Thursday, December 22, 2005

Rape David Brooks To Save America !!!

Sometimes the Rude Pundit gets it bang on (no pun intended) !!!
Let us say, and why not, that you're David Brooks, New York Times conservative columnist and desperate apologist for the Bush administration. Let us say, and, indeed, why not, that President Bush and Vice President Cheney decided that the only way to prevent another terrorist attack was to have you raped. So Bush and Cheney went to Alberto Gonzales, who consulted John Yoo, who said, "If the Commander-in-Chief, in a time of war, having been given authorization by the Congress to do what it takes to win the war on terror, decides he needs have David Brooks raped as a tactic to win that war, then the President has the inherent power to so order the raping."Thus, having been approved by his AG, whose initials are, conveniently for the President, "AG," Bush orders that you be raped by the NSA. Now, you, David Brooks, cannot be informed that such an order has taken place. And while members of Congress have been briefed on the matter, with a couple lodging concerns about the legality of raping David Brooks, the rape has been ordered. So, one day, without warning, some men in black grab you, drag you into a van, gag you, pull down your Armani slacks and boxers, and fuck your asshole raw while driving around New York City until, their duty being done, they dump you in front of the Times building. Let's say, and why not, that this begins to happen repeatedly, these kidnappings and rapes, that you, David Brooks, are gangbanged, force fisted, and turned into a jizz bucket.Let's say you learn that a secret order, approved by the President and re-authorized every 45 days, claims that raping you is necessary for national security, that it has stopped terrorist attacks, although it's a secret how and why and what and where, that your constant, boggling, sore-inducing rapes have got those terrorists on the run. Indeed, once it's leaked to the press that an executive order calls for you, David Brooks, to be raped repeatedly, the President stands before the world and says not only has he signed off on the rapes, but that he will continue to do so in the future for raping David Brooks makes Americans safer. And, the President adds, he can assure the public that he is safeguarding David Brooks's civil liberties while ordering his ongoing raping.Now, if you were you being raped, and not David Brooks, you may want to know why your unending string of rapes are necessary. You may want to know if it's possible that terrorist attacks could be averted without raping you. You may wonder if other possible approaches were pursued besides your rape. You might say that it's at the very least legally sketchy for a President to circumvent the law by secretly ordering your rape. You might question the motives of those doing the raping, especially since, despite assurances to the contrary, it turns out that your rapes have been "inadvertently" videotaped and watched by members of the NSA. You may think, "Why must my asshole suffer for the nation? Why must I be made to swallow so much spy cum? Why, oh, sweet Jesus, is there no other way than raping me?" But that'd be if you were you, and not David Brooks.For if you were David Brooks, you'd accept your rapings as a necessary part of the war on terror. You'd simply nod, gladly being raped repeatedly, wondering when you can be raped again for the good of America, keeping your asshole lubricated so that you can be more easily raped when the President deems it necessary. You'd trust the Bush administration and the NSA to rape you safely, making sure you get no diseases or excessive anal tearing. And, if you were David Brooks, you'd use your bully pulpit, your space in the New York Times, the newspaper of record, to praise your raping and question the motives of those who think raping you is a bad idea, that you believe the President when he says that raping you is the only way to get the job done.Which is essentially what David Brooks did today in his holy-fuck-he's-insane column, where he asks you to play President Bush and face the decisions he faced after 9/11, as well as the "effect on your psychology" of continued briefings of terrorist threats (one assumes, Brooks is asking "you" to go slightly bugfuck paranoid, which is always a good way to make policy). After a long-ass scenario of options "you" as President have, Brooks says that "you" decide to shortcut around the FISA court to spy on Americans. And, Brooks concludes, because the NSA's domestic surveillance program has been revealed, we should "Face the fact that the odds of an attack on America just went up." Man, Donald Rumsfeld couldn't have put it more crazily.But that's David Brooks - proudly bending over for the good of the White House.(If you don't have Times Select or access to Lexis-Nexis, don't worry: the one preview line says everything relevant in the column.)
// posted by Rude One @ 10:31 AM

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Levity is Good !!!!

Seasons Bleatings to those few remaining unindicted Republicans out there whose unblinking loyalty cannot be diluted by the vicious media's newfound, punctilious obsession with unpatriotic facts!
Friends, it is the Christmas season, and you know what that means. Yes, once again, it is time to be on vigilant lookout for malicious seasonal affronts by complete strangers. Such barbarous insults will most often come in the form of a foully exclaimed "Happy Holidays!" disingenuously palmed off by the irretrievably unsaved as a benign pleasantry.
As Christians, it is essential to remain cognizant of the seemingly illogical fact that even though we constitute the vast preponderance of Americans, we are constantly the object of cruel persecution by the majority of our fellow citizens. And during the Christmas season this insidious anti-Christian harassment most often takes the creatively sneaky form of politeness by strangers.
Therefore, it is imperative that when you see someone baring a charming smile or other outward signs of a predisposition to warmly greet (be alert for nefarious waves or other gestures meant to disarm you), you must be ready to verbally pummel this would-be well-wisher with fiery, barbed indignation. When some Darwin-worshipper or yarmulke-sporting outsider wishes you, say, "A joyous Holiday Season," treat their shocking rudeness as an opportunity to upbraid them for failing to investigate the god you worship before impetuously rushing into attempts at convivial greeting. Indeed, if someone has the temerity to wish you a so-called "Happy Holidays," you must be prepared to rebuke them with a ferocity that would melt an obese snowman from forty paces.
The following Christmas-themed rejoinder has served me rather well when confronted by a cheerful stranger on the other side of a stack of cashmere cardigans at Saks, and I give you full license to use it without attribution or provocation:
"Pardon me, but who the H E double-L do you think you are muttering your saccharine, inclusive good wishes to me, an evangelical Christian? If you can't have the decency to specifically acknowledge my personal brand of faith, you can kindly shut your evolution-espousing cakehole, Missy!"
After the relentless quality of your pious wrath has had a moment to settle in on the supposedly genial secular humanist, turn the other cheek and offer the Christ-like salutation:
"May the love and peace of my Lord Jesus be with all mankind this Christmas -- even unsaved trash like you, who run about spewing pagan incantations of jollity! Merry Christmas!"
You will then be free to turn your attention more fully to the raison d'etre for celebrating the birth of the Baby Jesus in the first place (black Amex card wielding shopping!), sanguine in the knowledge that you have just treated someone to a mild preview of the humiliating public scolding that awaits her on Judgment Day. The godly bonus for your unction is that you will have sufficiently startled the heathen shopper just long to pry the last crocodile Asprey handbag from her disoriented, weakened grasp. Verily, you will be at the cash register before she even realizes that she was just slapped by the blunt backhand of righteousness! Glory!
Stand ready to pointedly correct any unauthorized display of mirth or unapproved appellations throughout December. It is not a Holiday Tree, it is a Christmas Tree! And why is it a Christmas tree? Well, because that is what our Christian forefathers decided to call it almost 2,000 years ago. That is when they resourcefully stole it and the entire Winter Solstice Holiday from the pagans and, with nary an alteration, rechristened the wildly popular ancient holiday "The Christmas Shopping Season." They may have had it first, but we are louder!
No one understands the importance of rebranding better than we image-conscious Republicans. William Shakespeare was amusingly naïve when he suggested that a McDonald's french fry would taste just as withered, salty and cold if called a Freedom Fry. But Americans are always more observant of what something is called, rather than what it actually is. Otherwise, we would take time from work in early November for "Uncounted Gestures," rather than "Voting," Barbara Walters would be statutorily barred from referring to Teri Hatcher as "fascinating," and loyally regurgitating partisan talking points would not be called "Fair and Balanced" unless accompanied by a smirk and derisive laughter.
While I tend to pay scrupulous attention to labels in garments, the significance of other labels is not lost on even our tenaciously incurious President. After all, he was shrewd enough this week to finally repackage his long standing "Unplanned Defeat" in Iraq as a "Plan for Victory" in Iraq without changing anything other than the words on the colorful backdrop behind him.
But outside of the incidental (well, daily) $5,000/plate GOP fundraiser, our President asks for surprisingly little before agreeing to prevaricate by rote in front of large groups of people. Indeed, except for an easily digestible jingoistic catchphrase on a PowerPoint milieu, Mr. Bush's only prerequisite is a group in military uniform that asks no unvetted questions and doesn't churlishly calibrate its applause to respond to the actual content of the speech. Regrettably, the only thing more difficult to find than such a compliant prop for the President's televised speeches this Christmastime is a Republican not under criminal investigation.
This is in spite of the fact that the news from Iraq is surprisingly good. Well, it should be at those prices! Yes, as I am sure you have heard, in a felicitous effort to make Iraq more like America (a hearty Christian shout-out to Maggie "Talk To Me About the Surprisingly Cheap Price of My Opinions" Gallagher!), our government has been paying for propaganda to be featured in the Iraqi press.
Karl Rove, nimbly one barely discernible step ahead of a gaining Patrick Fitzgerald, defended the administration's extravagant policy of paying al a carte for news by saying, "When reality gives you lemons, shift enough money from covert concentration camps around to buy yourself some lemonade!"
Wishing you and your ferociously evangelical, Republican family a lovely CHRISTMAS as you open extravagant gifts, sip Swiss Miss cocoa, watch Fox News and contemplate "Whom Would Jesus Torture?" on Baby Jesus Day.
So Close to Jesus, His Brusque Christmas Shopping Has Made Me Persona non Grata at Dolce & Gabbana,
Mrs. Betty Bowers
America's Best Christian WWW.BETTYBOWERS.COM

WHY WE FIGHT !!!

