of law, for human rights, even if it is an Australian. He just accepts the arbitrary rule of the Pentagon kangaroo court based on a confession squeezed out through torture. "He pleaded guilty to knowingly assisting a terrorist organisation - namely al-Qaeda," Mr Howard said. (See Sydney Morning Herald) But he was tortured! Held without charge, without trial, in inhuman conditions! For years! Never granted a real trial, just a military tribunal based on evidence extorted through torture! It's a disgrace!

    Meanwhile, the guy is being gagged, that is, his plea bargain includes a restriction on his talking to the media. They've tortured the guy, forced a confession out of him which means nothing except that he would say anything to stop the torture as anyone else would, and now if he wants to have his life back again, he's prohibited from talking, from telling the truth about this barbaric treatment. (See The Australian )

    What is it these Americans hate so much about due process and free speech? This is a disgrace to America, to the constitution, to America's former stand for democracy and the rule of law. These people now running the country are criminals, thugs. They are the ones who should be in prison. (Sydney Morning Herald)

    April 5, 2007

    Another Escalation -- In stubborn defiance of nearly everything and everyone, Bush the self-styled "war president" is sending 12,000 more National Guard soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan. MSNBC

    April 10, 2007

    Down With Bush, Now -- Time magazine's Joe Klein writes about "An Administration's Epic Collapse". He says Bush's "defining sins ... arrogance, incompetence, cynicism" are "congenital" and will not change. Therefore: "it is increasingly difficult to imagine yet another two years of slow bleed with a leader so clearly unfit to lead." Klein does not specify an alternative.
  • Where There's Smoke -- Gonzales aide Monica Goodling resigned abruptly. MSNBC

    April 13, 2007

    Lee Iacocca re-emerges, a CEO who wasn't a slick confidence man siphoning off millions as the company goes down. A guy who turned Chrysler around and saved it from near certain death. Now he's back and is he pissed! "Had Enough?" writes Iacocca. "Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'Stay the course.' Stay the course? You've got to be kidding." depression2.tv
  • No More Rubber Stamp -- Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, head of the Senate Judiciary Committee spoke straight about the White House's story that it can't find e-mails the committee wants. Check out his speech and the text at Truthout

    April 17, 2007

    A dark and ominous day, more than 30 people murdered for reasons that had virtually nothing to do with them. It is horrifying not just because it reminds us that random death can be anyone's lot at any time (and it most likely will have nothing at all to do with terrorism, or the people Bush refers to as enemies). But it is additionally deeply disturbing because the malevolent spirit that led one of us to do such a monstrous thing is not isolated to that one person. It is a reflection of something abroad on the American landscape, something that is in all of us, in our restless, anxious culture. No one on the news is likely to say it has anything to do with the Iraq war, but the connection is unavoidable. And then, the gun industry in America is so powerful, few politicians dare to say that maybe every lunatic in America should be entitled to walk into a gun store and buy automatic weapons and ammunition in a heartbeat.
  • American Bore -- Richard Gere made a real ass of himself by grabbing Indian movie star Shilpa Shetty, pulling her down and kissing her. It must have been fun for him to fulfill such an impulse, but beyond a quick, self-indulgent thrill it didn't accomplish much. It wasn't glamorous or dashing as Gere must have imagined. It was just a lecherous 57-year-old man expressing a primal urge in a great public display that was not particularly becoming. To Indians, who don't even have kisses in their romantic movies, it was an outrage, leading to many burning effigies of Gere. (Associated Press)

    April 18, 2007

    The Noose Tightens -- Says Bernard Weiner: "As the Bush Administration stumbles from one disaster, scandal and corruption investigation into another, the looming political/legal noose continues moving closer to the necks of Bush, Cheney, Rove, Gonzales and the rest of the White House bunker crew."

