August 1, 2005
Creeping Truth about 9/11 -- David Ray Griffin spoke to the National Press Club, an event that is in itself silently earth-shattering, given that Griffin is saying that the official story of 9/11 is bogus. Theologian Griffin's book "The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11" puts forth, as he says, "a strong prima facie case for official complicity." See the text of his speech at septembereleventh.org. An Irresistible Wave of Truth -- This week New York's listener-supported Pacifica Network station WBAI 99.5 FM was holding a fund raiser on the air and the station offered as premiums some DVDs about the massive flaws in the official story about 9/11. The station found that information about the truth about 9/11 was a volcanic driver for its fundraising campaign. As long as they were playing the 9/11 programs on the air and offering them as premiums, the fund drive sailed along buoyantly. Most of the DVDs, such as "Loose Change", "Painful Deceptions" and "Confronting the Evidence" merely review and analyze the mainstream news reports and compare them to the official report. Little more is needed to show how monstrously implausible the official version is. Of course the alternative is nearly impossible to swallow, given the implication that elements in the U.S. government were actually complicit in this, the most horrific terrorist act ever committed against Americans and one of the worst in history, depending on how you define terrorism. But a serious technical look at the WTC collapse will quickly dispense with the assertion that the two towers collapsed merely as a result of the planes that crashed into them and the resulting fires, which were barely visible except for the black smoke seeping from the side of the towers. The power of a strong wind, which hits the entire building with a continuing, relentless force is much greater than that of a single piercing by one aircraft. And those fires could not have reached the temperature that would melt the steel in those buildings. Check out the films yourself and see how strong your belief is in the words of your leaders. Is it strong enough to defy common sense? Griffin: "President Bush himself advised people, perhaps especially reporters, not to tolerate 'outrageous conspiracy theories.' What the president really meant is that people should not tolerate any outrageous conspiracy theories except his own, according to which 19 Arab Muslims defeated the most powerful and sophisticated defense system in history and also defeated the laws of physics, bringing down three steel-frame building in a way that perfectly mimicked controlled demolition." Look Out! Bush is taking another month-long vacation -- With Iraq descending further in to chaos, bombings in London and Egypt, Bush decides to take another month-long vacation, just like he did in August 2001, just after being warned that Al Qaida was planning to use hijacked airlines to attack American skyscrapers, and just before the attacks that were to change the course of history. William Rivers Pitt Morphing the Gestapo -- Great article by Doris Colmes at lewrockwell.com: "The very purpose of the international Geneva Conventions ... was to prevent ö ever again ö the kind of insane torture and ruthless extermination perpetrated by Nazi Germany ... But, just this spring, Alberto Gonzales, our own Attorney General, opened the door to torture when he stated, 'The Geneva Conventions are quaint: They are obsolete.' ... So, how far are we removed from the Gestapo of Nazi Germany? As Robert Zeller states, 'It (fascism) comes through creating legal nonpersons of citizens and noncitizens alike. It comes through violating human rights standards, sanitizing torture and condoning murder.' As Hermann Goering stated at the Nuremberg trials: 'Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.'" Hell on Earth -- The Arctic Sea is melting faster than ever before, as 2005 stacks up to the the hottest year in history. Daily Kos
August 2, 2005
Santorum (sounds like "Sanitarium")Jon Stewart had this character Rick Santorum on The Daily Show the other night. (See the video at crooksandliars.com scroll down...There's a partial transcript here.) I was amazed. When he announced the name of the guest the thought that I was going to have to listen to this Christian right fanatic made me reel with nausea, but I have to give Stewart credit for trying to create a dialogue with these madmen. More power to him for trying. I guess someone has to do it.
Santorum is a far Christian right Republican who believes strongly in enforcing a uniform pattern of behavior on everyone. He doesn't think sex is a personal matter. He thinks everyone else's sex practices are his concern. He wants everyone to do it the way he does it. The way he believes it should be done. The only way it can be done without it destroying all that is good about our great and noble Way of Life. (For a look at the Santorum's psyche via an AP interview, check out sfgate.com)
Santorum is all over the place promoting his book lately, It Takes a Family, which essentially espouses the doctrine of the World According to Santorum. The one man-one woman family is The Best, he says, the best way a family can be. And then he takes that premise and somehow draws the conclusion that anything other than his model of perfection should not be tolerated, should be outlawed.
No doubt trying to present the "compassionate conservative" idea, the conservative who actually behaves like a reasonable human being, liberal enough in attitude to appear human, he claims to have no problem with homosexuals themselves. That way he can deny that he is "prejudiced."
This Republican is so "moderate" he doesn't even include the War in Iraq on his website as a subject on which he should have an opinion. Of course it's okay. The President says so. And he is an agent of The Lord.
In the SFGate interview he says, "I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts. As I would with acts of other, what I would consider to be, acts outside of traditional heterosexual relationships. And that includes a variety of different acts, not just homosexual. I have nothing, absolutely nothing against anyone who's homosexual. If that's their orientation, then I accept that. And I have no problem with someone who has other orientations. The question is, do you act upon those orientations? So it's not the person, it's the person's actions. And you have to separate the person from their actions."
Okay, Rick, you have no problem with homosexuality, but if anyone commits a homosexual act, you'll throw his ass in jail. Is that it? Well, folks. It sounds like I'm making a big joke of Santorum, but yes. That's what he professes to believe. The interviewer presses the point and asks, "so if somebody is homosexual, you would argue that they should not have sex?" Santorum does not attempt to moderate his views: "We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that has sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family. And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything."
This is perfect fanatic logic. If you have the right to consensual sex in the privacy of your home, then you have the right to anything. Gee, that does sound pretty alarming. That would just hurl us into chaos, like the cavemen. You could just murder anyone you feel like murdering.
