Tuesday, August 30, 2005


US Snipers Target Reuters

Feral Scholar has another story up on the continued assassination and imprisonment of unembedded journalists by US troops in Iraq:
No bad news, no real news--only happy talk from the Republican Palace for President FUBAR.


Stay the Course

"America consumes one-quarter of the world's daily production of 84 million barrels of oil. More than half of our share is burned in cars and trucks. In fact, our economy now amounts to little more than running 200 million motor vehicles around the suburban metroplexes in the service of ever more slapped-together McHousing developments, big box stores, and fried chicken huts. That's our economy. That's all we do anymore."

--author James Howard Kunstler



[from Metafilter]
US Army auditor who attacked Halliburton deal is fired. Bunnatine Greenhouse, senior Army Contracting Specialist and the highest-ranking civilian at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), who blew the whistle on Halibuton after Halliburton subsidiary Kellog Brown & Root got $12 billion worth of exclusive contracts for work in Iraq has been fired - ostensibly for poor performance. Ms Greenhouse testified in front of Congress (pdf). She asked many questions: Why is Halliburton -- a giant Texas firm that holds more than 50 percent of all rebuilding efforts in Iraq -- getting billions in contracts without competitive bidding? Do the durations of those contracts make sense? Have there been violations of federal laws regulating how the government can spend its money? She said that the decision to award KBR a $75 million extension for troop support in the Balkans was "the most blatant and improper abuse I have witnessed" in 20 years as a government contract supervisor. Last October, she was summoned to the office of her boss. Major Gen. Robert Griffin, the Corps' deputy commander, was demoting her, he told her, taking away her Senior Executive Service status and sending her to midlevel management. She was offered early retirement, but refused. Now she's been fired.

Monday, August 29, 2005


Statehood for Moosylvania Now

Ha, ha, ha. Jay Ward would love it--the Moonies sponsoring the Pentagon Picnic. Dare we call it the Moon Walk? What next--a Hare Krishna Hop for the State Department?


Not Working

While this has potential to be the title of the next big blog or book, it was intended for all those of us who aren't. Apply it as you wish, but it was inspired by the following Fortune 500 subsidiary, direct-marketing ad agency job advertisement:

Vice President of super-creative conceptual strategy $70-100K


Goodwill Gone

From Baghdad Burning:

"We did not have Al-Qaeda in Iraq prior to the war. We didn’t know that sort of extremism. We didn’t have beheadings or the abduction of foreigners or religious intolerance. We actually pitied America and Americans when the Twin Towers went down and when news began leaking out about it being Muslim fundamentalists- possibly Arabs- we were outraged. Now 9/11 is getting old. Now, 100,000+ Iraqi lives and 1700+ American lives later, it’s becoming difficult to summon up the same sort of sympathy as before. How does the death of 3,000 Americans and the fall of two towers somehow justify the horrors in Iraq when not one of the people involved with the attack was Iraqi?"


The Task Ahead

One of the Iraq Veterans Against the War camped out with Cindy Sheehan the last few weeks recounted how, as a commander, he admonished his troops to not lose their humanity despite the hopeless circumstances in which they'd been placed. Something along the lines of having to live with their conscience long after they'd returned home. Wise words, and useful for us here as well.

Looking down the road ahead, we are facing many predictable as well as unimagined tribulations associated with our transition from the age of abundance to the age of scarcity, simultaneously challenged by conflicts between those guided by reason and those propelled by emotion. As we re-fight the issues that once led to civil war in our country, let us remember, too, the need to maintain our humanity for the someday when we've finally learned to coexist. Just in case that day should ever come.

Friday, August 26, 2005


Training Wheels

About this time in his presidency, Richard Milhous Nixon was observed (by aides) having conversations with Presidential portraits and scrambling on the floor of the Oval Office grabbing at the various pills and capsules he'd fumbled all over the place while already sauced as a Christmas Goose.

Reagan's goose was already cooked by the time his dementia had progressed to the point he thought he was actually playing President in an MGM production, so there was little need for Librium or barbituates to keep him in check.

Well, by golly, the wait was worth every minute by felonious minute, huh? I mean, is this our President on Drugs or what?


Summertime Blues

I remember watching the Watergate Hearings in the summer of '73 with a sense of awe toward our institutions' self-correcting capacity. (I was only twenty years old.) By the time these same structures got around to Iran-Contra twelve years later, though, I'd managed to acquire a healthier skepticism.

But the scale of the ReaganBush corruption seems almost amateurish by the CheneyBush standards. Perhaps they were merely testing the water to see how far criminality might be extended without serious consequence. As it turned out in the summer of '85, the answer was pretty far.

And now that Bush II--like Nixon and Reagan, also in the first summer of his second term at the time of imminent reports by special prosecutors investigating high crimes in the Oval Office--begins to feel the winds of felonious failure, I am curious just how The FUBAR Presidency will respond.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


W is for Denial

You gotta love a news site with a masthead motto that reads: Because nobody's life, liberty or property are safe while Congress is in session or the White House is occupied.

You also gotta love their willingness to print the following:

While President George W. Bush travels around the country in a last-ditch effort to sell his Iraq war, White House aides scramble frantically behind the scenes to hide the dark mood of an increasingly angry leader who unleashes obscenity-filled outbursts at anyone who dares disagree with him.

