Down With Dick
February 15, 2007Sociopolitical Tectonics -- The world is undoubtedly a different place than before the election, and immeasurably better than it would have been if the voting machine fraud had not be overwhelmed by a democratic majority that was building too dynamically to be effectively monitored. That was a huge upheaval, a huge event. This was not the way things were planned to play out.
The events of election day were the crack in the sky, the seismic rupture that set of a chain reaction. But that chain reaction is not finished. Its reverberations seem to have only begun.
It is indeed a different world. There are points of view and ideas that have previously been effectively suppressed in the media universe, whitewashed from existence, that can no longer be kept out of the public dialogue. For a long time the possibility of vote fraud was a forbidden subject in nearly all the major media. It wasn't just that the media organs showed a disagreement with the idea, they treated it like a religious tabu. Anyone who would entertain such a ridiculous conspiracy was so nuts they weren't worth even acknowledging. That is no longer the case.
Far too many solid people from university math departments and various other sectors of the society came forth with very solid evidence, demonstrations and so forth until no longer could the subject be kept completely out of the debate. The attention placed upon the issue eventually succeeded in making it much riskier than it had been to tamper with voting machines. A number of very blatant incidents were reported, and though little effective judicial process has taken place in response, the reporting of those incidents did change the environment in which further vote fraud would have to take place. This factor can not be measured, but as we have seen in recent elections and election frauds, no amount of votes is negligible.
So that is an example of how people can make a difference, through activism of many kinds. Though there are few platforms upon which to celebrate it, election 2006 was a monumental historical event. It was a very impressive democratic movement, the final culmination of so much revulsion against the Bush administration and its ghastly policies to surmount any of the myriad obstacles that have been placed in the way of the democratic processes.
At one point when the evidence of vote fraud in Florida 2000 was clearly laid out by Greg Palast and others and nothing was done about it, when "voting reform" proved to be a way to take over more districts with the corruptible machines, vote fraud seemed to become more prevalent and even to talk about it was forbben, it looked as though the right wing had a totalitarian state all sewed up and were sailing easily into increasingly concentrated, autocratic power. But a paroxysm of the population has slowed them down.
It certainly has not stopped the corporate machine from churning onward toward its never-wavering goals, but it was a kick in the belly of the Bush administration and the exreme elements it represents, and they are greatly weakened by it.
Tonight I caught Nancy Pelosi interviewed by Jim Lehrer and she was magnificent! She is the best thing to have come along in Washington for a while. She puts Hillary Clinton to shame in showing how poised, effective and courageous a woman politician in Washington can be. The big difference between the two is that Hillary Clinton is running for president, was always running for president even before she ran for senator in her adopted state. Her agenda was never primarily serving New Yorkers. It was building a platform upon which to run for president.
So she went around and put her ducks in line, wooing various political factions and made a few gestures to various right wing groups to earn their acceptance, but all in very calculated fashion, without any sense of great conviction. Pelosi, on the other hand, does not have to concern herself with the Rovian science of national election manipulation. She doesn't have to play up to every constituency in the country. She only has to win the votes of her home district and she knows that representing them will be the same as pushing for what a vast majority of the country wants. That majority cannot win with a politician playing the way Hillary Clinton is playing.
Jim Lehrer pressed the question: Will this nonbinding resolution change anything anyone does in Washington. A good question. It points up the fact that it is nonbinding, it's a relatively gentle gesture in opposition to people who have shown to have little restraint, and still show little signs of moderating in the wake of a clear, widespread repudiation of their policies.
But Pelosi pointed out, correctly in my opinion, that it's not just words or just a scrap of paper. Such a resolution by the Congress of the United States is in itself a clap of thunder. It will change the environment. It will change the context of the dialogue. Things will proceed differently from that point. The dialogue will be reframed.
When Pelosi spoke of Iraq, it was with the kind of intimate knowledge that reflects direct experience, the familiarity of a workman with his tools. Pelosi has been to Iraq. And by the way she talks it wasn't just to pose with a plastic chicken and some soldiers in the middle of the night, as it was with Bush.
She brings her authority and experience to the table. In a piercing irony, on the same day, Bush was asked in a press conference if he would now characterize Iraq's current state as civil war. Bush was at his absolute worse because he had no idea how to respond to the question. Bush is constitutionally incapable of admitting error, so he was blocked from saying yes, it is a civil war. At the same time he must try to maintain the image of Iraq that he has always portrayed to justify his aggression. Bush is a man who must focus a great deal of his attention on hiding his real agenda while sticking to certain points that support the fantasy.
