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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 09/10/2006 - 09/17/2006
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"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
- Noam Chomsky
Send tips and other comments to: profmarcus2010@yahoo.com

And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, September 16, 2006

You will know them by their brain injuries

"signature wound..." putting those two particular words together gives me the cold chills...
Doctors say traumatic brain injuries are the signature wound of the Iraq war, a byproduct of improved armor that allows troops to survive once-deadly attacks but does not fully protect against roadside explosives and suicide bombers.

So far, about 1,000 patients have been treated for the symptoms, which include slowed thinking, severe memory loss and problems with coordination and impulse control. Some doctors fear there may be thousands more active duty and discharged troops who are suffering undiagnosed.

"People who were hit by lightning, a lot of energy goes through their systems and their brains are cooked," said Dr. Harriet Zeiner, a neuropsychologist at the VA hospital in Palo Alto. "A lot of that happens in (improvised explosive device) blasts. Your brain is not meant to handle that energy blast going through it."

my god... that's just plain horrible...

(thanks to juan cole...)

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On the lighter (and maybe even a little bit silly) side

today was a particularly difficult day... i received a call from some friends about noon and spent the rest of the day with them providing moral support while they attempted to iron out an unexpected and very unpleasant family crisis visited on them by a completely broken local police system... 'nuff said...

anyway, after my post on the unimog the other day, i thought this photo of a vw bug rally in nepal might bring a smile... it did for me...




Dozens of Volkswagen Beetles - also known as bugs - have
converged on the Kathmandu area for the sixth rally run
by An-Bug - the Association of Nepal Beetle Users Group.

An-Bug - ya gotta love it...

(thanks to the bbc...)

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Hmmm... Asshole stands firm...

stand firm, george... you just go ahead and stand firm... let those folks who haven't yet got your number know just what an asshole you really are...
President Bush is standing firm in his battle to get Congress to approve the White House plan for detaining, interrogating and prosecuting suspected terrorists. The Senate, though, isn't backing away from its plan either.

[...]

"The information the Central Intelligence Agency has obtained by questioning TORTURING men like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks) has helped disrupt terrorist plots, including planned strikes inside the United States and on a U.S. Marine base in East Africa, an American consulate in Pakistan and Britain's Heathrow Airport," Bush said.

susang at daily kos makes a good point...
Make no mistake, Bush has forced this uncompromising conversation upon the country at this time. Like Iraq, this is a "war" of his choosing, and the fact that he's edging closer and closer to calling stalwart members of his own party terrorist enablers shows the level of desperation he is bringing to this fight. In this light, this discussion seems to be awakening - even if just a little - some actual newsgathering and interviewing by media outlets usually inclined to remain recumbent. This should worry the president as much, if not more, than the rebellion of Powell, Warner, McCain and Graham.

yep... stand firm, george... stand firm and foursquare on your own asshole-ishness...

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The untruths are flying so fast

that untangling them can be a full-time job.

- Frank Rich, Sunday's NYT via Raw Story

from the comments...
The strange part about this coup d'etat is it is being done without arms. We may well need a violent coup d'etat to regain our liberties and freedoms.
Brother Tim | 09.16.06 - 11:53 am | #

i have quietly repressed the same thought for a few years now... i try very hard to keep it out of my consciousness because it's just too big and terrible to wrap my mind around... however, brother tim, you may be right...

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What's wrong with this picture?

reading THIS was NOT the way to start a beautiful saturday morning...
[Stillmore, Georgia] has become little more than a ghost town since Sept. 1, when federal agents began rounding up illegal immigrants.

[...]

More than 120 illegal immigrants have been loaded onto buses bound for immigration courts in Atlanta, 189 miles away. Hundreds more fled Emanuel County. Residents say many scattered into the woods, camping out for days. They worry some are still hiding without food.

At least one child, born a U.S. citizen, was left behind by his Mexican parents: 2-year-old Victor Perez-Lopez. The toddler's mother, Rosa Lopez, left her son with Julie Rodas when the raids began and fled the state. The boy's father was deported to Mexico.

[...]

The raids came during a fall election season in which immigration is a top issue.

[...]

Since the mid-1990s, Stillmore has grown dependent on the paychecks of Mexican workers who originally came for seasonal farm labor, picking the area's famous Vidalia onions. Many then took year-round jobs at the Crider [poultry] plant, with a workforce of about 900.

Crider President David Purtle said the agents began inspecting the company's employment records in May. They found 700 suspected illegal immigrants, and supervisors handed out letters over the summer ordering them to prove they came to the U.S. legally or be fired. Only about 100 kept their jobs.

[...]

The poultry plant has limped along with half its normal workforce. Crider increased its starting wages by $1 an hour to help recruit new workers.

  • the weakest and most vulnerable are the ones being punished
  • it's all about politics
  • there is no regard for basic human rights
  • the plant owners, the ones who violated the prohibition against hiring illegal immigrants, get off scot-free
  • the plant may actually have to pay a living wage to attract replacement employees
what in god's name has my country come to that this can happen...?

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Tantrums aren't really very presidential, George

this is like the bank robber at the teller cage window who points the gun at his own head and says, "give me the money or i'll shoot..."
President Bush warned defiant Republican senators yesterday that he will close down a CIA interrogation program that he credited with thwarting terrorist attacks if they pass a proposal regulating detention of enemy combatants, escalating a politically charged battle that has exposed divisions within his party.

could we possibly hear a little bit about those terrorist attacks the program has supposedly "thwarted...?" and, why not have a little national discussion about how such information was obtained...? maybe we could talk about whether the methods by which such information was obtained mesh with the values and principles on which the united states was founded...? and, while we're at it, could we expand the discussion to include how such methods might impact how american military personnel might be treated in the event of capture...? and, gee, might it not also be a good idea to talk about, as colin powell rightly suggested, america's moral leadership in the world...?

oh, and before i forget to mention it... could you cool it with the tantrums, george...? they aren't working for you...

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Friday, September 15, 2006

70,000 hits

sometime last night, before midnight, this blog clocked its 70,000th hit... not a huge total for a little less than a year and a half, but not bad either, particularly considering that it took a full year to reach 40,000... i hope that regular readers find something of value here, but readership volume isn't a big deal for me... sure, it's nice to have folks paying attention to what i'm doing, but, as i've said before, and i think i speak for my weblog collaborators as well, publishing this weblog is much more about keeping my sanity than anything else... when i see my country being trashed the way it has been and continues to be, and suffering the effects of what can only be called a coup d'etat, how can any of us continue to sit idly by...?