    April 20, 2007

    DOJ Underneath the Rock -- After watching Alberto Gonzales worm his way through questioning by the Senate, bringing the office of attorney general to perhaps its lowest point in history, take a look at how bad it gets when you scratch deep down below that veneer. According to McClatchy, "For six years, the Bush administration, aided by Justice Department political appointees, has pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates. The administration intensified its efforts last year as President Bush's popularity and Republican support eroded heading into a midterm battle for control of Congress, which the Democrats won."
  • Sick McCain -- Want to see the sick side of John McCain in "straight talk"? Check out this MoveOn.org ad that shows him making a very ugly joke in which he changes the song "Barbara Ann" to "Bomb Iran". Very funny, John.
  • Inspired Nonsense -- Gonzales' testimony before the Senate "deserves a place of high honor in the Gibberish Hall of Fame," writes William Rivers Pitt . "It was astonishing in its vapidity, almost to a point beyond description. The emptiness of Gonzales's answers, after several hours, became the political version of a Zen koan. They simply stopped my mind." And later in the story, "There can be little doubt, after yesterday, that Alberto Gonzales was elevated to his position by Bush to affect a political takeover of the Justice Department. The muscular legal arm of federal power became just another tool to establish Karl Rove's dream of a permanent Republican majority in government by disrupting the vote and by obscuring GOP corruption. Thus, it doesn't matter if the attorney general is a pudding, because there were other chefs in the kitchen at Justice."

    April 21, 2007

  • Notes from South Africa, from my recent exploration of its culture and history are here and here.

    April 21, 2007

    The Establishment Rethinks Globalization -- "If free trade is a win-win proposition, Gomory asked himself, then why did America keep losing?" William Greider

    Sunday April 22, 2007

    Pretty Newt Trots Out -- On Corporate News this morning Newt Gingrich, the pompous and cleverly deceptive man who led the charge for impeachment of Clinton for lying about an extra-marital affair when he was doing the same thing. Fortunately for Gingrich he didn't have Ken Starr and Gingrich on his tail looking for any excuse to bring him down at the time. Now having made his mistress at the time respectable as his current wife. Now as a not-officially-declared candidate for president, he's going on TV with George Stephanopolous looking as pretty as ever, his perfect white hair exactly in place, his characteristic bright shirt and tie. He blames "the left" for the shooting incident in Virginia. Stephanopoulos looks sincerely baffled. Gingrich explains it was "the left, the liberal media, the liberal political establishment," all fictitious creations, who created the "situational ethics" that led to such an act of mass murder. Fine one to talk about situational ethics, as one who clearly adopts them in his personal and political life. In countries that have strict laws against guns, he said, gun violence has actually gone up. In Britain, for example, where murders are a tiny fraction of those in the U.S. anyway you look at it. Gingrich, like Buchanan later in the morning, says if more people had had guns, it wouldn't have happened because one of the good gun guys would have stopped it.

    April 24, 2007

    Eve of Destruction -- As the Bush-Cheney crime empire unravels at an accelerating rate it is getting ever more astonishing to witness this phenomenon of history unfolding. The once seemingly omnipotent Bush enterprise is falling rapidly to what appears an ever more inevitable crash. Writing in the Free Press, Steven Rosenfeld and Bob Fitrakis say that the computer network that hosted the allegedly missing White House email relevant to the firing of the eight prosecutors also hosted Ohio's official websites for presidential vote-counting and election results. The result, they say: "On Election Night 2004, the Republican Party not only controlled the vote-counting process in Ohio, the final presidential swing state, through a secretary of state who was a co-chair of the Bush campaign, but it also controlled the technology that allowed the tally of the vote in Ohio's 88 counties to be reported to the media and voters."

    Commenting on this Mark Crispin Miller writes, "It turns out that, on Election Night 2004, the 'live' returns on Ken Blackwell's website were frozen for 90 minutes after Kerry had been deemed the winner in Ohio's biggest cities. Only then did the (apparent) totals from Ohio's GOP-majority counties come in, pushing Bush over the top (apparently). As Fitrakis and Rosenfeld show, those totals were largely based on fraudulent numbers. Bush/Cheney were not elected. Spread the word--and let's start talking, at long last, about impeachment, which is now the only legal and the only honorable course."

