Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sifting through

W hat is important to me news, and what is not so important. Standing out among the pretty faces, apologetic vista release, needle words of Bush's State of the Union Address is Molly Ivins, mistaken wounded counts and non-lethal weapons deployment to Iraq.

Harvey Wasserman | We love you, Molly Ivins
Our beloved sister Molly Ivins is fighting for her life against cancer, and all we can do is try to send her even a fraction of the brillliance, joy and love she has given us for so many incomparable years. This genius daughter of Texas turmoil has stood alone for so long as a voice of clarity, wit, common sense and plain-spoken conscience that it’s hard...
[Read more] [Low bandwidth link]
Posted Jan 30 2007 - 9:49am Smirking Chimp

Revision, error in updating, for whatever reason there still is an air of doubt:

Agency Says Higher Casualty Total Was Posted in Error

For the last few months, anyone who consulted the Veterans Affairs Department’s Web site to learn how many American troops had been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan would have found this number: 50,508.

But on Jan. 10, without explanation, the figure plummeted to 21,649.


On the tech and military sites around the web a non-lethal weapon called the Active Denial System becomes reasonable and public. But is it really reasonable to imagine targets knowing this weapon aimed directing ray beams to heat their skin can cause irreversible harm if they have coins in their pockets or wear glasses or contacts. I suppose burning a hole with your coins in pockets or blinding you for life because you did not understand the consequences of not running when targeted. Imagine such a weapon used on those who protest war, protest anything for that matter within a democratic nation. We bring democracy to Iraq, force their voices mute with ray guns deliberately for the purpose of crowd control, to muff the dissenting voices of Iraq. To create for the up and coming American oil profiteers a society of slaves to toll for our oil.

New interest caught my attention over our warming winter, that of warming winters for one who can't let it go by like any other winter we have never had. Human rights, and re-reexamining my own experiences where human rights come into the issues. Where it all bubbles from, this muck that seems to trap the reasonable into a cesspools of dogma of doctrine of old, where the best they can do they don't, educate one's self as to why. First Freedom First movement by the Rev. Barry Lynn and together with the interfaith alliance will welcome your curiosity and settle your mind to the reasons for the principal foundations, true foundations that keep us morally on the higher ground and above and beyond any misrepresentations of our national foundations that take issues of non-issues and attention away from their destructive ways.

Go now, read the links and admit it leaves you with more a sense of wonder than of conclusion they want you to think, our realities of why the right is all wrong. Evangineers and des Wunderkinders visions of such dancing in true progress together, metaphorically speaking wander through a no mans land.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Who's your daddy?

It sure as hell an't Bush, nor is he my commander and chief. Lets make this a clear as water, he is commander of the Army and Navy, the military. Not the civilian population, he makes no decider[is there really such a word?] discussions for the public only the military with approval from congress. He stated "the pessimist will be defined", well define this pessimist you dumb shit .... and keep your harassing C-130's to doing the peoples business. Do you want them to know your spending their tax dollars to buzz dissident voices by flying low above their homes in the middle of nights. Do you f***ing know there are about 1000 or more of my neighbors you are putting at risk that actually believe your lies and support your efforts. Leave these innocent people alone, you do not intimidate me. Your efforts are fruitless, a waste and I am only gaining believers. Do you really want that now Mr. Bush? F***'n idiots.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/27/opinion/27wills.html

At Ease, Mr. President

Gary Wills, New York Times, 27 January 2007

[Excerpt]

The president is not the commander in chief of civilians. He is not even commander in chief of National Guard troops unless and until they are federalized. The Constitution is clear on this: "The president shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States."

When Abraham Lincoln took actions based on military considerations, he gave himself the proper title, "commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States." That title is rarely — more like never — heard today. It is just "commander in chief," or even "commander in chief of the United States." This reflects the increasing militarization of our politics. The citizenry at large is now thought of as under military discipline. In wartime, it is true, people submit to the national leadership more than in peacetime. The executive branch takes actions in secret, unaccountable to the electorate, to hide its moves from the enemy and protect national secrets. Constitutional shortcuts are taken "for the duration." But those impositions are removed when normal life returns.

