June 1, 2005America Dreams On -- After one passes the threshold of realizing that nothing can wipe the historical truth of the Bush neocon regime from the world, and one must accept it as reality, one's ideals are shattered by seeing America become a name hated around the world and associated with torture, bombing, killing, extortion, lying, arrogance, destructiveness, ignorance, etc., then all that is left is the historical view. Every day one could list dozens of links to stories about the rampant crimes of the Bush administration day after day. After a while, what is the point? It has been said a million times. It's the same story over and over. Even the tiny glimmer of truth that seeps through the corporate media to the mass audience is so outrageous the neocons should be run out of Washington in tar and feathers. Just the fact of the administration's grab of power in 2000 under such unseemly circumstances should have been too much for a democratic population to accept. But accept it did, and once so compromised, there was little mettle left to stand up to the further abuses of power that would follow one after another over and over day after day. Now the people are so numb, or so it appears, that the regime has succeeded in making its corruption the status quo. The supposedly quick operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have now become permanent occupations. So take your pick, from a thousand links of stories about the transformation of the US from a republic to an empire. Pick from a million outrages. A president who grins as he seizes power in blatant mockery of the very idea of democracy , who knows almost nothing about the world beyond Texas and New England, yet has no qualms about bombing whichever of them his cronies want him to bomb, an administration that forces the Environmental Protection Agency to lie to New Yorkers about the fact that the air was poisoning them after 9/11. You pick it, which of a million outrages will you pick? It's all repetition now. The only thing left is the destruction of the empire. It is already happening. Now we will watch it deconstruct. Will the neocons draw it out with desperate war mobilizations, like Hitler did, and like so many other tyrants have before? How many people will they take with them? They will not go gently. The story has been told, over and over. He who has ears, let him hear. Every day people are learning the truth about the Bush administration. A wave is moving through the population. More and more people are finding themselves in the footsteps of the machine and are realizing that they are among the outsiders, the victims of the empire. The story has been told. Now people can take turns listening to it. More and more people are taking action to oppose the specific outrages of the Bush administration's initiatives on many different fronts. Outlawing voting machines with no receipts; locally outlawing the Patriot Act; suing the state government over voter's rights in Ohio. People are becoming more outspoken. Legitimate voices are breaking through the corporate media screen. Washington D.C. now has Air America. There is much to be hopeful about. The end of this insanity will come through millions of individual acts by common sense Americans who hold to the old American ideals of justice, freedom, accountability, democracy, honesty, integrity, hard work, and want to restore them in some meager capacity to American governance. It will happen through millions of Lilliputians working together to bring down the giant Gulliver. Keep on keepin' on. Remember your grandchildren.
The Log in Your Eye -- TVNewsLies discusses the David Ray Griffin (Author of The New Pearl Harbor) theories about why Americans refuse to consider the grimmer possibilities about what happened September 11, 2001. "We firmly believe," says the site, "that those people who fully believe the conclusions of the Kean Commission have never seen or heard any of the compelling evidence to the contrary. - These people never permit the complete picture to be painted for them. - They never allow themselves a chance to look at any of the information about 9/11 that has been revealed. They simply do not want to know that it exists." Bad Investment -- You think Republicans are good for business? Depends on the business. The war business is good under Bush. But if you run a tourist business, you're out in the cold. According to the Financial Times, "The US is losing billions of dollars as international tourists are deterred from visiting the US because of a tarnished image overseas and more bureaucratic visa policies, travel industry leaders have warned." The No-News Media -- William Rivers Pitt: "For me, that's it in a nutshell. That's what ails us as a nation. The corporate media does not report the news anymore. They create consensus, they manufacture the common fictions under which we are expected to live. With the TV media, this behavior is all the more insidious because TV reaches everyone." What is the State? "If, then, the State is not 'us,' if it is not 'the human family' getting together to decide mutual problems, if it is not a lodge meeting or country club, what is it? Briefly, the State is that organization in society which attempts to maintain a monopoly of the use of force and violence in a given territorial area; in particular, it is the only organization in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution or payment for services rendered but by coercion." Lew Rockwell
June 3, 2005
