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Preview: A Proud Liberal

A Proud Liberal



If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil right



Updated: 2015-07-09T07:26:09.353-07:00

 



SOUR KOOL-AID

2009-02-20T02:00:23.170-07:00

SOUR KOOL-AIDI admit freely that I drank from the Democratic/Obama Kool-Aid punch bowl. The taste of that Kool-Aid has now soured beyond the point of drinkability. Make no mistake; the Bush/McCain/Republican punch bowl was much more than soured, it was pure poison. Two things since Obama took office have totally soured my taste for the Democratic/Obama Kool-Aid. The first and most damaging is the commitment of the administration to send an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan. The second is the watered down and probably ineffective "Stimulus Package." I will now examine each of these in detail and why I think the "Glimmer of Hope" that was Obama is now a "Candle in the Wind."The "wars" in Iraq and Afghanistan are myth, public relations fabrications. They are NOT wars. They are invasions and occupations of over matched sovereign countries. The war mongering Right has been allowed to define these illegal and immoral actions in terms that sound patriotic and reasonable. The talking pinheads of the Right abuse the term "Liberal" constantly by characterizing Obama has being a radical Liberal. They have skewed the perceived middle point so far to the right, that traditional Conservatives like Barry Goldwater seem to be radical Liberals. President Obama is no Liberal and the sending of additional troops to Afghanistan is the most obvious proof.He claims to have been against the Iraqi invasion from the beginning and I take him at his word so far, watching to see if the withdrawals from Iraq happen in a timely fashion. The continuation of construction of permanent bases within Iraq however has raised my level of skepticism. My first active participation in a presidential race was in 1972, with George McGovern running against Tricky Dick Nixon. I abhorred the killing and dying in Vietnam and the rest of Southeast Asia. Today I abhor the killing and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan even more, if that is possible. The best and most patriotic of our young people have died and are dying for no good reason. We as a country have enough blood of innocents, in all three countries, on our hands to rival the atrocities of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. We have failed to learn from history and the death toll keeps rising. We have seen the face of evil and it stares back from our mirrors.When Bush/Cheney took office, the country had a surplus and there was a lot of talk of what to do with the "Peace Dividend." Tax cuts were the favorite of the Right because they no longer wanted the "free loading poor" putting their hands out. Never mind the radical overhaul to the Welfare System that took place under Clinton. Then 9/11/2001 occurred. All talk of a Peace Dividend disappeared and the drums of war began to beat loudly. Strangely though, the tax cuts for the rich and corporations stayed with us. The Right proceeded to tax less and spend more. They proved to have no basic arithmetic skills except lining their own bank accounts. The recipe for the ultimate distraction was put into place. We are now faced with economic troubles that may rival the Great Depression of 1920's and 1930's.We have had tax cuts since Reagan took office in 1981. There is some evidence that for the short term they might help but in the long term they have failed to stave off longer and deeper recessions. Despite being elected with a firm mandate, Obama proposed a Stimulus Package that was flawed through compromise from the beginning. The results of making a third of his package tax cuts were the votes of three Republican Senators and NO Republican Representatives. Comparable money spent to bail out bankers and stockbrokers passed Congress without the same need to compromise. The rich were protected while the poor and middle class were screwed again.People are worried about their homes, their next paycheck and even their next meal. They don't want to be bothered by the killing, dying and waste of Iraq and Afghanistan. The sleight of hand of keeping the economy in the forefront while the killing and dying continue is despicable. We are in thi[...]



Let the Healing Begin

2009-01-21T00:12:52.884-07:00

Let the Healing Begin

The day many of us feared that would never come has happened; George W. "War Chimp and Criminal" Bush has finally left office. The stench that has permeated the White House and the Office of President for the past eight years is now residing in Texas. How long will it take to reverse the multitude of crimes and wrongs perpetrated by this crime organization? The honest answer is infinity. The lives of over a million Iraqis and Afghans can never be restored or fully compensated. The squandering of nearly 5000 American service personnel's lives is unforgivable and irreversible. The uncounted thousands of Americans permanently disabled cannot ever be justified.

There seems to be widespread sentiment to let these actions go unaccounted. We as Americans must never forget these things were done in our name. To let this cancer fester on the American body politic is just plain wrong. My friends at UNKNOWN NEWS sell a bumper sticker that states: Their blood is on the hands of those who lied, those who spread the lies, and those who voted for the liars. For any healing to begin in earnest requires an accounting of the crimes of the War Chimp's cabal. When a patient undergoes surgery for cancer, the surgeon endeavors to cut out the entire cancer mass so the patient can begin the road to recovery. Such is the case here. We must root out ALL those who broke the law and bring them to justice. Anything less would just leave the cancer in place to continue growing.

Prior to the inauguration of President Obama, I had a countdown clock on my blog sites showing the time left for the War Chimp's time in office. I have replaced that clock with a count-up clock showing the amount of time he has gone without persecution for his crimes. I fear this clock may still be ticking when I'm dead and buried. I pray it won't be, if my country has any chance of truly healing and getting on the road of recovery.



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Liars and Promises

2008-11-23T20:08:41.364-07:00

Liars and PromisesI spent some time with my eighty year old father yesterday. He is retired and spends much of his time watching the cable news channels. I never watch these channels or listen to the talking pinheads on them or conservative talk radio. He made me aware of their new chosen tactic of undermining Obama's presidency even before he takes the oath of office. They are doing this by posing the following question: What promises will Obama try to keep?Some may think this is an appropriate thing to ask of any president elect. That thought should last for nanoseconds when one considers the source of this question and their agenda. This is the same group of lying jackals that declared Bill Clinton a failure before he was sworn in. They are masters of framing the arguments to suit their intended outcome without discussing anything approaching reality. Their unstated insidious assumption is that Obama will never keep all his promises because they have deemed it impossible or worse yet, they have decided or hope that Obama is just another lying politician. They are at the end of a twenty-eight year period where lying and/or stupidity or both have become the fashionable norm for our president.The real answer to this question would astound these liars in its simplicity: All of them. Nearly 68 million voters cast their vote for Obama making this assumption, close to 9 million more than his opponent. To put this in historical context, no presidential candidate received 9 million votes in total until Woodrow Wilson was reelected in 1916. Many of those 68 million voters, I among them, felt the promises did not go far enough. We all voted for change including the assumption that the lying and the just plain criminality of the last eight years needed to end.Our country is deeply divided. The last time we were this deeply divided was during the election cycle of 1860. That resulted in the Civil War, the single seminal event of our country's history. Before that war the United States was referred to with plural references such as "the United States are," since the references are in the singular such as "the United States is." Obama has so far done some astounding things but the one of the most astounding is the idea of appointing Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. I admit that initially I was against this action but after further thought, I have come to believe this is very Lincoln-like. When Lincoln took office, he formed a cabinet that included many political rivals. This type of action goes back to Obama's choice of Biden as running mate, a former opponent in the primaries.Our country is in deep economic trouble. The last time we were this deeply in economic trouble was the election cycle of 1932. Many of the programs and regulations that helped dig us out of that crisis have been systematically dismantled over the last twenty-eight years. It is not mere coincidence that we are again on the brink of another Great Depression. My father remembers living through the Great Depression. To quote him, "The bastards have done it again."Most are suffering because of this division and hardship. Very few are prospering as result of this suffering. Among those that prosper are the liars that are promoting the idea Obama can't possibly succeed. Their vested interested is in seeing Obama fail. They are not the loyal opposition, they are just the opposition. Their loyalties are to their bank accounts and those that fill them. They have convinced far too many to vote against their own best interests with their lies. It is past time to tell them if they can't be loyal to the country, to shut up and go away. The Big Lie has been "Government is the Problem." This must be vanquished to rhetoric Hell, for "a Government of the People, for the People, and by the People," is our singular hope.Permanent Backlink to Posthttp://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping[...]