He obviously had no answer for her so he launched into a bunch of jabber while he tried to buy time and think of some way to tie it up so it would sound like he said something decisive. Instead of projecting authority and conviction he slipped into his sneering attitude of condescension in which he winces, chuckles, bobs his head, and speaks impromptu, hoping he doesn't stumble into anything too harmful. Though the speech was a typical politician ramble designed to signify nothing and be essentially nonsensical (anything but the truth), it was inadvertently revealing of the real George Bush.
Question: Do you believe it's a civil war, sir?
BUSH: I can only tell me what people on the ground whose judgment -- it's hard for me, you know, living in this beautiful White House, to give you a first-hand assessment. I haven't been there. You have. I haven't. But I do talk to people who are -- and people whose judgment I trust -- and they would not qualify it as that. There are others who think it is. It is, however, a dangerous situation, thereby requiring action on my part.
This prince has not even been there, he admits, to venture in the land he has so ruptured with his war. Just sitting there in the beautiful White House. "I haven't been there. You have." He sounds confused. When he goes into the rationale for why he's doing what he's doing, it doesn't inspire a lot of confidence.
Listen, I considered several options: One, doing nothing. And that if you don't believe the situation was acceptable, then you should do something ó and I didn't believe the situation was acceptable. Secondly, I would have listened to the advice of some and pulled back and hoped for the best. I felt that would be extraordinarily dangerous for this young democracy; that the violence in Baghdad could escalate mightily and then spill out across the country, creating chaos, vacuums into which extremism would flow ó or make the decision I made, which is to reinforce the troops that were on the ground to help this Iraqi government and security force do what they're supposed to do.
(See the text of the press conference at SF Gate)
Though the vast majority of the country has made it clear they do not like Bush's current two wars, he is itching to launch some kind of action against Iran and the corporate media are willingly throwing their hearts and minds behind Bush's great cause, again. Such short memories. It's paycheck to paycheck for these media worms.
But it is a different world. What happened in November changed the balance of power in Washington. It is still a slow process, but the Bushies cannot turn back the clock to when they had nearly total control over a population paralyzed with fear. Oh, they would love to return to that state. But if another 9/11 happened, it may not even help them this time. The environment has changed. They no longer control Congress. A democratic surge has upset their momentum. If the population is truly aroused, as it seems increasingly to be, then momentum may continue to build against the Bushomaniacs and the world may then finally be free of them.
February 18, 2007Clinton's Conundrum -- The Sunday New York Times ran a brief on page 1 saying the Hillary Clinton has refused to apologize for her vote authorizing Bush's war, granting him extraordinary war powers. (see Truthdig for details) Hillary's got a little of that George W. recalcitrance. It's not an association that will strike many Americans in a warm place right now, I don't think. People have had a lot of dogged refusal to bend. Its results haven't been very impressive.
Clinton's justification for the vote is not impressive either. It's the kind of legalistically careful positioning that gets you off complicity in a crime, but doesn't inspire much in terms of leadership potential.
She says if she knew then what she knows now ... etc. That's fine for a sheep parading along with the herd. It doesn't, however, indicate any conviction, courage or leadership, which are the qualities needed now so desperately by America and the world.
What was needed then was someone to stand up and point out the fraud that was being perpetrated so deliberately and methodically like a drawn-out scheme for a cold-blooded, premeditated murder.
One may say many things about Hillary Clinton, you cannot say she's stupid. So she does not have that excuse. There was no justification for her to take the administration at its word. It was her responsibility as a Senator to check things out through her own sources, which are certainly adequate to the task. She is a full-time politician, a senator whose constitutional role mandates that she study those issues, conduct her own oversight and oppose the administration when appropriate.
And she has a staff to help her, which is more than the millions of private citizens who seem to know more than she does about whom she is dealing with. Her refusal to admit error in this regard sweeps aside all of those gravely serious responsibilities of her office. What does she spend her time doing? Fundraising? Making backroom political deals?
Of course! That is today's political game. It is well established in Washington, money is the grease the makes the wheels go round. Lobbyists are multiplying like a pestilence. And the media stranglehold on the communications of America makes it impossible to run for office without giving millions of dollars to media companies. That is the way the game is played. Clinton has proved herself an adept player, and fundraising and political deal-making is exactly what she does spend her time doing, as they all must to some degree. But that is no longer good enough for America at this dangerous juncture of history. What we need is someone who will go beyond conventional political maneuvering and exercise real leadership, take the constitutional mandates seriously.
This stubbornness might just be her undoing in this campaign.