But we have not seen normal life in 66 years. The wartime discipline imposed in 1941 has never been lifted, and "the duration" has become the norm. World War II melded into the cold war, with greater secrecy than ever — more classified information, tougher security clearances. And now the cold war has modulated into the war on terrorism.

There has never been an executive branch more fetishistic about secrecy than the Bush-Cheney one. The secrecy has been used to throw a veil over detentions, "renditions," suspension of the Geneva Conventions and of habeas corpus, torture and warrantless wiretaps. We hear again the refrain so common in the other wars — If you knew what we know, you would see how justified all our actions are.

But we can never know what they know. We do not have sufficient clearance.

The glorification of the president as a war leader is registered in numerous and substantial executive aggrandizements; but it is symbolized in other ways that, while small in themselves, dispose the citizenry to accept those aggrandizements. We are reminded, for instance, of the expanded commander in chief status every time a modern president gets off the White House helicopter and returns the salute of marines.

That is an innovation that was begun by Ronald Reagan. Dwight Eisenhower, a real general, knew that the salute is for the uniform, and as president he was not wearing one. An exchange of salutes was out of order. (George Bush came as close as he could to wearing a uniform while president when he landed on the telegenic aircraft carrier in an Air Force flight jacket).

We used to take pride in civilian leadership of the military under the Constitution, a principle that George Washington embraced when he avoided military symbols at Mount Vernon. We are not led — or were not in the past — by caudillos.

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan's prescient last book, "Secrecy," traced the ever-faster-growing secrecy of our government and said that it strikes at the very essence of democracy — accountability of representatives to the people. How can the people hold their representatives to account if they are denied knowledge of what they are doing? Wartime and war analogies are embraced because these justify the secrecy. The representative is accountable to citizens. Soldiers are accountable to their officer. The dynamics are different, and to blend them is to undermine the basic principles of our Constitution.

Wonder declaring a no fly zone over my home.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Announcing

My TV made it perfectly well through on this State of the Union Address evening, due to my desire to hear on a national venue Jim Webb's wise words later.
 
Sour then sweet but not a tart.
Poll Finds State Of The Union Sour
POSTED: 1:52 pm PST January 22, 2007
UPDATED: 2:11 pm PST January 22, 2007

 
Some things we should do . . .
 
and . . .
 

Tonight, we will hear the President make his State of the Union address, but what we won't hear is the devastating state of human rights in our nation. The US has abandoned human rights in the name of a "war on terror" and our nation and the world is now paying a steep and painful price. We cannot let this stand and ask you to please urge Congress to adopt our agenda for reversing America's course on human rights.

CLOSE GUANTANAMO: an icon for human rights violations, the U.S. has detained people as young as 13 years old at Guantanamo Bay, subjecting them to torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, all without charge, trial or end.  Guantanamo must be closed and anyone remaining there must either be tried or freed.

BAN TORTURE OR OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT: torture or other "alternative interrogation techniques" won't make us safer, won't get us good intelligence and only exacerbates the deteriorating respect for human rights around the world.  We cannot tolerate ambiguity in our law when it comes to torture and any action that amounts to torture or ill-treatment must be clearly outlawed.

CLOSE SECRET PRISONS: the U.S. has shamefully defended its practice of "disappearing" suspects into secret CIA prisons.  These prisons must be closed, or, at a minimum, anyone in U.S. custody must be registered and visited by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

RESTORE THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS: a clear founding cornerstone of our nation is the right for anyone to challenge their detention before an independent court.  The recently passed Military Commissions Act strips this right from many people currently detained in the name of the "war on terror". This centuries old right must be restored to anyone in U.S. custody.

END EXTRAORDINARY RENDITIONS: the Bush Administration has used extraordinary renditions to outsource torture, shipping people to countries notorious for their use of torture in detention and interrogation. The Administration must stop using extraordinary renditions now and uphold our obligations under U.S. and international law.

We must build a drumbeat for action so loud and so strong that not only does Congress take the unequivocal actions we seek, but the rest of the world hears our determination to restore our country as a champion of human rights.  Please take action today , and ask everyone you know to do the same.