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Vanity Fair spoofs The Weekly Standard

very cool...
Help the Warmongers Help Themselves
A Vanities Cover-Flap Public Service
By ANDREW HEARST

Magazine publishers often send their newsstand editions into the world with "cover flaps" that tease the contents within. This is a handy way to pique the interest of passersby. But a cover flap can also be useful as an agent of mischief and lighthearted political agitation. Inside the October 2006 issue of Vanity Fair is a fake flap you can attach to a copy of The Weekly Standard. Simply get your hands on a copy of our October issue, turn to page 272, and follow the instructions below:

1. Cut and fold where indicated.

2. Hurry to a newsstand. Pick up the latest issue of The Weekly Standard. Wrap folded page around spine of magazine.

3. Return magazine to rack.

4. Step back a few paces and observe.



(thanks to the unknown candidate...)

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They're dropping like flies... DeLay...Noe... Ney... Now Burns...?

burns is a redneck, yay-hoo, uncouth, crude specimen who doesn't bring an ounce of dignity, class, or value to the good citizens of montana that he represents in the united states senate... and, on top of all that, he's corrupt...
After months of defiant protestations of innocence about his role in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling scandal, Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, has pleaded guilty to making false statements, conspiracy to commit fraud and violating post-employment restrictions for former congressional aides. But the probe into the lobbying scandal is far from wrapped up.

A source close to the investigation told TIME that scores of US prosecutors and FBI agents continue to examine the activities of other sitting members of Congress and prominent individuals who could face prosecution, though not necessarily before the November 7 election. The source confirmed previous public reports that particular scrutiny is being paid to Sen. Conrad Burns, a Montana Republican who faces a tough campaign for reelection.

"A lot of the conduct to which Ney has pleaded guilty is similar to the alleged conduct of Senator Conrad Burns and his staff," points out Melanie Sloan, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a non-profit watchdog group.

he needs to go... he's needed to go for a long time... montana and the united states senate deserve much better...

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At the meeting of the NAM, the opinion of Bush is about the same...



Cuba (translation):

COMING SOON to the courts of North America!
Trembling Injustice! THE MURDERER!
with Posada Carriles and George W. Bush.

Raul Castro asked members of the Non-Aligned Movement to defend multilateralism in the face of what he called the hypocrisy of the United States' policy of "double standards" and "imperial conquest." Raul Castro's remarks came at the 14th NAM presidential summit as he accepted the chairmanship of the organization from the Malaysian prime minister.

[...]

"The current international situation, characterised by the irrational aspirations of world domination by the only world superpower, with the complicity of its allies, shows the need to be ever more cohesive in the defence of the principles and purposes that determined the foundation of the non-aligned (movement)," Raul Castro said.

He reminded his audience that NAM represents almost two thirds of UN members, and urged them to turn their diversity into a "source of stregth."

i took this photo two weeks ago while walking around barracas...



Argentina (translation):

Bush, there's petroleum in Barracas. Come look.
Murderer!

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Vuja de - that strange feeling of never having been here before

have you ever had the experience of running across something that's been around for a long time, is known world-wide, and is made by one of the world's top manufacturers, that you never knew existed...? i had that experience just the other day... i was out walking and passed by this very interesting vehicle (see below) and just had to snap a photo... i came back and did a little googling, and, lo and behold, it's made by daimler chrysler under the mercedes marque, and is well-known and respected world-wide for being one of the most rugged, versatile, all-terrain, utility vehicles you can buy... not only that, there's an entire association in argentina devoted exclusively to it...



Unimog on Avenida Garcia del Rio, Barrio Nunez



Asociación Argentina de Unimog

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Some people have asked me whether America is a Christian country. The answer must be no...

this isn't the first time i've become aware of danforth's courage in speaking out... i'm glad he's continuing to do it... these things desperately need to be said...
John Danforth, who retired in 1995 after four terms in the Senate, briefly served as Bush's ambassador to the United Nations but resigned after Condoleezza Rice was tapped to be Secretary of State. According to CNN, he was second on the list of Bush's potential vice presidential choices in 2000.

In Faith and Politics, to be released Tuesday, Danforth blasts the alignment of the Republican Party with the Christian right, lays out his most aggressive pro-gay stance to date and attacks the handling of the Terri Schiavo case.
Some people have asked me whether America is a Christian country. The answer must be no, for to call this a Christian country is to say that non-Christians are of some lesser order, not full fledged citizens of one nation." Danforth is himself an ordained Episcopal minister.

and this...
"That the federal government could intervene in the Schiavo case was a threat to all the families that had seen their loved ones suffer through terminal illness," he writes.
It was a threat to people who were terrified that their own lives might someday be artificially extended in nightmarish circumstances. It was a threat to some of our most heartfelt values. It was Big Brotherism in the extreme, an exercise of the raw and awesome power of the federal government.

"They intervened not in the name of principle, but at the expense of principle," Danforth avers. "They abandoned principle by deciding a medical question without any firsthand knowledge of what they were doing."

but, wait, there's MORE...
"I believe that homosexuality is a matter of sexual orientation rather than preference," he writes. "Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is, in my view, comparable to discrimination on other civil rights grounds. It is wrong, and it should be prohibited by law."

"I think that the only purpose served by the campaign for the amendment is the humiliation of gay Americans, advocated by the Christian right and eagerly supported by its suitors in the Republican Party," he adds. "In reality, it is gay bashing."

Danforth then goes even further, saying supporters' assertions that the amendment would protect marriage is ludicrous.

all i can say is that THESE are the kinds of powerful statements that must be advanced by principled, credible, religious people who have the public's eyes and ears... we need a lot more of it...

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Does it seem that George is a bit testy?

i'm waiting for the full-blown temper tantrum to erupt in public that we've heard he cuts loose with in private...
[A]n angered Bush answered one reporter's request for a follow-up question with a sharp, "No, you can't."

One CNN commentator went so far as to call the President's behavior "belligerent" immediately after the conference.

he's never exactly had what i would consider to be a thick skin, and, i'm sure, being flipped off by four senate committee r's yesterday, after nearly six years of having his ass kissed, doesn't sit well... my offer is that that now is the time for the press to really bear down - hard - and see just what he's REALLY made out of... my suspicion is that we'll find out in a hurry...

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They're coming, they're COMING...! Everybody take cover...!

he is SO-O-OOO full of shit...
United States President George W. Bush has told reporters today that terrorists will strike the United States again, RAW STORY has learned.

In arguing for legislation that would define US interpretation of the Geneva Conventions in a way that many would argue would allow certain forms of torture, Bush said, "I wish I could tell the American people, 'don't worry about it.' They're not coming again. But they are coming again."

