Thursday, February 26, 2004
Cut Social Security, Give Billions to Halliburton. Where's the sense in that?
Halliburton had overcharged the US government for the oil by $61 million.
US government has just awarded Halliburton another contract, worth $1.2 billion, to repair oil fields in southern Iraq. If the Pentagon's Defense Criminal Investigative Service does its job, it will be hard to avoid a close examination of the role of Cheney.
Perle Under Investigation 2/19 London times
...failing to disclose bonuses worth about $3 million (£1.6 million) which he received for running an investment scheme, ...awarded the money as a reward for investing Hollinger shareholder funds in a series of separate businesses. Mr Perle also held a stake in some of those businesses. While the scheme put Hollinger International shareholders’ money at risk, it was never disclosed to them.
Mr Perle is said to have helped to set up a bonus scheme where 22 per cent of all gains on investments made by Hollinger International went into a central pot that paid bonuses to himself, Lord Black and other company executives.
Shareholder money was funnelled through a company called Hollinger Digital Inc, where Mr Perle was co-chairman. The group was a unit of Hollinger International and was set up in 1996.
The existence of the bonus scheme, which is understood to be documented and has been confirmed by Hollinger insiders, has not been denied by Mr Perle.
Perle resigns From Defense Policy Board. 2/25
"We are now approaching a long presidential election campaign, in the course of which issues on which I have strong views will be widely discussed and debated," Perle wrote. "I would not wish those views to be attributed to you or the President at any time, and especially not during a presidential campaign."
Last March, Perle stepped down as chairman of the same board. The move followed published news reports questioning whether his work with a company seeking favor with the Pentagon was a conflict of interest for such a senior adviser. Perle has consistently insisted he did nothing wrong.
And his attorney, Samuel Abeday, told ABCNEWS today Perle is quitting the board altogether so he can sue the news organizations that "falsely accused him of conflicts of interest."
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
But developing policy is not the same as developing propaganda and pushing a particular agenda. And actually, that's more what they really did. They pushed an agenda on Iraq, and they developed pretty sophisticated propaganda lines which were fed throughout government, to the Congress, and even internally to the Pentagon – to try and make this case of immediacy. This case of severe threat to the United States.
Human Rights Watch estimates that 7,000 political prisoners and prisoners of conscience are currently detained in Uzbekistan, with false evidence or none at all. They are kept without trial, tortured and in some cases arbitrarily executed. The Pentagon's blessing lets the regime glorify such behavior as part of the war against terrorism.
Torture and ill-treatment in Uzbek prisons and police precincts remain widespread, and occur with near-total impunity.
Do you feel comfortable having your bank and medical records floating around in India? What about calling for social services, and finding out your call was being handled not by a worker in the United States, but an operator in New Delhi?
"These jobs are not the lettuce-picking, burger-flipping jobs they say Americans won't take here at home — and by the way, it isn't the jobs Americans won't take, it's the lousy paychecks.
No, these are the bright, prosperous Jobs of Tomorrow that Americans were promised if we all put down our socket wrenches and picked up tech textbooks. The information economy lay glittering at the end of the information superhighway — which, as it turns out, looks more like a one-way road heading straight out of America."
How much money in tax dollars are we losing by outsourcing?
And what happens when these workers go on strike? Does business here come to a grinding halt because workers in India decide they want better compensation for the work they're doing?
Uh,oh. I live within a mile of several schools...maybe I'd better move. Wouldn't want to run into one of those dangerous teachers! And to think I sent my son to school!
Plan for U.S.-Mexico border fence rejected
The California Coastal Commission on Wednesday found that the harm the project would cause to sensitive habitats outweighed security benefits provided by filling in canyons and erecting additional fences along the final 3.5 miles of the border before it meets the ocean. ...
The ruling could delay plans to start construction next year on the final phase of the $58 million fencing project. Nine miles have already been fenced.
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Faux News on in the background as I'm trying to do some paperwork, re-hashing the same story over and over and...'Kerry is so very...Angry' 'Why is he so angry?' Then running the same section of Bush's 'speech' to the Gov's ad infinitum...
Seems someone's been reading The Corpus-Callosum and have latched onto 'flip flop' as their favorite term of derision, applying it heavily to Kerry...I don't think he holds a candle to Bush's flippedy-do-floppedy-da-floops.
So much for the real issues of the day. That would take too much effort.
Don't remember whose blog I was reading, but it was pointed out that the word Politicians means many blood sucking ticks. Bush lived up to that definition as he said with relish, "War is what they wanted, and war is what they got."