 

Health Care -- Tax Incentive

What Bush Will Say:
"We need to fix these problems, and one way to do so is to treat health insurance more like home ownership. The current tax code encourages home ownership by allowing you to deduct the interest on your mortgage from your taxes. We can reform the tax code, so that it provides a similar incentive for you to buy health insurance. So in my State of the Union Address next Tuesday, I will propose a tax reform designed to help make basic private health insurance more affordable -- whether you get it through your job or on your own." [1/20/07]

What You Need To Know: Bush's health care plan fails to help the nearly 47 million Americans without health insurance, will cause employers to drop health coverage without any real alternative, and put health care out of reach for millions of Americans.

UNINSURED AMERICANS WILL RECEIVE LITTLE HELP AND MUST TURN TO EXPENSIVE COVERAGE: This scheme would replace one regressive, flawed tax deduction with another -- and since most uninsured Americans pay low or no taxes, they would receive little help from this plan. In addition, Karen Pollitz, a Georgetown University researcher who co-authored a 2001 study on the individual health-insurance market for the Kaiser Family Foundation, found that people who aren't in perfect health are largely unable to buy individual health insurance. In her study, Pollitz found that "roughly 90% of applicants in what's known as less-than-perfect health were unable to buy individual policies at standard rates, while 37% were rejected outright." Individual health insurers may deny coverage to people based on their medial history, or put them in "a high-risk category that it makes health coverage too expensive."

BUSH'S PLAN WILL DISCOURAGE EMPLOYERS FROM OFFERING QUALITY COVERAGE: Sixty-one percent of companies offer at least some of their employees health insurance, a drop of 8 percentage points since 2000. Additionally, the Washington Post notes that there's "a danger that ending the tax privilege for employer-provided insurance will cause companies to discontinue coverage, driving more buyers into the individual market, where it's hard to buy insurance at a reasonable price." American Progress senior fellow Jeanne Lambrew added in a June 2006 piece in Tax Notes, that "the tax exclusion is a thread that, if pulled in isolation, could unravel health coverage in the United States" and even "minor changes to the exclusion could accelerate the recent trends" of employers dropping coverage for the 175 million Americans who receive employer-sponsored coverage.


Health Care -- Health Savings Accounts

What Bush Will Say: "We created Health Savings Accounts, which empower patients and can reduce the cost of coverage." [1/20/07]

What You Need to Know:
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) increase the number of uninsured, do not offer savings on health care costs for average Americans, and primarily benefit the wealthy.

HSAS DO NOT OFFER MEANINGFUL SAVINGS FOR AMERICANS:  "Low- and middle-income uninsured people will gain meager or no tax savings" from health savings accounts, according to a Commonwealth Fund study. Roughly 50 percent of uninsured adults pay no federal  income taxes, meaning that "tax incentives for high-deductible health plans would have little impact on uninsured adults." Moreover, "uninsured people in the middle income tax bracket would see potential savings of just 3 percent to 6 percent on a typical high-deductible health plan premium of $2,000."

HSAS PRIMARILY BENEFIT THE RICH: The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found "that the average income of HSA users was $133,000 in 2004, compared to $51,000 for all non-elderly tax filers." Additionally, these HSAs are being used as tax shelters for the wealthy. In 2004, the "majority of people with HSAs withdrew no funds from the accounts...and HSA participants in the focus groups that the GAO convened spoke of using their HSAs for tax sheltering purposes." Most low-income individuals "do not face high enough tax liability to benefit in a significant way from tax deductions associated with HSAs" and people "with chronic conditions, disabilities, and others with high-cost medical needs may face even greater out-of-pocket costs under HSA-qualified health plans."

HSAS INCREASE THE NUMBER OF UNINSURED: HSAs are "not likely to be an important contributor to expanding coverage among uninsured people" because most of uninsured Americans "do not face high-enough marginal tax rates to benefit substantially from the tax deductibility of HSA contributions." Another study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that Bush's proposal "would induce some currently uninsured individuals to purchase insurance, but also would encourage some employers to drop health insurance or to reduce the amounts they contribute toward their employees' health insurance costs, since employers would know their workers could get a tax deduction if they purchased coverage on their own. The number of people who would lose coverage due to actions that their employers would take would likely exceed the number of uninsured people who would gain insurance."