Murder is a Difficult Issue -- George Stephanopoulos asked Governor Mitt Romney on ABC's This Week about his changing position from pro-choice to pro-life. (on this page of the interview). Stephanopoulos asks Romney if he thinks abortion is murder. Romney says it is "taking a human life". Same thing? Sounds like it but with politicians you can never tell... After stating that an abortion is the taking of a human life, Stephanopoulos asks him, logically: "If abortion is the taking of a life, should women who have abortions and doctors who perform them be jailed?" At this point Romney jumps back from the precipice he has just opened, the implications of his proclamation that abortion is murder. "My view is that we should let each state have its own responsibility for guiding its laws relating to abortion." A couple of interesting exchanges follow. Stephanopoulos: "But if it's killing, why should states have leeway?" Romney: "You know, that's one of the great challenges that we have. There are a lot of things that are morally very difficult and, in some cases, repugnant that we let states decide. For instance, Nevada allows prostitution. I find that to be quite repugnant as a practice." Stephanopoulos: "But murder is illegal in every state." Romney: "And so we let states make some of these very difficult decisions. That's one of the difficulties here." Apparently a difficulty he is going to have nothing to do with resolving. That's a strong moral stand that is of no consequence. It's pro-choice disguised as pro-life. Letting others decide for themselves because it is an enormously difficult issue is exactly the definition of pro-choice. It is mutually exclusive with the conviction that abortion is murder.
Passive Aggressive Tactics -- David Brooks, the New York Times representative of the Bush administration, playing the role of yang to Mark Shields' yin on the Jim Lehrer News Hour, represented the typical Republican criticism of the House resolution to condemn Bush's so-called "surge". Asked if he thought it was a "big deal" the look of disgust on his face said it all. His point was to grumble that it isn't really anything, since it's nonbinding of course, and trying to call out the Democrats to do something more drastic if they've got any guts.
"I would say, first of all, show some directness," he said, with a look of proud indignation. "If you want to get the troops out, call for a resolution that calls for getting the troops out. Don't monkey with the rotation schedules and the conditions. I just think it's indirect. It's not honorable. Do it straightforwardly."
His anger is really for exactly the opposite reason. He knows the resolution does mean something, will make a difference and is an effectively judicious step through a delicate situation. And that burns up the Republicans. They want to goad the Democrats into stepping into the trap of being framed as the reason Americans are getting killed.
Democrats aren't ready for that. But they are preparing the field for conflict. And in that field, they run the show. They set the agenda. They don't have to rush into any initiatives that will end up stalling the whole process, or give Republicans the weapon they want to pound the life out of the congressional movement, such as it is. They can tighten the vise as quickly or as slowly as they want.
As Julie Hirschfield Davis at ABC points out, "The House's resounding vote on a nonbinding resolution rejecting a 21,500-troop buildup in Iraq places Congress officially in step with growing public sentiment against the war. It also puts President Bush on the defensive going into a far more consequential confrontation over paying for the plan. Democrats running Congress capitalized on Bush's greatest vulnerability and the public's deepest concerns about his leadership to whip up a bipartisan rebuke of his Iraq policy." The resolution, "nonbinding" though it may be, it is no empty gesture. It has the power to transmute the situation from one in which such an act would not have been possible. It creates an alignment between Congress and the public against the Bush Administration's war policy. It changes the environment in which things take place going forward.
Widening Circle of Doubt -- BBC's "Conspiracy Files" is playing on BBC 2 on February 18. See "The 9/11 conspiracy movement" for a report on the program. The Trial of Scooter -- See PoliticsTV.com for a noncorporate media discussion of the Libby trial.
WEB TV TIME
February 19, 2007
Begging for Answers, Even Questions -- The passion and rage of the mother of a 9/11 casualty,at YouTube, "Donna Marsh O'Connor Begs the Media to Re-Examine 9/11". Watch if you have the strength. Kissinger Rattled -- Check out this staggering footage about 9/11 widows confronting Hank after he is appointed to head the humorously labeled "independent" Commission appointed by George W. Bush to investigate 9/11. youtube.com Mind-Boggling -- Bush sits looking at a children's book after being told "America is Under Attack". YouTube.com Crime of the Century -- We have the evidence, we need convictions. YouTube.com Official Fiction -- Debunking the NOVA pancake theory. Fear Itself -- The Bush administration's use of Fear as an instrument of control Only in the Movies -- Airtraffic Controller Describes Flight 175 Anomalies Planting the Suggestions -- See this few minutes of footage from the early moments after the WTC attacks and how major elements of the official story were planted within the first few moments of the shock. Within moments of the incidents the story about Osama bin Laden being the mastermind behind the attacks was already planted, the explanation for how the buildings collapsed were already planted within moments after the collapses themselves. This is a fascinating glimpse at mind manipulation and planting of memes. BrassCheckTV.com
February 20, 2007
Hustler by Default -- See the Hustler magazine article on 9/11 Truth at yourbbsucks.com Check On Your Representative -- See True Majority for a transcript of what the representatives said about Iraq during the debate over the resolution opposing Bush's policies. 9/11, 7/7 and the Grand Chessboard -- Ian Crane makes a presentation at the Glastonbury Symposium on 9/11-7/7 connections.
