Gallery d'Ann

Blender Animation

Animation for the Appliance Challenged Gallery

Missing BBS Files

Sprung - Harley-Davidson Springer Enthusiast

Flying Snail Studios Podcasts

Rubbermaid (Band)

United State Cafe - Haight/Ashbury San Francisco, California

Apple/Mac FYI

They Have Returned

Hunger and Shame by Dr. Mary Howard and Dr. Ann V. Millard

Padre Nuestro - 2007 Sundance Film Festival Grand-Jury Prize Award Winner

Nobody for President = Put NONE OF THE ABOVE on voter ballots


Develop Your Mind, NOT Sacred Sites
Bear Butte International Alliance

"In an 1868 treaty, drafted at Fort Laramie in Sioux country, the United States established the Black Hills as part of the Great Sioux Reservation, set aside for exclusive use by the Sioux people. However, after the discovery of gold there in 1874, the United States confiscated the land in 1877. To this day, ownership of the Black Hills remains the subject of a legal dispute between the U.S. government and the Sioux."

Native American Issues & Causes & NDN News Website -

Bong Hits 4 Repression

Samuel T. Caldwell - America's First Victim of Marijuana Prohibition,  Arrested 1937

by Paul Krassner

The Supreme Court sucks so badly it turned itself inside out. An utterly outrageous 5-4 ruling** has made it acceptable to suspend a high school student for an off-campus act like holding a 14-foot banner saying "Bong Hits 4 Jesus." That simple joke became a federal case ending with a dangerous precedent for suppressing free speech.


Chief Justice Roberts agreed with the school principal that "the banner would be interpreted by those viewing it as promoting illegal drug use, and that interpretation is plainly a reasonable one" -- what a ton of bullshit! -- and Justices Alito and Kennedy stated that their decision doesn't address "political or social issues such as the wisdom of the war on drugs or of legalized marijuana for medical use."

So this is really about the war on pleasure. I once asked the late Peter McWilliams -- leading activist in the medical marijuana movement who suffered from cancer and AIDS -- "Would you agree with Dennis Peron, the co-author of Proposition 215 [California's medical marijuana referendum], who says -- not as a joke -- that all use of marijuana is medical?"

"In the general sense that everything we do for our health--both curative and preventative--is medical, I'd agree," he replied. "Even a perfectly healthy person who smokes pot once a month purely for its euphoric effects could be said to be doing so to prevent becoming ill, in the sense that people take vitamin C every day to prevent becoming ill, for I believe that euphoria is both healing and health-maintaining....

"While I was using marijuana to treat my nausea, I can't tell you how much I missed getting high. Although I'd smoke it several times a day, the average high school student was getting high more times a month than I was. That's because after the first month, I never got high, and I really enjoy marijuana's high. Simply put, recreational marijuana you use to get high; medical marijuana you use to get by."

Source and Comments:

More Information on Paul Krassner:

Live Earth or Divide & Conquer?

Dot hiding under a rug

Divide and Conquer is derived from the Latin saying Divide et impera.

In politics and sociology, divide and rule (also known as divide and conquer) is a combination political, military and economic strategy of gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into chunks that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy. In reality, it often refers to a strategy where small power groups are prevented from linking up and becoming more powerful, since it is difficult to break up existing power structures.

This morning (200707.01), while scanning the morning news, the following headline appeared:

Gore show is set to be biggest on earth

China will broadcast Live Earth, giving the climate change concerts an audience of 2 billion. Will that silence the skeptics? David Smith reports

Sunday July 1, 2007
The Observer

Nowhere, perhaps, will be more important than Shanghai. One of eight cities hosting Live Earth concerts for Al Gore's crusade against climate change on Saturday, it will help deliver a vast audience across China. And with the world's most populous country on board, organizers believe they can reach 2 billion people and eclipse even Live8 as the biggest global media event of all time.

It will begin at 1.10am British Summer Time in Sydney, Australia, then roll around the globe with concerts in Tokyo, Johannesburg, Shanghai, Hamburg, London's Wembley stadium, New York and finally, at 8pm, Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach. A special performance at the British Antarctic Survey Station in Antarctica will ensure all seven continents are included. There will be saturation coverage from TV, radio, the internet and at more than 6,000 parties in 119 countries.

Critics have argued the 24-hour spectacular - featuring more than 150 acts including Madonna, Lily Allen, Genesis, Bon Jovi, Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, Black Eyed Peas and Jack Johnson - will do more for the stars' careers than raising awareness of climate change.

But Gore will use it to urge people to sign a seven-point pledge calling on governments to agree, within two years, an international treaty that cuts global warming pollution by 90 per cent in developed countries and by more than half worldwide. It also asks people to cut their own pollution, make their homes, businesses, schools and transport more energy efficient, and plant new trees and preserve forests.

With its rapid economic growth and soaring carbon emissions, China is regarded as a crucial target for this message. Kevin Wall, the executive producer of Live Earth, has succeeded where he did not two years ago as a co-organiser of Live8, the centerpiece of the Make Poverty History campaign.

'We're on Chinese TV with 800 million people, ' he told The Observer. 'People often think on a parochial basis, so it's vital to be there. We've got to talk and make the whole world listen.'

Live Earth China, on the steps of the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai, will feature popular national singers as well as Britain's Sarah Brightman, and be broadcast across the country by the Shanghai Media Group.

Steve Howard, chief executive of The Climate Group, a London-based campaign organization supporting Live Earth, said: 'The US and China are responsible for half the world's carbon emissions. Live Earth will get huge attention in both. The biggest issue on the planet ever requires the biggest media event ever.'

The seed was planted less than two years ago at the Beverly Hills Hotel in California, when Wall, a veteran concert producer, attended a slide show about global warming presented by Gore, as featured in the Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth

'Over the course of the 90 minutes my wife and I were very emotionally moved by the climate crisis,' said Wall, 54, a father of three. 'We understood for the first time it was about us, our children and our children's children. This is not just a movie - it's happening.'

Wall met the former US vice-president and discussed taking the message to as many people as possible: 'After Live8 I said never again, but I got the call from Al Gore, the global rock star on this issue. What I can do on the day is deliver 2 billion pairs of eyeballs.'

On Saturday Gore will be at the Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, near New York City, where the Police, Smashing Pumpkins, Alicia Keys and others will perform. 'We don't want him getting on planes burning carbon,' Wall acknowledged.

Profits from Live Earth will go to Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection. But the entire event has been questioned by Bob Geldof, organizer of Live Aid and Live8. In May he said: 'I hope they're a success. But why is he [Gore] actually organizing them? To make us aware of the greenhouse effect? Everybody's known about that for years. We are all fucking conscious of global warming.'

Skeptics have also pointed to the amount of electricity used to power the speakers and lights, and the fuel spent on ferrying musicians and their equipment to the venues by plane and lorry.

Wall said: 'We are trying to minimize the carbon as much as possible. Most artists are coming from nearby areas. Madonna, for example, lives in London and will be performing at Wembley.'

He added: 'There are 3,000 concerts a year. We're doing 10, but touching 2 billion people about what I think is the biggest issue that's ever faced humanity.'

Steve Howard of the environmental charity Climate Group said: 'Dealing with climate change doesn't mean we have got to stop live performances or call for a moratorium on football matches. There are positive choices for people to make. If we get this right, in 10 to 15 years time every product will be a green product.

'Live Earth is a big step in the right direction.' Howard added. 'Arnold Schwarzenegger put it well when he said in Washington DC: "We need to make the environment cool and sexy."'

Organizers deny that Live Earth will be a one-off that could be soon forgotten. They have produced more than 60 short films, 30 public service announcements featuring stars such as Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz, and a book, The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook by David de Rothschild, that will be published in Britain this week.


We assume it was not the author's intention to point out where DIVIDE & CONQUER appears in the above article.

Simply put, in our words, this is a 24 hour concert with a potential of exposing two billion (2,000,000,000) viewers to the dangers of CLIMATE CHANGE; however, it could be a lot more.

I spent time with Alan Watts during the '60s and one of the things we discussed was, "how to fix the planet."

He suggested "closing it all down" (with exception to emergency and related services) for a month (meaning, everybody gets a month off from work), "getting the best scientists, community, and religious leaders and put them on television for the month", "have international call-ins", and 'let them figure out how to make the world what it should be, 'a better place for everybody'.

During the '70s Keith Lampe and I tried to encourage people to consider the same thing; i.e., putting the 'best of the best' of those with the ability to "fix it" (the Earth) on television, for a month, and figured the pollution it would eliminate (with businesses closed) would be an excellent first step.

Live Earth could be used as a platform to initiate World Peace.

Here is their contact page:

Give Peace a Chance

Wars happen when intolerance reaches epic proportions, when the reasons for war become greater than the sanctity of peace. Wars happen when we fail to realise the value of being alive. World leaders try to bring peace, but it is not an issue of institutions. It is human beings who start wars. Before a war begins outside, it starts inside.

The war on the inside is more dangerous because it is a fire that may never be put out. Wars are being fought because peace is not being found within, because it is not being allowed to unfold. We are all searching for something, we may call it success, peace, love, or tranquillity. It is the same thing. What we are looking for has many names because we do not know what we need. To find what we need, we look around us. To know where to find what we are looking for, we first need to ask ourselves where we can find it. Have we considered looking within?

Living is not an easy task, especially if we want the best of it. We have to mine for it. Mining is not easy. We have to take out what we need and leave the rest. If we want to mine for peace, then we have to seek what is precious and discard what is not. The thing that we are searching for is not outside of us. It is within us. It always has been and always will be. Contentment feels good, and it is not an accident. It is not an accident that peace feels good. Peace is already here, and it resides in the hearts of all human beings.Peace is something that has to be felt. One of the most incredible powers we have is that we can feel. When we place peace in front of that power to feel, we feel peace. We are here to be filled with gratitude, love and understanding. We carry a lamp within so bright that even in the darkest night, it can fill our world with light. This light is waiting to be found. Peace makes no distinctions. It does not care if we are rich, if we are poor, or what religion we belong to. It does not care which country we live in.

Peace is waiting to be found. Waiting to once again feel whole, not separated by all the issues that divide our lives. Peace is when the heart is no longer in duality, when the struggle within has been resolved. When peace comes to the heart, serenity follows. Love comes flooding in, uncontrolled. Joy cannot be held back. It bursts through because it is right. That is peace. Peace needs to be felt, love needs to be felt, truth needs to be felt. As long as we are alive, the yearning to feel good, to feel joy, will always be there, and as long as it is there, there will be a need for it to be discovered.

Life is a journey. We are passengers in a train called life, and we are alive in the moment called now. The journey of life is so beautiful that it needs no destination. On this journey, we have been given a compass. The compass is the thirst to be fulfilled. The true journey of life begins the day we begin to seek to quench our thirst. This quest is the most noble one. For many centuries, a voice has been calling out: "What you are looking for is within you. Your truth is within you, your peace is within you, your joy is within you." In our hearts, peace is like a seed waiting in the desert to grow, to blossom. When we allow this seed to blossom inside, then peace is possible outside. We have to give peace a chance.

Will we give peace a chance? - Prem Rawat - India Times 2/25/03

Lake County Blues Allstars - Upper Lake, July 9th

Breaking News: Cheney Buys Bush Blue Dress

Monday Morning Rant

I do not care who runs government, as long as they are honest. - Dahbud Mensch

A Profile in Cowardice
by Frank Rich

THERE was never any question that President Bush would grant amnesty to Scooter Libby, the man who knows too much about the lies told to sell the war in Iraq. The only questions were when, and how, Mr. Bush would buy Mr. Libby's silence. Now we have the answers, and they're at least as incriminating as the act itself. They reveal the continued ferocity of a White House cover-up and expose the true character of a commander in chief whose tough-guy shtick can no longer camouflage his fundamental cowardice.

The timing of the president's Libby intervention was a surprise. Many assumed he would mimic the sleazy 11th-hour examples of most recent vintage: his father's pardon of six Iran-contra defendants who might have dragged him into that scandal, and Bill Clinton's pardon of the tax fugitive Marc Rich, the former husband of a major campaign contributor and the former client of none other than the ubiquitous Mr. Libby.

But the ever-impetuous current President Bush acted 18 months before his scheduled eviction from the White House. Even more surprising, he did so when the Titanic that is his presidency had just hit two fresh icebergs, the demise of the immigration bill and the growing revolt of Republican senators against his strategy in Iraq.

That Mr. Bush, already suffering historically low approval ratings, would invite another hit has been attributed in Washington to his desire to placate what remains of his base. By this logic, he had nothing left to lose. He didn't care if he looked like an utter hypocrite, giving his crony a freer ride than Paris Hilton and violating the white-collar sentencing guidelines set by his own administration. He had to throw a bone to the last grumpy old white guys watching Bill O'Reilly in a bunker.

But if those die-hards haven't deserted him by now, why would Mr. Libby's incarceration be the final straw? They certainly weren't whipped into a frenzy by coverage on Fox News, which tended to minimize the leak case as a non-event. Mr. Libby, faceless and voiceless to most Americans, is no Ollie North, and he provoked no right-wing firestorm akin to the uproars over Terri Schiavo, Harriet Miers or "amnesty" for illegal immigrants.

The only people clamoring for Mr. Libby's freedom were the pundits who still believe that Saddam secured uranium in Africa and who still hope that any exoneration of Mr. Libby might make them look less like dupes for aiding and abetting the hyped case for war. That select group is not the Republican base so much as a roster of the past, present and future holders of quasi-academic titles at neocon think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute.

What this crowd never understood is that Mr. Bush's highest priority is always to protect himself. So he stiffed them too. Had the president wanted to placate the Weekly Standard crowd, he would have given Mr. Libby a full pardon. That he served up a commutation instead is revealing of just how worried the president is about the beans Mr. Libby could spill about his and Dick Cheney's use of prewar intelligence.

Valerie Wilson still has a civil suit pending. The Democratic inquisitor in the House, Henry Waxman, still has the uranium hoax underlying this case at the top of his agenda as an active investigation. A commutation puts up more roadblocks by keeping Mr. Libby's appeal of his conviction alive and his Fifth Amendment rights intact. He can't testify without risking self-incrimination. Meanwhile, we are asked to believe that he has paid his remaining $250,000 debt to society independently of his private $5 million "legal defense fund."

The president's presentation of the commutation is more revealing still. Had Mr. Bush really believed he was doing the right and honorable thing, he would not have commuted Mr. Libby's jail sentence by press release just before the July Fourth holiday without consulting Justice Department lawyers. That's the behavior of an accountant cooking the books in the dead of night, not the proud act of a patriot standing on principle.

When the furor followed Mr. Bush from Kennebunkport to Washington despite his efforts to duck it, he further underlined his embarrassment by taking his only few questions on the subject during a photo op at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. You know this president is up to no good whenever he hides behind the troops. This instance was particularly shameful, since Mr. Bush also used the occasion to trivialize the scandalous maltreatment of Walter Reed patients on his watch as merely "some bureaucratic red-tape issues."

Asked last week to explain the president's poll numbers, Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center told NBC News that "when we ask people to summon up one word that comes to mind" to describe Mr. Bush, it's "incompetence." But cowardice, the character trait so evident in his furtive handling of the Libby commutation, is as important to understanding Mr. Bush's cratered presidency as incompetence, cronyism and hubris.

Even The Wall Street Journal's editorial page, a consistent Bush and Libby defender, had to take notice. Furious that the president had not given Mr. Libby a full pardon (at least not yet), The Journal called the Bush commutation statement a "profile in non-courage."

What it did not recognize, or chose not to recognize, is that this non-courage, to use The Journal's euphemism, has been this president's stock in trade, far exceeding the "wimp factor" that Newsweek once attributed to his father. The younger Mr. Bush's cowardice is arguably more responsible for the calamities of his leadership than anything else.

People don't change. Mr. Bush's failure to have the courage of his own convictions was apparent early in his history, when he professed support for the Vietnam War yet kept himself out of harm's way when he had the chance to serve in it. In the White House, he has often repeated the feckless pattern that he set back then and reaffirmed last week in his hide-and-seek bestowing of the Libby commutation.

The first fight he conspicuously ran away from as president was in August 2001. Aspiring to halt federal underwriting of embryonic stem-cell research, he didn't stand up and say so but instead unveiled a bogus "compromise" that promised continued federal research on 60 existing stem-cell lines. Only later would we learn that all but 11 of them did not exist. When Mr. Bush wanted to endorse a constitutional amendment to "protect" marriage, he again cowered. A planned 2006 Rose Garden announcement to a crowd of religious-right supporters was abruptly moved from the sunlight into a shadowy auditorium away from the White House.

Nowhere is this president's non-courage more evident than in the "signing statements" The Boston Globe exposed last year. As Charlie Savage reported, Mr. Bush "quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office." Rather than veto them in public view, he signed them, waited until after the press and lawmakers left the White House, and then filed statements in the Federal Register asserting that he would ignore laws he (not the courts) judged unconstitutional. This was the extralegal trick Mr. Bush used to bypass the ban on torture. It allowed him to make a coward's escape from the moral (and legal) responsibility of arguing for so radical a break with American practice.

In the end, it was also this president's profile in non-courage that greased the skids for the Iraq fiasco. If Mr. Bush had had the guts to put America on a true wartime footing by appealing to his fellow citizens for sacrifice, possibly even a draft if required, then he might have had at least a chance of amassing the resources needed to secure Iraq after we invaded it.

But he never backed up the rhetoric of war with the stand-up action needed to prosecute the war. Instead he relied on fomenting fear, as typified by the false uranium claims whose genesis has been covered up by Mr. Libby's obstructions of justice. Mr. Bush's cowardly abdication of the tough responsibilities of wartime leadership ratified Donald Rumsfeld's decision to go into Iraq with the army he had, ensuring our defeat.

Never underestimate the power of the unconscious. Not the least of the revelatory aspects of Mr. Bush's commutation is that he picked the fourth anniversary of "Bring ‘em on" to hand it down. It was on July 2, 2003, that the president responded to the continued violence in Iraq, two months after "Mission Accomplished," by taunting those who want "to harm American troops." Mr. Bush assured the world that "we've got the force necessary to deal with the security situation." The "surge" notwithstanding, we still don't have the force necessary four years later, because the president never did summon the courage, even as disaster loomed, to back up his own convictions by going to the mat to secure that force.

No one can stop Mr. Bush from freeing a pathetic little fall guy like Scooter Libby. But only those who paid the ultimate price for the avoidable bungling of Iraq have the moral authority to pardon Mr. Bush.

Published on Sunday, July 8, 2007 by the New York Times


Libby 'spared jail to avoid implicating others'

Peter Walker and agencies
Monday July 9, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

George Bush could have spared the former White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby from jail to avoid him implicating others in the administration, a Democratic congressman investigating the affair claimed yesterday.

The White House immediately dismissed the allegation - made by John Conyers, the chairman of the House of Representatives judiciary committee - as "ridiculous and baseless".

Last week, Mr Bush intervened to commute the two and a half year jail sentence given to Mr Libby for lying and obstructing an investigation into the leak of a CIA officer's identity.

The president said Mr Libby's punishment was too harsh, but stopped short of granting him an outright pardon.

Mr Conyers has scheduled a committee hearing on the matter for Wednesday.

His investigation will also look into pardons made by Bill Clinton and the first President Bush. In the final hours of his presidency, Mr Clinton pardoned 140 people, including the fugitive financier Marc Rich.