Cruel Monster and Bloodthirsty Beast -- Rev. Moon's Washington Times reports that "North Korea says it will not return to the nuclear bargaining table unless the United States apologizes for disparaging remarks about its leader. U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney called North Korean leader Kim Jong Il 'one of the world's most irresponsible leaders' in an interview with CNN Monday. In its response reported by CNN, North Korea said Cheney 'is hated as the most cruel monster and blood-thirsty beast,' according to a report by the official Korean Central News Agency Thursday. Traitor to the Mob -- Mercury News printed an editorial by Patrick Buchanan, who is outraged that an FBI man couldn't be trusted to keep the crimes of the Nixon administration secret. I wrote to the Mercury News' editor: "Your publishing of right wing crank Pat Buchanan's column is an embarrassment to your paper. Buchanan's expression of outrage against an FBI man who couldn't be trusted to keep the crimes of the Nixon administration secret is a typically Nixonian inversion of law and morality. 'If the president does it, it's not illegal,' Nixon said, and Buchanan still stands by that ideology. Buchanan, who expresses respect for Hitler, has little to offer your readers. What is the point of giving him a platform when there are so many other lunatics who deserve equal time?" Burglary Good? Burglary Bad? The Washington Post reports that Bush said it was "hard for me to judge" whether it was right or wrong to reveal the crimes of the Nixon administration. A lack of a moral compass? Bush sidesteps the issue, plays both sides. It's not crime if the president does it. Ask the Criminals -- MediaMatters.org makes a good point: "Media hosted Watergate convicts without revealing their roles in the scandal". Rephrase that. "Scandal" is a euphemism for the unearthing of a mountain of crimes and abuses of power. Pants on Fire -- Sen. Harry Reid still calls Bush a liar. Rawstory Liar in Chief -- Pointing out a lie from the Bush administration is practically pointless. The administration rarely tells a truth. Buzzflash What, Him Worry? P.M. Carpenter: "There are 293,655,404 worried people in the United States -- minus one. 'I don't worry about anything here in Washington, D.C.,' Bush said Tuesday with his usual air of pixilation." As per a popular grassroots letter writing campaign (Daily Kos) I wrote the following letters.
Message to CBS
Why the hesitation to report the earthshaking implications of the Downing Street Memo, which provides very credible evidence that Bush lied to the American people about his reasons to plunge the country into war? What are you waiting for? This makes Watergate look like a minor mishap. Who is going to make history by breaking this story -- the real story behind the story? Does CBS prefer to hang back timidly and let someone else take the lead? That's a very sad footnote to a great tradition that includes names like Edward R. Murrow, William Shirer and Walter Cronkite. Is that tradition dead?
My letter to C-Span
C-Span is the closest thing we have in broadcasting today to a real, authentic free press serving the people by giving good information on the doings and misdoings of Washington power brokers. But in a time when we are reminded of Watergate and the capacity of the press to expose criminal activity even on the highest levels, there is near silence about issues that dwarf Watergate in their implications. Foremost among them is the story of the Downing Street Memo, strong evidence that Bush knowingly lied to the American people to push them into a disastrous war, a clear statement that the evidence was tailored to fit the predetermined policy. This is a monstrous event, and it remains an open question who in the media will follow the story as our democratic traditions dictate it must be followed. Will C-Span take an active role in this necessary inquiry, or hang back with the sheep and wait for someone else to make a move? This is a historical opportunity for C-Span to assert its rightful place as the leader of today's broadcast media. Don't stand back and let history bypass you. Take an active role!
contracostatimes Un-American treatment of detainees ...Vice President Dick Cheney insists that the prisoners are "peddling lies" and that the Guantanamo detainees have been "well-treated, treated humanely and decently." President Bush blasted the Amnesty report Tuesday, calling it "absurd." Yet, it is quite unsettling that prisoners in Guantanamo, Afghanistan and Iraq have told strikingly similar stories. Bush administration officials' unapologetic defense of military conduct at Guantanamo and other U.S. military prisons -- in the face of mounting evidence of serious problems -- is symptomatic of its increasingly familiar refusal to acknowledge mistakes and take responsibility. This arrogant stonewalling must not be allowed, especially when so much is at stake. The well-publicized mistreatment of Muslim detainees at U.S.-run military prisons has severely damaged the United States' reputation abroad. It is the height of hypocrisy to talk of spreading democracy while our government tramples all over individual civil liberties. In the United States, a person is innocent until proven guilty, yet Muslim detainees are essentially guilty until proven innocent. Nearly 600 people have been held without charges. Up until a year ago, they could not even challenge their detentions in U.S. courts. The U.S. government had argued that as foreigners on foreign soil, they had no legal recourse, which is absurd as well as un-American. How Could You Even Think Such a Thing? Bush called Amnesty International claims about Guantanamo "absurd". According to SignOnSanDiego, "The president's brusque dismissal of last week's critical report by Amnesty International came during a Rose Garden news conference in which Bush sought to counter speculation that he is losing his political clout. Referring to Amnesty International's comparison of Guantanamo to a Soviet concentration camp, Bush declared, 'It's just an absurd allegation.' He said the government has investigated every complaint of abuse stemming from the arrest of thousands of detainees captured since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. With his approval rating at the lowest level of his presidency, Bush defended his policies on issues ranging from Iran and North Korea's nuclear programs to his embattled nomination of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations." See a debate on Amnesty's claims about Guantanamo at Democracy Now
George Bush Giving You the Finger -- The picture of Bush giving the finger to a television camera -- Can you grasp that? Have you ever -- ever -- seen a picture of a president of the United States doing anything even remotely as vulgar and coarse? Imagine any other president in that mode -- not just giving someone the finger, but giving it to a TV camera. And he's a "public servant"! Not an iota of discretion or humility.