“I’m not meeting again with that goddamned bitch,” Bush screamed at aides who suggested he meet again with Cindy Sheehan, the war-protesting mother whose son died in Iraq. “She can go to hell as far as I’m concerned!”

Bush, administration aides confide, frequently explodes into tirades over those who protest the war, calling them “motherfucking traitors.” He reportedly was so upset over Veterans of Foreign Wars members who wore “bullshit protectors” over their ears during his speech to their annual convention that he told aides to “tell those VFW assholes that I’ll never speak to them again is they can’t keep their members under control.”

White House insiders say Bush is growing increasingly bitter over mounting opposition to his war in Iraq. Polls show a vast majority of Americans now believe the war was a mistake and most doubt the President’s honesty.
“Who gives a flying fuck what the polls say,” he screamed at a recent strategy meeting. “I’m the President and I’ll do whatever I goddamned please. They don’t know shit.”

Bush, while setting up for a photo op for signing the recent CAFTA bill, flipped an extended middle finger to reporters. Aides say the President often “flips the bird” to show his displeasure and tells aides who disagree with him to “go to hell” or to “go fuck yourself.” His habit of giving people the finger goes back to his days as Texas governor, aides admit, and videos of him doing so before press conferences were widely circulated among TV stations during those days. A recent video showing him shooting the finger to reporters while walking also recently surfaced.

Bush’s behavior, according to prominent Washington psychiatrist, Dr. Justin Frank, author of “Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President,” is all too typical of an alcohol-abusing bully who is ruled by fear. To see that fear emerge, Dr. Frank says, all one has to do is confront the President. “To actually directly confront him in a clear way, to bring him out, so you would really see the bully, and you would also see the fear,” he says.

Dr. Frank, in his book, speculates that Bush, an alcoholic who brags that he gave up booze without help from groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, may be drinking again. “Two questions that the press seems particularly determined to ignore have hung silently in the air since before Bush took office,” Dr. Frank says. “Is he still drinking? And if not, is he impaired by all the years he did spend drinking? Both questions need to be addressed in any serious assessment of his psychological state.”

Last year, Capitol Hill Blue learned the White House physician prescribed anti-depressant drugs for the President to control what aides called “violent mood swings.” As Dr. Frank also notes: “In writing about Bush's halting appearance in a press conference just before the start of the Iraq War, Washington Post media critic Tom Shales speculated that ‘the president may have been ever so slightly medicated.’”

Dr. Frank explains Bush’s behavior as all-to-typical of an alcoholic who is still in denial:
“The pattern of blame and denial, which recovering alcoholics work so hard to break, seems to be ingrained in the alcoholic personality; it's rarely limited to his or her drinking,” he says. “The habit of placing blame and denying responsibility is so prevalent in George W. Bush's personal history that it is apparently triggered by even the mildest threat.”

© Copyright 2005 by Capitol Hill Blue


One Down, The World To Go

I haven't heard from my Persian-American friends recently, but I can imagine their horror at what the Cheney White House has in mind for their families back in Iran. The civil war that erupted this week in Iraq between US-armed street gangs (with police and army participation)--combined with the recent US occupation authority's sellout of Iraqi women--in the warped worldview of CheneyBush, now frees up the US military to abandon the chaos it engendered there and thereby devote the US treasury to escalating the disruption of Iranian society begun by the Pentagon a year ago.

As usual, Whiskey Bar's Billmon has the best analysis on these developments.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Civilization As We Know It

The Morning News dot org has another great interview--this one with author James Howard Kunstler on the inevitable disorder and discontinuity and despotism in store for America's "horrendous new crap" socio-economy in the "remorselessly-reduced energy" of the very near future.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Kill the Rich

Well, we didn't exactly expect the Pentagon Press to suddenly take integrity to heart just because two thirds of the country now knows they (all US corporate media) were eager accomplices in helping Cheney-Bush deceive us in order to slaughter Iraqis for profit. But we kinda hoped for once they'd lay off the red-baiting and demonizing they've become known for since 12/12/2000. We were wrong, again. They're back to doing what they've always done--pimping war to keep the rich rich and the poor stupid or dead. So they want class war? I say start with the owners of the media. We can take out the politicians later.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Profane Constitutions

As Cindy Sheehan remarked (see Huffington Post) at the national Veteran's for Peace Convention the night before she set out to Camp Casey, "I got an email the other day and it said, "Cindy if you didn't use so much profanity... there's people on the fence that get offended."And you know what I said? "You know what? You know what, god damn it? How in the world is anybody still sitting on that fence?""

Part of the answer to that rhetorical question might be found in a report on college application test scores cited by Brilliant at Breakfast:

"About half of test-takers lack at least some reading-comprehension skills, suggesting they would struggle in courses such as history, sociology or literature. Just over half (51%) had scores high enough to suggest they could succeed in college-level social science courses."

Meanwhile, Billmon at Whiskey Bar observes that--like here in the US--constitutions in Afghanistan or Iraq are pieces of paper that make good targets for the best-armed street gangs in the world, thanks to US intervention. And with their penetration into the Pentagon's paramilitary army/police, they can now carry out kidnapping, extortion and assassination with tanks and assorted heavy weaponry while exercising their fundamentalist terror over a completely unprotected citizenry.