Okay, look, I understand the fallacious dangers of Slippery Slopes, but dig this:
A shrewd victor will, if possible, always present his demands to the vanquished in installments. And then, with a nation that has lost its character-and this is the case of every one which voluntarily submits-he can be sure that it will not regard one more of these individual oppressions as an adequate reason for taking up arms again. The more extortions are willingly accepted in this way, the more unjustified it strikes people finally to take up the defensive against a new, apparently isolated, though constantly recurring, oppression, especially when, all in all, so much more and greater misfortune has already been borne in patient silence.
I've quoted that a lot of late, and it bears so much repeating I can't stand it. Why? Because that damned Hitler knew his shit when it came to agitprop, psychology and how der Staat can manipulate das Volk. Logic doesn't really enter into this discussion because we're talking about politics, passion and people.
Think about it. Many Jews weren't keen on leaving Germany because they figured the rampant anti-Semitism would blow over, and heck, they'd survived plenty of other storms in the past by keeping a low profile. And even as the SS pushed them closer and closer to the abyss, people thought "this is it, this is the absolute bottom." It is a pretty long way from relegating a people to particular professions, to forcing them to register and wear Yellow Stars, to putting them into ghettoes, to killing them, isn't it?
So we fight erosion of civil liberties at every turn, no matter what the justification from the State might be. That is the 'eternal vigiliance' of which Jefferson spoke. The Constitution doesn't guarantee any rights. The Senate doesn't safeguard our liberties. The President doesn't protect us. Only we the People do. Once we abdicate our responsibility to be skeptical of our government, to engage in oversight, to scrutinize its every deed, we lose that liberty we're supposed to defend.
America is not unique in the makeup of her people. We can just as easily slip into despotism as the Germans, or the Russians, or the Japanese. What makes our nation unique is the recognition by a bunch of smart folks that government can help solve problems, but it must be watched lest it become a problem. Why is it, then, that so-called conservatives don't trust the government to collect taxes to provide vital services, yet are perfectly fine with granting it the power to kill, to regulate a woman's body, to snoop in our private conversations, etc, without so much as a by-your-leave from the very people from which it derives its most basic powers?
It's astounding that the same people who boldy resisted giving an inch to the Godless Commies during the Cold War, or the Islamo-Fascists in this Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism, get right the fuck on their kneepads when Bush invokes 9/11. The same nation that rebelled against tyranny two centuries ago even in the face of total destruction now is willing to give up liberties so they can fly to grandma's house for Christmas in a bit more safety? The Framers are all spinning in their graves.
I hear the whole "what part of 'we're at war' don't you understand?" bullshit. Allow me to retort: what part of "We're America" don't you understand?
This nation survived an invasion of a superpower in the early 19th century when the country was young and rather defenseless. It survived a civil war that killed more Americans than every other war we've fought. It survived the War to End All Wars. It survived the most destructive conflict this planet has ever seen. It survived the Cold War and all its attendant small wars. And now, when faced with box cutters, we decide that our civil liberties are a burden, that the Constitution is a scrap of paper, that our ideals are quaint?
NFW. The line has been drawn. Either you are for America's ideals, or you are against them. I invite Republicans of conscience to join us, the true Patriots, and defend what this nation truly represents. If you defend Bush in any capacity, I condemn you as history will condemn you: collaborationists who refused to answer the call and stood with the real enemy.
ntodd

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

LIAR !!!!

"Secondly, there are such things as roving wiretaps. Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution." ------- GEORGE W. BUSH APRIL 20, 2004

Radical Militant Librarians and Other Dire Threats !!!

By William Rivers Pitt t r u t h o u t Perspective
Monday 19 December 2005
"When the shepherd is a wolf, the flock becomes only so much meat." - Gurney Halleck
There was an internal FBI email sent in October 2003 that speaks volumes about why our legal system has been arranged the way it has. An unnamed agent was railing via email against the Department of Justice's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review. Specifically, the agent was frustrated by OIPR's failure to deliver authorization to use Section 215 of the Patriot Act for a search. "While radical militant librarians kick us around, true terrorists benefit from OIPR's failure to let us use the tools given to us," wrote the agent.
Radical militant librarians?
Radical militant librarians?
This, right here, is why the legal system is arranged the way it is. This is why officers must obtain warrants from a judge before they can conduct a search. Even in this time of watered-down civil liberties, warrants serve a vital purpose. At a minimum, the warrant firewall keeps walleyed FBI agents with wild hairs about radical militant librarians from bulldozing through the Fourth Amendment.
The President of the United States of America, it seems, does not agree with the sentiment.
It has been widely reported that Bush personally authorized the super-secretive National Security Agency to conduct surveillance against American citizens. "The previously undisclosed decision to permit some eavesdropping inside the country without court approval," wrote the New York Times upon breaking the story, "was a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices, particularly for the National Security Agency, whose mission is to spy on communications abroad. As a result, some officials familiar with the continuing operation have questioned whether the surveillance has stretched, if not crossed, constitutional limits on legal searches."
As if this were not outrageous enough, Bush, during his weekly radio address, bluntly admitted to violating the laws governing surveillance of American citizens and the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution not once, but some thirty times. "I have reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September 11 attacks," said Bush, "and I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda and related groups."
These revelations hit Congress like a dung bomb, and caused what would likely have been an easy rubber-stamping of the renewal of the Patriot Act to go flying off the tracks and into the puckerbrush. "Disclosure of the NSA plan had an immediate effect on Capitol Hill," reported the Washington Post on Saturday, "where Democratic senators and a handful of Republicans derailed a bill that would renew expiring portions of the USA Patriot Act anti-terrorism law. Opponents repeatedly cited the previously unknown NSA program as an example of the kinds of government abuses that concerned them, while the GOP chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said he would hold oversight hearings on the issue."
The most disturbing aspect of this situation is, simply, how totally unnecessary it was. The provisions of the Patriot Act, along with several other laws, allow the administration to get warrants for the surveillance of anyone, anywhere in the country, with little trouble. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) set up a special court for the dispensation of warrants with no need for evidence or probable cause. This court has almost never denied the issuance of such warrants when asked, and said warrants are usually delivered in a matter of hours.
"Why would the President deliberately circumvent a court that was already wholly inclined to grant him domestic surveillance warrants?" asked columnist David Sirota in a recent essay. "The answer is obvious, though as yet largely unstated in the mainstream media: because the President was likely ordering surveillance operations that were so outrageous, so unrelated to the War on Terror, and, to put it in Constitutional terms, so 'unreasonable' that even a FISA court would not have granted them. This is no conspiracy theory - all the signs point right to this conclusion. In fact, it would be a conspiracy theory to say otherwise, because it would be ignoring the cold, hard facts that we already know."
Retired Air Force Lieutenant Karen Kwiatkowski, widely known for her revelations about the inner workings of the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans and its manipulation of Iraq war evidence, spent two years working at the National Security Agency. On Sunday, I asked her what the ramifications are of a President throwing aside the firewalls that have blocked governmental surveillance of citizens for the last twenty five years.
"It means we are in deep trouble," said Kwiatkowski, "deeper than most Americans really are willing to think about. The safeguards of mid-1970s were put in place by a mobilized Democratic congress in response to President Richard Nixon's perceived and actual contempt for rule of law, and the other branches of government. At that time, the idea of a sacred constitution balancing executive power with the legislative power worked to give the Congress both backbone and direction."
"Today," continued Kwiatkowski, "we have a President and administration that has out-Nixoned Nixon in every negative way, with none of the Nixon administration's redeeming attention to detail in domestic and foreign policy. It may indeed mean that the constitution has flat-lined and civil liberties will be only for those who can buy and own a legislator or a political party. We will all need to learn how to spell 'corporate state,' which for Mussolini was his favorable definition of fascism."
I asked Lt. Colonel Kwiatkowski what it all means in the end. "I believe this use of national technical means (NSA communications interceptions) against American citizens is illegal," replied Kwiatkowski, "and I hope the courts will reverse the President. This illegality and misuse of executive power matches that of both the White House Iraq Group and the Office of Special Plans, where the truth and the law were both manipulated in a myriad of ways in order to satisfy an executive desire for domination and destruction of a Ba'athist Iraq. In all of these cases, American citizens were objectified as means to an end, rather than [treated as] individuals with Creator-granted unalienable rights, safe from excessive government interference and control."
"It all points to growing DC anti-constitutionalism," continued Kwiatkowski, "and what Dr. Robert Higgs calls the growth of the warfare state. A warfare state is wholly incompatible with a constitutional Republic. In my opinion, we need to fight, resist, refuse to subsidize Washington in every way, and we must immediately begin impeachment proceedings against this particular president, not only because he has clearly earned impeachment, but in order to revive a national awareness of the intent of the Founding Fathers to circumscribe centralized state power, and their vision of a free and peaceful Republic."
Hard words - impeachment, warfare state, fascism - for a hard day in our history. King Solomon, whose words bellow from the Book of Proverbs, spoke a warning which George W. Bush may come to know ere long. "He that troubleth his own house," said the King, "shall inherit the wind."
William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books:

Interesting

All these puppets who argue about right/left ideals are fools because they have been trained to think that way ... all the while letting the real violations of freedom slip by unnoticed. I feel sorry for the children of families caught in unimportant protest because you have taught your children to argue the things that do not matter. Government does not care about making a state based or federal based religion, they do not care about left or right wing ideals. all they care about is that you find something else to argue about so they can continue going on unnoticed and under radar.
Maybe this will help... still today and after 113 years "people" still don't get it!
THE BANKERS' MANIFESTO OF 1892

We (the bankers) must proceed with caution and guard every move made, for the lower order of people are already showing signs of restless commotion. Prudence will therefore show a policy of apparently yielding to the popular will until our plans are so far consummated that we can declare our designs without fear of any organized resistance.
Organizations in the United States should be carefully watched by our trusted men, and we must take immediate steps to control these organizations in our interest or disrupt them.
At the coming Omaha convention to be held July 4, 1892, our men must attend and direct its movement or else there will be set on foot such antagonism to our designs as may require force to overcome. This at the present time would be premature. We are not yet ready for such a crisis. Capital must protect itself in every possible manner through combination (conspiracy) and legislation.
The courts must be called to our aid, debts must be collected, bonds and mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible.
When, through the process of law, the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and easily governed through the influence of the strong arm of the government applied to a central power of imperial wealth under the control of the leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. History repeats itself in regular cycles. This truth is well known among our principle men who are engaged in forming an imperialism of the world. While they are doing this, the people must be kept in a state of political antagonism.
The question of tariff reform must be urged through the organization known as the Democratic Party, and the question of protection with the reciprocity must be forced to view through the Republican Party.
By thus dividing voters, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us, except as teachers to the common herd. Thus, by discrete actions, we can secure all that has been so generously planned and successfully accomplished.
Revealed by Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr. to the U.S. Congress sometime between 1907 and 1917.
THE BANKERS’ MANIFESTO OF 1934
Capital must protect itself in every way, through combination and through legislation. Debts must be collected and loans and mortgages foreclosed as soon as possible. When through a process of law, the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and more easily governed by the strong arm of the law applied by the central power of wealth, under control of leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. This is well known among our principle men now engaged in forming an IMPERIALISM of capital to govern the world. By dividing the people we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us except as teachers of the common herd. Thus by discrete action we can secure for ourselves what has been generally planned and successfully accomplished.

Bush has committed a Federal Crime !!!!

Whether the GOP Nazis like it or not, Bush has committed an offense infinitely more egregious (look it up, moron) than Clinton getting blown in the Oval Office.He has violated the law - big time. No less than Republican Senator Arlen Spector said as much. US law clearly prohibits domestic espionage against US citizens. If the wiretaps he authorized were - in fact - justifiable, he could have gotten a court to approve them in one minute flat. But Bush doesn't think he or his coterie of sycophants should have to answer to the courts, the people, the Congress or even the American people. "How could the NY Times rat my crimes out to the American People!!!!!????"
Here's the simple fact. This guy is arrogant scum. He has broken the law on numerous occasions, from his felony DUI arrest, through his activities at Harken Energy (for which, despite the claims of his supporters, he has never been cleared.) He led us into a pointless war on a pack of lies. And now he has authorized domestic espionage in direct violation of more than one law, and the US Constitution. If the House wasn't run by a bunch of crooks (like Delay and Ney) he would be at risk for his office. Unfortunately, he seems to think that by lying to us over and over again he can make the lies true. And even more unfortunately, his policies are based on the P.T. Barnum theory that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American Public. Sadly, he is probably right.

Dear Santa W. Bush !!!

From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE...
We wrote this list one year ago. Since it apparently got "misplaced" in the White House mail room, today we re-submit it. This time, the world is watching...
Dear Santa W. Bush,
This is my Christmas wish list:
A speedy end to the Iraq war Elimination of the deficit Clean air and water A short winter A strong dollar Support for the Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act Social Security in a festively-wrapped lockbox Harsh penalties for incompetence Uniform voting machines with paper trails Osama's capture Honest answers An energy policy that makes sense A world that doesn't hate us Fair and balanced news Basic health care Stronger corporate oversight A fundamentalist Christian church that follows the Golden Rule (Note: the Mennonites are OK per Pastor Dan) FDA-approved drugs that don't cause heart attacks An end to arrogance
And since I have a snowball's chance in hell of getting any of that, I'll settle for a pack of clean underwear. I'll e-mail you my size. Since I now know you've been spying on me for the last 4 years without a warrant, I'm sure you know my underwear size already. Which reminds me: could you add impeachment to the list?
Hugs,
Bill in Portland Maine

Monday, December 19, 2005

Honor killings in the "liberated" Iraq !!!!!

What We're Fighting For

Honor killings in the "liberated" Iraq
On Wednesday's "All Things Considered," NPR correspondent Anne Garrels had a heart-rending and infuriating story out of Baghdad on the Iraqi tribal practice of "honor killing." In this medieval tradition, families who suspect that a woman among them has had sex outside of marriage -- even if she was raped -- feel honor-bound to murder her in order to save the family from disgrace. Killing a rape victim in order to preserve one's honor may sound backward to you -- as backward, say, as invading a country where there are no terrorists and then claiming you've got to stay and keep fighting because the terrorists now see the place as a central front in their war with you. Welcome to Iraq!
Garrels tells the story of Fatima, a 16-year-old who was kidnapped by unidentified assailants in West Baghdad. The kidnappers threatened to rape and kill Fatima unless her brother quit the Iraqi police force. He did, and Fatima was released, but not, Garrels says, into safety. The mere possibility that she might have been raped was enough to seal her fate. Her family couldn't live with that kind of disgrace, and in order to preserve their honor, her cousin Sarhan shot her.
Sarhan, who speaks freely and with seemingly no remorse to Garrels, is a piece of work. Listen to her report just to hear his chilling quotes: "She knew the customs, but I don't think she expected we would kill her," he tells Garrels. "She was crying. I saw in her eyes that she thought we would take her in our arms and say, 'Thank god you are safe.' But she got bullets instead."
Sarhan, a law school graduate who works as a traffic cop in the newly liberated Iraq, concedes that his actions weren't sanctioned by religion. But tribal customs require such killings, he says. "The traditions of the tribe are even stronger than religion," he says. "Islam forbids this, but our culture runs deep." To let Fatima live would have been a "catastrophe," he says. "Her life would have been hell... Her father could not raise his head in front of people. Our entire family would be destroyed."
Violence against women is just a part of life in Iraq, Sarhan says. He even admits to beating his wife with a rubber hose. "It's part of the tradition and the tribes."
NPR received many letters in response to its Garrels' report, and the ones it aired on Thursday evening go far toward describing the barbarity of the situation. The brutality, one listener wrote, "seems to reach deep beyond the heart and into the soul, where it remains like a persistent aching sorrow." Another said, "I found the story so chilling that I felt physically ill. It is hard to imagine a culture where men have such a twisted, cruel sense of power over women that they can murder without any worry of consequences. There is no honor in any country that would allow this treatment of its women."
And then there was this letter, which expressed something like hope. "How do we reconcile the fact that we are delivering aid, security and infrastructure to that part of the world, to those who to those who unabashedly kill and brutalize their girls, women and wives as a matter of traditional culture?" the listener asked. "The fact that these Iraqi values are utterly irreconcilable and absolutely contrary to American values should be the primary reason for why we are there. And we should fight to change and destroy the traditions of repulsive tribal morality."
But as Garrels' report pointed out, the large and costly American presence in Iraq is not actually doing anything to save the women there. Women's rights groups say that the new Iraqi constitution allows more repression over women than the old, Saddam government did. And do we hear American officials -- the president and his wife, who so frequently invoke women's suffering in Iraq and Afghanistan before we invaded those nations -- call on Iraqis to crack down on barbaric practices now? Not at all.
As Sarhan sees it, nothing will change these Iraqi customs. "It's a matter of generations," he says. "It's in our blood, custom and traditions."
-- Farhad Manjoo, Salon.com

Saturday, December 17, 2005

IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE !!!!