AMERICANS ARE DISSATISFIED WITH HSAS: Just 33-42 percent of enrollees in consumer-driven health plans were satisfied with their health care, compared to 63 percent of those people with traditional coverage. Two-thirds of people prefer an employer-selected set of plans over an employer-funded account and choosing insurance on their own


Energy -- Climate Change

What Bush will say: President Bush will discuss climate change in his State of the Union address for the first time, but remains opposed to mandatory caps on global warming pollution. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said, "If you're talking about enforceable carbon caps, in terms of industry wide and nationwide, we knocked that down. That's not something we're talking about." 

What you need to know: Any comprehensive solution to the climate crisis must involve enforceable caps on global warming pollution.

BUSH'S VOLUNTARY APPROACH HAS FAILED TO CURB EMISSIONS: Carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. have increased by 354 million metric tons since 2001. The Energy Department's latest analysis projects America's carbon dioxide emissions will increase by one third from 2005 to 2030. 

BUSH STILL DENIES FUNDAMENTAL CLIMATE SCIENCE: Last February, President Bush claimed there is still "a debate over whether [global warming] is man-made or naturally caused." There is no real scientific debate over this question. Most recently, the National Academy of Sciences has unequivocally stated that natural causes cannot explain the unprecedented warmth over the last 400 years. Rather, "human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming," the report states.

'He did say the words, the question remains does he know what it means, doubt it myself.' ~ wo
 
Learn about the middle east, as we seem to be there in the muck. We should know what the muck is made of.
 

Rosey and Donald, did you know there was Amazon and  Jimmy  ?

A copy of the petition, some 16,200 signatures, and supporting materials
were sent to Bezos and his staff on Friday, Jan. 19. The following morning,
the "Editorial Reviews" section of the page listing Carter's book was
completely overhauled for first time in almost a month: It now begins with a
glowing tribute from Amazon to the former president's achievements and an
interview with him about the book, plus a photo of him and graphic links to
some of his other books - all new material, and all of it posted ahead of
the negative review.

"This is a huge victory," said Henry Norr, the Berkeley, CA-based former
journalist who initiated the petition. "The whole tone of the page is
different now. Instead of saying, in effect, 'Stay away from this vile
book,' what it now conveys is the truth: that this is an important and
fair-minded, even if controversial, book by a distinguished American who has
unique qualifications to address the issue of Palestine."

Added Paul Larudee, an El Cerrito, CA, piano technician and activist who
helped organize the protest campaign, "Of course Amazon deserves credit for
responding after initially refusing to make a change. However, the real
credit goes to the thousands of petition signers who exercised their power -
in this case the nonviolent power to take their business elsewhere. It gives
hope that boycotts and other nonviolent efforts can help to end the larger
injustices that Carter addresses in his book."
"I'm sorry Amazon continues to display the review by Jeffrey Goldberg,
because I think it's horribly unfair and misleading, and I still wish they
would add one of the other reviews we suggested," said Norr. "Some people
who signed the petition have let me know that they still intend to close
their accounts if Amazon doesn't make more changes, and I understand their
feelings. But what the petition was really demanding was fair and balanced
treatment for the book, and on the whole I think we've come pretty close to
that objective."

The change was the second involving Carter's book that Amazon has made in
response to the campaign. Last week, its version of the latest New York
Times hardcover nonfiction bestseller list initially omitted Palestine:
Peace Not Apartheid altogether, even though the book actually ranked fifth
on the list - Amazon's version jumped directly from number 4 to number 6!
This extraordinary "mistake" persisted for days, until two hours after an
earlier version of this press release was delivered to scores of reporters
and publications. (A saved copy of the original page, missing item number
five, is available on request.)