Santorum has decreed that having a great multitude of heterosexual families who raise children and follow that particular model of lifestyle is not enough, EVERYONE has to do that. There is no room for deviation from that norm. For anyone do live differently "undermine[s] the fabric of our society." This is what this lunatic wants to enforce on the rest of us. So he'll take some harmless homosexual computer programmer and throw him in the slammer so that he is no longer able to employ his talents to make a living and the rest of us have to support his existence in some for-profit prison because Rick Santorum cares so deeply about what goes on in other people's bedrooms.
In Santorum's interview with Jon Stewart he talke about the media's influence on children. Stewart made a comment about lizards selling beer, or something like that. Santorum said it wasn't lizards he was concerned about. He was more concerned with the influence of Victoria's Secret.
Here is a guy who is really freaked out about sex for some reason. He's made it a cause to suppress other people's sexuality. And he singles out Victoria's Secret, a catalog with beautiful models selling women's clothing (including bathing suits and underware), as a great threat to society? This is a very sick man, an extremely repressed individual.
Santorum's morality supports a president lying to the public to lead them into a war on false pretenses, a war with lots of death and destruction. He has no problem with that. He's worried about homosexuals getting married. That's going to undermine the social fabric. What social fabric are you referring to? If it's the one that produces support of such a stupid, criminal war, maybe it's better for it to be undermined.
See also santorumwatch.org, dailykos.net, "Santorum compares abortion to slavery in new book" at CNN
Incredible -- Harry Reid: "The president is not a credible person." Buzzflash Bush approval rating down to 44%. Zogby
August 3, 2005
Roberts UnmaskedFunny, it happens over and over -- when the media present you with each new player, they talk them up as if they are real stars, with astonishing talent and integrity. With Bush's Supreme Court nominee Roberts, he was introduced as such a moderate that it was shrewd for Bush to have outfoxed the Democrats by appointing someone so middle-of-the-road he was incontestable.
Then when I start hearing what kinds of opinions he has written I realize, he's a right wing hardass, just what you would expect Bush to appoint. He's for "judicial restraint", which means little restraint on the executive and legislative branches. The court is created to protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights from the political process that rules the legislature and the executive branch. If the judicial branch does not exercise that power strongly, it means that the restraint is being taken off the politicians. Not good. Not now of all times.
People who voted for Bush because they dug their richman's tax cut, aided and abetted the rightwing takeover and disembowelment of the judicial system. As Ted Rall wrote the other day, it's sayonara to abortion rights. It's a little late to be thinking about it now. There was a time when this could have been easily averted by merely not allowing Bush to be president. But that time is past, barring impeachment.
Remember the Republicans who said, it shouldn't be a problem to people joining the Republican party even if they disagree with the platform plank that says abortion should be outlawed? It's a big tent, they said, there's room for everybody in the Republican party. But the liberality of letting you in the big tent and allowing you to support them suddenly turns cold when it comes to tolerance of other points of view in regard to abortion. Or gay marriage. Or a host of other things. The "compassionate" side of Bushian conservatism is a one-way street. They're very liberal about who they allow to give their lives to them. But if you deviate from their norm, you are dead, mo-fo.
Something smelled pretty rank when Bush recently avoided questions on Karl Rove's agent outing incident by saying how great the lawyer is who's conducting the investigation of the Plame incident. Patrick Fitzgerald is one of the lawyers who twisted and nullified the official investigation of 9/11. (See "9/11 in Historical Perspective: Flawed Assumptions Deep Politics: Drugs, Oil, Covert Operations and Terrorism, A briefing for Congressional staff" by Peter Dale Scott at globalresearch.ca.}
No matter how much the media and politicians tell you what a great, nonpartisan prosecutor Fitzgerald is, don't expect too much justice from this guy. Don't expect him to really go after the criminals, if they are part of the Bush mob. He was appointed by John Ashcroft's Justice Department. He's one of them.
August 4, 2005
Business Community Take Notice -- Complacent people who voted for Bush because his tax cuts appealed to that streak of greed we all have, listen to this: According to London's Financial Times, "The US is increasingly viewed as a 'culture-free zone' inhabited by arrogant and unfriendly people, according to study of 25 countries' brand reputations. The findings, published online today, will add to concerns that anti-Americanism is hurting companies whose products are considered to be distinctly 'American'. Right now the US government is not a credible messenger. Keith Reinhard, president, Business for Diplomatic Action The Anholt-GMI Nation Brands Index found that although US foreign policy remained a key driver of hostility, dissatisfaction with the world's sole superpower might run deeper. 'The US is still recognized as a leading place to do business, the home of desirable brands and popular culture,' said Simon Anholt, author of the survey. 'But its governance, its cultural heritage and its people are no longer widely respected or admired by the world.'" How much is that tax cut really worth? See the text at Common Dreams. Sci-Fi -- This sounds like an H.G. Wells story, or Stephen King. According to Forbes, "Military doctors are fighting to contain an outbreak of a potentially deadly drug-resistant bacteria that apparently originated in the Iraqi soil. So far at least 280 people, mostly soldiers returning from the battlefield, have been infected, a number of whom contracted the illness while in U.S. military hospitals." It's like the earth itself has become a deadly monster driving Americans out. Ain't superstitious but a black cat crossed my path. Go Figure -- A new Gallup Poll indicates that Americans are completely insane. It is hard to find a more apt interpretation of the data of a new Gallup poll. See if you can reconcile all this. According to editorandpublisher, "a majority of Americans no longer feel the decision to go to war was a 'mistake.' Now, 53% say it was not a blunder, while as recently as June the same number said it was a mistake." Hmmm... Meanwhile Bush's approval rating has plunged to its lowest at 44% at present. "Asked if they think we will succeed in creating a stable, democratic government in Iraq, Americans soundly reject the idea, by 58% to 37%. Similarly, 53% predict the U.S. will not win the war, while 43% say we will. And a majority, 51%, declare that President Bush 'deliberately misled' the public about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This produces the final contradiction: Despite that belief, 54% still find the president 'honest and trustworthy.' According to Gallup, one in five who believe Bush misled the country into war nevertheless find him honest."