Yesterday, Mr Conyers said he suspected the quashing of Mr Libby's jail term could be different from the earlier pardons.

"What we have here - and I think we should put it on the table right at the beginning - is that the suspicion was that if Mr Libby went to prison, he might further implicate other people in the White House, and that there was some kind of relationship here that does not exist in any of President Clinton's pardons, nor, according to those that we've talked to ... is that it's never existed before, ever," he told ABC television.

In response, the White House spokesman, Tony Fratto said: "It may be impossible to plumb the depths of chairman Conyers's suspicions, but we can hope this one is near the bottom."

A Republican member of the judicial committee also took issue with the investigation into the Libby case.

"It's clearly within the authority of the president," Chris Cannon told Fox News. "To go after the president on this issue shows a dearth of any opportunity to go after something substantive in this administration.

"I would prefer that we not waste our time in Congress on these witch hunts and frivolous activities."

Mr Libby, the former chief of staff to the US vice president, Dick Cheney, was found guilty of obstructing a federal investigation into the naming of the covert CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Although never confirmed, there was suspicion that the Bush administration had exposed her to take revenge on her husband, Joe Wilson, a former ambassador.

Mr Wilson had publicly dismissed the president's claim that Iraq had been seeking uranium from Niger to build a nuclear weapon as rubbish.

Because he did not receive a complete pardon, Mr Libby still had to pay a £1250,000 fine, which he did on Thursday.


Al Qaeda top brass trapped in Pak, US aborted mission at last minute lest it annoyed General

New York Times
Posted online: Monday, July 09, 2007 at 0000 hrs

WASHINGTON, JULY 8: A secret US military operation in early 2005 to capture senior members of Al Qaeda in Pakistan's tribal areas was aborted at the last minute after top Bush administration officials decided it was too risky and could jeopardise relations with Pakistan, according to intelligence and military officials.

The target was a meeting of Qaeda leaders that intelligence officials thought included Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden's top deputy and the man believed to run the terrorist group's operations.

But the mission was called off after Donald H Rumsfeld, then the Defense Secretary, rejected an 11th-hour appeal by Porter J Goss, then the CIA Director, officials said. Members of a Navy Seals unit in parachute gear had already boarded C-130 cargo planes in Afghanistan when the mission was cancelled, said a former senior intelligence official involved in the planning.

Rumsfeld decided that the operation, which had ballooned from a small number of military personnel and CIA operatives to several hundred, was cumbersome and put too many American lives at risk. He was also concerned that it could cause a rift with Pakistan, the officials said.

The decision to halt the planned "snatch and grab" operation frustrated some top intelligence officials and members of the military's secret Special Operations units, who say the US missed a significant opportunity to try to capture senior Qaeda members.

Their frustration has only grown over the past two years, they said, as Al Qaeda has improved its abilities to plan global attacks and build new training compounds in Pakistan's tribal areas.

In recent months, the White House has become increasingly irritated with Pakistan's President, General Pervez Musharraf, for his inaction on the growing threat of the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

About a dozen current and former military and intelligence officials were interviewed for this article, all of whom requested anonymity because the planned 2005 mission remained classified.

Spokesmen for the Pentagon, the CIA and the White House declined to comment. It is unclear whether President Bush was informed about the planned operation.


Where Are The Hippies?

In a day when our country is more fucked up than it ever has been, and our laws are becoming more and more obscure, everyone is pointing the fingers. It's the Bush Administration. Cheney. Rumsfeld. Bush himself. Sure, you may have posted an article on digg about the last dickly atrocity Bush and his followers have committed, but what are you really doing?

In the 60's, when the country was heading in a bad direction, the generation turned to an immense wave of activism, with ferocity and devotion not seen since the time of our American Revolution. It was truly a time when anyone in our country could have easily said "I am proud to be an American." Everyone was doing something. Activism was everywhere.

While bogus laws are being passed which tell us what we can and cannot do to our own bodies, we just do things illegally and don't mind the problem. While this country has disgusting immigration policies, half the country wants to further fuel the fire, while the rest turns a deaf ear to the problem. While our CONSTITUTION is being ripped from our hands, we post articles on, and go about our daily lives. While the president is GIVING himself power, HUMILIATING our country, we express our hatred of him, and we take polls, but do nothing more.

And yet the top article on digg is still... "Hack an elevator, go straight to your floor."

Why, at the most demanding time, do we sit idly by and speak without acting? Where are the activists?

What have you done?

Call your senators. Tell them what you think. Make highway signs. Take part in a protest.

The more we speak without applying actions to our words, the more our so-called President will think he can get away with this bullshit.

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Posted by Kraut_and_Brit at 10:24 PM

Source, Pictures, Links:

Digg Source: Where Are The Activists?

While our constitution is being destroyed and our rights torn from our hands, we do nothing. Why, when our country needs us the most, do we sit idly by and speak without acting? Where are the activists?


Words and Pictures For Republican Neocon Challenged

Who Is Telling the Truth?

Mr. Bush said, "Democrats are failing in their responsibility to make tough decisions and spend the people's money wisely."

Bush sharpens budget attack on Democrats By Matt Spetalnick

These graphs, based on information collected at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dow Jones, and Gross National Debt, of People Looking for Work, New Jobs, Equity Market, and Budget Deficit, do not agree with what the pResident said:

Who Is NOT Telling the Truth?

Why George W. Bush's regime is Anti-American

from: The Existentialist Cowboy - Monday, May 22, 2006

It has even been opined that Bush deliberately exploited a flaw in the U.S. Constitution, that is, it concentrates military power in the hands of the executive. But, in the longer term, the demise of the American state will be attributed to the fact that Bush is anti-American; Bush is on the wrong side of America's very founding. He's at the other end of the scale with J.S. Mill, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison on the one end - Hegel, Hitler and Stalin on the other.

For Hegelians, the "state" is "God" - the opposite of the American ideal espoused best by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence and James Madison in the Bill of Rights. Arguably, the American republic was but the latest development in a liberal trend that began with the English Civil War. Certainly, Oliver Cromwell dismissed Parliament in a fit of pique; certainly he arrogated unto himself the powers of an absolute dictator but stopped short of taking the title. He was, he said, a Lord Protector. Charles I was most certainly England's last absolute despot in the Hegelian sense of the word.

The U.S. Constitution is but a recent development in this liberal tradition of several hundred years. Bushism, however, flies in the face of the Magna Carta, the English Petition of Right, the Mayflower Compact, The Virginia Declaration of Rights, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights, The Nuremberg Principles, and every Supreme Court decision that has upheld the right of persons to be secure in their homes.

America might have taken a different road. Alexander Hamilton most certainly favored a strong central government, perhaps a monarchy. But it was the liberals who carried the day - Jefferson, Madison, Mason et al! Because of them, America embraced a different rationale for governmental power. Americans will not tolerate a reversal. Current polls indicate that America will no longer tolerate George W. Bush, a man whose very personality is increasingly disliked. Our founding is at the derivation of the world "liberal" which, significantly, is demonized by the state absolutist minority that makes up Bush's dwindling base.

For State absolutists power trickles down. The individual is not free but literally licensed by the all-powerful state. Freedom in this situation is reduced to whatever the state will allow. The American tradition is quite the opposite; it is a different paradigm. In America, the people are sovereign and, just as Jefferson described so accurately, the government derives its power from the people themselves. Freedom does not trickle down. With the ratification of the Constitution, this principle ceased to be mere theory. It is, in fact, the law! With the Constitution, the "divine rights" of rulers was consigned to the dust bin of history. And so too, should Bush's state absolutism, a mere variation on the tired old theme of absolute state power.

The U.S. Constitution is, in fact, a "contract" between the state and the people. Monarchists, totalitarians, and other state absolutists will never recognize that principle. In our Democracy, the government does not merely tolerate a certain degree of individual liberty; rather, individual liberty is the only reason governments are empowered. The protection and preservation of those rights is the sole duty and responsibility of those in power. To do otherwise, amounts to a breach of contract.

That is why Bush must be impeached. He has broken the contract.
It is a tragic testament to the failure of the American educational system that Bush's choice for CIA chief has demonstrated a shocking, abysmal ignorance of the very Fourth Amendment that would restrain him at either the NSA or the CIA! With his stubborn belligerence - even when confronted with irrefutable evidence of his wrong-headedness - Hayden betrays his contempt for this liberating tide of history that is so eloquently assessed by Simon Schama:

If the Magna Carta is not the birth certificate of Democracy, it is the death certificate of despotism. It spells out for the first time the fundamental principle that the law is not simply the whim of the king. The law is an independent power unto itself. And the King could be brought to book for violating it!"

- Simon Schama, History of Britain

The Constitution itself explicitly establishes the sovereignty of the people. But, if that were not enough to dispel notions of a "state as absolute", a Bill of Rights was insisted upon and ratified by the people. In the 1960's Justice William O. Douglas stated that the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights are absolute - beyond the power of Congress or the executive to modify or infringe in any way.

Also in the 60s, the high court expanded the protections given individuals who found themselves accused of crimes; the decisions especially affected the issue of search and seizures (Mapp v. Ohio), confessions (Miranda v. Arizona), and the right to an attorney (Gideon v. Wainwright). Later, Roe v. Wade would uphold a woman's right to privacy.

Bush by advocating doctrines associated with Nazism and Stalinism has found himself an enemy of basic individual rights, most prominently privacy and, by implication, that most basic of American rights: the right of the people to be secure in their homes and in their possessions. Bush has, therefore, found himself to be an anti-American enemy of the people, an enemy of the state.

Let's make it simple. If Bush can spy on you, in secret, without a court order, he can, likewise arrest you in secret, imprison you without charges, and, in other ways, deny you "due process of law". He could even have you executed in secret.
(1) The President is now claiming, and is aggressively exercising, the right to use any and all war powers against American citizens even within the United States, and he insists that neither Congress nor the courts can do anything to stop him or even restrict him.

- Glenn Greenwald: The NSA Fight Begins - Strategies for Moving Forward, The Huffington Post

This is simply intolerable! This scandal, if mere scandal it is, is about nothing if not about the rule of law. It's not merely about whether the President has the right to break the law; it has become about how Bush will use the power that he now claims by fait accompli; it is about whether Bush has the power to harm and even murder U.S. citizens upon his mere decree.

It's about something greater still. It is ultimately about whether or not the American system will survive George W. Bush.

Source, Links, Photos, Comments:


Antiwar support at Different Drummer Cafe

Veterans organize GI coffeehouse outside military base

For Phillip Aliff, the seeds of doubt over the Iraq war were present prior to his enlistment in the Army. On Feb. 15, 2003, he marched with millions of others around the world not convinced by President Bush's justifications for a war with Iraq.

A year and a half later he joined the military tasked with fighting that war. "I joined skeptical, but I pretty much needed money for college, you know, like every other working-class story," Aliff said.

His skepticism turned to complete disgust with the war after he served his first tour as an infantryman in Iraq from 2005 to 2006.

"We were told the mission was essentially to win the hearts and minds," he said. "So once you get over there and you realize that you are suppressing these people through violence and every day in the middle of the night searching their houses, breaking their stuff, treating them like second-class human beings just day after day after day, it kind of solidified [in me] that what we're doing is wrong and that being a part of that is something that we should all try and fight against."

But how to do that when one's job is to go to war was the question Aliff and other like-minded friends in the service asked themselves upon returning from Iraq last year.

In May, in a coffeehouse in the small military town of Watertown, N.Y., located outside the Fort Drum military base where Aliff is stationed, he and other soldiers met with civilian antiwar allies to answer that question.

The upshot of their meetings was a plan for the first active-duty chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War -- a milestone in the Iraq antiwar movement.

During a demonstration, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War conduct mock patrols and arrests of associates playing the part of insurgents in New York May 27.

Modeled after the highly influential Vietnam Veterans Against the War, which at its height had over 20,000 members, the much smaller Iraq Veterans Against the War has long known that its success at derailing Bush administration war plans depends heavily on the willingness of active-duty soldiers to join the Iraq veterans' organization in dissenting from their mission.

"The role we have is a very special one," said Liam Madden, a Marine from 2003 to 2007 and a national leader of Iraq Veterans Against the War who addressed service members gathered at the chapter formation meetings in Watertown. "We're the soldiers and veterans and the people who have access to soldiers and veterans in the active duty [forces] and this is extremely important. ... We can't be written off."

During the Vietnam era, soldier dissent took many forms and played a critical, but sometimes forgotten, role in bringing to a halt U.S. aggression in Southeast Asia, writes historian of the GI resistance movement David Cortright in his book Soldiers in Revolt. In addition to iconic protests staged in Washington by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, there were numerous actions on military bases involving enlisted service people. Resistance ranged from soldier leafleting and participation in demonstrations to insubordination, desertion and outright mutinies. An internal study commissioned by the Army during the height of the war found such resistance to be pervasive among troops, with 47 percent of low-ranking soldiers surveyed involved in some form of dissent or disobedience.

One important catalyst to that era's GI movement, Cortright writes, was the presence of organized civilian support networks for soldiers opposing the war. Starting in 1967, civilian antiwar activists, many of them former soldiers, began opening "GI coffeehouses" in military base towns. The coffeehouses served up counterculture music and entertainment, functioned as places "independent of military influence where [soldiers] could meet and freely exchange ideas about the war and the Army," Cortright writes. Numbering about 20 throughout the country, they quickly became hubs of soldier dissent and civilian-soldier interchange within the antiwar movement, serving as organizing spaces for GI-led demonstrations, newspapers and soldier strikes that undermined the government's ability to wage war.

Now, some four decades later, civilian antiwar activists once again are using the GI coffeehouse model to encourage a new soldier antiwar movement, with recent Iraq Veterans Against the War developments at Fort Drum at the epicenter of these efforts.

Outside the Different Drummer café

The Different Drummer Café -- promoted by organizers as the first GI coffeehouse of the Iraq war era -- opened in November 2006 in Watertown as a project of the national GI rights group Citizen Soldier and local civilian activists. A coffeehouse in spirit more than an actual cup and saucer establishment, The Different Drummer is a sparsely furnished but spacious lounge-cum-Internet café located in the center of downtown Watertown, just miles from the Fort Drum military base.

Cindi Mercante is the project's lone paid staffer. A former soldier herself from a military family, Mercante took an interest in the coffeehouse in part because she wanted to challenge the conservative mindset of fellow residents living near Fort Drum.

"People would walk by [the coffeehouse]," Mercante said of the opening months in its existence, "and say, 'Are you antiwar or are you for the soldier?' and I'd say, 'Well stop and think about it. Why can't you be both? Where is the quandary?'"

For those soldiers who make use of the facility and identify with its explicit antiwar message, there is no contradiction. They credit the bare-bones operation with "being for them" by providing a space in which they can find their activist footing.

" [The Different Drummer] gives us a place to go, if nothing else. It helps," said the secretary of the Fort Drum Iraq Veterans Against the War chapter, who asked to go only by his first name, Andy, for fear of negative repercussions from superiors.

Military regulations on soldier speech are such that political activism is punished if engaged in on base, in uniform or on duty. This has given the Different Drummer an indispensable role for antiwar soldiers who turn to it as a site for off-duty meetings and organizing sessions.

The coffeehouse has served as a critical link between national leaders of Iraq Veterans Against the War and soldiers at Fort Drum interested in war resistance but lacking ties to a broader movement. The group's organizers have repeatedly been brought into Watertown by the The Different Drummer, which hosted the late April meetings at which the Fort Drum chapter was established.

That chapter, not yet two months old, is significant for its existence and location if not yet for its size. With 10 registered members, it is small by the standard of organized GI antiwar activity in the Vietnam era. But as the first registered on-base group of Iraq veterans who oppose the war, organizers recognize its potentially historic importance and hope that the Fort Drum chapter is just the start of things to come.

From left: Former Marine Liam Madden, moderator Eric Ruder and antiwar author Anthony Arnove participate in a soldier-vet-civilian panel at the Different Drummer coffeehouse in late April.

"This is the most important time right now to build a GI movement," said Aliff, the president of the Fort Drum chapter, "because we need to show, especially [as] active-duty soldiers, that it's OK to resist the war, to say that the war is illegal. It's OK to demand reparations for the Iraqi people for the damage done to their country. It's OK to ask for better benefits when you get out as a veteran."

In a follow-up interview held three weeks after the chapter formation meetings, Aliff told NCR that in initial conversations with other soldiers about Iraq Veterans Against the War, many have expressed support for such antiwar sentiments, especially as anger toward superiors has festered following the extension of tours of duty in Iraq for all Fort Drum brigades.

One woman personally affected by those extensions is Angela Mendoza, whose husband is based at Fort Drum but currently fighting in Iraq. She found her way to the Different Drummer coffeehouse for a chapter meeting after seeing an ad for it on the Internet. Though her toddler constantly made demands of her, Mendoza stayed for close to two hours, engrossed in the discussion among soldiers, veterans and civilians unified in their opposition to the war. Her response suggests that antiwar soldiers at Fort Drum could gain much greater influence in the months to come.

" It's really refreshing to find people here who feel the same way I'm feeling," she said, indicating a desire to organize soldier families against the war after attending to the personally inspirational meeting. "I've been waiting for this for a long time."

Emiliano Huet-Vaughn is a freelance writer living in the Kansas City area.
National Catholic Reporter, June 8, 2007.

--Photos by Emiliano Huet-Vaughn

Legal Fumbduckism

Another Reason for keeping a LYING United States Attorney General Around?

Court dismisses lawsuit on Bush's spying program

Fri Jul 6, 2007 10:50am ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court in Cincinnati on Friday ordered the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging President George W. Bush's domestic spying program adopted after the September 11 attacks.

The appeals court panel ruled the groups and individuals who brought the lawsuit, led by the American Civil Liberties Union, did not have the legal right to bring the challenge.

One Reason for 9/11 Conspiracy Sites

Republicans spent 55 Million (55,000,000) Tax Payer Dollars to discover if Monica Swallowed and spent a little over 3 Million (3,000,000) Tax Payer Dollars, after months of battle with the Bush REPUBLICAN Administration, on the MASS MURDERS OF 9/11. In turn, it would appear,


9/11 Commission Primer

July 20, 2004

After months of research and testimony, this week the bipartisan National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission) will release its final report on the events surrounding 9/11 and recommendations for protecting our country from future attacks. This is a moment the Bush administration sought to prevent. The 9/11 Commission Primer by the Center for American Progress reminds its readers of the administration's attempts to obstruct and discredit the work of the Commission, and abdicate responsibility for protecting our country.

• Obstructing the Investigation
• Stonewalling the Commission
• Attacking the Commission and Its Members
• Abdicating Responsibility

While President Bush hailed the work of the Commission as "important for future administrations," his administration did everything it could to block and impede and the Commission from conducting its vital work. Not only did the White House oppose formation of the Commission, but resisted providing the Commission with the time and resources it needed to carry out its work. [Continue Reading At]:

Claims of lack of cooperation from the White House

In April 2002, Bush said that the investigation into 9/11 should be confined to Congress because it deals with sensitive information that could reveal sources and methods of intelligence.[5] But by September, the White House came under intense fire concerning the commission from many victims' families,[6] and thus President Bush finally agreed to the creation of an independent 9/11 commission. But many 9/11 victims' families believed that the scope of the investigation by the Commission did not go far enough in investigating the U.S. government's failures because the Commission was not to investigate intelligence failures.[7]

However, the White House insisted that it was to appoint the commission's chair, leading some to question the commission's independence. The initial person appointed to head the commission, Henry Kissinger, has been accused by many of having been involved in past government coverups in South America (specifically, the overthrow of the Allende government in Chile), and of having on-going business relationships with members of the Bin Laden family in Saudi Arabia.