    A year and a half till the next election and the Bush administration is increasingly driven into a corner over revelations of various criminal activity on many layers. Impeachment, once almost a tabu subject, is appearing ever more possible. Processes already in motion in many separate theaters of activity are acting to break down the Bush administration. The public no longer believes in it. It's like a dead thing that just hasn't fallen down yet. The question becomes: "How long can they hold out?"

    They were so powerful they practically nullified any accountability. And in such an environment they behaved as though there were no such thing as consequences for their actions. And for a while there weren't. Now the ground has shifted. Their earlier arrogance is coming back to haunt them.

    More and more serious criminal activity is surfacing and reaching ever closer to the White House. For a moment forget the crime of the famous "17 words" in which Bush lied in his State of the Union address to trick the country into war. What higher crime or misdemeanor could there be? Fixing elections? How far will all this go?

    These processes now in motion cannot be turned back by anyone. We are all along for the ride now. Bush and Cheney have exceeded the limits of their own power. A momentum is building, not just in terms of public sentiment, but a legal momentum is building. At some point they may have to consider like Nixon did that it may be better to surrender power than risk many of the more serious criminal activity to surface.

  • Ten Little Bushies -- To help us keep track of how many Bush administration officials have had some serious legal problems, the Washington Post has created a listing.
  • The Story Crumbles -- Prison Planet has posted a video of John Kerry taking questions at a public forum, and when he is asked about World Trade Center 7 and whether any investigation had been carried on into Larry Silverstein, the owner of the complex, who claimed on a TV interview to have "pulled" WTC 7, then later recanted. Kerry acts as if he's never even heard such allegations, but he has a little trouble keeping the official story straight himself, going along with the Silverman story that was later denied. Kerry said, "I do know that that wall, I remember, was in danger and I think they made the decision based on the danger that it had in destroying other things, that they did it in a controlled fashion." If that were to be accepted, it would blow a huge whole in the official story, and it would be hard to stop the unraveling at that point.

  • How Bad It Gets -- The Worst Person in the World Awards. Media commentators who criticized the students at Virginia Tech for not stopping the shooter who was spraying bullets with an automatic weapon. YouTube
  • It's Bush -- Gonzales is the personification of Bush policy at the Justice Department. According to former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega, at Truthout, "the problem with Alberto is that Alberto is only part of the problem. The real problem with the Bush administration's Department of Justice right now is that it is run by the Bush administration. Gonzales's Justice Department is the Bush administration's Justice Department. Therefore, Gonzales's story about the US attorneys scandal is the Bush administration's story. And even though the Bush White House has come up with some fabulous tales over the past six years, this one is a corker: Amazingly - the White House would have you believe - the list of US attorneys who should be 'pushed out' was spontaneously generated without the benefit of human agency! Can you believe it???"
  • Moyers Comes Back Strong -- Wednesday night a Bill Moyers PBS 90-minute documentary will examine how the media helped "sell" Bush's lies to get the country into war. See Editor & Publisher
  • Here Come the Subpoenas -- House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman considering subpoenas in four different investigations of the Bush administration: "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for testimony about her role in President Bush's now discredited claim that Iraq was seeking to obtain uranium from Niger; Former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card for his testimony in regard to the leak of former CIA operative Valerie Plame's name to the press; The Republican National Committee for documents related to RNC e-mail accounts used by White House officials, including Karl Rove; And the White House for documents related to a federal contract given to a company that has been implicated in a bribery case," says Roll Call

    April 25, 2007

    The First Shot -- Rep. Dennis Kucinich is introducing a resolution to impeach Cheney.

    I recently visited Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 17 of his 28 years of imprisonmnent. I spoke to a former inmate who was guiding people through the prison. He said, "I never believed apartheid would end in my lifetime."

    I spoke to people who were in Berlin at the time when the wall came down. Six weeks before it came down, yes, people thought it might some day come down. Hardly anyone expected it to come down when it did. There are moments when history moves beyond expectations, when human events take on a momentum of their own.

    Processes that are in motion right now cannot be predicted and cannot be controlled. Many times the Bush administration has stepped far over the line beyond what has historically been acceptable in the United States. What is happening to them now is all of their own doing. It is in fact a very delayed reaction to their many flagrant crimes. Now they are under assault on many fronts at once. Legal activities, like war, are hard to predict after the first shot.