Well, it can! Sinclair Lewis published IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE in 1935. Lewis predicted of a Corporate/Fascist takeover that begins with demagogic populism and ends with armed militia, State control of the media, racism, and eventually, concentration camps and executions. IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE has a setup and a resolution. The resolution is heavy-handed-- a prediction of a type of Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia in the United States. The setup is remarkably prescient of today. Consider a few aspects of the novel: -- A President lacking in intellectual capacity but blessed with a Zelig-like ability to appear as a regular guy and everyone's drinking buddy. Sinclair wrote:"...almost illiterate, a public liar easily detected, and in his `ideas' almost idiotic...his celebrated humor the sly cynicism of a country store. . . [who would] jab his crowds with facts and figures - figures and facts that were inescapable even when, as often happened, they were entirely incorrect." Sounds like someone who misunderestimates things. -- A mysterious Presidential advisor cum puppet master, a wizard at politics and P.R. who "scientifically" builds up his candidate over seven years and then engineers the President's populist campaign, one that includes "tax reform" through the promise of painless, debt free grants of $5,000 to every American family. Hello Mr. Rove! -- A holier-than-thou Presidential advisor who engages in homosexual orgies. I guess we'll wait on this one -- but the point is that they all project the 'holier-than-thou' image. -- A blatantly pro-Christian and anti-feminist Administration that opposes the teaching of evolution. Just think of it -- teaching evolution in the schools! Taking away womens medical rights. -- A Presidential Administration dominated by Big Business and run in the name of, and for the benefit of, Big Business. Hello Haliburton! -- An evangelical Christian radio minister who commands a virtual army of followers called the League of Forgotten Men. Hello Pat Robinson! -- An administration whose first objective is to elevate the power of the Executive by simultaneously weakening the role of Congress and all but dismissing the Supreme Court. Read today's news! -- An administration that maintains complete control over information flow, asserts editorial control over the mass media, issues false and misleading pronouncements, suppresses independent reporting, and doctors its own statistics. Read today's news. Paying papers to print bulshit in Iraq. -- A mass exodus of Americans to Canada, evolving eventually into an Underground Railroad when America's borders are sealed. All today's talk of 'sealing borders' suddenly seems very ominous. Think of the the 'volunteer' border guards. -- A President surrounded by like-minded yes men, isolated by his staff from the truth, and increasingly removed from contact with ordinary citizens. The man in the bubble. -- A Presidential Administration that concocts a phony war with Mexico to create an external bogeyman and distract the citizenry from the country's true problems. Iraq. Sinclair Lewis wrote IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE seventy years ago. He was ahead of his time but he saw what could happen. IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE -- Well, it can! It is happening now. Read it. And think. And tell others. And demand impeachment of Bush and Cheny. And their conviction and imprisonment. And put all cabinet members on trial in an international court for war crimes. Impose civil fines upon them too -- (Do a web search on what's called a "1983 Action.") -- for using the 'color of law' to deny people their civil rights!