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The IMF shares a few thoughts on Argentina



Rodrigo de Rato, IMF Managing Director...

QUESTIONER: What is your opinion of the evolution of the economic policy of Argentina nine months after the full payment of the debt with the IMF?

MR. DE RATO: ... Current economic performance has been very strong and there is a very important achievement in poverty reduction and employment generation in Argentina. As I mentioned also in the case of Brazil.

...

We have seen administrative measures to bring down inflation, but we believe that those measures will introduce distortions and will not be very effective. So we have expressed publicly to the government also that we think that the government should move to more use of fiscal and monetary policy in this respect.

Nevertheless, we believe that there is a big opportunity for the Argentinean economy and the Argentinean society to overcome the very high cost of the last crises, and we look forward to work with the Argentinean government in that respect.


from an uninformed, ex-pat, temporary resident, grassroots perspective, here's what i'm seeing (with a peso-dollar exchange rate of 1-3.09)...

  • inflation last year was 12.9% and is running slightly less than that this year
  • supermarket prices are up roughly 20% per item
  • the taxi base fare went from 1.44 pesos to 1.90 pesos
  • electricity, natural gas, and water are stable
  • restaurant prices have increased by 20+%
  • rents and purchase prices for homes and apartments are up by roughly the same amount
  • wages and salaries for some groups (primarily unionized groups like teachers and transport workers such as subway and train drivers) have increased, in some instances by 25%
  • subway, train, and bus fares are stable (example: a 4-stop train ride that takes me from my house to the center of town costs 50 centavos, approx. 15 U.S. cents)

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Rove and Armitage - joined at the hip?

robert parry has a source...
A well-placed conservative source has added an important clue to the mystery of the Bush administration’s “outing” of CIA officer Valerie Plame after her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, became one of the first Establishment figures to accuse George W. Bush of having “twisted” intelligence to justify the Iraq War.

The source, who knows both White House political adviser Karl Rove and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, told me that the two men are much closer than many Washington insiders understand, that they developed a friendship and a working relationship when Bush was recruiting Colin Powell to be Secretary of State.

In those negotiations, Armitage stood in for Powell and Rove represented Bush – and after that, the two men provided a back channel for sensitive information to pass between the White House and the State Department, the source said.

The significance of this detail is that it undermines the current “conventional wisdom” among Washington pundits that Armitage acted alone – and innocently – in July 2003 when he disclosed Plame’s covert identity to right-wing columnist Robert Novak, who then got Rove to serve as a secondary source confirming the information from Armitage.

there are enough "back channels" operating in the clandestine world of bushco to float an aircraft carrier...

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"Painfully skewed priorities?" Is Fred Hiatt's shop getting uneasy?

at least we're not hearing about the "latitude" the administration "needs" to "successfuly" wage the "global war on terror..."
President Bush rarely visits Congress. So it was a measure of his painfully skewed priorities that Mr. Bush made the unaccustomed trip yesterday to seek legislative permission for the CIA to make people disappear into secret prisons and have information extracted from them by means he dare not describe publicly.

Of course, Mr. Bush didn't come out and say he's lobbying for torture. Instead he refers to "an alternative set of procedures" for interrogation. But the administration no longer conceals what it wants. It wants authorization for the CIA to hide detainees in overseas prisons where even the International Committee of the Red Cross won't have access. It wants permission to interrogate those detainees with abusive practices that in the past have included induced hypothermia and "waterboarding," or simulated drowning. And it wants the right to try such detainees, and perhaps sentence them to death, on the basis of evidence that the defendants cannot see and that may have been extracted during those abusive interrogation sessions.

i'm personally very happy that the 15 senators on the committee had the huevos to stand up to george's intense push in spite of a personal arm-twisting visit, but i think the fight isn't over, not by a long shot...

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Let's get these nasty White House tactics out in the open, shall we?

(thanks to think progress...)

this is the way a totalitarian state operates... and this just happens to be one of the stories that's actually made it to the light of day... how many more haven't...?
[D]uring today’s White House press conference, a reporter cited comments by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — a former JAG and an opponent of the Bush’s detainee policies — claiming that the White House had placed extreme pressure on the military lawyers to sign a statement, and that the lawyers had refused to sign the initial statement crafted for them by the White House:
REPORTER: Sen. Graham is telling reporters on Capitol Hill that the White House had them in a meeting for five hours last night and tried to force them to sign a prepared statement and he said reading this JAG letter they ended up writing leaves total ambiguity on interpretation, this is Sen. Lindsey Graham. What’s your response to that?

Snow acknowledged “they were asked to write a letter” but said, “if you start going into who asked whom to write letters, I don’t know.”

so, you're a military lawyer... you're surrounded by high-level staffers from the office of your commander-in-chief... they're putting intense pressure on you to support what that commander-in-chief is trying to push through congress... what do you do...?

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Bushco standard operating procedure: if you don't like the research, destroy it

i'll tell ya... the bush administration started an an outlaw operation, aided and abetted by the supreme court, picked up steam, hit its stride, and hasn't slacked off since... they've managed to pervert every single facet of the executive branch of the government, congress is right in there with 'em, and the courts aren't far behind...
The Federal Communications Commission ordered its staff to destroy all copies of a draft study that suggested greater concentration of media ownership would hurt local TV news coverage, a former lawyer at the agency says.

The report, written in 2004, came to light during the Senate confirmation hearing for FCC Chairman Kevin Martin.
Click to learn more...

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. received a copy of the report "indirectly from someone within the FCC who believed the information should be made public," according to Boxer spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz.

[...]

The analysis showed local ownership of television stations adds almost five and one-half minutes of total news to broadcasts and more than three minutes of "on-location" news. The conclusion is at odds with FCC arguments made when it voted in 2003 to increase the number of television stations a company could own in a single market. It was part of a broader decision liberalizing ownership rules.

At that time, the agency pointed to evidence that "commonly owned television stations are more likely to carry local news than other stations."

sure... if something might stand in the way of funneling money to your super-rich cronies, just have it destroyed...

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Oh, and btw, George, don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out

well, well, well, whaddaya know... the three republicans magically became four* and were joined by eleven democrats... all fifteen somehow managed to grow a pair, and flipped the middle digit to george even AFTER george managed to get off his ass, drag himself over to capitol hill, and attempt to arm-twist the committee into giving him his way...
A Senate committee, in a bipartisan rebuff to President George W. Bush, approved military tribunal legislation that would give more legal protection to suspected terrorists than the administration wants.