  • Good For Her -- Private Jessica Lynch, who was made into a "hero" not for her sake but as phoney propaganda for the war, got her chance to tell her side of the story in Congress. Not only was she a victim of the phony war in the first place, almost killed and badly injured for a war that had no justification. But then when she was injured, she was used in a cheap P.R. stunt to arouse emotions in favor of the war. She said they tried to turn her into a "little girl Rambo." She said, "I'm still confused why they lied and tried to make me into a legend." But now she has had a chance to let her own voice be heard. "American people don't need to be told elaborate tales," she said. The Guardian and more.
  • Relinquish Your Mind -- Now Giuliani is threatening that if a Democrat is elected president there will be another 9/11 attack. Like the last one right, when a Democrat was ... oh. It was under a Republican president. Oh well. You get the point. The Politico.
  • Rove Explodes -- Karl Rove to Sheryl Crow, who had touched his arm as she attempted to address him about Global Warming, "Don't Touch Me!" See the story at The Huffington Post. Times are getting very intense.
  • McGovern Answers Cheney -- "In the war of my youth, World War II, I volunteered for military service at the age of 19 and flew 35 combat missions, winning the Distinguished Flying Cross as the pilot of a B-24 bomber. By contrast, in the war of his youth, the Vietnam War, Cheney got five deferments and has never seen a day of combat — a record matched by President Bush." McGovern goes on to say, "It is my firm belief that the Cheney-Bush team has committed offenses that are worse than those that drove Nixon, Vice President Spiro Agnew and Atty. Gen. John Mitchell from office after 1972. Indeed, as their repeated violations of the Constitution and federal statutes, as well as their repudiation of international law, come under increased consideration, I expect to see Cheney and Bush forced to resign their offices before 2008 is over." LA Times

    Thursday, April 26, 2007

    Subpoenas for Rice and RNC -- The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted to issue subpoenas for Condoleezza Rice and the Republican National Committee as part of its investigations into Bush administration activities, according to the LA Times. Committee Chairman Henry Waxman wants to talk to Rice about Bush's false claim that Saddam Hussein was trying to get uranium from Niger, and the RNC in regard to the recent discovery that the White House was getting around legal requirements of transparency by using RNC computers for their e-mails.
  • The Cho in the White House -- Former diplomat John Brown: "Given my own twenty-plus years in the Foreign Service, on occasions like this I find myself looking at my own country from a non-American perspective. I must confess that, when I first saw psychopathic mass murderer Cho Seung-Hui's photographs of himself savagely pointing a gun at the camera, I was reminded not only of the violent images in our popular culture, but also of George W. Bush and his wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, not to speak of the thrust of his whole foreign policy. Indeed, for others on our globe, mass murder in Iraq, scenes of degradation from Abu Ghraib, CIA extraordinary rendition expeditions, and our prison at Guantanamo have already become synonymous with the U.S. government and the President; so, it would not be surprising if Cho's actions and Bush's foreign policy were linked in the minds of people outside the United States. I see several reasons why, for non-Americans, a mad student and our commander- in-chief could appear to be two sides of the same all-American coin." TomDispatch.com
  • Hitting the Fan -- According to MSNBC, "In rapid succession, congressional committees Wednesday ramped up their investigations of the Bush administration by approving a subpoena for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and granting immunity to a key aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. By 21-10, the House oversight committee voted to issue a subpoena to Rice to compel her story on the Bush administration's claim, now discredited, that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa. Moments earlier in the committee chamber next door, the House Judiciary Committee voted 32-6 to grant immunity to Monica Goodling, Gonzales' White House liaison, for her testimony on why the administration fired eight federal prosecutors." Meanwhile Patrick Leahy, the chairman, and Arlen Specter, the Republican ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Alberto Gonzales asking him to ""Provide the answers to the questions you could not recall last Thursday."
  • America Bummed -- In this video, see Bush "dance" a little, then see the results of a new poll that says only 22% of Americans think the country is going in the right direction. MSNBC
  • The Nerve -- Olbermann takes on Giuliani's remark that electing a Democrat will bring on another 9/11, like the one that took place on his and Bush's watch. Hoffmania
  • Bush's Quaint Loyalty -- Bush explains why Gonzales testimony before Congress strengthened his faith in Gonzales, though he didn't watch it. Bush's nickname for Gonzales is "Fredo". Gonzales "answered as honestly as he could," said Bush. Randi Rhodes Fans MySpace
  • Letter from an Angry Marine -- Not mincing words. YouTube.
  • Common Sense -- Meria Heller at 9/11 Accountability Conference. YouTube