Keeping the Glimmer of Hope

2008-11-10T22:43:54.997-07:00

Keeping the Glimmer of HopeBarack Obama is the president-elect. We now have a glimmer of hope. We might even become optimistic if given a chance. If the last twenty-eight years have shown us anything, it is how fragile hope is. We are at the bottom of a long steep tunnel. The cynical and pessimistic side of us fears that glimmer of light at the end of tunnel is the headlight from the NeoCon freight train ready run us further into the ground. Make no mistake, they have been in power for a long time and the only way to assure they won't steal it back is to succeed with all our vigor and will. Here in no special order are some thoughts on how president-elect Obama can fulfill the promises of his campaign and right the ship of state.Stop running for office. The election is over and you won. This point in history demands a leader who governs. The first term of the War Chimp is a prefect example of what goes wrong when your priority and main concern is maintaining power. Governing goes by the wayside and only cronies and rich donors prosper. Nothing succeeds like success; if you govern well, reelection is assured.Ignore the labels. At the end of campaign you were accused in a conflated manner of being liberal/socialist/Marxist/Communist. Now in an effort to salvage their flawed ideology, some right wing gasbags are attempting to say you were elected because you embraced the ideas of Ronnie Raygun. You survived being labeled, "Tax and Spend." It remains to be seen whether we as a country can recover from the "Borrow and Spend" policies of the eight years of the War Chimp's administration. You have a firm majority in Congress, insist it isn't squandered. Ask the American public to judge you on your results, not some nebulous political labels. If your proposal(s) are labeled "Liberal" or "Progressive" or "Conservative" it matters little. What matters is if they succeed. I can tell you as a Proud Liberal despite being labeled liberal; Bill Clinton was a truer conservative than the War Chimp in many respects. Until both sides can rationally look at the other all that will be accomplished is finger pointing while the country goes to Hell in a basket.Use control of the Congressional majorities. There is nothing in the Constitution that defines a majority in the Senate as sixty percent. When the opposition threatens filibuster, threaten the nuclear option that the Republicans did in the 1990's. Make them physically filibuster, forcing them to appear on camera as the obstructionists they are when filibustering. We can longer come to a street fight and fight like a gentlemen's debate club.Don't knowingly lie to the American public. This practice by presidents from both sides of the aisle has done more harm to our country than any other single factor. Americans can fact check better than anytime in history. You have a good start at gaining the trust of the public. Do nothing that could jeopardize this process. This includes promptly and openly admitting mistakes. Nixon could have finished his second term had he understood the capacity of the American populace to understand and forgive.Get us out of the occupation business. The use of military force should be the means of last resort for the United States. The deaths and displacement in both Iraq and Afghanistan is on the collective conscience of our entire nation. Might does not make right. The restoration of our national honor is a must. A side effect to getting out of this morass is the cessation of squandering of resources and then they can be used for the needs of humanity both at home and abroad.Bring back respect for competence and intelligence. We have come to expect so little from our leaders, that Sarah Palin was taken as a serious candidate. We have gone from a nation of innovators to a country of consumers. Solutions to the catastrophic environmental crisis will require innovation. Once we were the leaders of science and engineering, entertaining the notio[...]



Scorched Earth Politics Must End

2008-10-21T01:04:27.208-07:00

Scorched Earth Politics Must EndIt is now two weeks to the election. The Republican campaign has shifted into high gear. For them this means using any innuendo or out right lie in an effort to win. That's their best result. Their second best would be to make the vote close enough they could perform election theft again ala 2000 and 2004. (Make no mistake about it, those two elections were stolen; there is no such thing as stealing them fair and square.) The third outcome, which now seems most likely, is for Obama to win the presidency. Their fall back plan is to guarantee that if elected Obama will be so weakened by the "Scorched Earth" effect that he will be unable to lead effectively.When the War Chimp took the oath of office in 2001 and 2005, he claimed false mandates based on razor thin margins. His idea of compromise has been, "My way or the highway." With a compliant Congress, he has done as he damned well pleased for nearly eight years. McWar and Caribou Barbie want to extend this devastating practice. I am not sure we haven't gone past the point of no return but I am convinced that if they were to gain office, our chances would assuredly be zero.This Scorched Earth campaign being waged pits white against black, rich against poor, liberal against conservative, young against old, and finally, worst of all, patriotic American against patriotic American. It is the politics of division and hate. Obama is being accused of being a terrorist by association. Big city dwellers are being told they don't see the real America. Obama is whispered to be a Muslim. Obama is accused of being the most liberal member of the Senate. I would like to say a few about each of these absurd accusations and assertions.Obama is being accused of being a terrorist by association. This is ridiculous on its face but the Repugs are still making robo-calls with this accusation. Joseph McCarthy asked, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?" This accusation asks, "Do you now or have you ever associated with domestic terrorists?" A witch-hunt even worse than McCarthy! I try to live true to my liberal philosophy and have over the course of time volunteered for organizations at many different levels. While the organizations did some background checks on me, I would never consider it my role to check on those volunteering with me. This just goes beyond the pale.Big city dwellers are being told they don't see the real America. This is a not so veiled reference to racial prejudices. This insidious ploy says people of color can't be real Americans because they are incapable seeing the real America. It is designed to destroy unity and promote divisiveness. The U in USA stands for United; any attempt at driving us apart is at its core, unpatriotic.Obama is whispered to be a Muslim. When Colin Powell endorsed Obama, he said the correct response to this should be, "So what?" While the Constitution includes several qualifications for President, there is only one thing that it specifically excludes, a religious test. The Repugs claim to be strict Constitutionalists, but it now appears to be only when it will let gain and maintain power. For me, the most enlightening thing is that Obama is head and shoulders a better Christian than either McWar or Caribou Barbie. McWar came to Obama defense when a woman from the crowd said she couldn't vote for Obama because he was an Arab. McWar said Obama was a good family man, implying an Arab couldn't be a good family man, revealing a deep-seated bigotry that may or may not even be conscious. The other is this conflating of Arab and Muslim. Not all Arabs are Muslim. Not all Muslims are Arab. But, most of all, very few Arabs, Muslims, Christians or Jews are radical extremists willing to die or kill for their cause.Obama is accused of being the most liberal member of the Senate. I would be extremely pleased if only this were true. Obama is far from bei[...]



How Big a Clothespin?