Four of the 13 Republicans on the panel joined the 11 Democrats to pass their version of the measure, rejecting Bush's proposal to bar defendants from seeing classified evidence prosecutors may want to use in court. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed the Senate approach, warning that the Bush administration is risking the safety of U.S. troops and worldwide opinion by permitting harsh treatment of detainees.

The committee acted just hours after the president made an unusual visit to Capitol Hill to urge support for his proposals on domestic eavesdropping and military tribunals. Meeting with House Republicans, Bush said he reminded them that "the most important job of government is to protect the homeland."

george, you don't know protecting the homeland from a hole in the ground...

[* Graham, McCain, Warner, and I haven't found out either who the fourth was or who the Dems were.]

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Olbermann's 9/11, one more time

i have to confess... i had only read the transcript of keith olbermann's 9/11 commentary... i thought it was incredibly powerful even on the printed page without benefit of mr. olbermann's delivery... today, i watched it for the first time... i was stunned then and i am still stunned... i couldn't help it... when he finished, i had tears running down my face... i have been as emotionally impacted by what is going on in my country as by almost anything else i have ever experienced in my life, and, when i finally hear truth spoken, it's like waking up to the sun you thought you might never see again... god bless you, keith olbermann...

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Bolton is an ugly American and an ideological bully

since when did verbal abuse get downgraded to "outspoken," and "tough-minded...?"
Bolton, who served as undersecretary of state in Bush's first term, has been a lightning rod among diplomats, Democrats and some Republicans because of his outspoken, tough-minded approach to issues such as Iran, the Middle East and the United Nations itself.

bolton is the worst kind of bully - mean, with a heavy dose of ideology... he allows no room for discussion, he gives no quarter, he is the very apotheosis of william lederer's and eugene burdicks "The Ugly American..."
The book is a devastating look at the way the American diplomatic corps presents itself abroad. It may have been written decades ago, but given recent events and little evidence that anything has changed in the State Department, the lessons are still extremely applicable to this day...

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Poll suggests Majority of La Plata, Argentina citizens disagree with latest Bush Pronouncement

In a recent poll, a strong majority of La Plata’s citizens disagree with the suggestion by president George W. Bush that the United States is in a struggle to preserve civilization. Six out of ten Argentine citizens polled responded negatively, citing opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as the main cause for doing so. Of the four who agreed that the United States is fighting its “War on Terror” to preserve standards of Western civilization, two disagreed with the methods used by President Bush to accomplish his goals.

“It is a good thought, but the form in which it is carried out is wrong,” says unemployed beautician Margarita Villegas. “This war is about oil, money, power. And the poor people of the world are the ones who suffer. The poor people in the (Persian) Gulf and in the United States.” Mrs. Villegas, who has a daughter living in Miami, also spoke about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. “The United States also has poor people everywhere, but do you think Bush cares about them?”

Alfreado Beacosta, an unemployed government employee, was also sympathetic to Bush’s notion that the U.S. is fighting to preserve Western civilization but said that, “They are doing it the wrong way.”

Two respondents agreed strongly with the statement delivered by Bush on the fifth anniversary of September 11th from the Oval office.

“The United States tries to help other countries. They give money to them (Iraqis) and help and I agree with Bush,” says 20 year old plumber Juan Manuel Esquibel.

Alejandra, a young porter at a children’s day school concurred, adding, “They’re (the U.S. government) looking for something good for their citizens by trying to protect them.”

A stronger majority of Platenses, however, disagreed with Bush’s latest attempt to cast the U.S.’s engagement in conflicts in the Middle East, Europe and at home as an “ideological struggle.” Instead, many point to the U.S.’s continued use of violence and torture and its desire for more oil as the principal factors involved in Bush’s decision to engage in acts of war. In November of 2005, Mar del Plata, Argentina was the sight of the Fourth Summit of the Americas which attracted massive protests led by soccer legend Maradona and then Bolivian presidential candidate, Evo Morales.

“Bush causes wars, death and fighting,” says Gaston Dias, a newspaper vendor. “I can’t agree with that.”

Max, a street-side acrobat and student at the University of La Plata, says that Bush’s methods are “orthodox” and that, though he does not closely follow politics in the U.S., “he and his friends generally disagree with Bush and the war.”

Marina, an 18-year old student, asks “Can you please tell me how war and killing preserves civilization? In fact, what Bush is doing is the farthest thing from civilized.”

“Look,” Mario Brandy shouts from the window of his taxi, “there are some things that I like (about the U.S), but many things I can’t agree with. Basically, they are belligerent and start wars.”

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Brutalizing the law

our esteemed republican senate majority, with the possible exception of three (graham, mccain, and warner), are seemingly prepared to brush off our constitution right along with the geneva convention... and what do we get...?
How many more times do we need to create legislation that's defective, that's going to confuse people, that's got not a snowball's chance in hell of passing Supreme Court muster?" said Graham, a military lawyer.

so, what the hell is bushco trying to accomplish...?
All these eleventh-hour redefinitions of torture are presidential attempts to "afford brutality the cloak of law," in the words of Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter. But increasingly, it seems clear that its real purpose is simply to brutalize the law.

(thanks to susang at daily kos...)

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Thoughts in the comments

i checked the blog's traffic mid-afternoon yesterday and found it unexpectedly going through the roof... i checked and found out that my post on bush's "third awakening" had been picked up by the daou report on salon and featured as the number one item... well, yay for me, i guess... anyway, the post generated an interesting comment and two reponses, one of them mine...

the comment...

I always find it amazing how 2 individuals can hear the same things, and come to radically different conclusions.

What I heard is a statement reflecting what sociologists have been postulating for some time: that there has been a revival in religion and religious thought, particularly following the events of 9/11.

The liberal/progressive groups in this country wonder why religious people (and there are A LOT of religious people in this country), don't identify with them, especially given the strength of social justice issues within religious thinking. Well, keep calling them names like "wingnuts" and you'll keep on getting the short-end of the stick.

Perhaps you might focus on the things you have in common with religious people rather than highlighting the differences and calling them names all the time. They have every right to believe what they do and vote based on their convictions. You have that right as well. Seems your side is constantly trying to squelch the rights of others. I thought you were supposedly against such things?

Those in glass houses...
Todd | 09.14.06 - 4:19 am | #

the response...
Todd, you have deliberately constructed a false dichotomy. Liberals and progressives are overwhelmingly religious. There is no split between liberals and the relgious. Never has been, never will be.