Even after Kissinger resigned, the White House was often cited as having attempted to block the release of information to the commission[8] and for refusing to give interviews without tight conditions attached leading to threats to subpoena.[9] The Bush Administration has further been accused of attempting to derail the commission by giving it one of the smallest independent commission funding levels in recent history ($3 million),[10] and by giving the commission a very short deadline. The White House insists that they have given the commission "unprecedented cooperation".

While President Bush and Vice President Cheney did ultimately agree to testify, they did so only under several conditions:

* They would be allowed to testify jointly;
* They would not be required to take an oath before testifying;
* The testimony would not be recorded electronically or transcribed, and that the only record would be notes taken by one of the commission staffers;
* These notes would not be made public.

The commission agreed to these conditions, and the President and Vice President gave their testimony on April 29.

Republican Hall of Shame

The Republicans started this witch hunt, and now they cry foul when they become the witches.

Republicans have spent 6 years and 50 million dollars digging into the personal lives of Clinton and all his friends, destroying anybody and everybody who got in their way. Now we know all the sexual details of his encounters with Monica Lewinsky and he has now been impeached. They have spread viscous rumors and lies and have sunk to new lows in order to destroy us and grab power at any cost. This is where we get even.

You would think that the Republicans who are prosecuting the President would have a cleaner sexual history than he does. Not so. As it turns out they are all far worse.

I used to think Democrats were bad to sleep around but now after the latest scandals, I think that even Beavis and Butthead would think the Republicans were kool!

For people who consider themselves to be morally superior, they sure aren't setting much of an example.

What I really enjoy about this is that it's putting these Republican morallists in their place. They've been looking down their noses at the rest of us as if they are morally superior and that they are doing the work of God. What an example they set. If these guys represent God, Jesus and Christianity, I'll stay with the Church of Reality. I was just about to get saved, but if Bob Barr isn't going to resign, I just don't have faith anymore. [Continue Reading At]:


Go F*CK Yourself [America]
Vice President Dick Cheney, June 2004

Col. Klink looking for Sarg. Bush
Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency

February 11, 2004

Q Yesterday we were told that Karl Rove had no role in it-


Q -- have you talked to Karl and do you have confidence in him-

THE [LYING] PRESIDENT: Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action. And this investigation is a good thing.

And again I repeat, you know, Washington is a town where there's all kinds of allegations. You've heard much of the allegations. And if people have got solid information, please come forward with it. And that would be people inside the information who are the so-called anonymous sources, or people outside the information -- outside the administration. And we can clarify this thing very quickly if people who have got solid evidence would come forward and speak out. And I would hope they would.

And then we'll get to the bottom of this and move on. But I want to tell you something -- leaks of classified information are a bad thing. And we've had them -- there's too much leaking in Washington. That's just the way it is. And we've had leaks out of the administrative branch, had leaks out of the legislative branch, and out of the executive branch and the legislative branch, and I've spoken out consistently against them and I want to know who the leakers are.

Supreme Court OKs retail price fixing by manufacturers

By David G. Savage

WASHINGTON -- Manufacturers may set a fixed price for their products and forbid retailers from offering discounts, the Supreme Court said today, overturning a nearly century-old rule of antitrust law that prohibited retail price fixing.

The 5-4 ruling may be felt by shoppers, including those who buy on the Internet. It permits manufacturers to adopt and enforce what lawyers called "resale price maintenance agreements" that forbid discounting.

Until today, the nation has had an unusually competitive retail market, in part because antitrust laws made it illegal for sellers or manufacturers to agree on fixed prices. The Supreme Court, in a 1911 case involving Dr. Miles and his patented medicines, had said that price-fixing agreements between manufacturers and retail sellers were flatly illegal.

The rule's practical effect was to discourage a manufacturer from setting a price, leading, for instance, to stickers on the windows of new cars that list the "manufacturer's suggested retail price."

However, in today's opinion, the high court described this rule as outdated and out of step with modern economics.

Manufacturers of products ranging from watches and computers to golf clubs and tennis rackets compete with other brands, so competition will not suffer, the court majority said. Moreover, manufacturers should be free to control how their products will be marketed and sold, it said.

"Resale price maintenance can increase inter-brand competition by encouraging retailer services that would not be provided ... absent free riding," said Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said for the court.

He noted that retailers that offer displays and service for customers can be undercut by discounters.

But lawyers for the Consumers Union said that abandoning the rule against retail price fixing will result in higher prices for a variety of products.

The decision is a victory for a Los Angeles-area maker of women's handbags and other leather products. Leegin Creative Leather Products, based in the City of Commerce, makes handbags under the Brighton brand. Owner Jerry Kohl has insisted that shopkeepers sell his bags at prices he sets.

He was sued by the owner of a women's clothing shop near Dallas on the grounds that his pricing policy violated antitrust laws. A jury agreed with the shopkeeper, and the decision led to a nearly $4-million judgment.

The Supreme Court reversed the verdict today in Leegin vs. PSKS. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. also were in the majority.

The decision, coming on the last day of the court's term, was the 15th this year that benefits business and corporations by shielding them from lawsuits and legal claims.

The dissenters, led by Justice Stephen G. Breyer, faulted the majority for overturning a long-established rule that had benefited consumers.

"The only safe predictions to make about today's decision are that it will likely raise the price of goods at retail and that will create considerable legal turbulence," Breyer said.

The ruling leaves open the possibility that price-fixing agreements can be attacked under antitrust laws, but only when a manufacturer's brand dominates the market. This is rarely true with common retail products.


'Why Don't You All Just Fade Away?'

by Nick Vineyard

If there's one thing in the newspaper that's more irritatingly predictable than "Cathy" comic strips and stories about Paris Hilton, it's the constant flow of vitriol from flabbergasted old fogies decrying the intellectual ineptitude of the younger generation. Every week, I'll read another scathing letter to the editor written by some cranky old fart bemoaning the fact that "these gol'darn young'ns don't know nothin' bout nothin!" The more astute Polygrip philosophers often grumble about the fact that they're incapable of having intelligent conversations with the kids taking their order at Starbucks - indeed, how could any of these gum-snapping, MTV-addled nitwits possibly begin to comprehend the inner workings of Catullus or Maupassant? Hell, the closest they'll get to Crime and Punishment is watching Law and Order.

I've had enough. To every apoplectic grandpa who feels his worldly acumen is not reciprocated, I wish to offer this response against demographic predestination.

Speaking as a first-time college student in my mid-twenties, I can understand how you feel. I harbor no knee-jerk Pete Townsend loyalty to my generation; in fact, I'll be the first to concede that my generation has some serious shortcomings. Many of my peers harbor little interest in international politics outside of ascertaining the legal drinking age in European countries. They think Henry Miller owns a beer company and that Voltaire is a brand of battery. I don't watch TV very often, but when I do, I bristle at the audition tapes of all these pathetic, desperate losers hoping to get on reality shows, looking as if their entire lives will be shattered if they're denied the chance to dance with a washed-up pop star or shovel maggots into their mouths. After hearing what passes for informed opinion and worldly knowledge in conversational circles, I often fantasize about dragging my peers outside by their obnoxious bed-head haircuts and punching their shiny labret piercings down their tribal-tattooed throats.

But I don't. They're still learning. So am I.

In the meantime, I have a few questions for you, Pops.

First of all, at exactly what age did you achieve your intellectual apotheosis? I'd like to know, so that I can look forward to it with supercilious salivation. I can't wait to tear apart those good-for-nothin' whippersnappers and further alienate them from people my age, thus convincing them that anyone over forty who's not Will Ferrell must be Wilford Brimley. After all, a flamethrower is much more fun than an illuminating candle.

Think back to your early twenties. Were you leisurely pontificating about Joan of Arc and the Spanish civil war, or were you like us, terrified of the future, running low on sleep, working dead-end jobs and wondering how you were going to pay for college? Would your degree even be worth anything? Would anyone ever take you seriously? Were you like me, relegated to serving as a minimum-wage mercenary in Uncle Sam's extended summer camp for kids from the Midwest with limited job prospects?

By the way, kids today are smart in different ways than you were. How many of you in the Metamucil demographic know how to set up a wireless network, or even how to search for a contact on your cell phone? Do you know the difference between USB and a PSP? What's the purpose of defragging a hard drive? When was the last time you set up one of your newfangled gizmos without making at least one frantic phone call to your nephew for tech support? Anyway, I digress.

Here's my final question - Why don't you teach us? Yes, you.

I've come to believe that the initial years after a young man leaves home are spent searching for a succession of surrogate father figures, whether in person, in print or through a pair of headphones. I found several of mine in the military.

I'm referring to the overlooked, unappreciated twenty-year NCOs, the haggard souls with bad knees and rumpled uniforms who had been passed over for promotion because they weren't suited for the sycophantic ass-kissing and hoop-jumping that lubricates the military machine. They weren't there to suck up the glory, they just showed up, did their jobs, and quietly took orders from some baby-faced lieutenant who was born the year they graduated high school. While the officers issued paperwork and spouted insipid platitudes about "duty" and "integrity," these NCOs (some of them, anyway) took me under their wing and explained the rules of the game. They knew how things worked. They had served time in unfriendly places and were happy to tell me about it. They shared stories about being stationed in Germany when the wall came down, the Gulf War, and the best bars in Tegucigalpa. They taught me how to avoid getting overcharged by Korean cab drivers, how to find loopholes in the leave policy and how to get through a 12-hour shift with a brain-busting hangover. I'll always remember them.

This is where you come in. Instead of acting like a jerk and crystallizing our media-inculcated stereotypes of adults as stodgy old farts that ruin everybody's fun, why not share some of your knowledge? A lot of us want to learn, and a lot of us are willing to listen. What was it like seeing Eisenhower's farewell address on television back in the day? What were you doing during the Vietnam War? How did the Watergate scandal affect your perceptions of the government? The next time you fire off an angry, invidious letter to the editor condemning the widespread ignorance of the MySpace generation, why not recommend a few novels, plays or essays for us to check out? Why not toss us a few crumbs from your nourishing breadth of expertise?

If you're not willing to do that, then piss off, Gramps. You're blocking my signal.

July 2, 2007

Nick Vineyard [send him mail] hails from the American Midwest, though he's unsure as to where his home is at this point. He currently works at a print shop in Texas and enjoys talking about himself in a pretentious-sounding third-person narrative.

Copyright © 2007


Steve Bell cartoon on United States torture.
Steve Bell

GOP hoping for more terrorist attacks

"Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."—Thomas Paine, The American Crisis

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

GOP hoping for more terrorist attacks

The Republican Party has sunk to a new low, they're now hoping that terrorist attacks on American soil will give a boost to their sagging party. First in line hoping for these terrorist attacks is former Sen. Rick Santorum. Appearing on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, he suggested at a series of "unfortunate events" will unfold that will lead to a reversal of the anti-war sentiment now dominating the country.

"Between now and November, a lot of things are going to happen, and I believe that by this time next year, the American public’s going to have a very different view of this war, and it will be because, I think, of some unfortunate events, that like we’re seeing unfold in the UK. But I think the American public’s going to have a very different view," said the former senator from Pennsylvania.

Well, Santorum is a fearmongering fool, that hasn't changed. He's probably lamenting, at this very moment, that the terrorist attacks didn't happen before the 2006 election.

But this Republican rooting for a terrorist attack goes beyond Santorum, it has become pervasive within the party ranks. Before the 2006 elections, a memo circulated among Republican Party leaders that hoped a new terrorist attack in the US could reverse the fortunes of the Republican Party. It went on to say that such an attack could help President Bush and "restore his image as a leader of the American people."

The closely-guarded memo lays out a list of scenarios to bring the Republican party back from the political brink, including a devastating attack by terrorists that could “validate” the President’s war on terror and allow Bush to “unite the country” in a “time of national shock and sorrow.”

The memo says such a reversal in the President's fortunes could keep the party from losing control of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections.

GOP insiders who have seen the memo admit it’s a risky strategy and point out that such scenarios are “blue sky thinking” that often occurs in political planning sessions.

“The President’s popularity was at an all-time high following the 9/11 attacks,” admits one aide. “Americans band together at a time of crisis.”

Now Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says he has a "gut feeling" that terrorist attacks will happen this summer. More wishful thinking on the part of the GOP or just more of the garden-variety fear mongering they spew to legitimize their unlawful war?

I am not saying that this country is not at risk of terrorist attacks. I think we always will be. I believe that, despite the best efforts of law enforcement and intelligence, there will always be an element out there wanting to kill, confuse, and terrorize us. And whether this person is disgruntled citizens, like Timothy McVeigh and his cohorts, or a group of anti-American terrorists from outside our borders, we can't spend our time wringing our hands and worrying about it. We can be vigilant and we can be strong, but we shouldn't be afraid.
Fear is how the terrorists market themselves. Fear is how the GOP markets itself. So, is it no wonder that the GOP is cheering the terrorists on?



Why Is It Illegal to Punch Hippies?

A Frank Legal Discussion: Why Is It Illegal to Punch Hippies?

Posted by Frank J. at 02:00 PM July 09, 2007

Often I'm asked, "Why, if I punch a hippy, would I be arrested for assault? Are we supposed to believe that the Founding Fathers wanted hippies to walk around un-punched?"

First off, the Founding Fathers hated hippies as much as you and in no way intended America to be a place hippies could feel safe. What they knew, though, is that allowing people to punch hippies could lead to abuse of the law where someone would punch a non-hippy and claim he thought he was a hippy. So the reason we can't punch hippies is to protect non-hippies from being punched.

I would support a change in the law, though, where it is legal to punch hippies, but the punched can afterwards legally challenging the punching by claiming to not be a hippy. If the punched was found to in fact be of the non-hippy persuasion, then there will be severe penalties against the puncher for abuse of the hippy punching law.

Some fear this would cause the hippies to overwork our courts by fraudulently claiming after being punched to not be a hippy. I think this shouldn't be too much of a problem. First, there are people who are very obviously hippies, and an officer arriving on the scene would pronounce it a clean hippy punch and congratulate the puncher for his service to the country. For slightly less obvious hippies, if they claimed to a court to not be a hippy but were then determined to be lying, you can expect the hippy will then be punched by everyone in the courtroom.

Now, I'm not saying these legal changes in the area of hippy punching won't cause some problems, I'm just saying it will be worth it to put forth the clear message that if you're a hippy and dare walk the street in America, you will be punched.



[Ed. Note: Why it might not be a good idea to Punch Hippies

Hippies had their own unofficial police force that was formed with a pact. I was there.

"The first Family Dog Rock 'n' Roll Dance and Concert, "A Tribute to Dr. Strange," was at the Longshoremen's Hall in 1965. It featured Jefferson Airplane, the Marbles, the Great Society, and the Charlatans. At the event, the first major happening of the 1960s, Ginsberg led a snake dance (a group advancing in a single-file serpentine path) through the crowd. In January 1966, Longshoremen's Hall was the site of the 3-day Trips Festival, organized by rock promoter Bill Graham. The climax was the Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters Acid Test show, which used five movie screens, psychedelic visions, and the sounds of the Grateful Dead and Big Brother and the Holding Company. The "be-in" followed in the summer of 1966 at the polo grounds in Golden Gate Park, when an estimated 20,000 heard Jefferson Airplane perform and Ginsberg chant, while the Hell's Angels acted as unofficial police. During the Summer of Love, in 1967, thousands of young people streamed into the city in search of drugs and sex." ]

Santorum Dodges Responsibility Again

This stems from a lawsuit brought by several young women who were intimidated by State police down in Delaware at the instruction of Santorum's aides. I wrote then

(Will Bunch has a nice synopsis of the case)

about such boorish behavior on Santorum's part, but the issue was mostly that he didn't respect his fellow citizens and their opinions. Well, the lawsuit has been settled, and Santorum's name is nowhere to be seen.

From the Progressive:

On June 27, the ACLU affiliates announced that a settlement has been reached.

"Under the settlement, the Delaware State Police will adopt a policy and training program for its officers on the free speech rights of protesters and pay $15,000 to the plaintiffs in legal fees," says a press release from the state ACLU affiliates. The trooper agreed to write a letter to the plaintiffs, as did the Santorum aides. The aides also agreed to pay $2,500 in damages to the plaintiffs."

Seems Santorum and his people were wrong then, not that he will take one whit of responsibility. I'd like to see a comment by Santorum, letting these women know he is sorry for what happened, but he's probably too busy thinking up a word that will work better than "Islamofascist" to use to springboard his way back into sucking off the public teat.



News Boxers and Briefs, Tuesday 10 July 2007

Senator's number on escort service list
By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - [Republican] Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, whose telephone number was disclosed by the so-called "D.C. Madam" accused of running a prostitution ring, says he is sorry for a "serious sin" and that he has already made peace with his wife. [Continue reading at]:

U.S. opposition to Iraq war hits new high: poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Opposition to the Iraq war has climbed to a record high and President George W. Bush's approval rating dropped to a new low amid growing dissent from members of his own Republican party over his war strategy, according to a new USAToday/Gallup poll.

Bush's approval dropped to 29 percent in the poll taken Friday through Sunday, down from 33 percent in early June, USA Today reported on Tuesday. [Continue reading at]:

NSA Snooped on Lawyers Knowing Spying Was Illegal, Suit Charges
by Ryan Singel

The government's surveillance of two attorneys challenging the NSA's warrantless wiretapping of Americans took place partly during a period in which the top secret program operated without the approval of the Bush administration's own Justice Department, according to a newly filed court document. [Continue reading at]:

Police accused of tricking G8 protesters
Tom Kington in Rome, Tuesday July 10, 2007, The Guardian

Six years after Italian police officers smashed their way into a Genoa school and beat up G8 summit demonstrators, including six British citizens, prosecutors have presented evidence that those detained after the raid were tricked out of their right to contact families or embassies. [Continue reading at]:,,2122498,00.html

The "Liberal" Media Shibboleth Redux
by Dan Clore

News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:

In an otherwise generally good article on the alleged liberal bias of the mass media one finds these comments:

Note over the next months how those "liberal" journalists refer to people who intend to, and will, protest during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

I'll start you off with two examples from the past week. A story by two Star Tribune staff writers began this way:

"Anarchists and antiwar organizations preparing for the Republican National Convention are planning dozens of traffic blockades, are targeting perceived vulnerable spots in the Twin Cities metro area and are readying to spring from Internet promises to real-world action."

Anarchists? If there are more than two dozen actual anarchists in the entire country, I'll eat raw toad. [Continue reading at]:

Lake County Blues Allstars

Libby lied, troops died

Goodbye Yellowcake Road a cartoon by Steve Bell
Steve Bell

Liar Commutes Liar's CIA Leak Prison Term

"I don't believe my role is to replace the verdict of a jury with my own." George W. Bush on why he signed death warrants for 152 inmates as governor of Texas.

The quote is from his own book, "A Charge To Keep." I think that's a debate-ender, isn't it?

Andrew Sullivan - The Daily Dish

The Scooter Libby verdict is inextricably linked to Iraq: his lies were an attempt to cover up the disingenuous case for war. 'Scooter' is but a part of a sordid political tragedy.

by Sidney Blumenthal
March 6, 2007

The conviction of I Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, on criminal charges of obstruction of justice and perjury brings only a partial conclusion to the sordid political tragedy that is the Bush presidency. Yet the judgment on this matter goes to the heart of the administration. The means and the ends of Bush's White House have received a verdict from the bar of justice.