2008-06-22T01:48:50.699-07:00

How Big a Clothespin?It has been several months since I have posted in this blog. One reason has been the work that has been required getting the over 58,000 names posted in my Namnesia Antidote blog. The names on the Vietnam War Memorial Wall have been posted at least in triplicate there. Work continues and those postings and indices will continue to expand.While the other blog has taken the majority of my time, I studiously avoided making any posting about the Democratic Party's nomination process. This is because as the nominating process progressed, I became increasingly apathetic about the candidates. In my mini-profile posted in the sidebar of all my blogs, I mention my first eligible presidential election was when George McGovern ran against Tricky Dick. My vote that year was an exception to the majority of presidential votes I would cast over the years. It was an unabashed vote FOR the Democratic nominee. Many of my votes in later elections were votes for the lesser of two evils or AGAINST the Republican candidate. Dukakis and Gore were the exception to this pattern.I have had a procession of candidates I supported actively during this primary season. My first choice was to draft Al Gore, giving him a chance to regain what stolen from him in November 2000. His focus and energies are spent on the most critical challenges the WORLD faces today, I wish him success in his efforts; he must be successful if my children are to have any type of future. My next choice was Dennis Kucinich. Dennis is man of peace, courage and integrity. His candidacy was trivialized by his opponents and the media. Opportunistic Democrats in Cleveland tried to unseat him in the Congressional primaries, so he was forced to leave the race. He recently presented 35 Articles of Impeachment against the War Chimp, thus continuing to establish his bona-fides as true supporter of the Constitution and the whole country.The next candidate to receive my support was Edwards. Edwards made his chops taking on corporations as a trial lawyer before he entered the Senate. Since the stolen 2004 election, he has concentrated on fighting poverty. These characteristics doomed his candidacy. This left Mike Gravel as the only true peace candidate. (I know many Ron Paul supporters that feel differently. I could never support a candidate whose main objection to the war was that it cost too much not that it was a crime against humanity. Additionally, his Conservative Libertarian history, that allows economic and racial injustices, was a disqualification.) Gravel not being an office holder meant he was able to carrying on his efforts longer but no more effectively than Kucinich or Edwards.This left Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Neither are Progressive candidates of the FDR/JFK Democratic Party. Hillary's association with the Democratic Leadership Conference (Bill's DLC association made him the best Republican president of the twentieth century.) and vote for the Iraq War made her a possible nominee that was the greater of two evils. Obama was a wild card. Since he has secured the nomination, he has gone and groveled to AIPAC and supported amnesty for the telecom companies in the War Chimp's blatantly illegal and unconstitutional eavesdropping program. Things both he and his presumptive Republican opponent are guilty of doing.That being said about Obama, I must state unequivocally that John McWarSameBush would be an unmitigated disaster for the country. This would result in a third War Chimp term but with a vengeance. This brings me to the title of this entry: How Big a Clothespin? The answer: However big it needs to be to allow me to vote for Obama. This is not a vote for Obama because I believe him to be a JFK/RFK. It is a vote of preservation of the country and me & mine, against John McWarSameBush. I can only hope that enough voters across the country can overcome whatever election theft meth[...]



New Blog by A Proud Liberal—Namnesia Antidote

2008-04-16T11:48:17.647-07:00

What is Namnesia Antidote?

When a fellow poster, anniefey, made a post at the TV News Lies Board about these two syndromes I was struck by the pervasiveness of this type of thinking when it comes to the occupation of Iraq. The warmongers in the administration and Congress not only suffer from Namnesia but have gone out of their way to spread the infection. When George "War Criminal" Bush talks about not repeating the mistakes of Vietnam, he is stating our error was withdrawing prematurely and leaving only 58,168 known dead Americans. He is determined to "stay the course" indefinitely in Iraq, no matter the cost in human lives and resources. When anniefey made her post it was with two unhappy coincidences; the five-year anniversary of the Iraq invasion and the occasion of the 4,000th American causality. We had once again failed to learn from history and were doomed to repeating the same errors.

Posts on this blog begin on March 23rd. In 2008, this was both Easter and the date of the aforementioned 4,000th causality. The names posted on this blog are from the Vietnam War Memorial Wall as extracted from the No Quarter organization website. Any errors in the extraction are mine and I apologize in advance for them. While a laudable goal would be to have a posting for everyone whose name appears on The Wall, it is just not feasible for a one-man operation. What I will attempt here is to have posted for each day of the year two lists of these names; the first commemorating the date of death and the second celebrating the birth of those who gave their lives. I encourage anyone to post comments on these individuals, when such a comment is posted, I will attempt to create an individual post with more detailed information for that person. This will give family, friends and supporters the chance to collectively honor and remember these fallen service men. I will post these individual posts by birthdates.

The information on this blog will also appear in my This Day in History blog daily posts. I hope this double posting will give some additional exposure to these men and women while aiding in combating Namnesia.



Thank and Support Montel Williams

2008-02-05T22:30:10.805-07:00

Thank and Support Montel Williams

Recently when Fox News invited Montel Williams to come on the air to discuss the death of movie star Heath Ledger, he refused to discuss it in depth saying that while he felt for the star's family the deaths in Iraq deserved discussion. At the end of this post, there is a YouTube link where one can view the entire segment. It is not long since this is only the part where Williams appeared. The talking heads of Faux went to commercial when they were unable to turn Williams away from the subject of Iraq. He was not with the panel after the return from commercial break.

This was not the end of the matter however, over the next three days, Fox affiliates that carried the "Montel Williams Show" all declined to sign renewal contracts for 2008-2009. The syndicators of the show then announced that the show was being cancelled. This means Montel was essentially fired for having the audacity to talk about troop deaths on Fox. The power of a monolithic Main Stream Media has reached a new obscene level. They have proven to be coconspirators with the warmongers of the Bush regime. Ignoring the death and destruction in Iraq has allowed almost 4,000 American military deaths and over 1 million civilian Iraqi deaths. This is head in the sand, what they don't know won't hurt them attitude, is a war crime in and of itself.

I have spent the last few days looking for place to support Montel. While I did find several bloggers that supported him, one even linking to a Fox complaint site, I did not find any with the sole purpose of saying thank you. I have decided to start an online petition to do just that.


Petition to Thank and Support Montel Williams

The petition states:

To Montel Williams:
We the undersigned would like to say thank you. We applaud your efforts to try to discuss the human costs of the Iraq invasion and occupation. We deplore the fact that your efforts have cost you your job. We send our best wishes and hopes for success in your future endeavors. Please keep thinking free and do not let the country forget the killing and dying—it will only let the Iraqi situation continue with no end in sight.


Video of Montel Williams' Apperance on Fox

This blog is posted at the following two places. Place feel free to spread it far and wide being sure to include at a minimum the link to the petition.

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How Many More Scandals in Reserve?

2007-12-10T23:29:13.636-07:00

How Many More Scandals in Reserve?

Last week's events seemed at first blush a very good thing that were long overdue. George W. "War Criminal" Bush had been PROVEN and EXPOSED as the liar he is. His talk of World War III being at hand and that we have Iran to blame was shown to be pure fabrication. We appeared to have the smoking gun of his duplicitous actions. He knowingly lied in an attempt to start another pre-emptive war. This remained the top news story for no more than a single news cycle. Why? The war cabal had a scandal in reserve to divert attention from the War Criminal's blatant lying. Before the weekend news cycle, all eyes and ears had been diverted to the destroyed torture tapes.

Yes, torture is a bad thing, but any rational, thinking and informed person already knew torture was being committed in our names. These tapes were not destroyed because they would change anyone's mind. Their destruction was a calculated action. The destruction was over two years ago. The war cabal put their destruction in their reserve of distractions. Whenever the momentum is swinging to bringing Bush and company to account, there is convenient diversion. I am forced to wonder how many more of these scandals lie dormant for the war cabal to divert the American public from the real criminals.

This is the same type of lie that got us into Iraq. Over a million innocent lives lost—we must leave as soon as possible. It is long past time to impeach, convict and remove from office both Bush and Cheney. Once that is accomplished, it is our duty as members of the human race to make sure they are tried as the war criminals they have been exposed. We must not let a "sound bite" mentality divert us from this. If we do allow this to work, there is no telling how many more diversions are being kept in reserve.