There is a huge split between the political operatives who use religion for secular gain and the rest of the country. But those operatives aren't religious. They are blasphemers and hypocrites. And the rest of the country is rapidly learning exactly what Robertson and Dobson and the leaders of the "megachurches" are up to: amassing money and power while weakening America by undermining science and other kinds of critical thinking.

And they don't like it at all.
tristero | Homepage | 09.14.06 - 5:39 am | #

my thoughts...
if you completely throw out any context, i would, to some extent, agree with todd... unfortunately, however, context can't be ignored... it has been clear for some time that a signficant percentage of what i would call "extreme" fundamentalist christians believe the "end times" are coming and have unabashedly supported the middle east conflicts, particularly israel and lebanon, as evidence of that... when bush talks about historical battles between good and evil, there is no doubt in my mind who he is addressing... he is, of course, absolutely entitled to his religious beliefs, as are we all... he is NOT entitled, however, to politicize them, to weave them into the foreign policy of the united states, and to thus impact the lives of hundreds of millions, if not billions of people, who do not necessarily share his beliefs...
profmarcus | Homepage | 09.14.06 - 6:54 am | #

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U.N. nails Fleitz (which we only learn 15 paragraphs in)

the wapo does another sensational job of omitting the context and, thus, the better part of the story...
U.N. inspectors investigating Iran's nuclear program angrily complained to the Bush administration and to a Republican congressman yesterday about a recent House committee report on Iran's capabilities, calling parts of the document "outrageous and dishonest" and offering evidence to refute its central claims.

one of the most important facts about the house intelligence report on iran is that it was authored by the neocon former assistant to john bolton and a cheney neocon toadie... not until THIRTEEN paragraphs in, do we get this...
The committee report, written by a single Republican staffer with a hard-line position on Iran, chastised the CIA and other agencies for not providing evidence to back assertions that Iran is building nuclear weapons.

if you stopped reading there, assuming you even got that far, you would be left with the impression that the report was written by someone more or less on their own volition... THIS important fact doesn't appear until two paragraphs later...
The report's author, Fredrick Fleitz, is a onetime CIA officer and special assistant to John R. Bolton, the administration's former point man on Iran at the State Department. Bolton, who is now ambassador to the United Nations, had been highly influential during President Bush's first term in drawing up a tough policy that rejected talks with Tehran.

and, even THEN, we NEVER hear about bolton being cheney's man, and, by extension, fleitz as well... there is NO research or reporting on how or why fleitz, given his involvement in the iraq debacle, came to be a staffer on the house intelligence committee after leaving the state deparment... all in all, a terrific example of BAD journalism, all too typical not only of the wapo but of our traditional news media in general...

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Giant giveaway to the major oil companies..."short of a crime, anything goes"

hang on... stop the presses... an inspector general under the executive branch who isn't either a bush-appointed political hack crony or behaving like one...? they must have dropped the ball on this one...
Earl Devaney, the inspector general of the Department of the Interior, will give a blunt assessment of the level of ethics there in testimony to be presented to a congressional subcommittee Wednesday.

"Simply stated, short of a crime, anything goes at the highest levels of the Department of the Interior," Devaney will tell the subcommittee, according to an advance copy of his prepared remarks obtained by ABC News.

Devaney was asked to investigate a controversy that's been brewing on Capitol Hill for months over what critics call a giant giveaway to the major oil companies.

The giveaway, according to the critics, stems from leases issued by the government to oil companies in the late 1990s that exempted them from paying royalties on deepwater drilling, regardless of how much profit they ultimately reaped from that exploration.

it's nice to know it's not just idle speculation about oil company profiteering...

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Uh-oh. Musharraf's stepped into it now!

pointing out the truth doesn't earn you any points whatsoever in the bush administration...
In a speech to the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee on Tuesday, Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf blamed the United States and the West for "breeding terrorism in his country by bringing in thousands of mujahideen to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and then leaving Pakistan alone a decade later to face the armed warriors..."

tsk, tsk, tsk, pervez... NOW who's gonna sell you weapons systems and fighter jets...

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Destroying the city to save it - AGAIN...?

god only knows, it was bad enough the first time around...
After enduring two major assaults, Fallujah is under threat from U.S. forces again, residents say.

"They destroyed our city twice and they are threatening us a third time," 52-year-old Ahmed Dhahy told IPS in Fallujah, the Sunni-dominated city 50km west of Baghdad.

"They want us to do their job for them and turn in those who target them," he said.

Dhahy, who lost 32 relatives when his father's house was bombed by a U.S. aircraft during the April 2004 attack on the city, said the U.S. military had threatened it would destroy the city if resistance fighters were not handed over to them.

"Last week the Americans used loudspeakers on the backs of their tanks and Humvees to threaten us," Dhahy said. Residents said the U.S. forces warned of a "large military operation" if fighters were not handed over.

and, of course, the expected response from the u.s...
A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said he had no reports of such action.

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The NSA lobbies the Senate



< rolls eyes > we are SO far off the rails in the u.s...
The National Security Agency has taken the unusual move of sending members of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee a list of "approved talking points" regarding its warrantless eavesdropping program, RAW STORY has learned.

Some of the talking points urge Senators to imply that they have personal knowledge of plots foiled by the wiretap program, or that the Senators--seven of whom responded by writing the NSA a letter blasting the move--had other personal knowledge that the program was legal or necessary.

"I have personally met the dedicated men and women of the NSA," one point reads. "The country owes them an enormous debt of gratitude for their superb efforts to keep us all secure."

"It has detected plots," reads another, "that could have resulted in death or injury to Americans both at home and abroad." No examples are given in the document.

it's hard to express outrage when your outrage meter looks like salvador dali's painting, the clock explosion...

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The prison-powered economy - the wave of the future?

hell, why bother with all the mess of declaring bankruptcy, voiding your union contracts, eliminating pension plans, lobotomizing benefit programs, squeezing the last drop of blood from an overburdened workforce, and laying off all those annoying employees...? just toss everybody in jail and force 'em to do the work...
Today, there are over 2 million people incarcerated in the U.S., more than any other industrialized country. They are disproportionately African-American and Latino. The nation's prison industry now employees nearly three quarters of a million people, more than any Fortune 500 corporation, other than General Motors. Mushrooming construction has turned the industry into the main employer in scores of depressed cities and towns. A host of firms are profiting from private prisons, prison labor and services like transportation, farming and manufacturing.