--------------------

Other assessments of Carter's Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid:

Ali Abunimah, "A Palestinian view of Jimmy Carter's book," Wall Street
Journal, Dec. 26, 2006:

George Bisharat, "Truth at last, while breaking a U.S. taboo of criticizing
Israel
," Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 2, 2007:

Chris Hedges, "Get Carter," The Nation, Jan. 8, 2007:
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070108/hedges

Saree Makdisi, "Carter's apartheid charge rings true," San Francisco
Chronicle, Nov. 20, 2006:

Henry Siegman, "Hurricane Carter," The Nation, Jan. 22, 2007:
Norman Finkelstein, "The Ludicrous Attacks on Jimmy Carter's Book,"
CounterPunch, Dec. 28, 2006:




 

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The news gives you a sense of perspective

Watching for my evening news, there was none other than another summery of yesterdays and into last weeks. Oh and the 20 or so drug indictments, seems on average about a dozen or so a week now. This bothers me, and the cargo ship awash, the news announcers were very determined to place judgment on the 'treasure hunters' as referred too by the national news. As if it was chaos and mass looting, when if they were on a beach here and found anything wouldn't have a second thought, it's theirs. Giving the viewers a similar sense of perspective as they exhibited. It leads us to believe, not what but how they believe these 'treasure hunters' were in fact 'looters' grabbing and running. Assume as much, but that was no where near the take the national news took, and no where near the story and coverage of the treasure hunters listing the goods with the police present and observing. Despite too the fact the said goods (one fine BMW bike ;) were trashed by the sea. Useless in a few years exposed to the salts even if it were not trashed.

Helen Thomas with Amy Goodman at the media reform conference in Memphis her sense of perspective
Jessica Banks has just as entertaining read as Colbert himself
"The Colbert Report is one of the few spots on American television where scientists and science writers discuss their work, lampooned though it may be.... Today in order to vote, appreciate contemporary art, etc., more and more you must have an understanding of what's happening in the world of science. The Colbert Report has upped the ante: You now need to know the science in order to get the joke. Science is becoming the currency of the hip."


Wonder

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Gonzo was spotted from a ridge traveling south

You should read Gonzales must go now over that ridge on the Greenbelt.

Lots to read before the great flood, unless your wise and moving to higher ground. That is funny I sound like Noah saying something like that, or was that Gore he looks more like a 'Noah'.

Gonzo must go, sooner the better and could we make him carry Bush on his back while he is tortured by walking barefooted unarmed across Iraq.

Stop their reasons they give for torture, http://www.stopwaroniran.org NOW!
that's all for now . . . GO read and do something good for somebody a whole lot of somebodies

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Committee for the Liberation of Iraq

The Iraq War, Brought to You by Your Friends at Lockheed Martin



Remember the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq? Much like Citizens for a Free Kuwait, a front group established by Hill Knowlton before the first Gulf War, it was a made-to-order pressure group formed for the sole purpose of building support -- and providing a rationale -- for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. I'd long since forgotten about the organization -- which was supported by such neocon luminaries as James Woolsey, Richard Perle, and William Kristol and quietly disbanded after the invasion -- until I read the interesting investigative piece in the current issue of Playboy (yes, Playboy) that Liz references below. Titled "Lockheed Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” the article boldly bills itself as “the story of how Lockheed's interests -- as opposed to those of the American Citizenry -- set the course of U.S. Policy After 9/11.”

According to the article, in November 2002 Stephen Hadley, then the deputy national security advisor, had a meeting with a Lockheed official named Bruce Jackson, telling him that the U.S. was "going to war" but "struggling with a rationale." Reportedly, Hadley then asked Jackson to “set up something like the Committee on Nato” -- referring to another group previously formed by Jackson -- to fill this void. The result was the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.







Stephen J. Hadley "they were going to war and were struggling with a rationale"to justify it.



The New York Times put it in a 1997 article, "at night Bruce Jackson is president of the U.S. Committee to Expand NATO, giving intimate dinners for senators and foreign officials. By day, he is director of strategic planning for Lockheed Martin Corporation, the world's biggest weapons maker."







The war on terrorism is a product, a very faulty product. War produces .... nothing good.