As both of these illustrious bloggers point out, women--who once lived in the most socially-advanced secular society in the region--are now largely banned from working, wearing modern dress, or participating in public discussion without risking the punishment of rape, death, or disfigurement carried out by fanatics turned loose on the population by the occupation authority.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


Thank You Canada

Jurassicpork, commenting on Driftglass about his Nixon-worshipping Republican-till-death mother -in-law, related how it is, lately, that she has abandoned standing up for Bush/Cheney--not on moral grounds over such crazy things as social security or crimes against humanity--but because George II is just so f**kin' stupid. Is that irony or poetic justice? I forget.


Middling Militarists

I'm fascinated by the new "moderate" position on our Middle-East armed intervention: keep f**king up for another year and a half and then withdraw our military, except for those we can keep stationed on ten or twenty-some bases in the region to back up whatever tyrants we eventually cut a deal with--kinda like we did in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. That oughta go down well with the Wahabbis and Mujahedin.

But even the secular, intellectual leadership indigenous to the region would point out the inevitably tragic consequence of moderation in occupation. And something the so-called "moderates" neglect to consider in their support for a slow, careful, rational phaseout by the end of 2006, is that the administration in charge of this alleged wise course is the same group of people who it seems were born to only do the wrong thing--always.

So explain to me, you middling militarist moderates, How does one stabilize this inherently unstable relationship as disease and hunger and crime continue to sweep across the region in the wake of our destruction? Do you actually think the newly-appointed US delegate to the UN can help?

No, everything Bush/Cheney has done and will do in the region will make things worse--there and here--and we might as well stop discussing such nonsense as moderate militarism and get on with the agenda of subverting White House policy as a means of guarding our own Constitution, never mind the phony one drafted by Halliburton hacks in the Republican Palace.

Friday, August 19, 2005


We're So Sorry

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's chief of staff from 2002 through 2005, says he wishes he'd not been involved in the February 2003 fraudulent presentation by then Secretary of State Powell at the UN that led to the Iraq war. "I look back on it, and I still say it was the lowest point in my life."

Doesn't quite have the punch of whistleblowers Richard Clarke or Katherine Gunn, but as a confession of sorts, I guess we'll have to make do.

Without getting into why it is that Bush only appoints black step-n-fetch-it Secretaries of State, I wonder what kind of mea culpas we might expect from Rice's lackies while the curtain falls on the whole White House fiasco.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


On Bush's Doorstep

"I am not the issue. The issue is a disastrous war that's killing our sons and daughters and making our country less secure. They attack me because they can no longer defend this war."

--Cindy Sheehan


Caliphate Conscripts

In The Future of Terrorism: What al-Qaida Really Wants by Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein (who spent time in prison with al-Zarqawi and managed to make contact with many of the network's leaders), the organization's master plan--no matter how unrealistic--is sufficiently clear for even President Cheney to understand: recruit, resist, retaliate.

Not so tough to decipher, after all. They want to rid themselves of corrupt monarchies and establish theocracies, and any meddling by western powers will be resisted with retaliation to follow.

Now that we've been through this formulaic cycle a few times, perhaps a recognizable pattern will emerge that even docile Americans can comprehend.


Roberts, Scalia & Thomas?

Equal pay for women is communism? Not against the laws of God or the Bible, but communism? Yeah, Judge Roberts is our kind of guy all right.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Mobilizing Resentment

In her book Mobilizing Resentment: Conservative Resurgence from the John Birch Society to the Promise Keepers, author Jean Hardisty chronicles the formation of right-wing movements in opposition to the struggle for equal rights for women, people of color, lesbians and gays, with a mixture of awe, fear, and a lucid understanding of what draws people to charismatic people and events.

Someday, with luck, someone will probably write about the liberal resurgence mobilized in part by tapping that deep well of resentment against the betrayal of these and other struggles for human dignity by the institutions we mistakenly entrusted to safeguard them.

Every day that I get up and read about Cindy Sheehan and her supporters ensconced at Camp Casey, I think about the widespread loathing of our president and his cabinet and his party, that overflows from the issue of a fraudulent war into betrayals on many fronts, and I can't help but think our momentary focus on their plunder motif in war extends to our fears for retirement, health, and education and all the myriad necessities of life they have worked tirelessly to destroy over the last five years.

But while we have a right to be angry, we also have a need to be intelligent, to be careful, to be circumspect about what we do. Because, make no mistake, this is a civil war in our country, seething just below the superficial facade of society, that sends up warning flares now and then such as in the mowing down of crosses in Crawford this week.

In my memoir Blind Spots, I relate a series of incidents that coincided with media and right-wing demonization of my closest friend at the time, a woman, and--like Cindy Sheehan--a mother of four, who was running for public office in the county where we lived twelve years ago.

It began with demeaning characterizations by the local newspaper's editors and hate radio hosts, and escalated into name-calling and fear-mongering by Republican business organizations. Then her campaign signs started getting destroyed, and her headlights were smashed while she spoke at the Senior Center. When she triumphed in the primary election, she received death threats, and two days later a speeding driver swerved off the road attempting to run down her campaign manager in her flower garden. By the general election, I had to hire an off-duty sheriff's deputy to stand guard at public forums where she spoke. I shudder to think what might have happened had she won in the general election.