Monday, February 23, 2004
One even alleged that the White House had written to complain about some of the comments attributed to Professor Sir David King, Tony Blair's chief scientific adviser, after he branded the President's position on the issue as indefensible.
The lines today need to be publicized
photo from New Deal Network
What does it say when people are so frantic that they want to put democracy on hold? Perhaps time would be better spent getting people to register to vote instead of putting the focus on who might 'steal' the vote from whatever Democratic candidate garnishes the nomination.
You can bet the pubs will play right into this fodder of fear and desperation, like sharks in a feeding frenzy, ripping it apart and devouring every morsel with great relish.
You're Adventures of Huckleberry Finn!
by Mark Twain
With an affinity for floating down the river, you see things in black
and white. The world is strange and new to you and the more you learn about it, the less
it makes sense. You probably speak with an accent and others have a hard time
understanding you and an even harder time taking you seriously. Nevertheless, your
adventurous spirit is admirable. You really like straw hats.
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
found this quiz over at Pax Nortona
Thursday, February 19, 2004
How to Build a Fraud:
Portray son of one of America's most influential families as down-home Texan
Berate media as "liberal" until they stop asking tough questions
Take advantage of reporters' tendency to not check the facts
Mask reactionary policies in compassionate words and pictures
Push false stories from right-wing media into mainstream media
Extol the virtues of workers while systematically pushing an anti-labor agenda
Propose a series of tax cuts aimed at the wealthy, but sell them as a boon to ordinary Americans
Disguise destructive initiatives with friendly sounding names
Befriend media with "genuine guy" routine
Keep the public from accessing information
Maintain message discipline at all times
Question patriotism of anyone who disagrees
Repeat above until it all seems true
It was early morning, listening to the 'results' of the Wisconsin votes, with newscasters telling Edwards to 'hang up his hat'...'How can they be declaring a winner," I wondered, "when it's hours away from the polls closing?"
"On CNN, the anchor, Wolf Blitzer, told Mr. Edwards's communications director, David Ginsberg: 'So far John Edwards has won one state, the state he was born in, South Carolina. At what point does he have to say the handwriting is on the wall?'"
So much for counting their eggs before they hatched.
Perhaps the 'news' reporters should stick to reporting the news.
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Isn't it against the law to accept campaign money from foreigners?
"I ask you to open an inquiry. Whatever you do will not bring my son back to life. But maybe this will stop the pain of the other mothers in my country."
The US authorities would not comment on the case yesterday.
The picture of him playing soldier suit on an aircraft carrier, the helmet under his arm as if he just got back from a run over Baghdad, marks him as exceedingly dangerous. The guy could actually believe he is a warrior.
3,377 Libertarian Votes in Wisconsin
828,091 Non-Bush Votes in Wisconsin
158,490 Bush Votes in Wisconsin
Dean's electable. Dean worries Karl.
So electable, Rove's nails are gnarled.
It's the fear of Rove that Bush he'll beat,
That he'll send George Dub a huge defeat.
Never before has someone been more
Dubya beatable, in every way.
Dean was right on war, to Karl's dismay.
Stop your quar'ling. It's incredible
That someone that's so electable,
Isn't seen as Dubya's credible foe.
Madeline Begun Kane
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
If you buy that, then you’ll buy my Enron stock...
"But myself I can't decieve
I know its only make believe..."
A new product destined to hit grocery store shelves has left people choking for answers about it's unique taste.
"It's the sewage blending," says spokeman Ken Kirk, referring to Derrier's distinctive flavour. "Blending has been an accepted, environmentally beneficial practice for decades."
Produced By Hanlon-Bush Enterprises Inc.
"Arnold Schwarzenegger, California's cigar-smoking governor, is to tear a roof off the state capitol so that smokers can enjoy their vice inside the legislature.
The Austrian-born actor, elected governor last November, is facing protests for deciding to turn a courtyard in the building into a "smoking plaza". It will include a drinking area." via Calpundit
Eh? What'd you say?
"The climate change alarm bells are ringing loud and clear. It's about time George Bush woke up to the terrible threat of global warming and took serious action to reduce US emissions of carbon dioxide.”
''He wants us to believe he didn't know his government had turned the government of
"My resolve is the same today as it was on the morning of Sept. 12, 2001."
Powell renewed his appeal for a political solution to the dispute.
Guess there's no oil there...
Saturday, February 14, 2004
This from Republican Ron Paul
Fighting terrorism is a top concern for most Americans. It is understandable, knowing how vulnerable we now are to an attack by our enemies, but striking out against the liberties of all Americans with the Patriot Act, the FBI, or the Guantanamo-type justice will hardly address the problem.