June 4, 2005Answer the Question: What About the Memo? Go to the site ofU.S. Congressman John Conyers/ to sign on to a letter to Bush requesting he answer the questions posed to him by 89 Members of Congress about the so-called "Downing Street Memo", which is actually the minutes of a meeting of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other top British government officials. The memo gives solid evidence that Bush had made up his mind to invade Iraq long before he sought approval from Congress and was fixing the intelligence around the policy. Conyers' letter: "These minutes indicate that the United States and Great Britain agreed, by the summer of 2002, to attack Iraq, well before the invasion and before you even sought Congressional authority to engage in military action, and that U.S. officials were deliberately manipulating intelligence to justify the war." Well?
Suddenly Not So Quaint -- A federal judge ordered the Army to release pictures of abuse in Abu Ghraib in response to a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union. The government lawyer had argued that releasing the pictures violates the Geneva Convention by subjecting the victims to additional humiliation. Suddenly the Geneva Convention, which Bush said didn't apply to these "bad people", and which the once-White House Counsel and now Attorney General Alberto Gonzales called "quaint", are suddenly applicable again. Not when it comes to torturing people, but when it comes to revealing the government's policies to the American people. Dean on Throat -- See Findlaw for an amazing piece about the revelation of the identity of Deep Throat by John Dean, Nixon's White House counsel who spilled the beans on Watergate. Dean, who has studied reams on Watergate for the last 30 years, was able to create an appendix in which he compares Deep Throat's statements (according to Woodward) with the facts that eventually emerged. It's quite amazing, Dean says, is how the #2 man at the FBI (who was for all practical purposes running it) would get so much information wrong. The opening of the door to Deep Throat's identity leads to many more mysteries. Greg Palast on Deep Throat, et al.: "I've been gagging all morning on the Washington Post's self-congratulatory preening about its glory days of the Watergate investigation. Think about it. It's been 33 years since cub reporters Woodward and Bernstein pulled down the pants of the Nixon operation and exposed its tie-in to the Watergate burglary. That marks a third of a century since the Washington Post has broken a major investigative story." After Palast discovered that "discovered that Katherine Harris and Governor Jeb Bush of Florida had removed tens of thousands of African-Americans from voter registries before the 2000 election, thereby fixing the race for George Bush," he tried to turn the Washington Post onto the story, but the Post said they couldn't find anything. "What I found noteworthy about the Post's investigation was that 'looking into it' involved their reporters chatting with Florida officials -- but not bothering to look at the voter purge list itself," Palast says... Yeah. That's a sad story all right. The state of American "journalism". Amnesty Strikes Back -- After Bush called Amnesty's description of Guantanamo as a gulag "absurd" and the rest of the Repug Rat Pack started cranking up their smear machine, Amnesty International responds: "The administration's response has been that our report is absurd, that our allegations have no basis, and our answer is very simple: if that is so, open up these detention centers, allow us and others to visit them," Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Zubaida Khan said. "Transparency is the best antidote to misinformation and incorrect facts." Ouch! The Boss -- Venezuelan elected president Hugo Chavez has become an international hero for standing up to the U.S. Take note wimpy U.S. Democrats. History is passing you by. Chavez is one who would inevitably appear, pushed forth by the forces of history. As Rumsfeld bragged that the U.S. could whup Iraq and Afghanistan and still fight a war against North Korea, surely I wasn't the only one doing the math and saying, "Yeah, but then what?" There are plenty who will wait their turn until the bully is staggering. The belligerent policies launched into by the neocon lunatics -- confronting the entire world with a threat of force, casting aside respect for international law or even civility -- are suicidal. And stupid. How naive and unworldly could they possibly be? A bunch of pantywaist intellectuals, used to power at their fingertips, little real world experience. Whoops! So that is the real world! The article in New York Times is disparaging and portrays Chavez like a chump. They may not dig his style, but he looks pretty good to a lot of people around the world, a lot of people