February 21, 2007Dixies On Top -- Shut up and Sing, the movie about the Dixie Chicks from when rednecks were threatening to kill them or strap them to bombs over Baghdad, O'Reilly said they were the kind of girls that deserve to get slapped around, unbelievable behavior from an apparently deranged population. It's not pretty.
America should take a hard look at itself in this film of that horrible moment when the neocons were trying so hard to scare everyone into total submission. The Dixie Chicks were a good example for a little shock and awe to show the world what happens to people who speak out against The President. God it was an ugly time. It's still most of what it was, but not nearly as bad.
The reign of King Dick and The Fool is waning. Corporate America is holding strong, in fact has not lost an inch of ground, election or not. But there is some hope. For so long there was absolutely nothing to protect the people against the wrath of the giant corporations.
Now the democratic principle has raised its primal head, and even the likes of Dick Cheney are taking notice. Like a wounded rat he is in retreat. He cowers bitterly in his undisclosed locations.
It's great to see the Dixie Chicks reacting to, working through and finally triumphing over the abuse they took merely because Natalie Maines voiced her displeasure with the president that was ruining America's standing in the world with his unjustified aggression.
Say it again. Unjustified aggression. No "mistake". Not "badly managed". A fraud on the citizens of the United States and war crimes on the world stage. The U.S. is an aggressor nation now, pure and simple. No more pretensions about it. How insane the daily dialogue on the news is now about our new colony. The obsession of the president. Where we have to be at war, pouring billions of dollars down a hole, killing and maiming our youth, terrorizing and slaughtering Iraqis "so we don't have to fight 'em here."
God help America. But seeing the Dixie Chicks going through the steam cleaner and how well they held it together and stuck to their dignity and self respect is a good feeling. They are a great example, but not the way Bush wanted them to be.
The Dixie Chicks do symbolize the way to go from here. It is a culture war. Most of the legitimate avenues of political action have been clogged in recent years. Now a few years beyond the horrible takeover of the Bush administration we are beginning to see the cultural backlash to the Bush whiplash of terror across America. When the Supreme Court stopped the counting of votes and appointed the apparent loser as president, dissent was stifled and the will of the people was almost perfectly suppressed through fear and intimidation.
With so few avenues to express dissenting views, people had to turn to whatever fields of endeavor were open to them. And now we are seeing the product of that period. The dark iron heel years of the Bush administration have driven many into introspection creating a breeding ground, a medium in which to grow a new, more humane society.
For many people the journey of the Dixie Chicks will legitimize their own personal journeys through the terrifying years of the early 21st century. This film signals a new period when those suppressed expressions will come bursting forth, unleashing a pent up and compounded power. We could be seeing the first ripples of a new wave of culture created consciously as an alternative to the lethal corporate culture now dominating America and most of the world.
And then again maybe not. But the Dixies are good. It was great to see them. I'm so proud of them. God bless them for what they did. Hats off to Natalie for saying It's about what kind of artists we're going to be. I don't care about the money. I don't care about country radio.
It's good to have on record how the media corporations fed the hatred as their featured personalities licked their lips with relish. People like O'Reilly and Sean Hannity advocating that people beat them up and anyone else with the audacity to express disrespect for The Commander in Chief.
The filmmaker was kind to Diane Sawyer and spared us some of the more disgusting expressions of scorn she squeezed out onto the Chicks when she skewered them before the nation, a sort of national canniballistic ritual. Now that the fear and shock is wearing thin and people can look back with a more rational perspective, it's easy to see, and interesting to be reminded who aided and abetted the causes of hatred, war, killing and lying of the Bush administration. Long live the Dixie Chicks. Long live freedom of speech, dissent, courage and conviction.
February 22, 2007Now You Tell Us -- John McCain, that "maverick" who devoutly supports Bush's war in Iraq, said, "Donald Rumsfeld will go down in history as one of the worst secretaries of defense in history. We are paying a very heavy price for the mismanagement -- that's the kindest word I can give you -- of Donald Rumsfeld, of this war. The price is very, very heavy and I regret it enormously." Trying to find some way to take a more popular stand without coming out against the war, which is a no-no. (Time)
Real Death -- "War is not a dinner party for ideologues," writes Brent Budowsky. Extreme Memory Lapse -- According to David Corn of The Nation, "In his FBI interviews and grand jury appearances, Libby had conceded that around June 11, 2003, Cheney told him that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA's Counterproliferation Division (which is part of clandestine operations directorate). But he claimed that he had been struck by total amnesia regarding this critical fact in the following weeks and learned about Valerie Wilson's CIA employment "anew" on July 11--three days before the leak appeared in a Robert Novak column--when NBC News' Tim Russert told him that "all the reporters" knew Wilson's wife was CIA. In Libby's account, when he had talked to reporters about Wilson's wife prior to the leak he had merely been passing along gossip (not official and classified information) he had picked up from Russert. (Russert testified he had said no such thing to Libby.)"
