Thursday, June 30, 2005

Disambiguation. . .

n. - Clarification That Follows From The Removal of Ambiguity
compiled by The Old Hippie Because Orwell Didn't Know How Right He Was


Read 1.  ABC reports that White House advance team FAKED the applause

2.  Bush's Big Gambit

3.  Class Consciousness Matters

4.  Time Inc. Says It Will Hand Over Papers in Plame Case

5,  "Pro-Lifers" Support Pesticide Testing on Fetuses

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6.  Harry Reid Eviscerates Rick "Dog Sex" Santorum On The Senate Floor Today

7.  Veterans Angry Over Bush's Iraq Speech

8.  "At What Point Can Bush be Restrained with a Gag Order from Continuing to        Chronically Lie About a Saddam Relationship to 9/11, When His Own        Administration Has at Times Admitted There Wasn't?  What Will It Take to Take        Hold Such Brazen Lying Accountable?"
  [Quote found at BuzzFlash, and links to        Newsday's original article]

9.  Al Franken Clip - Bill O’Reilly Makes Up Swedish Study

       Al Franken Catches Bill O'Reilly in Another Lie


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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

More of "Says It All". . .

"Says It All" For Me, is Like Twilight Zone Redone by King and Koontz
compiled by The Old Hippie Because Sometimes I Like Scaring Myself


On Day of Iraq Speech, House Conservatives Gouge Vets - [Very patriotic of them]

Dividing Russia - [Pay particular attention to the names of the Americans in power positions]

Halliburton Has Its Cake, Eats it Too - [To the tune of $1.03 Billion!]


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Says It All's - Non-Linked Thought For The Day -
...The "liberal Media" is owned and controlled by 5 conservative corporations...  Think about it.



Let's Take A Look At Iraq By The Numbers: - [Found at Michal Moore's Must Reads]

Number of U.S. troops in Iraq -- 135,000;

Number of coalition troops in Iraq -- 23,250;

Number of Iraqi security forces -- 168,581;

Number of insurgents & militants -- 16,000;

The cost of losing an insurgent (but not guerilla) war when your side has 326,831 soldiers and the other side has just 16,000: Priceless $180,000,000,000.00.



Iraq Bombs
[Click on the above graph to read the full original article]


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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Bombshells. . .

A Select Few Bombshells That Clears Much Of The Manufactured Fog
compiled by The Old Hippie Because I Truly Believe It Might Help


Your Right   1.  On a Saudi Oil Bombshell - At TomDispatch.com

  2.  Exxon Says N. America Gas Production Has Peaked

  3.  The Chinese Challenge - Paul Krugman

  4.  The Party's Over - For A Betrayed Republican

  5.  When Efforts in Iraq Collapse - Herald-Dispatch (W.Va.)

  6.  Richard Perle Admitted That Iraq invasion Was Illegal

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  7.  Court Strikes a Blow Against Freedom Online

  8.  Supreme Court Won't Hear CIA Leak Case

  9.  The $1 Billion Shortfall for Veterans Benefits Angers Republicans

10.  USA Reported to Have Confirmed Torture

11.  Report:  Witnesses Were Held Illegally


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Monday, June 27, 2005

Exponential Enrons Ahead

Exponential Enrons Ahead
by Kelpie Wilson Published on 23 Jun 2005 by TruthOut


One of the least-discussed provisions in the Bush energy bill that has passed the House and is now fast-tracked in the Senate is PUHCA repeal.  "Pooka repeal," you say, "what's that?"

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The Public Utilities Holding Company Act (PUHCA) is a cornerstone New Deal financial reform signed into law in 1935.  It was the biggest battle in FDR's first term.  Utilities had become cash cows for power moguls who created complex holding company pyramids for milking ultra-reliable ratepayer income to feed speculative investments.  The crash of 1929 knocked these structures flat and took down millions of small investors who had been sold on the reliability of utilities as an investment.

Does any of that sound familiar?

Both the House and Senate versions of the energy bill now contain the PUHCA repeal provision.  At the insistence of Democrats, the Senate added in some extra oversight by FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission), but it is a thin reed compared to PUHCA.

Supporters of PUHCA point out that for 50 years, we have had reliable, cheap electric power that has allowed strong economic growth, and that no PUHCA-regulated energy holding company has ever gone bankrupt.  Furthermore, it was partial PUHCA repeals in the 1990s that opened the door to Enron, Westar and other energy debacles.  To repeal PUHCA now is equivalent to blowing up the barn after the horses have escaped, never mind shutting the barn door.

