July 1, 2005America Wakes -- A wave of consciousness change sweeping across the country, an electronic flash moving gradually through the population, a national metanoia.
One day I woke up and I knew: I'm not afraid anymore. I'm not going to let Corporate America and its worst elements as personified by George W. Bush and company push me around anymore. I won't give in to the intimidation anymore, no matter how hard they bang the drum of 9/11. A life of slavery is not worth preserving.
Happy Independence Day!
Two in Five Favor Impeachment -- A Zogby poll says that "42% say they would favor impeachment proceedings if it is found the President misled the nation about his reasons for going to war with Iraq." Bush's approval rating dropped another point to 43% since his speech to "shore up support for the war". The report says, "Among those living in the Western states, a 52% majority favors Congress using the impeachment mechanism while just 41% are opposed; in Eastern states, 49% are in favor and 45% opposed. In the South, meanwhile, impeachment is opposed by three-in-five voters (60%) and supported by just one-in-three (34%); in the Central/Great Lakes region, 52% are opposed and 38% in favor." Don't Talk About the Constitution -- "Trashing the Constitution in the name of 'terrorism'" by Meria Heller on Online Journal. "As you and I struggle to meet our bills, rising energy costs, education cuts, social services cuts, the big corporations that have taken over our democracy are laughing all the way to the bank. As our jobs go overseas, our populace suffers without health insurance or care (43 million Americans without health insurance), Lockheed Martin, Halliburton, Bechtel, all the oil companies and the entire military industrial complex are bleeding us for their profits. The World Trade Organization supersedes our highest courts. The Federal Reserve, a private bank, prints our money and sells it to the Treasury at a huge profit. We need to nationalize the Federal Reserve, while we still can save our dollar. Our votes have been cleverly stolen by the Supreme Court and computer voting machines. The list is endless ... By the way, reading or talking too much about the Constitution is considered a sign of a terrorist. Is this the America you want to live in? I truly believe that given the truth, Americans will rise up and take back their country from the Corporatocracy that has piratized it." "We fight because we must fight" and so on -- Lyndon Johnson 1965: "Tonight Americans and Asians are dying for a world where each people may choose its own path to change. This is the principle for which our ancestors fought in the valleys of Pennsylvania. It is the principle for which our sons fight tonight in the jungles of Viet-Nam. Viet-Nam is far away from this quiet campus. We have no territory there, nor do we seek any. The war is dirty and brutal and difficult. And some 400 young men, born into an America that is bursting with opportunity and promise, have ended their lives on Viet-Nam‚s steaming soil. Why must we take this painful road? Why must this nation hazard its ease, its interest, and its power for the sake of a people so far away? We fight because we must fight if we are to live in a world where every country can shape its own destiny, and only in such a world will our own freedom be finally secure..." Liberty Forum
July 2, 2005
Facing the Necessity of Impeachment -- "Twice fooledŲshame on us: The case for impeachment" by William John Cox at Online Journal. "George W. Bush stole the 2000 election and we let him get away with it," writes Cox. "While the Democrats cried because Al Gore had won the vote, the Republicans counted their loot and planned the next heist. Crime does pay when the justices of the Supreme Court are in on the caper, and they can't be impeached if the crooks control the Congress." Cox, a senior prosecutor for the State Bar of California, lays out a powerful, thorough case for the unavoidable necessity of impeaching and removing George W. Bush from the presidency. Then he concludes, "With the overwhelming evidence we, the American people, now have before us proving beyond any reasonable doubt that our president has engaged us in an unlawful and immoral war, we cannot remain silent. Each of us has a responsibility to ourselves and to our posterity to do all within our power to stop this immoral war and our illegal occupation of a country that poses no danger to our safety." So Long Sandra! So Sandra Day O'Connor is stepping down from the theoretically Supreme Court. I switched around the news a bit during the News Hour and she was all over the place, and I never heard the Bush v. Gore decision mentioned. There was a lot of yabber about how she was conservative and a strong advocate of states rights, but obviously those principles could be put aside when a presidential election was at stake and a family friend was running. Okay, so you O'Connor lovers, maybe it wasn't the world's most heinous judicial crime, but it was a contradiction as big as the biggest, sorest thumb, and it didn't get a mention. Maybe it did somewhere, but not on the programs I dropped in on. It was the pink elephant in the room. Watching the news, that hideous false reality, is a toxically depressing experience. Now Bush can nominate some other rabid pre-Cambrian like Scalia or obedient drone like Thomas. Calling the Kettle Black -- Arial Sharon called radical Jews "thugs". He's one of the only people who could do it without being called an antisemite. New Zealand Herald "Bush's war rallying needs a reality check" -- International Herald Tribune Et tu, Neuharth? Whoa! Did someone say "Sea Change"? The founder of USA Today Al Neuharth restated his belief that the U.S. should get out of Iraq, this time re-framing it and strengthening his accusations for the post-Downing Street Memo period. Neuharth: „The crucial difference between Vietnam and Iraq is that there is no Cronkite to call Bush's bluff. Without a strong, trusted, non-political voice, too many of us remain Bush-blinded. Bush tried keeping the wool over our eyes again Tuesday on national TV by repeatedly tying Iraq to 9/11. That charge is as phony as his discredited pre-war claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.