Liberty cannot be enhanced by undermining liberty. It is never necessary to sacrifice liberty to preserve it. It is tempting to sacrifice liberty for safety, and that is the argument used all too often by the politicians seeking more power. But even that is not true.
History shows that a strong desire for safety over liberty usually results in less of both. But that does not mean that we should ignore the past attacks or the threat of future attacks that our enemies might unleash.
First, fighting terrorism is a cliche. Terrorism is a technique or process, and if not properly defined the solutions will be hard to find. Terrorism is more properly defined as an attack by a guerilla warrior who picks the time and place of the attack because he cannot match the enemy with conventional weapons. With too broad a definition of terrorism, the temptation will be to relinquish too much liberty, being fearful that behind every door and in every suitcase lurks a terrorist-planted bomb. Narrowing the definition of terrorism and recognizing why some become enemies is crucial.
Understanding how maximum security is achieved in a free society is vital.
We have been told that the terrorists hate us for our wealth, our freedom and our goodness. This war cannot be won if that belief prevails. When the definition of terrorism is vague and the enemy pervasive throughout the world, the neo-conservatives who want to bring about various regime changes for other reasons conveniently latch onto these threats and use them as the excuse and justification for our expanding military presence throughout the Middle East and the Caspian Sea region.
This is something they have been anxious to do all along. Already plans are being laid by neo-conservative leaders to further expand our occupations to many other countries, from Central America and Africa to Korea. Whether it is invading Iraq, threatening North Korea or bullying Venezuela or even Russia, it is now popular to play the terrorist card. Just mention terrorism and the American people are expected to grovel and allow the war hawks to do whatever they want. This is a very dangerous attitude.
One would think that with the shortcomings of the Iraqi occupation becoming more obvious every day more Americans would question our flagrant and aggressive policy of empire building.
The American people were frightened into supporting this war because they were told that Iraq had 25,000 liters of anthrax; 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin; 500 tons of sarin, mustard, and VX nerve gas; significant quantities of refined uranium and special aluminum tubes used in developing nuclear weapons.
The fact that none of this huge amount of material was found and the fact that David Kay resigned from heading up the inspection team saying none will be found does not pacify the instigators of this policy of folly. They merely look forward to the next regime change as they eye their list of potential targets, and they argue with conviction that the 500-plus lives lost were worth it.
Attacking a perceived enemy who had few weapons, who did not aggress against it and who never posed a threat to us does nothing to help eliminate the threat of terrorist attacks. If anything, deposing an Arab Muslim leader, even a bad one, incites more hatred towards us, certainly not less. This is made worse if our justification for the invasion was in error.
It is safe to say that in time we will come to realize that our invasion has made us less safe and has served as a grand recruiting tool for the many militant Muslim groups that want us out of their countries, including the majority of those Muslims in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the entire Middle East.
Because of the nature of the war in which we find ourselves, catching Saddam Hussein or even killing Osama bin Laden are almost irrelevant. They may well simply become martyrs to their cause and incite even greater hatred toward us.
There are a few things we must understand if we ever expect this war to end. The large majority, especially all the militant Muslims see us as invaders, occupiers, and crusaders. We have gone a long way from home and killed a lot of people, and none of them believe it is to spread our goodness.
Whether or not some supporters of this policy of intervention are sincere in bringing democracy and justice to the region, it just does not matter. No one over there believes us.
Mr. STRICKLAND. Mr. Speaker, if I may just respond, I think many of us watched the President's interview last Sunday morning with Tim Russert, and the President continuously called Saddam Hussein a madman. I have no problem with that. He is a despicable human being. The President talked about the chemical and biological threat, and he talked about the fact that he used chemicals on his own people.
What the President failed to say was that he did that in the late 1980s when the President's father was in the Oval Office, when Colin Powell was a part of the administration, and we did nothing except block the efforts of Congress to impose sanctions.
My point is all of these years later to come forth and try to use that argument to convince the American people that we should launch a preemptive war that to this point has cost over 530 precious American lives, has resulted in the injury of thousands of our troops, has consumed about $150 billion of resources, the word ``hypocrisy'' comes to mind here.
The American people, when we hear that Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons against his own people, assume that we are talking about something that happened within the last few months or last few years, not over 10 years ago. When you tell a half truth or a partial truth, it gets pretty close to being a lie. I think the American people really have been manipulated, misled and purposely deceived in the kind of information that they have been given about why we needed to enter into this preemptive war.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Mr. Speaker, to point out two other facts, the initial approach to Saddam Hussein in 1983 at the direction of President Reagan was done by a special envoy.