    April 27, 2007

    Ask a Man Who's Been There -- Former Sergeant John Bruhns', a veteran of the Iraqi invasion, is the subject of a MoveOn ad produced by Oliver Stone. "It never seemed to me as if we were fighting al Qaeda, bin Laden or the people who were responsible for attacking us on 9/11. The mission was so confusing... I feel abused, and I feel misled by the administration. I feel that my patriotism has been used and exploited..."
  • Proof of Fraud -- Clint Curtis, who was defeated in Florida under questionable circumstances, conducted a precinct-by-precinct, door-to-door canvass of voters in his district and found that he received 12-24% more votes than were counted. He's filed a contest in the House and wants Congress to investigate his election. See his interview at Bradblog.
  • Mission Fraudulent -- In this video, spoken word artist Steven Connell asks if Mission Accomplished is now Mission Impossible. And what next? Tell us the mission tellusthemission.org

    April 28, 2007

    Full-Strength Moyers -- After being hounded off the air by the rightwingers, Bill Moyers is back with a vengeance. His new documentary explains in detail how the media bought and sold the White House's phony case for war. You can watch the documentary at PBS.org and see the transcript at truthout. [Interesting aside: Included near the beginnig is some footage from the scene as 9/11 unfolded, and a reporter says, "Here we are as close as we can get to the World Trade Center ... " Then suddenly he describes "a huge explosion" as one of the towers disintegrates from the top and collapses into rubble. Explosion? Oh yeah, the explosion that was one of many reported but never acknowledged to have happened in the official story. In the official story the tower was supposed to have collapsed because some steel beams melted from the heat of the fire (impossible) and gave way, causing a chain reaction that obliterated each floor one at a time under the weight of the previous one. And it fell at free-fall speed, as if without any resistance, not even that of one floor, let alone 80 or so. There is so much about the official story that defies reality, it sticks out like a thousand sore thumbs whenever the facts of the event sneak into a conversation. But that's not the subject of this documentary.] Moyers shows clearly and embarrassingly how the major media helped Bush sell the lies he was using to start the endless war in Iraq. Very well done. Welcome back Bill Moyers.
  • Bluebrint for Tyranny -- According to Naomi Wolf, writing in The Guardian, from Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all.
  • Model for Tyranny -- See Hitler wow the masses at YouTube, Hitler in 1939, in color.

    April 29, 2007

    Family Values -- According to the Times of India, "The demise of a call-girl ring and pending trial of an alleged madam claiming thousands of clients has the US capital riveted by the chance powerful men may now be caught with their trousers down, with a senior state department official apparently first to fall." According to the Associated Press, "Randall Tobias, head of the Bush administration's foreign aid programs, abruptly resigned Friday after his name surfaced in an investigation into a high-priced call-girl ring, said two people in a position to know the circumstances of his departure." Prostitution is one of the few crimes that readily comes to mind that the Bush administration has not been implicated in.
  • Toxic -- Meanwhile, according to the LA Times, "President Bush's unpopularity and a string of political setbacks have created a toxic climate for the Republican Party as it struggles to raise money and recruit candidates for its drive to retake control of Congress."
  • Not Budging -- The much-despised Paul Wolfowitz won't resign his post as World Bank president, according to Bloomberg News. His putting his main squeeze Shaha Ali Riza on the payroll is just a "totally bogus conflict-of- interest allegation" according to his lawyer, after reports that "the panel investigating Wolfowitz's decision to promote his companion had already concluded he breached ethics rules." How could anyone possibly not like Paul and want him to run the World Bank? His lawyer says that for some mysterious reason, "This is just trying to escalate pressure on him,'' Bennett said. ``They will come up with bad things on him, and they want him to resign -- which he won't." According to the NY Times, "Arriving as president of the World Bank in the summer of 2005, Paul D. Wolfowitz told colleagues he was eager to tackle issues like poverty in Africa and corruption in aid to poor countries. But almost immediately he became consumed instead by frustrating negotiations with bank officials over the status of his companion, an employee at the bank, documents released this month show." Tempers flair when the stakes are low. "Some time in the week, the 24-member board may ask for Mr. Wolfowitz’s resignation, declare a loss of confidence in his leadership or do nothing in the hope that negotiations with the Bush administration can bring about a voluntary resignation," the Times wrote. "Few doubt the board’s determination to push him out."