whose existence the New York Times barely acknowledges, and whose point of view it can barely imagine. And despite the Times, they count in the real world. And the man the Times refers to deferentially as The President is worse than a chump to them. From the Mouth of George W. Bush -- No Lie: "See, in my line of work, you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." (Molly Ivins)Re: Stem Cell Research, Bush said: "The use of federal dollars to destroy life is something I simply do not support." Ivins: "Meanwhile, back in Baghdad, federal dollars are being used to destroy life at pretty good clip because Bush decided to wage an entirely elective war against a country that presented little or no threat to us. And according to the Downing Street memo, he damn well knew it, too. The 9/11 Report, a 571-page lie -- David Ray Griffin. septembereleventh.org "It is better, however, to understand the two terms as referring to two types of lies: implicit and explicit. We have an explicit lie when the Report claims that the core of each of the Twin Towers consisted of a hollow steel shaft or when it claims that Vice President Cheney did not give the shoot-down order until after 10:10 that morning. But we have an implicit lie when the Commission, in its discussion of the 19 alleged suicide hijackers, omits the fact that at least six of them have credibly been reported to be still alive, or when it fails to mention the fact that Building 7 of the World Trade Center collapsed." An excellent summary and reference to the abysmal failures of that investigation. Astonishing what the commission tried to get away with alleging. But as Allen Dulles said, "Americans don't read." ReOpen 911 Event: New York City, Sunday, June 5 -- Confronting the Evidence: A Call to Reopen the 911 Investigation: Documentary Film of September 11, 2004 Event at Manhattan Ballroom Produced by ReOpen911.org and the INN Report (2005) Sunday, June 5th, 6-10 p.m. Saint Mark's Church, 2nd Avenue and 10th Street The real lessons of Watergate -- Robert Parry
June 8, 2005House of Mirrors -- A fascinating development! USA Today published an article entitled: "'Downing Street memo' gets fresh attention" about the "simmering controversy over whether American media have ignored a secret British memo about how President Bush built his case for war with Iraq."
An article in the nation's most mass market newspaper that acknowledges a controversy over whether the media at large are covering a particular story seems unusual, if not a milestone. It feels like a significant step, given the potential explosiveness of that document. For the mainstream media to even mention it is a huge step.
To mention the controversy over whether it should or shouldn't be covered is a ticking incendiary device. It breaks the unspoken tabu in the corporate media against calling the Bush administration's crimes crimes. It puts USA Today in the unfamiliar role of media critic.
If the political will were akin to that of the Republican Congress in the '90s going after Clinton, Bush would be impeached, would have been a long time ago. And convicted. Fixing the intelligence to create a pretext for war while you are telling the people and the Congress that you are committed to exhaust every peaceful means to solve problems before going to war seems to be definitive as a high crime. Lying about an illicit affair is grounds for impeachment, apparently. Telling a lie that costs thousands of lives and billions of dollars is a crime that dwarfs the adultery lie. How anyone could say it doesn't is baffling to me. To say it and believe it would be a great feat of psychological contortion.
USA Today rather softpedals it when it says the memos are said to be "strong evidence that Bush decided to go to war and then looked for evidence to support his decision."
As stated, that would be a much less serious crime, though still odious. To decide to go to war and then look for evidence to support your decision is one thing. To create a justification out of false evidence is a good deal more criminal. To do it knowingly is surely a high crime. Not a misdemeanor -- a felony.
Republicans and the Fox set are surely writing the thing off as untrue, unworthy of serious consideration, another "absurd" charge. But anyone who drops prejudice and really considers the magnitude and full meaning of that lie, has already accommodated a possibility that is a near moral equivalent of some of the more extreme charges being made about the Bush administration in reference to 9/11.
The memo indicates that Bush and company lied to the American people and to Congress in order to engage their support for a war that would cost thousands of lives. The number of American dead in Iraq already approaches the number of overall deaths in the World Trade Center bombing, and the number of international dead exceeds it many times over.