Mr. STRICKLAND. I think that special envoy is our current Secretary of Defense.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Mr. Speaker, that is correct.
Mr. STRICKLAND. That is Mr. Donald Rumsfeld, and we have pictures of Mr. Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein. Back in those days, the fact that he was a dictator and cruel and vicious to his own people and used chemical weapons against the Kurds, back in those days it did not seem to mean a lot, apparently, because we took no action. In fact, the administration at that time actually blocked, proactively blocked, the imposition of sanctions.
Mr. DELAHUNT. In 1988, 1989, and 1990 the United States Congress took action.
Mr. STRICKLAND. Tried to, certainly.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Both the House and the Senate passed legislation that would have imposed sanctions, and it was the White House of George Herbert Walker Bush that blocked it.
Pausing again, going back in memory, who was the Secretary of Defense?
The Secretary of Defense was Mr. Cheney, the current Vice President. His Under Secretary of Defense was Paul Wolfowitz.
So, again, the dots here have to be connected. It is important, I believe, to present that historical record to the American people to give them the information that they need to conduct their own analysis.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Mr. Speaker, just to pick up on the gentleman's point that in terms of the work that the U.N. teams did, respectively it has been established that there were no stockpiles. There were no weapons of mass destruction. In fact, David Kay, appointed by President Bush, came back and told the American people, to use his words, we were all wrong. I think it is so important to analyze and understand all of the dots here and what lies in the future. As I said in my opening remarks, we are now creating alliances and working with people who rival Saddam Hussein in terms of their tyranny, their abuse of human rights, and their willingness to do anything to enhance their power.
I mentioned earlier we have a military base in Uzbekistan. And the President of Uzbekistan, here he is with our Secretary of Defense. The gentleman, if the Members will, to Secretary Rumsfeld's right, his name is Karimov, Islam Karimov. He is a tyrant. He is a thug, and we are in bed with him. The American people should know that. In Turkmenistan, I had mentioned earlier the leader of Turkmenistan, and we are sending him millions of dollars. Talk about a madman. He is a certifiable nut, changing the names of the calendar, April for his mother and January for himself. What are we doing? We are making the same mistake, and that is why it is important that those that are watching Iraq Watch tonight take this information, read on their own, and look to the future and understand that we are now or could be planting the seeds for another Saddam Hussein that will wreak havoc in the region, that obviously these two will continue to abuse human rights and what about our claim to moral authority when we are losing prestige in the world today?
The Bush administration wants to overhaul a federal voucher program that helps almost 2 million poor families pay the rent...
Thursday, February 12, 2004
"Truth is the first casualty of war. I would contend truth was murdered before a shot was fired."
"Law enforcement agencies should be alert to these possible indications of protest activity and report any potentially illegal acts to the nearest FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force."
"I don't remember..."
"I don't remember..."
"I don't remember..."
"I don't remember..."
Unfortunately, these men were speaking to an empty House, even though what they had to say was of great importance. Wish I could have a job where I could not go to work and get paid for it...
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
"George Bush is the best recruiter Democrats have got."
Sen. Patty Murray raised concerns Friday about gear for the brigade.
In a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the Washington Democrat said the brigade still lacks critically needed body armor, along with other such basics as desert camouflage and insect repellent.
"As of today, no, they are not ready to go," Lt. Col. Stephen Barger, a Fort Lewis spokesman, conceded.
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Read between the lines.
Common techniques > Special appeals
Is the speaker exaggerating the fear or threat in order to obtain my support?
How legitimate is the fear that the speaker is provoking?
Will performing the recommended action actually reduce the supposed threat?
When viewed dispassionately, what are the merits of the speaker's proposal?
You may want to reconsider voting for Kerry after reading this.
Monday, February 09, 2004
Do he and Laura argue about it at home, or does she belong to a different church?
Will they both be fasting on March 1st?
Has he alienated his children? Or perhaps they aren't Methodists...
What does he think of the bishop who criticized the administration's "scornful and arrogant attitude toward our European allies."?
Hasn't Mr. Bush's take been 'I say what I mean and I mean what I say.'?
"We yearn for the day when there will be no more war and people will live together in peace and justice. Some of us believe that war, and other acts of violence, are never acceptable to Christians. We also acknowledge that most Christians regretfully realize that, when peaceful alternatives have failed, the force of arms may be preferable to unchecked aggression, tyranny and genocide. We honor the witness of pacifists who will not allow us to become complacent about war and violence. We also respect those who support the use of force, but only in extreme situations and only when the need is clear beyond reasonable doubt, and through appropriate international organizations. We urge the establishment of the rule of law in international affairs as a means of elimination of war, violence, and coercion in these affairs."
