Saturday, October 30, 2004

Three Days To Go. . .

Everything Is On Its Way Up In America. . .
by The Old Hippie, Because Knowledge Of Reality - Is Its Own Freedom


The number of Americans that don't get enough food, up again - The number without any health insurance, up again - The number without jobs, up again - The number not counted because they "gave up," up again - The number below the poverty line, up again - The number of men put into
Read
  (Doonesbury)
 prison, up again - The number dead in a profit taking war, up again - The number of dead since "Mission Accomplished," up again - The number of "dirty-tricks" to suppress the vote by republicans, up again, The number of women put into prison, up again, - The number of known corporate environmental "escapes," up again - The number of corporations with off shore tax dodging headquarters, up again - The number of those given federal no-bid contracts, up again - The number of innocent civilians killed for our war, up again - The number of jobs with less pay and less benefits and less security, up again - The number of "Christians" that "believe" that the Separation of Church and State should be done away with, up again - The number of terrorists in the world directly because of the Iraq war, up
again - The number of radical born-again Evangelican Americans that "know" the gay-marriage issue is more important than all of the above listed "up agains," and "know" that creationism is a science, and that the "Rapture" must be "made" to happen, up again. . .


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WAKE THE FUCK UP!


Three days to go people - -


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Friday, October 29, 2004

Four Days To Go. . .

70% of Americans Don't Believe Evolution is Reality,
46% of the American Electorate believe Creationism is Science,
Almost All of Which Vote Wedge Issues Concerning Their Beliefs,
Almost All of Which Vote The Candidates Professed Beliefs,
Not The Much More Important Domestic or Foreign Policy Issues,
From a Radical Corporatist's Point of View, That is Opportunity Defined.
And That Defines This Surreal Presidential Election.

by The Old Hippie, Because Knowledge Is Its Own Freedom


Just a few items to stimulate the sound-bite abused cells of our political minds.  Interviews, videos, Opinions, Articles, and animations that I have been able to discover during my travels inside what
Bush referred to as the "internets."  I've endeavored to avoid the overly intellectualized, and unfairly biased items as best as I could.  That is not to say that some of the items are not obviously biased, but I hope biased toward reality, and not political propaganda.

I've also attempted to include items that are interesting, important, and have an unexpected "eye-opening" perspective.  Especially during this historic period of bombarding electoral bombast.

These are strange times people. As Garcia said, "What a long strange trip it's been."  I sincerely hope these items help in your own research of our political reality. . .
 Your Right
        (From Doonesbury)

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Concerning the 377-Tons of Missing Explosives

by (KSTP) 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS (an Embedded ABC affiliate in Minnesota)


Maybe you should read and view this news broadcast concerning this story.  They were there - April 18, 2003 - After the invasion.  Click on the "Video" link at the top to watch their broadcast.

Link To This Story & Video Here

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The Road to Abu Ghraib

by Phillip Carter, Washington Monthly, November 2004 Issue


A generation from now, historians may look back to April 28, 2004, as the day the United States lost the war in Iraq.  On that date, "CBS News" broadcast the first ugly photographs of abuses by American soldiers at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison.

Link To This Bit Of Reality

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Promises to Keep

by William Rivers Pitt, truthout | Perspective, Oct. 27, 2004.


The Presidential election of 2004 is finally upon us.  After a thousand days of fear, doubt, anger and set-jawed patriotism in the face of everything we as a nation have been forced to deal with, we are down to a single week in which to consider our place and position, a single week to decide where we go from here, a single week to remember where we have been.

Link To This Excellent Perspective Editorial

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Eminem's "Mosh" Music Video

by Eminem


Not my style of music, but for those that it is, the message is not trivial - And they do hear it.

"In the video, Eminem leads a mob fired up and politicized by four years of outrage and anger at the Bush administration.  Clad in black hoodies, fists raised, the angry young men and women descend on a state building... to vote."
-- From an article by Alternet.org concerning this video.

Link To RealPlayer or Windows Media Versions of The Video

Link To Quicktime Version of The Video

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I Want to Shout

by David Corn, Alternet.org, Oct. 27, 2004


All in one setting: the victims of George Bush and Bush's lieutenants – there to discuss calmly and reasonably the war in Iraq and the upcoming U.S. election.  I wanted to scream.

Link To This Real Eye-Opening Article

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Ugly, Tasteless, Terrifying and Wild... Count Me In!

by Hunter S. Thompson, Independent/UK, Oct. 28, 2004


He's been America's most unorthodox political commentator for more than 30 years.  But for Dr. Hunter S. Thompson the Bush presidency is evil beyond belief - and judgment is nigh. . .

Link To Classical Gonzo Piece

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Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

by Glenn Scherer, Grist Magazine, Oct. 27, 2004


James Watt let the cat out of the bag when he said that when the last tree falls, Christ will return.
Tom DeLay sees the war between America and Iraq as the gateway to the Apocalypse.  James Inhofe suppresses climate science, takes hundreds of thousands of dollars from big oil, and says he trusts God with his legislative goals.  These folks are cutting a path for Armageddon—and they may just get what they want.

Link To This Scary Reality

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The Politics Of Piety

by Amy Sullivan, Sojourners Magazine, Nov. 2004 Issue


While their agenda may be Armageddon, the right covers itself in a cloak of piety to look respectable.  In a battle for the church-going suburbs, Dems have turned to Christian social teaching as a counterweight.  The two parties have thus entered a great theological debate, weakening the separation of church and state our founders so prized.

Link To This Surreal Reality


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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

I'm in Shock

New Revelations about Bush Family Found in National Archives

This is an interview of John Buchanan by Dave Emory on his latest findings.  You have to listen till near the end to find out.  I am literally stunned and don't know what to say, just listen to it and judge for yourself.

Some of the documents are here. . .  Documents


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For the audio, go here to listen, and for the documents, go here to read.

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Six Days To Go. . .

Perspective "Should Reads" That Provoke Critical Thinking
by The Old Hippie, Because Knowledge Is Its Own Freedom


Just a few items to stimulate the sound-bite abused cells of our political minds.  Interviews, videos, Opinions, Articles, and animations that I have been able to discover during my travels inside what
Read
  (Doonesbury)
 Bush referred to as the "internets."  None of these items are of the sound-bite type, and I have also endeavored to avoid the overly intellectualized, and unfairly biased items as best as I could.  That is not to say that some of the items are not obviously biased, but I hope biased toward reality, and not political propaganda.

I have also attempted to include such items that are interesting, important, and have an unexpected eye-opening perspective quality - Especially during this historic period of bombarding bombast.

These are strange times people, and determining reality within the corporate media of America today is not easy.  I sincerely hope these items help. . .

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Seymour Hersh: Man On Fire

by Lakshmi Chaudhry, AlterNet, Oct. 27, 2004.


In an astonishingly candid and far-ranging interview, the journalist who exposed major stories from the My Lai massacre to the Abu Ghraib scandal, proves that his voice is every bit as powerful as his pen.

Link To This Excellent Interview Here

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Recess Appointment?

by Amy Sullivan, Washington Monthly, Oct. 16, 2004.


....Just when you thought the various post-election legal nightmare scenarios couldn't get worse. U.S. News & World Report is emailing around some reporting that indicates the Bush White House may be considering a recess appointment (requiring no Senate approval, remember) to replace Chief Justice Rehnquist if he steps down for health reasons:

Link To This Bit Of Reality

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Frank Luntz

by Bill Berkowitz, MediaTransparency.org, Oct. 11, 2004.


Some call it spinning, some call it massaging the message, some have even dubbed it LuntzSpeak, but none dare call what Frank Luntz has been peddling the truth. . .

Link To The Reality Of Who This Man Is

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Animations & Videos Galore

by Eric Blumrich, bushflash.com


Some are incredible, some just excellent, some are blatantly silly, and some blatantly biased.
But well worth the viewing.  Enjoy.