Foreign policy was and is the principal way of consolidating unchecked executive power. In the run-up to the Iraq war, professional standards, even within the military and intelligence agencies, were subordinated to political goals. Only information that fit the preconceived case was permitted. Those who advanced facts or raised skeptical questions about sketchy information were seen as deliberate enemies causing damage from within. From the beginning, the White House indulged in unrestrained attacks on such professionals. Revealing the facts, especially about the politically-driven method of skewing policy, was treated as a crime against the state.

For questioning the undermanned battle plan for the invasion of Iraq, Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki was publicly humiliated by neoconservative Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and then cashiered. For disclosing negligence on terrorism before the Setempber 11 attacks, counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke was accused by then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice of acting purely out of motives of personal greed to promote his recently published memoir. For exposing the absence of rational policymaking in economics as well as foreign policy, Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill was threatened with an investigation for allegedly abusing classified material. Once he was intimidated into silence, the probe was dropped.

In the aftermath of former ambassador Joseph Wilson's revelation that the most explosive reason given for war against Iraq - that Saddam Hussein was seeking yellowcake uranium in Niger to fuel nuclear weapons - had no apparent basis in fact, the Bush White House revved into high gear against the critic. Wilson, however, was even more dangerous than the others because he was a witness to the false rationale for the war.

As Libby's defense counsel insisted, Scooter was merely one of many in the White House assailing Wilson's integrity. Others, including Bush's political strategist Karl Rove, were involved. To a degree, the smear campaign was for a time successful, fueled by the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee and elements of the Washington press corps. But the trial exhibits - documents entered by the special prosecutor - knocked down every single one of their falsehoods.

Libby's defenders argued that there was no underlying crime. He was not charged with revealing the identity of Valerie Plame, Wilson's wife, as a covert CIA agent, which was a charge raised by the White House gang in an effort to prove she sent Wilson on his Niger mission - another of the lies spread about him.

But Libby committed his crimes to cover-up the role of his boss and to protect his own position in the attack on Wilson. At base, then, the reasons for war were the scandal.

Libby was no mere factotum. He was a central member of the neoconservative cast of characters, who began as a protégé of Wolfowitz and was elevated to the role of Cheney's indispensable man.

Libby's conviction not only indelibly stains neoconservatism. It is a damning condemnation of the Bush White House belief that the ends justify the means and its aggrandizement of absolute power. Ultimately, this is a verdict that can never be erased from the history of the Bush presidency.

Source and Links:

Steve Bell cartoon - TRUTH JUSTICE THE AMERICAN WAY, Bush refuses to rule out pardon for Libby
Steve Bell

Your enemy is not surrounding your country
your enemy is ruling your country

by Balz

Year after year, George W. Bush has gone to elaborate lengths, spent enormous sums of money, taken great risks to build and keep weapons of mass destruction. But why? The only possible explanation, the only possible use he could have for those weapons, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack.

With nuclear arms or a full arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, George W. Bush could resume his ambitions of conquest in the Middle East and create deadly havoc in that region. And this Congress and the America people must recognize another threat. Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by Scooter Libby and others facing indictment reveal that George W. Bush aids and protects terrorists, including Neocons Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Scott McClellan, et. al. Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could create another 9/11, provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own.

Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that George W. Bush could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those Neocon hijackers with other weapons and other plans -- this time armed by George W. Bush. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that that day never comes. (Applause.)

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of George W. Bush is not a strategy, and it is not an option. (Applause.)

The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages (Shock, Awe, and MK77) -- leaving thousands of Iraqi citizens dead, blind, or disfigured. Iraqi refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained -- by torturing children while their parents are made to watch. International human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape. If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning. (Applause.)

And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of the United States: Your enemy is not surrounding your country -- your enemy is ruling your country. (Applause.) And the day he and his regime are removed from power will be the day of your liberation. (Applause.)

World authors on climate change

Coinciding with the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,

the Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper asked writers from around the world for their perspectives. Read how global warming has effected lives in from Bombay to the high Alps, from The Netherlands to Nigeria and beyond. We present stories by Hans Maarten van den Brink, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Romesh Gunesekera, Kiran Nagarkar, Leo Tuor, Ibrahim al-Koni and more...

Seas of stone
The publication of the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has kicked off a heavy debate which - as EU's the recent climate protection plans show - is affecting political decision-making. The NZZ feuilleton asked writers from far and wide to report on climate change from a personal point of view. The series begins with Swiss author Leo Tuor, who has felt the effects of the Earth's warming right up to his belly button. read more:

Continuing with the series, originally published in the NZZ, of first-hand accounts of climate change by international writers, Hans Maarten van den Brink talks of arks and dykes and watersport and the Dutch obsession with the sea. read more:

Black Christmas
In the NZZ's climate change series, Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tells how Christmas changed in 2006, with choking heat and clammy bedsheets. read more:

Continuing the NZZ's climate change series, Sri Lankan author Romesh Gunesekera tells how everything is perfect for the model farmer with a mathematical mind. Until the rain messes up his calculations. read more:

From Bombay with smog
In a new sequel of the NZZ's climate change series, Kiran Nagarkar affords a lung-clogging view from Bombay, where this winter the smog was a block of dirty concrete that started a couple of metres from where you stood and stretched all the way to the sky. read more:

Meteorologists versus shamans
Continuing the NZZ's series of first-hand accounts of climate change by international writers, siberian-born Juri Rytcheu picks fun at polar meteorologists and admits he wouldn't mind it getting a bit warmer. read more:

Grapes from Greenland
Continuing the NZZ's series of first-hand accounts of climate change by international writers, Danish author Jorn Riel tells of his psychedelic visions for the future of the Arctic. read more:

Feasting on the mother's corpse
In the eyes of most cultures, from time immemorial, the earth has never been just a planet. It is a holy entity, and it is a sin to defile it. Says Ibrahim al-Koni, anyone who does so puts himself and all of us at risk. read more:

Source: World authors on climate change

Lake County Blues Allstars

Georgia AG comfortable with executing innocent

Click to Send Fax to Georgia State Board of Pardons & Paroles or Print Letter via Amnesty International

Troy Anthony Davis
TROY A. DAVIS 657378
GDCP PO BOX 3877 G-3-79

Posted By Charles at 8:36 AM

Georgia is moving forward on July 17 with the execution of a man convicted of killing a police officer on the basis on nine eye-witness statements. Since his conviction, six of the nine have recanted their testimony, and one of the nine has confessed to the crime. Problem is, the 1996 law passed to prevent Timothy McVeigh from dragging out his appeals is preventing the introduction of this evidence to prevent the execution. Scary statement of the week: the state Attorney General is "comfortable" with moving forward with the execution.

I went digging around on the net after reading the article in The Hill, and here's some of what I ran across [Continue Reading at]:

Some say their lies framed convicted killer

Victim's mother says 18 years long enough

A chance of innocence
State parole board must intervene in death row inmate's case

Inmate's sister insists time shouldn't run out on the truth

Georgia judge refuses to halt execution of [INNOCENT]

Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 07/14/2007 11:37:56 PM PDT

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A judge has denied a bid to halt the execution scheduled Tuesday of convicted cop killer Troy Anthony Davis, refusing to hear evidence the defense says would show he is innocent and identify another man as the killer. Defense attorneys said they would appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court.

Davis, 38, is to die by injection at 7 p.m. Tuesday for the 1989 killing of Savannah police Officer Mark MacPhail, who was shot while moonlighting as a security guard. Davis insists he's innocent. His lawyers filed a motion last week seeking a new trial based on affidavits by witnesses from Davis' 1991 trial who now say they lied or exaggerated when they testified that Davis shot the officer.

Davis' lawyers also say other witnesses have signed affidavits naming another man, Sylvester "Red" Coles, as MacPhail's killer. "The new evidence does not merely impeach state witnesses, but destroys the prosecution's case and establishes Red Coles' guilt," defense lawyer Thomas Dunn wrote, saying "a grave injustice may result from the execution of Troy Davis."

Another Victim Of Georgia’s Attorney General

Groups say death penalty flaws merge in Georgia case
By Ian Swanson

Attention: Senator John Warner (R) Virginia

Denial is a failure to accept Neocons, Bush Administration, Senate, and Congress, with exception of Barbara Lee, have murdered more innocent Iraqis since Shock and Awe than when Rumsfeld's trained puppet (Saddam) gased Kurds. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Somebody is responsible for starting the Illegal War in Iraq and somebody is responsible for all the civilian deaths in Iraq

by Balz

You said on the Senate floor (16 Jul 07) there was a "threat from Iraq" and the reason why Republicans and Democrats gave Mr. Bush war powers to direct the military any way he saw fit ...never mind the following:

"The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State." Dr. Joseph M. Goebbels

What you forget Mr. Warner is, it has now been proven Iraq was based on cherry picking lies that were backed by a bias corporate media. It has also been shown Iraq was in the sights of Neocon Republicans since Desert Storm and that a chickenshit Congress buckled when Mr. Bush said, "You are with us or with the terrorists," with exception of Barbara Lee, for fear of losing their political jobs ...never mind the following:

"Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

The Iraq War, no matter how it is spined, was based on Republican lies and Democrats and Republicans (including the Independent from Connecticut) who served between 2002 and 2004, with exception of Barbara Lee, are guilty of war crimes and (imo) will 'do whatever it takes' to keep out of jail ....never mind the following:

"God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East." - George W. Bush - HAARETZ.COM

Nuclear scare after Japan quake

A strong earthquake in central Japan has damaged a large nuclear power plant causing a leak of radioactive material, officials at the plant have said.

Water containing radioactive substances leaked into the sea and a fire broke out in one of the Kashiwazaki plant's electrical transformers.

The reactors at the plant automatically shut down during the magnitude 6.8 earthquake.

At least seven people were killed and hundreds injured in the earthquake.

Certainly Worth Considering for the Future ???

Intelligence and Domestic Spying May Be A Two-Way Street

Cartoon of someone looking like Dick Cheney eliminating ammendments from the Constitution
Free Top Secret Data for Everybody

Editor's Note: Not many people know that, after September 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden issued a statement on tape that he had nothing to do with the attacks on America and that such actions were against the teachings of Islam. Americans were prevented from accessing this information because we were told that Osama could possibly have an embedded "secret code" in the tape that would alert other terrorists cells to "activate" and target other American cities.

"I was not involved in the September 11 attacks in the United States nor did I have knowledge of the attacks. There exists a government within a government within the United States. The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; to the people who want to make the present century a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity. That secret government must be asked as to who carried out the attacks."

Picture of 5 Osama's with one that does not look like the others

Empty Words - Short Flash Video
Music & Vocal by John McCutcheon - WORDS by George W. Bush

On December 13, 2001, the promise of "dead or alive" became the biggest lie that the American public and the world would live.

Former Reagan Official:
Bush May Stage False Flag Events To Reinstate Draft

"Would a government that has lied us into two wars and is working to lie us into an attack on Iran shrink from staging "terrorist" attacks in order to remove opposition to its agenda?" asks Roberts

by Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration Paul Craig Roberts has gone further than ever before, warning that the Bush administration could be about to stage false flag events and terror attacks in order to reinstate the draft, announce a dictatorship and attack Iran.

Roberts has been dubbed the "Father of Reaganomics" and is also a former editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Scripps Howard News Service.

In his weekly syndicated column, Roberts suggests that unfolding events and the nature of the rhetoric emanating from government quarters suggests that a major staged terror attack could be just around the corner.

"Ask yourself: Would a government that has lied us into two wars and is working to lie us into an attack on Iran shrink from staging "terrorist" attacks in order to remove opposition to its agenda?" writes Roberts.

If the Bush administration wants to continue its wars in the Middle East and to entrench the "unitary executive" at home, it will have to conduct some false flag operations that will both frighten and anger the American people and make them accept Bush's declaration of "national emergency" and the return of the draft. Alternatively, the administration could simply allow any real terrorist plot to proceed without hindrance.

A series of staged or permitted attacks would be spun by the captive media as a vindication of the neoconsevatives' Islamophobic policy, the intention of which is to destroy all Middle Eastern governments that are not American puppet states. Success would give the US control over oil, but the main purpose is to eliminate any resistance to Israel's complete absorption of Palestine into Greater Israel.

Think about it. If another 9/11-type "security failure" were not in the works, why would Homeland Security czar Chertoff go to the trouble of convincing the Chicago Tribune that Americans have become complacent about terrorist threats and that he has "a gut feeling" that America will soon be hit hard?

Roberts concludes that coming "terrorist" events within the next year will be the means for overthrowing constitutional democracy unless Congress moves to impeach Bush and Cheney immediately.

Roberts' warning is dovetailed by a series of high profile individuals expressing the need for more terror as the only recourse for saving a doomed foreign policy and reversing anti-war sentiment in the U.S. that is now dominating the country.

In a July 8 Toronto Star piece, Lt.-Col. Doug Delaney, chair of the war studies program at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, said that "The key to bolstering Western resolve is another terrorist attack like 9/11 or the London transit bombings of two years ago. "

"If nothing happens, it will be harder still to say this [the occupation of Iraq] is necessary, " he added.

Delaney's comments are in a similar vein to former Republican Senator Rick Santorum's statements to a radio show last weekend, in which he said that "unfortunate events" would occur along the lines of the recent car bomb attempts in the UK, that will change American's views of the war.

Last month, the new chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party Dennis Milligan said that there needed to be more attacks on American soil for President Bush to regain popular approval.

Yearning for more terror was also explicitly expressed in a 2005 GOP memo, which hankered for new attacks that would "validate" the President's war on terror and "restore his image as a leader of the American people."

It seems painfully clear that the Neo-Cons are still obsessed with the notion of using staged terror as the only ultimate means of facilitating their dark agenda, and that thousands and potentially millions of Americans could be about to pay with their lives to realize such a nightmare.


The Draft [FLASH] -

Paul Krassner

Pedophiles Competition

From the lead story on the front page of the LA Times:

"The Archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed Saturday to a $660-million settlement with 508 people who have accused priests of sexual abuse, by far the biggest payout in the child molestation scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic Church nationwide...dwarf[ing] the next largest settlements in the U.S., including those reached in Boston, at $157 million, and in Portland, Ore., at $129 million...."

There was no mention of the contest for predator priests in Coney Island, where the winner ate 66 altar boys in 12 minutes.

Assholes of the Week

1. ABC News anchor Charlie Gibson, who is perhaps the worst offender when it comes to condescending verbal postscripts to news stories, this time following a report on the threat of global warming to penguins with this comment: "They just make you smile."

2. Department of Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff, for simultaneously instilling fear and gaining psychic brownie points by simultaneously claiming that a gut feeling told him a terrorist attack could occur this summer and covering his ass if it were to happen; of course my speculation as to his motivation is just a gut feeling.

3. Pope Benedict XVI, who, by approving a document perpetrating the notion that Christian communities are either defective or not true churches, and that Catholicism provides the only true path to salvation, thereby indicating that yet another religious leader is a bigoted nut.

Bushwanker, A New Word


A person, or persons who sell weapons of mass destruction to known terrorists living near large caches of oil in order to attack them later for WMD procession and confiscate their oil. See neocon / cheney / halliburton / iraq / iran/ secret energy meetings / bush.

Bushwanker is derived from the word hoodwink.


To cause to accept what is false, especially by trickery or misrepresentation: beguile, betray, bluff, cozen, deceive, delude, double-cross, dupe, fool, humbug, mislead, take in, trick. Informal bamboozle, have. Slang four-flush. Idioms: lead astray, play false, pull the wool over someone's eyes, put something over on, take for a ride. See honest/dishonest.

Things don't change, People do!

Photo of George and George fishing in 'Nawlins'  during Katrina.  With smiles on their faces, Sr. holds the rod and Jr. holds the fish on a boat, while African Americans, in the background, wade through the flooded streets of New Orleans. (Spoof)

Bush Administration Uses CIA
To Stonewall Iraqgate Investigation

This article is from the early 1990s and proof, "Things don't change, People do!"

by Jack Colhoun

In House floor speeches, Rep. Henry Gonzalez has documented how pre-Gulf War U.S. policy helped Iraq develop weapons of mass destruction. But President George Bush, taking a page from one of the darkest chapters of the Nixon presidency, has enlisted the CIA as part of his campaign to derail the Texas Democrat's Iraqgate investigation. The CIA is investigating Gonzalez for revealing allegedly secret intelligence information, which it claims has harmed U.S. national security interests.

Involving the CIA in domestic political affairs is one of the few remaining taboos in U.S. politics, and so far, Bush has gotten away scot-free with it. His predecessor, Richard Nixon, was forced to resign a few days after the infamous "smoking gun" tape revealed that he had instructed White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman to tell CIA Director Richard Helms to refuse to cooperate with the FBI's investigation of Watergate.

While the media and the Washington pundits have duly reported the CIA's investigation of Gonzalez, they have failed to note the resemblance between the way Bush and Nixon instigated domestic involvement of the CIA to protect their administrations. Nor have the media explored the ominous political implications of Bush-the first former CIA director elected president using the Agency to discredit his political foes.

The House Banking Committee, which Gonzalez chairs, began looking into pre-Gulf War U.S. policy toward Iraq in 1990. "We have determined that your statements in the Congressional Record on July 7, 1992, included information from a Top Secret compartmented and particularly sensitive document dated September 4, 1989, to which we gave your staff access," CIA Director Robert Gates wrote in a July 24 letter to Gonzalez.

"Because of the sources and methods underlying that information, I will ask for a damage assessment to determine the impact of the disclosure." Adm. William O. Studeman, acting CIA director while Gates was abroad, informed Gonzalez in a July 28 letter that the CIA's Office of Security would also assess Gonzalez's House floor speeches of July 21 and July 27, 1992. Studeman claimed that Gonzalez revealed other Top Secret intelligence information in these speeches. The maverick Mexican-American lawmaker from San Antonio, Texas, angrily denied the CIA's charges. "Your insinuation that I have revealed Top Secret, compartmented information is inflammatory and without merit," Gonzalez declared in a July 30 letter to Gates. "In fact, I have taken great pains to ensure that all information I have placed in the Congressional Record is of the broadest nature and readily available from public sources."

Gonzalez added he was "extremely disappointed that the CIA was allowing itself to be used to build a smokescreen around the president's flawed policies. The CIA should be above involving itself in the political problems of the administration." Gonzalez also charged that since spring, the CIA has not cooperated with the House Banking Committee. Attorney General William Barr, in a May 15, 1992, letter to the Texas Democrat, announced that the administration would no longer turn over classified documents to Gonzalez's committee without "specific assurances" that he won't make the information public.

Gonzalez, who has made public more classified U.S. documents than anyone since Daniel Ellsberg leaked the "Pentagon Papers," believes Bush is using the CIA to taint the Iraqgate investigation. Again the parallel is clear. In 1971, Nixon's White House "plumbers," led by CIA operative E. Howard Hunt, launched a campaign to discredit former Pentagon analyst Ellsberg and even broke into his psychiatrist's office to search for incriminating dirt.

Meanwhile, Republicans on Capitol Hill escalated their vilification campaign against Gonzalez. House Minority Leader Robert Michel (R-Ill.) introduced a resolution in the House on August 4 that calls on the House Ethics Committee to investigate Gonzalez's release of documents, citing the CIA probe of the 32-year House veteran. Michel charged that Gonzalez has violated the House code of conduct, but he failed to note that lawmakers who disclose classified information on the House or Senate floor are exempted from the federal law against making intelligence secrets public. Although the attacks against Gonzalez continue, the growing body of evidence he is disclosing makes it increasingly difficult for the Bush administration to dismiss the allegations. And that, Gonzalez believes, is why Bush unleashed the CIA.