Friday, December 16, 2005

20 Things We Now Know 4 Years after 9/11

It will be four years since the awful events symbolized by the date "9/11." Time for our annual list of what we've learned from that tragedy and what followed from it.
Much new information has been revealed this year, with corroborating documents verifying aspects of the story we only surmised previously. So without further ado, below are the twenty things we now know four years after 9/11, based mainly on documented evidence found in the Bush-friendly mainstream media.A general assessment before we begin the numbered list: There now is a widely-accepted foreign and domestic judgment that the Bush Administration is composed of bumbling, dangerous, close-minded ideologues. You can see it in the polls (as I write this, Bush has only a 37% approval rating, amazingly low) and, particularly, in how many conservative/traditional Republicans and former military officers are expressing remorse at having supported this guy in the 2004 election. Bush these days still has his true-believer base of about 30%, but he's extremely vulnerable politically, which is why Rove and his minions are so desperate right now and are ratcheting up the rhetoric and smear-tactics against their political enemies. And the desperation helps us understand why Bush keeps returning to 9/11, the one talisman that he thinks still may work for him, that singular moment in his history when many Americans thought he looked good. 1. THE 9/11 ATTACK & COVERUP We know that 9/11, regardless of the degree of complicity you believe the Bush Administration was guilty of, was seized on by Bush&Co. as the event that would be used to justify all that would follow domestically and in foreign/military affairs. The evidence indicates that, at the least, the highest circles in the White House knew a spectacular attack was in the works in the days and weeks preceding 9/11 -- warnings were coming into the White House from a host of foreign leaders and intelligence agencies -- but chose to do nothing, presumably to make use of those events in the service of their hidden agenda.Similarly, nothing was done as a result of the government's own intelligence warnings. The August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing, entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.," talked about al-Qaida wanting to hit the nation's capital, preparations for airline hijackings, casing of buildings in New York, terrorists in the U.S. with explosives, etc. Bush went to ground in Texas, the FBI told Ashcroft to stop flying commercial jets, etc. The attacks finally came about a month later, and the Bush forces were ready to make their moves.The key neo-con leaders in charge of U.S. foreign/military policy (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Bolton, Perle, Khalilzad, et al.) were founders of, and affiliated with, The Project for The New American Century; in one of their key reports, they noted that the far-right should expect their revolution to take a long time, "absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event -- like a new Pearl Harbor." Enter 9/11. (See "How We Got Into This Imperial Pickle: A PNAC Primer.)The neo-cons realized that presidents enjoy enormous patriotic support during wartime, but when the war ends, those leaders lose their compelling luster, as was the case with Bush#1. Ergo, Bush#2 would become a PERMANENT wartime president, and those who opposed him could then be tarred forever with the "unpatriotic" brush, and their political opposition marginalized. And it worked: the Democrats cowered and gave Bush virtually everything he wanted, up until relatively recently, when occasionally they remember they have spines in their bodies and stand up and fight as an opposition party should. 2.OIL & THE POLITICS OF PNAC We know that after 9/11, Bush seemed to bring the entire country along with him when he launched an attack on al-Qaida and its Taliban-government supporters in Afghanistan. But there's no oil in that destitute country -- and, as Rumsfeld reminded us, not much worth bombing -- and thus no lessons could be drawn by Middle East leaders from the U.S. attack. But, as Cheney's secret energy panel was aware, there was another country in the region that did have oil, and lots of it, and could be taken easily by U.S. forces; thus Iraq became the object-lesson to other autocratic leaders in the Middle East: If you do not do our bidding, prepare to accept a massive dose of "shock&awe": You will be overthrown, replaced by democratic-looking governments as arranged by the U.S.The neo-cons -- most from PNAC and similar organizations, such as the American Enterprise Institute -- had urged Clinton to depose Saddam Hussein in 1998, but he demurred, seeing a mostly contained dictator there, whereas Osama bin Laden, and those terrorists like him, actually were successfully attacking U.S. assets inside the country and abroad.But the PNAC crowd had larger ambitions than simply toppling a brutal dictator. Among their other recommendations: "pre-emptively" attacking countries devoid of imminent danger to the U.S., abrogating agreed-upon treaties when they conflict with U.S. goals, making sure no other nation (or organization, such as the United Nations) can ever achieve power-parity with the U.S., installing U.S.-friendly governments to do America's will, using tactical nuclear weapons, and so on. All of these extreme PNAC suggestions, once regarded as lunatic, were enshrined in 2002 as official U.S. policy in the National Security Strategy of the United States of America. 3. SEXING UP THE INTEL We know that given the extreme nature of the neo-con agenda, the Bush Administration had their work cut out for them in fomenting support for an invasion and occupation of Iraq. Therefore, among the first move by Rumsfeld following 9/11 was to somehow try to connect Saddam to the terror attacks. The various intelligence agencies reported to Rumsfeld that there was no Iraq connection to 9/11, that it was an al-Qaida operation, but that was merely a bothersome impediment. Since the CIA and the other intelligence agencies would not, or could not, supply the intelligence needed to justify a war on Iraq, Rumsfeld set up his own rump intelligence agency, the Office of Special Plans, stocked it with political appointees of the PNAC persuasion, and soon was stovepiping cherry-picked raw intel straight to Cheney and others in the White House. Shortly thereafter, Cheney, Rice and others in the White House Iraq Group went big-time with the WMD scare and the melding of Saddam Hussein with the events of 9/11.Based on this sexed-up and phony intelligence, Cheney, Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld and the others began warning about mushroom clouds over the U.S., drone planes dropping biological agents over the East Coast, huge stockpiles of chemical weapons in Iraq, etc. Secretary of State Colin Powell, regarded as the most believable of the bunch, was dispatched to the United Nations to make the case, which he did, reluctantly, by presenting an embarrassingly weak litany of surmise and concocted facts. The world didn't buy it, and the opposition to the U.S. war plan was palpable and huge: 10 million citizens throughout the world hit the streets to protest, former allies publicly criticized Bush. Only Tony Blair in England eagerly hitched his wagon to the Bush war-plan with large numbers of troops dispatched -- as it turned out, over the legal, moral and political objections of many of his closest aides and advisers. 4. THE DOWNING STREET REVELATIONS We know that those advisers warned Blair that he was about to involve the U.K. in an illegal, immoral and probably unwinnable war -- which would put U.K. and U.S. troops in great danger from potential insurgent forces. How do we know about these inner workings of the Blair government? Because a few months ago, someone from inside that body leaked the top-secret minutes from those war-Cabinet meetings, the so-called Downing Street Memos.We also learned from those minutes that Bush & Blair agreed to make war on Iraq as early as the Spring of 2002 -- the intelligence, they decided, would be "fixed around the policy" to go to war -- despite their telling their legislative bodies and their citizens that no decisions had been made. In fact, the Bush Administration had decided to go to war a year before the invasion. "Fuck Saddam,? Bush told three U.S. Senators in March of 2002. "We're taking him out." 5. BUSH RACES TO WAR We know that many of Blair's most senior advisors thought the WMD argument rested on shaky ground, and that the legality of the war was in question without specific authorization from the United Nations Security Council. But the Bush Administration rushed to war anyway -- in haste because the U.N. inspectors on the ground in Iraq were not finding any WMD stockpiles -- without proper planning and with no workable plan to secure the peace and reconstruct the country after the major fighting. 6. THE BIG LIE TECHNIQUE ON WMD We know (thanks to the Downing Street Memos) that both the U.S. and U.K. were well aware that Iraq was a military paper tiger, with no significant WMD stockpiles or link to Al-Qaida and the 9/11 attacks. Nevertheless, the major thrust of Bush&Co.'s justification for going to war was based on these non-existent weapons and 9/11 links. The Big Lie Technique -- repeating the same falsehoods over and over and over -- drummed those lies into our heads day after day, month after month, with little if any skeptical analysis by the corporate mainstream media, which marched mostly in lockstep with Bush policy and thinking. Wolfowitz admitted later that they chose WMD as the primary reason for making war because they couldn't agree on anything else the citizenry would accept. But frightening people with talk of nuclear weapons, mushroom clouds, toxins delivered by drone airplanes and the like would work like a charm. And so they did, convincing the American people and Congress that an attack was justified. It wasn't. 7. PUSHING IRAQ TOWARDS IRAN We know that the real reasons for invading Iraq had precious little to do with WMD, Islamist terrorists coming from inside that country, installing democracy, and the like; there were no WMD to speak of, and Saddam, an especially vicious dictator, did not tolerate religious or political zealotry of any stripe. No, the reasons had more to do with American geopolitical goals in the region involving oil, control, support for its ally Israel, hardened military bases and keeping Iran from having free rein in the region.As it turned out, by invading and occupying Iraq, it pushed that country and Iran into a far closer religious and political alliance than would have been the case if Saddam had been permitted to remain in power. Bush may have sacrificed thousands of American dead, tens of thousands of American wounded, and more than 100,000 Iraqis as "collateral damage" -- and now Bush&Co. quietly are willing to accept an Islamist government more attuned to Teheran than to Washington, one with precious little regard for human rights, especially involving women. That is one royal FUBAR. 8. IRAQ AS A DISASTER ZONE We know that Bush's war has been a thorough disaster -- built on a foundation of lies, and incompetently managed from the start. As a result, the Occupation has provided a magnet for jihadists from other countries, billions have been wasted or lost in the corrupt system of organized corporate looting that ostensibly is designed to speed up Iraq's "reconstruction," etc. etc. Indeed, so much has Bush's war been botched that the "realists" in the Administration know they must get out as quickly as possible if they are to have any hope of exercising their considerable muscle elsewhere in the Middle East. 9. WHERE WILL THE BODIES COME FROM? We know that Bush's Middle East agenda also is suffering because the U.S. military is spread way thin in Afghanistan and Iraq, the desertion rates are high, soldiers are not re-upping at the usual clip, recruitment isn't working and illegal scams are being used to lure youngsters into signing up -- in short, there are no military forces to spare on the ground. Either a military draft will be instituted or all future attacks will have to come from air power or from missiles, which will merely deliver a message, making the bombed populations even angrier at America, and with no guarantee of success in forging U.S.-friendly "democratic" governments in Iran, Syria, et al. In short, we are witnessing the limits of imperial power in the modern world. 