    Sunday morning, April 29, 2007

    National Loathing -- Bush's approval rating has dropped to 28% according to a Harris poll, says the Wall Street Journal. Few other prominent politicians seem to be doing very well in the poll either. Cheney is at 25% approval, which sounds pretty good for him. These people don't really care too much what the people think of them. The feeling is mutual.
  • The heartless Condi Rice made the rounds of Sunday morning talk shows, but insists she will not honor a subpoena by the House Oversight committee. She says she respects the committee but this time they are going too far. She respects its authority, but she'll make the decision whether or not to comply, a typical contradiction. Condi Rice, the slender Black woman from Mississippi, who shops for expensive shoes while Mississippi drowns in Katrina, who cares for no one but George and company, the loyal member of the Bush clan, one of the boys. She talks to Stephanopoulos, dances around his questions, smirks in apparent satisfaction of her performance. The mysterious, cold Condi.
  • Sunday Mystery Hour -- The April 5 Rolling Stone has an amazing article by Erik Hedegaard about E. Howard Hunt, his son St. John, and the father's alleged near-death revelation to his son about who was involved in the assassination of JFK. Anything to do with the CIA and E. Howard Hunt in particular is a house of mirrors and nothing can be taken at face value. However, there has always been a great deal of evidence implicating Hunt in the plot, though he denied it under oath more than once. Hunt had participated in the overthrow of the government of Guatemala, in the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Watergate break-in. His wife was killed in a plane crash after swearing to blow the whistle on Nixon and cronies after they threw Hunt to the wolves after the Watergate break-in. Hunt is the spitting image of one of the famous "three tramps" escorted from Dealey Plaza by police shortly after the slaughter of JFK, allegedly interrogated, but the record of the interrogation vanished. In Hunt's alleged confession to his son, he claims he didn't get involved in the assassination though he was invited to. But there is much evidence to indicate that his own involvement is part of the story he withheld. Though much remains a mystery, this is a fascinating, well-constructed article. For more discussion on Hunt's alleged revelation and how it relates to other research, see The Intelligence Daily. For more background on Hunt, see Spartacus. For more discussion of the connections between Hunt, the assassination, Nixon's fear of the "Bay of Pigs thing" getting out, Watergate, etc., including an examination of pictures of the "three tramps" and the people they are speculated to be, see "Why Nixon resigned instead of facing impeachment" at What Really Happened. More at markmaynard.com. Twenty Secrets of E. Howard Hunt: 10zenmonkeys.com.
  • Oh Boy Oh Boy! The Sunday Morning News Shows were all aglow with chatter about the great big number one first debate of Democratic presidential candidates. The event itself, having only seen a few soundbites, looks deadly dull in the first place, but the discussion of it is so banal as to make it even worse. The endless dwelling on "performance" and discussion of it like a thrilling sport is so oppressively stupid and inappropriate to the gravity of the problems we now confront as to be truly, deeply demoralizing. In the immediate aftermath Bill Moyers' brutal exposure of the media complicity in pulling off the Great Iraq Deception (Buying the War), there is little indication of any change in behavior of the media. And why should there be. We are talking about the mass media, the corporate media, and corporations by their inherent legally defined nature never divert from their bottom line interests. They have altered their angle a little in response to the overwhelming change in public opinion. But they have not yet been forced to change from their deeply ingrained tactics of constantly diverting from any information that might lead to exposure of the giant corporate military industrial fraud being perpetrated on the public. So these Democratic candidates, those ordained by the establishment as "frontrunners", get up and play out a game in which they support a carefully constructed fantasy scenario that is greatly divorced from real live life. In that scenario they talk about "victory" in Iraq, about the never-defined "mission", about "mismanagement of the war. Joe Biden delves deeply into a discussion about sanctions on Iraq that should have been "tightened" to "increase pressure" on Saddam Hussein, which means destroy the country and create so much pressure that it will destabilize his hold on power. And that means implicitly that many many innocent people will have to suffer and die before any of the so-called pressure ever reaches the palace of Saddam Hussein. The NewsHeads yap about minutia about the performance of the competitors, who scored and other idiocy.