February 23, 2007Down with Dick -- Gentleman's Quarterly is a publication I would expect to have good taste in clothes, liquor, cigars and cars, but I never expected to find a political idea that I would appreciate there. But I must say GQ has come up with about the best idea I've heard in a while. So obvious, and yet, oddly, not talked about much. Impeach Dick Cheney. Now that's an idea that has a possibility of reaching a consensus.
Many don't like the idea of impeaching the president for various reasons, none of which could possibly be as bad has having him as president in my view. But the one most persuasive argument against impeaching Bush, no matter how lousy a president he is, no matter how colossal his crimes, and that is: Dick Cheney. He's Bush best protection against impeachment. Of course you can't impeach Bush and leave Cheney president! That would be the worst possible scenario. But the dog can't bark without the head.
There is so much evidence that Dick Cheney's is the hand behind so many of the most egregious crimes that have sent the United States reeling in confusion. Impeaching Cheney would get to the heart of the problem even more than impeaching Bush.
What are Cheney's approval ratings now? Last I heard they were something like 18. There are few people left who are ready to come out to defend Dick Cheney. This is do-able.
Now with the Libby trial establishing a very solid scenario based on testimony under oath of a large number of people from a wide variety of walks of life in which it becomes quite clear that Dick Cheney was behind the public exposure of the identity of a CIA covert agent.
Cheney has not yet been formally charged with a crime in a court of law. But he is the vice president of the United States so he is subject to a higher standard of conduct to hold that office than he is just to stay out of jail. With the facts of the Libby case before them, members of the House of Representatives will have to come to terms with their responsibility to their constituents to act when the evidence of crimes are right in front of their faces.
This grim confrontation with responsiblity to the Constitution and to our heirs is even more pressing than it must have been when GQ, the socially conservative magazine, wrote its editorial.
In a federal court strong evidence has emerged that Cheney is guilty of a felony, a crime against national security. Do the elected representatives now just ignore that? Shooting a man in the face was not deemed to be a crime when Cheney did it. There was little apparent consideration of criminal negligence, and his victim is obviously not up to bringing a suit, though he has grounds so unbeatable that that could snatch away Cheney's multi-million dollar Halliburton bonanza if the poor man wanted to. (See "Is Cheney Next?" at ABC, "Perjury Libby hearing casts cloud over Cheney" at MSNBC)
Oh there is so much evidence against Cheney. He was the guy "in charge" on 9/11 when Bush was reading about goats and said he was afraid to alarm the children by going off to defend the country against attack. We don't even need to go into all that, there are plenty of crimes without even entering that area.
So yeah, GQ! Right on! Good idea! Impeach Dick Cheney! Let's get started!
Meanwhile, in the rest of the world outside of the U.S. media fishbowl, everywhere Cheney goes, on his little trip to get the hell out of town -- New Zealand, Australia -- people are getting their heads beat and are going to jail because they'd rather get bloodied and imprisoned than miss their chance to express their loathing of the greatest villain since Cardinal Richelieu.
We Want the Country Back -- JFK speech on government secrecy and Jim Garrison speech from the movie JFK. YouTube
February 24, 2007Supporting and Prolonging the Crime -- This recent maneuver of John McCain to lay all the blame for everything at the foot of Donald Rumsfeld is really a slimey lie and manipulation of the wormiest kind. (See Time)
It's easy to fall for because it's such a pleasure to hear a Republican laying it on Rumsfeld. No one could be more deserving of denigration and insult than slobbering Don. But McCain is using this ploy as a cover and a dishonest way of pandering to try to gain some favor with the two thirds of the country that is anti-war, without ever having to back away one inch from the invested right wing agenda. Rumsfeld is a good whipping boy for the fakery of McCain. He's completely irrelevant at this point, an easy target. Imagine McCain telling the truth about Bush!
To say that the war was "mismanaged" is to pretend there was a legitimate mission in the first place, and hence a justification to continue such nonsense if and when he gets his hands on the levers of power. The war was an out-and-out fraud from the beginning. A real mission has never even been articulated to the American people, so poorly do they think of us. These rotten-to-the-core politicians who have done this absurd, horrible thing for which so many innocent people have died -- if only we could we could say, Go ahead, take it, take all the money, rob us blind (which they are doing anyway), but just spare us this horrible war, this manmade catastrophe, all this murderousness and plunder.
Even now they defend it, pretend there is some just cause. It is cosmically nauseating. Now Cheney is marching around the world making proclamations, criticizing China, Korea. What is that windbag talking about? What is he trying to do? Does he think his opinions about any other nation's behavior carries any weight with anyone? What is his game?