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JFK and Thanksgiving: 44 Years Later

2007-11-22T03:50:28.702-07:00

JFK and Thanksgiving: 44 Years LaterThanksgiving this year falls on the anniversary of the assassination John Fitzgerald Kennedy. It was forty-four years ago in Dallas that the direction of this country was irrevocably changed. Changed for the worse. There have been brief periods of hope only to have the downward spiral continue in even steeper rushes to oblivion.The details of those intervening years matter little. Discussions about those details only serve as a distraction about the real issues of the day. The vast majority of Americans will spend the next two days concerned about gluttony and greed, and the powers in charge couldn't be more delighted. We were running "duck and cover" drills in the years around JFK's killing. Today we have a corrupt war criminal playing games with nuclear war to further line the pockets of the rich. We seem to be running headlong and willingly to World War III.Three instances of this insanity: One—we invaded a sovereign nation under false pretensions. Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and had no connection with the 9/11 attacks. Two—the same rhetoric is being used about Iran. Diplomacy isn't even considered an option. Three—"one of our strongest allies in the War on Terror" is a military fascist regime with known and flaunted nuclear capability. This is Pakistan for those not paying attention.Dissent is now considered unpatriotic and treasonous. Last week on "Fox and Friends" it was openly suggested that the next time members of Code Pink dared to speak out or even show passive silent dissent that "a Tazing would be in order" and "when will these women learn no one cares what they think." I find myself feeling just as helpless about the situation we are in today as I felt about the killing of JFK then.Code Pink and those on the front line of dissent are about the only things I can feel thankful. I find the majority of politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, to be responsive only to dollars not to the will of the people. I hold little hope that by next Thanksgiving there will be any drastic improvement and have genuine fears of an openly fascist America and/or World War III being fought. Part of being a Proud Liberal is a general optimism that I no longer have the strength to feel. As a small voice in this mess, I will repeat the five positive steps I suggested in my last Blog entry.1. – Never refer to the Bush administration with deference. They are war criminals and need to be referred to as such.2. – Resist at all opportunities the occupation of Iraq. Tell your local Congress critters that their continued support for the occupation makes them accomplices in murder. By any legal definition of murder, accomplices are just as guilty as the main perpetrators.3. – When engaging in discussion with the opposition, do NOT let them define the parameters and terms of the discussion. Remember the great lesson of Orwell's 1984 was that whoever defines the language has already won the argument.4. – Wear a black armband of mourning. This is especially effective as people are always sympathetic and solicitous. When they ask what or whom you are in mourning for respond, "Are you sure you want to know?" Most will say of course and respond that you are mourning the Constitution and the rule of law; that both are in their death throes because of the criminals currently in charge.5. – Insist that the best candidate be the one you support not just the one that can win. Elections are not horse races and the bandwagon effect has been a determent to the entire process. Remember the members of Democratic Leadership Conference (DLC) are just Republicans that have labeled themselves Democrats. The 40 percent that voted for McGovern were vindicated in the end when Nixon was finally caught.These might not accomplis[...]



(They're Still) Running the World (on the) Eve of Destruction For What It's Worth

2007-10-13T18:27:20.584-07:00

(They're Still) Running the World (on the) Eve of Destruction For What It's WorthWhen I thought about writing this piece based on three protest songs (1. Running the World, Written and Recorded by Jarvis Cocker; 2. Eve of Destruction, Written by P. F. Sloan, Recorded by Barry McGuire; 3. For What It's Worth, Written by Stephen Stills, Recorded by Buffalo Springfield;) I had no doubt that the three songs were on target for what I wanted to express. I did have some misgivings about the first song because of its explicit nature. Further reflection has led me to believe that those who would be offended would not consider having an open mind about my thoughts. Their false sense of propriety is one the things I was condemning. Therefore, I have decided to declare this piece to be rated R. That is R for REALITY. Too often liberals think the word politics implies politeness. Our NeoCon advisories observe no such convention. Truthfulness and reality are also missing from their playbook. They do however observe the BIG LIE RULE, repeat something often enough and it will be perceived as the truth no matter how far from reality and truth it is based. This piece is for thoughtful mature adults, written in what I hope is an intelligent but blunt manner. If you are offended by the words used here, please examine if the words are what offends or if it is uncomfortable and novel ideas. That being said here is the uncensored title of this piece:(Cunts Are Still) Running the World (on the) Eve of Destruction For What It's WorthThere are few words with a more negative connotation than "cunt." This is what caused my initial hesitation. The use of this word in this piece is not gratuitous but is an integral part of the song being used to demonstrate the ideas under discussion. The following can be found at http://www.answers.com/topic/profanity?cat=biz-finInterestingly, the word "cunt," while retaining its original meaning in America, has changed in meaning somewhat in Great Britain in the past thirty years. Where American usage of the word exclusively refers to either female anatomy or (in extreme cases) an ill-tempered woman {Ann Coulter being the exception or extreme case that proves the rule – APL}, "cunt" in the UK has attained the status of a gender-neutral insult, akin to asshole etc.This song was indeed written and performed by a British artist, Jarvis Cocker. It was used during the closing credits in the recent hit film, Children of Men. It has a very pleasant melody that can be deceiving as to the depth of the lyrics. The fact is I listened to the song several times before it sunk in just what he was trying to say. If you are a liberal with a complete distaste for the word, please mentally substitute asshole and I believe the picture will become focused. With that thought, I will begin trying to explain why I believe these three songs are all saying something vitally important about the situation America finds itself in today. At the end of this piece, I have included the complete text of all three songs.Well did you hear, there’s a natural order?Those most deserving will end up with the most.That the cream cannot help but always rise up to the top,Well I say: Shit floats.If you thought things had changed,Friend you’d better think again,Bluntly put in the fewest of words,Cunts are still running the world,Cunts are still running the world.This has to be the best criticism of the Social Darwinism of the NeoCon bunch I have heard or seen. With two words, Shit floats, Cocker sums up the false premise of entitlement that George W. Bush and Paris Hilton share. Bush is the same small-minded idiot who commuted "Scooter" Libby's prison sentence to zero but refused to commute Karla Faye Tucker's death sentence to life in prison, going so far as [...]



JUST SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED

2007-06-27T01:43:17.862-07:00

JUST SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED

I have been neglecting to stay current on my two blogs, at first this was because of a physical complaint of having a case of spring/summer flu. As is often the case with me a bad illness can send me into a deep funk, what is now called a depression. Usually anger and hard work will get me out this depression. The unfortunate thing was the timing of this depression, as it coincided with the caving of the Democrats to Bush's demand for a military spending bill with no conditions or oversights.

Barack and Hillary only voted against the bill after its passage was assured. The fix was in and the moneymakers are still making it hand over fist. The contractors of death and destruction continue to make magnitudes of money more than the average grunt on the front line. The net effect of the so-called surge was to give the Iraqis more targets to shoot and bomb. They have taken advantage of this to kill record numbers of American service men. It is time to admit that we have reached the stage where Bush can longer have his back door draft. Whenever someone tries to say the only way to support the troops is to get them the hell out of harm's way the warmongers answer that the troops knew the risks before signing up. What a load of crap. The average reservist and National Guard had no idea they were going to have extended and multiple tours in a war zone where they are only one of two things: target or killer.