So where will this all end? Has the Almighty Bush Administration finally committed the act that will trip it up? Does this indicate the onset of the great unraveling? Has Bush finally met his Waterloo?
June 11, 2005
Woodward After the Unmasking: Maybe Not So Heroic After AllThe revelation of the identity of Deep Throat clears the waters a little in some ways and helps to put a little more realistic light on the Watergate-Woodward story.
Even as an article in the New York Times maintains the image of Woodward as a young reporter whose bold and tenacious reporting led to the downfall of a president, a less mythical image is taking shape with the emergence of the mysterious source that was arguably more important than Woodward in uncovering the Watergate crimes.
The appearance of Felt make it more clear than ever that the Watergate-Woodward incident was not a story of the little guy bringing down the most powerful man in the world, it was one part of the elite power structure turning on another. Woodward was the agent of that shadowy battle, maybe not quite so heroic after all.
Todd S. Purdum and James Rutenberg in the Times portray the origin of the relationship from Woodward forthcoming book about Deep Throat like this: "Mr. Woodward writes that he first met Mr. Felt in 1970 in a chance encounter in the basement of the Nixon White House, where Mr. Woodward, then a young Navy lieutenant, had gone to deliver some papers. Mr. Woodward struck up a conversation that led to an unusual friendship, and later a string of tantalizing tips that helped bring down the president whose office was upstairs."
Not just a young Navy lieutenant, a fairly high-level operative in Naval intelligence, one of the strongest pillars of the intelligence community. As Woodward's later works make clear, Woodward is the ultimate insider. In a time when so many supposed reporters have been uncovered as paid agents of the Bush administration, Woodward's job as the channel for information from a top FBI bureaucrat doesn't look nearly so heroic after all. And it's about time Woodward's idealized image was shattered.
Who or what exactly does Woodward work for? What is his agenda? If he is removed from his role as saint, his work can be seen as having a certain leaning. His background as an intelligence insider, part of the good ole boy network is always part of the veiled underlying stance of all his work. (Check out Daily Kos: "Bob Woodward...ALL smoke and mirrors?")
Now it degenerates into a story about who is going to be best positioned to capitalize most from the story -- Woodward or Felt. Just another grab for the jewels. Another story with no heroes.
More links on Saint Bob:
An intelligent reader's guide to Plan of Attack at Schadenfreude.info. This is rich.
June 14, 2005Amazing things going on. A veritable movement. A surge on the surface of the ocean of humanity. America is convulsing under the grip of the neocons.
War for Political Capital -- Today we are seeing the consequences of a war that was conceived to make George W. Bush's presidency "successful". A Bush Ghostwriter said Bush talked long before his election about attacking Iraq to gain "political capital". He was determined to learn from his father's mistakes, as he saw them. His father's defeat in 1992, wounded his family pride deeply. He is taking vengeance. In his rather simplistic, father-fixation view, he saw that his father succeeded by attacking Iraq in his trumped up war, but lost it when he didn't push it far enough. "My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it." He said. "If I have a chance to invade -- if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency." His "successful presidency" was predicated around a war. 9/11 was his big chance, though he had some forcing to do to make that a reason to attack Iraq. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands die while he acts out his father fixation on the world. Common Dreams (from October 2004) Torture is Correct -- In response to calls to close the Guantanamo prison, Evil Dick Cheney says Guantanamo is "correct" policy. Not an "image problem..." says CNN. No problem that the world is outraged by the torture of randomly selected dark-skinned people, or the comments that the Geneva Conventions -- which were created specifically to prohibit the abuses of the Nazis -- are "quaint." The neocons' justification of their torture is that, as Bush said, "These are bad people." But many of them have turned out to be cases of mistaken identity, information technology guys in the wrong place at the wrong time. That's why trials and charges are considered to be guaranteed human rights in a post-World War II world, a post American-Revolution world. To the neocons this is quaint and no longer applicable. More Downing Street Documents -- A briefing paper prepared for British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top advisers eight months before the invasion of Iraq concluded the U.S. military was not preparing adequately for what the memo predicted would be a "protracted and costly" postwar occupation, says the Philly Inquirer . No Exit -- According to the Kansas City Star, "A growing number of senior American military officers in Iraq have concluded that there is no long-term military solution to an insurgency that has killed thousands of Iraqis and more than 1,300 U.S. troops during the past two years. Instead, officers say, the only way to end the guerilla war is through Iraqi politics - an arena that so far has been crippled by divisions between Shiite Muslims, whose coalition dominated the January elections, and Sunni Muslims, who are a minority in Iraq but form the base of support for the insurgency." Wisconsin Democrats are calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says Madison.com. "Loyalists at this weekend's state party convention in Oshkosh passed a resolution calling for Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings against the three officials for their role in the war in Iraq. The resolution contends that the administration 'lied or misled' the United Nations, Congress, and the American public about the justification for the war... 