š This is a major part of the corporate media. This pin cannot fall without bringing a few down with it. editorandpublisher.com The Caving of the Bush Power Structure -- The rapid momentum that is building in this anti-Bush swing is almost unsettling. It gives the impression of a trend of potentially colossal scale. It is the sound of distant thunder, suddenly moving closer very quickly. What must be going on behind the scenes? With Cheney's hospitalization the other day? Are the smarter among them beginning to see the inexorability of certain forces already in motion, a legal and political tangle that is rapidly closing in on them and cannot ultimately be resisted? Will we some day look back to this moment and discover that by this time they knew the jig was up? When things begin to deteriorate, it can happen very quickly. Bombs Over Saudi Arabia! As Buzzflash pointed out, just as most of the alleged highjackers of 9/11 were Saudis, so, it turns out, are most of the Iraq insurgents. They, like Osama bin Laden, are pissed about Bush's buddies in the Saud family, and the fact that the Saudis are keeping the U.S. army in their holy land. See Yahoo "America Held Hostage" -- Great piece by Paul Krugman: "A majority of Americans now realize that President Bush deliberately misled the nation to promote a war in Iraq. But Mr. Bush's speech on Tuesday contained a chilling message: America has been taken hostage by his martial dreams. According to Mr. Bush, the nation now has no choice except to keep fighting the war he wanted to fight." What a Letter ! A parent of a dead solier from Overland Park, Kansas, wrote to the New York Times: "Plunging poll numbers finally drove President Bush to make a speech about our disastrous adventure in Iraq, and what did he offer by way of explanation? Another version of the campaign stump speech that deceptively conflates the terrorist attacks of 9/11 with our war in Iraq. As the parent of a soldier who spent a year in Iraq and who will soon head to Afghanistan, I resent this and all the equivocations offered by the administration about this war. The curtain has been pulled back on the wizard, and the fantasy is over. It's long past time for straight talk by serious people. President Bush and his advisers just don't get it." It Was Rove, says MSNBC Analyst -- Lawrence O'Donnell, senior MSNBC political analyst, said Karl Rove is the source who revealed Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA agent. He said, "And I know I'm going to get pulled into the grand jury for saying this but the source of...for Matt Cooper was Karl Rove, and that will be revealed in this document dump that Time magazine's going to do with the grand jury." MSNBC
July 3, 2005
Not Conservative Enough -- Now conservative groups, at this point drunk with power, are up in arms against the possibility that Bush might nominate his buddy Alberto Gonzales to the Supreme Court. (New York Times) Why are they upset? Could it be because of his efforts to create a legal justification for torture? Maybe because he enabled Bush's avoidance of seriously looking at the death row cases that came across his death desk when he was governor of Texas? No, no, none of that. The "culture of life" doesn't care about killing or torturing innocent people. They're afraid Gonzales may be too liberal and won't be the vote they need to outlaw abortion. Can't have anyone having sex without having babies. They might think they can just have it any time they want. And then what? Antiwar Momentum Builds -- Seattle Post Intelligencer editorial: "President Bush should cut our losses and pull out of Iraq before more Americans -- and Iraqis -- are forced to make the ultimate sacrifice. If he does, he would be a hero and save lives." I disagree. The shrub could never be a hero. Support for Impeachment Builds -- The Republicans set a high standard for honesty when they impeached Clinton. Where is it now? Mercury News: "Monday's ABC News/Washington Post poll proclaims that 57 percent of Americans believe Bush `intentionally misled' our country into war with Iraq. This revelation now provides the Republican-led Congress with both the moral imperative and political cover to commence impeachment proceedings against the president. If Clinton could be impeached over an extramarital affair, then congressional Republicans most certainly have an obligation to follow this through without resorting to a corrupt, partisan cover-up." More Lies and Doubletalk -- SF Gate: "At various times over the past three years, Bush told the American people that war was necessary because Saddam Hussein had stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons, because he was developing a program to develop nuclear weapons, because he had oppressed his own people, because he violated U.N. charters, because he possessed 'weapon-making capabilities,' because Iraq was a breeding ground for terrorists and because Iraq was a grave threat to the United States and the rest of the world. In Tuesday night's speech, critics saw the latest incarnation of what they believe is a policy in search of a justification."