Gonzalez rejects Bush's contention that U.S. policy was designed "to encourage Saddam Hussein to join the family of nations." "The Bush administration," Gonzalez charged in a July 27 speech, "sent U.S. technology to the Iraqi military and to many Iraqi military factories, despite overwhelming evidence showing that Iraq intended to use the technology in its clandestine nuclear, chemical, biological, and long-range missile programs." He quoted U.S. intelligence documents which show the administration knew that the Cleveland, Ohio, Matrix Churchill Corporation and the Atlanta branch of the Italian Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) were the cornerstones of a secret Iraqi arms technology procurement network in the U.S.

The administration's pro-Baghdad policy, spelled out in National Security Directive-26, adopted on October 2, 1989, was based on promoting U.S. trade with Iraq. The Commerce Department routinely approved applications from U.S. companies for the export to Iraq of "dual-use" technology, which has civilian and military applications.

"While the [Bush] policy did not permit the sale of bombs or something of that nature that would blow up," Gonzalez declared in a July 21 speech, "it clearly allowed the sale of the equipment needed to make them. The administration knew what Saddam Hussein was doing.... The head of Iraq's ambitious military industrialization efforts was Saddam's brother-in-law, ...Hussein Kamil, who directed the flow of over $2 billion in BNL commercial loans to various high-profile Iraqi weapons projects."

The progressive Texas Democrat contends that at a No- vember 8, 1989, meeting, the Bush administration used a secret CIA report in an internal battle. The issue was whether to provide Iraq with $1 billion in loan guarantees to buy U.S. farm exports issued by the Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). Previously, the Export-Import Bank and other federal agencies opposed full funding for Iraq because its deteriorating economy made Baghdad a poor credit risk.

"This time the CCC program for Iraq was approved," Gonzalez said in a July 7 speech. "The CIA report shows that unless the full $1 billion CCC program was approved, the president's goal of improving relations with Saddam Hussein as spelled out in NSD-26 would be frustrated." BNL-Atlanta made financial arrangements for the CCC program for Iraq.

The CIA report, Gonzalez pointed out, "indicates that BNL loans were used to fund Iraq's clandestine military procurement the U.S. and Europe. The report indicates that several of the BNL-financed front companies in the network were secretly procuring technology for Iraq's missile programs and nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs."

The House Judiciary Committee, after several hearings, called on Barr July 9, 1992, to appoint an independent counsel to investigate Iraqgate. This move had been boosted when Frank DeGeorge, inspector general for the Commerce Department, admitted at a June 23, 1992, House Judiciary Committee hearing that Commerce Department officials altered information on 66 export licenses for Iraq which were turned over to congressional investigators. The export licenses were changed from "VEHICLES DESIGNED FOR MILITARY USE" to "COMMERCIAL UTILITY CARGO TRUCKS."

But Barr took a hard line when, on August 1 - for the first time since the Ethics in Government Act created the independent councel mechanism -- he rejected a request for an appointment. Instead, the Justice Department, he asserted, would continue its investigation of Iraqgate. Barr called the charges outlined by the House Judiciary Committee too "vague" to justify an independent counsel.

"First the attorney general denounces and obstructs congressional investigations and now blocks inquiries by a special counsel," Gonzalez responded the same day. "Barr is playing a dangerous game in a desperate effort to protect the Bush administration."

Thank You For Sending Faxes for Troy Anthony Davis. At the 'last minute' Mr. Davis was given a Stay of Execution, which should now allow Everybody to get to the truth.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson Is NATO-R?

On February 6, 2007 Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson delivered a speech on the Senate floor defining various criminal terrorist acts and among them was eliminating "EVIL KILLERS" who would attack U.S. Naval ships.

We were so happy about this that we applauded Senator Hutchison and made mention of it (now located in the archive) under the title, "Hutchinson to Question Israel Over USS Liberty Attack."

USS Liberty = 34 U.S. Military Dead, 171 Wounded

A few days ago, during the all night talks on Bush's War in Iraq, Senator Hutchinson once again stood up and talked about terrorists attacking U.S. Naval ships, but there was no mention of the USS Liberty and we were dissapointed.

It was at this point we learned Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson was just another Karl Rove TOOL (with history) and more than likely another Neocon Lying POS.

With that, and using words so fondly spoken by her Less than Honorable Republican Vice President Dick Cheney, "GFY Bailey, you're just another CHICKENHAWK MURDERER!"

Are you better off than you were 7 years ago?

ET holding a button saying U.S. Out of North America, Nobody for President

It Is As Simple As Putting_ NONE OF THE ABOVE _On The Voter Ballot

Steve Bell cartoon
Steve Bell

We seek peace. We strive for peace - G.W. Bush

God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them. - G.W. Bush - [click - HAARETZ.COM - to read article]

Bullshit, You're A F'n Murderer

"The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State." Dr. Joseph M. Goebbels

Vehicle may be Transporting Political Promises!

"Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

Bi-Partisan Unity
WHAT, You've never seen Animal Planet?

and Congress and Senate are Accessories, for Supporting YOU!

Spoken by A Real Republican President:

Throughout America's adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt both at home and abroad.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ret. General

The Military-Industrial [Corporate Media] Complex

Martin Rowson cartoon showing Condi saying, "as I was saying Isn't Democracy Wonderful with Iraq and Iran in the background
Martin Rowson

I would move heaven and earth to protect my husb...
errr.. President Bush!


Rice defends Bush Iraq strategy after House vote

The above headline and article by David Morgan appeared on my newsreader (13 Jul 07), here is the link:

and this note is to let you know U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has NO CREDIBILITY.

Condoleezza Rice was in procession of a document (PDB) dated August 6, 2001 (over a month before 9/11) titled: "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States," which suggested planes were going to be used. (btw) PDB stands for Presidential Daily Briefing ..and ask yourself.. "If Neocon Republicans knew about these attacks, why didn't they tell U.S. citizens?"

Instead of warning United States Citizens about a potential attack, it would appear Neocon Republicans kept their mouths shut and let 9/11 happen, so they could attack Iraq, as mentioned in their 1998 letter (please take the time to look at the crooks, liars, and racists who signed the letter). (fwiw) 40% of U.S. citizens still believe Iraq had something to do with 9/11, which can honestly be redirected to corrupt corporate media.

We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud. - C. Rice

Don't Believe in the New World Order?

New World Order/Commemorative Glock 17

by Ray Henderson on 16 July, 2007 17:17:00

Just stumbled on this little tidbit......A Glock 17 Desert Storm special edition hand gun with "New World Order Commemorative" engraved on the side. The first 15 of 1000 given to:

UD000US: George Bush, Commander-in-Chief
UD001US: Gen. H. Norman Schwartzkopf III (Commander-in-Chief, CentCom)
UD002US: James Baker III (Secy of State)
UD003US: Gen. Colin Powell (Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff)
UD004US: Dick Cheney (Secy of Defense)
UD005US: Brent Scowcroft (National Security Advisor)
UD006US: Lt. Gen. Thomas Kelly
UD007US: Lt. Gen. Chuck Horner (Commander, Air Forces, CentCom)
UD008US: Maj. Gen. Robert B Johnston (Chief-of-Staff, CentCom)
UD009US: Lt. Gen. Calvin Waller (Dpty Commander-in-Chief, CentCom)
UD010US: Lt. Gen. Walter Boomer (Commander, I MEF)
UD011US: Vice Adm. Stanley Arthur (Commander, Naval Forces, CentCom)
UD012US: Maj. Gen. William "Gus" Pagonis (Chief of Logistics, CentCom)
UD013US: Brig. Gen. Richard Neal (Operations Ofcr., CentCom)


None of the Above Should Be On Voter Ballots

The following appears at the top of one of my favorite Blogs,

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

I'm Jus' A Lil' Dizzy!--Dizzy Dayz: Keeping Up With Our Spinning World

An easy to implement, alternative to "Lesser of Evil Voting" is put,

None of the Above on Voter Ballots and hire a Ribbon Cutter

Nobody for President -

Out of all choices for President, NOBODY is Perfect!

Develop Your Mind Not Sacred Sites

Homeland Security - Fighting Terrorism Since 1492

We Are At The Crossroads!
September 15, 2001
[from the Flying Snail Archives 08 October 2001]

Mitakuye (my relative),

I, Chief Arvol Looking Horse of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Nation, would like to ask for this time for you to understand an Indigenous perspective in reflection of what has happened in America, what we call "Turtle Island".

For the past six years, my work has concentrated on an effort on uniting the Global community, through a message from our sacred ceremonies in recognizing a day of World Peace and Prayer on June 21st as a time to unite spiritually, each in our own ways of beliefs in the Creator. We have been warned from the messages, passed down from Ancient Prophecies of these times we live in today, but also a very important message of a solution to turn these terrible times around.

To assist you in understanding the depth of this message involves the recognition in the importance of Sacred Sites. It is important that you realize the whole interconnectedness of what is happening today, in reflection of the continued massacres that are occurring on other lands and our own Americas. I have been learning about these important issues of Sacred Sites since the age of 12, upon receiving the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle and it's teachings. Our people have strived to protect Sacred Sites from the beginning of time. There needs to be an understanding in the concern of the protection of Sacred Sites that goes deeper than just the issue of Shrines built by humans. Our people have built similar objects and Shrines to identify and to remind the significance in the power of the Sacred Site. We have also witnessed them being destroyed for many decades, but we also realize it is what is underneath them that is important. These places have been violated for centuries and have brought us to this predicament that we are in concerning the unstable Global Level thus far.

Look around you, our Mother Earth is very ill from these violations and we are at a brink of destroying a healthy and nurturing survival for generations to come, our children's children.

Our ancestors have been trying to protect our Sacred Site from the continued violations called the Sacred Black Hills in SD, "Heart of Everything that is". Our ancestors never seen this site from a Satellite view, but now that those pictures are available with modern technology, we see that it is in the shape of a heart and when fast forwarded it looks like a heart pumping. The Dine have been protecting Big Mountain, calling it the liver and now that the coal is depleting, we are suffering and going to suffer more from the extraction of the coal and poison processes used in doing so. The Aborigines has warned of the contaminating effects on the Corral Reefs from Global Warming, which they see as Mother Earth's blood purifier, our sacred water is being polluted. The Indigenous people of the Rain Forest relay that the Rain Forest are the lungs and need protection and now we see the Brazilian Government approved the depletion of 50% of this Sacred Site. The Gwich'in Nation has an issue of oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain, also known to the Gwich'in as `Where the life begins!' The coastal plain is also the birthplace of many other life forms of Animal Nations. The death of these Animal Nations will destroy Indigenous Nations in this territory. As these destructive developments continue all over the world, we will witness many more extinct Animal, Plant and Human Nations, because of the misuse of power that mankind has made and their lack of understanding the "balance of life". The Indigenous people warn that these destructive developments will cause havoc globally. There are many, many more Indigenous awareness's and knowledge of Mother Earth's Sacred Sites, connections (Mother Earth's Charkas) to our spirit that will surely affect our future generations. These people are still suffering from this contamination and their livelihood is being destroyed as I write this to you. There needs to be a fast move toward other forms of energy that are safe for all Nations upon Mother Earth. We need to understand the whole picture in the type of minds that are continuing to destroy the spirit of our whole Global Community. Unless we do this, the powers of destruction will overwhelm us. Our Ancestors foretold that water would someday be for sale. Back then this was hard to believe, since the water was so plentiful, so pure, and so full of energy, nutrition and spirit. Today we have to buy pure water, and even then the nutritional minerals have been taken out; it's just empty liquid. Someday water will be like gold, too expensive to afford. Not everyone will have the right to drink safe water. We fail to appreciate and honor our Sacred Sites, ripping out the minerals and gifts that lay underneath them, as if Mother Earth were simply a resource, instead of the Source of Life itself.

Attacking Nations and having to utilize more resources to carry out the destruction in the name of Peace and elimination is not the answer! We need to understand how all these decisions affects the Global Nation, we will not be immune to it's repercussions. To allow continual contamination of our food and land, is now affecting the way we think. A "disease of the mind" has set in World Leaders and many members of our Global Community, with their understanding that a solution of retaliation and destruction of peoples will bring Peace. In our Prophecies it is told that we are now at the Crossroads, either unite Spiritually as a Global Nation, or be faced with chaos, disasters, diseases and tears from our relatives eyes.

In times of disasters it is sad to say that it is the only time that we unite spiritually, but we must not taint it with anger and retaliation. We are the only species that is destroying the Source of life, meaning Mother Earth, in the name of power, mineral resources and ownership of land, using methods of chemicals and warfare that is becoming irreversible, as Mother Earth is becoming tired and can not sustain any more impacts of war.

I ask you to join me on this endeavor. Our vision is for the Peoples of all continents, regardless of their beliefs in the Creator, to come together as one at their Sacred Sites at that sacred moment of what is known as the Summer Solstice of June 21st, to pray and meditate and commune with one another, thus promoting an energy shift to heal our Mother Earth and achieve a universal consciousness toward attaining Peace. As each day passes bringing us to this day of concentration together, I ask the Global Nations to begin a Global effort, in knowing that each and every one of us are making a daily effort in waking to a gratitude of another day, that is gifted to us and begin to remember to give thanks for the Sacred Food that has been also gifted to us by our Mother Earth, so the nutritional energy of medicine can be guided to heal our minds and spirits.

This new millennium will usher in an age of harmony or it will bring the end of life as we know it. Starvation, war and toxic waste have been the hallmark of the Great Myth of Progress and Development that ruled the last millennium. To us, as caretakers of the heart of Mother Earth, falls the responsibility of turning back the powers of destruction. We have come to a time and place of great urgency. The fate of future generations rests in our hands. We must understand the two ways we are free to follow, as we choose-the positive way or the negative way*the spiritual way or the material way. It's our own choice--each of ours and all of ours.

You yourself are the one who must decide. You alone-and only you-- can make this crucial choice. Whatever you decide is what you'll be, to walk in honor or to dishonor your relatives. You can't escape the consequences of your own decision. On your decision depends the fate of the entire World.

You must decide. You can't avoid it. Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind. Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary people in a time of such terrible danger? Know that you yourself are essential to this World. Believe that!

Understand both the blessing and the burden of that. You yourself are desperately needed to save the soul of this World. Did you think you were put here for something less? In a Sacred Hoop of Life, where there is no beginning and no ending!

Mitakuye Oyasin,
Chief Arvol Looking Horse 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe

Special Military Links -

Iraq Veterans Against the War - -

Veterans For Peace -

Lake County Blues Allstars at the Blue Wing Blues Festival - Friday - July 20, 2007

Assholes of the Week by Paul Krassner

In the '60s, "Assholes of the Month" was a feature in my satirical magazine, The Realist. In the '70s, "Asshole of the Month" was a feature in Larry Flynt's Hustler. Currently, on MSNBC's Countdown, Keith Olbermann has a feature, "Worst Person in the World," which is usually Bill O'Reilly. And now I'm posting "Assholes of the Week" in this cyberspace. I avoid targets like President Bush and Cardinal Mahony, because they're such ongoing, obvious choices. The beauty of Comments is that readers can post their own asshole selections that I neglect to include. Here are mine for this week:

*Scholastic, publisher of the Harry Potter series, for setting midnight Friday as the opening salvo for sales of the latest book, thereby forcing countless children to stay up way past their bedtime. Just for that I'm going to reveal how it ends. Harry and his friends and enemies are all having dinner at the same restaurant, but when you turn over the final page, it's totally blank.

*Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, for telling reporters, "We say in full confidence that we are able, God willing, to take the responsibility completely in running the security file if the international forces withdraw at any time they want," but the next day his advisor announced that Maliki meant that efforts to bolster Iraq's security forces would continue "side by side with the withdrawal." Dick Cheney had called to remind Malaki that those videos of him humping a camel during Ramadan were hidden away in a safe place.

*The unknown White House official who ordered Dr. Richard Carmona--George Bush's Surgeon General for four years--to mention Bush's name three times on each page of every speech he gave. He was fired for writing this sentence: "When it comes to abstinence, you can be sure that George Bush practices what he preaches."

*Lousiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, for signing legislation that penalizes doctors who perform a late-term abortion--they would face fines up to $10,000 and prison up to ten years--making her state the first to restrict such surgery since the federal ban in 2003. The new law allows the procedure only when a woman's life would otherwise be endangered. However, it will be considered a crime if the pregnancy is expected merely to cause health problems. That's not a joke.

*The owners of several medical marijuana dispensaries in California, for--if it's true, as alleged by the Drug Enforcement Adminstration--profiteering from the illegal distribution of pot by charging patients two or three times the street value. Presumably, other government agencies will follow the lead of the DEA and coerce other businesses to stick to free-market protocols.

*Nebraska Judge Jeffre Cheuvront, for ordering a college student who was raped not to use the words "rape," "victim," "assailant" or "sexual assault" on the witness stand for fear of prejudicing the jury. Perhaps she can testify that "He stuck his thing in my thing against my will." George Carlin is expected to introduce a bit in his next HBO performance about "The five words you can't say in court."

*Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, for insisting that the FDA's decision to close seven of its 13 laboratories would enhance the agency's ability to target unsafe food--this in the face of severe criticism from Congress--but he is as determined as salmonella swimming upstream.
Paul Krassner is the author of One Hand Jerking: Reports From an Investigative Satirist, and publisher of the Disneyland Memorial Orgy poster, both available from

Ms. Piggy on Alert


Creative Action: Join CODEPINK & Breasts Not Bombs at the Opening of Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign office in San Francisco

WHAT: Creative Action
WHEN: 4:00pm Monday July 23, 2007 Hillary for President San Francisco Office Opening, 1122 Howard Street - Top Floor, San Francisco
WHO: CODEPINK Women for Peace and Breast Not Bombs
VISUALS: Pink Banners, Crowns, Boas, Signs, Topless Demonstration (optional, not required!)

Let's give Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign office a real San Francisco welcoming! January 2006: CODEPINK launched its LISTEN HILLARY campaign in response to a survey that accompanied a recent fundraising letter, in which Hillary Clinton asked for her constituents 'opinions on a variety of issues' but the war in Iraq wasn't one of them. It was obvious that Hillary wasn't listening, and while her ears remained covered, thousands of Americans and scores of thousands of Iraqis had already died.

We asked her: Isn't it time for leadership, not politics? For bravery, not calculation?

And we told her: The time to end the war is now! And so began our year-long "Bird-Dog Hillary" campaign.

January 2007: A year later we could clearly see that our year-long efforts were having an impact! A headline from the U.K.'s Guardian said it all: "Blow to Clinton campaign as effort to win over Iraq critics falls short." With the announcement of her presidential campaign, Hillary found herself trying to be all things to all people and the vast majority of those people were finally making their voices heard: It's time to end the war, and bring our troops home now. As a result, Hillary and the Democratic machine behind her began attempting to change course. For example, a January statement about the war from Hillary's website said: "It is time to put policy ahead of politics and success ahead of the status quo. It is time for a new strategy to produce what we need: a stable Iraq government that takes over for its own people so our troops can finish their job."

We asked: Success? Policy? Finish the job? And note the more-than-implicit blaming the Iraqi victims. In short, this could easily be a direct quote from George Bush!