  • Sci Fi Reality -- Did you see the video clips about the Japanese android Geminoid made in the image of his creator? Wild stuff! It's "Bladerunner". It seems that the essential difference between science fiction and reality now is that science fiction has to be limited to a few new ideas and have a plot, be organized and make sense. But in real life it's happening all around us at once at breathtaking speed. Check out Geminoid here, here and here. Check out footage of a female android here, and then take a look at the cat. Of course Disney will have to get on this technology to upgrade its "Animatronics". The toy industry of course will be breaking its neck to cash in and quick. And of course, always the leading edge of the development of any new medium will be the sex industry, broadly speaking. But of course!
  • Sue the Bastards! The many irregularities surrounding the collection of a big insurance payout of $861 million to the owner of the WTC makes one wonder why the insurance companies don't investigate it as insurance fraud. The fact that the owner, Larry Silverstein, had just taken out the policy shortly before the incident, that he was facing a deadline for the hugely expensive project of removing the asbestos from the buildings, and his famous statement on the air of making the decision to "pull it" when WTC 7 came down without ever being hit by a plane, only the third steel skyscraper to allegedly come down by fire (the other two being WTC 1 and WTC 2). It would seem to be an interesting angle to explore as an avenue for activism. Corporations are strictly required by law to alway act to maximize shareholder value. How could a corporate board justify letting such a huge pay out go by without looking into abundant evidence of fraud? Couldn't shareholders take legal action to force the insurance company to investigate? Couldn't someone who believes in getting to the bottom of the 9/11 attacks pull a Carl Icahn action on the company? This would be activism with real teeth. (See "9/11 Guilt: The Proof Is In Your Hands": A clear technical explanation of the destruction of the Twin Towers. And a discussion of the financial results of the incidents. Fascinating to look at the wars behind the wars.)
  • Forewarned -- False Flag News makes it its mission to post warnings about scheduled military drills that are coming up, like the several drills that were scheduled to take place on Sept. 11, 2001, that just coincidentally happened to set up hypothetical terror attacks in which passenger aircraft were hijacked and flown into buildings. The fact that it turned out to coincide with actual unprecedented events happening simultaneously was a major contributing factor into why the entire military establishment of the mightiest military power on earth was in a state of paralysis and failed utterly to lift a finger to stop the actual attacks. The same thing, by the way, happened on 7/7 in London, when actual events played out almost exactly as a drill that was going on that morning. Fascinating and improbable coincidence. False Flag News keeps tabs on drills that are coming up, so that we can hopefully prevent being taken utterly surprise again at least in that particular way. A recent drill was particularly chilling. It was called Noble Resolve 07 and was a four-day marathon of "simulated" terror attacks across the U.S. and Europe, including a simulated detonation of a "loose" ten-kiloton nuclear weapon Virginia harbor, smuggled in by a "foreign nation." The drills conducted by Joint Task Force Command (JTFCOM), Northern Command (NORTHCOM), J9 Joint Innovation and Experimentation Directorate, FEMA’s command bunker, the Department of Homeland Security, and Virginia police. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.
  • Well Prepared -- "Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th; malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists, themselves, away from the guilty." -- President George W. Bush, November 10, 2001.

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