After Nixon started his so-called Vietnamization of the Vietnam War, one the measures taken to deflect criticism of the death toll were to make sure that a tour in Vietnam was voluntary. It is past time to do the same in Iraq. Many soldiers and Marines say they don't need mothers deciding whether they should be in the war zone. So the American thing to do is give them the free un-coerced choice of deployment or not. To do anything less is to become accomplices in forcing people to kill or be killed without their consent. Bush and Cheney lied to get us into this war and by legal definition; the deaths that have occurred are murder. Should we stand by as a population and country and say nothing? NO! Doing so only makes us accomplices in murder.


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Living Blue in a Red State Part 2

2007-05-09T19:32:01.027-07:00

Living Blue in a Red State Part 2

I saw the following bumper sticker the other day that brought on an instant headache:

I Support President Bush and Our Troops

It is only in a state like Arizona where I live that this bumper sticker would be displayed. The person driving the SUV with the sticker is blind to the impossibility of the statement. Shrub with his veto of the spending bill has proven that he only supports a continuation of the immoral and illegal Iraqi War. He seems to believe his own spin-doctors, Support the War, Support the Troops. So does the person displaying this bumper sticker. These sycophants are incapable of independent rational thought.

Support of this war is the opposite of supporting our troops. Supporting this war will only lead to more deaths and maiming of our troops that are senseless. These numbers are miniscule compared to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians that have died and the many more hundreds of thousands that have been crippled, left homeless or left Iraq. Shrub is responsible for bombing Iraq back to the 19th century. HE LIED AND PEOPLE DIED. By any legal definition, this is MURDER. Anyone who aids and abets a murderer is also a murderer. It is past the time to say this is just politics. This is criminal and needs to end.

Fund the troops and stop funding the war, anything else is just a continuation of the criminal enterprise known as the Iraqi War. This is NOT a war on terrorism; it is a terrorist attack on the Iraqi people. Impeaching Bush and Cheney is not enough; they must be convicted, removed from office and then prosecuted criminally. Then the twenty some percent of Americans that are blind sycophants to the Republicans and NeoCons can get back to politics instead of murder.



Link to Original Living Blue in a Red State

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IN PLAIN SIGHT:ALTERNATE WAYS TO FUND THE WAR

2007-03-25T00:18:52.599-07:00

IN PLAIN SIGHT:ALTERNATE WAYS TO FUND THE WAR

The House of Representatives passed a funding bill for the Iraqi War that included a timetable for withdrawal yesterday. Bush announced that any such legislation would be vetoed because he felt including a timetable is anti troop. He still suffers from the delusion that being against the war is being against the troops. He and his minions have repeatedly stated that refusing to provide the additional funding for the war is tantamount to refusing to support the troops; that any talk of withdrawal is demoralizing to the troops; that any anti-war stance is unpatriotic. Experience has shown that no amount of rational and reasoned discussion can reverse these opinions.

There seems to be a solution to this dilemma in plain sight. We now know that a major demoralizer for the troops in theater is the civilian contractors that have been used in unprecedented numbers during this invasion and occupation. They are not subject to the Military Code of Justice as are members of the armed forces. They are paid a magnitude more than are the regular troops. They decide when and if they wish to serve additional tours. For the administration, there are a number of advantages; causalities are hidden, there is no mechanism of oversight, political patronage can be doled out in the form of secret no-bid contracts.

I wonder why there has not been a proposal to fully fund and support our troops but pull the funding for the civilian contractors. Congress could simply limit money spent in Iraq to the equipping, training, supplying and paying members of the military. Funds for the medical and veterans' benefits should be fully funded. They could put a stop to the profiteering that has been an integral part of this fiasco from the beginning. The administration would not be able to make their political hay out of not supporting the troops. They would be forced to admit to the fact that our military prowess has deteriorated so badly that further persecution of the war would be impossible without the contractors. They would have difficulty explaining why funding just the troops would be far more inexpensive than continuing with the status quo.

Therefore, there exists a solution in plain sight if only we as a democracy have the courage to admit its existence.




There is But One Top Priority

2007-01-23T22:39:34.305-07:00

There is But One Top Priority

If I were to list the top 100 things that need doing in America, numbers 1 to 90 would all be the same: GET US OUT OF IRAQ Anything beyond this pales in comparison. The continued loss of life and the extreme human suffering is intolerable. No amount of "surge" will lessen the loss of life or human suffering. We as a country need to have the courage to admit that we are the cause not the solution to the problem. We as a country need to have the courage to admit that we cannot win someone else's civil war. We as a country need to have the courage to admit that we only support Democracies if they are being run "our way." We as a country need to have the courage to admit that we are the biggest hypocrites of modern times.

Bush continues to deny the reality that this immoral, ill advised and illegal war cannot be salvaged. He talks about supporting the only Democracy in the area. The fact is this: Iran's government is far more democratic than Iraq's. Yes, Iraq had elections but no candidate could propose what the vast majority (over 90%) of Iraqis wanted and continue to want; the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq. Hardliners like Iran's current President were elected as a response to our invasion in Iraq, any number of more moderate candidates in Iran lost the election because they did not oppose the invasion as overtly. Iran's candidates were free to advocate any point of view without interference from any foreign governments; the same cannot be said for Iraq.

The parallels to the Vietnam War cannot be ignored, except that the moral justifications for our involvement in Vietnam far out weighed those in Iraq. The most glaring of these is the fact that one side (the South) of a continuing civil war wanted our participation, in Iraq there was no civil war until the invasion and occupation. On December 31, 1970, the U.S. Congress repealed the entirely fictitious Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which in 1964 authorized a dramatic increase in U.S. military involvement in Vietnam in response to an attack on U.S. forces that later turned out to not have happened. Why cannot the current Congress step up to the bat and do the same with the Congressional resolution that supposedly gave Bush the power to invade Iraq? The basis for that resolution was even more false than the Gulf of Tonkin resolution. No more "but look at how many Democrats voted for it," should even be allowed. Continuing two wrongs still does not make a thing right.

The posturing that is occurring between potential Presidential candidates is repugnant. McCain's argument that withdrawal is wrong because it would admit defeat is right from one point of view; defeat is inevitable because victory is impossible. Senator Clinton's proposed troop level cap is a band-aid on a gushing mortal wound. There are over a hundred civilian deaths acknowledged on a daily basis. U.S. military deaths are severely under reported. Contractors' lives are just as valuable as soldiers are and their deaths are just as much a military death as a soldier's.

We must first GET OUT OF IRAQ. We fail as human beings and Americans doing anything less. Only after this is done is it worth discussing items 91 through 100 on my list.



Still Insane After All These Years

2006-12-30T00:32:45.183-07:00

Still Insane After All These Years

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." I have seen this quote attributed to both Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin. No matter its true source, it is very true. It’s time we stand up as a country and say, “STOP, THIS INSANITY!” The President has retired with his “war cabinet” to try to determine a new course in Iraq. This same group got us into the quagmire that is Iraq in the first place. Rumsfeld being gone is only a small start. The rest of these incompetents should be on the street looking for real work.

To look to this group for advice is tantamount to saying we want to stay the course. This will only continue in the needless loss of lives, American and Iraqi. Why did the president bother to have a bi-partisan commission look into Iraq, if only to ignore its recommendations? He should apologize to public servants like Sandra Day O’Connor who came out of retirement to serve on the commission. It has served as only a public relations stunt.

The new Congress faces a vital test of its backbone in January. This is not the time for timid action. It is time to inform Emperor George not only do we know he has no clothes but we know he has no clue. We can no longer permit the insane course of the Iraq War to continue.