But it's our job to make sure that whatever it means, it doesn't mean business as usual. So we have ramped up our efforts to get ready for Bird-Dog Phase Two the 2008 election!

For more info about the campaign:

Bush Outlaws All War Protest In United States

by Sorcha Faal

In one of his most chilling moves to date against his own citizens, the American War Leader has issued a sweeping order this week outlawing all forms of protest against the Iraq war. [Continue Reading At]:


Vitter Sex Scandal Challenges Christian Republican Base

New Poll: Republican Senator David Vitter Should Resign.

Marriage is a core institution of societies throughout the world and is a bedrock institution for our own society because it has provided permanence and stability for our very social structure. - Sen. David Vitter (R, LA) - Republican Liar Slated as Democrat Poster Boy for 2008 Election.

Protester killed in 'neo-Nazi' attack on eco-camp

Tom Parfitt in Moscow
Monday July 23, 2007
The Guardian

One eco-activist was killed and five others were seriously injured at the weekend when a gang of young men shouting nationalist slogans attacked an environmentalists' protest camp near to a Siberian nuclear processing plant.

About 15 young men in masks armed with baseball bats and iron bars swooped on the unsuspecting protesters as they slept in their tents near the Angarsk Electrolysis Chemical Plant at 5am on Saturday. Police said yesterday they had detained eight members of the gang who repeatedly beat protesters, attempted to burn their tents and stole some possessions before disappearing into the night. [Continue Reading At]:,,2132470,00.html

Open Thread

By: Nicole Belle on Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 at 8:32 PM - PDT

From Nick Anderson of the Houston Chronicle: [YouTube video]

Great Responses at Crooks and Liars


Left 'Toon Lane

[Ed. Note: GREAT CARTOONS] - Lefty cartoons by lefty cartoonists. A place for political cartoons by the undiscovered, the unemployed, and the unknown. This is a place for political cartoons and artistic political satire. All cartoonists are invited to play. More important, Left 'Toon Lane is a resource for publications and blogs looking for illustrations and cartoons. Just email me.

[Check Out ;) Nancy Pelosi Gets Another Visit From...THE BLOGGERS! (;]

Five Ways Bush's Era of Repression Has Stolen Your Liberties Since 9/11

By Matthew Rothschild, The New Press. Posted July 24, 2007

Israel Joins the 'Axis of Evil'

by David Bedein, Arutz Sheva,

While the Bush Administration concurs with Israeli support of Fatah, lawmakers of the US Congress may yet define Israel as an official sponsor of a terrorist entity. The March 2002 US government designation of Fatah's Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades as a terrorist organization has not changed. Under US law, any government that aids and abets an organization defined as a terrorist entity will forfeit US foreign aid assistance, which must be approved by the US Congress.

In other words, the Israeli government, in a move to placate the US administration, may undermine its own base of support with lawmakers of the US Congress.

Read Complete Article At]:

War Lies and the 2004 Election

by James Bovard,

Shortly after he was reelected, President Bush declared that American voters had had their "moment of accountability" regarding the Iraq war. Since he had gotten slightly more than 50 percent of the votes in the November 2004 election, that meant that they had ratified his policies and that Bush was free to do as he chose in the coming years.

Almost all of the Founding Fathers would have recognized Bush's interpretation as dictatorial tripe. But it is also worthwhile to examine the war frauds by which Bush and Dick Cheney won a second term. This is especially relevant, since Bush and Cheney may use similar frauds to attack Iran.

Bush and Cheney were reelected in large part because they inoculated scores of millions of Americans against the evidence of the deceits and failures of the U.S. war in Iraq. They swayed tens of millions of Americans to take their beliefs from their rulers, not from the facts.

Americans may be more gullible on foreign policy in part because of their greater global ignorance. A 2002 survey for National Geographic found that "roughly 85 percent of young Americans (ages 18 to 24) could not find Afghanistan, Iraq, or Israel on a map." Almost 30 percent of the young adults surveyed could not locate the Pacific Ocean and 56 percent were unable to locate India. As the old saying goes, "War is God's way of teaching people geography."

In the days after 9/11, when pollsters asked Americans who they thought had carried out the 9/11 attacks, only 3 percent of respondents suggested Iraq or Saddam Hussein as culprits. But Bush and Cheney strove to make Americans believe that Saddam was linked to 9/11 or closely associated with the terrorist group that carried out the attack. The Saddam-al-Qaeda link was the linchpin for exploiting 9/11 to justify preemptive attacks around the globe.

In his official notification of invasion sent to Congress on March 18, 2003, Bush declared that he was attacking Iraq "to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001." Bush tied Saddam to 9/11 even though confidential briefings he received informed him that no evidence of any link had been found. In a speech to troops shortly after Baghdad fell, Bush characterized his attack on Iraq as "one victory in the war on terror that began September 11."

[Continue Reading Entire Article At]:

Steve Bell cartoon
Steve Bell

Go F* Yourself
says Cheney, Dick

Are Neocons Planning To Strike in the United States AGAIN ?

by Dahbud Mensch

For years I have changed my speech habits for writing on the Web, but after hearing our leaders use this language constantly, I have to give them credit for my new outlook on language usage = All Hail the 4th Reich a.k.a. New World Order served by Ministers of Satan, NOT.

On July 17, 2007, the Neocon Dictator established an Executive Order, Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq.

At first glance, this executive order looks harmless, but the folks over at Freepers 'nail it':

The basic idea of the Constitution is that the government can't be trusted. The defense of this Executive Order, which ignores the 5th amendment will be that "well, what's the problem is they apply it to people who are helping the terrorists"? The question is, who decides who is helping terrorists? According to this EO, the executive, not the judicial branch, does.

In other words, don't worry about the Constitution, trust the government.

In my words, Neocons who lied to U.S. about Iraq and took U.S. into an illegal Iraq war are now threatening to take the property of anybody THEY deem 'against them' or 'supporting terrorists'.

For example, if Bush Neocon Republicans decide supporters of Free Republic, Move On, or Nobody for President are "undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq" they are subject to this Executive Order, can have their property confiscated, and more than likely, be thrown into a FEMA POW camp.

One might feel the above is 'over-the-edge' until one reads the following part of the Executive Order:

"Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited."

This Executive Order Eliminates the Fifth Amendment

FIFTH AMENDMENT - 'No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.'

Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. George Bush - March 18, 2003

It Was All A Lie

Steve Bell Cartoon showing Bush riding on a flying pig.
Steve Bell

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. - Declaration of Independence, 1776





History Lesson
May 23, 1991 - Dec. 14, 2000 - Today
Things Don't Change, People Do, Part Two by Dahbud Mensch

Bush's Impending Watergate

By Harvey Wasserman

George Bush should be impeached. Whether he will be impeached depends on the intestinal fortitude of Congress. But the evidence is clearly sufficient to begin proceedings.

May 23, 1991 | The grounds for impeachment rest in the now-familiar circumstances around the 1980 Iranian hostage crisis. The story has circulated since the mid 1980s, but in recent weeks has gained startling new confirmation.

The circumstances are worth repeating: On November 4, 1979, radical Iranian students seized some 55 American citizens and began a crisis that lasted until the moment Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as president 444 days later.

Future historians may well blame President Jimmy Carter for the inception of the crisis. He ignored warnings that it could happen and stumbled badly once it began. Some may also wonder if he exploited the situation to deflect a challenge to his renomination from Sen. Edward Kennedy.

But by October of 1980, one thing was clear: If the hostages were released prior to the election, Carter would be re-elected. If not, Ronald Reagan would win. All major polls -- including one by the primary Republican pollster, Richard Wirthlin -- showed a 10 percent swing on just that issue.

In early October, word spread through the world media that Carter had negotiated a deal for the hostages' release. It was widely believed that he had agreed to unfreeze some $4 billion in assets claimed by the deposed Shah, and to supply spare parts to the American-made arms inherited by the Ayatollah Khomeini's revolutionary regime. The hostages were due home by mid-October, in ample time to assure Carter's re-election.

Then, mysteriously, the deal was off. The hostages weren't coming home after all. What happened?

The Iranians were known to detest Jimmy Carter. Despite his advocacy of human rights, Carter had befriended the brutal, repressive Shah. Conceivably, the Muslim fundamentalists tantalized Carter with the hostages' possible release and then, just for the hell of it, left him hanging.

There were other theories. Columnist George Will suggested that Iran responded to Reagan because he had threatened to use nuclear weapons if the hostages weren't released, something the pacifistic Carter would not have done.

But two years later, Barbara Honegger, a member of the Reagan campaign team, angrily left the White House staff, leveling charges of sexual discrimination. She then asserted that during the 1980 campaign a special "October Surprise" Committee had operated with a mandate that appeared focused on sabotaging Carter's arrangements and guaranteeing that the hostages remain in Teheran until after the 1980 election.

Honegger claimed no direct proof, but she recalled being told that the hostages would not be coming home because October Surprise Committee member Richard Allen (later chief of Reagan's National Security Council) had "cut a deal" to keep them in Teheran. Future CIA director William Casey may have masterminded the sabotage, Honegger said.

Honegger was dismissed by Reagan-Bush staffers as a "low-level munchkin." But her allegations were given powerful confirmation in 1985 by Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, president of Iran at the time of the crisis. According to Bani-Sadr, George Bush, then candidate for vice president, may personally have flown to Paris on a crucial weekend to convince the son of the Ayatollah "that the hostages should not be released during the Carter administration." Instead, Bani-Sadr said, "they should be released when Reagan became president. So, in return, Reagan would give them arms."

Indeed, Iran was desperately needed weapons to carry on its holy war with Iraq's Saddam Hussein. Hostilities had begun in September, and they were short on guns and cash. There was little doubt they would trade whatever "assets" they had for the arms they needed -- including the American hostages.

The story became common knowledge among top Middle Eastern operatives, including Bassam Abu Sharif, number two man in the Palestine Liberation Organization (assassinated during the recent Gulf War) and Mansour Rafizadeh, a former CIA operative and head of the Shah's dreaded SAVAK secret police.

"The deal was made to release the hostages exactly the moment Ronald Reagan was president," Rafizadeh told the Other America's Radio Network. "It was promised for the arms," said Rafizadeh. "The moment Ronald Reagan was president, they signaled the plane [with the hostages aboard], they took off. After, the shipment of the arms started from Tel Aviv."

Despite repeated denials from the Reagan-Bush team, the story gained some media prominence during the 1988 election, including a story in the Advocate, a major feature co-authored by activist Abbie Hoffman (now dead by an alleged suicide) in Playboy, and an op-ed in the now-defunct Los Angeles Herald-Examiner.

Just prior to the election, a self-proclaimed former CIA operative named Richard Brenneke claimed to have personally flown Bush to Paris to negotiate the deal. Producers from CBS' 60 Minutes were preparing a feature on Brenneke, who was in jail in Colorado, when questions about his credibility were raised and the feature was canceled. The Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe and other major publications carried stories concluding there was insufficient evidence to confirm or deny the deal occurred.

Recently, Brenneke was cleared of perjury charges stemming from his claimed connection to the Paris trip. And the assertions have resurfaced with new power. Former Carter security adviser Gary Sick, after a two-year investigation, has released a book arguing the likelihood that an "arms for no hostages" deal was, in fact, made. Bani-Sadr has issued a new book asserting the same thing. Bill Moyers' Frontline devoted an entire program to it. Bush's denials -- issued just before his recent heart problems -- that he ever flew to Paris during the 1980s campaign made front-page news across the nation.

But does the story really turn on that? White House spokesperson Marlin Fitzwater says all of Bush's time can be accounted for. Bush has vehemently denied ever going to Paris during the 1980 campaign. Yet the official log of Bush's whereabouts on the crucial weekend -- when he is alleged to have made the deal -- has a hole big enough for him to have flown to Paris, negotiated the deal and then flown back.

The idea that the vice presidential candidate would have flown abroad to negotiate a deal that amounts to treason might seem absurd. Bush, after all, was formerly head of the Central Intelligence Agency, and a master of plausible deniability. It was clearly out of character to expose himself in such a direct manner to what could ultimately be a scandal of truly epic proportions.

On the other hand, the Iranians could well have demanded Bush's personal presence. It was well-known that the Ayatollah's cabal put little faith in the American electoral system. Like many Iranians, they believed that the true power in U.S. politics rested not with elected officials, but with the secret police, i.e. the CIA. As the CIA's former head, they believed Bush to be the true power in the Reagan-Bush campaign, and may well have demanded his personal approval for any trade of their hostage "assets."

Even so, the question of Bush going to Paris may be a red herring. The circumstances pointing to the likelihood of a deal being made are overwhelming. That Carter had all but secured their release is well-known. That there was a Reagan-Bush October Surprise Committee run by Allen and Casey is undeniable, as is the fact that the hostages were released precisely at the moment that Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President. It is also well-known that large quantities of American-sponsored arms began flowing through Israel in March 1981.

As for the question of Iranian motive, although Khomeini profoundly hated Jimmy Carter, he had no reason to like Reagan more, and would hardly have bothered to spite one representative of the "Great Satan" over another. In Iran's jihad with Saddam Hussein, however, the hostages were an asset to be traded, a bargaining chip to go to the highest bidder. Carter was deeply disinclined to send Iran large quantities of arms; once in office, Reagan did just that.

Thus, the evidence suggesting that George Bush actually flew to Paris to negotiate the deal is ultimately irrelevant. As the number two man on the ticket and the former head of the CIA, no such deal would have been cut without Bush's approval, whether he flew to Paris or not.

And that means high treason and public crimes of the highest order. The ideal that the nominees of a major party could have knowingly prolonged the agony of American citizens in exchange for weapons is about as low as one could imagine any politician sinking.

In fact, the sabotage may even have preceded the October negotiations. Earlier in 1980, Carter set out to free the hostages with "Operation Eagle Claw," built around a surprise helicopter landing and secret assault on the building where they were held in Teheran.

The mission proved disastrous. At least two American helicopters crashed into each other in the desert long before they made it anywhere near Teheran. Eight Marines were killed. Carter looked ineffectual and frustration with the hostage crisis escalated.

Unfortunately, the operatives in charge of Desert Claw may not have been loyal to Carter -- or to the U.S. Carter held deeply alienated a broad range of CIA operatives by trying to clean up the Agency when he first came to power. Admiral Stansfield Turner, the tough but honest Navy man Carter put in charge at the CIA fired some 600 "spooks" soon after taking command. Many were deeply loyal to former Director George Bush and to the "Old Boy" network that serves as the Agency's true infrastructure.

That loyalty may have carried over to sabotage of Operation Eagle Claw. For the man who served as chief mission planner was none other than Richard Secord, who later surfaced as a major kingpin in the shady arms dealings between the Reagan White House and the contras of Nicaragua. A top staffer at a key base in Eagle Claw's catastrophic helicopter support operation was none other than the legendary Colonel Oliver North. Working closely with him as a logistical planner was Albert Hakkim, who later sat by Secord's side at the Congressional Iran-contra hearings and wept of his love for Oliver North.

As historian Donald Fried has put it "Precisely the people in the intelligence community commissioned to develop some kind of rescue for the hostages were those elements of covert action close to William Casey and hostile to Carter."

Casey, of course, later became Reagan's CIA chief. But higher up in the chain at the time of the failed rescue mission was Donald Gregg, a member of Carter's National Security Council who later surfaced as s high-level Bush operative. Gregg's close personal ties to Bush became a serious issue in light of his extensive dealings with key contra figures tied both to the Iran-contra scandal and illegal drug shipments coming from Central America. Gregg is now Bush's ambassador to South Korea.

In a recent interview Carter specifically implied that Gregg might have betrayed key security items to Bush during the 1980 campaign. Students of the affair, including author Gary Sick, also wonder if Gregg might have fed the Reagan-Bush team key items in the dealings between Carter and the Iranians.

At this point with Bush's popularity so high on the heels of a much-desired military victory millions of Americans would not want to believe such a story could be true. The U.S. triumph over Saddam Hussein clearly filled a psychological void plaguing Americans since Vietnam. It allowed for a military triumph where the most recent memory had been of defeat. And it gave Americans the opportunity to do penance for the mistreatment of Vietnam veterans by showering those who fought the brief Gulf War with a heroes' welcome outstripping anything since World War II and way out of proportion for the size and duration of the Iraqi massacre.

Nonetheless, there is nothing in the character of the Reagan-Bush regimes that indicates a moral incapability of cutting such a deal. More than 200 members of the administration were indicted during their eight-year tenure, including Attorney General Edwin Meese and close Reagan counselors Michael Deaver and Lyn Nofziger. By all accounts, the Reagan-Bush administration were the most corrupt since the short term of Ulysses S. Grant.

The idea that Ronald Reagan and George Bush could have conspired to prolong the torment of U.S. hostages dwarfs the miasma that was Watergate on both a moral and political scale. Ultimately its impact will depend on the willingness of Congress to investigate the facts and act on what it finds. It is time for Congress to once again assume its role in the balance of powers. Impeachment means bringing to trial. The evidence is clearly sufficient to begin the process.

At presstime, Congress had launched a preliminary staff investigation into the Reagan-Bush 1980 campaign and whether there had been negotiations with Iran to delay the release of the American Hostages.

Abstract Picture of New World Order 666 Identity Card Swipe Machine with Demonic Hand Running A Card through it.

Supreme Court to democracy: Drop dead

With a single rash, partisan act, the high court has tainted the Bush presidency, besmirched its own reputation and soiled our nation's proudest legacy.

By Gary Kamiya

Dec. 14, 2000 | Tuesday, Dec. 12, is a day that will live in American infamy long after the tainted election of George W. Bush has faded from memory. With their rash, divisive decision to dispense with the risky and inconvenient workings of democracy and simply award the presidency to their fellow Republican, five right-wing justices dragged the Supreme Court down to perhaps its most ignominious point since the Dred Scott decision.

The court was the last American civic institution to have preserved an aura of impartiality, to be regarded as above the gutter of partisanship and self-interest. The reality, of course, is that no court, no judge, no human being, is completely free of those entanglements. Yet the court has generally acted wisely in avoiding judgments that would inevitably and utterly besmirch it. With one reckless and partisan ruling, it squandered its most precious possession: its reputation. It may take years, even decades, to repair the damage done by the Scalia-Rehnquist court's decision to cancel the election and crown the winner.

It's hard not to conclude, now that this whole sorry saga is over, that the fix was in from the beginning. Not the crude, "vast right-wing conspiracy" fix of Hillary Clinton's imagination, but a de facto fix. Why shouldn't one think the game was rigged, when five Republican-appointed justices -- one of whose son works for the law firm of the lawyer representing Bush, another of whose wife is recruiting staff for the Bush admininstration and two of whom have made clear their desire to retire under a Republican administration -- trashed their entire judicial philosophy to ram through, with only the most cramped of legal justifications, a last-second victory for a Republican who lost the national popular vote and, when the votes in Florida are actually counted, is likely to have lost the Florida one as well?

Perfect justice does not exist. But this was judicial folly, politically explosive and judicially threadbare. This was the court stepping in and awarding victory to one side before the game was over. Even those of us who don't often agree with the court's conservative majority expected better.

As Justice Stevens wrote in his savage dissent, "The position by the majority of this court can only lend credence to the most cynical appraisal of the work of judges throughout the land ... Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law."