10. HIDING THE TRUTH FROM THE PUBLIC We know that Bush&Co. made sure that there would be no full-scale, independent investigations of their role in using and abusing the intelligence that led to war on Iraq.The Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Republican Pat Roberts, held hearings on the failures lower down the chain, namely at the CIA and FBI level, and promised there would be followup hearings on any White House manipulation of intelligence. But, election over, Roberts says no purpose would be served in launching such an investigation. Likewise, the 9/11 Commission did not delve deeply into how the Bush Administration misused its pre-9/11 knowledge. Bush sent an October 5, 2001 memo to Rumsfeld, Powell, O'Neill, Ashcroft, and the heads of the CIA and the FBI restricting their talking to Congress about 9/11 and other "national-security" matters; the only Democrats who could receive these "sensitive" briefings -- meaning they were forbidden to make them public -- were the Senate and House Minority Leaders, and the ranking members of the Intelligence Committees. Nobody else was to be in the loop. In short, this secretive administration made sure that everything was done to head off at the pass any investigations whatsoever. Cheney and Bush told the minority and majority leaders in Congress that there should be no 9/11 hearings, for "national security" reasons. Bush&Co. fought tooth and nail against an independent 9/11 Commission, and against the families who pushed for it. 11. THE ROAD TO DICTATORSHIP We know that Bush has no great love of legitimate democratic processes, certainly not inside the United States. He much prefers to rule as an oligarch, but to do that, he had to invent legal justifications that granted him the requisite power. So he had his longtime lawyer-toady, Alberto Gonzales, devise a legal philosophy that permits Bush to do pretty much what he wants -- ignore laws on the books, disappear U.S. citizens into military prisons, authorize torture, etc. -- whenever Bush says he's acting as "commander-in-chief" during "wartime."And, since "wartime" is the amorphous "war on terrorism," from which there is no end, Bush is home free. There always will be terrorists trying to do anti-U.S. damage somewhere around the globe, or inside America, and the "commander-in-chief" will need to respond. Ergo, goes this logic, Bush is above the law, untouchable, in perpetuity. (Bush&Co. also made sure that U.S. officials and military troops would not be subject to indictment by any international court or war-crimes tribunal.)Neither Gonzales, nor Bush, has disavowed this legal philosophy of a dictator-like President being beyond the reach of the law. No doubt, the issue ultimately will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, to which Bush has nominated Judge John Roberts, who would be the key swing vote. Roberts, as author Chris Floyd has noted, recently upheld Bush's sovereign right to dispose of "enemy combatants" any way he pleases. In a chilling decision, the appeals panel, of which Roberts was a member, ruled that the Commander-in-Chief's arbitrarily-designated "enemies" are non-persons, with no legal rights. Bush now feels free to subject anyone he likes to the "military tribunal" system he has concocted.The fact that Roberts did not recuse himself from ruling on this issue while he was in the process of being interviewed for the Supreme Court appointment by the employer being sued in the case, would seem to be an open-and-shut case of conflict-of-interest. If the Democrats have any balls, this egregious ethical lapse should serve as an "extraordinary" reason for a filibuster of his nomination. 12. TORTURE AS OFFICIAL STATE POLICY We know that Gonzales, then Bush's White House Counsel, and Pentagon lawyers beholden to Rumsfeld, devised legal rationales that make torture of suspects official state policy. These Bush-loyalist lawyers also greatly widened the definition of what is acceptable interrogation practice -- basically anything this side of death or terminally abusing internal organs. They also authorized the sending of key suspects to countries specializing in extreme torture. After all this, Bush and Rumsfeld professed shock, shock!, that those under their command would wind up torturing, abusing and humiliating prisoners in U.S. care. But the Administration made sure to stop all inquiries into higher-up responsibility for the endemic torture. The buck never stops on Bush's desk -- if something goes wrong (and he never will admit to mistakes), it's always someone else's fault. 13. MAKING THE BILL OF RIGHTS "QUAINT" We know that the Bush Administration has been able to obtain whatever legislation it needs in its self-proclaimed "war on terror" by utilizing, and hyping, the understandable fright of the American people. The so-called Patriot Act -- composed of many honorable initiatives, and many clearly unconstitutional provisions, cobbled together from those submitted over the years by GOP hardliners and rejected as too extreme by Congress -- was presented almost immediately to a House and Senate frightened by the 9/11 attacks and by the anthrax introduced into their chambers by someone still not discovered. Ridge and Ashcroft emerged periodically to manipulate the public's fright by announcing another "terror" threat, based on "credible" but unverified evidence; Ridge, who has since resigned, recently admitted that there were no good reasons for many of those supposed "alerts." Meanwhile, Congress (shame on you, Democrats!) recently made most of the Patriot Act laws permanent! Unless those can be repealed, that vote will be a nail into the coffin housing the remains of the Bill of Rights. 14. THE OUTING OF COVERT AGENTS The Bush Administration, for its own crass political reasons, compromised American national security by outing two key intelligence operatives -- one, CIA agent Valerie Plame, who had important contacts in the shadowy world of weapons of mass destruction (outed by "senior Administration officials," apparently in retaliation for her husband's political comments); revealing the identity of a CIA agent can be a felony. The other, apparently to show off how successful they were in their anti-terrorism hunt, was a high-ranking mole close to bin Laden's inner circle, who could have kept the U.S. informed as to ongoing and future plans of al-Qaida. That's our war-on-terrorism government at work.It's now clear who at least two of the "senior administration officials" were who leaked Plame's identity: Karl Rove, Bush's guru, now deputy chief of staff, and I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's chief of staff. Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald is expected to unseal indictments in this case sometime this Fall that either could focus narrowly on perjury involving Plame's outing, or could be expanded to the broader issue of the manipulative lies emanating from the machinations of the White House Iraq Group (Cheney/Libby, Rove, Card, Rice, Hadley, Hughes, Matalin, et al.) in taking this nation to war. It is possible that Bush and Cheney and Bolton, among others, could be charged or listed an unindicted co-conspirators. 15. PROTECTING THE VOTE We know that America's voting-machine system -- and more importantly, vote-counting system -- is corruptible and likely has been corrupted. Sophisticated statistical analysis along with wide-scale exit-polling, suggests strongly that the 2004 election results were fiddled with by the private companies that tally the votes. These companies are owned by far-right Republican supporters. But the same objection would be lodged if Democrats owned the companies. There are no good reasons to "outsource" vote-counting to private corporations -- who refuse to permit inspection of their proprietary software, and whose technicians have behaved suspiciously on election nights in 2000 in Florida, in 2002 in Georgia, and in Ohio and Florida in 2004. And we haven't even mentioned the GOP dirty-tricks department whose function has been, by hook or by crook, to lower the number of potential Democrat voters, especially minority voters. Note: Unless the vote-counting system can be changed soon -- and the vote-tallying scandal will not be adequately dealt with by voter-verified receipts -- the integrity of our elections will be suspect into the far future. Even if all the other reforms were implemented, they would mean nothing without the guarantee of honest elections. 16. NO ECONOMIC PLAN We know that the Bush Administration paid off its backers (and itself) by giving humongous tax breaks, for 10 years out, to the already wealthy and to large corporations. In addition, corporate tax-evasion was made easier via offshore listings. All this was done at a time when the U.S. economy was in recessionary doldrums and when the treasury deficit from those tax-breaks was growing even larger from Iraq war costs. So far as we know, the Bush Administration has no plans for how to retire that debt and no real plan (other than the discredited "trickle-down" theory) for restarting the economy and creating well-paying jobs for skilled workers, so many of whom have had their positions outsourced to foreign lands. 17. STARVING THE GOVERNMENT We know that the HardRight conservatives who control Bush policy don't really care what kind of debt and deficits their policies cause; in some ways, the more the better. They want to decimate and starve popular social programs from the New Deal/Great Society eras, including, most visibly, Head Start, Social Security, Medicare (and real drug coverage for seniors), student loans, welfare assistance, public education, etc. (Especially egregious is the education scam known as "No Child Left Behind.") Since these programs are so well-approved by the public, the destruction will be carried out stealthily with the magic words "privatization," "deregulation," "choice" and so on, and by going to the public and saying that they'd love to keep the programs intact but they have no alternative but to cut them, given the deficit, weak economy and "anti-terrorist" wars abroad. Bush's whirlwind tour trying to sell his Social Security "reform" plan has backfired badly, but he's still pushing a good many of those ideas, just in case he can slip it in somewhere, maybe by tying it somehow to Saddam Hussein and 9/11. 18. THE ENVIRONMENTAL GIVEAWAY We know that Bush environmental policy -- dealing with air and water pollution, mineral extraction, national parks, and so on -- is an unmitigated disaster, giving pretty much free rein to corporations whose bottom line does better when they don't have to pay attention to the public interest. It's the worst sort of grab-the-money-and-run scenario. 19. THE GREED OF POLITICAL POWER We know from "insider" memoirs and reports by former Bush Administration officials -- Joseph DeIulio, Paul O'Neill, Richard Clarke, et al. -- that the public interest plays little role in the formulation of policy inside the Bush Administration. The motivating factors are mainly greed and ideological control and remaining in political power. Further, they say, there is little or no curiosity to think outside the political box, or even to hear other opinions. 20. FAITH- OR REALITY-BASED PROGRAMS We know that this attitude ("my mind is made up, don't bother me with the facts") shows up most openly in how science is disregarded by the Bush Administration (good example: global warming) in favor of faith-based thinking. Some of this non-curiosity about reality may be based in fundamentalist religious, even Apocalyptic, beliefs. Much of Bush's bashing of science is designed as payback to his fundamentalist base, but the scary part is that a good share of the time he actually believes what he's saying, about evolution vs. intelligent-design, stem-cell research, abstinence education, censoring the rewriting of government scientific reports that differ from the Bush party line, cutbacks in research&development grants for the National Science Foundation, etc., ad nauseum. This closed-mind attitude helps explain, on a deeper level, why things aren't working out in Iraq. AMERICA OR GERMANY IN THE '30s? In sum (although we could continue forever detailing the crimes and misdemeanors of this corrupt, incompetent Administration), we know that more and more the permanent-war policy abroad and police-state tactics at home (the shredding of Constitutional rights designed to protect citizens from a potential repressive government) are taking us into a kind of American fascism domestically and an imperial foreign policy overseas. All aspects of the American polity are infected with the militarist Know-Nothingism emanating from the top, with governmental and vigilante-type crackdowns on protesters, dissent, free speech, freedom of assembly, etc. happening regularly on both the local and federal levels. More and more, America is resembling Germany in the early 1930s, group pitted against group while the central government amasses more and more power and control of its put-upon citizens.Bush has had a rough first year of his second term. It's as if the public blinders are starting to come off, and the true nature of this man and his regime are finally starting to hit home and he is seen for what he is: an insecure, arrogant, dangerous, dry-drunk bully who is endangering U.S. national interests abroad with his reckless war in Iraq, his wrecking of the U.S. economy at home, and with his over-reaching in all areas.If a Democrat president and vice president had behaved similarly to Bush and Cheney, they'd have been in the impeachment dock in a minute. If the Plame-Iraq indictments come down as expected, a momentum for impeachment of Bush and Cheney will be generated.Our job now is to keep that political momentum building to get rid of these guys, while we try to organize a pro-democracy, anti-imperialist movement for change in this country that is inclusive, non-dogmatic, and capable of winning elections. That may or may not involve the Democratic Party.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Congressman Dingell YOU ROCK !!!!