1984 Kool-Aid Drinkers

2006-11-02T02:11:56.476-07:00

I have waited the past ten days for the outcry from rational conservatives, very much in vain. George W. Bush has finally lost it with, “Listen, we've never been stay the course, George (referring to George Stephanopoulos).” I keep waiting for the mass of rational people to stand up and scream, “Mr. President, we are not that stupid!” Even his political opponents seemed overwhelmed by the pure doublespeak.

It is very much like we have become a country of Winston Smith’s. The Bush regime got their torture and detain without charge bill passed with barely a whimper. Now he blatantly contradicts over three and half years of rhetoric and his interviewer is so taken aback that he doesn’t challenge the obvious absurdity of the statement.

Those Republicans and conservatives that believe this line would have been right at home with Jim Jones. He was always looking for someone to mix the Kool-Aid. Any elected officials that want to investigate this bunch would do well to remember the fate of Congressman Leo Ryan at the hands of Jim Jones. This administration has proven they value loyalty above the truth or any other principle. This election is a not just another nice time to try to win it is a necessary win. It is time to give this experiment in democracy another lease on life. Voting for a Republican at any level supports the lies, corruption and just plain evil that have been perpetrated for the last nearly six years. A vote for the current Republican status quo is the same as drinking that 1984 Kool-Aid, CHEERS!



I Never Thought I Would Miss Nixon……Then Again

2006-10-17T23:04:21.193-07:00

I saw the following bumper sticker the other day that brought a smile to my lips:I Never Thought I Would Miss NixonWhat brought the smile was the shear amount of truth in those seven words. Yes, George W. Bush has done what I would have thought impossible. He made me miss Tricky Dick in all his ugly glory. When Nixon was in power, I was firmly convinced that there could never be another President as bad. With Georgie, I have discovered there not only could be as bad but there is worse. Nixon inherited his war, Vietnam; it was a full bore going tragedy when he took office. He also claimed, falsely, to have a secret peace plan. He got many killed needlessly, both military and civilian. Bush is the middle of a quagmire of his own making and insistence that we stay there with him. Nixon had a lust for power but it was tempered by a certain respect for the office of President that Bush rarely even bothers to pretend to have.Nixon was swept into office on a landslide in 1972. Bush squeaked by in both 2000 and 2004. From these two statements alone, one would assume that Nixon was the one with more absolute power. And one would be wrong. What the driver of the truck with the bumper sticker and I really miss, is a Congress that keeps the system in balance. Congress during the Nixon years was controlled by the Democrats thus preventing the establishment of King Dick. The Republican Congress of the last six years has anointed King George.I was going to an out of state college in 1972 and had to vote absentee. Absentee ballots had to be witnessed by a notary in those days so a dorm mate and I walked over to the Student Union to get our ballots notarized before mailing. He told me he was voting for Nixon because McGovern was just too radical. I tried to argue that voting for Nixon was a mistake because look at all the bad crap he had pulled during his first term. My friend said not to worry because even though he was voting for Nixon, his Congressional votes were for Democrats to keep Nixon in line. He proved to be right. Nixon resigned before he could be impeached.The current Congress has nearly abdicated all their power and turned it over to the Executive branch. We now have the closest thing to a unitary Executive that we have ever had in our history. The Patriot Act and the Torture & Detainee Act are America’s first steps analogous to the 1930’s Enabling Acts of Nazi Germany. The country now exists at a critical crossroads. Elections are not football games. It is not a matter of rooting for the winner, it is a matter of if we want the Republic to endure or collapse under the weight of political expediency. Patriots, no matter what their normal political leanings, must examine objectively the actions of this President and this Congress. We don’t vote for President until 2008 but we have the chance in three weeks to decisively affect the Congress. We need a government of three branches not one. We must give up on the idea that our local guy is not as bad as the rest of them, so it doesn’t hurt to vote for him. That attitude and many similar ones is what brought us to this juncture in the first place. We must vote for a change, and the only viable choice is a Democratic Congress before it is too late.Permanent Backlink to Posthttp://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping[...]



Mark Foley, A Different View: A Misdirection Ploy

2006-10-11T03:59:09.286-07:00

I have a different point of view on the Mark Foley scandal. I believe it is one of the greatest misdirection ploys of all time by Rove and the Republicans. Coincidences may happen but rarely do they happen with such good results. You say, “What good results?” Lost in all this discussion about Foley is the fact that Senate Bill 3930, “A bill to authorize trial by military commission for violations of the law of war, and for other purposes,” has gone to the President to sign. Even though Bush got damned near everything he wanted in the bill, his proclivity for signing statements will make up for any perceived inadequacies. Incumbents on both sides of the aisle can more easily deflect criticism about Foley’s peccadilloes than they can defend supporting this reversal of the Magna Carta.Lost in all this discussion of how this hurts the Republican cause is no critical examination of the timing of this scandal. A month ago, most liberals and Democrats were outraged about ABC showing the crapudrama, “The Path to 9/11.” While ABC made some changes to this piece of propaganda, it still left many with the impression that 9/11 was all Bill Clinton’s fault and Bush was in the clear. Can we believe that ABC changed their stripes in one short month? I say, “NO!” ABC has a stake in remaining in the administration’s good graces. ABC would not have released the Foley story without at least the tacit approval of the White House.I cannot believe for a moment that Rove and company would have any compunction about sacrificing Foley to pay for this integral part of consolidating Bush’s power. I mean here was a GAY Republican House member just waiting to be outed, why not kill two birds with one stone. Bird one: Deflect attention away the detainee and torture law. Those who voted for the bill are not going to be held to account for their vote as they might have. Most can easily deflect any criticisms cast their way about Foley. Bird two: The albatross that was Foley is eliminated. The Republicans have already claimed the reason Foley didn’t get in trouble earlier was they did not to appear to be “Gay Bashing.” The Republicans are such homophobes they still believe homosexual and pedophile are synonymous. This was the perfect opportunity to look good to their base and fence sitters that they were cleaning “House” of undesirables.I am now going to ask any that read this to step through the fog of Republican misdirection. It is time to ask this Congress, why what little you did do, was so dismal. I have researched the final roll call votes on the detainee and torture bill. Most members of Congress voted along party lines as might be expected. Many Republicans voting for the bill said they expected reversal by the courts and voted for the bill out political expediency. I guess I am a minority of one that believes this is a violation of their oath of office to defend and support the Constitution. Those who did not vote along party lines deserve special recognition and consideration in three categories:FIRST CATEGORY: HALL OF BRAVERYThese Republicans had the convictions of their beliefs to vote against this step to tyranny.In the Senate, 1 Senator:Chafee (RI)In the House, 7 Representatives:Bartlett (MD-6)Gilchrest (MD-1)Jones (NC-3)LaTourette (OH-14)Leach (IA-2)Moran (KS-1)Paul (TX-14)SECOND CATEGORY: HALL OF SHAMEThese Democrats supported this step to tyranny. I would assume from political expediency, with many using the same excuse as Republicans, it would be reversed by the courts. The 12 from the Senate[...]