Critics argue that inmate labor is both a potential human rights abuse and a threat to workers outside prison walls claiming, inmates have no bargaining power, are easily exploited and once released are frequently barred from gainful employment because of a felony conviction.

and what are all these forced labor employees producing...?
At a San Diego private-run prison factory Donovan Thomas earns 21 cents an hour manufacturing office equipment used in some of LA's plushest office towers. In Chino Gary's prison sewn T-shirts are a fashion hit.

Hundreds of prison generated products end up attached to trendy and nationally known labels like No Fear, Lee Jeans, Trinidad Tees, and other well known U.S. companies. After deductions, many prisoners like Cole and Thomas earn about $60 for an entire month of nine-hour days. In short, hiring out prisoners has become big business. And it's booming.

my question is this... how many corporate planners are now incorporating the use of prison workers as a strategic initiative to control labor costs...?

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If you ain't rich, it's probably because you're stupid

the r's have to find a defense for their evisceration of the social contract... barbara ehrenreich spells it out...
Elaine Chao, the secretary of labor, tacitly endorses the intellectual defect theory, stating on CNN recently that "our economy is evolving and transitioning to a knowledge-based economy" that favors the highly educated and highly skilled. Translation: If you're not enjoying the economy, it must be because you're just not too smart. And if you're not smart enough for our knowledge-based economy, you're clearly too dumb to understand how great it really is.

if you're poor (or not making out like a bandit), it's obviously because you're no damn good, nothing but a lazy, ignorant pimple on the ass of progress...

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R's betting the farm - up to $60M from $50M just days ago

they've probably also dedicated 100% to negative ads rather than the 90% they announced earlier...
The Republican National Committee (RNC) will spend its entire bank account, $60 million or more, helping Republicans try to retain control of Congress in the midterm elections.

let's just hope and pray that the american voters aren't going to fall for the b.s. yet again... let's ALSO hope that the elections aren't stolen...

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At the risk of being a "me too," me too...

atrios sums up my blogging style quite nicely...
One thing about the kind of blogging I do is that while I link to lots of stuff, it's all done to, well, tell the story I'm trying to tell.

taking the further risk of being hoisted on my own "third eye" petard (see previous post), i see patterns forming and reforming in world events, and my posts reflect the pieces of those patterns that catch my eye as i try to put them together to make a coherent picture...

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Bush "sees" with his third eye

not so long ago, bush used to speak to his wingnut religious base in code... not any more...
President Bush said yesterday that he senses a "Third Awakening" of religious devotion in the United States that has coincided with the nation's struggle with international terrorists, a war that he depicted as "a confrontation between good and evil."

Bush told a group of conservative journalists that he notices more open expressions of faith among people he meets during his travels, and he suggested that might signal a broader revival similar to other religious movements in history. Bush noted that some of Abraham Lincoln's strongest supporters were religious people "who saw life in terms of good and evil" and who believed that slavery was evil. Many of his own supporters, he said, see the current conflict in similar terms.

"A lot of people in America see this as a confrontation between good and evil, including me," Bush said during a 1 1/2 -hour Oval Office conversation on cultural changes and a battle with terrorists that he sees lasting decades.

the epic battle between the army of christ and the legions of satan... george would like us to think he's part of the former, but nobody can seriously buy that load of bollocks as long as rove is in his employ...

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The U.S. is a state sponsor of terrorism

if the u.s. government doesn't take the title as "world's biggest hypocrite," i'd like to know who will...
A US court has ruled that a Cuban wanted on terrorism charges by Cuba and Venezuela should be set free from a Texas immigration detention centre.

Ex-CIA operative Luis Posada Carriles was held for crossing illegally from Mexico after serving time in Panama for plotting to kill Cuba's Fidel Castro.

Mr Posada Carriles faces deportation, but it cannot be to Cuba or Venezuela.

Venezuela, which says he was behind a 1976 plane bombing that killed 73 people, condemned the latest ruling.

A Venezuelan government spokesman, Eric Wingerter, said the fact the ruling came on the fifth anniversary of the 11 September attacks would be particularly insulting to the families of those who died in the bombing of the Cuban airliner.

yeah... i'd say it was particularly insulting...

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Thanking Syria...? Wait a minute... What's going on here...?

i thought we didn't even TALK to people we don't like, much less THANK 'em... hell, even when we DO like somebody, we sometimes, just like cheney, shoot 'em in the face...
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice thanked Syria's security forces and expressed condolences over the death of the guard.

"I do think that the Syrians reacted to this attack in a way that helped to secure our people and we very much appreciate that," she said.

Rice said Syria had helped to "secure our people"

"I think it's very early to try and speculate why this may have happened," she said.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said the US was "grateful for the assistance the Syrians provided in going after the attackers".

"We are hoping they will become an ally and make the choice of fighting against terrorists," he said.

The attack comes at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Damascus, with bitterness in Syria over US support for Israeli military action in Lebanon.

The US accuses Syria of supporting the insurgency in Iraq and not doing enough to prevent weapons going to Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.

we don't like 'em so much, there's not even an AMBASSADOR at the embassy...
There is currently no US ambassador to Damascus and very limited contact between the governments.

what if the cubans halted an attack against the u.s. interests section office in havana... just sayin'...?

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Pay no attention to those pesky deficits

a $68B trade deficit during the month of july ALONE...
Persistent budget and current account deficits are not a problem in the short run, top White House economic adviser Edward Lazear said Tuesday. Speaking to the National Association for Business Economics, Lazear said the federal budget deficit "is actually in pretty good shape..."

never fear... george is here to make sure everything turns out all right... right...? < crickets >

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Olbermann rules

i completely agree...



(thanks to deepsouthdoug at daily kos...)

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Islamofascist Crusade - the middle ages updated

it doesn't take a lot of mental acuity or prolonged concentration to read between the lines of this...
"If we do not defeat these enemies now, we will leave our children to face a Middle East overrun by terrorist states and radical dictators armed with nuclear weapons," Bush said. "We are in a war that will set the course for this new century and determine the destiny of millions across the world."

- George Bush in a prime-time speech broadcast on Monday's anniversary of the terror attacks

  • "these enemies" = islamofascists
  • "our children" = white christians
  • "terrorist states" = those that have energy resources and won't suck up to the u.s.
  • "radical dictators" = heads of "terrorist states," even those who are popularly elected
  • "armed with nuclear weapons" = engaged in any type of national defense, nuclear or otherwise
  • "war" = as a wartime commander-in-chief, the executive branch sets all the rules
  • "set the course" = this war is going to probably last through most of our lifetimes
  • "this new century" = project for the new american century
  • "determine the destiny" = the u.s. is the "decider"
  • "millions across the world" = u.s. global hegemony
and, just to make sure he's understood...
"Whatever mistakes have been made in Iraq," Bush said ..., "the worst mistake would be to think that if we pulled out, the terrorists would leave us alone. They will not leave us alone. They will follow us. The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad."