August 8, 2005
Slow Death -- The Washington Post and New York Times are losing readers as the official view of reality falls farther out of touch with the reality of the people. Washington Post
Death To Mothers of Dead Soldiers Who Make a Fuss -- Cindy Sheehan, the woman whose son was killed in Iraq and is leading a protest outside Bush's Crawford palace, says the Secret Service is threatening to run them over. Bella Ciao
August 12, 2005
The Human FactorThomas de Zengotita writes on the Huffingtonpost.com that "Cindy Sheehan Has a Friend". Sheehan is the mother of a slain soldier and she is camped out in front of Bush's Crawford palace waiting Bush to see her personally. Bill O'Reilly had Doris Kesterson, the mother of another slain soldier whom Bush did meet with, in an attempt to provide an anti-spin for the story of Sheehan. But it didn't work out that way.
According to Zengotita, "O'Reilly was obliged to blend his most unctuous pretense-of-fairness manner ('I'll give you the last word') with his most over-bearing bullyboy style as he tried to manipulate and finally bludgeon this poor woman into conceding his point with questions like—(rough quote) 'You know Michael Moore, you know he hates our country. If you had to choose between him and President Bush, who would you choose?' Answer, a bit fumbled, delivered under huge pressure by a woman with no media experience: (rough quote) 'Well, I don't really know everything that Michael Moore stands for, but I know he hasn't caused anybody to be killed for no good reason...'"
Then it got even worse when Kesterson described her meeting with Bush.
According to a transcript being circulated on the Internet:
Kesterson: So actually, you know, it did come about. They put me into a cubicle by myself, took everything away from me. I also came prepared with a letter to give to the president about how I felt about the war and, you know, the loss of my son, my only child for a cause that I thought, you know, was not worthwhile at that point in time.
And so president Bush came marching in, to make a long story short, came marching in to the room, got right in my face, eyeball-to-eyeball, nose-to-nose this close, toe-to-toe and he said, "I'm George Bush, President of the United States, and I understand you have something to say to me privately.' And I said, 'Yes, I do respect the office of the presidency of the United States, but I want to tell you how it feels to lose your only child in a cause that you don't believe in, in an unnecessary war. And, you know, we talked about it from there just like you and I are talking about. [Emphasis added.]
O'Reilly: Was he respectful to you?
Kesterson: Yes, yes was. But he did, you know, come at me a few times with trotting out, 'Delores, do you realize we've been attacked on 9/11?' Who doesn't [realize that]?
O'Reilly: He hugged you at the end, did he not?
Kesterson: Well, yes, he asked if he could hug me and I said, 'Well, that's a human thing, you know, I'm human.' And I agreed to it. But my personal feeling is that he really doesn't have a conscience about all this death and destruction. That was the essence I took away after looking him in the eyes and meeting with him-there's just no conscience there.
I think this mother has put her finger on it. There is no conscience. That is the missing piece of Bush. He has no human compassion, no remorse, no conscience. It is all about pure power to him. His ability to lie to further an agenda -- even to the degree that people will go and die horrible deaths in dedication to his lie -- has enabled him to go far up to this point. His exemption from the restraints of conscience have enabled him to go far beyond what his adversaries would ever expect, and he has consequently caught them off guard and bowled them over. It's a strategy once known as Blitzkrieg.
But his ability to function entirely free of the restraints of conscience does have its drawbacks, and they may yet catch up to him, as they do to most sociopaths. He lacks the human feeling common to most people, and he is unable to exhibit the appropriate responses when it comes to occasions in which one would normally feel compassion, remorse, sorrow. He just can't engender that kind of feeling. It is not in him.
If Americans do finally get hip to this fact, they may yet throw him over.
See excerpts from the transcript at crooksandliars.co.
More on Sheehan: Williams Rivers Pitt, and Maureen Dowd: "Selectively humane, Mr. Bush justified his Iraq war by stressing the 9/11 losses. He emphasized the humanity of the Iraqis who desire freedom when his W.M.D. rationale vaporized. But his humanitarianism will remain inhumane as long as he fails to understand that the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute."
And check out a new book by British journalists, reviewed in The Daily Mail. It's a good short summary of enough evidence to sink the official report of 9/11.
August 13, 2005
Occupied America -- Howard Zinn: "But more ominous, perhaps, than the occupation of Iraq is the occupation of the US. I wake up in the morning, read the newspaper, and feel that we are an occupied country, that some alien group has taken over. I wake up thinking: the US is in the grip of a president surrounded by thugs in suits who care nothing about human life abroad or here, who care nothing about freedom abroad or here, who care nothing about what happens to the earth, the water or the air, or what kind of world will be inherited by our children and grandchildren." The Guardian Bush's Biggest Confrontation -- Cindy Sheehan, mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, said, "I was told my son was killed in the war on terror. He was killed by George Bush's war of terror on the world." Now she waits, with the ultimate patience and moral authority of a woman who has already suffered the greatest loss and has no fear. She waits to confront a man who has ultimate power, but no courage, no wisdom, no moral authority. But Bush has a temper. How will this play out? Bush has said he won't meet with her. He has drawn a line in the sand. He does not like to change course or give in to opposing points of view. But the world is watching. He can't just quietly have her killed. She is the mother of a soldier who gave his life for Bush's war. Truthout Big Media Cover Up -- Michael Wolff in Vanity Fair writes that many media outlets -- including Time magazine and The New York Times -- knew that Karl Rove was one of the leakers of the CIA agent's identity but refused to expose what would have been “one of the biggest stories of the Bush years.” Not only that, “they helped cover it up.” You might say, he adds, they “became part of a conspiracy.” The twilight of the Times? editorandpublisher.com Oil industry setting new profit records under the regime of the friend of oil Bush. "Like an athlete who has recently discovered steroids, the oil market just keeps setting new records. Over the past 18 months, the world has seen oil prices clear $40, then $50, then $60 a barrel, with each new record seeming to fall more effortlessly than the last. On Friday August 12th, American light crude topped $66 for the first time, thanks in part to fears of terror attacks in Saudi Arabia, an impasse over Iran’s nuclear programme and problems in American refineries. Costly oil was behind the 6.1% surge in America's trade deficit in June. Choppier waters are probably ahead: many analysts expect the price of oil to continue crawling towards $70, and beyond." The Economist Fishy -- Mark Crispin Miller: "The national turnout in 2004 was the highest since 1968, when another unpopular war had swept the ruling party from the White House. And on Election Day, twenty-six state exit polls incorrectly predicted wins for Kerry, a statistical failure so colossal and unprecedented that the odds against its happening, according to a report last May by the National Election Data Archive Project, were 16.5 million to 1. Yet this ever-less beloved president, this president who had united liberals and conservatives and nearly all the world against himself—this president somehow bested his opponent by 3,000,176 votes. How did he do it? To that most important question the commentariat, briskly prompted by Republicans, supplied an answer. Americans of faith—a silent majority heretofore unmoved by any other politician—had poured forth by the millions to vote 'Yes!' for Jesus' buddy in the White House. Bush's 51 percent, according to this thesis, were roused primarily by 'family values.'" Harpers
August 14, 2005
Weekend BlogFace -- I received an e-mail addressed to "Dear American." I like that. I like being singled out as an American who is approachable, who may yet be sufficiently mentally undamaged to hear an idea that is not formed by the U.S. corporate fascist media system. Thank you.