PRIMING THE PUMP

2006-10-09T02:48:38.530-07:00

In the days before cable news, there was a term for election year tax cuts. It was “Priming the Pump.” The thinking was very simple; give the people a taste of their own hard-earned money, and tell them if they want it to continue they must return the incumbents to office. That particular ploy would not be effective with this regime however, since all their tax breaks have been for the limited numbers of the very rich.Today’s version of this carries a completely new literal meaning. Prices for gasoline have dropped over a dollar from their highest point in the last year. Gas pumps are literally being primed for the upcoming elections. It appears the thinking goes something like this: If the voter only pays $2.159/gal when he was paying $3.199/gal, he will figure he needs to keep the incumbent in office in order to keep the price low. The problem with the voter thinking that is, he is very liable to find a new meaning to the term “November Surprise.” There are really no guarantees or even promises the prices will stay low.This downward trend defies the rules of supply and demand. The Alaskan Pipeline in the last 9 weeks has had major problems and the supply of oil from this domestic (meaning cheaper) source has been severely restricted. If anything the price of oil should be going up not down, if it were truly a matter of supply and demand. When this subject first occurred to me, I went and checked to see if we were dumping oil onto the market from the country’s strategic reserve. If their website is to be believed, we are not doing that. The other possibility is that the oil companies and their cartel, OPEC, have decided they could afford to forego their obscene profit levels for a short period to ensure the continuing of the current single party rule.In my research, I found protestations that the oil industry was just too large for such manipulations. All these protests of impotence came from incumbent Republicans. There is a reason we call OPEC a cartel, they can do whatever they damn well please. If any single member decides to get greedy, the others can flood the market and ruin the renegade’s profit level. If a member decides to undercut his fellow cartel members, he could well find himself without spare parts or transportation. This is not a play nice group. The United States represent their largest single market. It is in their self interest to keep oil friendly politicians in power, even it means not making a billion or two for a couple of months. They can always make up for it in spades on the other side of the election.I found an alternate theory at http://deconsumption.typepad.com/deconsumption/2006/09/running_on_empt.htmlI would like to “restate” what Mr. King said: What this means folks, is that hedge funds and institutional money that “TRACKS THE INDEX” were FORCED TO SELL 75% of their gasoline futures to conform with the reconstituted GSCI. And if anyone hasn’t noticed the timing of the price of the gasoline price collapse…just in time for November’s Mid Term Elections!So don’t be fooled into believing that potential energy shortages have “magically been solved.” In all likelihood – much of the recent decline in the price of gasoline we have all “welcomed” has been the result of paper tricks being played on what amounts to a wealthy flock of sheep.No matter who is doing the manipulating;DO NOT BE FOOLED.Voting for the incumbents that have screwed us and lied to us in the past only allows them to do it again.http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping[...]



September 20, 1187 - Saladin begins the Siege of Jerusalem

2006-09-20T00:31:40.540-07:00

September 20, 1187 - Saladin begins the Siege of Jerusalem.From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Jerusalem_(1187)At the end of September, Balian rode out with an embassy to meet with the sultan, offering the surrender that he had initially refused. Saladin would not accept this, seeing that as they spoke, his men had scaled the walls and planted their banners. Soon, however, the crusaders repelled their attack. Saladin acquiesced, and the two agreed that the city would be handed over to Saladin peacefully. The sultan allowed a ransom of twenty bezants for men, ten for women, and five for children, but those who could not pay were to be sold into slavery. Balian argued in vain that there were far more people who could not pay, as there were perhaps as many as 20000 refugees from elsewhere in the kingdom.After returning to Jerusalem, it was decided that seven thousand of the poor inhabitants could be ransomed from money drawn from the treasury that Henry II of England had established there, which was being guarded by the Hospitallers. This money was meant to be used by Henry on a pilgrimage or a crusade, in penance for the murder of Thomas Becket, but the king never arrived, and his treasury had already been used to pay mercenaries for the Battle of Hattin.Balian met with Saladin again and the sultan agreed to lower the ransom to ten bezants for men, five for women, and one for children. Balian argued that this would still be too great, and Saladin suggested a ransom of 100 000 bezants for all the inhabitants. Balian thought this was impossible, and Saladin said he would ransom seven thousand people for no lower than 50 000 bezants. Finally it was decided that Saladin would free the seven thousand for 30 000 bezants; two women or ten children would be permitted to take the place of one man for the same price.Surrender of the cityBalian handed over the keys to the Tower of David, the citadel, on October 2. It was announced that every inhabitant had about a month to pay their ransom, if they could (the length of time was perhaps 30 to 50 days, depending on the source). Saladin was generous and freed some of those who were forced into slavery; his brother Saphadin did the same, and both Balian and Heraclius, not wishing to be seen less generous than their enemies, freed many others with their own money. Saladin also allowed for an orderly march away from Jerusalem and prevented the sort of massacre that had occurred when the crusaders captured the city in 1099. Even Heraclius, who disgusted the Muslim chronicler Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani by hoarding all his wealth and the treasures of the church instead of contributing to the ransom of the poor, was escortedfrom the city unmolested. The ransomed inhabitants marched away in three columns; the Templars and Hospitallers led the first two, with Balian and the Patriarch leading the third. Balian and his family were permitted to flee to Tripoli.I note for the sake of those screaming conservatives that say Islam is a violent religion that almost all of the inhabitants of Jerusalem were freed without conversion, sold into slavery or death. Saladin is one of the greatest heroes of Islam, wouldn’t it make sense that if the religion required the sword he would have been one to use it? http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping[...]



Rockey Who?

2006-09-03T01:31:13.723-07:00

I am sure almost everyone reading this knows the name Spike Lee. Lee has been twice nominated for an Oscar. His latest project is "When the Levees Broke,” a documentary on the Hurricane Katrina disaster, and the government's response to the crisis. It is presented as "A Requiem in Four Acts.” The documentary is airing on HBO. Spike Lee is no stranger to controversy and many of his films have caused a stir even before their release. Despite the subject matter of this newest project, the Main Stream Media (MSM) virtually ignored Lee in preference to a man named Rockey Vaccarella. Or as I like to call him, Rockey Who? The Bush administration had once again diverted attention away from their monumental mismanagement of the Katrina aftermath with a White House lawn photo op.From http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2006/08/bush-visits-new-orleans-farts-around.htmlBush spoke on the South Lawn of the White House after meeting in the Oval Office with a New Orleans-area man who lost his home in the storm. Rockey Vaccarella, 41, of Meraux in St. Bernard Parish, has been traveling the Gulf Coast region to mark the Katrina anniversary."I told Rockey the first obligation of the federal government is to write a check big enough to help the people down there," Bush said. "And I told him that to the extent that there's still bureaucratic hurdles, and the need for the federal government to help eradicate those hurdles, we want to do that."I wanted to know who this guy was. Here is some of the information I found:From http://www.attytood.com/archives/003647.html#moreIn fact, we had a hunch -- that maybe, just maybe, Rockey Vaccarella had a background himself in GOP politics.And, whaddya know? Turns out that the earthy Vaccarella -- a highly successful businessman in the fast-food industry -- is indeed a Republican pol, having run unsuccessfully under the GOP banner for a seat on the St. Bernard Parish commission back in 1999. We don't have a good link, but here (via Nexis) is part of his bio that ran in the New Orleans Times-Picayune on Oct. 15, 1999:ROCKEYVACCARELLAPERSONALRepublican35. Born in New Orleans. Grew up in Arabi and Chalmette. Lived 11 years in Meraux.Married, two children.Graduated from Chalmette High, 1982. Attended St. Bernard Community College.Director of operations, Lundy Enterprises, as manager of 31 Pizza Hut restaurants and 450 employees. Former general restaurant manager of Popeye's Chicken & Biscuits on East Judge Perez Drive in ChalmetteOne of things that Rockey did during his visit to Bush was tell the press he wished Bush could have a third term. A suggestion that Bush feigned embarrassment when made. The MSM never reported anything on Rockey’s past except that “he had lost everything to Katrina.” Many of those 31 Pizza Huts survived Katrina since they were spread over a wide range in the south. He was back at work in a relatively short period.So you say what the harm is with Rockey having his fifteen minutes of fame. Nothing except it was at the expense of filmmaker Lee. Documentaries are not the big budget productions that dramatic films are. Almost all HBO’s entire promotion budget was spent on plugging “When the Levees Broke” on the HBO networks themselves. The news cycles that would have normally highlighted Lee’s film were supplanted by coverage of Rockey. The film debuted on HBO without the publicity it would have normally had. Yes, the film was critical of the administration’s response to Katrina but [...]