'Democrats, not only in Wisconsin but throughout the U.S., have been outraged by what we believe has been a clear cover-up of why the U.S. went into Iraq,' said newly elected state party Chairman Joe Wineke." Could memo sink Bush? asks RecordOnline. "What if President Bush lied to Congress and the American people, used those lies to gain congressional approval for military action against Iraq and launched a war that killed 1,700 Americans and tens of thousands of others? That might have been a hypothetical question a month ago; it might not be hypothetical anymore. In fact, Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-Hurley, says the answer to the question could lead to the impeachment of President Bush. The release of an explosive piece of paper called the Downing Street Memo has Hinchey, almost 90 members of Congress and people around the world in an uproar." The memo provides the closest thing to proof Bush may have lied about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and led the nation into an unnecessary war, Hinchey and others say. Pushed Too Far -- USA Today poll: Americans losing patience on Iraq Disapproval Ratings -- AP poll: Bush approval 43, Congress 31.Yahoo But Clueless Dick says, "Long war ahead..." Fox "News" America shakes itself from sleep. The "memo" starts to trickle down. It could be such a powerful piece of evidence that it cannot be suppressed. The Washington Post plays catch up, finally delving into the implications of the memo. On the Outs With the American People -- 58% in a Post-ABC News poll now disapprove of Bush's handling of both the war and domestic policy. Washington Post
June 15, 2005What Mighty Tide Hath Turned? Here's a weird link -- From United Press International, owned by Reverend Sun Myun Moon, a bizarre Bush family friend, last I heard. Why then, this story? "A former Bush team member during his first administration is now voicing serious doubts about the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9-11. Former chief economist for the Department of Labor during President George W. Bush's first term Morgan Reynolds comments that the official story about the collapse of the WTC is 'bogus' and that it is more likely that a controlled demolition destroyed the Twin Towers and adjacent Building No. 7." And it goes on from there. Click on it to read the rest. Is this some kind of hoax? Is this guy going to be revealed to be an axe murderer to blow the whole story out of the water, as typical of Rove tricks in the past, like in the case of the Jim Hatfield/Bush coke bust story? Or is it possible that a sane former member of the Bush administration is actually coming forth with the most radical, but heretofore nearly unspeakable belief about what happened on 9/11? If a former Bush administration big wig turns coat to the degree that he is accusing the administration of committing a crime with few equals in history in villainy. Even worse, it seems, than if an actual enemy committed it, to allow that to happen to one's own people? As people's conception of how far the Bush administration will actually go becomes stretched by events and revelations, the possibility seems increasingly plausible. Hmmmm.
June 17, 2005
Why Downing Street Matters Voltaire Network
June 18, 2005Nostalgia for Civility -- Ted Sorenson, JFK's speechwriting collaborator, called by some his "alter ego," wrote an amazing piece for the Boston Globe that lists a number of JFK quotes that might bowl you over. They mention principles like not mixing religion and politics, not having political decision-making sullied by money -- How about this one?: "Civility is not a sign of weakness. The United Nations [is] our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace."
They seem so remote now. But they remind you of a time when these statements represented a consensus in American life. They were not partisan positions at the time as much as they were the recognized principles of the progressive mainstream of the country. They were not seriously challenged publicly by Republicans because it would have been considered bad form. How the climate has changed. But I am convinced that the public is not that much more conservative or liberal as it was at that time. It's more about the public dialogue having been taken over by extreme right wing voices.
I continue to be impressed with evidence that confirms my belief that the liberal/conservative, left/right, Republican/Democrat polarity portrayed by media commentators is largely an illusion and a manipulation. It is used to artificially divide us, distract us and exhaust it, so we won't get in the way of the slick operators that own the country and run the show.
They are busy now trying to extend their kingdom to a global one, but they seem to be failing disastrously. But for them to have extended their fraud as far as they have has required the media, which they also own, to drown out any evidence of their fraud for as long as possible while they stuff their pockets with as much booty as possible.