The message referred to a quote of George W. Bush on August 11: "I understand the anguish that some feel about the death that takes place." As Mark Crispin Miller has pointed out in a careful analysis of Bush's speech in The Bush Dyslexicon, Bush has a way of giving away his true character underneath the carefully crafted veneer. His true cold-bloodedness often breaks through the surface of the words that have been designed to create the effect of his being a noble and compassionate leader. In this case the word "some" is revealing. Bush is a remarkably good liar, but the cognitive dissonance created by the act of lying is hard to avoid by all but a few especially gifted psychopaths.
Bush shows no apparent signs of feeling remorse of compassion for all the people he has sent to their deaths, either as the number one executioner governor in Texas, or as the warrior president who has sent thousands into a war with no rational or authentic justification. But still, his mind sometimes rebels against the act of lying. Hence the word "some". He is not going to go so far as to say everyone feels anguish about death. Certainly he does not. There are thousands of anecdotal pieces of evidence of this, from his practice of exploding frogs with firecrackers as a child, to his "Bring 'em on" statement and the statement above, and his cold dealings with the mother of a dead soldier with whom he will not even deign to speak.
What is his reasoning? Is he thinking, "Oh God, if I talk to that one, I'll have to talk to all of them. We've got to draw the line somewhere." Or could he be thinking, "She'll embarrass me on camera in front of the world. What can I possibly say to her? I know she's just going to blurt out all this anger toward me and ask me things I don't have answers for"? Or is it that his handlers are afraid that his famous temper might get out of control and he might let loose and clock her? On camera! Maybe it's just the old Bush intransigence: I won't give in -- no matter what!
Meanwhile, he drives in and out past the war mom and the crowd that has gathered around her on his way to fundraisers and events. (See Chicago Sun Times: "Bush avoids beef, heads for barbecue")
In any case, it's a little tempest boiling out in front of his vacation home that has no clearly predictable conclusion, but can't do the Neocons any good, it would seem. Maybe Bush will leave her there till she's a skeleton in the ditch with a gaping look of horror on her skull, an eternal admonishment. Does he feel anything about these things?
The message I received offered a link to the Web page of The Evangelos Society Eagle, with one of the niftiest slogans around: "Freedom of Speech While There Is Still Freedom to Speak Of." It's a message worth looking at.
August 16, 2005Give 'em Hell Cindy! This phenomenon in Crawford, Texas, is growing into a wonder to behold. Bush has announced that he's going to have this five week vacation -- that alone is a huge outrage! Who gets five weeks of vacation time? The presidency used to be considered a hard job! Not any more. Not since the happy prince ascended to his place on the right hand of the father!
So here's Bush, and the very delicate Bush bravado being challenged. He does not like to be affronted. Now he's placed himself in this environment -- this is not Washington. And he's announced that he's going to stay there -- and -- that he's not going to see her. It makes it very hard for him to back down. But at the same time, every day this thing gets worse for him. He's got to be there at least a few more weeks or it's going to look like that badass president is backin' down. And that would send the wrong message. So there he is, stuck watching this thing blow up slowly in his face.
You can bet they have considered everything. They would happily nuke them, dissolve them with napalm, if they could get away with it. But the world is watching. When the neighbor menacingly pulled out his shotgun, fired shots into the air and said, "This is Texas," some of the more panicky rightwing zealots no doubt thought it was their way out. (See sciencedaily.com) Perfect, a regular guy from the heartland blows them all away! We can say we're sorry, but that's what happens when you challenge authority, and after all we didn't do it.
On second thought they probably concluded it would not be good even for them, who like nothing better than the blood of their enemies. But how can this conclude? How could it have a favorable conclusion for them? Only if the public loses interest. Or if they are distracted. That's a scary one. What these people might think up as a distraction is not a pretty thought.