My friend continued her fight for accountability in local government for another ten years before she wore out and moved, but it was never again the same in the town we both left. People who cared and were once involved shrank from public affairs after seeing what happened to her and I. Thoughtful citizens took this lesson to heart, recovering somewhat, but never were the perpetrators called to account.

And so I guess as we support Sheehan and others who rise to the occasion, we need to steel ourselves for continued betrayals and threats and defamation, and not expect too much even as we demand justice, for it is a dream worth fighting for, but rarely attained.

[Read what some are doing about it today. ]

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Rank and File Revolt

[from Editor & Publisher]

NEW YORK Newspaper Guild leaders at The Washington Post on Monday afternoon called on the newspaper to withdraw its sponsorship of a controversial Sept. 11 memorial walk organized by the Department of Defense. The event has drawn opposition from several groups for its alleged pro-war tilt."Basically, the guild is calling for the Post to reconsider and drop sponsorship," said Rick Weiss, a Post reporter and co-chair of the Washington Post unit of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild Local 32035. "As a matter of maintaining its appearance of neutrality on polarizing issues of policy."Weiss said eight members of the local's leadership committee met Monday and unanimously passed a resolution asking the paper to drop its support of the event. He said the resolution would be delivered to Post Publisher Bo Jones as soon as possible.The unit represents more than 1,400 Post employees.

The resolution reads, in part, "Post news employees are subject to disciplinary action for participating in political activities that may be perceived as revelatory of personal opinions or bias. The Washington Post itself should be held to the same high standard. Moreover, arguments that the Freedom Walk is anything other than a political activity -- and indeed, a political activity in support of the war in Iraq -- should be put to rest by the prominent participation of country music star Clint Black, best known of late for his war-glorifying song 'Iraq and I Roll.' "The Guild supports The Post's stated intention of honoring the nation's veterans, including those who have served in Iraq," the resolution continues. "But the Post undermines this goal by lending its support to a political event that links the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to the war in Iraq -- a link that The Post, in its reporting, has shown to be false.


Advantageous Relationships

Phil Williams, a noted scholar of organized crime, wrote in the 2001 RAND publication Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime, and Militancy about criminal networks. A sample from his section of this anthology is cited below.

"Networks provide access to people with specific resources, which create mutually advantageous information benefits and exchange relationships. This is as relevant to organized crime as to business and helps to explain why criminal organizations extend their networks into the licit world. Further, extending a network into government provides access to both information and power...

Perhaps most important of all, however, are the members of law enforcement agencies and government officials whose link to criminal networks involves exchange of information or protection for money. In the case of politicians, the exchange can be about personal gain but might also be about assistance in mobilizing the vote, support for electoral campaigns, criminal assistance in providing information about political opponents, or even in intimidating and, in extreme cases, eliminating political enemies. In the case of law enforcement personnel, or members of the judiciary, the aim of the criminals is to minimize risks by undermining enforcement efforts, suborning the judicial process, and neutralizing the criminal justice system."

To even begin to grasp the scale of corruption involved in the 9-11 coverup, one has to get beyond the sensationalist exposure of treason and vengeance (ie Richard Clarke, Valerie Plame, Joseph Wilson, and Sibel Edmonds) and consider the evidence linking people like the Bush and Saud families and the enterprises they are involved in, that an authentic investigation of 9-11 might expose. For it is these real and lucrative and criminal enterprises that are likely behind the gag orders of Edmonds and the outing of Plame and the smearing of Clarke and Wilson, and hopefully hold the key to unraveling this sordid arrangement.


Family Secrets

"The most significant information that we were receiving did not come from counter-terrorism investigations, and I want to emphasize this. It came from counter-intelligence, and certain criminal investigations, and issues that have to do with money laundering operations. You get to a point where it gets very complex, where you have money laundering activities, drug related activities, and terrorist support activities converging at certain points and becoming one...

We are not talking about only governmental levels. And I keep underlining semi-legit organizations and following the money. When you do that the picture gets grim. It gets really ugly."

--Sibel Edmonds, former FBI translator and 9-11 whistleblower

[Ed. note: read the full interview at http://baltimorechronicle.com/050704SibelEdmonds.shtml ]

Monday, August 15, 2005


The Golden Rule

It may be only the beginning of a new era for Americans--similar perhaps in some respects to the end of the Soviet Union--when unquestioned assumptions about superiority and supremacy and righteousness begin to crumble. And there is something else to keep in mind as our world starts to shift around us; no people have ever managed to hold on to these assumptions indefinitely; not the Romans, nor the Persians, nor the Greeks or French, Spanish, English or any other civilization built on bending the world to its will.

So while we're out on the streets demonstrating against our present misadventures in the Middle East, start up a conversation with others about questioning our entire culture of militarism that has both exhausted our global goodwill, and depleted our common wealth. Send a message that withstands the test of time and the whims of change--remember the golden rule.


A Raw Nerve

"Watching a senile old pervert like Bill O'Reilly or a brainless fraud like Michelle Malkin trading insults about a Gold Star mother standing in a ditch outside Shrub's dude ranch might have been enough to drive me into either a blind, homicidal rage or a stark, dying-of-the-light depression....But it's way too hot to get angry and the whole mise-en-scene is way too absurd for despair. I mean, what could be more preposterous than the sight of the mighty GOP propaganda war machine -- built up with such effort and at such great cost -- aiming all its guns at one bereaved, 48 year-old mother camped by the side of the road in Crawford, Texas?...