American Exceptionalism = H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y

2006-08-26T12:22:13.000-07:00

American Exceptionalism = H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-YWhen I was in school, I was told that a hypocrite was someone who told you not do something but did it himself anyway. A hypocrite functioned under the “do as I say NOT as I do” philosophy. Jesus is said to have condemned the Pharisees for being hypocrites. Hypocrites practice hypocrisy. I was taught this was one of the Earth’s lower moral life forms.From http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07610a.htmHypocrisy is the pretension to qualities which one does not possess, or, more cognately to the scope of this article, the putting forward of a false appearance of virtue or religion.Essentially its malice is identical with that of lying; in both cases there is discordance between what a man has in his mind and the simultaneous manifestation of himself. So far as the morality of the act goes, it is unimportant that this difference between the interior and the exterior be set out in words, as happens in formal lies, or be acted out in one's demeanor, as is true of simulation.From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HypocrisyHypocrisy is the act of pretending to have morals or virtues that one does not truly possess or practice. … A classic example of a hypocritical act is to criticize others for carrying out some action while carrying out the same action oneself.American Exceptionalism is the philosophy that states no one else can do something EXCEPT America and those we have chosen. American Exceptionalism is hypocrisy because at its core there is a belief that we can do whatever we want and others must be restricted from similar actions. Under the Bush regime, American Exceptionalism has been taken to new lows.HAVING NUCLEAR WEAPONSEver since the days of “duck and cover,” I wondered why it was okay for America to spend billions on a nuclear arsenal that could destroy the Earth many times over while insisting that other countries should have no nuclear weapons. I was told it was because only the U.S. and its allies could be trusted with such dangerous weapons, despite the fact that we are the only country in history to use such weapons in an attack, twice. The two times nuclear weapons have been used it was on essentially civilian targets. This was a deliberate choice. Some of the scientist involved wanted the bombs exploded over a relatively flat area with a population, so they could quantify the destruction of the bombs. Purely military targets in the mountains and hills were rejected because the chances the data would not be a useful.YELLOW-BELLIED CHICKENHAWKSThis particular group of people preaches about how great it is for our young people to fight in the war. You will not catch them or their children doing the fighting however. It isn’t the fighting man in Iraq that is getting rich, it is those who send them and would never go themselves.PRODUCING MORE WMDsThe only WMDs found in Iraq were the inert remnants of poison gas. This has been used by some regime shills to justify our invasion and occupation. The U.S. has recently started to produce chemical and biological weapons again, saying they are needed for defensive purposes. Are they needed so we can sell them to the next Saddam that comes down the pike? If we need them for defense, why don’t other countries?OPPRESSION AT HOME AND ABROADOur government in the last five plus years has illegally wiretapped phones, held prisoners without charge for years, has started a preventive (not even preemptive) war, and so on[...]



Who is the most fascist like, al Qaeda or the Bush Administration?

2006-10-08T07:24:58.516-07:00

The motivation for this article is very simple. George Bush has a new term for our terrorist enemies. The term takes the two forms of “Islamofascist” or "Islamic fascists.” In an effort to critically analysis the validity of these terms, I decided to determine just what a fascist is. I had seen this first article before and it immediately sounded like the Bush administration. It seemed to me the only fair thing to do was to compare the administration to al Qaeda and see just who the fascist is.The following comes from http://www.veteransforpeace.org/The_14_characteristics_030303.htmThe 14 Characteristics of Fascismby Lawrence BrittSpring 2003Free Inquiry magazinePolitical scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt recently wrote an article about fascism ("Fascism Anyone?," Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, page 20). Studying the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile), Dr. Britt found they all had 14 elements in common. He calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. The excerpt is in accordance with the magazine's policy.The 14 characteristics are:1. Powerful and Continuing NationalismFascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottoes, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human RightsBecause of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying CauseThe people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.4. Supremacy of the MilitaryEven when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.5. Rampant SexismThe governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.6. Controlled Mass MediaSometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.7. Obsession with National SecurityFear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.8. Religion and Government are IntertwinedGovernments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.9. Corporate Power is ProtectedThe industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.10. Labor Power is SuppressedBecause [...]



Bush Administration: Cries Wolf, Fires Police, and Hires Army; End Result More Terrorists and Less Security

2006-10-08T07:30:08.993-07:00

Today the British proved the most effect way to fight terrorism is through police work not invasion. To fight terrorism one must concentrate on individuals not whole countries. It takes a scalpel not a sledgehammer. When Clinton was in power they fought terrorism by conventional means, after the first World Trade Center bombing, the perpetrators were arrested, convicted, and imprisoned. The same was true of the Oklahoma City bombing with the exception execution took place instead of imprisonment. The Clinton administration put counter terrorism agencies in place. The number and severity of attacks decreased afterwards. In other words, police enforcement and prevention actions worked.The Clinton administration warned the Bush people, their single greatest threat was al Qaeda. The NeoCons in the Bush regime hated Clinton so blindly that these warnings were ignored. When the Intelligence community tried to brief Cheney on al Qaeda, he said all he wanted to hear about was Iraq. These people had a score to settle and nothing was going to stop them. Even though thoroughly debunked the administration and its shills continue to constantly connect Iraq with 9/11. Had the administration concentrated on al Qaeda and bin Laden from the beginning the twin towers might still be standing.Before and after 9/11 the Bush administration defanged the counter terrorism entities within the government. Especially after 9/11, intelligence agencies were “encouraged” to tilt reports to fit political points of view. In Bush and Rumsfeld’s post 9/11 world the military intelligence groups are supreme, as is the use of military force. Police enforcement actions like those in England today have been few and far between. Some we have been told about only later to find they were either exaggerated or totally fabricated. The most famous one in Miami appears to have been a pure case of the FBI agent involved creating the terrorist cell and plot, even to the point administrating an al Qaeda oath to the group.Today Bush spent a lot time thanking and praising the British for their fine work, meanwhile his former head of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, admitted that the terror alert level was raised multiple times for political reasons.From http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article8813.htmRidge said he wanted to "debunk the myth" that his agency was responsible for repeatedly raising the alert under a color-coded system he unveiled in 2002. “More often than not we were the least inclined to raise it,” Ridge told reporters. “Sometimes we disagreed with the intelligence assessment. Sometimes we thought even if the intelligence was good, you don't necessarily put the country on (alert). ... There were times when some people were really aggressive about raising it, and we said, ‘For that?’ ”…The level is raised if a majority on the President's Homeland Security Advisory Council favors it and President Bush concurs. Among those on the council with Ridge were Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI chief Robert Mueller, CIA director George Tenet, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell. Ridge and Ashcroft publicly clashed over how to communicate threat information to the public. But Ridge has never before discussed internal dissention over the threat level.The cry of wolf went up so often that the 2004 election was close enough that it could appear legitimate. Here we are[...]