July 4, 2005Bush Melting -- "Pride may goeth before the fall, but with politicians like George W. Bush, far too much time separates the pride part from the fall part. The damage that he has wrought in this country and the world goes beyond accurate enumeration Ų most of it made possible because he has been able to use 9-11 to pose as God's sword to smite his political enemies at home and abroad. He should have slunk away after 9-11, having failed miserably in his primary duty, but instead he used a crisis for personal and governmental aggrandizement. That's the pride part. Now, however, his fortunes have changed dramatically Ų with the fall part finally kicking in." Lew Rockwell
Rove in the Hot Seat -- According to a posting on Daily Kos, "[Lawrence] O'Donnell stood by his earlier remarks totally. He did not back down one bit. He said that Matt Cooper's notes will show that Rove was his primary source on the Plame matter. O'Donnell further stated that Rove's lawyer only decided to play defense once it was known that O'Donnell's remarks had gone out over the McLaughlin Group air... it was interesting to hear Matt Drudge's reaction to the potential of a Rove indictment -- he seemed to take the prospect pretty seriously, and my guess is Drudge will continue to play this story pretty big all summer. This could really heat up, judging by the way everyone was talking. I think it is clear now that this has moved beyond the question of betraying a US covert agent, and now the prosecutor is going after perjury/obstruction of justice related to the investigation -- rather than the original underlying crime." Gathering Storm -- Newspaper editorials against the war. Editor & Publisher
July 6, 2005Neocons Under Seige -- It was bound to happen. The Bush administration has created an affront with almost every power it crossed paths with, domestic and international. Eventually all the people the administration thwarted, insulted, stole from, attacked, etc. were bound to mobilize their forces against the US. Now it's happening abroad as well as domestically. Sooner or later the Bush administration's abuses will make enemies out of practically everyone.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, "A six-nation security bloc comprised of China, Russia, and four former Soviet states has urged the US-led coalition in Afghanistan to set a deadline for withdrawing troops from member states, reports BBC."
The neocon theory of world domination had an an abstract elegance to Wolfowitz, Cheney and the other ivory tower intellectuals who formulated it and then managed to get their hands on the levers of power of the world's kingpin superpower and to try to exert a drive for ultimate power over all the world. In the process of carrying out their coup, they bankrupted the country economically and in terms of its prestige and good will internationally. In short, they brought the world's greatest superpower down in the space of five years. An historic achievement. The Chinese of the future will always have George W. Bush to thank for bringing America to its knees.