This Big News that the White House got a woman chef may distract a few of the thicker ones. But for the rest of us, something much grimmer is no doubt planned. khaleejtimes.com
Meanwhile back at Camp Casey:
The Final Straw -- In an interview with Time magazine, Army General Barry McCaffrey said "The army's wheels are going to come off in the next 24 months. We are now in a period of considerable strategic peril. It's because [Pentagon chief Donald] Rumsfeld has dug in his heels and said, 'I cannot retreat from my position.'" This is a fascinating analysis of the Bush predicament from the perspective of the Cindy situation by Tom Englehardt: "Cindy, Don and George" Life Out of Balance -- When Bush tried to explain his rationale for snubbing the war mom, he said, "But whether it be here or in Washington or anywhere else, there's somebody who has got something to say to the President, that's part of the job. And I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say. But I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life." Bush wants to "go on with my life", to "keep a balanced life". That's a pretty lame justification for anything a chief executive does, especially in the context of someone who gave his life for Bush and a mother who gave her son and wants Bush to give her a good reason why. Many of these National Guardsmen who signed up for a weekend a month, etc., probably would like to go on with their lives too, Bushy boy. SMH.com.au For her part, Sheehan has made herself perfectly clear. See here: "Why I must tell the president to stop the war" Mercury News Miracle in Crawford -- Meanwhile in Crawford, this human phenomenon is evolving (a tough reality for people who don't believe in evolution... and who knows? Maybe this is intelligent design). A transformation is happening. According to Daily Kos, Sheehan's diary says: "There was a very insignificant counter protesters across the way. At first the Sheriffs let them stand in the street, until we politely pointed out to the Sheriffs that we had to stay in the ditch last week. So they made them move into the ditch. Since we are supposedly in Bush country, the counter protest was so small and weak. They had signs that said "Stay the Course." I appreciated that. I really believe they were telling me to stay the course. I will. We also met a man whose son was KIA in Iraq in November of 2004. He still loves George Bush and thinks we are doing great things in Iraq. By the end of the day we were drinking beer together and telling each other 'I love you.' I am telling you miracles are happening here in Crawford." The Shining Power of Freedom -- Not willing to confront her face to face, Bush answered Sheehan in his radio address: "Yet, even in our grief, we can be confident in the future, because the darkness of tyranny is no match for the shining power of freedom.” And that could be the truth that finally brings down the tyrannical Bush administration. "Editor & Publisher Dropping all pretense of caring about the military families who make the ultimate sacrifice for Bush, Conservative anti-protestors shouted "We don't care" to Cindy Sheehan. BobGeiger And if you want to join the cause, see meetwithcindy.org Meanwhile, check this out: AOL is running a poll on Bush today. If you've watched AOL polls in the past, you know they are quite conservative, right of center. So tonight it says: How would you rate Bush's handling of the war in Iraq? And these are the results:
Total Votes: 230,683
Then they asked: How would you rate Bush's handling of domestic affairs? He didn't do much better.
Total Votes: 230,434
And here are some other curious links:
German president to Bush: Back off on Iran. "Let's take the military option off the table. We have seen it doesn't work," Mr Schroeder told Social Democrats at the rally in Hanover, to rapturous applause from the crowd. BBC "Doubt on war grows in U.S. Even supporters say the effort isn't worth loss of American lives By Mark Silva and Mike Dorning, Tribune national correspondents. Mark Silva reported from Pennsylvania and Mike Dorning from South Carolina; Tribune national correspondents Tim Jones, Vincent J. Schod Published August 14, 2005 CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- As surely as sweet-corn stands and rolling farmland give way to the boxlike tract housing of new suburbs here, President Bush is losing ground on the battlefield of public opinion when it comes to the war in Iraq." Chicago Tribune Nostalgia: Far from the Braindead Beltway, a columnist in the Memphis Flyer reminds us of the strangely new relevance of an early '70s lyric by John Lennon, "Give Me Some Truth:
I’m sick and tired of hearing things From uptight-short sighted-narrow minded hypocrites All I want is the truth Just give me some truth I’ve had enough of reading things By neurotic-psychotic-pig headed politicians All I want is the truth Just give me some truth No short haired-yellow bellied son of Tricky Dicky Is gonna Mother Hubbard soft soap me with just a Pocketful of hope, money for dope, money for rope I’m sick to death of seeing things from tight lipped- Condescending-mommies little chauvinists All I want is the truth Just give me some truth I’ve had enough of watching scenes of schizophrenic-ego centric Paranoic prima donnas All I want is the truth Just give me some truth
Human Shields to Crawford -- Judith Karpova, author, nonviolent activist and one of the International Human Shields who traveled to Iraq just before "Shock and Awe" is getting on a plane to Crawford this week to join other Human Shields in Crawford, Texas in support of Cindy. For info e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Geman president to Bush: Back off on Iran. "Let's take the military option off the table. We have seen it doesn't work," said Schroeder. BBC Iraq sinks in Davd Zweifel Madison.com They kill shoplifters, don't they? A suspected shoplifter was forced to the hot pavement and held there in spite of his protests until he died. Cooked on the pavement in a Wall-Mart parking lot. chron.com Human Killing Machines -- In Corporate Raya's Last Stand in Rolling Stone, it discusses a marine who came home from Iraq, went berserk and killed two cops. A chilling tale, but wait. It gets worse when you get beyond Raya, and look at all the young men and women who have been doing the dirty work in Iraq. "By the time Raya got to Iraq in February 2004, the Marines had invested scores of hours in teaching him how to kill other human beings and desesitizing him to the act. The military now excels at overriding the nearly immutable human instinct against intraspecies killing. In World War II, at least 75% of American soldiers under fire did not shoot their weapons. Today nearly 75% do." And here's one to sleep on. This is a graph of the death toll of American soldiers in Iraq. Way over at practically the beginning of the sharply rising line is the first mark: 5/01/03 Mission Accomplished. 139 dead.
August 19, 2005
Times that Try Men's SoulsWhat if the Republicans' knee-jerk smearing of Chris Sheehan backfires on them as badly as their attempts to smear Michael Schiavo and churn up some righteous anger from the great masses? Whoops! With Rove sidelined over federal charges he may be guilty of, and Bush's approval ratings in the toilet, they must be in a frenzy behind the scenes. They could make another desperate miscalculation like they did in the Schiavo case. The danger for demagogues like these, is that they start believing their own lies. After they explained the discrepancy between the official voting results and virtually every reliable indicator and calculation by saying there was a great rise of passion over "moral issues" which these perverts define as things like "gay marriage". Killing and stealing are not moral issues to these people, but they want us to believe that fear of gay marriage is what moved the great masses to return the phony president to the White House. After the election, they behaved as though they believed that fantasy, and the Schiavo melodrama was staged with that in mind. But people didn't by it. They recoiled in disgust. As Bush's support divebombs, all they need is another gross miscalculation like that. And they may have it. Some Republican smearers are trying to use the fact that she is split up with her husband as a way to discredit her passion about her son's death. What's the connection? How can you interpret a divorce one way or the other without knowing something of the circumstances. Maybe that is part of why she is so upset. Maybe her son's death did put pressure on the marriage that led to its dissolution. Maybe she and her husband don't even see eye to eye on that issue. How does that discredit her and what she stands for?