"We believe war is incompatible with the teachings and example of Christ. We therefore reject war as a usual instrument of national foreign policy and insist that the first moral duty of all nations is to resolve by peaceful means every dispute that arises between or among them; that human values must outweigh military claims as governments determine their priorities; that the militarization of society must be challenged and stopped; that the manufacture, sale, and deployment of armaments must be reduced and controlled; and that the production, possession, or use of nuclear weapons be condemned. Consequently, we endorse general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."
Why did his fellow Methodists have to resort to sending out 'Action Alerts' in opposition to the Medicare bill? (As they are as he continues on the path to privatizing Social Security and election reform and a host of other issues?)
If Mr. Bush truly considers himself to be a Methodist, he needs to follow the tenets of the church; otherwise, perhaps it's time for him to find a new one; one that better reflects his social 'principles'.
Sunday, February 08, 2004
Saturday, February 07, 2004
NEW YORK - February 6 - The National Lawyers Guild will move to quash an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force subpoena issued on Wednesday, February 4, 2004. The subpoena asks Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, to produce all records relating to a November 15, 2003 antiwar conference at Drake University called "Stop the Occupation! Bring the Iowa Guard Home!"
Dennis Kucinich was in Washington this week, and I got a chance to hear him speak.
He spoke well, has good ideas, and a refreshing stance on the direction that our country should be heading.
"We must take a new direction as to the type of thinking that leads to war. There are 130,000 soldiers in Iraq based on lies and misrepresentation. We are also there because of a type of thinking--a type of thinking in political circles that believes war is inevitable. When every one of us believes war is inevitable, what do we get? ...A doctrine of despair, separation from humanity."
Kucinich proposes a "vision of a world where peace is inevitable," and quotes Tennyson: "Come, my friend, come. 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world."
"Our troops are serving as cops to protect corporations. Corporations who will take the step of going in risk free, backed by over $155 billion."
"The UN must take over management, accounting, and distribution to the Iraqi people of Iraq's oil profits. There must be no privatization of the Iraqi oil industry. The UN must handle the awarding of all contracts for the rebuilding of Iraq so that there can be no more sweetheart contracts for companies like Halliburton."
During the question & answer period, a child of about 9 asks: "I'm wondering what you're going to do about the budget crisis?"
Kucinich replies: "If I was in the current administration, I'd ask you to give me all your savings. The government is giving money away to the very wealthy. We're going to spend another $200 billion on war. The Pentagon budget is driving us into debt and has taken away from education and health. I will redirect money to social programs, which will bring in more money. Rebuilding cities will bring in money. I'm asking for your investment..in a social movement for peace. A New America.
Regarding WMD: Kucinich was right.
"The U.S. can repair it's position in the world community through cooperation, not through confrontation."
Side note: William Rivers Pitt is Kucinich's new Campaign Press Secretary.
Friday, February 06, 2004
"They asked me 'was the cow in the food chain?' I told them of course it was, it's meat. Where else would it be? They asked me if the cow was a downer. I told them no, it was just an old cow."
"On Jan. 4, an angry Mr. Louthan started sending e-mail messages to all the inspectors on the department's Web site, asking, "Are you just going to sit there with your hands in your pockets?" and accusing Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman of lying when she said American beef was safe.
"Since then, he said, green department cars have parked outside his house 'trying to scare me.'
"...Mr. Louthan said the agent who ordered him to be quiet suggested that he was akin to "an urban terrorist" for spreading alarm about beef."
Mr. Louthan said he believed the government changed the report on Dec. 23, during the panic at Vern's when a positive test was found.
"For years, calves have been fed cow's blood instead of milk, and cattle feed has been allowed to contain composted wastes from chicken coops, including feathers, spilled feed and even feces."
Three patients had died in Seattle from suspected CJD as far back as 1998.
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
Dhammapada verse (125)
"Over-the-air TV channels cannot air "obscene" material at any time and cannot air "indecent" material between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m"
Wouldn't that include airing the blatant lies of the administration?
The news networks are all a-dither, replaying the 'incident' repeatedly, expressing their (mock) 'outrage', taking phone calls and e-mails from viewers who ask, "How do I explain this to my 7 year old daughter?!?"
The same way you explained the ads for Viagra...
How do you explain to your daughter that hundreds of soldiers have died, thousands are wounded and maimed for life, thousands of innocent civilians have been killed and injured...all on the basis of a lie?
Isn't that the true obscenity?