Congressman John D. Dingell (MI-15) recited the following poem on the floor of the US House of Representatives concerning House Resolution 579, which expressed the sense of the House of Representatives that the symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected. “Preserving Christmas” has been a frequent topic for conservative talk show hosts, including Fox News’s Bill O'Reilly.

Twas the week before Christmas and all through the House
No bills were passed ‘bout which Fox News could grouse;
Tax cuts for the wealthy were passed with great cheer,
So vacations in St. Barts soon would be near;

Katrina kids were nestled all snug in motel beds,
While visions of school and home danced in their heads;
In Iraq our soldiers needed supplies and a plan,
Plus nuclear weapons were being built in Iran;

Gas prices shot up, consumer confidence fell;
Americans feared we were on a fast track to…well…
Wait--- we need a distraction--- something divisive and wily;
A fabrication straight from the mouth of O’Reilly

We can pretend that Christmas is under attack
Hold a vote to save it--- then pat ourselves on the back;
Silent Night, First Noel, Away in the Manger
Wake up Congress, they’re in no danger!

This time of year we see Christmas every where we go,
From churches, to homes, to schools, and yes…even Costco;
What we have is an attempt to divide and destroy,
When this is the season to unite us with joy

At Christmas time we’re taught to unite,
We don’t need a made-up reason to fight
So on O’Reilly, on Hannity, on Coulter, and those right wing blogs;
You should just sit back, relax…have a few egg nogs!

‘Tis the holiday season: enjoy it a pinch
With all our real problems, do we honestly need another Grinch?

So to my friends and my colleagues I say with delight,
A merry Christmas to all,
and to Bill O’Reilly…Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Georgie Admits Intel was Wrong !!!

Let's be honest here. The American people wouldn't have sanctioned this "democracy" at the end of a gun if that is how Bush and his merry band of Banana Republicans sold it in the first place. We are not nation builders. They stated Hussein/Iraq were a CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER to the United States of America. Mushrooms Clouds ring a bell ??? WMD ????? Saddam/911 tie ???? With countries like Iran and North Korea who have nuclear capabilities we practice diplomacy. Why is that - when in reality they are a CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER. So what gives. It's because they knew damn well Iraq had no such capabilities. This war was for war profiteers. Oil men, weapons manufacturers, etc. This has nothing to do with spreading "democracy". That's just one of the many illusions spun to justify this illegal action. Why would this bunch of crooks and liars give a damn what happens in the future to this country. They'll be dead. It's other kids and grandkids and their kids that will be paying for this. Cutting social programs to pay for Katrina is the latest line of shit. Eventually what we are seeing in the news regarding France and Australia will be soon coming this way. Anarchy. ANARCHY. A N A R C H Y. You keep your foot on the neck of someone for too long - when they eventually stand up all hell breaks loose.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

War on Terror ?

Please answer the following: If we are fighting a "War on Terror" then why isn't George H. W. Bush, a man who gave money, weapons and military training to Osama Bin Laden - murderer of 3,000 Americans, in jail? If we are fighting a "War on Terror" then why isn't Dick Cheney, the man who gave Saddam Hussein those weapons of mass destruction that he used on his own people, in prison with George H.W. Bush? You have chosen Iraq as the battleground for your war on terror. Why Iraq over El Salvador or Venezuela or even Mexico, places where terrorist organizations carry out kidnappings and murders on a weekly basis? Since you have chosen to fight your "war on terror" in Iraq, how does this impede terrorist organizations such as the Tamil Tigers, Shining Path, the Basque Fatherland, the KKK, Hamas, and the IRA from committing terrorist acts in our country, their own countries and elsewhere?If fighting your "war on terror" in Iraq, will not stop these other terrorist groups from terrorist acts outside Iraq, then why are we in Iraq? If fighting your "war on terror" in Iraq will not stop these other terrorist groups from terrorist acts outside Iraq, are you going to ask these groups to move to Iraq so you can fight them? How will you get them to go to Iraq if they refuse? How does fighting your "war on terror" in Iraq impede homegrown American terrorists such as Eric Rudolph, Timothy McVeigh, the Unabomber, and the guys who put Anthrax in our mail? If your "war on terror" has absolutely no effect at all on all these other terrorist groups and individual terrorists, than isn't your "war on terror" a bit of a joke? Isn't it wrong to expect our troops to sacrifice their lives for your joke of a "war on terror"?

Monday, December 05, 2005

WAG THE GOD !!!

Ah the "Christmas" season is upon us. Time for the religious "reich" to try a new/old spin on further dividing this country. This is an excellent piece. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/04/opinion/04sun3.html?ex=1291352400&en=a1c182d0265392e3&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

This Fox funded "War on Christmas" is quite something. I've seen some video clips on Crooks and Liars.com that pretty much sum up the lengths these asshats will go to. Millions of people living below the poverty line, and this is the most important thing these guys can talk about? Global warming, a dysfunctional democracy, obesity at record levels, education standards falling, unaffordable health care, rampant social and financial inequity, fracturing families, increasing social dislocation, falling standards on pollution controls, an illegal war, corruption at all levels of government - and this is the most important thing to talk about? The house is burning, and they're concerned that the neighbours might not use the word Christmas to describe their holiday ornaments? Its beyond belief. Anything to avoid having to face the real issues. The amazing thing is that the Freepers come up with this stuff to roll out to their 'base' - with a base like that, what bloody hope is there? That's why God gave us his only begotten son -- to slander those that stand up for the poor and want peace on earth...maybe its time Jesus got a new agent...

9/11 REPORT GIVES BUSH DAVIDIANS ALOT OF F'S

Why should 2005 be any different then 2001 ?
Remember wag the DOG? Sure you do. That's what the Republicans were saying when Clinton tried to go after Bin Laden. Now educate yourself below: 14 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES GAVE ADVANCE WARNINGS OF 9/11 ATTACKS , AND WERE IGNORED BY BUSH & CO. Under President Clinton: -- Developed the nation's first anti-terrorism policy, and appointed first national coordinator of anti-terrorist efforts.--Stopped cold the Al Qaeda millennium bombing plot.--Stopped cold the planned attack to kill the Pope--Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up 12 U.S. jetliners simultaneously--Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up UN Headquarters--Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up FBI Headquarters--Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up the Israeli Embassy in Washington--Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up Boston airport--Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up Lincoln and Holland Tunnels in NY--Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up the George Washington Bridge--Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up the US Embassy in Albania-- Tried to kill Osama bin Laden and disrupt Al Qaeda through preemptive strikes (efforts denounced by the G.O.P.).-- Brought perpetrators of first World Trade Center bombing and CIA killings to justice.-- Did not blame Bush I administration for first World Trade Center bombing even though it occurred 38 days after they had left office. Instead, worked hard, even obsessively -- and successfully -- to stop future terrorist attacks.--Named the Hart-Rudman commission to report on nature of terrorist threats and major steps to be taken to combat terrorism.-Clinton sent legislation to Congress to TIGHTEN AIRPORT SECURITY. (Remember, this is before 911) The legislation was defeated by the Republicans because of opposition from the airlines. -Clinton sent legislation to Congress to allow for BETTER TRACKING OF TERRORIST FUNDING. It was defeated by Republicans in the Senate because of opposition from banking interests.-Clinton sent legislation to Congress to add tagents to explosives, to allow for BETTER TRACKING OF EXPLOSIVES USED BY TERRORISTS. It was defeated by the Republicans because of opposition from the NRA.-Clinton increased the military budget by an average of 14 per cent, reversing the trend under Bush I. -Clinton tripled the budget of the FBI for counterterrorism and doubled overall funding for counterterrorism-Clinton detected and destroyed cells of Al Qaeda in over 20 countries-Clinton created national stockpile of drugs and vaccines including 40 million doses of smallpox vaccine. -Of Clinton's efforts says Robert Oakley, Reagan Ambassador for Counterterrorism: "Overall, I give them very high marks" and "The only major criticism I have is the obsession with Osama"-Paul Bremer, current Civilian Administrator of Iraq disagrees slightly with Robert Oakley as he believed the Clinton Administration had "correctly focused on bin Laden.-Barton Gellman in the Washington Post put it best, "By any measure available, Clinton left office having given greater priority to terrorism than any president before him" and was the "first administration to underatake a systematic anti-terrorist effort" Here, in stark contrast, is part of the Bush-Cheney anti-terrorism record before September 11, 2001:-- Backed off Clinton administration's anti-terrorism efforts.-- Shelved Hart-Rudman report.-- Appointed new anti-terrorism task force under Dick Cheney. Group did not even meet before 9/11.-- Called for cuts in anti-terrorism efforts by the Department of Defense-- Gave no priority to anti-terrorism efforts by Justice Department.-- Ignored warnings from Sandy Berger and Louis Freeh about the urgency of terrorist threats.-- Halted Predator drone tracking of Osama bin Laden.-- Did nothing in wake of August 6 C.I.A. report to president saying Al Qaeda attack by hijack of an airliner almost certain.----Now we've got Bush knowing about the terrorists plans, and the fact that they were in flight schools in the US, and little georgie takes a four week vacation..-- By failing to order any coordination of intelligence data, missed opportunity to stop the 9/11 plot as Clinton-Gore had stopped the millennium plot.--Blamed Clinton for 9/11.--In the meantime, his father was working for bin Laden's family business. "Wall St Journal: Bush SR in Business With bin Laden Conglomerate" CARLYLE GROUP, Washington DC

Sunday, December 04, 2005

PSEUDO WAR ON CHRISTMAS!!!!

