Thursday, May 26, 2005

Fighting The Good Fight. . .

A Fight Made Harder Within A Profitable, But Manufactured, Ignorance
by The Old Hippie Because I See The Decline And Fall Coming, And The Destruction In It's Wake

William Rivers Pitt spoke for many of us, we who publicly keep banging our collective heads against the wall of American apathetic ignorance, when he said. . .


"I'm very tired."  . . .  "I am tired of people like Bush using terms like freedom as an advertising pitch for actions that promote anything but freedom.  The word itself sounds like a dead fish in his mouth.  I am tired of dead soldiers, dead civilians, I am tired of our highest ideals being used to peddle profiteering by war, and I am so damned tired of trying to shake people into doing something about it before we all go over the cliff."

-- From "Take the Long Way Home" - William Rivers Pitt - - May 24, 2005

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There have been times in my recent past, when the reality of this horrible situation, all of it, the proven obvious lies, that have wrought so much destruction and hundreds of thousands of needless deaths. . .  When the non-response to the obviousness by my fellow American citizens - left me emotionally exhausted.  And understand me clearly, I'm not speaking of only the "war on terror," that has produced so much more terror, just to secure the profits of so few.  Also know that my use of the word "profits" implies much more than just dollars.

I'm not going to go over all of the specific points again, it's all out there, at least in the independent American media, and the foreign media of allies, and non-allies.  I have tried to present the reality as honestly as I possibly could in this blog, and at my main website, as have many other reality-based people, not only in America, but in most of the other nations.

This "horrible situation" is only horrible to those of us in the lower 97% - 98% economic classes.  It's not just horrible for most of us Americans, but even far worst for so many others around the planet, and almost all of the horror is unnecessary, and preventable, with rational diplomacy.

American Constitutional Democracy has seen dark and dangerous times in the past, the civil war, the robber barons, the depression, the McCarthy Era, and the brink of world destruction with nuclear insanity during the cold war, but never in America's almost 229 year history has the republic been this close to its own self-destruction from within.  Right now America is on the very brink of becoming an enhanced Plutocratic-Corporatist-Totalitarian-Theocracy.

The reality of this does not depress me, it angers me.  But, in the face of all that has been proven, obviously corrupted national elections, (plural,) the obvious corrupt corporatist take-over of so much of our Federal Governmental structures, the obvious abuse by one-party-rule, the obvious corruption of history by insane "bring-on-the-Rapture" Evangelical "born-again" religious nuts that now have a tight grip on the party in power, the obvious theft of the entire federal treasury into the hands of so few to the detriment to so many, etc, etc. . .  The fact that no real protests, no real revolt, no real punishment, has occurred yet, and the continuing of the few "getting away with it" being allowed to continue by so many. . .  Really pisses me off much more.

I just thought I should make that clearly understood.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Filibuster Remains. . .

Any Way You Look At It, Bush Gets His Judges - And A Cowed Promise
by The Old Hippie Because Sometimes Winning. . . Is Losing

The breaking news is the filibuster has been "saved," by a compromise that is like there was not a filibuster in the first place.  The "compromise" is that Bush gets all three of the radical judges, Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor confirmed to be federal appeals court judges.  For life.

Not only those three, but also the "compromise," by the loyal "opposition" Democrats, would pledge not to filibuster any of Bush's future appeals court, or Supreme Court nominees, except in "extraordinary circumstances."

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R-I-G-H-T - - Like the first three alone weren't "extraordinary" enough.  What is coming, in the near future, i.e. judges to be given lifetime positions of power is going to be even more "extraordinary" - but un-opposed - by the now proven cowed, and cowardly, loyal "opposition" Democrats.

Yes - The filibuster survived, but at what costs to American Constitutional Democracy?  Is there anyone out there, right or left, that doesn't realize that this "compromise" will be pushed/abused to the absolute limit of insane by this administration?

Filibusters, or the threat of them, are routinely used to derail or force compromise on legislation.  Yet they rarely figured in consideration of judicial nominees until Bush took office in 2001.

The first three judges alone would never have even been considered, in any other Senate in America's 228 year history, but yet they now - for life - sit on the federal appeals court, and a "promise" of no further real opposition to Bush's future judicial appointments.

It's like the filibuster was done away with anyway - It exist in name only - This "compromise" promised Bush that the filibuster would not be used against his future appointments, (except in , {ahem,} "extraordinary" circumstances.)  They won again - They get their radical ideological judges anyway.

This senate has no more power to stop the ideological fundamentalist corporatist imperials now, than the senate did in Rome at the end of their Republic, nor the German government did against the Nazi fascists in the 30's.

If you believe this isn't a major step in the continuing destruction of the American Constitutional Democracy, you live in denial of history, of current events, and the reality around you.  Like so many my age, I really did not think I would live long enough to see America's Constitution Democracy be destroyed from within, by domestic enemies. . .  but it seems I have, after all.

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Monday, May 23, 2005

Who Said That?  (Reprised)

Who Said The Following. . .?
A simple quiz of historical perspectives.  (Answers at the end.)

 1.  “My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter.”

 2.  “I feel like God wants me to run for President.  I can’t explain it, but I sense my country is
      going to need me.  Something is going to happen . . .  I know it won’t be easy on me or my
      family, but God wants me to do it.”

 3.  "The national government will maintain and defend the foundations on which the power of our
      nation rests.  It will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective
      morality.  Today Christians stand at the head of our country.  We want to fill our culture again
      with the Christian spirit.  We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in litera-
      ture, in the theatre, and in the press — in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality
      which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of LIBERAL excess during the
      past years."

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 4.  “But there is something else I believe, and that is that there is a God. . . .  And this God again
      has blessed our efforts during the past 13 years.”

 5.  “To be sure, our Christian Cross should be the most exalted symbol of the struggle against
      the Jewish-Marxist-Bolshevik spirit."

 6.  “The Ten Commandments are a code of living to which there’s no refutation.  These precepts
      correspond to irrefragable needs of the human soul.”

 7.  “I trust God speaks through me.  Without that, I couldn’t do my job”

 8.  “public monies derived from taxation through the organs of the State have been placed at the
      disposal of both churches [Protestant and Catholic].”

 9.  "You make a mistake if you see what we do as merely political."

10.  "I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator."

11.  "I think it's fine, as long as it's Christian prayers.  Anything else is un-American."

12.  "Providence withdrew its protection and our people fell, fell as scarcely any other people
      heretofore.  In this deep misery we again learn to pray. . . . The mercy of the Lord slowly
      returns to us again.  And in this hour we sink to our knees and beseech our almighty God
      that he may bless us, that He may give us the strength to carry on the struggle for the
      freedom, the future, the honor, and the peace of our people.  So help us God."

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1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and 12 => Adolph Hitler

2, 7, and 11 => George W. Bush

For referances to 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 - See this article.

#3 is taken from:  The Speeches of Adolph Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1, Michael Hakeem, Ph.D.
(London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pp. 871-872.

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Saturday, May 21, 2005

You Can Ignore It. . .

You Can Even Use Rationalization To Deny It, But It's Pretty Much Over
by The Old Hippie Because Reality Keeps Impinging Upon My Reality

The "Known" Reality As Facts, Not Opinions:

A simple listing of what we all know to be true about our Republic right now. . .

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State by state, and at the federal level, Separation of Church and State is history, not current law.

This nation is torturing human beings, some even guilty of crimes, most not.

This torturing is official American policy, and the rest of the planet knows it.

When the torture "needed" is even worse than we can stomach, we outsource it.

The separation of powers is pretty much history on the federal level.

Even the Senatorial filibuster is possibly gone for all the wrong reasons.

The Executive, and Congressional, (both houses,) branches are of one mind.

When the filibuster is gone, the Judicial branch will also be in the control of that one mind.

Right now federal and state judges, and their families, are being threatened, and killed.

The other two branches are not only doing nothing to stop it, they are subtly encouraging it.

Almost all social safety net programs have been stopped, and they are going after the rest.

Almost all protections from corporate abuses have been stopped/blocked/done away with.

Almost all federal protections from non-separation of church and state have been also.

As have over 75 years of the peer-reviewed, rational, and commonsense environmental laws.

Almost all of the "mainstream" media is complicit, and/or silent, or "silenced."

The president is, or opportunistically pretending to be, an Evangelical born-again nut.

The last three national "elections" are a planet-wide joke, but they got away with it.

The largest federal deficit in our history.

The largest trade deficit in our history.

Tax breaks for the wealthiest few percent. . . during war. . . during record deficits.

The dollar being replaced were it counts most, planet-wide, by the euro.

An incredible amount of money being borrowed from China, to support "our" war, and occupation.

The amount we are borrowing from other nations is beyond any future ability to pay back.

Our first war of aggression on a nation that didn't attack us, and was not a threat.

An "unprovoked war of aggression" is the #1 war crime, as determined at Nuremburg.

The Geneva Conventions, in reality, are no longer a factor for American military actions.

Free-Speech-Zones are a "lawful" fact now.

The Patriot Acts aren't being diminished, they're being expanded. . .  right now.

America is the most imprisoned nation in history, in raw numbers, and percentage of population.

No Republic has lasted over 300 years, and this one is on the very brink.

A final couple of questions. . .

Into whose pockets did, (and still is,) all of the trillions of dollars, from the original federal treasury surplus, from all of the borrowing from other nations, and from the tax-breaks, go?  (and is still going into as I write this.)

No matter if the American Republic ends, or not. . . Do you think any part of that money will be replaced, paid back, recovered, or that any of those successful thieves will be, in any real way, punished for the theft, for the destruction, and for the thousands upon thousands of deaths, as a direct result of their methods of their theft of those monies?

What?  You mean you actually thought there were/are other reasons for all of this?

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Not "Must Reads," But. . .

A Select Few Items Of Import That Clears Much Of The Purposeful Fog
compiled by The Old Hippie Because I Truly Believe It'll Help

Your Right   1.  Bill Moyers's Highly Anticipated Speech - Video - Audio

  2.  Current Events for Dummies, May-2005 Edition

  3.  Buy Your Gas at Citgo: Join the BUY-cott!

  4.  CAFTA: Fighting A Democracy To Spread Democracy?

  5.  Reid And Frist Break Off Negotiations

  6.  Rebuffing Bush, 132 Mayors Embrace Kyoto Rules

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  7.  Despite Sloppiness, Newsweek Didn't Fabricate

  8.  Kansas Debate Challenges Science Itself, Not Just Evolution

  9.  British Lawmaker Blasts 'Republican Lynch Mob'

10.  The Deserters: AWOL Crisis Hits the US Forces

11.  Media Coverage Reflects Public Acceptance of Imperial Presidency

12.  Why I Am Not an Environmentalist

13.  Science Funding Dips In U.S., Soars In China

14.  Dr. Hager, Evangelical Doctor and sodomite, to Leave FDA Advisory Panel

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Monday, May 16, 2005

Why Is This Important. . .

Why Is This One Appointment So Important To You, To All Of Us?
by The Old Hippie Because This Explains So Much That Is Wrong In America Now

This posting concerns only one article, and only one appointment by this administration - that of Dr. W. David Hager to a serve on a panel, not as chairman, of a "small" division of the FDA.

So - Why is this doctor's appointment so important, with all that's happening?  Read the full article, do a little more research on your own if you need to, then think about how this explains so much that is dangerously wrong with America right now.

The full article is presented "Below The Fold" in this posting, or you may read it by going directly to the original, at The Nation's web site.

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Dr. Hager's Family Values
by Ayelish McGarvey - The Nation - from the May 30, 2005 issue

Late last October Dr. W. David Hager, a prominent obstetrician-gynecologist and Bush Administration appointee to the Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), took to the pulpit as the featured speaker at a morning service.  He stood in the campus chapel at Asbury College, a small evangelical Christian school nestled among picturesque horse farms in the small town of Wilmore in Kentucky's bluegrass region.  Hager is an Asburian nabob; his elderly father is a past president of the college, and Hager himself currently sits on his alma mater's board of trustees.  Even the school's administrative building, Hager Hall, bears the family name.

That day, a mostly friendly audience of 1,500 students and faculty packed into the seats in front of him.  With the autumn sunlight streaming through the stained-glass windows, Hager opened his Bible to the Old Testament Book of Ezekiel and looked out into the audience.  "I want to share with you some information about how...God has called me to stand in the gap," he declared. "Not only for others, but regarding ethical and moral issues in our country."

For Hager, those moral and ethical issues all appear to revolve around sex: In both his medical practice and his advisory role at the FDA, his ardent evangelical piety anchors his staunch opposition to emergency contraception, abortion and premarital sex.  Through his six books--which include such titles as Stress and the Woman's Body and As Jesus Cared for Women, self-help tomes that interweave syrupy Christian spirituality with paternalistic advice on women's health and relationships--he has established himself as a leading conservative Christian voice on women's health and sexuality.

And because of his warm relationship with the Bush Administration, Hager has had the opportunity to see his ideas influence federal policy.  In December 2003 the FDA advisory committee of which he is a member was asked to consider whether emergency contraception, known as Plan B, should be made available over the counter.  Over Hager's dissent, the committee voted overwhelmingly to approve the change.  But the FDA rejected its recommendation, a highly unusual and controversial decision in which Hager, The Nation has learned, played a key role.  Hager's reappointment to the committee, which does not require Congressional approval, is expected this June, but Bush's nomination of Dr. Lester Crawford as FDA director has been bogged down in controversy over the issue of emergency contraception.  Crawford was acting director throughout the Plan B debacle, and Senate Democrats, led by Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray, are holding up his nomination until the agency revisits its decision about going over the counter with the pill.

When Hager's nomination to the FDA was announced in the fall of 2002, his conservative Christian beliefs drew sharp criticism from Democrats and prochoice groups.  David Limbaugh, the lesser light in the Limbaugh family and author of Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging Political War Against Christianity, said the left had subjected Hager to an "anti-Christian litmus test."  Hager's valor in the face of this "religious profiling" earned him the praise and lasting support of evangelical Christians, including such luminaries as Charles Colson, Dr. James Dobson and Franklin Graham, son of the Rev. Billy Graham.

Back at Asbury, Hager cast himself as a victim of religious persecution in his sermon.  "You see...there is a war going on in this country," he said gravely.  "And I'm not speaking about the war in Iraq.  It's a war being waged against Christians, particularly evangelical Christians.  It wasn't my scientific record that came under scrutiny [at the FDA].  It was my faith....  By making myself available, God has used me to stand in the breach....  Just as he has used me, he can use you."

Up on the dais, several men seated behind Hager nodded solemnly in agreement.  But out in the audience, Linda Carruth Davis--co-author with Hager of Stress and the Woman's Body, and, more saliently, his former wife of thirty-two years--was enraged.  "It was the most disgusting thing I've ever heard," she recalled months later, through clenched teeth.

According to Davis, Hager's public moralizing on sexual matters clashed with his deplorable treatment of her during their marriage.  Davis alleges that between 1995 and their divorce in 2002, Hager repeatedly sodomized her without her consent.  Several sources on and off the record confirmed that she had told them it was the sexual and emotional abuse within their marriage that eventually forced her out.  "I probably wouldn't have objected so much, or felt it was so abusive if he had just wanted normal [vaginal] sex all the time," she explained to me.  "But it was the painful, invasive, totally nonconsensual nature of the [anal] sex that was so horrible."

Not once during the uproar over Hager's FDA appointment did any reporter solicit the opinion of the woman now known as Linda Davis--she remarried in November 2002 to James Davis, a Methodist minister, and relocated to southern Georgia--on her husband's record, even though she contributed to much of his self-help work in the Christian arena (she remains a religious and political conservative).  She intermittently thought of telling her story but refrained, she says, out of respect for her adult children.  It was Hager's sermon at Asbury last October that finally changed her mind.  Davis was there to hear her middle son give a vocal performance; she was prepared to hear her ex-husband inveigh against secular liberals, but she was shocked to hear him speak about their divorce when he took to the pulpit.

"In early 2002," Hager told the churchgoers that day, "my world fell apart.... After thirty-two years of marriage, I was suddenly alone in a new home that we had built as our dream home.  Time spent 'doing God's will' had kept me from spending the time I needed to nourish my marriage."  Hager noted with pride that in his darkest hour, Focus on the Family estimated that 50 million people worldwide were praying for him.

Linda Davis quietly fumed in her chair.  "He had the gall to stand under the banner of holiness of the Lord and lie, by the sin of omission," she told me.  "It's what he didn't say--it's the impression he left."

David Hager is not the fringe character and fundamentalist faith healer that some of his critics have made him out to be.  In fact, he is a well-credentialed doctor.  In Kentucky Hager has long been recognized as a leading Ob-Gyn at Lexington's Central Baptist Hospital and a faculty member at the University of Kentucky's medical school.  And in the 1990s several magazines, including Modern Healthcare and Good Housekeeping, counted him among the best doctors for women in the nation.

Yet while Hager doesn't advocate the substitution of conservative Christianity for medicine, his religious ideology underlies an all-encompassing paternalism in his approach to his women patients.  "Even though I was trained as a medical specialist," Hager explained in the preface to As Jesus Cared for Women, "it wasn't until I began to see how Jesus treated women that I understood how I, as a doctor, should treat them."  To underscore this revelation, Hager recounted case after case in which he acted as confidant, spiritual adviser and even father figure to his grateful patients.  As laid out in his writings, Hager's worldview is not informed by a sense of inherent equality between men and women.  Instead, men are expected to act as benevolent authority figures for the women in their lives.  (In one of his books, he refers to a man who raped his wife as "selfish" and "sinful.")  But to model gender relations on the one Jesus had with his followers is to leave women dangerously exposed in the event that the men in their lives don't meet the high standard set by God Himself--trapped in a permanent state of dependence hoping to be treated well.

In tandem with his medical career, Hager has been an aggressive advocate for the political agenda of the Christian right.  A member of Focus on the Family's Physician Resource Council and the Christian Medical and Dental Society, Hager assisted the Concerned Women for America in submitting a "Citizen's Petition" to the FDA in August 2002 to halt distribution and marketing of the abortion pill, RU-486.  It was this record of conservative activism that ignited a firestorm when the Bush Administration first floated his name for chairman of the FDA's advisory committee in the fall of 2002.  In the end, the FDA found a way to dodge the controversy: It issued a stealth announcement of Hager's appointment to the panel (to be one of eleven members, not chairman) on Christmas Eve.  Liberals were furious that they weren't able to block his appointment.  For many months afterward, an outraged chain letter alerting women to the appointment of a man with religious views "far outside the mainstream" snaked its way around the Internet, lending the whole episode the air of urban legend.

Back in Lexington, where the couple continued to live, Linda Hager, as she was still known at the time, was sinking into a deep depression, she says.  Though her marriage had been dead for nearly a decade, she could not see her way clear to divorce; she had no money of her own and few marketable skills.  But life with David Hager had grown unbearable.  As his public profile increased, so did the tension in their home, which she says periodically triggered episodes of abuse.  "I would be asleep," she recalls, "and since [the sodomy] was painful and threatening, I woke up.  Sometimes I acquiesced once he had started, just to make it go faster, and sometimes I tried to push him off....  I would [confront] David later, and he would say, 'You asked me to do that,' and I would say, 'No, I never asked for it.'"

I first heard of Davis's experience in 2004 through a friend of hers.  After a few telephone conversations, she agreed to have me fly down to see her in her modest parsonage in Georgia, to tell me her story on the record.  With her mod reading glasses, stylish bob and clever outfits, Davis, 55, is a handsome woman with a sharp wit.  She spoke with me over two days in January.

Linda Davis (née Carruth) first met David Hager on the campus of Asbury College in 1967.  "On the very first date he sat me down and told me he was going to marry me," Davis remembers.  "I was so overwhelmed by this aggressive approach of 'I see you and I want you' that I was completely seduced by it."

Davis, a former beauty queen, was a disengaged student eager to get married and start a family.  A Hager-Carruth marriage promised prestige and wealth for the couple; her father was a famous Methodist evangelist, and his father was then president of Asbury.  "On the surface, it just looked so good," she remembers.  The couple married in 1970, while Hager completed medical school at the University of Kentucky.

"I don't think I was married even a full year before I realized that I had made a horrible mistake," Davis says.  By her account, Hager was demanding and controlling, and the couple shared little emotional intimacy.  "But," she says, "the people around me said, 'Well, you've made your bed, and now you have to lie in it.'"  So Davis commenced with family making and bore three sons: Philip, in 1973; Neal, in 1977; and Jonathan, in 1979.

Sometime between the births of Neal and Jonathan, Hager embarked on an affair with a Bible-study classmate who was a friend of Davis's.  A close friend of Davis's remembers her calling long distance when she found out: "She was angry and distraught, like any woman with two children would be.  But she was committed to working it out."

Sex was always a source of conflict in the marriage.  Though it wasn't emotionally satisfying for her, Davis says she soon learned that sex could "buy" peace with Hager after a long day of arguing, or insure his forgiveness after she spent too much money.  "Sex was coinage; it was a commodity," she said.  Sometimes Hager would blithely shift from vaginal to anal sex.  Davis protested.  "He would say, 'Oh, I didn't mean to have anal sex with you; I can't feel the difference,'" Davis recalls incredulously.  "And I would say, 'Well then, you're in the wrong business.'"

By the 1980s, according to Davis, Hager was pressuring her to let him videotape and photograph them having sex.  She consented, and eventually she even let Hager pay her for sex that she wouldn't have otherwise engaged in--for example, $2,000 for oral sex, "though that didn't happen very often because I hated doing it so much.  So though it was more painful, I would let him sodomize me, and he would leave a check on the dresser," Davis admitted to me with some embarrassment.  This exchange took place almost weekly for several years.

Money was an explosive issue in their household.  Hager kept an iron grip on the family purse strings.  Initially the couple's single checking account was in Hager's name only, which meant that Davis had to appeal to her husband for cash, she says.  Eventually he relented and opened a dual account.  Davis recalls that Hager would return home every evening and make a beeline for his office to balance the checkbook, often angrily summoning her to account for the money she'd spent that day.  Brenda Bartella Peterson, Davis's friend of twenty-five years and her neighbor at the time, witnessed Hager berate his wife in their kitchen after one such episode.  For her part, Davis set out to subvert Hager's financial dominance with profligate spending on credit cards opened in her own name.  "I was not willing to face reality about money," she admits.  "I thought, 'Well, money can't buy happiness, but it buys the kind of misery you can learn to live with.'"

These financial atmospherics undoubtedly figured into Linda's willingness to accept payment for sex.  But eventually her conscience caught up with her.  "Finally...I said, 'You know, David, this is like being a prostitute.  I just can't do this anymore; I don't think it's healthy for our relationship,'" she recalls.

By 1995, according to Davis's account, Hager's treatment of his wife had moved beyond morally reprehensible to potentially felonious.  It was a uniquely stressful year for Davis.  Her mother, dying of cancer, had moved in with the family and was in need of constant care.  At the same time, Davis was suffering from a seemingly inexplicable exhaustion during the day.  She began exhibiting a series of strange behaviors, like falling asleep in such curious places as the mall and her closet.  Occasionally she would--as she describes it--"zone out" in midsentence in a conversation, and her legs would buckle.  Eventually, Davis was diagnosed as having narcolepsy, a neurological disorder that affects the brain's ability to regulate normal sleep-wake cycles.

For Davis, the diagnosis spelled relief, and a physician placed her on several medications to attain "sleep hygiene," or a consistent sleep pattern.  But Davis says it was after the diagnosis that the period of the most severe abuse began.  For the next seven years Hager sodomized Davis without her consent while she slept roughly once a month until their divorce in 2002, she claims.  "My sense is that he saw [my narcolepsy] as an opportunity," Davis surmises.  Sometimes she fought Hager off and he would quit for a while, only to circle back later that same night; at other times, "the most expedient thing was to try and somehow get it [over with].  In order to keep any peace, I had to maintain the illusion of being available to him."  At still other moments, she says, she attempted to avoid Hager's predatory advances in various ways--for example, by sleeping in other rooms in the house, or by struggling to stay awake until Hager was in a deep sleep himself.  But, she says, nothing worked.  One of Davis's lifelong confidantes remembers when Davis first told her about the abuse.  "[Linda] was very angry and shaken," she recalled.

As Hager began fielding calls from the White House personnel office in 2001, the stress in the household--and, with it, the abuse--hit an all-time high, according to Davis.  She says she confronted her husband on numerous occasions: "[I said to him,] 'Every time you do this, I hate your guts.  And it blows a bridge out between us that takes weeks, if not months, to heal.'"  She says that Hager would, in rare instances, admit what he had done and apologize, but typically would deny it altogether.

For a while, fears of poverty, isolation and damnation were enough to keep Davis from seeking a divorce.  She says that she had never cheated on Hager, but after reuniting with a high school sweetheart (not her current husband) in the chaotic aftermath of September 11, she had a brief affair.  En route to their first, and only, rendezvous, she prayed aloud.  "I said to the Lord, 'All right.  I do not want to die without having sex with someone I love,'" she remembers.  "'I want to know what that's like, Lord.  I know that it's a sin, and I know this is adultery.  But I have to know what it's like.'"

Davis was sure that God would strike her dead on her way home that weekend.  But when nothing happened, she took it as a good sign.  Back in Lexington, she walked through her front door and made a decision right there on the spot.  "I said, 'David, I want a divorce.'"

Marital rape is a foreign concept to many women with stories like this one.  Indeed, Linda Davis had never heard the term until midway through her divorce.  In Kentucky a person is guilty of rape in the first degree when he engages in sexual intercourse with another person by "forcible compulsion"; or when the victim is incapable of consent because she is physically helpless.  The same standards apply to the crime of sodomy in the first degree (equivalent to rape, and distinct from consensual sodomy).  Both are felonies.

In sexual assault cases, the outcome hinges on the issue of consent.  A high-level domestic violence prosecutor in Kentucky confirmed that a scenario such as this one, in which Davis was in a deep sleep from the narcolepsy, could meet the "physically helpless" standard required for a first-degree offense.  A prosecutor could also argue that Hager engaged in sodomy with Davis by means of forcible compulsion, even though the alleged encounters did not involve violence.  According to the Kentucky Supreme Court's decision in 1992 in Yarnell v. Commonwealth, a climate of abuse involving "constant emotional, verbal, and physical duress" is tantamount to forcible compulsion.  In that case, the victims submitted to the sex acts to avoid a loss of financial security, as well as to maintain peace in the household.

Historically, the legal system has long been indifferent to the crime of marital sexual assault; as recently as twelve years ago in some states, it was legal for a man to force his wife physically into sex, or commence having sex without her consent--actions that could land a stranger in jail.  Until 2000 the Kentucky Penal Code still contained archaic procedural obstacles for prosecuting marital rape, including a requirement that it be reported within one year of the offense.  (No other felony--including "stranger rape"--contains a statute of limitations.)  Even today, marital sexual assault is a notoriously difficult crime to prosecute.  Women like Davis often have strong financial incentives to stay with their spouses; those who speak out frequently face an uphill battle to convince people that their husbands, who may be well liked and respected, are capable of something this ugly at home.  Also, because marriages play out over many years, some sex is consensual, while other sex is not--a fact that may complicate matters for a jury in a criminal proceeding.

Linda Davis chose not to bring allegations of marital rape into her divorce proceedings; her foremost desires at the time were a fair settlement and minimal disruption for her sons.  Nonetheless, she informed her lawyer of the abuse.  Natalie Wilson, a divorce attorney in Lexington, asked Linda to draw up a working chronology of her marriage to Hager.  "[It] included references to what I would call the sexual abuse," Wilson explained.  "I had no reason not to believe her....  It was an explanation for some of the things that went on in the marriage, and it explained her reluctance to share that information with her sons--which had resulted in her sons' being very angry about the fact that she was insisting on the divorce."

As it turned out, when the dust settled after their divorce, nearly everyone in the Hagers' Christian and medical circles in Lexington had sided with Hager, who told people that his wife was mentally unstable and had moved in with another man (she moved in with friends).

Davis had only told a handful of people about the abuse throughout her marriage, but several of her longtime confidantes confirmed for this article that she had told them of the abuse at the time it was occurring.  Wilson, the attorney, spoke to me on the record, as did Brenda Bartella Peterson, Davis's close friend of twenty-five years.  Several others close to Davis spoke to me off the record.  Two refused to speak to me and denounced Davis for going public, but they did not contest her claims.  Many attempts to interview nearly a dozen of Hager's friends and supporters in Lexington and around the country were unsuccessful.

As for David Hager, after repeated attempts to interview him for this story, we finally spoke for nearly half an hour in early April.  That conversation was off the record.  "My official comment is that I decline to comment," he said.

As disturbing as they are on their own, Linda Davis's allegations take on even more gravity in light of Hager's public role as a custodian of women's health.  Some may argue that this is just a personal matter between a man and his former wife--a simple case of "he said, she said" with no public implications.  That might be so--if there were no allegations of criminal conduct, if the alleged conduct did not bear any relevance to the public responsibilities of the person in question, and if the allegations themselves were not credible and independently corroborated.  But given that this case fails all of those tests, the public has a right to call on Dr. David Hager to answer Linda Davis's charges before he is entrusted with another term.  After all, few women would knowingly choose a sexual abuser as their gynecologist, and fewer still would likely be comfortable with the idea of letting one serve as a federal adviser on women's health issues.

(Lest inappropriate analogies be drawn between the Hager accusations and the politics of personal destruction that nearly brought down the presidency of Bill Clinton, it ought to be remembered that President Clinton's sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky was never alleged to be criminal and did not affect his ability to fulfill his obligations to the nation.  This, of course, did not stop the religious right from calling for his head.  "The topic of private vs. public behavior has emerged as perhaps the central moral issue raised by Bill Clinton's 'improper relationship,'" wrote evangelist and Hager ally Franklin Graham at the time.  "But the God of the Bible says that what one does in private does matter.  There needs to be no clash between personal conduct and public appearance.")

Hager's FDA assignment is an object lesson in the potential influence of a single appointment to a federal advisory committee that in turn affects thousands, even millions, of lives.  Witness the behind-the-scenes machinations that set the stage for the FDA's ruling against Plan B, a decision that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists called a "dark stain on the reputation of an evidence-based agency like the FDA."

On December 16, 2003, twenty-seven of the FDA's advisers on women's health and nonprescription drugs gathered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of emergency contraception for over-the-counter use.  (The Plan B pill, which drastically reduces the risk of pregnancy when used within seventy-two hours after intercourse, has long been available by prescription only; its advocates say its greater availability could significantly reduce the nation's abortion rate.)  After a long day of highly technical deliberation, the advisers voted 23 to 4 to drop the prescription-only status of emergency contraception.  "I've been on this committee...for almost four years, and I would take this to be the safest product that we have seen brought before us," announced Dr. Julie Johnson, a professor at the University of Florida's Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine.

But on May 6, 2004, the FDA rejected the advice of its own experts and refused to approve the sale of Plan B over the counter.  In his letter to Barr Laboratories, Steven Galson, acting director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, claimed that Barr had not provided adequate data showing just how young adolescent women would actually use the drug.

That issue was never voted on by the committee.  It was, however, broached by Hager at the meeting; he mentioned his concern for these "younger adolescents" several times.

In his private practice back in Kentucky, Hager doesn't prescribe emergency contraception, because he believes it is an abortifacient, and, not surprisingly, his was one of the four votes against widening its availability.  But rather than voice his ethical opposition to the product, Hager emphasized his concern about adolescents, which other committee members have since called a "political fig leaf."  According to Dr. James Trussell, who voted in favor of Plan B, the FDA had at hand six studies examining whether teens as young as 15 would increase their "risky" behavior if they knew they had a backup emergency contraceptive--and none of the studies showed any evidence for that contention.

In his sermon at Asbury College last fall, Hager proudly recounted his role in the Plan B decision.  "After two days of hearings," he said, "the committees voted to approve this over-the-counter sale by 23 to 4.  I was asked to write a minority opinion that was sent to the commissioner of the FDA....  Now the opinion I wrote was not from an evangelical Christian perspective....  But I argued it from a scientific perspective, and God took that information, and He used it through this minority report to influence the decision."  [Emphasis added.]

None of the four panel members I spoke with for this article were aware of Hager's "minority opinion."  An FDA spokeswoman told me that "the FDA did not ask for a minority opinion from this advisory committee," though she was unable to say whether any individual within the agency had requested such a document from Hager.  This past January the FDA missed a deadline to respond to a new application from Barr Laboratories, and any forward motion on making Plan B more widely available has completely stalled.

Meanwhile, David Hager's stock has been rising among conservatives.  Though his term on the FDA panel is set to expire on June 30, observers on both sides of the political divide anticipate his reappointment.  In March I spoke with Janice Shaw Crouse, executive director and senior fellow at the Beverly LaHaye Institute, the research arm of Concerned Women for America.  She is one of Hager's staunchest advocates in Washington (some credit her with engineering his FDA appointment); Crouse sits alongside Hager on Asbury College's board of trustees.  In May, when informed of the allegations against him, she declined to revise her earlier statement.  "I would not be at all surprised to see Dr. Hager elevated to a higher position or to another very influential position when it comes to women's care," she told me.  "Because he has shown that he does care about women regardless of...the [religious] issues that people want to try to raise....  When people try to discredit him, he continues on.  He hasn't caved in, and he hasn't waffled.  He has been a gentleman.  He is a person of character and integrity, and I think people admire that."

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Saturday, May 14, 2005

From The Right. . .

The Following Is Only From Authors On The Right - Enjoy. . .
compiled by The Old Hippie Because Even Some Of "Them" See Reality

by Paul Craig Roberts: was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration.  He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review.

America is Losing - More Phony Jobs Hype
At - May 12, 2005

"Careless journalists and commentators are hyping the 274,000 new April payroll jobs as evidence of the health of the US economy.  An examination of the details of the new jobs puts a different view on the matter."

Link To Full Article Here

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* Note:  The rest of today's posting is a direct, and un-modified, copy of Billmon's "Whiskey Bar" blog's Febuary 26, 2005 archived posting, "Seeing The Light On The Right," at *

Seeing the Light on the Right

In fact, if there was anything particularly striking about this year's CPAC, it is to just what extent Republicans have given up being the party of small government and individual liberty.  Make absolutely no mistake about it:  This party, among its most hard-core supporters, is not about freedom anymore.  It is about foisting its members' version of morality and economic intervention on the country.

Ryan Sager
The Right's Right
Tech Central
February 21, 2005

I don’t think there are yet real fascists in the administration, but there is certainly now a constituency for them — hungry to bomb foreigners and smash those Americans who might object.  And when there are constituencies, leaders may not be far behind.

Scott McConnell
Hunger for Dictatorship
The American Conservative
February 14, 2005

In short, what we have alive in the US is an updated and Americanized fascism [that] adores the head of state as a godlike figure who knows better than anyone else what the country and world's needs, and has a special connection to the Creator that permits him to discern the best means to bring it about.

Lew Rockwell
The Reality of Red-State Fascism
December 31, 2004

I remember when conservatives favored restraint in foreign policy and wished to limit government power in order to protect civil liberties.  Today’s young conservatives are Jacobins determined to use government power to impose their will at home and abroad . . . From whence came the brownshirt movement that slavishly adheres to the neocons’ agenda?

Paul Craig Roberts
The Brownshirting of America
October 2004

From the first days after 9/11, the Bush administration created a mythology that would spur reverence for both the president and the government.  Bush wrapped himself in a flag drenched with the blood of Americans who died due to the failure of the federal government he commanded, and sadly the people bought it — and still continue to buy it.

James Bovard
Lie and You Thrive
September 17, 2004


It was the blindness of the conservative Right to the dangers which had been so evident, arising from their determination to eliminate democracy and destroy socialism and the consequent government stalemate they had allowed to develop, that delivered the power of a nation-state containing all the pent up aggression of a wounded giant into the hands of the dangerous leader of a political gangser mob.

Ian Kershaw
Hilter: 1889-1936 Hubris

Posted by billmon at February 26, 2005 11:48 PM

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Observing. . .

The Observations Of The Honest Observers Within The Empire
by The Old Hippie Because So Many Still Think These Observations Aren't Their Reality


"One of These Days" - William Rivers Pitt - May 11, 2005

"Smoking Gun Memo?" - F.A.I.R. - May 10, 2005

"Barnum on Steroids" - - May 9, 2005

"Last Chance for Civilization" - The Crisis Papers - May 10, 2005

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"The End of the Enlightenment" - John Kelley - May 3, 2005

"Stuff Happens and We're Not Responsible" - Tony Norman - May 6, 2005

"Judge Who Exonerated Cheney Is On The Exxon Payroll" - - May 11, 2005

"Apocalypse Soon" - Robert S. McNamara - - May/June 2005

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Time For. . .

Glaringly Obvious Signs That Something Is Dangerously Wrong
by The Old Hippie Because Americans Are Just As Glaringly Not Responding To Them

Let's start with the fact that the Pentagon, the most heavily protected building in the world, surrounded with auto-anti-aircraft gun batteries, that will auto-fire on any aircraft that does not have the correct transponder, which only U.S. military aircraft have - Did not fire on the incoming supposedly civilian aircraft, flown by a terrorist, that hit the least populated, and least important, section of the building, the under-construction west wing, on September 11, 2001.  Those gun batteries are under auto-fire-control.  They are the top of the technology curve. - They did not fire - There can only be four commonsense reasons, at least as far as I can see, why these super-high-tech guns did not fire.

1.  The civilian jet had a functioning top-secret military transponder.  (not really a possibility)

2.  It was a U.S. military aircraft.  (a possibility too horrible to contemplate)

3.  The batteries were off, or non-functional.  (not really likely)

4.  They were on, but malfunctioning at that moment.  (also not really likely)

Think about it, chew on it, contemplate all of the possibilities.  Wouldn't you want an answer to this mystery?  Or is the answer just not important to you, as it seems not to be to "our" media?

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The most reasoned questioning of the possibilities, that I've found so far, can be found at the following link, originally found at the P.O.A.C. website.  Please, since it is a windows media video, and to preserve bandwidth for the P.O.A.C., do the following to watch professor Griffin's presentation at the University of Wisconsin. . .  right-click, then "Save Target As" to download it to your drive.

Full Video Link Here

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Environment - The reversal of, or the repeatedly attempted reversal of, every single regulatory environmental law on the books, by this administration, even over the wishes of the majority of their own constituents in the red-states, and the overall majority of the citizens of America, openly and arrogantly putting the profits of corporations over the safety of its citizens, and over the quality of the environment we all live within.  "Profits over life" has become the paradigm reality of "our" government.

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Tort Reform - Who is demanding it?  Corporations, through this radical corporatist administration.  Which group in America uses tort more than any other group, as a harassment, and a tool of power?  Corporations.  Which type, or form of tort are they demanding be "reformed," and successfully accomplishing?  Any type, or form of tort that allows a citizen to sue any corporation that causes that citizen harm, but not the type, or form of tort that allows them to sue to protect themselves, and their profits, from us, the masses.

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Separation of Church and State - The danger of this is so obvious that it is beyond the pale.  I've have covered this extensively in this blog, with all proof, and links to the proof, available in the archives of this blog.  If you are still foggy on this one, I strongly suggest you research this.  Here are a couple of links to get you started on your own research. . .

Consider, That Right Now. . .

Because It Is Important. . .

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That will get you started, but also consider the other, just as important, glaringly obvious signs that something is dangerously wrong in America. . .  All of which is covered in this blog, with source links clearly provided.

We in reality condone the torture of human beings.

We are the most imprisoned nation on the planet, and in written history.

We have withdrawn from every international environmental treaty in the last 5 years.

We have become an undeniable corporatist Empire, openly bent on radical world domination.

Evolution is actually being "debated" as not real.

Creationism/Intelligent design is being forced into the schools of America.

Supreme Court judge Scalia, and Republican members of both houses, have stated, publicly, that Democracy is in the way of, and/or bad for. . . America.

Some of which consider, "Democracy A Manifestation Of Ungodly Pride" (actual quote)

Radical, not to mention obviously insane, "bring-on-the-rapture" fundamentalist Evangelical religious nuts now have real power, and to a dangerous extent, control of, the Republican party.

The amount of tax funds we Americans spend into the military-industrial corporations, is more than all of the money spent by all of the other nations on the planet combined, on their military budgets.  More than all of them combined.

The largest deficit in American history exist right now.

The largest trade deficit in American history exist right now.

The only administration in American history, during a time of war, to propose tax cuts, much less openly arrogant tax-cuts for the wealthiest during any war, much less one as "costly" as this one, is this arrogant, and obviously corrupt, administration.  And to add injury to the insult, they want to make these tax-cuts permanent.

Where did all of the original trillions of treasury surplus dollars, and the borrowed monies America has borrowed from other nations to keep the war going, not to mention the billions from the tax-cuts, go?  Almost all of it went into the pockets of the corporate officers of the military-industrial complex, the corporate officers of the pharmaceutical, ag-chem, and extraction corporations, and the upper 3-4% of American citizens.  Most of the boards of directors of these corporations share many people in common, and with the five corporations that control the American mainstream media.

The American dollar is being replaced by the euro, by most nations, and OPEC.  The implications of which are staggering.

This Modern World

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Because It Is Important. . .

To Those Among You Who Still Need The Proof, Concise And Linked
compiled by The Old Hippie Because The Reality Of Truth Can Defeat Cowardly Denial

Here's A Good Place To Start. . .

by Steve Weissman,

The Religious Right:  Saints or Subversives?
Part I:  The Lure of Christian Nationalism
Part II:  Hang Ten and Fight!
Part III:  A Deadly Culture of Life
Part IV:  Pie in the Sky

Further Links Of Proof. . .

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[ Note:  Many of the links are to archived postings in this blog, which give further outside links. ]

"You, sir, are an ignorant bigot"

We Americans Are The Most Imprisoned Nation On The Planet

Consider, That Right Now. . .

Do The Following. . .

"Illegal but Legitimate: a Dubious Doctrine for the Times" [ Chomsky, 3/05, full video ]

Never Has It Been This Bad In American History

Just More Proof Of. . .

Just A Fair Warning. . .

"America No. 1?  America By The Numbers"

Recapping American Reality. . .

Someone Tell Me. . .

[ And a link to one of the best "get the word out" independent news sites. . . ]

Project for the Old American Century

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Monday, May 09, 2005

Obviously. . .

The Time To Stop Them Has Long Passed - Better Late Than Never?
by The Old Hippie Because I'm Getting Tired Of Exposing Their Endangering Wrongness

It is beyond incredible that Americans have allowed the worst administration, since at least the era of the robber barons, to continue to destroy so much of the American Constitutional Democracy's proven strengths, for the profits to so few, at the costs to so many.  But the reality speaks firmly.  They are still there, in power, in control, without punishment, without the mitigating balance of checks and balances from the media, from the separation of powers, or from the separation of church and state corruption, nor from the regulation of proven corporate abuses.

The ongoing "debate" over evolution is not a joke, it is a real danger to current, and future, rational thought in American national, and foreign policy on many levels.

The ongoing "debate" over the proven facts of global warming is even more dangerous to billions of lives on a planet wide scale.

The ongoing privatization of natural resources out of sovereign government's control, into the control of profit driven corporations, is just as dangerous because of the resource wars it will acerbate, and in some nations has already acerbated, particularly in the South and Central Americas.

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It is now only going to get worse folks.  Seriously worse.  When they finally come for your son/daughter/grandson/granddaughter/father/mother/husband/wife/brother/sister - Or maybe your job/home/retirement/savings - Your "way of life" - - Who are you going to turn to for help?  Our government is on the brink, (some say already, me included,) of a completely corrupt one-party-ruled enhanced fascist corporatist pluto-theocracy, protected from the masses through totalitarian safeguards such as the Patriot Acts, and changed laws protecting the corporations from the "us," rather than protecting us from them, and the destruction of an honest and questioning media, successfully restructured into a complicit propaganda outlet.

Why this nation, in mass, is not in the streets in revolt is a mystery, that maybe only history will eventually answer.

I really don't have much else to say.  The truth is obvious, and readily available to all still in doubt through the web, independent media, non-corrupted foreign media, etc. . .

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Saturday, May 07, 2005

There Was A Time. . .

When We Had The Time To Fix It
by The Old Hippie Because That Time Has Passed

It has all come to a head, and most Americans are either not aware of it out of political apathy, and/or relying on mainstream media for "news" and truth, or simply refuse to believe it is upon us, because the reality is too stark to accept, or really believe it isn't happening because they have been convinced by people they trust, who are profiting from that trust, either in dollars, or an ideological power/position reality, which is dependent on that disbelief and trust.

Every political, social, and historical concept that made this Nation the strongest, and most respected Constitutional Democracy in the planet's history, has been undone in 5-1/2 years.  The impossibility of one-party-rule has become reality.  The impossibility of the central supporting core, in the creation of this nation, the Separation of the Church and State, has been reversed.  The impossibility of the breakdown of the Separation of Powers has been accomplished.

But this is not what I mean by "It has all come to a head."  What I am referring to are the undeniable facts of the accelerating, and irreversible, reality of global warming, and the "already-happening" resource wars.

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The breakdown of the American Constitutional Democracy, into an enhanced fascist Plutocratic Corporatist Theocracy, the current leaders of which have a direct financial, and power-of-control, stake in the disbelief of global warming, and the greed of the control of the profits from privatizing the world's natural resources, has only made the hope of lessening the damage from these two realities, much - much - worse.

Thursday, May 5, 2005
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The last 58.5 million acres of untouched national forests, which President Clinton had set aside for protection, were opened to possible logging, mining and other commercial uses by the Bush administration Thursday.

[ You did note the word - last - in that sentence - Right? ]

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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

A Few More. . .

Things That You Might Have Missed In Your Daily Surfing. . .
compiled by The Old Hippie Because I Had The Time

Your Right   1.  "You, sir, are an ignorant bigot"

  2.  "The George & Laura Show"  [Actual video linked here]

  3.  "Stations Of The Cross"

  4.  "PBS Needs Help...For Real This Time"

  5.  "Rediscovering Douglas Adams' DNA"

  6.  "Yesterday and Today: Nazis and the Righteous Right"

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  7.  "A Gut Punch to the Middle"

  8.  "The End of Oil Is Closer Than You Think"

  9.  "Fundamentalist Fools and the Conservatives Who Love Them"

10.  "The Long Emergency"

11.  "900,000-Year-Old Ice May Destroy US Case On Kyoto"

12.  "The Right's Siege Mentality"

13.  ""

14.  "Ted Gunderson and the FBI" [et al]

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Monday, May 02, 2005

Deep-Spring 2005. . .

And It's All Over, But For The Shouting From Stunned Surprise
by The Old Hippie Because The Fodder Units Are Just Beginning To Realize Their Mistake

A corrupt corporatist robber-baron take over would have been bad enough. . .

A blinded-by-their-own-BS ideological Neo-Con take over would have been bad enough. . .

An insane fundamentalist born-again Evangelical take over would have been bad enough. . .

But to have all three come together, and to complete a take over, that none of the three could have accomplished alone, opportunistically supporting each others corrupt, ideological, and insane agendas, to successfully convert, in just 5 short years, the planets most powerfully successful Constitutional Democracy in history, into an enhanced fascist Corporatist-Plutocratic-Theocracy, with 'modern' totalitarian, (Patriot Acts,) safeguards. . .  Is stunning in the least.

And the fact that no one above a sergeant, and Martha Stewart, have been punished, (if you can call what Ms. Stewart is facing "punishment,") is even, if possible, more stunning.

And the fact that Americans are not in the streets in revolt, that Americans are still "allowing" this to continue, is beyond any "reality-based" concept of stunned surprise. . .

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I really don't have any other comment, or links at this moment, but Bob Harris does. . .

Secret UK documents prove Bush lied us into war
Sunday, 01 May 2005

Almost completely invisible here in the US so far, but in the UK this is a big damn deal...

A newly-released Way Holy Secret memo from July 2002, written to British defense and foreign-policy higher-ups regarding Iraq, bluntly states the results of recent high-level talks with the United States:

Military action was now seen as inevitable.  Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD.  But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

Let's look at that again in slow-motion instant replay:

Military action was now seen as inevitable.

Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD.

But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

Oh, and there's more:

But the case was thin.  Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.

Much of the rest of the memo shows that Blair has lied his ass off in his claims of what he was told and by whom.

Meanwhile, those of us still in America can see even more clearly, from inside the secret discussions at the top of the British government:

Bush was lying when he said at the time that war had not been decided on.

The rationales for the war were in place before they were eventually spouted with such urgency.

The books were cooked.

Oh, and by the way:

There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

Right.  Yes.  That's fairly clear.

This should be a big damn deal here, too.  Granted, to many well-informed people, this was all rather obvious at the time.  And over the last few years, many reasonable people have come to realize what happened.  But this is a major addition to the documentary proof that Bush and crew created this war.

Read the full memo here.

Meanwhile, CNN's website (taken as an example only, not as any measure of legitimate journalism) currently has absolutely nothing about the new memo.  Nothing.  A search for the name of the memo's author returns nothing.  Instead, the front page currently has a scary picture of a North Korean missile; an announcement that U.S. soldiers have been "cleared" in the shooting of an Italian intelligence agent (Italy, um, disagrees); and the breathtaking news that the First Lady is good with one-liners.  Oh, and Mariah Carey has a new album.

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