Crisis Break -- Cindy Sheehan left Crawford because her mother had a stroke. What do you think George Bush's reaction is? Is he feeling compassion? LA Times Bush Loses Again -- The official election results in 2004 didn't jibe with exit polls, which are historically dead on. Now we are seeing that a state-by-state poll by SurveyUSA, nine months after the 2004 presidential elections, shows voters in 19 of the 31 "Red states" now disapprove of the job performance of George W. Bush - and opinion is evenly divide in two Red states, North Carolina and Louisiana. Pensito Review Hell is too good for some evil bastards -- nzcity.co.nz Reopen911.org gains traction -- Paul Weber says: "Thank you Cindy Sheehan. Last night during the Vigil i had the opportunity to hand out. 50 'Confronting the Evidence' 9-11 DVD's that prove that the Bush adminstration planned 9-11 and when i ran out of them i handed out 20 David Ray Griffins lecture at Madison, Wisconsin DVD. Like i said before with each passing day more and more people are learning that the Bush Adminstration planned and orchestrated 9-11. peace,paul weber ... To get a FREE copy of the DVD 'Confronting the Evidence, go to Reopen911.org. To date, Reopen911.org has given away 200,000 copies of 'Confronting the Evidence: A Call to Reopen the 9/11 Investigation,' a new DVD exposing critical evidence about the 9/11 attacks. 'Confronting the Evidence' includes footage of a 'town hall meeting' held on September 11, 2004 in New York City. Hosted by actor and activist Ed Begley Jr., the groundbreaking event featured David Ray Griffin, David vonKleist, Barry Zwicker, Webster Tarpley, Kristina Borjesson, Karl Schwartz, Jeff King, Paul Thompson, Jenna Orkin, Christopher Scheer, Dr Robert Bowman, Christopher Bollyn, and John Prados." Good site on Election Fraud 2000 and 2004 -- tinyurl.com My Letter to John Kerry -- The Kerry/Edwards campaign is preparing to withdraw from the Ohio recount case, which is pending in federal court. Once again Kerry misses a historic opportunity to be a great American. Congressman John Conyers, Jr. issued a letter to Senators Kerry and Edwards urging that they not withdraw from this case. Here is a link to the letter. You can write to Kerry at http://www.johnkerry.com/contact/. Here's my letter to that b... "I heard that you are planning to pull out of the Ohio recount case. I find that very upsetting, and disturbing. Why do you not share the urgent need to ensure the integrity of our voting system that so many Americans now feel? When you were running for president you pledged to make sure every vote is counted. If you believe the votes were fairly counted, I am afraid you must not have looked into the question very far. If you are well informed about it, why are you not supporting this vital cause? When you dropped your contention for the presidency the first few days after the election, when it was clear that there were disturbing questions about the vote, you lost my faith and support as a leader. If you wish to retain, or gain any credibility as a leader in the future, you cannot drop this very important cause." Flailing Desperately -- Radical conservatives are failing to dominate the debate with an aroused public. John Nichols: "While debating conservative pundit David Horowitz on Ron Reagan's MSNBC show the other night, I was struck by the desperation with which supporters of the war have turned their fury on Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq who has been trying to get an audience with President Bush." truthout.org Out of Touch -- "While the president worries about restoring 'balance' to his life, Americans are worried by stratospheric gas prices and growing fed up with the war in Iraq," writes Sidney Blumenthal. How the hell is Bush going to deal with the next three years? truthout.org . Bob Herbert: "You have to wonder whether reality ever comes knocking on George W. Bush's door. If it did, would the president with the unsettling demeanor of a boy king even bother to answer? Mr. Bush is the commander in chief who launched a savage war in Iraq and now spends his days happily riding his bicycle in Texas." truthout.org To mourn is to express regret, and he regrets nothing -- "On the eve of D-Day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear. But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the weapons of mass destruction he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man." -- E. L. Doctorow writing in the Houston Chronicle Dark Cloud for Republicans -- The disaffection over the war in Iraq is stirring up some very worried Republicans. truthout
August 20, 2005
Destroy Mothers of Dead Soldiers Who Make Too Much NoiseCarolyn Kay of MakeThemAccountable.com sent a link to an article by New York writer Vincent Fiore on FreeRepublic.com, called "Cindy Go Home". It was a particularly virulent hate piece about Cindy Sheehan. This is an amazing situation because the grieving mom who lost her son in the war in Iraq and demands Bush state a reason for the war really brings out clearly the unreasoning, livid hatred of the right wing in this age. It's one lonely woman who lost her son in Iraq. What is the big deal? Lighten up, man! I couldn't resist. His e-mail address was posted under the piece. I had to write to the dude. My letter follows.
Vince's article lists a string of supposed Bush accomplishments, reeled off as if they were a dazzling set of achievements by the boy genius president. And in the list, he slips this one in: "U.S. troops and Iraqis are being killed in the name of democracy..." Who are you kidding? For democracy? Who do you think is going to swallow that one besides you? Give me a break! We don't even have democracy in the good old USA and no one knows it better than the people of FreeRepublic.com, who are openly contemptuous of the concept.
Vince's string of Bush accomplishments was a prelude for an explosion of hatred for Cindy Sheehan that was a wonder to behold. My God, where does such volcanic viciousness toward a grieving mother of a dead soldier come from?