Presumably it can be spun into a great performance on the news stations and be made to appear as if the great Richard the Lionhearted has toured the world triumphantly to the adulation and respect of multitudes the world over and has taken courageous stands on democracy, peace and human rights. Can even the crassest of the corporate news programs get away with that now?
Years and years into this war and the other, not to mention the more covert wars carried out around the world, what America has done to Iraq is unforgivable, inconceivable. The amount of damage, and human suffering, the destruction of a civilization is absolutely inexcusable, criminal. God help this poor, blood-soaked complicit nation.
For the misguided Americans who supported this organized crime, who made the mistake of believing their leaders would never lie so baldly about something as serious as taking the country to war, it is very sad. The people I feel the worst of in America are the young people who had few opportunities in life and signed up for the national guard to get some job training, and in return swore to be on call to protect their country.
That's all they did to deserve this. They did not sign up for this, any of it, from the very beginning. There was not a threat to the United States. There was no justification for calling them up, pulling them out of their lives, their careers, their educations, their families and sending them to give their lives, their limbs and their sanity to fight a Goddamned mercenary action, a move to seize resources and power. America can never pay those people back their lives.
Even the ones who have survived have sustained enormous damage. In fact, the whole country has sustained enormous damage, for as some damn peace freak once said, "What would it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?" The same goes for countries. And when Americans gradually come out of their TV induced stupor, if reality ever intrudes, they -- we -- may begin to comprehend the extent of the damage we have helped cause by not stopping it.
And McCain supports all this, notwithstanding his pissy words about Rumsfeld. Make no mistake. As he was hugging Bush for the Bush campaign show he has never questioned the basic rationale of the war. He may be a maverick at times, but never when it comes to Bush's war. And Giuliani is fully signed on, no bones about it. Remember, he has told us the first thing he said when he saw the plane hit the World Trade Center was, "I'm glad George Bush is president." And of course he still is.
If either of these men become president then we'll know the corporate media has succeeded in completely obliterating the intelligence of the American people.
Meanwhile, Dirty Dick Cheney is spreading badness around the world. In Sydney and he was asked about global warming (see ABC) He said that like Bush he believe the change is happening but says there is controversy about whether it's caused by greenhouse gases.
You can always count on Dick to come down on the worst side of any issue, the side favoring the profits of the energy industry and opposing life on earth in this case.
What is this "controversy"? Scientists versus oilmen? Rational human beings versus money-crazed polluted carcases like Deadeye Dick Cheney?
Cheney seems to be so deluded he thinks he can rule nature. As in his many outright wrong proclamations about Iraq, he acts as if he can wave his hand and direct the universe. The fact that what he says is completely false matters not at all to him.
Please, grant us some small pause in the insanity.
Killed by Peter Pan -- Salmonella has been confirmed to be in Peter Pan peanut butter, a plague that has spread into 41 states. Two have died and hundreds have been sickened, according to Consumer Affairs. This cute-sounding product is manufactured by ConAgra, a massive corporation that like all corporations is constantly trying to increase profits, and will get by with any short cuts of cost-cutting measures it can in the pursuit of those profits. It may lead to a few deaths and illnesses now and then, but considering all the money the company can save with lax policies, corporations usually think it's worth it. All they are really mandated to worry about is shareholder value. In a tolerant, anti-regulatory environment such as the one under George Bush, such accidents are inevitable. Bush's concept of corporations "regulating themselves" in regard to things like pollution obviously does not work for dealing with pollution. It's fine for corporate profits, which is all it's designed to be.
ConAgra had another big recall in 2002. According to Wikipedia, "ConAgra recalled 19 million pounds of ground beef in July of 2002 with bacterial contamination. It was the third-largest recall up to that time. That meat was linked to the illnesses of 19 people in six Western and Midwestern states."
Beware of agribusinesses. Beware of companies with names like ConAgra. Beware of huge corporations especially when it comes to food.
Libby and the Cloud Over Cheney -- Jason Leopold wrote a good piece analyzing the closing of the Libby trial and the fact that the case seems to be built more or less on the assertion that Cheney directed Libby to expose the CIA agent as part of an effort to discredit her husband. It was actually the defense attorney who invoked the image of a "cloud over the vice president." And prosecutor Fitzgerald had to admit there is a cloud over him, but said he did not put it there.
February 25, 2007Dependable Dick -- Cheney can always be relied on to add venom to the daily news, to trumpet the same old lies over and over no matter how thoroughly they've been discredited, to support the most foul, inhuman policies. Cheney is the champion of torture, the man behind the exposure of a CIA agent to smear a political opponent, the man who swore Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks long after both were proven publicly to be false, the man who voted against a resolution advocating the release from prison of Nelson Mandela back in the '80s. Now he's trying to distract attention from his prominent place in the story unfolding in the Libby trial by traveling around the Asian rim spreading typically Cheneyesque good cheer.