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Monday, January 15, 2007

Bring them home safe

Nadler Introduces Bill to Protect the Troops and Bring Them Home



WASHINGTON, D.C. - “ Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-08) today introduced a bill to force a new direction in Iraq. The Protect the Troops and Bring Them Home Act provides that no funds can be used in Iraq except to protect our troops and to arrange for their withdrawal beginning in one month and ending by December 31, 2007. It also provides that the number of U.S. troops in Iraq cannot be increased at any time.



"It has been wrongly asserted that Congress cannot force the President to de-escalate or withdraw from Iraq because it cannot use its only real power - cutting off funds - lest it be accused of 'abandoning the troops,'" says Rep. Nadler. "But if Congress appropriates funds, but limits those funds to protecting the troops and redeploying them from Iraq, that would be the best way of supporting the troops. In fact, keeping (or adding) American soldiers in the middle of a civil war with no end in sight is the ultimate act of abandonment. We must save American lives by bringing them home as soon as possible."



The Protect the Troops and Bring Them Home Act would limit the use of funds to:

1.. Protecting our troops while they are in Iraq

2.. Bringing the troops home in a safe and orderly manner on a timetable

beginning one month after enactment of the Act and ending by December

31, 2007

3.. Providing assistance to Iraqi security forces

4.. Providing economic and reconstruction assistance

5.. Arranging for diplomatic consultations.



"If we want to end America's military involvement in Iraq's civil war, the only way we can overcome the President's stubbornness in keeping us involved in this misguided effort is to limit the use of the funds to protecting our troops while carrying out a withdrawal," says

Rep. Nadler.



###



"To those who warn that it would be wrong and inhumane to leave Iraq soon, I ask: What's so humane about sticking around and killing again and again."Helen Thomas, Dean of the White House Press Corps, December 3, 2004








I
've had this theory I tossed about loosely during conversations for a while now, that take up less time to talk about doing than actually doing. Logistically space travel is best achieved by objects already moving through space, meteorites, asteroid, planetary objects just our closest fellow travelers, and us already moving through space in a route. We skipped here to Earth from Mars on a rock skimming the life planting the life on a bigger rock. Sooner or later during a drawn out conversation of life from Mars developing like life on Earth, then wouldn’t it be plausible to serenade of intelligent technical beings destroying the Martian environment causing the planet too loose its protective atmospheric shell and dry up all of its life. Other than of course what landed here so many Martian Neptunian Eclipse’s ago, years ago.





A
colossal intersection in time, that point where rock intersects Mars scooping up life then dispersing life on a rock called Earth.



Reason to remember, Martin Luther King that there is always a dream.



Such a noble day for those who hear the drum beat of the dream, good works. MLKway



Such the muck, to hide the human in our way of life, a voice to reason.



Easy .... just leave the truth out, out of sight out of mind.





Administration Leaving out Important Details on Iraq
Wonder











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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Lynching of Iraq

Published on Monday, January 8, 2007 by the Boston Globe

by James Carroll

The hanging of Saddam Hussein Dec. 30 offered a view into the grotesque reality of what America has sponsored in Iraq, and what Americans saw should inform their response to President Bush's escalation of the war.


The deposed tyrant was mercilessly taunted. As he stood on the threshold of the afterlife and was told to go to hell, the world witnessed a chilling elevation of the
ancient curse, making an absolute villain an object of pity.


And then, in chanting the name of Moqtada al-Sadr, whose family had been a particular target of Hussein's his executioners made clear that the execution was an act of tribal revenge, not of national restoration, much less justice. It was a lynching. This Shi'ite brutality is guaranteed to spawn Sunni savagery. Iraq itself is hell.


Officials of the United States, from military commanders in Baghdad to members of the Bush administration in Washington, sought to distance themselves from the bedlam, but they are essential to what happened at the last moments of Saddam's life. Decorum would have been the main note of his death if Americans had managed it, but the execution would have been no less an act of false justice.


The harsh fact is that the Shi'ite dominated government of Nouri al-Maliki, in its contemptible treatment of a man about to die, laid bare the dark truth of Bush's war. This is what revenge looks like, and revenge (not weapons of mass destruction, not democracy) drove the initial US attack on Saddam Hussein every bit as much as it snuffed out his life at the end. The hooded executioners took their cue from George W. Bush.