At this point, to call the Commander in Chief detached from reality would be an insult to paranoid schizophrenics everywhere.

Cindy Sheehan has touched a raw nerve (both with the media and with the GOP propaganda machine) less because of who she is than because of who she isn't -- Jane Fonda...Instead of feasting on Hanoi Jane, the wing nuts are driving themselves nuts trying to figure out how to take down Vacaville Cindy: a woman who looks and sounds like she spends her free time organizing church socials and helping her husband clean out the garage-- that is, when she isn't busy searing George W.Bush's butt with a white hot poker for dragging the country into an unnecessary and failed war in Iraq, and getting her son killed in the process...

One angry mom is dangerous enough... But now there are 300 of them standing in the dirt and the heat down in Crawford --and millions more watching on TV, silently asking themselves the same questions Sheehan wants to ask Bush: How did we get into this mess? How do we get out? Have our sons and daughters been sent to die invain? The machine can try to demonize Cindy Sheehan. But it can't demonize those questions -- not any more, not when so many others are asking them."

--Billmon at Whiskey Bar


Force Congress to Impeach

"Impeachment of Bush is widely regarded as impossible given the Republican control of the House and Senate and the strength of the conservative news media in newspapers, magazines, talk radio, television and the Internet. But impeachment may be the only political option left if the American people hope to force a U.S. withdrawal before 2009...

Without some accountability, it’s also likely that Bush’s neoconservative advisers will remain influential in Washington, biding their time for a comeback. Bush may be leaving in three-and-a-half years, but the neoconservatives who surround him have no plans to surrender the influence they have accumulated in Washington over the past 30 years."

--Robert Parry, Consortium News


The Whole Truth

"Cindy Sheehan's war is for this alternative meaning. She is bringing many Americans to confront the awful fact that nearly 2,000 soldiers have died and 13,000 been wounded in a war fought for fabricated reasons. She is challenging George Bush never to use those deaths as justification for more killing. She wants the truth, nothing more than the truth, because that will stop George Bush from desecrating the dead all over again through deceit."

--Tom Hayden

Sunday, August 14, 2005


Beware the Unhinged

This morning's discharges of a firearm by a landowner adjacent to Camp Casey, and the subsequent threat made to take the law into his own hands against the military families demanding accountability from the Bush administration, should be taken as a warning that frustration is mounting among Bush supporters, even if it turns out that this man was simply a deranged rancher tired of all the traffic.

Regardless of the actual intent on the part of this particular individual to carry out an assault or attempted murder, the fact remains that the anti-war groups and individuals are being demonized daily in the media, as well as scapegoated for the crimes of our elected leaders, and thus basic security is an issue we all need to address. The right-wing rallies, as well as hate radio and TV--combined with Pentagon spectacles to induce hyper-patriotism--are bound to attract and inspire the unhinged. Given the FBI/Secret Service animosity toward us, counting on them to protect us in this hostile atmosphere is just plain foolish.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


Trust Betrayed

"This war is a disaster. It is a betrayal of our military and a betrayal of the democracy they seek to protect."

--Military Families Speak Out


Doggo Catatonic

"It is this shrieking absence -- the palpable negative space created by a total embargo on Actual News -- that provides the most crucial context for the state of the Conservative Mind. Having run out of lies that anyone but the most profoundly ****ed Republican could possibly buy – and since they have made such Total War on Reality itself, the very concept of the Truth has become their hated nemesis – they have no other choice but to lie doggo. To just go politically and journalistically catatonic."

--from Driftglass [see link in sidebar]


Sucking Their Thumbs

"In the nearly four years since 9/11, Americans have been like young children ...they have responded to the President's "consistent" message the way a child would -- as a sign that everything's going to be OK, instead of as an adult should -- by comparing the message to the reality and realizing that this president isn't "resolute", he's delusional.

Changing one's mind and one's approach in light of new evidence is what an adult does. Only a child continues to insist that Santa Claus is real even after catching Mommy and Daddy putting the presents under the tree and eating the cookies. But this insistence on believing everything George Bush says is a symptom of the persistent juvenile state in which American adults have wallowed since 9/11. His "consistency" and the petulant way he has of continuing to insist that the Iraq war was the right thing to do are reassuring to adults who are still unable to accept that there's nothing special about our status as Americans that is going to keep us safe in this current world.

It's that reassurance that keeps them from facing the lies that he told about why he wanted to go to war in Iraq. Because if Daddy doesn't know what he's talking about, it feels to many people as if the rug was pulled out from under them. In view of the evidence that has come to light that the war was entered under false pretenses, with information they cooked up themselves, and that they haven't got a clue where to go next, other than to continue the failed tactics we're currently using, Bush supporters are like children after the tornado hits, crouched in the corner in a fetal position, sucking their thumbs and waiting for Daddy's reassurance that the danger is past and everything is OK. In a child, a need for a Daddy who knows everything and who makes them "feel safe" is important and necessary. In an adult, it's pathetic."