I've lived, worked and traveled in many parts of the U.S. for many years and I think that most Americans, like me, are conservative in some ways and liberal in others. There is a broad range of issues on which there is consensus of a large majority of Americans, no matter what their ethnic or national backgrounds. The right wing that dominates our news media today do not represent the beliefs of the majority of the country. On the contrary, they represent a corporate interest group that is a tiny minority and in many ways works against the vast majority of the country, not to mention that of the rest of the world.
But now, finally, after years of outrages and high crimes, the edifice seams to be creaking. The population seems to be awakening, expressing its outrage in a widening variety of ways. This is what democracy really is about. Widespread grassroots effort, unified by shared ideals, but operating independently, not organized into armies.
Today I saw a poll on MSNBC.com that asked, "Do you believe President Bush misled the nation in order to go to war with Iraq?" I clicked to see the results, hoping the Yeses might have gained the majority. The actual result: Out of 34,104 responses at around 5:30 p.m. EST, was: Yes 94% No 6%
Holy shit! The Neocons have to be sweating. They saw the peasants come in and stop an American-engineered coup in Venezuela. They've worked to undermine the World Court, but those pictures of Mussolini hanging must occasionally come to mind. Now half a million people have signed a letter demanding an explanation about the Downing Street minutes. The people have turned away from the politicians, from the media. They aren't taking it anymore. The Wisconsin Democratic party passed a resolution demanding impeachment. The word is echoing through the culture.
Whacky Perverse System -- Whittier Daily News reports that there are 90,000 homeless in LA. In the greatest, richest country in the world, people are homeless in droves. The super-rich are now leaving the rich in the dust. A cybernetic acceleration is amplifying the inequities to massive proportions.
In the '60s, Buckminster Fuller was saying that we have the technology today to feed and house the world. We could eradicate hunger and poverty. Though the population is much larger today, technological breakthroughs continue to create breathtaking advantages, to logarithmically leverage our mental power to do more with less than ever before. Fuller's words are more true now than they were in the '60s. But we are enmired in a primitive world view, forced on us by primitive minds akin to Atila the Hun who keep us stuck in a world of enforced scarcity.
The way it's set up now, all that accrued technological advantage is being used to increase the wealth of the super-rich. The massive owner corporations use cheap third world labor and stolen resources to create masses of cheap goods, which they then mark up many times over to sell them in the rich countries. If they don't sell, they can be marked down and unloaded at BJs or somewhere else. The owners don't lose anything by marking them down to nothing because they paid nothing for them. They pay their labor something like 50 cents a week.
So there is a glut of consumer goods produced by this massive machine, often things that no one really needs. Millions are spent on massive marketing campaigns to try to force people to buy things they don't really need. Meanwhile, the labor force of the third world (at home and abroad), the homeless and helpless in LA, etc. are kept artificially poor, so that some slug like Dick Cheney or Ken Lay can stack figures in their bank accounts that are so high as to be inconceivable in relation to anything tangible.
Many of the poor are forced to crime to sustain life, and when they are caught they can be put into the prison system, much of which is now privatized -- operated at a profit and it is a growth industry! -- UGH!! What hath God wrought?! What sort of creature is Man?
But -- call me a cockeyed optimist -- I sense that Americans are waking up, rising up against this insane regime that has run away with their country. There is so much action, so much expression of outrage now that even the corporate media are losing the capacity to obscure it with stupid stories about Brittany Spears, Brad and Angelina, Paris Hilton, etc. Stay tuned!
June 24, 2005It looks like a pig, but it acts like a chicken an crows like a rooster. The great and valiant Karl Rove, who is very brave when it comes to sending other people to war, but was nowhere to be found when it was his turn, now yakking about how "liberals" were "wimpy" after 9/11. The great Twister of Logic. It's "brave" to attack Iraq for fake motives, to ram a bill through Congress before anyone has time to read it to find out it nullifies the Bill of Rights, in effect. Karl Rove, you are disgusting. See Kristen Breitweiser on the subject in the Huffington Post, see also New York Times (Truthout), Joe Conason
What did they do to Senator Durbin to make him quiver in fear and apologize for correctly stating that what was going on in Guantanamo was far beneath the dignity of America? How is it an insult to the troops to call into question a contemptible policy created by their civilian leaders? What do the troops have to do with it, other than the fact that they have to carry out the dirty work of the neocon intellectuals? It's the troops who will get the brunt of the loathsome policies of the politicians, as they always do.