As soon as the ruling was handed down, a nearly hysterical chorus of TV commentators, many of them cynical bear-baiters who wouldn't believe oaths sworn by their own mothers, suddenly pulled long faces and began urging the American people to accept the court's verdict, defer to its wisdom, venerate its grandeur, unite around Bush and generally go quietly back indoors to await further instructions. Television is never more nauseating than when it slips imperceptibly into its role as quasi-official national nanny, instructing the unruly masses in correct civic comportment. But if the dissenting justices can pour bile on the majority's opinions -- Stevens explicitly accuses his conservative brethren of impugning the integrity of their judicial colleagues -- why is it so frightening for the people to do the same thing? The American people's allegiance to democracy should be greater than our fealty to a court that has just spat in its face. In any case, we survived His Fraudulency I, the unduly elected Rutherford B. Hayes, and we will survive His Fraudulency II.

What the court ruled, when you get down to it, was that democracy shouldn't be allowed to get in the way of bureaucracy. One man, one vote? Overrated. Every vote counts? Too much trouble. None of those democratic pieties, the court in its infinite wisdom ruled, are as important as strict adherence to niggling rules and timetables -- rules and timetables that the court itself had the power to set aside.

A "safe harbor" from Hurricane DeLay?

If a court received evidence that a condemned prisoner was actually innocent, but that evidence arrived five minutes after some subclerk's filing deadline, you would not expect it to simply blithely proceed with the execution on the grounds that proper paperwork had not been done. But that, in effect, is precisely what the Supreme Court did. And what it killed was not only any possibility that this election will ever be regarded as fair or final but the principle that every vote must be counted.

Of course, the Florida recount was flawed. The justices had legitimate reason to be troubled by irregularities in the recount process. The differing standards about what constituted a legal vote, left open by the vague Florida statutory language about the "intent of the voter" and the "clear intent of the voter," opened a Pandora's box -- start recounting without a clear standard and you're in an endless wilderness of enigmatic chads.

But the court's position that those irregularities -- which are comparable to the irregularities that plague every election in every state in the country -- violated equal protection rights and therefore are a matter for federal intervention, is indefensible. It's indefensible on grounds of judicial consistency, considering the court's long history of deference to the states in establishing and interpreting local law. But the real reason it's indefensible is factual.

If the recount violated equal protection rights, then the entire Florida election -- not to mention the national one -- did, too. As Gore attorney David Boies pointed out in oral arguments before the court (although he might as well have been talking to five potted plants -- those minds were closed), the different standards used in counting punch-card ballots have considerably less impact on which votes end up counting (the heart of the equal protection claim) than the different voting machines that are used. Optical scan devices, found in richer, whiter, pro-Bush counties, generate many fewer errors than punch-card devices, which are found in poorer, blacker, pro-Gore ones. Yet the U.S. Supreme Court did not suddenly drop its long-standing aversion to meddling in state affairs and rush into Florida to rectify this grave inequality. That apparently only happens when a fellow Republican needs rescuing.

In any case, even assuming that the differing standards used to evaluate punch-card ballots constitute grounds for federal intervention, there was a clear and fair solution, as suggested by Justice Souter in his dissent: Impose a statewide standard, to be overseen by a judge, and see if the recount could be completed by Dec. 18, the date set for the meeting of electors.

What harm would there be in attempting to carry out this remedy? The court made much of Dec. 12, the "safe harbor" deadline after which the frail craft carrying Florida's precious electors would be buffeted by unknown seas -- smashed by Hurricane DeLay, drenched by Tsunami Lott. But as all the dissenters pointed out, nothing in the Constitution requires states to send electors by that date. A safe harbor means exactly that: a safe harbor. Why not expose the electoral dinghy to those seas? What was the court so worried about? Could it be that, like the man to whom they served up the election, their real fear was that Bush might not win? How else to explain their refusal to pursue the option that many observers thought they would -- an evenhanded solution that would have guaranteed victory to neither man, honored the sacred principle that every vote counts, restored the luster to the court and prevented their legacy from being tarnished forever?

Instead of starting with the principle that the sacred duty of any court intervening in an election is to get the votes counted, and doing everything in their power to make that happen in as fair a way as possible, the five GOP justices simply declared that it couldn't be done because recounts weren't perfect and -- gosh, look at my watch! -- time had expired.

This argument is the epitome of probity, if you take your judicial philosophy from Kafka. The majority said the recount couldn't be done in time -- then smashed the clock with a hammer. They had the colossal gall to write, "A desire for speed is not a general excuse for ignoring equal protection guarantees" -- when they were the ones who halted the recount and imposed artificial deadlines that made that "desire for speed" necessary. As Justice Ginsburg said in her dissent, "The court's conclusion that a constitutionally adequate recount is impractical is a prophecy the court's own judgment will not allow to be tested. Such an untested prophecy should not decide the presidency of the United States."

James Baker: A cartoon image of the vengeful authoritarian

It is difficult to avoid the degrading conclusion -- degrading, because it implies a substantial lack of judicial competence and integrity on the part of the court's majority -- that from the start the court's right-wing majority, like the Bush camp to which it has so many ties, secretly regarded the very idea of a recount as suspect, inferior, secondary, an ignoble and unacceptable tainting of the God-given, majestic, sacrosanct first-count results (which just happened to show Bush in a razor-thin lead). The single most frightening image of the entire surreal episode may have been James Baker's icy, contemptuous rage as he denounced Gore's request for a recount -- his scowling face almost a caricature of the left's cartoon image of the authoritarian, white-haired, vengeful, win-at-all-costs, God-is-on-our-side right-winger. The Supreme Court ruling had footnotes instead of rage, but it seems to have operated on the same assumptions.

Justice Scalia confirmed this with his bizarre defense of his order to stop the recount, in which he gratuitously said, "The counting of votes that are of questionable legality does in my view threaten irreparable harm to petitioner, and to the country, by casting a cloud upon what he claims to be the legitimacy of his election." It was prudent of Justice Scalia to include the words "what he claims to be," but does anyone really doubt that Scalia, like those Bush supporters who kept angrily braying that Bush had "won," believed that the Texas governor should by rights have already moved into the White House, and Gore's attempts to find out what the vote actually was were damn near treasonous?

This we-already-won mind-set explains why the court signally failed to look at the election as a whole, and craft a remedy that tacitly acknowledged the errors both sides made -- a ruling that would have been as politically wise as the one it issued was divisive and rash.

Courts are not explicitly political institutions, but when dealing with an issue as momentous as the election of a president, it would seem wise for the court to assess the entire context in which a given legal challenge takes place. The Florida election was an equal-opportunity debacle: Both sides acted wrongly and bear some responsibility for the mess. But no one objective could conceivably look at it and claim that the Democrats had overreached so badly that they deserved to be terminated by judicial fiat.

Florida's governor was George W. Bush's brother. Its secretary of state, who never ruled against him, was a high-ranking official in his campaign who hired a private voter-roll cleansing company with Republican ties that disqualified hundreds of legitimate Democratic voters. The Florida GOP illegally completed Republican ballot applications in Martin and Seminole counties while denying Gore campaign workers the same opportunity to correct Democratic ballot applications. It took every opportunity to disqualify improper ballots for Gore, while demonizing Gore for doing the same thing to military overseas ballots. Determined to ensure a Bush victory at all cost, the GOP-controlled Legislature voted to push a slate of Bush electors through -- regardless of what recounts might show. And, of course, the GOP dragged its feet at every turn, resisting recounts and trying to run out the clock.

The Democrats, for their part, lost the moral high ground by failing to call for a statewide manual recount from the beginning. They squandered more capital threatening to sue over a ballot designed by a Democrat. They ignored the obvious injustice of changing the definition of what vote should count in the middle of the process: Palm Beach's recount, in which the standard kept changing, was a travesty. And, like their Republican counterparts, they played hardball with every ballot they could get their hands on.

In light of this situation, a ruling that handed victory to one side and not the other was the last thing, from a political as well as an ethical perspective, the court should have been looking for. And fortunately for the court, a decision to remand back to the Florida Supreme Court would not by any means have ensured a Gore victory -- Bush was actually gaining votes by some accounts -- making it the right thing to do both legally and politically. Yet the court, in thrall to the idea that Bush had already won and, one suspects, secretly accepting the Rush Limbaugh crowd's canard that the hand recounts were not just subject to different standards but to malevolent Democratic manipulation and chad chomping, did not even try. It stopped the counting. It stopped the election. It stopped democracy.

Justice Ginsberg, in her dissent, summed up the case with quiet eloquence. "Ideally, perfection would be the appropriate standard for judging the recount. But we live in an imperfect world, one in which thousands of votes have not been counted. I cannot grant that the recount adopted by the Florida court, flawed as it is, would yield a result less fair or precise than the certification that preceded recount."

Thousands of votes have not been counted. Think about that, whatever your political persuasion is, from time to time during the next four years. Imagine them, gathering dust in a filing cabinet somewhere, each one of them expressing the choice of a person who, when he went to the polling place that Tuesday in November, had every expectation that the United States would do its very best to ensure that whether he was rich or poor, black or white, he would be heard.

The people have not been heard. They will not be heard. And each of those uncounted ballots is a cry of reproach against the act of judicial arrogance that has now forever silenced them.

Was It ... All ... A Lie?

Why Does He Want to Drop Bombs on Innocent Iraqis?

Transcript of White House Briefing - January 6, 2003

Ari Fleischer: And with that, I'm more than happy to take your questions. Helen.

Helen Thomas: At the earlier briefing, Ari, you said that the President deplored the taking of innocent lives. Does that apply to all innocent lives in the world? And I have a follow-up.

Ari Fleischer: I refer specifically to a horrible terrorist attack on Tel Aviv that killed scores and wounded hundreds. And the President, as he said in his statement yesterday, deplores in the strongest terms the taking of those lives and the wounding of those people, innocents in Israel.

Helen Thomas: My follow-up is, why does he want to drop bombs on innocent Iraqis?

Ari Fleischer: Helen, the question is how to protect Americans, and our allies and friends --

Helen Thomas: They're not attacking you.

Ari Fleischer: -- from a country --

Helen Thomas: Have they laid the glove on you or on the United States, the Iraqis, in 11 years?

Ari Fleischer: I guess you have forgotten about the Americans who were killed in the first Gulf War as a result of Saddam Hussein's aggression then.

Helen Thomas: Is this revenge, 11 years of revenge?

Ari Fleischer: Helen, I think you know very well that the President's position is that he wants to avert war, and that the President has asked the United Nations to go into Iraq to help with the purpose of averting war.

Helen Thomas: Would the President attack innocent Iraqi lives?

Ari Fleischer: The President wants to make certain that he can defend our country, defend our interests, defend the region, and make certain that American lives are not lost.

Helen Thomas: And he thinks they are a threat to us?

Ari Fleischer: There is no question that the President thinks that Iraq is a threat to the United States.

Helen Thomas: The Iraqi people?

Ari Fleischer: The Iraqi people are represented by their government. If there was regime change, the Iraqi --

Helen Thomas: So they will be vulnerable?

Ari Fleischer: Actually, the President has made it very clear that he has no dispute with the people of Iraq. That's why the American policy remains a policy of regime change. There is no question the people of Iraq --

Helen Thomas: That's a decision for them to make, isn't it? It's their country.

Ari Fleischer: Helen, if you think that the people of Iraq are in a position to dictate who their dictator is, I don't think that has been what history has shown.

Helen Thomas: I think many countries don't have -- people don't have the decision -- including us.

Assholes of the Week by Paul Krassner

*The parents of Jerry Yang and the parents of the late Tammy Faye Messner, for their strictness that went awry. Jerry, who won $8.25 million at the World Series of Poker, was forbidden to gamble as a child, and Tammy Faye, known for her trademark false eyelashes and overbearing facial cosmetics, grew up in a rigid home where she was forbidden to wear makeup.

*National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell, for defending newly approved CIA torture boundaries--"If I announce what the specific [permissible] measures are," he said, "it would aid those who want to resist those measures"--and an anonymous administration official, who parroted the party line that, if such tactics were not kept secret, it would "only enable Al Qaeda to train against those [methods] they know are on or off." Sample training moment: "All right, gentlemen, when you are given the water-boarding treatment, keep saying to yourself, 'I'm not drowning, I'm not drowning...."

*Dick Cheney, for pretending that it was a sudden change for him to be in charge of the White House only during the 2-1/2 hours that the so-called president was under sedation for a colonoscopy. Also, E-bay has confirmed that Cheney attempted to auction off the five polyps which were removed from Bush's colon and diagnosed as benign despite their malignant host.

*Senators John D. Rockefeller IV and Daniel K. InInouye (both Democrats) for respectively sponsoring and fast-tracking a bill directing the FCC to maintain a policy that a single word or image can be enough to trigger indecency fines. Bush reacted, "This shit has got to stop," and Cheney said, "Go fuck yourself."

*NBC producers for bribing police across the country, and those same police for accepting the bribes, to let "Dateline" film confrontations with suspects who were lured to homes with hidden cameras, including a suspected predator who was arrested and filmed at his own home after failing to show up at a rigged house 35 miles away, and killed himself as the cameras closed in on him. A spokesperson for NBC had no comment except to announce the network's upcoming new series, "Entrapped."

*Dr. David Matlock, a pioneer in "boutique cosmetic gynecologic laser surgery," for marketing the procedure--costing $6,000-$8,000--as enhancing a woman's sexual experience. What's next: iphone-2 will include a vibrating dildo.

*Purdue Pharmacy and three of its executives, for claiming to doctors that the prescription painkiller OxyContin was less addictive and less subject to abuse than other such medications, while the drug has resulted in hundreds of deaths each year. True, their pain disappeared in the process. However, prosecutors have dropped the charge that physicians were urged to suggest that patients pop the perilous pills with a Pez dispenser.

*The DEA, for sending threatening letters to landlords who rent space to medical marijuana dispensaries, causing many unnecessary and illegal evictions. Although the 5,000-year-old weed has not caused any deaths, there have been fears that users would raid their neighbors' refrigerators.

*The Chinese government, for not making use of its oil-buying leverage with Sudan to end the strife in Darfur. Activists have threatened to brand the Olympic games in Beiing as the "Genocide Olympics" if China does not apply pressure on Sudan to stop the conflict. Meanwhile, China insists that it is becoming more humane every day, and now allows slave laborers to listen to pirated CDs while they work.

*Former Hollywood madam Jody "Babydol" Gibson, for planning to testify in the Phil Spector trial that Lana Clarkson worked for her as a prostitute, even though Gibson's "trick book," which was seized as evidence in her own trial, had been doctored to include a fake Clarkson entry. Concomitantly, People magazine has selected Spector as "the sexiest man alive."

* * *

*Anti-Asshole of the Week: Rev. Reggie Longcrier, who YouTubed this question to John Edwards in the course of the, er um, debate on CNN: In view of the fact that politicians have used religion to justify slavery, segregation and men-only voting, "[W]hy is it still acceptable to use religion to deny gay Americans their full and equal rights?" Edwards justified his own religious beliefs to explain his opposition to gay marriage, and Ann Coulter commented, "Okay, maybe he isn't a faggot then."

I'll Take "Rhymes with Loner" for $1000, Alex

So, who is the latest to be rumored as a client of the DC Madam? He's in Congress, a Republican, and he's from Ohio.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

I'm not usually the one to throw down the rumors and all, but when your name starts with a "B" and it rhymes with "Loner," and the rumor is that you've been frequenting call girls. . . . Sorry, I can't resist. OK, ok, I didn't start the rumor. I just heard it over at Howie Klein's place.

Frankly, I would have expect6ed a gay scandal with this guy. Go figure.

Howie Klein: Rumor has it, House Minority Leader John Boehner is the next Republican hypocrite to be exposed.

Justice Is My Bitch Now...
Bushie's little brother, Beaver, or Republican lying Rat?
and I've Turned Her Into A Cheap Lying Whore
- Torture Queen

K.Y. Dryhole a.k.a. Tony Snow is a liar and here is why. At the morning Neocon_R_U.S. Whitey House press briefing (27 July 2007) he said wire tapping was only done on al-Qaeda.

If Secret Wire Tapping was only done on al-Qaeda, why did the news story break with, 'Spying on Peaceful Quakers' and the 'protestors handing out peanut butter sandwiches at Halliburton'? Where is the al-Qaeda in that, liar ?

Rumsfeld Spies on Quakers and Grannies
By Matthew Rothschild - December 16, 2005

Martin Rowson cartoon - The Stages of Intelligence Failure: A Useful Guide
Martin Rowson

Dark powers, the sequel

The president's recent executive order allows the CIA to detain anyone the agency thinks is a terrorist -- or a terrorist's kid.

By Rosa Brooks
L.A. Times - July 27, 2007

"We ... have to work the dark side, if you will," Vice President Dick Cheney told NBC's Tim Russert, five days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. "We've got to spend time in the shadows using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies That's the world [terrorists] operate in, and so it's going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal."

t was an odd thing to say. Throughout our history -- from John Winthrop's 1630 "City Upon a Hill" sermon to President Clinton's foreign policy speeches -- our leaders have been quick to assure us of the opposite premise: We will prevail against our enemies because (and only if) we're on the side of light, rather than the side of darkness. We will prevail not through spending "time in the shadows" but through our commitment to freedom, democracy, justice and the rule of law.

Granted, previous rhetorical commitments to the side of light were at times accompanied by some pretty dark episodes. But if we didn't always manage to live up to the values we publicly embraced, our public commitments at least gave us a yardstick for measuring ourselves -- and declared to the world our willingness to be held to account when we fell short.

But in keeping with Cheney's admonition to "work

the dark side," this administration has openly embraced tactics that no previous administration would have formally condoned. In prior wars, for instance, we granted the protections of the Geneva Convention to our enemies as a matter of policy, even when those enemies -- like the Viet Cong -- lacked any legal claim to the convention's protections. Yes, some U.S. soldiers abused Viet Cong prisoners anyway -- but when they did so, they violated the clear written laws and policies of the United States.

Contrast that with the Bush administration, which refused to recognize any Geneva Convention rights for the "unlawful enemy combatants" captured in the war on terror until finally ordered to do so by the Supreme Court.

Within months of Cheney's "dark side" comments, Guantanamo filled up with hooded, shackled prisoners kept in open-air cages. The Justice Department developed legal defenses of torture, we opened secret prisons in former Soviet bloc countries and the president authorized secret "enhanced" interrogation methods for "high-value" detainees.

And despite the best efforts of human rights groups, the courts and a growing number of congressional critics from both parties, Cheney's still getting his way. On July 20, President Bush issued an executive order "interpreting" Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention, as applied to secret CIA detention facilities. On its face, the order bans torture -- but as an editorial in this paper noted Thursday, it does so using language so vague it appears designed to create loopholes for the CIA.

Just as bad, though barely noted by the media, last week's executive order breaks new ground by outlining the category of people who can be detained secretly and indefinitely by the CIA -- in a way that's broad enough to include a hefty chunk of the global population. Under its terms, a non-U.S. citizen may be secretly detained and interrogated by the CIA -- with no access to counsel and no independent monitoring -- as long as the CIA director believes the person "to be a member or part of or supporting Al Qaeda, the Taliban or associated organizations; and likely to be in possession of information that could assist in detecting, mitigating or preventing terrorist attacks [or] in locating the senior leadership of Al Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces."

Got that? The president of the United States just issued a public pronouncement declaring, as a matter of U.S. policy, that a single man has the authority to detain any person anyplace in the world and subject him or her to secret interrogation techniques that aren't torture but that nonetheless can't be revealed, as long as that person is thought to be a "supporter" of an organization "associated" in some unspecified way with the Taliban or Al Qaeda, and as long he thinks that person might know something that could "assist" us.