PUHCA subjects utility finances and operations to strict regulation by the states and federal government. Most importantly, it restricts ownership of utilities to public or private entities that are in the business of producing power, and keeps speculators out.  Replacing this kind of control with mere oversight is a joke.  It is like trying to rebuild the barn with splinters.

Lynn Hargis is an attorney with a long professional career in power generation, including ten years at FERC.  For the past two years, she has held a volunteer position at Public Citizen educating the public about the perils of PUHCA repeal.  She says that "it is clearly impossible for a state (or even federal) utility commission, with its limited staff, to review, much less understand and control, the books and records of a huge conglomerate ..."  Once PUHCA is gone, she predicts, "there will be a white-hot fury of buying and selling utilities and utility assets - it will be a revival of the 1920s, when three huge companies owned half of all utilities."

There has been a lot of media focus on the $18 billion in tax incentives contained in the Senate energy bill, but almost nothing about PUHCA repeal, even though the latter is by far the greatest prize: according to Lynn Hargis the value of all regulated utilities exceeds one trillion dollars.

Hargis says there will be so much money chasing these utilities that even the venerable public-owned and municipal-owned utilities (PUDs and MUDs) won't be able to hold out.

And get ready to start paying your power bill to Halliburton because some of the companies best positioned to take advantage of this deregulation are oil companies:  "The top five oil companies now control 50 percent of US oil production.  If they also controlled public utilities, they would be too powerful for any government to regulate," said Hargis.

Also, the impact on renewable energy could be devastating.  "If GE owns your utility," Hargis told me, "nothing will be able to stop them from shoving a nuclear plant down your throat.  This will kill renewables."

David Sokol is CEO of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway that is now in the process of acquiring PacificCorp, a western utility based in Portland, Oregon.  In a 2002 issue of Electric Perspectives, an industry newsletter, Sokol made the case for PUHCA repeal, calling it "the most blatantly out-of-date energy law."  In fact, the law as it stands would prevent him from acquiring PacificCorp.

Sokol claims that:  "Consumers have saved tens of billion of dollars since Congress began the process of opening wholesale electricity markets to competition 10 years ago."  He also argues that by restricting utility ownership, PUHCA is keeping new capital out of the energy industry that is needed for upgrading the electric power transmission grid.

I spoke with Jack Casazza, an electrical engineer who was a Senior VP for an investor-owned utility and who now serves on a task force investigating the power blackout of August 14, 2003.  Casazza scoffs at the idea that regulation is keeping needed grid upgrades from happening.  "Warren Buffett doesn't know what he's talking about," he said, "and he doesn't have very good technical people.  Utilities today have no problem investing in transmission facilities if they are needed and provide economic returns."

On the other hand, grid reliability is an issue of vital concern, and labor is the key.  Jim Spellane, communications director for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), said that the problem with grid reliability arose with deregulation in the 1990s.  "It squeezed things like maintenance and worker training."

Casazza echoed that opinion and said that one significant cause of the 2003 blackout was labor reductions.  He wondered how Warren Buffett "would get the 25 percent rates of return he is used to.  He can't cut labor, that's already been cut."

The IBEW issued a statement on June 15 praising the Senate Energy Committee for including the new FERC authority in the bill, while recognizing that the greater regulatory powers of PUHCA were still needed.  The union had flatly opposed any PUHCA repeal in the past, but Spellane said, "We could see this energy bill has legs.  It is going to pass and we want to make sure that the FERC oversight does not get stripped out along the way."  House Republicans are against even that minimum amount of consumer protection and Spellane said the IBEW will oppose the final bill if it does not include it.

Senator Ron Wyden was the only member of the Energy Committee who voted against sending the bill to the Senate floor.  A top reason given for his dissatisfaction was repeal:  "The bill also repeals the Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA) without providing adequate safeguards to prevent captive ratepayers from getting fleeced to support unregulated businesses of utility parent companies."

Jack Casazza is wistful for the utilities of the past. "I'm a believer in capitalism," he said, "and I believe in getting a reasonable return on my investment.  But the company I came up in believed that you don't hurt the customer.  I have grandchildren and I want to see this country run so they benefit, not so Warren Buffett can put money in his pocket."

Lynn Hargis fears we are headed for another Great Depression.  She said, "Not only is it going to be horrible for the whole country, but nobody is even talking about it."


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Bush "The Pimp" Does It Again. . .