--Jill, from Brilliant at Breakfast [see link in sidebar]


Freedomland Follies

"The Gulf War ... was made popular by an immense propaganda barrage unleashed by the Pentagon, the media, and government, creating an ideological milieu in which 45 percent of the population said it would be prepared to use nuclear weapons against Iraq. Military actions were, transformed into a grotesque national spectacle, a great celebration of war-making."

--Carl Boggs


Gold Stars Trump Yellow Ribbons

"There is no reason for us progressive liberals to be angry anymore. We have the power. One mom has shown that ordinary citizens can make a difference. We the people have to hold George Bush accountable. We have to make sure he answers to us. If he doesn't have to answer to Congress, or the media, we will force him to answer to us."

--Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star Families for Peace


Small Minds, Big Mouths

True to form, a charter bus load of smarmy Bush supporters from Dallas made a brief half-hour stop at Camp Casey late yesterday to smirk in only the way smug, arrogant Republicans can do. Lest we think they were capable of individual thought and conscience, they followed their right-wing talk radio host in chanting "We don't care, we don't care" over bullhorns at the six mothers of dead soldiers before boarding their bus to look for more opportunities for fun on their corporate-sponsored holiday.

Friday, August 12, 2005


Battle to Communicate

"I have the greatest admiration for your propaganda. Propaganda in the West is carried out by experts who have had the best training in the world -- in the field of advertizing -- and have mastered the techniques with exceptional proficiency ... Yours are subtle and persuasive; ours are crude and obvious ... I think that the fundamental difference between our worlds, with respect to propaganda, is quite simple. You tend to believe yours ... and we tend to disbelieve ours."

--a Soviet correspondent based five years in the U.S.


Silencing Sibel

"If what she [FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds] knows is revealed, it could lead to charges of treason being leveled against officials at top levels of the U.S. government."

--Kyle Hence, 9-11 Citizens Watch



We are Stardust

"Democracy is not about trust; it is about distrust. It is about accountability, exposure, open debate, critical challenge, and popular input and feedback from the citizenry. It is about responsible government. We have to get our fellow Americans to trust their leaders less and themselves more, trust their own questions and suspicions, and their own desire to know what is going on."

--Michael Parenti


Citizen Sheehan

"Where will the expanding majority of Americans look for a representative, a spokesperson, a voice for their anger, frustration, and distrust at being misled?

The circumstances suggest it should be a Senate or House Democratic leader...Strangely, no one in any of those categories comes to mind. Their voices are silent...Where the single greatest issue of the day, and one of the most potent issues of our time, is concerned, there is no courageous opposition.

But wait. There is someone to hold the emperor to account. ..She, unfortunately, is not a Senator. She is not a party leader. She is not in the regular establishment Rolodex of the Sunday talk producers. Yet, she holds the highest office available in a republic, that of citizen...

Remember her name. It is Cindy Sheehan."

--former U.S. Senator Gary Hart


Get It On

"The time has passed when we can stand around waiting for a knight on a white horse to ride to our rescue. We’ve got to look to ourselves -- to the leader in the mirror. Our elected officials have woefully failed to provide the leadership needed on this most vital issue of our time. And stepping into that void is Cindy Sheehan."

--Arianna Huffington http://www.huffingtonpost.com/


Knowledge is not Power

Contrary to the once-popular misconception, knowledge is not power; it is merely the first step in either acquiring or subverting it. And so, because it can be useful, I've compiled four sites chock full of resources for the serious research/activists who might stumble across this blog. If you have the time and inclination, let me know what you think, and by all means, pass it on.

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/index.html (books and articles on media control and propaganda)

http://www.publicintegrity.org/tools.aspx (database of such things as defense contractors, lobbyists, and media ownership by zip code)

http://www.fair.org/media-woes/interlocking-directorates.html (ties between media corporations and the industries they report on)

http://www.corporations.org/media/#monopoly (media consolidation from Bush I to Bush II)

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Uncivil War

Reading in the news today about Rupert Murdoch's intent to dominate the Internet, I have to wonder just how long the fascist media (not just Murdoch's Fox News) in the US will be able to continue unscathed by either sabotage or assassination. Not to advocate either, but as we proceed on a trajectory toward civil war, it is not inconceivable that the military-industrial-media axis behind the dismantling of our republic might someday pay a price for its treasonous and criminal behavior. I mean, it's not like we can reason with them, is it?


From the Front

Without the Internet, nobody would know what was truly going on. The mainstream media is a propaganda tool for the government, and without the Internet we would be a fascist state.

--Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star Families for Peace

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Freedom is not Free

The battle for the right to communicate intensifies as the drama between corporate media as government propaganda declares war on veterans and military families for peace. Send them what you can today. The latest contact information for independent journalists and bloggers:



Media Attack Mom

Newshounds has the story on Clear Channel and Fox news' plans to smear and intimidate Cindy Sheehan and Gold Star Families for Peace.



I've Got a Feeling

From the beautiful Blackbird to the downhome Don't Pass Me By--



Full Spectrum Delusion

As Day-5 in Crawford begins, with military families flying in from around the country to confront Bush and Rumsfeld, Feral Scholar editor Stan Goff offers up an exquisite analysis of the White House plan for "partial-martial law" to neutralize its political opposition in the US http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/070805_global_battlefield.shtml as well as an article about resistance from both career and short-term people in the military http://stangoff.com/index.php?p=172 that shows why the Pentagon psychopaths who devised this fraudulent national emergency are failing, despite the cowardice of Congress in ending our tyranny.