But "supporter" isn't defined, nor is "associated organization." That leaves the definition broad enough to permit the secret detention of, say, a man who sympathizes ideologically with the Taliban and might have overheard something useful in a neighborhood cafe, or of a 10-year-old girl whose older brother once trained with Al Qaeda.

This isn't just hypothetical. The U.S. has already detained people based on little more. According to media reports, the CIA has even held children, including the 7- and 9-year-old sons of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. In 2006, Mohammed was transferred from a secret CIA facility to Guantanamo, but the whereabouts of his children are unknown.

It's dark out there, all right.,0,7795419.story?...

cartoon of war on terror people tearing up a house trying to find evidence and not finding it...then they start looking for drugs.

Specter to probe Supreme Court decisions

By: Carrie Budoff
Jul 25, 2007 06:07 AM EST

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) plans to review the Senate testimony of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel A. Alito to determine if their reversal of several long-standing opinions conflicts with promises they made to senators to win confirmation.

Specter, who championed their confirmation, said Tuesday he will personally re-examine the testimony to see if their actions in court match what they told the Senate.

"There are things he has said, and I want to see how well he has complied with it," Specter said, singling out Roberts.

The Specter inquiry poses a potential political problem for the GOP and future nominees because Democrats are increasingly complaining that the Supreme Court moved quicker and more dramatically than advertised to overturn or chip away at prior decisions. [Continue Reading At]:

Steve Bell Cartoon - Is Cheney the real president of the United States?
Steve Bell

Is Cheney the real president of the United States?

He rarely speaks in public and closely guards his privacy. But there's a growing consensus in America that it's Dick Cheney who calls the shots at the White House, on everything from the war in Iraq to climate change policy. Ed Pilkington reports

Monday July 23, 2007
The Guardian

It is a party trick well known to curious teenagers across America. Zoom down on Washington via Google Earth and you get an extraordinary eagle-eyed view of the world's greatest powerhouse. There's the White House and its West Wing. There's the spot where they put the national Christmas tree festooned with lights. Sweeping south-east across the Potomac you soar above the pentagon of the Pentagon; then back up a bit north and you can sit for hours counting the tiles on the roof of the Lincoln memorial. But there is one thing you can't do. If you scroll over the site of the vice-president's official residence, all you will see, mysteriously, is a blurry fuzz.

The 46th vice-president of the US, Dick Cheney, has a fondness for remaining invisible. It doesn't matter whether it's Google Earth or a bank of television cameras, he won't play ball. He rarely presents himself to the media, and when he does so he likes to keep it in the family.

Take the interview he gave last October to Scott Hennen, a rightwing talkshow host with North Dakota's WDAY radio. At the time Iraq was imploding and the Republican party was heading towards meltdown at the mid-term elections. So what does Hennen ask him?

"Mr Vice-President, I know you're fond of pheasant hunting in South Dakota, but there's some great bird hunting in North Dakota. Is this going to be the year you come up and do a little bird hunting in North Dakota?"

Cheney: "Well, I don't know ..."

Incisive stuff. Hennen did, though, almost by accident, extract a seminal soundbite from the vice-president. The discussion turned to terrorism and where to draw the line on the interrogation of suspects.

Hennen: "Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?"

Cheney: "It's a no-brainer for me."

That quote, so innocently obtained, dunked Cheney himself in deep water. The man who had for months vehemently rejected the title of "vice-president for torture" found himself agreeing on air that the use of waterboarding - the technique of holding a prisoner underwater to the point of drowning in order to break their will - was a "no-brainer".

It was a moment of rare candidness from the ultimately controlled and secretive politician. For once that infamous steely guard that seems to shield Cheney - with his unreadable face and equally inscrutable half-smile - appeared to have slipped. Obscurity has been Cheney's hallmark since he took office in January 2001, and that's the way he likes it. "Am I the evil genius in the corner that nobody ever sees come out of his hole?" he quipped in 2004. "It's a nice way to operate, actually."

But what started as a single, unguarded gaffe last October appears nine months on to be developing into a pattern. Increasingly, the focus is switching from President Bush to the man who stands in the shadows behind him. This month sees the publication of two books analysing the role of Cheney, one by Stephen Hayes of the neocon bible the Weekly Standard, the second a more critical work called Opportunist, by Robert Sam Anson.

Those volumes will land before the dust has settled over a classic piece of Washington Post journalism. Under the headline "The Angler" - a reference to Cheney's secret service code name - two Post journalists, Barton Gellman and Jo Becker, have dissected Cheney's approach to his job in forensic detail. Virtually a book in its own right - the series runs to 20,000 words - they reveal how Cheney has dictated policy in several crucial areas, including the war on terror, the economy and the environment.

In all these polarised accounts Cheney is universally presented as the most powerful vice- president in American history. He has taken an institution that John Adams, its first holder, described as "the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived" and turned it into a seat of power. "He has expanded the power of the vice-president fiftyfold," says Bruce Fein, a lawyer who served in the Reagan administration and who worked with Cheney during the Iran-Contra hearings. "Previous VPs typically handed out blankets in disaster zones or attended funerals in Burkina Faso."

Not Cheney. So dominant has he been in a traditionally submissive role that some commentators are now wondering whether it is time to drop the "V" from his title. "Cheney is de facto president in all areas of policy, bar just a few aspects of the domestic agenda," Fein says. Cheney's biographer, John Nichols, the Washington correspondent of the left-leaning Nation magazine, goes as far as to argue that "this was not George W Bush's presidency. It was Dick Cheney's."

In hindsight, it was obvious the Cheney vice- presidency was never going to stick to convention from the day in July 2000 George Bush announced his running mate. After all, the man who recommended Cheney for the job was ... Cheney. When Bush was asked to explain why he had gone along with such auto-selection, he replied: "I picked him because he is without a doubt fully capable of being president of the United States."

The moment the two men entered the White House it was clear Cheney had no intention of whiling away the hours at state funerals. The Bush cabinet was formed in Cheney's image. Figures who were to become seminal - Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Scooter Libby - were all Cheney's people.

In policy terms, too, his stamp was instantly visible, not least over the environment. Both Cheney and Bush are fossil-fuel men to their bone marrow - Bush through his family's oil connections in Texas and Cheney through the five years he spent in the 1990s as CEO of Halliburton. But early on it became clear that Cheney was prepared to go even further than Bush in his devotion to the industry.

In the 2000 election campaign, Bush had made much of his intention to cut carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants as part of a new push towards cleaner skies. But in March 2001, just two months into the administration, he announced a sudden policy reversal: there would be no new regulations after all. Administration officials told the New York Times that "the views of Dick Cheney had been instrumental in the final decision".

Cheney's stranglehold over energy policy was made official when he was put in charge of a task force to review the country's energy needs. The consequences were immediately apparent to those, like Eric Schaeffer, working to improve environmental standards. For 12 years Schaeffer worked at the Environmental Protection Agency, acting as chief enforcer of federal anti-pollution regulations. He remembers what happened when EPA scientists produced a report on the impact of clean-air restrictions on business, the findings of which ran counter to Cheney's preconceived opinions. "A few weeks later the report disappeared from the library - it was just wiped out," Schaeffer recalls. After months of similar irregularities, Schaeffer resigned in March 2002. "Government is a bargaining process and I know there has to be compromise. But equally, there has to be some respect for the facts," he says.

Schaeffer's boss at the EPA, Christie Whitman, resigned the following year. She said she wanted to spend more time with her family, but the Washington Post series finally reveals the real reason. She quit because Cheney - whom she had counted at one time as a friend - had ruthlessly blocked her every attempt to raise anti-pollution standards. When she tried to press her case directly to Bush, the vice-president was always in the room. "You leave and the vice-president's still there," she told the Post.

As Whitman's comment suggests, Cheney's impact has been partly due to his unparalleled access to Bush. Over six years in office, observers have seen a distinctive relationship develop between them. The older man is a master at the warp and weft of government. He revels in detail in a way that Bush notoriously does not. Bush's bed-at-nine routine may be exaggerated, but he certainly isn't up and reading dispatches by 4.30am as his VP is. Such precision gives Cheney an edge in any policy debate. As James Mann, author of a collective biography of the Bush cabinet, Rise of the Vulcans, puts it, Cheney is "the accountant who takes over the film studio".

These qualities of open access to the president, hard work and attention to detail were all present from day one. So too was a fondness for secrecy. Bob Woodward, in his account of the build-up to the Iraq war, Plan of Attack, likens him to a "kind of Howard Hughes, the reclusive man behind the scenes who would not answer questions".

But it took the events of September 11 2001 to bring these elements to the fore. This was the moment for which Cheney had been preparing for many years. Since his days as White House chief-of-staff to Gerald Ford, living with the fallout of Nixon's destruction, Cheney had harboured ambitions to hit back at Congress and reinstate the untrammelled authority of the president.

The Washington Post series examines the most controversial aspects of the administration's response to 9/11 - Guantánamo, the global kidnappings known as "extraordinary renditions", torture, wire-tapping of Americans - and finds that in all these cases the road leads to the vice-president's door. Within hours of the attacks on New York and Washington, while Bush was still floundering around in Air Force One, Cheney had assembled a legal team within his own office and was actively planning how to roll back the restraints on the president's executive power that had been introduced in the wake of Vietnam and Watergate.

Central to the team was Cheney's legal adviser, David Addington. By September 18 Addington and a couple of trusted colleagues, including the current attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, had drawn up proposals for the use of military force. By September 25 they had drafted authorisation for the interception of communications to and from America without court permission - a form of surveillance banned in federal law since 1978. By November 6 they had scripted a memo that conceived a whole new legal system that would allow alleged terrorists to be held indefinitely without charge. If necessary, they would be tried through "military commission" - a concept that Cheney put to Bush and had him approve personally over dinner.

Addington's team operated largely in secret. When CNN announced the military commissions on November 13, Colin Powell, the secretary of state whose more measured approach was to bring him increasingly in conflict with the vice- president, was heard to exclaim: "What the hell just happened?" Condoleezza Rice, then national security adviser, had also been left in the dark.

The pattern repeated itself the following year when Addington and his team, operating out of Cheney's office, drew up legal advice that in effect tore up the Geneva convention. Under its terms, the president had the right to order any means of interrogation of a terror suspect - by now designated "enemy combatants" - no matter how cruel or inhumane. According to the Washington Post, further secret opinion approved as lawful a range of previously banned interrogation techniques, including that little "dunk in water". The first time Powell and Rice heard about the torture memo was two years after it had been written; they read about it in a newspaper.

And then there was Iraq. If 9/11 was Cheney's moment, the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 may come to be seen as his undoing. Apart from his old mentor Rumsfeld, Cheney did more than any other member of the administration to lay the path to Baghdad. He had set his eyes on toppling Saddam well before 9/11, and by the time he entered the White House had already framed in his mind a rationale of pre-emptive military action. According to the former treasury secretary, Paul O'Neill, another friend of Cheney's who the vice-president ousted from the administration, Cheney was actively engaging in debate about "the next war in Iraq and the shape of a post-Saddam country" barely 10 days after the Bush administration took office.

Bush, by contrast, had no such appetite or vision. Consider the polar views that were expressed by the two men during their televised debates during the 2000 election. In debate with Al Gore, Bush said: "I just don't think it's the role of the United States to walk into a country and say, 'We do it this way; so should you.'"

Cheney struck a very different tone when, in debate with Joe Lieberman, he was asked what he would do were Iraq found to be developing weapons of mass destruction: "We'd have to give very serious consideration to military action to stop that activity," he replied.

Through the build-up to war, the VP was the rabble-rouser-in-chief, uttering his now famous prediction of the Iraqi people: "They will welcome us as liberators."

Iraq seems to have gripped Cheney with a passion that struck close observers as highly uncharacteristic. Woodward writes that Powell saw Cheney undergo a transformation. It was as though he had a fever, an unhealthy fixation in nailing Saddam. Fein detected a similar sea-change in the man. "I've been amazed by his change of character," he says. "When we served together on the Iran-Contra committee, he was measured, restrained, unflappable. Now he seems totally otherwise."

In all of this it would be crude to suggest, as some have, that Cheney called the shots while Bush merely saluted and shuffled behind. In the final analysis the buck stops with Dubya. But to say that Bush made all the big decisions, having duly taken the advice of his VP, would also be to miss the nuance of their relationship. In many cases the advice that Cheney gave his president was so narrowly cast that there could only be one serious outcome.

In the case of Iraq, the consequences for the country, the surrounding region and America's reputation in the world are now plain to see. What is less clear are the consequences for Cheney's own fortunes. Certainly, in recent months he has suffered a string of setbacks that have undoubtedly weakened his standing within the administration. While Bush is in the doldrums, with historically low personal poll ratings, Cheney too has suffered deep blows to his credibility. He has lost in the most humiliating circumstances several of his closest people: Rumsfeld, Bolton, Wolfowitz and now Libby have all fallen in quick succession.

The supreme court has also been nipping at Cheney's heels, overturning several important aspects of his anti-terror laws. In Rasul v Bush, the court threw out the White House argument that Guantánamo was beyond the reach of the US courts.

But it would be foolhardy to write off this supreme political machine quite yet. Terminator-style, he has a way of crawling back after every blow. The international lawyer Michael Ratner, president of the Centre for Constitutional Rights, has seen the phenomenon close up. He has argued against the administration before the supreme court on several occasions, and a pattern has emerged.

"Each time there has been a decision against Cheney he has come right back and changed the rules," he says.

With 18 months to go, the administration has undoubtedly now entered its lame-duck phase. Yet there is time enough for it still to cause trouble. For the past year a tug-of-war has been going on within the cabinet, with Bush in the middle. Rice, together with Rumsfeld's replacement at the Pentagon, Robert Gates, has been pulling the president in the direction of negotiating with Tehran over what the US claims is its nuclear weapons programme. On the other side, arguing doggedly that diplomacy is not enough and that military solutions may be necessary, is yet again Cheney.

Until recently the rope was moving decidedly in the Rice/Gates direction. But as the Guardian recently reported, the balance of the debate has just begun to swing back in Cheney's favour, behind a military option. Unthinkable though that may seem in the light of Iraq, he still appears to believe in the efficacy of shock and awe. The question now is: does he have one last gasp left in him?

All these struggles have left those at the sharp end of his dealings profoundly gloomy about America's future. "Dick Cheney has changed the whole landscape of the country," Ratner says. "And no matter who takes over from him, I'm not convinced we will ever get back to where we were before him".,,2132603,00.html


Picture of a sunk ship named the, U.S.S. GEORGE W. BUSH

STFU with that lengthy, old, side show, But this guy is nucking futs, and...
Mission Accomplished Permalink:
What Part Of Lying Don't You Understand?

We have already seen how al-Qaeda used a failed state thousands of miles from our shores to bring death and destruction to the streets of our cities and we must not allow them to do so again. George W. Bush 24 July 2007

Speech Word Usage: al-Qaeda = 93x - terror/ists = 40x - bin Laden = 23x - 9/11 = 8x

Any future act of terror committed in the United States will more than likely have REPUBLICAN NEOCON SUPPORT because they are DESPERATE to avoid WAR CRIMES charges and PRISON.

ASK YOURSELF: Why would a Neocon Bush Republican administration resist a 9/11 investigation for 441 days when Pearl Harbor, JFK assassination and NASA shuttle disaster inquiries started within one week? COVERING THEIR TRACKS? Remembering it was Donald Rumsfeld who said, hours after the 9/11 attack:

"Go massive ... Sweep it all up. Things related and not ."

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I am truly not that concerned about him [bin Laden].
The Above Is In Flash Video Format:
Music & Vocal by John McCutcheon - Empty WORDS by George W. Bush

Mr. Gonzales’s Never-Ending Story

President Bush often insists he has to be the decider — ignoring Congress and the public when it comes to the tough matters on war, terrorism and torture, even deciding whether an ordinary man in Florida should be allowed to let his wife die with dignity. Apparently that burden does not apply to the functioning of one of the most vital government agencies, the Justice Department. [Continue Reading At]:

Is Alberto Gonzales next for a White House pardon?

Just how bad must it get before President Bush realizes that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has become a national embarrassment and must go?
Every time Gonzales testifies before Congress his tattered credibility takes a new beating. His testimony last week simply added to the growing bipartisan consensus that Gonzales is repeatedly lying to Congress. [Continue Reading At]:

New media yields more participation In CNN/YouTube debate,
candidates have less room to spin their answers

by Barbara Warnick - Sunday, July 29, 2007

It's important to note that the CNN/YouTube event on Monday was not a presidential debate, per se. Rather, it was an encounter involving the eight Democratic presidential candidates.

Yet that doesn't take away from the fact that the forum was groundbreaking: It made use of videotaped questions from common citizens about issues of concern to them. Research has shown that "social presence" (use of user-contributed images, video, audio) in mass media can create stronger patterns of identification between the audience and what is presented in the media. [Continue Reading At]:

ET holding a button saying U.S. Out of North America, Nobody for President

Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America Prosperity Agenda
Promoting Growth, Competitiveness and Quality of Life

To enhance the competitive position of North American industries in the global marketplace and to provide greater economic opportunity for all of our societies, while maintaining high standards of health and safety for our people, the United States, Mexico, and Canada will work together, and in consultation with stakeholders, to: [Continue Reading At The White House]:


Put NONE OF THE ABOVE On The Voter Ballot

REPORT #19: Terror attacks in America!

by Caspar Greeff, JungleBlog

[Ed. Note: I have a tendency to listen to Shamans. - From ~@~'s Remnant of Paradise]

Sunday Times Lifestyle writer Caspar Greeff reports from the Amazon jungle where he has gone to participate in shamanic ceremonies and drink the powerful psychotropic brew ayahuasca - the vine of the dead.

After the ceremony, Javier told us of the visions he had seen recently.

He told us there were going to be terror attacks in the US on August 13. Seven cities were going to be hit, big buildings were going to be destroyed.

"Which cities are going to be attacked?" asked Matt.

"Chicago, New York, Jersey, and a city near the sea with a beautiful bridge linking it to another city..."

"San Francisco."

"Yes. And another city near the sea, a city that's on the border with another country. I see a big fence..."

"Probably San Diego," said Grossman.

"Two buildings near the seat of government in America are going to be destroyed," said Javier.

"Washington," said Grossman.

"Who is behind these attacks?" asked Matt.

"A tall man with a long white beard."

"I guess he doesn't mean Santa Claus," I said. "It sounds more like our old friend Osama bin Laden."

"Yes," said Javier. "This man lives underground, I see him in a huge cavern - as big as a village -five to 15 metres underground and he is surrounded by men with guns. He will never be caught. He is working with the president of the United States. And the president of the United States is the anti-Christ."

"George Bush?"

"Yes. He is the devil. He has the key to the gates of hell. On the key it is written, 'With this key I send all humans to hell.' He speaks of peace, but he loves death. He wants people to take drugs and drink alcohol so they will die sooner. He wants suffering, he wants war, he wants death."

"Javier, are you sure of this date?" asked Matt. "August 13?"

"Yes. Octavio has seen this too. After America is attacked on that date there will be more attacks in October and then more attacks in December. I also see powerful winds killing many people, I see a tidal wave, I see much destruction."

"Ask Javier what the good news is," I said to Matt.

Javier smiled and said, "I will tell you that after the next ceremony."

[Continue Reading Entire Article At]: