May 1, 2007Impeach Cheney -- It is time to restore justice to America. Cheney has committed the highest crimes in memory, as an accomplice to Bush. To deceive the country into a war on false pretenses is something that anyone should be held accountable for. This must not be allowed to stand. His lying to incite war is only one of a long list of crimes Cheney is guilty of, but it alone justifies the action, so why go into great detail? Impeach Cheney now, while America is still standing. Take action at www.usalone.com. See Dennis Kucinich's site for the text of his resolution.
Beleaguered Wolfowitz, neocon visionary of disaster, now his fortunes falling, his corruption catching up to him. He strikes out against the World Bank board for trying to unseat him, but hints he may go if they reverse their ruling that he was guilty of misconduct. That's a big ace he's playing. Anything, you snake, just go. NY Times
May 2, 2007May Day Surprise -- Four years after "Mission Accomplished", On May Day Bush "defied Congress and vetoed legislation ordering him to begin withdrawing American troops from the war-torn nation," according to Canada's National Post. Of course no surprise. But still it's an event. Bush had to actually do it. He had to veto that bill. That's less powerful than being able to stop a bill by threatening to do it. Now it is manifest. He has defied Congress, which was acting clearly in response to the irate voice of the people, telling him that the war must end. No matter what he thinks, no matter what he wants, no matter what his mysterious "mission" really is, that the war must end. Bush says no. He loves his war. It's all he is about, all he has ever been about. He saw what happened to his father, rising to the heights of popularity by attacking Iraq, also based on false allegations, though not nearly us baseless as the ones Bush and Cheney used. Bush decided if he had the war mandate his father had, he would use it much more effectively to push the agenda of the New World Order. He was going to show Dad. Baby Bush decided he would do his daddy one better. Instead of wimping out and retreating from Iraq once it had chased the army out of Kuwait leaving Saddam Hussein in power, Baby Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the mob were going to take Iraq down. Baby Bush would be a great war hero, the glamour would not recede as quickly as it had with his dad, because he would keep the ball rolling. Being a war president one could get away with almost anything. Anyone who opposed you could be called a traitor. You could be excused for not doing anything else during your presidency. What a perfect plan! But somehow it hasn't worked out. Guess there's something to that old saying, the devil fools with the best-laid plans. So what next?
Showdown in Latin America -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has seized the oil companies' holdings in Venezuela. This is a very big move. The oil companies are enormously powerful interests. With the Bush-Cheney regime, the oil companies have the backing of the U.S. government more than ever before. Bush and Cheney are burning to trounce that country, to kill thousands just as a gesture of power and a threat to anyone in the world who defies their will. But they have so weakened U.S. military by their unrestrained wielding of power in an attempt to ensure compliance from everyone, that they may be powerless to do anything. By extravagantly squandering U.S. military and economic power, they have made themselves virtually powerless to extend their military action beyond what they have already initiated. The great power of U.S. forces was much more powerful when held in reserve than when these lunatics decided to unleash it without restraint as an expression of power and an attempt to establish a New World Order with themselves in control. What a shadow of their former selves they are. Now they must endure the disgrace of having a defiant Chavez "in our own backyard". But caution: never underestimate the extreme to which they will go to hold on to power. In the past they have always gone beyond the system, beyond the rules matrix of the system they are operating in. As events close in around them, they are in a sense more desperate than ever. Beware. War on Terror in the Toilet -- U.S. counterterrorism officials report a 91% rise in terrorist acts in Iraq from 2005 to 2006. "Of the 14,338 reported terrorist attacks worldwide last year, 45 percent took place in Iraq, and 65 percent of the global fatalities stemming from terrorism occurred in Iraq," reports the Washington Post. So much for the great thesis that "If we don't fight them there, we'll have to fight them here." In fact, the Bush administration's lies that Iraq was the front line in the "war on terror" has become a self-fulfilling prophesy. Bushworld Disaster Planet -- Tom Engelhardt writes that Bush has turned the world into a horror gore flick like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". The thesis has a ring of truth. "The President and what's left of his tattered administration have stopped filming on a Top Gun-style movie set and seem now to be intent on remaking The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This White House has plunged Iraq and the world into the geopolitical equivalent of a blood-and-gore exploitation film that simply won't end. Call that 'Mission Accomplished'!" Under Bush Science Fiction Horror has become real life. This is a tragically brilliant essay and well worth the read. Save Internet Radio -- from the big corporations. Keep the Internet free. Take action at freepress.net Beneath the Surface -- Diving Deeper Into the Muck of Bush Scandals by Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers.
May 3, 2007Better than "Real News" -- See Bill Moyers interview Jon Stewart, with clips from Stewart on the Daily Show, including an interview with John McCain that is amazing. Stewart destroys McCain, makes McCain blow his cool. See Truthout
Showdown -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy issued a subpoena for e-mails of Karl Rove related to the politization of the judicial system. Surely Rove will not cooperate. What next? The Hill He's the One Who's Overspent -- Murtha tears Bush a new one. "The president's the one who put us in this spot.... We gave him more than the money he asked for and now he wants more... He's going to have to deal with us. It's not going to be on his terms." youtube.com Loyalty to Der Fuhrer -- In one of his most ThirdReichian moments, Bush declared May Day "Loyalty Day". Bob Geiger wonders aloud, "It's funny, but he doesn’t mention anything about how it demonstrates loyalty to lie your country into a war and go against the wishes of the vast majority of Americans by pledging to stay in that war indefinitely. The proclamation also doesn't say anything about this White House's loyalty to the families of almost 3,400 troops who have been killed in that war."
May 5, 2007Maybe Not Random After All -- Alan Canfora, 58, one of nine students wounded during the Kent State Shooting incident in 1970 has produced a tape of the incident that has the sounds of the crowds of protestors and the sudden 13-second barrage of gunfire that killed four students and wounded nine others. Canfora claims the tape has the sound of the order to fire. According to the BBC, "Reporters said it was fuzzy but seemed to carry the command 'Right here! Get set! Point! Fire!'. They said the word 'point' and gun shots were clear but it was not known who gave the order."
The hail of gunfire was later judged to have amounted to 67 shots, suddenly bursting forth in concert. But it was claimed at the time that though the National Guardsmen suddenly let loose with gunfire on a crowd of protesting students, there was no order to them to do it. Just another one of those remarkable coincidences.
The original recording was made by a student from his dorm room, which looked down on the scene. Canfora said he got a copy from the Yale University Kent State archive. See reports in the Detroit Free Press and the Toledo Free Press. A former students eyewitness recollection is at Delphos Herald
Information War -- According to a report on Democracy Now, "A new U.S. military handbook officially states that soldiers should view the media as a threat alongside Al Qaeda, computer hackers, drug cartels, warlords and militias. The handbook was published by the Army's 1st Information Operations Command. The Army has also placed new restrictions on the use of blogs and private emails by soldiers. Soldiers sending emails or posting items on blogs must now first clear the content with a superior officer. Many believe the rules will likely result in the end of all military blogging."
The oppressors react to the defusing of their power by pouring on more oppression, it's a common pattern in history. The control freaks react to loss of control by trying to clamp down, as sure as Newtonian physics, creating an equal and opposite reaction, leading through a Hegelian dialectic until the control system finally breaks. As the regime tightens the screws in any way it can, it appears that it is fighting a losing battle as the resistance it bred to itself is now overflowing beyond any barrier it can create. The process is now ongoing and unstoppable, also unpredictable by anyone. Even God can't beat a royal flush with a full house.
Police Out of Line -- According to an La Times story (see truthout,), "One day after several reporters and camera operators were injured while covering an altercation at an immigrant rights rally in MacArthur Park, news organizations condemned the Los Angeles Police Department for its use of batons and riot guns against members of the media, and some said they were considering legal options. 'We are sorry for what happened to our employees and find it unacceptable that they would be abused in that way when they were doing their job,' said Alfredo Richard, spokesman for the Spanish-language network Telemundo, of the anchor and the reporter who were hurt during the evening rally."
See also -- "Journalists Covering Los Angeles Immigration March Assaulted by Police" at Democracy Now: "The Los Angeles Police Department is coming under increasing criticism for violently crushing a largely peaceful immigrants rights march on Tuesday. Police with riot guns fired 240 rounds, shot tear gas and clubbed protesters and journalists gathered in MacArthur Park. At least ten people were injured including seven journalists."
Now the political forces are more organized. They have a consciousness of their rights, political power, public relations power and what they are up against. So as the system attempts to crack down, it is finding more formidable, well-entrenched resistance than it was accustomed to during the recent years when virtually any significant statement of opposition to the Bush regime was almost perfectly squelched in the media. Amazing how masterfully they played the fear, trying to whip it into near hysteria, and succeeding to the point that at one point some 80% of the American public supported the administration's almost comic effort to lead them into war against Iraq.
Now the injuries inflicted by the regime have spread too far, the implications of their actions are frightening many of the most conservative elements in the world, who should be concerned if they are sane. Now the injuries of news teams doing their job has crossed over the line and it has become a story. Substantial media organizations are becoming willing to take a stand against the abuse of reporters, including many murders of reporters, that has been going on during this wonderful New world Order period that can be dated back to when the Bush-Cheney mob seized control of the government in 2000. This is an essential piece of the turning of the tide. When the media was strangled and mute at best and in most cases mere instruments of the war powers, it was perilous to the verge of hopelessness. Now there are signs of change from every quarter. I remember seeing US postage stamps issued during World War II that said "Pray for Peace". I vote for the revival of that sentiment.
Speaking of The War to [allegedly] End All Nazis, if one looks behind the curtain backdrop of the stage of war to the industrialists and bankers who make money arming and equipping both sides, then it becomes clear that when we talk about fascism, we are talking in part about the drive to generate huge profits through war production. Seeing fascism from the economic point of view, we would have to give some consideration to the thesis that the fascists were the winners in World War II. The industrialists -- who financed Hitler and Mussolini because of the financial advantages an oppressive, militaristic, pro-business, anti-labor, anti-democracy government would give to them -- achieved their objective, or at least their primary objective, their fundamental project, their raison d'etre of making fortunes. Most of the behind-the-scenes instigators of the war escaped any accountability via Nuremburg war crime trials through deft maneuvering by allies in the U.S., such as Allen Dulles and John J. McCloy (both later commissioners of the Warren Commission that created the official story of the Kennedy assassination). So the fascists won not just the World War, but the world itself. And they are now busy installing their world control system, their so-called New World Order, a phrase coined by the Nazis, later adopted by President George Herbert Walker Bush. So the fascists won the postwar world. Now what?
Poor Paul Wolfowitz -- with his ethical pants down, so to speak, for being generous with the World Bank's money for a girl he's "romantically involved with". This great visionary genius architect of the Neocon strategy to take over the world, which is now badly stalled in Iraq, has been thinking with something besides his brain when it comes to this Shaha Riza, whose big salary increases under Wolfowitz are "grossly out of line" with the Bank's staff rules, according to the Bank's staff association. And that's what's got him into trouble. For a man like Wolfowitz who doesn't blink at the morality of deceiving a nation into a war that kills hundreds of thousands of people to be now under fire for a little economic malfeasance at the World Bank must be jolting to his sensibilities. "Ethically corrupt Wolfowitz tries to defend his actions" /www.alaskareport.com and now "Paul Wolfowitz promotes bimbo girlfriend, gets caught" /www.alaskareport.com
May 9, 2007Remarkable Facts -- On this day I leave for South Africa. I will try to post from there. Meanwhile the world just seems to get curiouser and curiouser, downright bizarre, and beyond. Here's a smattering of random stories that are of interest. It's a random selection, but there are no isolated stories. All is related.
It's not just periodical print publications that are getting creamed by the Internet. What we are seeing is a fundamental revolution in the way people live. Now data show that people are drifting away from traditional TV.
According to this Associated Press article, "Maybe they're outside in the garden. They could be playing softball. Or perhaps they're just plain bored. In TV's worst spring in recent memory, a startling number of Americans drifted away from television the past two months: More than 2.5 million fewer people were watching ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox than at the same time last year, statistics show."
According to The Hill, "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is threatening to take President Bush to court if he issues a signing statement as a way of sidestepping a carefully crafted compromise Iraq war spending bill. Pelosi recently told a group of liberal bloggers, “We can take the president to court” if he issues a signing statement, according to Kid Oakland, a blogger who covered Pelosi’s remarks for the liberal website dailykos.com."
EPA 9/11 Lies -- "Environmental scientist Dr. Cate Jenkins of the EPA issued a complaint today alleging fraud by the United States Geological Survey, OSHA, EPA and New York City, among others, in reporting corrosive Ph levels following the attacks of 9/11. Sent to Hillary Clinton, Chair of the Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health, and later to the FBI for investigation, the complaint also alleges that EPA has engaged in fraud regarding Ph levels dating back to 1980." Jenna Orkin Riots in France -- "Riots broke out all over France after right-wing candidate Sarkozy won the presidential elections. Yesterday night barricades were built in Paris, Nantes, Lyon, Tolouse, about 800 cars burned in the cities (some as barricades), 74 police men were severly hurt, 564 protesters are detained." Bleeding Kansas: The Ongoing Bush Disaster -- After a tornado wiped the town of Greensburg, Kansas, off the map, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas said that the first responders were hampered in their disaster relief because so much of the National Guard and its equipment is in Iraq. Half of its trucks are in Iraq, she said. nytimes.com. And elsewhere, "The number of National Guard members and equipment deployed overseas has some governors, including North Carolina's, concerned there is not enough support at home to deal with disasters if they strike." The White House, of course, denies it. According to Raw Story, "The White House on Tuesday dismissed charges that the Iraq war effort had stripped the United States of resources needed to fight catastrophes at home in the wake of a devastating Kansas tornado. 'I think they're separate issues... just as in a time of war, you know, the Pentagon plans for more than one conflict at a time, you have to be able to do more than one thing at a time,' White House spokesman Tony Snow said." Tornado season in Kansas, by the way, doesn't usually come till summer. According to The Guardian, "In an approach reminiscent of the blame game played by the White House with another Democratic governor, Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana, after the federal government's botched response to Hurricane Katrina, Snow at first said the fault for any slow response would be Sebelius'." According to ABC, "The White House and the Pentagon rebuffed the criticism, saying Kansas and other states had adequate resources that they could share in event of disasters like the Kansas tornado that leveled one small town on Friday and killed 10 in the area." Kansas Senator and Republican presidential candidate Brownback, sided with Bush. According to The Guardian, "Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, the state's adjutant general, said the Kansas National Guard was equipped to about 40 percent of its necessary levels, down from the 60 percent it had at the start of the war. About 850 soldiers have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. `It just leaves you pretty tight,' he said. `We're fine for now.' "
May 13, 2007
Blair Down, Bush to GoDURBAN, South Africa -- In South Africa, CNN plays Jon Stewart's The Daily Show. It's been the best news show in the U.S. for a long time even though it's a comedy show on a strictly comedy network, not a news show. But it's amazing to see it actually elevated by CNN, the first all-news network, to the status of a news show. In fact, CNN is a very different animal outside of the U.S., a much more benign entity. And it has improved in recent years as the world's awareness of the Bush disaster has grown.
And joy of joys, there is no Fox, not here. It seems that the right wing propaganda network is not fit for South African consumption. What a relief.
Now Blair is really on his way out, and news reports agree that his early triumphs are now overshadowed by the disaster of Iraq. As he gave his speech announcing the date of his exit, the mood was dark, his manner was apologetic, his wife looked as if she had been widowed. He said he was sorry, and that became the dominant theme of the event and the reporting on it. Now he's leaving the catastrophe for his successor to clean up, just as Bush is intent on doing.
South Africa's Sunday Times reports that his greatest moments, "the Northern Ireland peace agreement and his sensitive leadership after Diana's death", came early in his term and, "when he resigns ... he will be most remembered for supporting the disastrous war in Iraq and what critics call his 'poodle-like' fealty to George Bush." And the disaster is ongoing with no end it sight.
In fact it's hard to measure, to even begin to calculate the extent of the damage as the Middle East continues to erupt in war. War is spreading, with Pakistan and Afghanistan now engaged in war on their border. The Taliban, which was supposedly deposed so easily four years ago, is still in the daily news, far from vanquished or dismissed.
As badly as Blair is viewed as he exits the world stage, the British death toll in Iraq, at 145, is a tiny fraction of that of that of the U.S. But there is some hope at the very heart of the hideousness that is the Bush administration. The hope is that the Bush administration's reign has been so unspeakably grim that it will set off its own antithesis, which seems in fact to be happening. The world is moving on, leaving the Bush administration behind, a corpse on a lonely highway to hell. The question now is how much damage has been done, is still being done, and how to tackle the problems and begin to bring some healing to the broken body politic.
In that regard, it is marvelous to be in South Africa, one of the few really bright spots during this very dark moment in history. People here, white, black and every other color agree that what has happened in their country is a miracle. The dethroning of the apartheid government and the establishment of a democratic, color blind state is admitted to be a triumph even by many of the most adamant racist supporters of apartheid. Things are far from perfect, but there is a sense of consensus, belief in the national mission. What a strangely foreign and marvelous sensation for an American in the 21st century.
Now with Jon Stewart on CNN and and VH1 playing things like Black-Eyed Peas "Where is the Love", the world is seeing some of the more positive, progressive sides of the U.S. There is hope.
May 14, 2007
The Descent of BushDURBAN, South Africa -- On the day Tony Blair announced his resignation, news coverage on the European news stations showed shots of Bush responding to questions about Blair, and Bush looked seriously deranged, as though on the verge of a crackup. U.S. presidents nearly always age a great deal during their terms, but Bush's evolution is as unique as his catastrophic, illegitimate presidency. Blair was virtually his only ally during his rush to war with Iraq, so the fact that Blair is leaving in a cloud of shame over his own complicity in the shady affair does not bode well for an already decomposing Bush presidency.
Bush looked hastily patched together, with a superficial man tan that did not make him look healthy and robust as intended but only more desperate and mad. Always angry and defensive in the best of times, Bush is more prickly than ever. Blair, he said defiantly, was a leader who looked "beyond the horizon." He bobbed his head in characteristic fashion, as if to say, "Take that!"
So, where does it all end? It seems anticlimactic now, as if it's already over, yet he still stands, and his miserable war drags on, piling deaths and tragedy every day.