And why should they not have? Let's remember who this man is. As governor of Texas, he presided over the executions of 152 people, including the first woman put to death in Texas in a century. Her name was Karla Faye Tucker. Bush's response to the world-wide plea raised in her behalf was an astounding display of cruelty, a mocking imitation of the woman begging not to be killed.


Bush rejected appeals for clemency in every death penalty case that came before him. The Texas death chamber, with its lethal injection gurney, is a place of decorum. And savagery.


That executions defined the main public distinction that Bush brought to the US presidency sums up the national disgrace, while suggesting also how little surprise there should be that America is presided over now by an executioner-in-chief.


Capital punishment is to individuals what aggressive war is to nations. The 20th century, for all its brutality (or because of it), marked the watershed era when world opinion shifted against both. Once, princes exercised life-and-death power over subjects with unchallenged authority. Once, the only check on a state's freedom to attack another state was its power to do so.


These two absolutes of realpolitik have changed. From the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 to principles laid down at the Nuremberg tribunals to the United Nations itself, wars of aggression stand condemned. The force of state violence is to be exercised only in self-defense or in defense of a victim people, in circumstances defined by international agreement. Similarly, nation after nation has abolished the death penalty, understanding the absurdity of defending human life by destroying human life. If killing can ever be justified, individually or communally, it is only as an absolute last resort. In sum, an international moral consensus has taken shape against unnecessary violence, whether targeting a criminal or a rogue state.


George W. Bush is the impresario of unnecessary violence. America has followed him into the death chamber of this war, and now he wants us to believe that the way out is through more death.


Iraqi loss of life remains mostly unimagined, but every evening on the television news, Americans see the sweet faces of young soldiers who have died in Bush's war.

They were heroes, not criminals, yet Bush dragged each one of them up onto a gallows. He positioned them on the trap door, hardly wincing as they then fell through. And now, in perhaps the greatest outrage of all, Bush claims that the way to justify the unnecessary deaths he has caused is to add to them.
Escalation is his way of saying, go to hell.


With his lies at the beginning of this war, and his fantasy now that an honorable outcome remains possible, the president is a taunting killer, caught in the act. He lacks nothing but the black hood. Stop this man.


James Carroll's column appears regularly in the Globe.

Copyright 2007 Boston Globe

Frogs in January, now that is something to write about, and I will tell you about the frogs on January sixth. Then on second thought, I will save the frogs of January for another day one with more time and light. Such a small thing as a light bulb, I turn the switch on in the TVA valley and Louisiana coal fire plant gives my electrical provider cheaper electricity than the clean producing damns that covered my Grandmothers home (old Butler) with water, just for that reason. Turn out the lights, war isn't worth that Sunday drive either, it is all making people sick. And can somebody tell the Buffets, the Gates they best spend their time and a trinkel of their monies on clean energy producers. If you missed it it is a very informative read, indeed. When they offer potato soup, we must eat the rich!

http://www.commondreams.org/
http://www.infidels.org/
http://www.brasscheck.com/videos/911/911wiretap.html how to have a private phone conversation, for real!
a raw story for you
Best books on Iraq
and one for my Israeli poster who post from somewhere else than Israel, go figure (similar task is to wonder). just being prissy or is that pissy?
Jimmy Carter's Sin Against Israel

Iran: Prominent U.S. Physicists Send Letter to President Bush
May 18, 2006


For more information contact: Leonor Tomero, ltomero@armscontrolcenter.org
Thirteen of the nation’s most prominent physicists have written a letter to President
Bush, calling U.S. plans to reportedly use nuclear weapons against Iran “gravely
irresponsible” and warning that such action would have “disastrous consequences
for the security of the United States and the world.”


The physicists include five Nobel laureates, a recipient of the National Medal of Science and three past presidents of the American Physical Society, the nation’s preeminent professional society for physicists.


Their letter was prompted by recent articles in the Washington Post, New Yorker and other publications that one of the options being considered by Pentagon planners and the White House in a military confrontation with Iran includes the use of nuclear bunker busters against underground facilities. These reports were neither confirmed nor denied by White House and Pentagon officials.