In Australia he's getting a "frosty reception," according to the International Herald Tribune, which says, "Australia remains one of Washington's strongest allies, but as the country heads into an election year, Prime Minister John Howard's interaction with Cheney appeared perfunctory and brief. The Australian leader waited 36 hours after the vice president's arrival before meeting him, and even then spared Cheney barely an hour of his time before giving a notably short joint news conference."
Of course on his trip he's trumpeting his great cause, the war in Iraq, still saying the same old crap, that withdrawal from the bloodbath would "embolden the terrorists", and that whole bit. (See "Cheney urges troops to stay in Iraq" The Age) He's really endearing himself to the Australians, of course. Cheney seems to be such a hardboiled bureaucrat that he really doesn't care about anything. He doesn't care if he's almost universally despised and has a nearly perfect record at being wrong about everything he has ever said or stood for. He's vastly wealthy and getting wealthier every day Halliburton gets to stay in Iraq pulling in millions in tax money to help prolong the chaos and destruction of in Iraq.
Delusional Dick -- P.M. Carpenter writes that Cheney appears to be really insane. "For sad to say, there's something seriously the matter with the Big one. This is hardly news to the free world, but the 'something' has now risen to the level of white-coat, net-catching time. He left the traditional-sleaze field of partisan eye-gouging some time ago to enter a personal abyss of plain, simple hate -- irrational hate; irreparable, even delusional hate." Cheney Debunks Himself -- "If Cheney had said he was wrong in 1991, there would at least be something resembling coherence here. He thought Iraq would be a mess if we invaded, but we invaded, and lo and behold, everything is going great. But thatís not what he said. Cheney argued that he was right before and right now, despite the fact that the two Cheneys appear to contradict each other. Iím starting to think the Vice President isnít well." Carpetbagger Report Wrong on Everything -- Cheney is becoming an easy target since he is so consistently wrong and wrongheaded. Obama recently said of Cheney: "'Now, keep in mind, this is the same guy that said we'd be greeted as liberators, the same guy that said that we're in the last throes. I'm sure he forecast sun today,' Obama said to laughter from supporters holding campaign signs over their heads to keep dry. 'When Dick Cheney says it's a good thing, you know that you've probably got some big problems.'" (Associated Press) Increasingly editorials about him refer to the possibility that he is really insane. Maybe this is what happens to villains who encounter no consequences for their crimes, they just finally go over the deep end. God knows how many crimes Cheney has on his poor withering conscience, if he does have anything like one.
February 26, 2007Few Degrees of Separation -- A wild story going around about Al Sharpton's discovery that his great grandfather was held as a slave by relatives of Strom Thurmond, the staunch segregationist, who recently made more posthumous news when it was revealed Thurmond was the father at least one child with an African American woman.
All this is full of irony, bitter and fascinating, but there is one thing that sticks out to me -- and I wonder, is it just me? Or is it strange to see news stories that report that Sharpton's great grandfather was "owned" by relatives of Thurmond? It's an example of a linguistic residual of the culture of slavery, a piece of that mentality still preserved in our language. Using the word "owned" in that context represents a blind spot in our understanding of how deeply the slave culture is still imbedded into what we consider to be a much more enlightened, modern society. The fact that most of the articles about this discovery use the verb "owned" to describe the relationship and apparently see no problem with it shows how powerful the denial is of how much of that culture remains alive.
You cannot own another person, at least this is what our modern 21st century culture supposedly believes. Yet most of the articles on the Sharpton story say that the family was "owned". You could try to slough it off and say, Well, that's the language they used then, that's what they thought at the time, so that's why it says "owned" even though we obviously don't believe in such a barbaric thing anymore.
But that doesn't fly. When you write historically you don't limit your description to what the people knew at the time. You don't say, "The family was killed by an evil spirit," if we now attribute the deaths to the plague. So this using of the word "owned" in the story about Sharpton's relationship to the Thurmond family carries a lot of bias so deep the writers and editors are not even apparently conscious of it. These same writers and editors wouldn't say "he was Julia Sharpton's nigger," even if that's what they said at the time. But they do say she owned him.
It's a little like saying "Columbus discovered America and claimed it for Spain," as if there were no people in America already. The bias is built into the language. And it does matter how you say things. The words largely rule how we think.