US Out of Vermont! . Bush's armed FCC brown shirts shut down Radio Free Brattleboro and seized thousands of dollars worth of equipment. (See Valley Advocate, New Standard) While the FCC and Billboard magazine call the station a "pirate", it is the corporate media monopolists who have pirated away not only the public airwaves, but the governmental oversight agency that is supposed to protect the people against usurpations like those of the major corporate media who have seized control of US media and won't let certain information into the system. Instead of protecting the public against that, the FCC is out trouncing little stations that do not interfere with any other stations broadcasting bands, and are vibrant voices, well loved by their communities. This has got to end. Rove will surely skate on his outing of a CIA agent. The key word is "knowingly". (Editor & Publisher) A clever guy like Rove can use that concept to dodge any attempts to pin a criminal charge on him. He's also the best buddy of the most powerful man in the world. And then again, much greater tyrants have fallen. Rove may very well have passed on state secrets and compromised the CIA, which would be criminal. That makes Karl Rove a collaborator, says Ted Rall The Meaning of the Fourth of July -- Medea Benjamin: "This Fourth of July, while Americans are marching in parades and oohing and aahing at the fireworks, it would be a patriotic gesture to also spend some time thinking about what independence means today. Our nation was founded on a determination to be free of domination by the British empire. The US Declaration of Independence proclaimed the need to fight the War of Independence against Britain because King George III had 'kept among us standing armies' that committed intolerable 'abuses and usurpations.' Today it is our government whose standing army is committing abuses and usurpations in foreign lands. Today it is our government that is in the business of empire-building... Our out-of-control military budget will, by 2006, equal that of the rest of the world combined. This enormous cost is draining money from our schools, our hospitals, our public transportation. Martin Luther King's words that 'a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense then on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death' resonate today." Common Dreams
July 7, 2005
Sad Irony -- Tony Blair calls the bombing attacks in London "barbaric," which may be true, but unfortunately he has lost his authority to make such a pronouncement. I wonder what the genteel prime minister would call the devastation of Iraq. In comparison with the barbaric bombings in London, the destruction in Iraq is incalculably worse. And all for false pretenses. Tony Blair is worse than a lame duck, he's a walking tragedy, a man of great potential who threw his lot in with the wrong mob and has now reduced himself to an inconsequential dweeb. The British, like the Americans, will have to some day realize that their compromised leader is a great liability to the nation, and that until they have renounced him the entire nation will be seen as standing on the side of a great crime. The Great John Conyers: If he never does another thing, he has already achieved greatness by speaking truth to power at a time when most stand aside and allow crimes to be committed and maintain a state of paralysis. Thank God for John Conyers. Finally a politician standing up and directly confronting the mob on its obvious crimes. Truthout Fitting Fury -- Mike Malloy is another one for the heroes hall of fame in my book. The courage to call a spade a spade, to call the lionized Judith Miller a chump for the White House -- at best -- complicit in murder as well for passing on lies about the supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction that were the reason for all that death and destruction in Iraq at the hands of the Americans. Malloy speaks out in a world dominated by insanity, and does so with the appropriate sense of outrage. He also pointed out that the Miller case doesn't qualify as a reporter protecting a source who revealed crimes that were being committed by people with power. The law is to protect the people against crime, not to protect the criminals against justice. The leaker in this case was the one committing the crime, not one revealing an abuse of power, but the abuser himself. Miller protects Rove, Cheney, whoever told her the same way that she reported their lies through the authority of the New York Times as the Bush administration was lying the country into a war. Closeup of Madness -- A mother whose son was killed in Iraq meets with Bush. Lewisnews
July 10, 2005
A New Front -- Oliver Stone is making a film about 9/11 starring Nicholas Cage as one of two police officers caught in the rubble of the World Trade Center. Get ready for a barrage of anti-Stone propaganda, calling him a whacky conspiracy theorist. USA Today Fox News: London bombing "works to our advantage..." -- According to aptly named Fox head Brian Kilmeade "I think that [the bombing] works to our advantage, in the Western world's advantage, for people to experience something like this together, just 500 miles from where the attacks have happened." Fox managing editor Brit Hume said his "first thought," when he "heard there had been this attack" and saw the low futures market was "Hmmm, time to buy." Fox News host John Gibson said it should have been Paris, then it would be "who cares?" Fox News: foul and getting fouler. Media Matters, The GUardian Withdrawals? -- The US and Britain are considering withdrawing 100,000 troops from Iraq. AFP Alternative doomsday proposals -- "Preparations and policies for petrocollapse and climate distortion " Foxwatch -- O'Reilly and Hannity losing viewers in the 24-54 demographic. But Fox still posted overall gains (?) Washingtonian
July 11, 2005
Senator Barbara Boxer: Iraq was a war of choice. Silenced -- Immigration lawyer criticizes Patriot Act on TV, finds herself subject of an FBI investigation and then in jail. NCM Online War Without End -- Looks like Bush got his endless war. "An Associated Press survey of longtime students of international terrorism finds them ever more convinced, in the aftermath of London‚s bloody Thursday, that the world has entered a long siege in a new kind of war. They believe that al-Qaida is mutating into a global insurgency, a possible prototype for other 21st-century movements, technologically astute, almost leaderless. And the way out is far from clear. In fact, says Michael Scheuer, the ex-CIA analyst, rather than move toward solutions, the United States took a big step backward by invading Iraq." MSNBC Time to Stop Digging -- Bob Herbert: "Back in March 2004 President Bush had a great time displaying what he felt was a hilarious set of photos showing him searching the Oval Office for the weapons of mass destruction that hadn't been found in Iraq... Close to 600 Americans had already died in Iraq when Mr. Bush was cracking up the audience with his tasteless photos at the glittering Washington gathering. The toll of Americans has now passed 1,750. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have died. Scores of thousands of men, women and children have been horribly wounded. And there is no end in sight." New York Times
July 15, 2005
Librul Adv'cy Jernlsm -- Amy Goodman on DemocracyNow played a transcript of some of the questioning of the head of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Kenneth Tomlinson, the Bush stooge put in to turn the thing into another right wing propaganda organ.
According to Goodman, "Last year, Tomlinson secretly paid more than $14,000 to an outside consultant, to monitor the political content of the guests on the PBS program NOW with Bill Moyers. The consultant, Fred Mann, worked for the American Conservative Union for many years."
In the recording of the questioning of Tomlinson by Illinois Senator Richard Durbin, you hear Tomlinson explain his reasoning for trying to use public money to put on a Wall Street Journal program to balance Bill Moyers, which he calls "liberal advocacy journalism". Tomlinson is one of these guys who is deeply suspicious of anyone who can pronounce four-syllable words. Anyone that pretentious must be a goddamn librul, he thinks. "Liberal advocacy journalism" is Tomlinson's favorite big concept and he likes to display it to show how penetrating his analytical powers are. When Tomlinson tries to pronounce "advocacy" it comes out "adv'cy". He thinks anyone who pronounces those other two syllables is a goddamn queer. And he's not going to let himself get caught sounding like one of those.
Naturally, in the conservative troglodyte environment now dominating American politics, anyone who can add two plus two is suspiciously over intellectual. Anyone who can think, and speak clearly is worthy of suspicion if not contempt. Conservative extremists in America have reached a point where they force the study of the theory of evolution out of textbooks because they think it somehow contradicts the Bible. It's not just ignorance, it's willful ignorance. It's obstinacy.
Durbin asked Tomlinson about the guy he secretly paid $14,000 to to monitor PBS for liberal bias. "What was Mr. Mann's expertise?" Durbin asked. "Why did you happen to hire him? According to Senator Dorgan who‚s seen the raw date, he was paid thousands of dollars, his data riddled with spelling errors was faxed to you from a Hallmark store in downtown Indianapolis. What is this Mann's background for judging a program like Moyers‚s program and whether it‚s liberal or not?"
Mann's report, not surprisingly is riddled with bizarre spelling errors and perplexing reasoning. (See The Nation) Telling the truth during the Bush era, is in itself seen as an affront to an administration that is built on a house of cards based on lies. Therefore it is seen as treasonous, in the same way that anything that seemingly "contradicts" the Biblical story of creation, must be banished from the culture. It's sort of neo-medieval. Hands Off Public Broadcasting
July 26, 2005
SecurityThis is how it goes. Going into the security checkpoint at Newark Airport, the uniformed security man said, "Lighters are not allowed on the plane. If you have a lighter, turn it over to me."
The man in front of me dully rephrases the proclamation in a pause to collect his wits and overcome his reluctance to give up his lighter. "We can't take lighters on board?"
"No lighters on board. Just put them in this tray," said the security man while the passenger digs wincing into his pocket and pulls up his lighter. Some times it's toenail clippers. Today it's lighters.
Only much later in another continent did my traveling companion realize she had a lighter in her bag. "Where did this come from?" Oh well. She also had a Swiss Army knife. Whoops. Oh well.
I had no lighter, no knife. But never mind. A few minutes after take off they gave me a knife. For dinner they gave me a package of silverware wrapped in plastic. Foreshortened forks with round spoon-like ends, a sister spoon and a nice big foreshortened stainless stell knife with a serrated edge. About ten times the weapon that the boxcutters of the alleged 9/11 hijackers used to change the western world in to a permanent war.
Does anyone really believe that these measures increase anyone's security? Could the terrorists be so uncunning as to not figure out the holes in such a system? Or are they asleep, nodding through life, like we decadent westerners?
Sleep well tonight. Your National Guard is awake. In Baghdad.
Chickenhawk Convention -- crooksandliars.com 9/11 Movie -- Read the list at abbaswatchman.com