Another fine composition on the military families' showdown with the Coward from Crawford is found at http://www.idyllopuspress.com/meanwhile/?p=398



We met an old white-haired gentleman Monday at the side of the road under the Buckeye trees, across from the trailhead where we hike in the pines with our year-and-a-half-old poodle Cosmo. I could tell right off he was a kind person by his smile and was glad when he offered his hand in introduction. Terry proceeded to compliment Marianne on her becoming fleece ear band, and remarked on how rarely he encounters anyone with my name.

Given he was in his pajamas and leaning on his cane, I suspect he doesn't get out a lot--we'd never seen him before--and he informed us he'd lived there for fifty years, in the house hidden behind the toppled ancient oak.

Hurried along by the cold ocean fog pouring up Tennessee Valley, and by an impatient Cosmo we were thankful hadn't accidentally knocked Terry over, we continued on our way, but not before wondering if Terry had just come out to get his mail, or maybe some fresh air, and whether he'd been a cattle rancher like the other old-timers down the road in what is now a national recreation area with horse stables.

Passing by the ruins of a former homestead with apple trees and rose bushes along the trail, I think about how different the world was when I was born, and how gracefully our new friend and his wild companions of his valley have faded into the background of this landscape.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Stolen Property

"The wealth of the 358 billionaires — the 358 richest people on the planet — surpasses the annual income of the poorest 45% of the planet, i.e. 2.6 billion people” (Le Monde Diplomatique, Feb. 1997).


Harmonic Convergence

The Crawford, Texas' Lonestar Iconoclast has an online Cindy Watch http://www.iconoclast-texas.com/News/2005/31-40/32news09.htm updated periodically throughout the day, as Gold Star Families for Peace approaches day five, when veterans from across the country are expected to arrive to help them erect a thousand white crosses across from the President's ranch.

This convergence of military families and veterans calling for Bush's impeachment is threatened to be disrupted by the Secret Service, as war criminals Rice and Rumsfeld are expected to fly in for some R & R.


True Colors

I was reading this morning that Howard Dean predicts the GOP will use anti-immigrant sentiments as a wedge issue in next year's Congressional elections. Really, Howard? Republicans exploiting racism? Good detective work pal.

But then I saw the photo of Minutemen vigilantes gathered on the Mexican border waving their Confederate and Nazi flags. What a wholesome bunch.

Which prompted me to check out what the illustrious Driftglass had to say today, and I was not disappointed. You might also enjoy the discussion in the comments on his editorial.


Monday, August 08, 2005


Actions Speak

For all the excitement poured into sending dough to the Senate multi-millionaire who took a dive last summer in his run for President, maybe there's a little goodwill left over to help out the people actually standing up to Bush. I can't think of any organization more deserving of that than Gold Star Families for Peace. Check http://www.gsfp.org to see how to help.


Making a Stand

Cindy Sheehan's making a stand at the President's ranch despite threats from Homeland Security. Stay tuned to lend support. Whatever she needs.



Prepare to Dynamize

A little more than six weeks out now from the planned September 24 "national mobilization" against the illegal US/UK invasion and destruction of Iraq, it might be of interest to some to begin considering how or if they wish to participate in this social undertaking. Given the expected October report of Special Prosecutor/Independent Counsel/Department of Justice Investigator Patrick Fitzgerald on at least some of the high crimes directed out of the Oval Office that led to this violation of national and international law, we could even take a tip from social theorists from fifty years ago, and consider just how we might engage in constructing situations that create a more fulfilling ambiance that in turn engenders a new reality. Gold Star mom Cindy Sheehan's confrontation at Rancho Crawford this weekend presents one example of cultural creativity; no doubt others can construct equally poignant situations.

While we ponder projects to express our diverse desires in dynamic opposition to our destructive society, some may wish to dig into Preliminary Problems in Constructing a Situation available at http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/1.situations.htm

Sunday, August 07, 2005



I've heard the Hiroshima story so many times I tend to ignore it, but then along came Darryl, who somehow breathed new life into this old tale.



W Ain't Comin' Out

Karena and the Lonestar Iconoclast deliver the one-two to W who sneaks out the back door to hide behind little leaguers rather than face up to what he's done to the Gold Star Families whose children have died so he could play war. What a pathetic little coward he is.


Saturday, August 06, 2005


Way Down

I just stumbled across this site, and recalled when I first discovered Donovan's music as a teenager, and how it was a shift from the Beatles and the Kinks, all of whom I still love to listen to. For me, these were the pre-psychedelic bards and poets who nourished me prior to the intensity of the late sixties and early seventies when Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, et al, supplanted them to keep rhythm with our accelerated response to a world gone mad.



Going, Going, Gone

It isn't often that one of us blogger plebes hits one out of the park, so grab a foot-long and a beer and read Steven Hart's http://www.theopinionmill.com/Scatino.html


Small World

My old sleuthing buddy phoned the other evening to get caught up on things; we hadn't spoken in awhile, and we usually call each other every other week or so since I moved from Puget Sound to the Bay Area.