Link To A Lot Of Animations & Videos

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Behind Closed Doors

by Jeremy Leaming & Rob Boston, Americans United for Separation of Church and State


Who Is The Council For National Policy And What Are They Up To?
And Why Don’t They Want You To Know?

Link To This Real Eye-Opening Article


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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Greg Palast is on a Roll!

TONIGHT BBC TV TO REVEAL NEW FLORIDA VOTE SCANDAL REPUBLICAN "CAGING LIST"

And if that is not enough get a load of this:


ADVENTURE CAPITALISM - THE HIDDEN PLAN TO CARVE-UP IRAQ



Adventure Capitalism
Greg Palast
October 26, 2004


Why were Iraqi elections delayed? Why was Jay Garner fired? Why are our troops still there? Investigative reporter Palast uncovers new documents that answer these questions and more about the Bush administration’s grand designs on Iraq. Like everything else issued during this administration, the plan to overhaul the Iraqi economy has corporate lobbyist fingerprints all over it. You expected the oil industry lobbyists, but Grover Norquist?

Greg Palast is an investigative reporter and author of The New York Times best seller The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. His new film, "Bush Family Fortunes: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy," was released this month in DVD. For a trailer, see http://www.gregpalast.com/bff-dvd.htm

In February 2003, a month before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a 101-page document came my way from somewhere within the U.S. State Department. Titled pleasantly, "Moving the Iraqi Economy from Recovery to Growth," it was part of a larger under-wraps program called "The Iraq Strategy."

The Economy Plan goes boldly where no invasion plan has gone before: the complete rewrite, it says, of a conquered state's "policies, laws and regulations." Here's what you'll find in the Plan: A highly detailed program, begun years before the tanks rolled, for imposing a new regime of low taxes on big business, and quick sales of Iraq's banks and bridges—in fact, "ALL state enterprises"—to foreign operators. There's more in the Plan, part of which became public when the State Department hired consulting firm to track the progress of the Iraq makeover. Example: This is likely history's first military assault plan appended to a program for toughening the target nation's copyright laws.

And when it comes to oil, the Plan leaves nothing to chance—or to the Iraqis. Beginning on page 73, the secret drafters emphasized that Iraq would have to "privatize" (i.e., sell off) its "oil and supporting industries." The Plan makes it clear that—even if we didn't go in for the oil—we certainly won't leave without it.

If the Economy Plan reads like a Christmas wishlist drafted by U.S. corporate lobbyists, that's because it was.

From slashing taxes to wiping away Iraq's tariffs (taxes on imports of U.S. and other foreign goods), the package carries the unmistakable fingerprints of the small, soft hands of Grover Norquist.

Norquist is the capo di capi of the lobbyist army of the right. In Washington every Wednesday, he hosts a pow-wow of big business political operatives and right-wing muscle groups—including the Christian Coalition and National Rifle Association—where Norquist quarterbacks their media and legislative offensive for the week.

Once registered as a lobbyist for Microsoft and American Express, Norquist today directs Americans for Tax Reform, a kind of trade union for billionaires unnamed, pushing a regressive "flat tax" scheme.

Acting on a tip, I dropped by the super-lobbyist's L-Street office. Below a huge framed poster of his idol ("NIXON— NOW MORE THAN EVER"), Norquist could not wait to boast of moving freely at the Treasury, Defense and State Departments, and, in the White House, shaping the post-conquest economic plans—from taxes to tariffs to the "intellectual property rights" that I pointed to in the Plan.

Norquist wasn't the only corporate front man getting a piece of the Iraq cash cow. Norquist suggested the change in copyright laws after seeking the guidance of the Recording Industry Association of America.

And then there's the oil. Iraq-born Falah Aljibury was in on the drafting of administration blueprints for the post-Saddam Iraq. According to Aljibury, the administration began coveting its Mideast neighbor's oil within weeks of the Bush-Cheney inauguration, when the White House convened a closed committee under the direction of the State Department's Pam Wainwright. The group included banking and chemical industry men, and the range of topics over what to do with a post-conquest Iraq was wide. In short order, said Aljibury, "It became an oil group."

This was not surprising as the membership list had a strong smell of petroleum. Besides Aljibury, an oil industry consultant, the secret team included executives from Royal-Dutch Shell and ChevronTexaco. These and other oil industry bigs would, in 2003, direct the drafting of a 300-page addendum to the Economy Plan solely about Iraq's oil assets. The oil section of the Plan, obtained after a year of wrestling with the administration over the Freedom of Information Act, calls for Iraqis to sell off to "IOCs" (international oil companies) the nation's "downstream" assets—that is, the refineries, pipelines and ports that, unless under armed occupation, a Mideast nation would be loathe to give up.

The General Versus Annex D

One thing stood in the way of rewriting Iraq's laws and selling off Iraq's assets: the Iraqis. An insider working on the plans put it coldly: "They have [Deputy Defense Secretary Paul] Wolfowitz coming out saying it's going to be a democratic country … but we're going to do something that 99 percent of the people of Iraq wouldn't vote for."

In this looming battle between what Iraqis wanted and what the Bush administration planned for them, the Iraqis had an unexpected ally, Gen. Jay Garner, the man appointed by our president just before the invasion as a kind of temporary Pasha to run the soon-to-be conquered nation.

Garner's an old Iraq hand who performed the benevolent autocratic function in the Kurdish zone after the first Gulf War. But in March 2003, the general made his big career mistake. In Kuwait City, fresh off the plane from the United States, he promised Iraqis they would have free and fair elections as soon as Saddam was toppled, preferably within 90 days.

Garner's 90-days-to-democracy pledge ran into a hard object: The Economy Plan's 'Annex D.' Disposing of a nation's oil industry—let alone redrafting trade and tax laws—can't be done in a weekend, nor in 90 days. Annex D lays out a strict 360-day schedule for the free-market makeover of Iraq. And there's the rub: It was simply inconceivable that any popularly elected government would let America write its laws and auction off the nation's crown jewel, its petroleum industry.

Elections would have to wait. As lobbyist Norquist explained when I asked him about the Annex D timetable, "The right to trade, property rights, these things are not to be determined by some democratic election." Our troops would simply have to stay in Mesopotamia a bit longer.

New World Orders 12, 37, 81 and 83

Gen. Garner resisted—which was one of the reasons for his swift sacking by Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld on the very night he arrived in Baghdad last April. Rummy had a perfect replacement ready to wing it in Iraq to replace the recalcitrant general. Paul Bremer may not have had Garner's experience on the ground in Iraq, but no one would question the qualifications of a man who served as managing director of Kissinger Associates.

Pausing only to install himself in Saddam's old palace—and adding an extra ring of barbed wire—"Jerry" Bremer cancelled Garner's scheduled meeting of Iraq's tribal leaders called to plan national elections. Instead, Bremer appointed the entire government himself. National elections, Bremer pronounced, would have to wait until 2005. The extended occupation would require our forces to linger.

The delay would, incidentally, provide time needed to lock in the laws, regulations and irreversible sales of assets in accordance with the Economy Plan.

On that, Bremer wasted no time. Altogether, the leader of the Coalition Provisional Authority issued exactly 100 orders that remade Iraq in the image of the Economy Plan. In May, for example, Bremer—only a month from escaping out Baghdad's back door—took time from fighting the burgeoning insurrection to sign orders 81—"Patents,"and 83, "Copyrights." Here, Grover Norquist's hard work paid off. Fifty years of royalties would now be conferred on music recording. And 20 years on Windows code.

Order number 37, "Tax Strategy for 2003," was Norquist's dream come true: taxes capped at 15 percent on corporate and individual income (as suggested in the Economy Plan, page 8). The U.S. Congress had rejected a similar flat-tax plan for America, but in Iraq, with an electorate of one—Jerry Bremer—the public's will was not an issue.

Not everyone felt the pain of this reckless rush to a free market. Order 12, "Trade Liberalization," permitted the tax- and tariff-free import of foreign products. One big winner was Cargill, the world's largest grain merchant, which flooded Iraq with hundreds of thousands of tons of wheat. For Iraqi farmers, already wounded by sanctions and war, this was devastating. They could not compete with the U.S. and Australian surplusses dumped on them. But the import plan carried out the letter of the Economy Plan.

This trade windfall for the West was enforced by the occupation's agriculture chief, Dan Amstutz, himself an import from the United States. Prior to George Bush taking office, Amstutz chaired a company funded by Cargill.

There's no sense cutting taxes on big business, ordering 20 years of copyright payments for Bill Gates' operating system or killing off protections for Iraqi farmers if some out-of-control Iraqi government is going to take it away after an election. The shadow governors of Iraq back in Washington thought of that, too. Bremer fled, but he's left behind him nearly 200 American "experts," assigned to baby-sit each new Iraqi minister—functionaries also approved by the U.S. State Department.

The Price

The free market paradise in Iraq is not free.

After General Garner was deposed, I met with him in Washington. He had little regard for the Economy Plan handed to him three months before the tanks rolled. He especially feared its designs on Iraq's oil assets and the delay in handing Iraq back to Iraqis. "That's one fight you don't want to take on," he told me.

But we have. After a month in Saddam's palace, Bremer cancelled municipal elections, including the crucial vote about to take place in Najaf. Denied the ballot, Najaf's Shi'ites voted with bullets. This April, insurgent leader Moqtada Al Sadr's militia killed 21 U.S. soldiers and, for a month, seized the holy city.

"They shouldn't have to follow our plan," the general said. "It's their country, their oil." Maybe, but not according to the Plan. And until it does become their country, the 82nd Airborne will have to remain to keep it from them.


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One Week To Go. . .

Gilded Theocratic Corporate Empire -or- Constitutional Democracy?
by The Old Hippie, Seeking The Reality-Based Perceptions of Reality


This historic election is about nothing less.  All of the references to, justifications for, allegories, metaphors, similes, and reasonings concerning this current administration's direction toward, and similarity to past histories of nationalistic, fascist, imperial, "gilded robber-baron," and/or radical theocratic corporate empires have been exposed in detail - for all to see, watch, read, understand and absorb - Yet, it seems that at least 1/2 of us Americans actually want this "new" America, or at least seem to - believe - that this obvious theocratic corporate empire would be better than our 228 year old constitutional democracy.

If you believe it is about anything less - You have been living under a rock.


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Purposeful destruction of the Separation of Church and State.

Collisional cooperative corporate state controlled consolidated media.

Obvious purposeful destruction of the financial security of the middle class.

Tax cuts for the $200,000+ citizens - During a war.

Corporate privatization of as much of our government/society as possible.

"Free-Speech Zones"

"Loyalty Oaths" to see public speeches by the president.

Open corporate-favored dismantling of over 50 years of environmental progress.

The complete and total loss of "respect" from even our allies.

A military budget that exceeds the total of all other nations combined.

Clear suppression and demonization of any dissent by the people.

Incredible tax-code-law changes favoring corporations over the nation's needs.

Job security, and poverty levels, at their worst since the Great Depression.

The largest federal deficit in our nation's history.

The only first-world nation without health care for all of its citizens.

Over 45-million without any health care at all.

Families earning less than $100,000/yr. with sub-standard health insurance.

Public schools turned into "drill & test" without any critical-thinking teaching.

A nationalistic and iron-fisted-theocratic one-party ruled government - America.

Private Corporations now control state voter lists and voting machines.

We, the people, have no right to "know" their software.

A war of, not last-resort, not liberation, but a war of aggression and occupation.

A war of historic profits to corrupt corporate "friends," and for no other reason.

Every single "stated justification" for the war proven a lie, a "mistake," whatever.

The sanity of national science reality marginalized by insane Evangelical ideology.

Corporate elite earning more than 500 times what their workers earn.

Real and ongoing attempts to do away with the 8-hour work day.

Real and ongoing attempts to do away with the 40-hour work week.

Real and ongoing attempts to do away with the overtime pay.

American workers work more hours, with less time off, than any other 1st or 2nd world nation.

Corporations that pollute no longer having to pay into the "Superfund" clean up costs.

Military-Industrial corporations being "exempted" from any environmental regulations.

America is the only nation not to support the Kyoto Protocol.

Now only 8% of American workers have union protections from corporate abuses.

The rest now have "Wal-Mart" job benefits, and it is getting worse.

American workers by the thousands, forced to train their replacements, then laid off.

Prescription drugs, that come from the exact same factories, in the exact same containers,
can't be bought from another country, not for "safety," but because it loses profits.

This is the "new" America - It is not the America I want.

Seven days to go people. . .


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Monday, October 25, 2004

Must Reads for Oct. 25, 2004

The Old Hip's Must Reads
by The Old Hippie, Important Reads, For The Knowledge


A listing of recent, and current, articles of importance, and interest beyond "just politics."  News, information, and informed opinion with a reality-based perspective.
All of which were selected for the over-all impact of the information/opinion each present - and the fact that they are damn hard to find in the American corporate media, if at all, and when found there, they're usually buried, or twisted by the wants of political theater and profit, over the needs of the public interest.

All selections are clearly linked to their sources.

I have strived to make sure all of the selections are fair, balanced, and reality-based.  Not the biased partisan propaganda pretending to be news, which has reached such a level as to be a real danger to the continuing existence of our democracy.

Enjoy. . .
   News?
          (by The Propaganda Remix Project)

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The George W. Bush Hynosis File

by Russell M. Drake, Alternative Press Review, Oct. 24, 2004


"Among modern era statesmen, only Adolf Hitler comes close to George W. Bush’s skill level as operator of the public consciousness.

Consider: After three years of terror and death at the hands of a terrorist band run by two guys hiding in caves, after a bloody, failed invasion of the wrong country in search of who knows what, after a jobs market crash matched only by the Herbert Hoover Administration, and after misman-
aging huge national budget surpluses into over-the-cliff national deficits – all supported by the most outlandish lies – Bush still holds a firm grip on the minds of more than half of the people who say they’re going to vote.

The hypnosis has been so effective that it has enabled Bush to survive repeated blunders that might well have led to another man’s impeachment and removal from office, even by members
of his own party."

Full Article Link

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Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry

From the Freedom of Information Action Faction


The Full Movie - Download - Free - Legal - QuickTime Format

"IT'S A MOVIE MUCH LIKE ITS SUBJECT:
passionate but deliberate, avoiding sensation but
DETERMINED TO TELL THE FULL, TRUE STORY."
--Richard Corliss, Time Magazine

Full Movie Download Site Link

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Beyond the Call of Duty

by Adam Zagorin & Timothy J. Burger, Time Magazine, Oct. 24, 2004


"In February 2003, less than a month before the U.S. invaded Iraq, Bunnatine (Bunny) Green-
house walked into a Pentagon meeting and with a quiet comment started what could be the end
of her career.  On the agenda was the awarding of an up to $7 billion deal to a subsidiary of Houston-based conglomerate Halliburton to restore Iraq's oil facilities.  On hand were senior officials from the office of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and aides to retired Lt. General Jay Garner, who would soon become the first U.S. administrator in Iraq.

Then several representatives from Halliburton entered. Greenhouse, a top contracting specialist for the Army Corps of Engineers, grew increasingly concerned that they were privy to internal discussions of the contract's terms, so she whispered to the presiding general, insisting that he
ask the Halliburton employees to leave the room."

Full Article Link

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Portrait of a Country on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

by Andrew Gumbel, Independent/UK, Oct. 24, 2004


"No need to wonder if this year's US presidential election is headed for another meltdown: the meltdown has already started. The voting machines have already begun to break down, accu-
sations of systematic voter suppression and fraud are rampant, and lawyers fully armed and
ready with an intimate knowledge of the nation's byzantine election laws have flocked to court
to cry foul in half a dozen states."

Full Article Link

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US Rejects World Calls to Join Russia in Ratifying Kyoto Pact

by Agence France Presse, Oct. 23, 2004


WASHINGTON - The United States, flying in the face of snowballing world opinion, said it would not follow Russia's lead and ratify the Kyoto protocol on global warming.

"We have no intention of signing or ratifying it. We have not changed our views," a defiant
deputy State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said after the European Union and environ-
mentalists across the globe hailed Moscow's decision and urged Washington to follow suit.

Full Article Link

[ Note: A strong majority of Bush supporters believe, for example that the president supports
a range of international treaties and institutions that the White House has vocally and publicly opposed.  source link ]



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Sunday, October 24, 2004

Loyal Opposition Republicans. . .

In The American Conservative Magazine Comes Out Against Bush!
By Scott McConnell, The American Conservative, Nov. 8, 2004 Issue


In their article, "Kerry’s the One," they do not endorse Kerry, but they are definitely, and openly endorsing that Bush not be re-elected.  These are real Republicans speaking with a rational, and
The American Conservative
   (from The American Conservative)
 sane, understanding of reality.  They are true "loyal-opposition" Americans speaking to the true American Republican base, not the dangerously zealot neo-cons and dangerously insane radical Evangelicals, that currently are running, and ruining, our govern-
ment, that opportunistically call themselves "Republicans."

This is The American Conservative Magazine, not the "liberal media," not left-wing, nor even left-of-center connected in the slightest way. (One of its three editors is Pat Buchanan!)

To you Bush supporters out there who are still in denial of the fact that your support of this Bush administration is the real danger to our American Democracy, and not the terrorists. . .
I strongly suggest that you read the words of true conservative Republicans, and maybe, just maybe, you will finally begin to see the reality around you. . .

Kerry’s The One

By Scott McConnell, The American Conservative, Nov. 8, 2004 Issue


There is little in John Kerry’s persona or platform that appeals to conservatives.  The flip-flopper charge—the centerpiece of the Republican campaign against Kerry—seems overdone, as Kerry’s contrasting votes are the sort of baggage any senator of long service is likely to pick up.  (Bob Dole could tell you all about it.)  But Kerry is plainly a conventional liberal and no candidate for a future edition of Profiles in Courage.  In my view, he will always deserve censure for his vote in favor of the Iraq War in 2002.

But this election is not about John Kerry.  If he were to win, his dearth of charisma would likely ensure him a single term.  He would face challenges from within his own party and a thwarting of his most expensive initiatives by a Republican Congress.  Much of his presidency would be absorbed by trying to clean up the mess left to him in Iraq.  He would be constrained by the swollen deficits and a ripe target for the next Republican nominee.

It is, instead, an election about the presidency of George W. Bush.  To the surprise of virtually everyone, Bush has turned into an important president, and in many ways the most radical America has had since the 19th century.  Because he is the leader of America’s conservative party, he has become the Left’s perfect foil—its dream candidate.  The libertarian writer Lew Rockwell has mischievously noted parallels between Bush and Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II: both gained office as a result of family connections, both initiated an unnecessary war that shattered their countries’ budgets.  Lenin needed the calamitous reign of Nicholas II to create an opening for the Bolsheviks.

Bush has behaved like a caricature of what a right-wing president is supposed to be, and his continuation in office will discredit any sort of conservatism for generations.  The launching of an invasion against a country that posed no threat to the U.S., the doling out of war profits and concessions to politically favored corporations, the financing of the war by ballooning the deficit to be passed on to the nation’s children, the ceaseless drive to cut taxes for those outside the middle class and working poor: it is as if Bush sought to resurrect every false 1960s-era left-wing cliché about predatory imperialism and turn it into administration policy.  Add to this his nation-breaking immigration proposal—Bush has laid out a mad scheme to import immigrants to fill any job where the wage is so low that an American can’t be found to do it—and you have a presidency that combines imperialist Right and open-borders Left in a uniquely noxious cocktail.

During the campaign, few have paid attention to how much the Bush presidency has degraded the image of the United States in the world.  Of course there has always been “anti-Americanism.” After the Second World War many European intellectuals argued for a “Third Way” between American-style capitalism and Soviet communism, and a generation later Europe’s radicals embraced every ragged “anti-imperialist” cause that came along.  In South America, defiance of “the Yanqui” always draws a crowd.  But Bush has somehow managed to take all these sentiments and turbo-charge them.  In Europe and indeed all over the world, he has made the United States despised by people who used to be its friends, by businessmen and the middle classes, by moderate and sensible liberals.  Never before have democratic foreign governments needed to demonstrate disdain for Washington to their own electorates in order to survive in office.  The poll numbers are shocking.  In countries like Norway, Germany, France, and Spain, Bush is liked by about seven percent of the populace.  In Egypt, recipient of huge piles of American aid in the past two decades, some 98 percent have an unfavorable view of the United States.  It’s the same throughout the Middle East.

Bush has accomplished this by giving the U.S. a novel foreign-policy doctrine under which it arrogates to itself the right to invade any country it wants if it feels threatened.  It is an American version of the Brezhnev Doctrine, but the latter was at least confined to Eastern Europe.  If the analogy seems extreme, what is an appropriate comparison when a country manufactures falsehoods about a foreign government, disseminates them widely, and invades the country on the basis of those falsehoods?  It is not an action that any American president has ever taken before.  It is not something that “good” countries do.  It is the main reason that people all over the world who used to consider the United States a reliable and necessary bulwark of world stability now see us as a menace to their own peace and security.

These sentiments mean that as long as Bush is president, we have no real allies in the world, no friends to help us dig out from the Iraq quagmire.  More tragically, they mean that if terrorists succeed in striking at the United States in another 9/11-type attack, many in the world will not only think of the American victims but also of the thousands and thousands of Iraqi civilians killed and maimed by American armed forces.  The hatred Bush has generated has helped immeasurably those trying to recruit anti-American terrorists—indeed his policies are the gift to terrorism that keeps on giving, as the sons and brothers of slain Iraqis think how they may eventually take their own revenge.  Only the seriously deluded could fail to see that a policy so central to America’s survival as a free country as getting hold of loose nuclear materials and controlling nuclear proliferation requires the willingness of foreign countries to provide full, 100 percent co-operation.  Making yourself into the world’s most hated country is not an obvious way to secure that help.

I’ve heard people who have known George W. Bush for decades and served prominently in his father’s administration say that he could not possibly have conceived of the doctrine of pre-emptive war by himself, that he was essentially taken for a ride by people with a pre-existing agenda to overturn Saddam Hussein.  Bush’s public performances plainly show him to be a man who has never read or thought much about foreign policy.  So the inevitable questions are: who makes the key foreign-policy decisions in the Bush presidency, who controls the information flow to the president, how are various options are presented?

The record, from published administration memoirs and in-depth reporting, is one of an administration with a very small group of six or eight real decision-makers, who were set on war from the beginning and who took great pains to shut out arguments from professionals in the CIA and State Department and the U.S. armed forces that contradicted their rosy scenarios about easy victory.  Much has been written about the neoconservative hand guiding the Bush presidency—and it is peculiar that one who was fired from the National Security Council in the Reagan administration for suspicion of passing classified material to the Israeli embassy and another who has written position papers for an Israeli Likud Party leader have become key players in the making of American foreign policy.

But neoconservatism now encompasses much more than Israel-obsessed intellectuals and policy insiders.  The Bush foreign policy also surfs on deep currents within the Christian Right, some of which see unqualified support of Israel as part of a godly plan to bring about Armageddon and the future kingdom of Christ.  These two strands of Jewish and Christian extremism build on one another in the Bush presidency—and President Bush has given not the slightest indication he would restrain either in a second term.  With Colin Powell’s departure from the State Department looming, Bush is more than ever the “neoconian candidate.” The only way Americans will have a presidency in which neoconservatives and the Christian Armageddon set are not holding the reins of power is if Kerry is elected.

If Kerry wins, this magazine will be in opposition from Inauguration Day forward.  But the most important battles will take place within the Republican Party and the conservative movement.  A Bush defeat will ignite a huge soul-searching within the rank-and-file of Republicandom: a quest to find out how and where the Bush presidency went wrong.  And it is then that more traditional conservatives will have an audience to argue for a conservatism informed by the lessons of history, based in prudence and a sense of continuity with the American past—and to make that case without a powerful White House pulling in the opposite direction.

George W. Bush has come to embody a politics that is antithetical to almost any kind of thoughtful conservatism.  His international policies have been based on the hopelessly naïve belief that foreign peoples are eager to be liberated by American armies—a notion more grounded in Leon Trotsky’s concept of global revolution than any sort of conservative statecraft.  His immigration policies—temporarily put on hold while he runs for re-election—are just as extreme.  A re-elected President Bush would be committed to bringing in millions of low-wage immigrants to do jobs Americans “won’t do.” This election is all about George W. Bush, and those issues are enough to render him unworthy of any conservative support.


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Saturday, October 23, 2004

Wake The Fuck Up!  (#2)

To Those Americans Still In Denial. . .
by The Old Hippie, Because It's Driving Me Crazy.


What More Will It Take To Prove It To You?

Every single "bad thing" happening within our national body politic, points directly to dangerously radical insane born-again Evangelicals, and dangerously radical Neo-Con zealots, that refer to themselves as "Republicans," (Whom are in reality not the true loyal-opposition Republicans at all.)  Every single one.  Here's the list, research any of them yourself, if you are still in denial about any of them I list here. . .


 1.  Every single reported, and/or alleged "dirty trick" to suppress voters, all across the
      nation, points directly to the them.

 2.  Every single "bad for the environment, good for business" law change, or regulatory
      change, points directly to them.

 3.  Every single "wedge issue" created, to divert your attention from the issues of true
      importance, almost all of which are religiously, and ideologically based creations, with
      opportunistic neo-con corporatist supported propaganda, (i.e. Gay marriage, abortion,
      faith-based government policy changes in social programs, education, the integrity of
      governmental science programs and science education, etc.,) points directly to them.

 4.  Every single "reason and/or justification" for this war in Iraq, that has been definitively
      proven to be a lie - misrepresentation - mistake, points directly to them.

 5.  Every single bad and/or wrong economic decision, economic law change, economic
      tax code change, that has taken our federal treasury from a record surplus, to a record
      deficit, and every single piece of propaganda reporting that this is a good thing for our
      American economy, points directly to them.

 6.  Every single suppression of civil rights, freedom of speech, the creation of the so-called
      "free-speech-zones," suppression of the Freedom of Information Act, the creation of
      the Patriot Acts, having to sign "loyalty oaths" to be able to attend a public speech by
      the president, the invasion of private medical records, forcing librarians et al to expose
      private individuals records - to government agents without any notice - without court
      review - without checks and balances on the abuse of those records, not to mention
      the secret infiltration of social and political and labor groups without a court reviewed
      "just cause," all of it - points directly to them.

 7.  Every single suppression and/or decrease of benefits, and income, to the troops, and
      their families, plus the proven inability and/or outright refusal to give them the supplies
      and protection they need, and are dieing from because of these decisions, and let's not
      forget the corporate privatization of the feeding and housing them in the field, proven to
      be an economic boon for the corporations, (i.e. Halliburton, et al,) but a disaster for the
      troops themselves, to the point that families back home are having to "supply" them,
      again points directly to them.

This is just a partial list - You whom are in denial, like those of us whom are more able to grasp, and deal with the reality, know that it - and much more is true.  Your denial is a real and present danger to our way of life, to our democracy.  Your denial, and the manufactured ill-place fears you have, are much more dangerous to our nation than any conceived, or even any real threat from the "terrorists" out there.  So. . .

Please - Wake the fuck up - Before it is too late for us all.

"President who had 9-11 happen on his watch warns against electing Kerry
because something like 9-11 might happen on Kerry's watch."

-- From: P.O.A.C.


Think about it.


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What Reality-Based People Face -

The World According To A Bush Voter. . .
by Jim Lobe, AlterNet - October 21, 2004.


Note #1:  All red emphasis are mine, not the author's.
Note #2:  All red words in brackets, [...], are mine, not the author's.


A new survey reveals that Bush supporters choose to keep faith in their leader than face reality.

Do the supporters of President Bush really know their man or the policies of his administration?

Three out of 4 self-described supporters of President George W. Bush still believe that pre-war Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or active programs to produce them.  Ac-
cording to a new survey published Thursday, the same number also believes that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein provided "substantial support" to al Qaeda.  [ 74%! ]

But here is the truly astonishing part: as many or more Bush supporters hold those beliefs today than they did several months ago.  In other words, more people believe the claims today –--
after the publication of a series of well-publicized official government reports that debunked
both notions.


These are among the most striking findings of a survey conducted in mid-October by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) and Knowledge Networks, a California-based polling firm.

The survey polled the views of nearly 900 randomly chosen respondents equally divided between Bush supporters and those intending to vote for Democratic Sen. John Kerry.  It found a yawning gap in the perceptions of the facts between the two groups, particularly with regards to President Bush's claims about pre-war Iraq.

According to the accompanying analysis offered by PIPA:

      It is normal during elections for supporters of presidential candidates to
      have fundamental disagreements about values or strategies.  The current
      election is unique in that Bush supporters and Kerry supporters have pro-
      foundly different perceptions of reality.  In the face of a stream of high-
      level assessments about pre-war Iraq, Bush supporters cling to the refuted
      beliefs that Iraq had WMD or supported al Qaeda.


The survey probed each respondent's views at three separate levels: One, their personal belief about the two issues; two, their perception of what "most experts" had concluded about the same; and three, their knowledge of the Bush administration's claims on either WMDs or al Qaeda.

The survey found that 72 percent of Bush supporters believe either that Iraq had actual WMD (47 percent) or a major program for producing them (25 percent).  This despite the widespread media coverage in early October of the CIA's "Duelfer Report" – the final word on the subject
by the one billion dollar, 15-month investigation by the Iraq Survey Group – which concluded that Hussein had dismantled all of his WMD programmes shortly after the 1991 Gulf War and never tried to reconstitute them.

Nonetheless, 56 percent of Bush supporters are under the impression that the expert consensus
is exactly the opposite
– that Iraq had actual WMD.  Another 57 percent think that the Duelfer Report itself concluded that Iraq either had WMD (19 percent) or a major WMD program (38 percent).

Only 26 percent of Kerry supporters, by contrast, believe that pre-war Iraq had either actual WMD or a WMD program, and only 18 percent said "most experts" agreed on the same.
[ That is 1/4 of even Kerry's supporters!  With Bush's 75% - That is 1/2 of all voters! ]

Results on Hussein's alleged support for al Qaeda are similar.  The contention – which has been most persistently asserted by Vice President Dick Cheney – was thoroughly debunked by the final report of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission earlier this summer.

Seventy-five percent of Bush supporters said they believed that Iraq was providing "substantial" support to al Qaeda, with 20 percent asserting that Iraq was directly involved in the 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon.  Sixty-three percent of Bush supporters even believe that clear evidence of such support has actually been found, and 60 percent believe that "most experts" have reached the same conclusion.

By contrast, only 30 percent of Kerry supporters said they believe that such a link existed or that most experts have concluded that it did.  [ Again, both together add up to about 1/2 of all voters! ]

Ironically, the only issue on which the survey found broad agreement between the two sets of voters was the role of the Bush administration in actively promoting the claims about Iraq's WMD and connections to al Qaeda.

"One of the reasons that Bush supporters have these (erroneous) beliefs is that they perceive the Bush administration confirming them," notes Steven Kull, PIPA's director.  "Interestingly, this is one point on which Bush and Kerry supporters agree."

In regard to WMD, those majorities have actually grown since last summer, according to PIPA.

On WMD, 82 percent of Bush supporters and 84 percent of Kerry supporters believe that the ad-
ministration claims that Iraq either had WMD or major WMD programs.  On ties with al Qaeda, 75 percent of Bush supporters and 74 percent of Kerry supporters believe that the administration claims that Iraq provided substantial support to the terrorist group.

Remarkably, when asked whether the U.S. should have gone to war without evidence of a WMD program or support to al Qaeda, 58 percent of Bush supporters said no.  Moreover, 61 percent said they assumed that Bush would also not have gone to war under those circumstances.  [ ! ]

"To support the president and to accept that he took the U.S. to war based on mistaken assump-
tions likely creates substantial cognitive dissonance and leads Bush supporters to suppress aware-
ness of unsettling information about pre-war Iraq," Kull says.

He added that this "cognitive dissonance" could also help explain other remarkable findings in the survey.  The poll also found a major gap between Bush's stated positions on a number of inter-
national issues and what his supporters believe Bush's position to be.  A strong majority of Bush supporters believe, for example that the president supports a range of international treaties and institutions that the White House has vocally and publicly opposed.


In particular, majorities of Bush supporters incorrectly assume that he supports multilateral ap-
proaches to various international issues, including the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (69 percent), the land mine treaty (72 percent), and the Kyoto Protocol to curb greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming (51 percent).

In August, two-thirds of Bush supporters also believed that Bush supported the International Criminal Court (ICC).  Although that figure dropped to a 53 percent majority in the PIPA poll,
it's not much of a drop considering that Bush explicitly denounced the ICC in the first, most
widely watched presidential debate in late September.


In all of these cases, majorities of Bush supporters said they favored the positions that they im-
puted, incorrectly, to Bush.  Large majorities of Kerry supporters, on the other hand, showed
they knew both their candidate's and Bush's positions on the same issues.

Bush supporters also have deeply erroneous views regarding the extent of international support for the president and his policies.  Despite a steady flow over the past year of official statements by foreign governments and public-opinion polls showing strong opposition to the Iraq war, less than one-third of Bush supporters believe that most people in foreign countries oppose the U.S. decision to invade Iraq.  Two-thirds believe that foreign views are either evenly divided on the war (42 percent) or that the majority of foreigners actually favors the war (26 percent).

Three of every four Kerry supporters, on the other hand, said it was their understanding that the most of the rest of the world oppose the war.

Similarly, polls conducted during the summer in 35 major countries around the world found that majorities or pluralities in 30 of them favored Kerry for president over Bush by an average of margin of greater than two to one.  Yet 57 percent of Bush supporters believe that a majority
of people outside the U.S. favor Bush's re-election, while 33 percent think that foreign opinion
is evenly divided.

On the other hand, two-thirds of Kerry supporters think that their candidate is favored overseas; only one percent think that most people abroad preferred Bush.

Kull, who has been analyzing U.S. public opinion on foreign-policy issues for two decades, says that this reality gap reveals, if anything, the hold that the president has over his loyalists:

      The roots of the Bush supporters' resistance to information very likely lie in
      the traumatic experience of 9/11 and equally in the near pitch-perfect leader-
      ship that President Bush showed in its immediate wake.  This appears to have
      created a powerful bond between Bush and his supporters – and an idealized
      image of the President that makes it difficult for his supporters to imagine that
      he could have made incorrect judgments before the war, that world public opin-
      ion would be critical of his policies or that the president could hold foreign pol-
      icy positions that are at odds with his supporters.

In other words, Bush supporters choose to keep faith in their leader than face the truth either about their president or the world as it is.

Jim Lobe writes on international affairs for Inter Press Service, Oneworld.net, Foreign Policy in Focus and AlterNet.org.

[ Now - Think about the following. . . ]

By Russell M. Drake, Alternative Press Review

"Call him hypnotist-in-chief. He earned it.

Among modern era statesmen, only Adolf Hitler comes close to George W. Bush's skill level as operator of the public consciousness.

Consider: After three years of terror and death at the hands of a terrorist band run by two guys hiding in caves, after a bloody, failed invasion of the wrong country in search of who knows what, after a jobs market crash matched only by the Herbert Hoover Administration, and after misman-
aging huge national budget surpluses into over-the-cliff national deficits - all supported by the most outlandish lies - Bush still holds a firm grip on the minds of more than half of the people who say they're going to vote.

The hypnosis has been so effective that it has enabled Bush to survive repeated blunders that might well have led to another man's impeachment and removal from office, even by members of his own party."

Full Link To This Article Here


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This Kind of Covers It. . .

Where Humans Got Their Sense of Humor.

Good One

(Editorial Cartoon by Tony Auth)


Pat Robertson, (who swears God speaks to him,) and
George W. Bush, (who swears God speaks to him,)
[there is a lot of cross-over between the two's supporters]
are saying two completely opposite things.  Is God a flip-flopper?
Nope... Pat Robertson is a liar!  (According to Cheney and the White House.)


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Friday, October 22, 2004

From: Bob Harris. . .

Senate Armed Services Staff Report:
Feith Named (Again) In The Saddam/Al-Qaeda Lies

as read by Bob Harris - Oct. 21, 2004


"The record is clearer every day.  The Bushies didn't misunderstand.  They weren't misinformed.
They lied.  And all the claims saying anything else... are just more lies."


Tomorrow's NYT [names inserted for clarity]:

A Democratic U.S. Senator [Carl Levin, D-MI] on Thursday accused a senior Pentagon official [Doug Feith] of distorting intelligence information to back claims of links between Iraq and al Qaeda in the run-up to last year's U.S.-led invasion...

The 46-page report argued that Pentagon assertions of a link between al Qaeda and Iraq's President Saddam Hussein were not supported by intelligence reports on which they were purportedly based.

To refresh your memory, Doug Feith ran the Rumsfeld pet invention (not a traditional Pentagon agency, but a new office, imposed on the existing intelligence structure), the "Office of Special Plans."  This is the dishonest rationalize-the-invasion lie factory that Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski sacrificed her whole career to blow the whistle on.

It looks like now they've documented Feith saying his bullshit had been vetted by the CIA, when it wasn't.

Naturally, the Republicans on the committee have done their best to cover up and spin the report.

The record is clearer every day.  The Bushies didn't misunderstand.  They weren't misinformed.
They lied.  And all the claims saying anything else... are just more lies.

The IHT has a longer, more-detailed story on the same material (credited to the NYT but oddly not on their site) here.


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Do Not Miss This Interview Of. . .

Noam Chomsky on Democracy Now!
with Amy Goodman - Oct. 21, 2004


"There are serious problems here.  One problem is almost a total disillusion, disappearance of
the basis for a democratic society.  I mean, if we compare, say, this election with elections in,
Noam Chomsky
   (by Democracy Now!)
 say, the second biggest country in the hemisphere, Brazil.  We ought
to be ashamed of ourselves.  They have actual elections where there
are issues and where they can elect some mass popular organizations.
They can elect, as presidents, one from their own ranks, a man whose background is a peasant, steelworker, union organizer, no higher edu-
cation, very impressive figure.  Against far higher barriers than exist here.  I mean, here, we have a thing called an election, which is a
choice between two men, both born to great wealth and political influ-
ence, and went to the same fancy private schools, same elite univer-
sity, joined the same secret society where you train people to be mem-
bers of the ruling class.  They can run because they're funded by pretty
much the same concentrations for private power.  Both understand that the election is supposed to keep away from issues."

Full access to the video and transcript of the interview. . .  Linked Here


Full Transcript Reproduced From The Original At The Democracy Now! Web Site:

AMY GOODMAN:  Last week I went to Cambridge to speak with Professor Noam Chomsky.
I went to his offices at the Massachusetts institute of technology.

NOAM CHOMSKY:  There are serious problems here.  One problem is almost a total disillusion, disappearance of the basis for a democratic society.  I mean, if we compare, say, this election with elections in, say, the second biggest country in the hemisphere, Brazil.  We ought to be ashamed of ourselves.  They have actual elections where there are issues and where they can elect some mass popular organizations.  They can elect, as presidents, one from their own ranks, a man whose background is a peasant, steelworker, union organizer, no higher education, very impressive figure.  Against far higher barriers than exist here.  I mean, here, we have a thing called an election, which is a choice between two men, both born to great wealth and political influence, and went to the same fancy private schools, same elite university, joined the same secret society where you train people to be members of the ruling class.  They can run because they're funded by pretty much the same concentrations for private power.  Both understand that the election is supposed to keep away from issues.  That's -- they are run by the PR industry, and in a way designed to keep the public out of it.  They focus on what they call qualities.  He - Is he a leader, a nice guy?  Does he sigh, that kind of a thing.  That's what the campaign is.  Very few people know where they stand.  In fact, there was a Gallup poll about a week ago where voters were asked why they're voting for Bush or Kerry.  I thought it was quite striking.  I mean, one of the choices of the many choices was their stand on the issues.  You know, their agenda, policies.
It was around 10%.  If you had asked the people, they wouldn't have known.  That's the way it's supposed to be.  This is a symbol of something extremely serious.  In fact, on issue after issue -- this is a very well polled country.  We know a lot of about people's attitudes and opinions.
They're mostly off the agenda.  They are not discussed; they are radically different from the elite consensus.  They just don't enter into the political system.  That's a major problem.  The attitude is not bad.  There's lots of -- also alongside of this, there's a very high level of activism, maybe higher than ever.  It's disorganized.  It's the way this country is, everything is broken up, disorganized, nobody knows what's happening on the other side of town.  But there’s plenty going on, way more than in the past.

AMY GOODMAN:  Yet you say these two candidates represent very little that is different from each other.

NOAM CHOMSKY:  The population has been very carefully excluded from the political arena, and the general culture, the general dominant culture.  That's not by accident.  An enormous amount of work went into this.  Elites were terrified by the sixties, this outbust of popular participation in democracy and so on.  And there's a huge counter campaign to drive it back.  It shows up in all kinds of ways.  From what's called neo-liberalism -- opening up the financial system to freeing financial flows which is well understood as a weapon against allowing governments to make choices, a weapon against democracy.  From that, to the huge explosion of the lobbyists in Washington, to the right wing think tanks.  Everything you can think of, across the board, has been an effort to drive that danger of democracy back into the hole where it belongs.

AMY GOODMAN:  Yet the person who points that out, Ralph Nader, you and Howard Zinn, and others, to many people's surprise signed a letter and said “Don’t vote for him.”

NOAM CHOMSKY:  We didn’t say that.  Actually I’m a little surprised by the surprise.  I took exactly the position I took in 2000, namely, the election is a marginal affair, it should not distract us from the serious work of changing the society, and the culture and the institutions, creating a democratic culture.  That’s what you work on.  You can’t ignore the election.  It’s there.  But it’s designed as a method of essentially marginalizing the population.  There’s a huge propaganda campaign to get people to focus on these personalized extravaganzas, and make them think ‘That’s politics.” Well, it isn’t.  That’s a marginal part of politics, and here, a very marginal part.
So the main thing is keep on with your work.  You can’t ignore it.  You should spend five minutes, maybe, thinking about what you should do.  In that five minute, you should recognize there is some difference between the two groups contending for power, and one of them happens to be really extremist, and very dangerous, and it's already caused plenty of trouble and could cause plenty more.  The other is bad, but less extremist and less dangerous.  So in that five minutes that you devote to the topic, you should come to the rational conclusion, if it's a swing state, keep the worst guys out.  If it's another state, do what you feel like.  It’s the same thing I said in 2000 during the five minutes of time I spent on it.

AMY GOODMAN:  Ralph Nader said at least a demand should have been attached to this.

NOAM CHOMSKY:  To what?  To who?  A demand to who?  I mean, I don't address George Bush.  I don't make demands of him.  Donald Rumsfeld is not my audience.  I don't talk to Sandy Berger.

AMY GOODMAN:  To John Kerry, if you were throwing your support –

NOAM CHOMSKY:  I don’t talk to John Kerry.  I mean, he is not my audience, or your audience, or our audience.  We can't make demands on them.  Some people can, like Pat Robertson recently said that unless they take an even more extreme position supporting the Israeli expansion, he will set up a third party -- that's a real threat.  He could draw tens of millions of evangelical Christians out of the Republican Party.  Okay.  He could make a demand.  So, they’ll say thank you, throw him a little red meat, and then go on doing what they were doing.  But we don't have that constituency.  We can't make demands.  I mean, the demands -- this is meaningless.  It's a misunderstanding of the way politics works.  We should create a situation in which popular organizations will be able to make demands.  Not me, not you.  But popular organizations.  They’ll be able to make demands and press them.  That's what we should be working on.  Not pretending we're talking to John Kerry.  We're not.

AMY GOODMAN:  What is the extremism that you think George Bush represents?

NOAM CHOMSKY:  They happen to be a both domestically and internationally a very extremist group of radical reactionary nationalists.  I mean, domestically, they are very publicly committed to dismantling and destroying whatever there is of progressive legislation and social welfare, and so on, the achievements have been won, and they're not zero, by popular struggles over the past century.  They want to get rid of them, and they virtually say so.  It’s not a secret.
Internationally, they are calling for dominating the world by military force.  Some of the things that are less talked about are more dangerous.  They're carrying out what’s called transformation of the military forces, vast escalation of offensive military power.  The militarization of space is a major part of it.  These are designed explicitly the give the US -- them, that means -- the power to attack and destroy any part of the world without warning, unannounced.  Now, maybe they don't talk about it here, but they do elsewhere.  That has led predictably to a vast increase, maybe a tripling of Russian offensive military capacity, with new missile systems aimed at the United States, put on automated control which is like asking for disaster to happen.  China, which has so far been reluctant to respond, is now responding by working to develop its own high-tech offensive military capacity.  They haven't had one.  They’ve just tripled the number of missiles, and they’re going to go on.  It increases the threat of terror.  These are all extreme, these are dangers to survival.  These are not jokes.  Now, they didn't invent the policies.  Like Clinton was also preventing the UN Disarmament Commission from functioning by insisting that the US would move towards militarizing space.  This is a sharp escalation.  Those differences matter.  They matter all over the place.  You can say that the positions are similar and based on the same principles, and then I have written about it, I spent a long time writing about it, it's true.  Basic principles and institutions go way back, but that doesn't mean there aren't differences.  The differences can have a huge effect.

AMY GOODMAN:  Most important ones?

NOAM CHOMSKY:  Domestically it may institutionalize the destruction of the progressive achievements of struggles of the past century, which is not a small thing.  Once its institutionalized, it's hard to reconstruct.  Internationally, they may blow up the world.  Maybe they won't, but they will get other people to do it in reaction.

AMY GOODMAN:  The resolution to Iraq right now?

NOAM CHOMSKY:  Well, you know, the resolution to Iraq is to quickly do -- in fact it's to do what the majority of the American population wants.  For about a year, the majority of the population has felt that the UN ought to take the lead, not the United States, in security issue, and in economic reconstruction, and transition to whatever political system will happen.  And that the UN should join as part of whatever is decided by the international community, and the Iraqis.
Now that makes sense.  That would mean publicly and explicitly abandoning every single war aim, including permanent military bases in Iraq, economic programs which turn Iraq into a paradise for US investors, formal democratic system which is going to be a fiction.  Abandoning all of that going much further into other global policies and doing what an occupying army ought to do, figure out how to get out as soon as the people tell you to get out.

AMY GOODMAN:  Do you think that the Israel-Palestine conflict is fueling a lot of this?

NOAM CHOMSKY:  It’s undoubtedly fueling, as it has for years, the anger and the fear of the United States throughout the world, and in particular, in the Muslim countries, and it's creating a reservoir for bin Laden.  Actually, you can read it even in the tepid words of the 9/11 Commission.  They say that bin Laden gains an audience from US actions in Iraq, Israel-Palestine, and support of repressive regimes.  We’ve known that, anybody who’s had their eyes open knew that for decades.  It's nice that they said it, but that's the core of the problem of what we call terrorism, the terrorism, the bad guys.  As long as they have an audience and we help bin laden and others mobilize it, it's going to increase the threat of terror, just as the war in Iraq did, predictably.

AMY GOODMAN:  So what do you think needs to happen with Israel and Palestine?

NOAM CHOMSKY:  Israel and Palestine?  The US should join the overwhelming international consensus, which it’s been blocking for 30 years, and tell Israel it’s got to get out of the territories.
There has to be a settlement on the international border, some adjustment this and that way.  And then, I would hope, go on from there, if the cycle of violence gets reduced, to closer to closer integration, but that's in the longer term.  That's a first step, it's feasible, and the majority of the American population is in favor of it and has been for a long time.  There's almost no opposition to it in the world outside of the US and Israel.  And yeah, it could be done.  It's not perfect, it's not wonderful.  There are plans on the table which come close, and could be fixed.  What's blocking them is our refusal to do it, not the population again.  The voice of the population is out of this discussion.  You know what percentage of the American population thinks we should lean towards support of Israel, instead of taking a neutral position?  The latest polls about a week ago, 17%.  Now, a majority of the population thinks that we ought to equalize aid to Israel and Palestine, and we should deny aid to either one that refuses negotiations, which would entail denying it to Israel.  That's the majority of the population.  Those results are so unacceptable, the press won't report them.

AMY GOODMAN:  What do you say to those who call you anti-Semitic?

NOAM CHOMSKY:  Depend who they are.  If they're people like the -- with a nice Jewish education like I had, I tell them to read the Bible, where the concept is invented.  It was used by King Ahab, the epitome of evil in the Bible that calls the prophet Elijah -- Elijah was what we would nowadays call a dissident intellectual, like most of the prophets were, giving geo-political analysis, calling for moral behavior.  He calls for Elijah, he said why you are a hater of Israel?
What does that mean?  You are criticizing me.  I'm the king.  I'm Israel.  And therefore you're a hater of Israel.  And that's what the concept means.  If you identify the country, the people, the culture with the rulers, accept the totalitarian doctrine, then yeah, it's anti-Semitic to criticize the Israeli policy, and anti-American to criticize the American policy, and it was anti-Soviet when the dissidents criticized Russian policy.  You have to accept deeply totalitarian assumptions not to laugh at this.  If an Italian criticized Berlusconi and he was called anti-Italian, the people would crack up with laughter, because there’s some kind of democratic culture.  The fact we don't crack up with ridicule, that notion is anti-American or anti-Israel or anti-Semitic, it tells us something about ourselves.

AMY GOODMAN:  Finally, what gives you hope right now, in the world as it is today?

NOAM CHOMSKY:  First of all, it doesn't matter whether I have hope or not, because you do the same things anyway.  But it's in fact better than it was.  I mean, I mentioned the Vietnam War.  There was no protest for years, and the place was practically destroyed before there was any protest.  The Iraq War was the first time in the history of the West, Europe and the United States, that there was massive protest against a war before it was officially launched.  That's a huge change.  There are many other changes.  If we had time, we could talk about them, but we all know the fact that you are doing this program, for example.  It wouldn't have happened 40 years ago or 20 years ago.

AMY GOODMAN:  Noam Chomsky, thank you very much.

NOAM CHOMSKY:  Thanks.


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Thursday, October 21, 2004

New: From "This Modern World"

This Modern World
(From: This Modern World)

His blog is excellent also. . .  Take a visit.


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Must Reads for Oct. 21, 2004

The Old Hip's Must Reads
by The Old Hippie, Important Reads, For The Knowledge


A listing of recent, and current, articles of importance, and interest beyond "just politics."  News, information, and informed opinion with a reality-based perspective.
All of which were selected for the over-all impact of the information/opinion each present - and the fact that they are damn hard to find in the American corporate media, if at all, and when found there, they're usually buried, or twisted by the wants of political theater and profit, over the needs of the public interest.

All selections are clearly linked to their sources.

I have strived to make sure all of the selections are fair, balanced, and reality-based.  Not the biased partisan propaganda pretending to be news, which has reached such a level as to be a real danger to the continuing existence of our democracy.

Enjoy. . .
   News?
          (by The Propaganda Remix Project)

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Former US Senator Marlow Cook (R-KY) says he's voting for John Kerry
'Frightened to death' of Bush

"I have been, and will continue to be, a Republican.  But when we as a party send the wrong person to the White House, then it is our responsibility to send him home if our nation suffers as a result of his actions.  I fall in the category of good conservative thinkers, like George F. Will, for instance, who wrote: "This administration cannot be trusted to govern if it cannot be counted on to think and having thought, to have second thoughts."

I say, well done George Will, or, even better, from the mouth of the numero uno of conservatives, William F. Buckley Jr.: "If I knew then what I know now about what kind of situation we would be in, I would have opposed the war."

First, let's talk about George Bush's moral standards."

Full Article Link

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Amphibian Obituary

"Amphibians are one of nature's best indicators of overall environmental health," said Russell Mittermeier, president of Conservation International (CI).  "Their catastrophic decline serves
as a warning that we are in a period of significant environmental degradation."

Full Article Link

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Environmental Hogwash

But the EPA isn't ready to stanch this stench anytime soon.  According to documents obtained
by the Sierra Club through a Freedom of Information Act request, the EPA has developed a voluntary air monitoring program in close collaboration with animal-industry groups such as the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the US Poultry and Egg Association.  (The cattle industry chose not to participate.)

Full Article Link

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Votergate

Set aside the 15 minutes you'll need to watch this compelling documentary about electronic
voting machines.  (Quicktime video)  Using interviews and demos with hackers and computer
scientists, "Votergate" presents a picture of the myriad ways machines could change the
election outcome.  And if you have the choice, make sure to choose a paper ballot on Nov. 2.

View The Film

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The Un-American Sinclair

The Sinclair Broadcasting Group is trying to influence a presidential election by airing a scurrilous smear against John Kerry.

It's that simple.

I don't really give a damn how they dress it up, it's about corporate influence and greed, intended to override a public election.  They can dress George Bush in a flight suit, but that doesn't make him a warrior pilot - just the toy soldier of corporate political corruption.

Full Article Link

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Letter: New York Comptroller Questions Sinclair

It is my understanding that this film deals with issues related to the Vietnam War and Sen. John Kerry's actions during and after that war.  The film is very controversial and, according to press reports, has been called by some "an anti-Kerry attack masquerading as a documentary."

Full Article Link

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Has Bush lost his reason?

". . .Bush now lives in a positively Nixonian cocoon.  He does not read newspapers; he sees television only to watch football; he makes election speeches exclusively at ticket-only events,
and his courtiers consciously avoid giving him bad news.  When he met John Kerry for their first
bout on the debating platform, it was almost a new experience for the President to hear the voice of dissent.  A senior Republican, experienced and wise in the ways of Washington, told me last Friday that he does not necessarily accept that Bush is unstable, but what is clear, he added, is that he is now manifestly unfit to be President."

Full Article Link

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Up In Smoke

Unless industrialized nations cut their carbon emissions drastically, the greenhouse effect could reverse human progress, says a new report by The Working Group on Climate Change and Development.

Full Report Link

Full Article Link

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Freethinkers  A History of American Secularism

At a time when the separation of church and state is under attack as never before, Freethinkers offers a powerful defense of the secularist heritage that gave Americans the first government in the world founded not on the authority of religion but on the bedrock of human reason.

Full Book Excerpt Link

Full Book Site Link


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