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Rove has been preparing for this all of his life

kos...
Every Democrat in a rough race, and even those in less competitive contests, are about to get hit by the greatest slime wave of Rove's career. They've got nothing to lose at this point.

markos... it's not going to be just the dems in a rough race... it's going to be all dems... and it's not going to be just dems... it's going to be anybody who dares to speak up against these criminals... rove has been preparing for this all his life and he's not going to flinch now that it's crunch time...

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Oh. My. God. Olbermann is now at the TOP of my hero list.

i have cold chills running up and down my spine after reading this...
The only positive on 9/11 and the days and weeks that so slowly and painfully followed it was the unanimous humanity, here, and throughout the country. The government, the President in particular, was given every possible measure of support.

Those who did not belong to his party—tabled that.

Those who doubted the mechanics of his election—ignored that.

Those who wondered of his qualifications—forgot that.

History teaches us that nearly unanimous support of a government cannot be taken away from that government by its critics.

It can only be squandered by those who use it not to heal a nation’s wounds, but to take political advantage.

Terrorists did not come and steal our newly-regained sense of being American first, and political, fiftieth. Nor did the Democrats. Nor did the media. Nor did the people.

The President—and those around him—did that.

They promised bi-partisanship, and then showed that to them, “bi-partisanship” meant that their party would rule and the rest would have to follow, or be branded, with ever-escalating hysteria, as morally or intellectually confused; as appeasers; as those who, in the Vice President’s words yesterday, “validate the strategy of the terrorists.”

They promised protection, and then showed that to them “protection” meant going to war against a despot whose hand they had once shaken, a despot who we now learn from our own Senate Intelligence Committee hated Al-Qaeda as much as we did.

The polite phrase for how so many of us were duped into supporting a war, on the false premise that it had ‘something to do’ with 9/11, is “lying by implication.”

The impolite phrase is: "impeachable offense."

seriously, i have tears in my eyes... thank you, mr. olbermann... thank you from the bottom of my heart...

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Jonathan Tasini for U.S. Senate in N.Y.

from a report in Roll Call's "Heard on the Hill"...
HOH was surprised when she answered the phone Friday and Sarandon — or her voice, anyway — was on the other end of the line.

“Hi, this is Susan Sarandon.”

“Oh hi!” we started to reply. But we had no time to introduce ourselves; Sarandon quickly blurted out, “Hillary Clinton voted for George Bush’s war. She supports the continued occupation of Iraq. Jonathan Tasini opposed the Iraq War and is calling for the immediate safe withdrawal of a new deal for New York workers. On Sept. 12, please vote for Jonathan Tasini for U.S. Senate.”

i'm with susan...

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Cheney's dark side - thinking the unthinkable

steve clemons has a lengthy and, as usual, very articulate response to dr. evil's latest assertion...
"Part of my job is to think about the unthinkable, to focus upon what in fact the terrorists may have in store for us," Cheney told NBC's "Meet the Press" when asked about his "dark side."

If only Cheney had spent more time on the "unthinkable" -- and putting his zealotry behind thinking through every option, every possibility, every complex strategic cost and opportunity -- America would not be on the brink of a fundamental loss in international stature and military capacity.

there's more here...

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Not the anniversary of 9/11, it's the birthday of the "new totalitarianism"

how are we going to break this cycle...?
As the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks unfolds, it has come to look less like a sad remembrance of the past and more like a troubling glimpse into the future, a window to a new-age totalitarianism that looms before the United States, where a powerful right-wing government tells lies aided and abetted by friendly media corporations.

[...]

Republican operatives have an apparatus to electronically communicate instantaneous talking points to these local media outlets, promoting “bad votes” or exploitable quotes from individual Democratic candidates. Republicans will be putting negative spins on Democratic candidates before the Democrats can even reach a microphone.

[...]

At home, Karl Rove and other Republican strategists project what effectively will be a one-party state, with the Republicans controlling all branches of government, using the federal courts to redefine the Constitution and keeping Democrats around as foils and boogey men to stir up the conservative base with warnings about the enemy within.

On this fifth anniversary of 9/11, President Bush and his Republican supporters are trying hard to revive the lost sentimental unity that followed the attacks. But the saddest legacy of that tragic day may be that it marked the path toward the end of the noble American Republic and the start of a new totalitarianism.

robert parry of consortium news is about as astute an observer and critical analyst as they come... i almost hate to read his latest material because he tends to be dead on... < sigh >

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Kean Jr. turns on Bush

after dad serves as the 9/11 commission consultant to the abc pack of lies, pt9/11, that attacked the clinton administration and, effectively, the democrats, in the mid-term election run-up, sonny has a different take...
In the thick of a hotly contested U.S. Senate race, Republican Tom Kean Jr. has decided to make a sharp break from George W. Bush, saying the president has made "horrendous mistakes" in Iraq, is "dead wrong" on the environment and also wrong to limit stem cell research.

i don't believe it... it's all political... if bush weren't tanking, kean would be kissing his butt...

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Almost nothing the U.S. military can do

meanwhile, back in iraq, things are going swimmingly...
The chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq recently filed an unusual secret report concluding that the prospects for securing that country's western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there, said several military officers and intelligence officials familiar with its contents.

[...]

One Army officer summarized it as arguing that in Anbar province, "We haven't been defeated militarily but we have been defeated politically -- and that's where wars are won and lost."

[...]

[T]here are no functioning Iraqi government institutions in Anbar, leaving a vacuum that has been filled by the insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq, which has become the province's most significant political force...

we're creating just what george, dick, don, karl, and the neocons want - an endless war that can be used to coax more civil liberties from u.s. citizens and gain a tighter hold on absolute power... good work, guys...

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The "non-partisan" wreath-laying by our Criminal-in-Chief

i posted about this last night and, true to form, the wapo dutifully repeats the white house spin, but at least has the courtesy to bury it on page A06...
Bush's visit here for the moment left aside the partisan rancor that long ago supplanted the sense of unity and shared purpose emerging immediately after the attacks...

non-partisan, my ass... a truly non-partisan move would have been calling for a five-minute national moment of silence today at noon...
Bush has implored Americans to go about their daily lives, even as he has invoked extraordinary powers that he says are the prerogative of a president leading a nation at war. "I think he recognized this was going to be a challenge," [White House counselor Dan] Bartlett said.

the "challenge," mr. bartlett, is going to be for bush to escape without impeachment or war crimes charges, as i think bush realizes all too well...
The President is undoubtedly familiar with the doctrine of command responsibility, where commanders, all the way up the chain of command to the commander in chief, can be held liable for war crimes their inferiors commit if the commander knew or should have known they might be committed and did nothing to stop or prevent them.