Seems his tenured university pal has been on paid leave of absence since last fall after the top brass fabricated some charges against him in retaliation for his whistleblowing on embezzling that was going on in or around the provost's office. I can't recall all the details, but suffice to say that this professor friend of my former associate did not take the threat, nor suspension, nor attempted payoff laying down. He hired a civil rights attorney who just last week filed suit in federal court.

But what makes the story particularly interesting to me is that the provost's assistant at the time is an old friend and former roommate of mine from the 70s, and according to my gumshoe goombah, requested a transfer when he saw what was going down--refused to participate in anything crooked. Good for him. It gets better.

Turns out my investigating friend who phoned decided to drop in on this mutual friend who also roomed with his sister once, during which time he and I worked together seasonally in the salmon industry. So it's kind of old home week when he pops in his office to say hi and see if he can get the scoop on the university coverup.

Lo and behold, no sooner than he sits across the desk from our buddy, and he says he's now married to the woman who got my first book censored by placing a threatening phone call to my publisher two summers ago. (It's a long story.)

At any rate, my pal says he must have gone white as a sheet, because when he got home he had three gimlets (maybe four) in a row. He was, after all, the person who attacked this arguably crazy woman in the local press for slandering my book and libeling me. (I hope these are the correct terms. You get the idea.)

Which only goes to show how incestuous things can get when you've lived somewhere long enough and get involved in things like cleaning up government corruption. Eventually you're gonna run into inexplicable puzzles that boggle the mind, and the only thing you can do about it is to turn to intoxication.

Friday, August 05, 2005


The Road Ahead

In his current essay http://context.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2005/08/05/120.html , Moscow Times correspondent Chris Floyd documents the now familiar corruption and cronyism in the Bush White House regarding Vice President Cheney's hallowed Halliburton contracts, while a commenter at http://driftglass.blogspot.com/2005/08/carville-discovers-novaks-launch-codes.html provides a more accessible, and I would argue more precise, depiction of the wholesale hollowing out of the federal vault.

And the distinction is an important one. Graft and cronyism are normal in our system of government. Complete and utter ransacking of the public wealth and credit are another matter altogether. Equivocating on this subject--whether in the name of protecting the sanctity of the office, or out of fear of being exposed for the relatively petty crimes committed by both parties in Congress on any given day--is already having disastrous consequences on public health and education.

Given we are now way beyond any hope for resolution through official channels, we had best prepare for what was once thought put behind us for good.


Matter of Conscience

I sometimes wonder what goes through the minds of whistleblowers like Katharine Gunn and special investigators like Patrick Fitzgerald when they find themselves in a historical moment of realization--not unlike, perhaps, that of John Dean, Elliott Richardson, or Lawrence Walsh--where both their official duties and individual conscience impose a thankless burden on them to expose the nefarious monsters created by American society.

According to Classics Revisited author Kenneth Rexroth, there are only two things that truly torment the souls of mankind--amnesia and remembrance. The former, people can achieve on their own; it is the latter we are concerned with. And, despite substantial evidence to the contrary, the chance that we might someday cease to repeat our previous follies because of it--no matter how slim--is arguably worth the trouble. But even absent any hope of redemption, for some, preserving the ability to live with their personal remembrance is a task that must be assumed no matter how unpleasant.


Torn Asunder

On the tenth anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre of Bosnian Muslims by the Serbs, World War 4 Report has a different take http://www.ww4report.com./node/850 on the "genocide" than Z Magazine, and takes issue with noted scholars like Edward Herman, Noam Chomsky and Michel Chossudovsky. From my reading of the dispute, these perpetual critics of US foreign policy and actions have--according to WW4--at a minimum, overemphasized the role of imperialism in exacerbating ethnic and religious tensions, and at worst downplayed the role of local fascists in what they term acts of genocide.

Knowing a little about the Balkan conflict and the socioeconomic factors that contributed to this horror, I suspect there might be some truth on both sides of this historical debate, and encourage readers to take a look at the links provided by WW4 to develop an educated opinion on how modern civil wars are almost invariably connected to both global development institutions and national substrata seeking greater autonomy. It's an issue that will be played out in most modern states eventually, and promises to tear all societies asunder sooner or later.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Les Faux-Monnayeurs

I just finished reading The Counterfeiters, an engaging 1927 novel by Andre Gide, that so defies the norms of conventional storytelling I don't know where to start a review--so I won't. But rather encourage others to see for themselves what they think about this French classic. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


That's History


Tuesday, August 02, 2005




Monday, August 01, 2005


Scouting for Recruits



You Never Know

The two most recent ambassadorial appointments by Washington and Riyadh http://spacetimecurves.blogspot.com/2005/07/ambassador.html (House of Bush and House of Saud), highlight the new situation prophetically forecast in the best book to date for getting a top view of things--Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime, and Militancy by John Arquilla.

In this pre-9/11 analysis of the evolution of interlocking ties between business, governments, and criminal syndicates, this RAND researcher and scholar disects the systematic supplanting of civil structures that guaranteed the complete breakdown of democratic regulating mechanisms on a global scale. Appointments of blatant criminals like Bolton to the UN, and the former Saudi intelligence chief to Washington, can only be viewed as acts of consolidating the archcriminal structure initiated in part by the 1976 CIA Director George Herbert Walker Bush.

As political researcher Daniel Junas put it, "It's always worse than you think."

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