Yet Another Industry Lawyer Has Been Nominated To Be The Head Of
An Agency That's Charged With Regulating The Same Industry - - -

by Charles Pope, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 25, 2005


[ Link To Original Article Here ]


Concerns Arise Over Bush's Pick For EPA Job


Lawyer works for firm that represents W.R. Grace, others

WASHINGTON -- President Bush has nominated Granta Nakayama, a partner in a law firm whose clients include W.R. Grace, BP, Dow Chemical and DuPont, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency's far-flung enforcement division.

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Selecting a lawyer and an engineer with one of the nation's largest corporate law firms, whose clients have deep and occasionally controversial relations with the EPA, triggered concerns that Nakayama would not be able to aggressively enforce environmental laws.

Foremost among those concerns is W.R. Grace, which is under federal criminal indictment on charges related to the operation of its vermiculite mine in Libby, Mont.  Hundreds of workers and Libby residents contracted lethal asbestos-related disease -- a situation that gained national attention after a Seattle Post-Intelligencer series in 1999.

A follow-up health screening in Libby showed that nearly 2,000 residents of the tiny Montana town have lung abnormalities that could herald asbestos-related disease.

Vermiculite ore from the Libby mine was sent around the country for processing, and asbestos-related disease followed its path.  Between 15 million and 35 million homes nationwide have asbestos-tainted vermiculite insulation from Libby in attics and walls.

The trial, which is expected to begin in September, could result in prison sentences against seven current and former Grace executives.  The Justice Department alleges that Grace executives knew about asbestos-related dangers in Libby but concealed those dangers from its workers, government regulators and the public.

The EPA has since declared Libby a Superfund site.  In a 2003 court decision, Grace was ordered to pay the EPA $54 million in cleanup costs.

Despite the association of law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP with Grace, a spokesman said Nakayama would have no conflict if confirmed for the assistant administrator's position.

"Kirkland & Ellis LLP represents W.R. Grace & Co. in litigation related to its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case," said Brian Pitts, a spokesman for Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago "Mr. Granta Nakayama has had no involvement in this matter during his tenure at Kirkland."

Independent analysts and ethics experts said Nakayama's affiliation with a firm that represented so many corporate clients with business before the EPA does not disqualify him from being the chief enforcer of EPA rules and regulations.

But they said the Senate must examine Nakayama's past closely during his confirmation hearings.

"Given the criminal indictment against W.R. Grace, Mr. Nakayama's potential conflict of interest deserves special examination during the confirmation process in the Senate," said Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C., research organization that has done extensive work on asbestos-related illness.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., expressed concern about the nomination.

"This appointment is just the latest in a series of moves that calls into question this administration's commitment to protecting our environment, our natural resources and the health and well-being of all Americans," said Murray, who has aggressively pushed legislation to ban asbestos.

Critics say the White House has attempted to minimize the science supporting such things as global warming and the danger of mercury.

In one of the more recent controversies, The New York Times reported earlier this month that a White House official who once led the oil industry's fight against limits on greenhouse gases had repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that played down links between such emissions and global warming.

The official, Philip Cooney, was chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the office that helps devise and promote administration policies on environmental issues. Shortly after The Times report, he resigned and took a job with ExxonMobil.

In Nakayama's nomination, the Senate, in addition to resolving potential conflicts of interest, must decide how independent he will be. Eric Schaeffer, who resigned as the EPA's chief of regulatory enforcement in 2002 because he believed the agency wasn't aggressive enough in enforcing environmental standards, said it's impossible to generalize about how well Nakayama will perform as assistant administrator.

"The person who comes in as AA can make a difference even in this climate," said Schaeffer, who is now director of the Environmental Integrity Project, a non-partisan group advocating for more effective enforcement and to insulate decisions from political interference.

"On some issues he will have some independence," Schaeffer said. But on others, such as those involving oil and energy companies, the task will be more difficult.  The asbestos case with Grace, he said, is one where the EPA could have more independence.

Even in the best case with the best administrator, Schaeffer said, "There's no question they get less done than they otherwise could" because of the Bush administration's focus on how environmental standards should be enforced.

As the EPA's chief enforcer, Nakayama would be responsible for ensuring that companies, communities and individuals adhere to laws protecting air and water and ensure that waste is properly processed and handled.

In that respect, Nakayama is well qualified. In 10 years with Kirkland & Ellis and as a practicing engineer, he represented companies whose products or services were regulated by the EPA and by state agencies

Before joining the firm in 1994 he served in the Navy's nuclear submarine service.