You know, I've always admired Jews and Muslims because they've kept their holidays "holy." Unlike Christmas - Ramadan, Passover, Yom Kippur, etc. haven't changed much over the centuries. Let's face it folks, the only way anyone can "take the Christ out of Christmas" is if the Christians allow it. And they've been doing it for years. The notion that it is somehow the fault of non-Christians that Christmas has become neutered is ludicrous. In America, Christians are driving the bus, while other religious folks and the nasty secularists are in the back with Rosa. They managed to stop Sunday mail service a long time ago with a religious campaign to force the federal government to observe the Sabbath. Betcha didn't know mail used to be delivered on Sundays, huh?They managed to get the words "Under God" placed in the Pledge of Allegiance with a religious campaign to force the federal government and school children everywhere to acknowledge God. Betcha didn't know the Pledge didn't have those words until 1954, did ya? They managed to change the official motto of our country to "In God We Trust" with a religious campaign to force the federal government to put that phrase on our currency. FYI, until 1956, our motto was "E Pluribus Unum," which is latin for "out of many, one."They've even managed to figure out a way to have all our taxes support evangelism, through the "God told me to" actions of President Bush. Right now, there's a concerted effort by very rich and powerful Christian groups (Focus on the Family, Christian Coalition, etc.) to destroy any notion of "separation of church and state," and to impose "Christian" values on our society. It is working on some level, as indicated by the aforementioned "faith based initiatives," the force-feeding of "abstinence only" sex education in schools, and the all-out assault on the teaching of Evolution. Even if there were a determined, concerted attempt by "secularists" to remove any mention of Christianity from public life (and there isn't), it could not possibly succeed. If it did, then it could only do so if these powerful Christian groups DID NOTHING. It could only succeed if the vast majority of Christians in this country ALLOWED IT to succeed. Christians are the ones taking Christ out of Christmas. They're the only ones who can, because at the end of the day, THEY OWN IT. But most American Christians are so caught up in the orgy of consumerism and self-indulgence that lasts from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day that they quite obviously don't fucking care if the sign at Wal Mart says "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays."Ever see any Ramadan cards for sale at Hallmark? Ever buy anyone a gift for Yom Kippur or Passover? No. Why? Because unlike Christians, Jews and Muslims take ownership of their holy days and haven't allowed them to be diluted by pagan influences or spoiled by greed. Christians: replacing "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays" isn't anyone else's fault because YOU'RE THE ONES DOING IT. Don't boycott Target or any store that doesn't say "Merry Christmas," BOYCOTT THE WHOLE SHEBANG. Don't go shopping. Don't give another dollar to ANY retailer who uses Christmas as an excuse to sell stuff. Don't have a tree, don't put up lights around your house, and don't take your kids to see Santa at the mall because NONE OF THAT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH CHRIST. Now, either put the credit card down and start actually celebrating your holy day, or shut the hell up!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

FASCISM !!! Just another reminder...

Fascism (n) <>A system of government that exercises
a dictatorship of the extreme right,
typically through the merging of state and business leadership,
together with belligerent nationalism.

WHO SERVED

A list of the military service records of Democratic Legislators (who are often labeled in the rightwing press as "Un-American") compared to the military service records of Republican legislators and members of the present administration. The latter are those gentlemen directing our war policies! Military Service Records, Democrats:* Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.* David Bonior: Staff Sgt., Air Force 1968-72.* Tom Daschle: 1st Lt., Air Force SAC 1969-72.* Al Gore: enlisted Aug. 1969; sent to Vietnam Jan. 1971 as an army journalist in 20th Engineer Brigade.* Bob Kerrey: Lt. j.g. Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam.* Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-47; Medal of Honor, WWII.* John Kerry: Lt., Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V, Purple Hearts.* Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt., Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea.* Max Cleland: Captain, Army 1965-68;Silver Star & Bronze Star, Vietnam.* Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-53.* Tom Harkin: Lt., Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.* Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91.* Fritz Hollings: Army officer in WWII; Bronze Star and seven campaign ribbons.* Leonard Boswell: Lt. Col., Army 1956-76; Vietnam, DFCs, Bronze Stars,andSoldier's Medal.* Pete Peterson: Air Force Captain, POW. Purple Heart,Silver Star and Legion of Merit.* Mike Thompson: Staff sergeant, 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart.* Bill McBride: Candidate for Fla. Governor. Marine in Vietnam; Bronze Starwith Combat V.* Gray Davis: Army Captain in Vietnam, Bronze Star.* Pete Stark: Air Force 1955-57 * Chuck Robb: Vietnam* Howell Heflin: Silver Star* George McGovern: Silver Star & DFC during WWII.* Bill Clinton: Did not serve. Student deferments. Entered draft butreceived #311.* Jimmy Carter: Seven years in the Navy.* Walter Mondale: Army 1951-1953* John Glenn: WWII and Korea; six DFCs and Air Medal with 18 Clusters.* Tom Lantos: Served in Hungarian underground in WWII. Saved by Raoul Wallenberg. Republicans (and these are the guys sending our kids to war):* Dick Cheney: did not serve. Five deferments, the last by marriage.* Dennis Hastert: did not serve.* Tom Delay: did not serve.* Roy Blunt: did not serve.* Bill Frist: did not serve.* Mitch McConnell: did not serve.* Rick Santorum: did not serve.* Trent Lott: did not serve.* John Ashcroft: did not serve. Seven deferments to teach business.* Jeb Bush: did not serve.* Karl Rove: did not serve.* Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. "Bad knee." The man who attacked MaxCleland's patriotism.* Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.* Vin Weber: did not serve.* Richard Perle: did not serve.* Douglas Feith: did not serve.* Eliot Abrams: did not serve.* Richard Shelby: did not serve.* John Kyl: did not serve.* Tim Hutchison: did not serve.* Christopher Cox: did not serve.* Newt Gingrich: did not serve.* Don Rumsfeld: served in Navy (1954-57) as flight instructor.* George W. Bush: failed to complete his six-year National Guard; got assigned to Alabama so he could campaign for family friend running for U.S. Senate; failed to show up for required medical exam.* Ronald Reagan: due to poor eyesight, served in a non-combat role makingmovies.* B-1 Bob Dornan: Consciously enlisted after fighting was over in Korea.* Phil Gramm: did not serve.* John McCain: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross.* Dana Rohrabacher: did not serve.* John M. McHugh: did not serve.* JC Watts: did not serve.* Jack Kemp: did not serve. "Knee problem," although continued in NFL for 8years.* Dan Quayle: Journalism unit of the Indiana National Guard.* Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.* George Pataki: did not serve.* Spencer Abraham: did not serve.* John Engler: did not serve.* Lindsey Graham: National Guard lawyer.* Arnold Schwarzenegger: AWOL from Austrian army base.
* Justice Roberts, did not serve
* Judge Alito, did not serve
* Harriet Miers, did not serve
* Scooter Libby, did not serve
* Jean Schmidt, did not serve
* Republican Guards--Crawford Unit, did not serve Pundits & Preachers* Sean Hannity: did not serve.* Rush Limbaugh: did not serve (4-F with a 'pilonidal cyst.')* Bill O'Reilly: did not serve.* Michael Savage: did not serve.* George Will: did not serve.* Chris Matthews: did not serve.* Paul Gigot: did not serve.* Bill Bennett: did not serve.* Pat Buchanan: did not serve.* Bill Kristol: did not serve.* Kenneth Starr: did not serve.* Antonin Scalia: did not serve.* Clarence Thomas: did not serve.* Ralph Reed: did not serve.* Michael Medved: did not serve.* Charlie Daniels: did not serve.* Ted Nugent: did not serve.-->