The letter was initiated by Jorge Hirsch, a professor of physics at the University of California , San Diego , who last fall put together a petition signed by more than 1,800 physicists that repudiated new U.S. nuclear weapons policies that include preemptive use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear adversaries (http://physics.ucsd.edu/petition/). Hirsch has also published 15 articles in recent months (http://antiwar.com/hirsch/) documenting the dangers associated with a potential U.S. nuclear strike on Iran .


“We are members of the profession that brought nuclear weapons into existence, and we feel strongly that it is our professional duty to contribute our efforts to prevent their misuse,” says Hirsch. "Physicists know best about the devastating effects of the weapons they created, and these eminent physicists speak for thousands of our colleagues.”


“The fact that the existence of this plan has not been denied by the Administration should be a cause of great alarm, even if it is only one of several plans being considered,” he adds. “The public should join these eminent scientists in demanding that the Administration publicly renounces such a misbegotten option against a non-nuclear country like Iran .” The letter,which is available at http://physics.ucsd.edu/petition/physicistsletter.html, points out that “nuclear weapons are unique among weapons of mass destruction,” and that nuclear weapons in today's arsenals have a total power of more than 200,000 times the explosive energy of the bomb that leveled Hiroshima, which caused the deaths of more than 100,000 people.


It notes that there are no sharp lines between small and large nuclear weapons, nor between nuclear weapons targeting facilities and those targeting armies or cities, and that the use by the United States of nuclear weapons after 60 years of non-use will make the use of nuclear weapons by others more likely.


“Once the U.S. uses a nuclear weapon again, it will heighten the probability that others will too,” the physicists write. “In a world with many more nuclear nations and no longer a ‘taboo’ against the use of nuclear weapons, there will be a greatly enhanced risk that regional conflicts could expand into global nuclear war, with the
potential to destroy our civilization.”


The letter echoes the main objection of last fall’s physicists’ petition, stressing that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty will be irreversibly damaged by the use or even the threat of use of nuclear weapons by a nuclear nation against a non-nuclear one,with disastrous consequences for the security of the United States and the
world.


“It is gravely irresponsible for the U.S. as the greatest superpower to consider courses of action that could eventually lead to the widespread destruction of life on the planet. We urge the administration to announce publicly that it is taking the nuclear option off the table in the case of all non-nuclear adversaries, present or future, and we urge the American people to make their voices heard on this matter.”


The 13 physicists who coauthored the letter are: Philip Anderson, professor of physics at Princeton University and Nobel Laureate in Physics; Michael Fisher, professor of physics at the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, University of Maryland and Wolf Laureate in Physics; David Gross, professor of theoretical physics and director of the Kavli Institute of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Nobel Laureate in Physics; Jorge Hirsch, professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego; Leo Kadanoff, professor of physics and mathematics at the University of Chicago and recipient of the National Medal of Science; Joel Lebowitz, professor of mathematics and physics, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and Boltzmann Medalist; Anthony Leggett, professor of
physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Nobel Laureate, Physics;
Eugen Merzbacher, professor of physics, University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill and former president, American Physical Society; Douglas Osheroff, professor of physics and applied physics, Stanford University and Nobel Laureate, Physics; Andrew Sessler, former director of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and former president, American Physical Society; George Trilling, professor of physics, University of California, Berkeley, and former president, American Physical Society; Frank Wilczek, professor of physics, MIT and Nobel Laureate, Physics; Edward Witten, professor of physics, Institute for Advanced Study and Fields Medalist.


The physicists are sending copies of their letter to their elected representatives, requesting that the issue be urgently addressed in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.


Source:University of California, San Diego, by Kim McDonald


Catching up on some news I missed, and not being so 'prissy' I couldn't share. What I was hoping to find is the link to the gates buffet story I read the other day, have to amend for a later time. en tempo

CONGRESSMAN DEMANDS IRAQIS BE CONVERTED TO CHRISTIANITY

Affirmation not forgotten
Wonder what's that smell ?

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