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Torture protection insurance

call now... operators are standing by...
CIA counterterrorism officers have signed up in growing numbers for a government-reimbursed, private insurance plan that would pay their civil judgments and legal expenses if they are sued or charged with criminal wrongdoing, according to current and former intelligence officials and others with knowledge of the program.

The new enrollments reflect heightened anxiety at the CIA that officers may be vulnerable to accusations they were involved in abuse, torture, human rights violations and other misconduct, including wrongdoing related to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. They worry that they will not have Justice Department representation in court or congressional inquiries, the officials said.

that last sentence is positively jaw-dropping, especially when you consider this...
"The fault here is with more senior people who authorized interrogation techniques that amount to torture" and should now be liable, instead of "the officers who carried it out."

- Former CIA general counsel, Jeffrey H. Smith

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Best War Ever

a new book... looks like a goodie...



maybe the best part will be the graphics by tom tomorrow...

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Oh, please... Spare me...

i was working at washington d.c.'s dulles international airport on 9/11... i saw the pushback and departure of the american airlines plane that (supposedly) hit the pentagon and worked closely with an individual whose husband's office was on the outside ring of the pentagon right next to where the hit took place... but, here's george, trying for all he's worth to grab a few precious poll points... what a loser...
US President George W Bush has laid a wreath at Ground Zero, the site of New York's twin towers, ahead of the fifth anniversary of the 11 September attack.

He is shortly expected to attend a remembrance service at a nearby chapel.

The events come as Mr Bush tries to defend his record on fighting terrorism in the run-up to November's mid-term Congressional elections.

just for emphasis, let me repeat myself - what a loser...

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Another glorious Sunday, another walk, more interesting stuff

one of the things that's caught on here is stringing banners across the street to announce birthday, anniversary, and other family celebrations... i think it's very cool...



this one, across calle besares near where i live, says, "papa, happy birthday, we love you very much, oriana, facundo, and lucas..." ain't that sweet...!

and what would the day be without another interesting mural, this one on avenida garcia del rio on the way to parque saavedra...

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Looks like PT9/11 is going on as scheduled

seein' as how it's already shown in new zealand and will be going on-air in the uk very shortly... guess abc has some pretty powerful folks making sure they don't back out, huh...?



this schedule is from reno, nevada, and shows it airing from 8-11 p.m., EDT... an NFL game and "24" are slotted against it for the first hour...

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Terror, fear, terror, fear, terror... < yawn >

it's the very routinizing of fear that leads me to think we can expect a major incident to up the fear quotient prior to the elections...
Even as both parties sound alarm, 1,800 days and two federal elections after one of the most terrifying days in the nation's history, many voters have come to accept fear-laced campaign rhetoric as routine.

"They've seen this movie before, and more of them know they are getting their chain yanked," said Garry South, a Democratic consultant in California, who pointed to the White House as the worst offender.

"If Karl Rove believes all he has to do is dust off the old game plan and accuse Democrats of being soft on terror, of coddling terrorists, I don't think that's going to work this year," South said.

so, why does the following continue to be the case...?
Yet both parties appear intent on using terrorism as an election issue.

Rove, the president's chief political aide, made that much plain in a speech to the Republican National Committee early this year when he declared that "Republicans have a post-9/11 worldview -- and many Democrats have a pre-9/11 worldview."

"That doesn't make them unpatriotic, not at all. But it does make them wrong -- deeply and profoundly and consistently wrong," Rove said.

[...]

Some Democrats used the politics of fear themselves when they blasted the White House this winter for agreeing to allow a firm headquartered in Dubai to manage several East Coast ports.

it'll be interesting to see what kind of fallout there is from tonight's broadcast of PT9/11... if it's a rove-orchestrated political move (as i believe it is), there's the possibility it may backfire... well, i suppose i should say, i HOPE there's the possibility it will backfire...

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Bill Moyers comes back to PBS

great news... even better news would be that he had announced his candidacy for president...

(thanks to dkmich on daily kos...)

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How far can the Bush administration go?

they've gone pretty far already, but, if they have their way, they're going to go a great deal further...
Tom Maertens: HAS OUR AIM BEEN TRUE?
from Minneapolis StarTribune 9/10, and posted on Daily Kos

How far can the Bush administration go? Steven Bradbury of the Justice Department recently suggested before a congressional committee that the president might have the power to order the killing of terrorist suspects inside the United States.
Tom Maertens served as National Security Council director for proliferation and homeland defense in the George W. Bush White House, and as deputy coordinator for counterterrorism in the State Department on 9/11.

not a cheerful item for a sunday morning...

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Why do I think PT9/11 is part of Rove's strategy...?

because the rovian stench is just too strong...

  • 8 weeks to the mid-term elections, insuring the highest impact on public opinion
  • Republicans will spend $45M on negative campaign ads targeting Democrats between now and the election
  • The people behind PT9/11 are shadowy and at least 4 or 5 layers removed from those making the movie, a classic Rove strategem
  • The Democrats are currently polling ahead of the Republicans and are predicted to take back the House of Representatives
  • PT9/11 is a smear job on the Democrats
  • Bush's speech is scheduled to air along with PT9/11
  • ABC, demonstrating quintessential Rovian disdain for the American public in the face of overwhelming criticism, is refusing to cancel PT9/11
diminished influence or not, rove is still calling the shots...
Choose the roughest, toughest person who has ever created wildly successful advertising and PR campaigns. Make damned sure this person is a real marketer, doesn't take any guff from anybody and is NOT a political stooge. Make sure ALL money flows to this one person and all spending is coordinated through this person.

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Rove's a busy little bee, crafting evil in his devil's workshop

$45M on negative ads...
Republicans are planning to spend the vast majority of their sizable financial war chest over the final 60 days of the campaign attacking Democratic House and Senate candidates over personal issues and local controversies, GOP officials said.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which this year dispatched a half-dozen operatives to comb through tax, court and other records looking for damaging information on Democratic candidates, plans to spend more than 90 percent of its $50 million-plus advertising budget on what officials described as negative ads.

and the remaining $5M on POSITIVE ads...? hmmm... not terribly likely...

btw, the hilarious part of this article is the headline...


In a Pivotal Year, GOP Plans to Get Personal

yeah, like that's some kind of new strategy...

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