I couldn't stop the words spattering out of me. So I decided to write an e-mail to Vince. I tried damn hard to be civil. Here it is:
I saw your article about Cindy Sheehan at Freerepublic.com. I'm just curious. I don't want to insult your integrity by asking if you really believe what you say, but at the same time, I can't help but wonder. You really believe the war in Iraq is about bringing democracy to Iraq?
There were so many different reasons put forth for the war, but I think the ones put forth by the Project for a New American Century are the most accurate and honest: to create a base in the middle east, where most of the world's remaining oil stores are. I don't believe we have a right to do that. But it has a strategic justification if you believe that it is better for the US to control the remaining energy than some other less benign power. If someone states it in those terms, I can at least respect his intelligence and pragmatism, though I vehemently disagree. But to say that this whole project with its thousands of casualties was launched just for such an altruistic reason as to bring democracy to one of the hundreds of undemocratic countries in the world is not even to make a serious attempt to explain it. That's the kind of thing they say to "sell the war," to use the words of the administration itself. It doesn't stand up to logic.
You are a writer, a New Yorker, you are obviously an intelligent person. It's hard to believe that you really believe those simple platitudes yourself. You seem very angry in your article, and I'm not sure what you are angry about. Surely Cindy Sheehan, a pathetic greiving mother is not an appropriate target for all your anger. She gave her son for this war. No matter what you think about her, she has paid the ultimate price and she deserves some basic respect for that, even if you think her way of grieving is off the wall. You really aren't in a position to judge, unless you too have paid the ultimate price for this war. Have you? Even if you too have lost a son or daughter, it is still not your place to judge how another person should behave under those circumstances. How much harm can she possibly do to you or your country? Why does she threaten you so much?
What I always wonder about people who are so vehemently in support of this war, and so violently intolerant of those who disagree, is why are you in New York City and not in Iraq yourself? Why don't you take up the cause if you believe in it so much? That's really the only measure of true commitment. Until you have done that, you have no right to criticize someone whose son did, and who believes she is speaking for him, who can no longer speak for himself.
Meanwhile, while the future of Cindy Sheehan and the United States hangs in the balance, President Georgey Boy has a bicycling date with none other than Lance Armstrong, bicyclist extraordinaire, recovered cancer victim, an athlete of such superior abilities that scientist speculate whether he is some sort of mutation, a prototype of the Uberman of the future. Well, anyway, Lance will be riding with a decidedly not-Uberman, George W. Bush, the front man of a vast syndicate, though not particularly bright, and he falls off his bike a lot. Bush will hope to get some media attention away from that damn war mother, but there's one problem.
After his victory of the Tour de France, Armstrong said, "The biggest downside to a war in Iraq is what you could do with that money. What does a war in Iraq cost a week? A billion? Maybe a billion a day? The budget for the National Cancer Institute is four billion. That has to change. Polls say people are much more afraid of cancer than of a plane flying into their house or a bomb or any other form of terrorism. It is a priority for the American public."
If it isn't enough that there's this war mom who won't give him a break, now he's got a damn cancer victim who's going to give him a hard time. How is a boy president supposed to maintain a balanced life?
God bless Paul Krugman for helping to keep some integrity behind the name of the New York Times. What They Did Last Fall, Krugman discusses courageously a subject that is forbidden in America. The election fraud that made George Bush president even though he lost to both Al Gore and John Kerry in actual popular vote. Krugman: "In his recent book 'Steal This Vote' - a very judicious work, despite its title - Andrew Gumbel, a U.S. correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent, provides the best overview I've seen of the 2000 Florida vote. And he documents the simple truth: 'Al Gore won the 2000 presidential election.' Two different news media consortiums reviewed Florida's ballots; both found that a full manual recount would have given the election to Mr. Gore. This was true despite a host of efforts by state and local officials to suppress likely Gore votes, most notably Ms. Harris's 'felon purge,' which disenfranchised large numbers of valid voters." And there's more. The Lowest Point -- According to CNN, "A former top aide to Colin Powell says his involvement in the former secretary of state's presentation to the United Nations on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was 'the lowest point' in his life." That was the moment that Powell put on a show and lied to the UN, to the international community about Iraq's alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction, that were the lame excuse used by that gang of thugs to attack Iraq. It was the moment at which Powell broke the back of the credibility of the United States to the rest of the world. Where Does It Go From Here? "After Cindy Sheehan" Salon
August 23, 2005
Tipping Point in Crawford
Steve Earle showed up at Camp Casey, the place that's now nearly as famous as Crawford itself. (Check out the coverage in the Dallas Morning News.) Joan Baez was set to sing there and Martin Sheen (who is not the president, but plays him on TV -- not Bush, the other one) was also supposed to show up. Don't know yet if he did.
This is an amazing phenomenon. By now everyone is watching out of native curiosity to see what will happen to this. The phrase "The Tipping Point" is on people's lips.
There is a latent power in the population, a dulled outrage. Grievances continued to pile up, then suddenly -- a catalyst. That's the way it works. There is that single piece of dust on a windowpane that provides the imperfection in the field required to set off a chain reaction that crystallizes the ice on the entire pane. It's a natural phenomenon.
That there would be a tipping point in this Bushian trajectory is nearly a certainty. When or how it would come is random. When a force continues unabated, without restraint, it inevitably reaches its natural limits.
The Neocons are by nature utterly without restraint, without moderation, without compromise. They are absolutists. Idealists. Lost in imaginary visions that break apart in their collision with real events. The neocons' self destruction is stamped into their fates as inevitably as water drops downward.
Are we now seeing the long-awaited tipping point? Have we reached the threshold of a change in the state of matter? Is the catalyst of this galvanization going to turn out to be a grieving war mother? An unassuming, "ordinary woman". Ordinary, perhaps, but passionate, determined and moved by nearly absolute moral authority. And that is the one essential capital the administration squandered by throwing all ethical restraint to the winds.