Doing a quick survey, I found that most of the stories on this incident used the word "owned" to describe the relationship between Al Sharpton's ancestors and the cousin of Strom Thurmond: The Associated Press story on AOL, and another AP story in the DallasNews (AP), the Reuters report, the CNN report, the LA Times version. The New York Times, to its credit, did not say "owned". The Times story does say the people were "gifts", which doesn't seem far from the concept of ownership. But the Times gives Sharpton a chance to address the issue of ownership, saying, "The shame is that people were owned as property." The only report I found that seemed conscious of the implications of saying that Sharpton's great grandfather was "owned" was the New York Daily News, which described more accurately the relationship, saying, "Sharpton's great-grandfather Coleman Sharpton was enslaved by Thurmond relatives in the 1800s." It seems like one of the writers or editors made sure it got that right, but then an even more crass usage crept into a caption identifying Strom Thurmond as a "relative of Sharpton-famiy owners." Oh well, nice try.
And In Other News:
Jesus, Part II -- James Cameron, maker of the films Titanic and the Terminator has made a new documentary of evidence that coffins found in a cave in a suburb of Jerusalem belonged to Jesus of Nazareth and his family, including his son Judah, whose mother was Mary Magdalene. Cameron claims to have DNA and archaeological evidence to back up the claim. See Time, and see more at Israelitybites
February 27, 2007
What a Coincidence! When New Mexico switched from touch screen voting machines to paper ballots the mysterious Democratic party undervote disappeared. Ain't that somethin'? The world is so full of unlikely coincidences. And most of them lean the same direction. Check out the data at VotersUnite. Probability, like physics, is now a science that must be repealed. The Bushies have declared it false. Get over it! Shut up and buy!
Shades of Iran Contra -- Seymour Hersh reported that the Bush administration is funding Al Qaeda related groups without the authorization of Congress. (see Truthout) This is the kind of story that is so far out there that its barely comprehensible to the "man on the street" whose view of international affairs is somewhat formed by TV and/or other corporate news channels. Bush funding Al Qaeda related groups? The guy who launched two wars over something that allegedly Al Qaeda was behind?
Seymour Hersh has such unimpeachable credentials that this story cannot be written off as a conspiracy theory. They can't accuse Hersh of having sex with an intern or not being a swift enough boat. So there it stands. They just have to hope that it's so contradictory of the accepted fantasy vision of the world that people just won't get it. But it fits the actual history quite nicely.
The Bush family armed both sides during World War II too. And the family has done business with the bin Laden family on many occasions. The "dead or alive" threat to capture or kill bin Laden was good theater for a moment, but pretty quickly forgotten. It figures. Why would you kill the member of a family you do business with?
So this story is really out there if you believe mainstream news. If you have some idea what is behind the news it's nothing out of the ordinary. So the Bush mob is funding Al Qaeda-related groups to cook up a war with Iran. Of course. Follow the money. War is money to these people. Now when you hear a story of behavior by the Bush mob that is so out of control, so far beyond any trace of integrity, how could anything be considered beyond them? How can anyone take the word of the administration's own pet "independent" commission about 9/11? How can anyone ever believe anything they say?
LI>What If No One Showed Up? According to the U.K.Times, "Some of America's most senior military commanders are prepared to resign if the White House orders a military strike against Iran, according to highly placed defence and intelligence sources." LI>Darth Cheney -- Now that more and more evidence is coming out that Cheney directly running many of the most criminal operations of our time, his role as the primary force in the Plame case is practically indisputable, the total falseness of almost every phrase he utters, it's a good time to go back and look at "The Curse of Dick Cheney" in a 2004 issue of Rolling Stone.
February 28, 2007
High Drama -- Check this out on consortiumnews.com: "A number of U.S. military leaders, reportedly including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have waged an extraordinary behind-the-scenes resistance to what they fear is a secret plan by George W. Bush to wage war against Iran." The center cannot hold. Another tragic waste of a young life, LaVena Johnson, private first class. Died at age 19, different stories as to what happened to her. Truthout Calling a Lunatic -- Carter on Cheney's attacks on him: "If you go back and see what Vice President Cheney has said for the last three or four years concerning Iraq, his batting average is abysmally low. He hasnít been right on hardly anything." thinkprogress.org Atila the King -- Condi says Bush won't abide by legislation that might inibit him in Iraq. No laws apply to King George. International Herald Tribune BBC Seer Predicted WTC 7 Fall -- A clip from BBC News has surfaced that shows a reporter saying that Building 7, the Saloman Building, collapsed. Only problem with it is that the building is still standing on the horizon behind the reporter talks on the live feed. Obviously that raises some serious questions. How did the BBC know? Also, the picture breaks up and the signal stops at a certain point while the building is still standing. Very very strange. See it and read about the implications of the footage on prisonplanet.com. It's so strange to watch the clues to the fraud leaking out, on and on, like a slow deluge. There is so much documentation and evidence even with the remains of the buildings quickly spirited away after the crime.