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

P-I Washington correspondent Charles Pope can be reached at 202-263-6461 or charliepope@seattlepi.com

© 1998-2005 Seattle Post-Intelligencer



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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Even More Observing Of. . .

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


Patriot "Can "It" Happen Here?" - George E. Lowe - June 10, 2005

"The Chauffeur's Dilemma" - Tom Englehart - June 23, 2005

"Time to Call Him D.C. Dick?" - Editor & Publisher - June 24, 2005

"Hustling on K Street" - Jonathan Chait, L.A. Times - June 24, 2005

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"Africa – A Special Case For Climate Change" - Oxfam - Special Report

"How Walter Jones Grew a Conscience"- Jan Frel, AlterNet.org - June 22, 2005

"BioDevastation to BioDemocracy" - IndyMedia.org - June 25, 2005

"The Return of '1984'" - H.D.S. Greenway, Boston Globe - June 24, 2005


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Friday, June 24, 2005

Just This One. . .

Letter From A Staff Sergeant Who Has Been There
by The Troops Themselves - These are some of the troops I support


[ From the online companion to "Will They Ever Trust Us Again?"  Letters from the war zone ]
[ Many of these letters can be found at Michael Moore's More Soldier Letters... ]


"Am I a defender of freedom, or a pawn in a campaign of tyranny?"

From: John M. Duffy
Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2005 3:05 PM
To: soldiers@michaelmoore.com
Subject: Am I a defender of freedom, or a pawn in a campaign of tyranny?


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I am a 28yr old SSgt in the USAF with about 7 years of service currently serving in the Midwest USA.  Watching our brothers and sisters come home horribly maimed, burned and mutilated fills me with rage.  And some say they are the lucky ones as opposed to the hundreds killed in an unjust "war."

Having served in the Persian Gulf during the Enduring Freedom campaign and the onset of the current debacle...I have developed great distrust for my commander in chief and in fact, some in the chain of command who unquestionably support his intentions.  This conflict (not a war, since Congress never declared so) has no logic or purpose.  Joining military service didn't include a lobotomy -- I still retain the right and ability of thought.  However, for the most part, I feel that many of those serving (that have not deployed and seen it first hand) have been convinced of this imaginary threat and resent any fellow serviceman who questions it.  It is sad that the patriotism bandwagon that most Americans have hopped has perpetuated this notion that Iraq somehow posed a threat and was connected to 9/11 in some way.  In fact, I feel that this idea has been imprinted into our psyche and many people would now be convinced that there were Iraqis aboard those planes.  If you repeat something enough times, no matter how absurd, people someday will begin to believe it.

Another troubling pattern that has developed in America is in the overuse of the word "terrorist."  It has been redefined to describe any person who would oppose the decisions or actions of the USA.  If you invade someone's country- do they not have the right or duty to resist?  The Iraqis resist our rule and the administration calls them terrorists.  I call them patriots.  If the situation were reversed and North Korea was attempting to indoctrinate communism into the American way of life, would there not be resistance by Americans?  In America we have that right and duty.  If you follow their definition of terrorist...it would include our ancestors who opposed British rule in the Revolutionary War-  Including General and later President George Washington.

Personally, I am torn between my love for my country and desire to serve to DEFEND America, and my conscience.  I try to tell myself that I am distanced from the actual fighting, but it does no good.  My grandfather served in WWII and is a great man for what he did (some might say a hero).  No matter how many typical Americans say that they are proud of us for defending their freedom...I don't feel that distinguished and I don't think I'm alone.



If you say "I Support The Troops," then be all means - Go read their words. . .

I have, and this is a part of the many reasons that I present this blog.


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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Let's Get This Straight. . .

Evolution Is A Fact, Not A Theory - How Evolution Works Is The Theory
by The Old Hippie Because The Arrogantly Ignorant Really Piss Me Off


If you do not understand the difference, and/or you don't really care, you are one of the truly arrogantly ignorant defined, and are a big part of America's problems today.

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Sorry - I've just gotten tired of explaining the difference, and then having it dismissed out-of-hand because of denial, or ideology-conflicts, or "I don't "believe" it," without knowledge, etcetera, etcetera. . .   etc. . .


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Saturday, June 18, 2005

From ABC News. . .

Yes - From Mainstream Media - Did You See It?
by ABC NEWS - June 15, 2005


[ Link To ORIGINAL At ABC'S Web Site ]

Memo: Pentagon Concerned About Legality of Interrogation Techniques

Document Shows Top Pentagon Officials Warned About Guantanamo Bay Interrogation Tactics


Jun. 15, 2005 - The interrogation techniques used at Guantanamo Bay Detention Center in 2002 triggered concerns among senior Pentagon officials that they could face criminal prosecution under U.S. anti-torture laws, ABC News has learned.