Sunday,The Most Cowardly War in History -- The courageous and eloquent Arundhati Roy, acting as spokesperson for the World Tribunal on Iraq, described it as "a defense mounted against one of the most cowardly wars ever fought in history, a war in which international institutions were used to force a country to disarm and then stood by while it was attacked with a greater array of weapons than has ever been used in the history of war." Can anyone convincingly say she's wrong? See Truthout.com
June 26, 2005
Now that Ashcroft is gone, the new, bawdier atty general is letting people see the bare breasts on statues at the Department of Justice again. The holy and insane John Ashcroft spent $8,000 covering them. Apparently he felt that the sexual mores of all the other jurists who ran the Justice Department throughout American history were just not up to his standards. If he wants to exercise a strange perversion of Christianity, he's free to do that in his private life, but that eight thousand bucks could have gone to feed hungry children. SF Gate. Could anyone hear about Ashroft's covering the bare breasts of the statues in the halls of Justice without realizing clearly that these people are ridiculous lunatics turned loose with there hands of the levers of power? Bush is "Blinded by the Light at the End of the Tunnel," says Sidney Blumenthal
June 27, 2005
Bush Support in Freefall -- "It is a remarkable turnaround. After his 2004 victory, Republican advisers spoke of a 'Bush unshackled', freed by the fact he will not fight another election and buoyed by winning 12 million new voters to his cause. Bush boasted of spending 'political capital' in a radical second term to transform America. No longer. Bush is confronting the nightmare of any American President in his second term: he is becoming a lame duck. At the centre of Bush's troubles is the Iraq war. Nightly images of mayhem in Baghdad have pushed the jubilant scenes of the Iraqi elections to the back of America's consciousness. For the first time, more now oppose than support the war. Even some Republicans are talking about withdrawal. The ghost of Vietnam stalks Washington's corridors of power." Rolling Stone 's guide to the Downing Street Memos -- America's neo-conservative world supremacists will fail -- Eric Hobsbawm, The Guardian Schwarzenegger, The Incredible, Shrinking Governor -- "Schwarzenegger, arguably the most popular governor in California history just six months ago, is now among the most unpopular. Only 31 percent of California adults (37 percent of registered voters) approve of him as governor." LA Weekly Cloak-and-Dagger Hospital Visit -- Cheney, pretending to go the hospital for a knee injury, checked into the cardiac unit under the name of "Dr. Hoffman". Huffington Post Speculations on why Bush has become "such a wildly unpopular and ineffective president" -- Mother Jones Helen Thomas: "Is President Bush living on Mars? Is he tone deaf?" He could end the torture with a word if he wanted to. Seattle Pi
June 28, 2005
Bush's War in Iraq is Ruining America -- "The world press sees Bush as an arrogant hypocrite who justifies his invasion of Iraq in the name of democracy, while protecting Uzbek’s murderous dictator Islam Karimov, described by Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan as "very much George Bush’s man in Central Asia." On May 13, Karimov had 500 protesters shot down in the streets of Andijan and 200 massacred in Pakhtabad. Still more civilians were massacred by Karimov while attempting to flee into neighboring Kyrgyzstan. It was the Bush administration that blocked a call by NATO for an international investigation of the Uzbek massacre. According to news reports, Karimov has agreed, for a suitable payment from US taxpayers, for Bush to attack Iran from bases in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan also serves as one of the Bush administration’s offshore torture centers to which suspected terrorists are sent." Paul Craig Roberts at LewRockwell.com World Tribunal on Iraq War Crimes -- Truthout Bush's Impeachable Crimes -- whatreallyhappened.com The Strange Transformation of Walter Jones -- The man who led the effort to change French Fries to Freedom Fries now says he wishes it never happened and he wants the US out of Iraq. Alternet Protest the War in Iraq, September 24 -- Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWERcoalition.org) Herr O'Reilly: 'Put them in chains' -- Bill O'Reilly said Americans "must know the difference between dissent from the Iraq war and the war on terror and undermining it," and "any American who undermines that war ... is a traitor." Re Air America Radio: "So, all those clowns at the liberal radio network, we could incarcerate them immediately. Will you have that done, please? Send over the FBI and just put them in chains, because they, you know, they're undermining everything and they don't care." mediamatters.org
June 29, 2005Bush tells nation, "It's worth it, for national security, stay the course, have patience" and blah blah blah. Right. Worth what? What have you given up? Ask the people who lost a son, or a pair of eyes. (Big majority on AOL says his speech was "poor". Nine percent say it was "good".)