This is the David of one pathetic, but angry mother up against the Goliath of greatest and most ruthless monolith of power ever assembled by human beings. And she is making the thing look helpless.
What can they do to her? This cuts to the heart of all their phony sanctimoniousness, their bogus religious righteousness. What can they say to her or do to her? Can they out her CIA-agent husband?
Even if they arranged an airplane crash for her on her way back from L.A., they cannot hope to do anything but fan the flames of this phenomenon she has catalized.
It is much greater than this woman. The latent force had already reached critical mass. It just required a catalyst.
Now Cindy Sheehan isn't even there, but Camp Casey is on private property donated by a sympathetic neighbor, and history is happening there. The antiwar movement is igniting at long last across the mainstream of the U.S. population, the people who have been the victims of Bush's policies since he first appeared, but who are only beginning to get it. It's not that they are dumb, but they've been lied to. And Bush's lies have been amplified effectively by the subservient corporate media.
The American middle class has been dealt a sucker punch, a one-two combination followed by a knock-out punch. Bush called it his Trifecta. Suddenly the population was assaulted with war, recession and national emergency, Bush's shock-and-awe attack on Americans, his war of terror.
Today in his campaign to drum up support (enthusiasm?) for his war, Bush is reminding people, Don't get too secure. You aren't safe. But the formula is ceasing to work its population control miracles for the neocons.
According to the Dallas Morning New, "Mr. Earle ran through a politically charged set that covered 20 years of protest songs, from his 'Ellis Unit One' to tunes from last year's unapologetically Bush-bashing album The Revolution Starts Now." He said, "I think this is the beginning of a mainstream movement against the war in Iraq, so I wanted them to consider who I am and the kind of lightning rod I can be."
This is now an event in which history is calling up certain talents, certain functions and roles. People are recognizing this collective act of will and are participating. Even the madly defensive conservatives who are flailing frantically against Cindy Sheehan, are participating, and therefore increasing the magnitude of this phenomenon.
Stay tuned to Crawford.
Meanwhile Bush dashes to Salt Lake City to preach the stay-the-course gospel. (Alternet) At this point he's saying we have to stay there to 'honor the fallen." It's always some damn thing. While Bush is talking to the VFW, Salt Lake City's Democratic Mayor Rocky Anderson openly encouraged anti-Bush demonstrations. And now, when Bush makes a photo op/soundbite promotional appearance, the article includes comments of people at Camp Casey. Who is going to put this genie back in the bottle. By what force can this be done? Even God can't beat a royal flush with a full house. Bush's Lead Balloon -- Australia's National Nine News frames Bush's trip like this: "Bush defends war in Iraq amid skepticism". It quotes veterans who oppose the war. Bush's logic isn't working anymore. Everything he does is now against this backdrop of growing discontent about the war. Don't Stop Fearing -- Bush-Cheney's great tool of population control has been fear, and they aren't happy to see people starting to get over the fear of 9/11, after which they had it all in their hands. Now, he's desperately out there trying to whip up support, aka fear, but without another "new Pearl Harbor" his agenda is running out of steam. "All these steps to protect the homeland have made it safer," he says, "but we're not yet safe. Terrorists in foreign lands still hope to attack our country. They still hope to kill our citizens. The lesson of September the 11th, 2001, is that we must confront threats before they fully materialize." And don't worry, I'll let you know what is about to materialize. You can trust me! Argus, UK Mirror.
Sheehan and Sheen, and Sharpton at Camp Casey -- Guardian, Dumb Billionaire? NY Mayor Bloomberg lamely tried to dodge the Sheehan question saying it's "not a local issue". No way that billionaire is dumb enough to believe that. Can he expect us to be? No local issue. No New Yorkers in Iraq? "The mayor's response, or lack thereof, elicited an emotional reaction from Carmen Depompeis, whose brother, Pfc. Hernando Rios, 29, was killed earlier this month in Baghdad. The father of three, who lived in Woodside, was one of 10 members of the Manhattan-based Fighting 69th Army National Guard regiment killed in Iraq. 'He was born in Manhattan, he was raised in Queens, he was a local issue,' said Depompeis, 40, who opposes the war and supports Sheehan. 'Many soldiers from his unit have died. That's a local issue.'" Newsday Journalists didn't bother vetting Iraq war rationale, writes Michael Ryan: "The news media are failing to acknowledge their own responsibility for the invasion of Iraq, even as they report with glee Cindy Sheehan's antiwar protest outside George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford. Americans are told all about Sheehan's son, Casey, a soldier killed in Iraq, and her call for the president to explain his reasons for invading Iraq and to outline his plan to leave. But the news media ought to explain why they broke their moral covenant with the American people to provide complete, balanced, fair and accurate information about the charge to war. Coverage of the administration's high-profile pitches to promote war was so blatantly unbalanced, the media sometimes looked like an arm of the Bush propaganda machine." Houston Chronicle AP-Ipsos poll: Nearly three weeks after a grieving California mother named Cindy Sheehan started her anti-war protest near President Bush's Texas ranch, nine of 10 people surveyed in an AP-Ipsos poll say it's OK for war opponents to publicly share their concerns about the conflict... The poll found that most people disapprove of the Bush administration's conduct of the war and think the war was a mistake. Washington Post Bruce Mulkey "Yet through her bold actions, Cindy Sheehan has helped move the national conversation on the war to the tipping point. For while the Bush administration continues to predict victory in Iraq and admits to no errors in judgment, truth is finally taking hold. As we knew it ultimately would, the reality of this bloody tragedy (over 1,800 American and perhaps 100,000 Iraqi deaths) has trumped this administration's hubris, arrogance and wishful thinking (being greeted as liberators, finding weapons of mass destruction and quickly exiting after transforming Iraq into a western-style democracy). At this time 54 percent of Americans believe it was a mistake to enter Iraq in the first place, 61 percent believe Bush is mishandling the war and Bush's approval rating, according to a recent poll, now stands at 36 percent."