Notes from a series of meetings at the Pentagon in early 2003 -- obtained by ABC News -- show that Alberto Mora, general counsel of the Navy, warned his superiors that they might be breaking the law.

During a January 2003 meeting involving top Pentagon lawyer William Haynes and other officials, the memo shows that Mora warned that "use of coercive techniques ... has military, legal, and political implication ... has international implication ... and exposes us to liability and criminal prosecution."

Mora's deep concerns about interrogations at Guantanamo have been known, but not his warning that top officials could go to prison.

In another meeting held March 8, 2003, the group of top Pentagon lawyers concluded -- according to the memo -- "we need a presidential letter approving the use of the controversial interrogation to cover those who may be called upon to use them."

No such letter was issued.


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White House: Tactics Are Legal

Today, the White House insisted that tactics used at Guantanamo Bay are now -- and have been -- legal.

"All interrogation techniques that have been approved are lawful and consistent with our obligations," said White House press secretary Scott McClellan.

In another internal memo obtained by ABC News, a Navy psychologist observing the interrogation warned that the tactics used against Mohammed al Qahtani -- dubbed "the 20th hijacker" -- revealed "a tendency to become increasingly more aggressive without having a definite boundary."

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday that interrogating al Qahtani had produced results.

"Qahtani and other detainees have provided valuable information, including insights into al Qaeda planning for September 11th, including recruiting and logistics," he said during a news conference.

Human rights lawyers say Mora was right to raise objections to what his superiors were doing.

"It's clear that individuals who engage in abusive treatment of this nature may be criminally liable for the conduct that they engage in," said Deborah Pearlstein, the director of the U.S. Law and Security Program at Human Rights First.  "So if I were one of the troops who was being asked to conduct interrogations using these techniques, I would certainly want to ask my lawyer whether he thought this was legal."

ABC News' Terry Moran filed this report for "World News Tonight."

Copyright © 2005 ABC News Internet Ventures


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Thursday, June 16, 2005

More "Says It All". . .

"Says It All" For Me, is Like Twilight Zone Redone by King and Koontz
compiled by The Old Hippie Because Sometimes I Like Scaring Myself


Kind Says It All For Those Righteous Bigots, Doesn't It?
ThatColoredFella calls it "Selective Intelligent Design"


Williams River Pitt "Says It All" in his Truthout perspective
"Nail It to the White House Door," and this video. . .

The Smoking Gun

Video From Truthout.org;
QuickTime - DSL | 56K
Windows Media - DSL | 56K
RealMedia - DSL | 56K

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Lynching - FINALLY - was officially condemned in "our" Senate. . .  Originally there were twenty GOP holdouts [ All red state repugnicans ]--including 2008 Presidential hopeful George Voinovich (R-OH).  Many have already repented.  Now we are just down to the following hardcore believers whose true colors are shining through.  [Definitly "Says It All" about them]

[Found at Michael Moore's Must Reads for June 16, 2005, links are there for more info]

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
(202) 224-4944 | Write

Thad Cochran (R-MS)
(202) 224-5054 | Write

John Cornyn (R-TX)
(202) 224-2934 | Write

Michael Enzi (R-WY)
(202) 224-3424 | Write

Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
(202) 224-3744 | Write

Judd Gregg (R-NH)
(202) 224-3324 | Write

Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
(202) 224-5251 | Write

Trent Lott (R-MS)
(202) 224-6253 | Write

John Sununu (R-NH)
(202) 224-2841 | Write

Craig Thomas (R-WY)
9202) 224-6441 | Write

Demopugnican Defined
"Repugnocrat" and/or "Demopugnican" Defined


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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

It's Hard Work. . .

George Bush Said It, But A Gold Star Mother Defined it
by Cindy Sheehan - President of Gold Star Familes For Peace

[A Gold Star mother is an American mother who has lost a child killed in this war.]

Cindy Sheehan, mother of Army Specialist Casey Austin Sheehan, killed in Iraq, and president of Gold Star Familes For Peace, at the Interfaith Rally in Lexington, Ky - ridiculed Bush for saying that it's "hard work" comforting the widow of a soldier who's been killed in Iraq.

"Hard work is seeing your son's murder on CNN one Sunday evening while you're enjoying the last supper you'll ever truly enjoy again.  Hard work is having three military officers come to your house a few hours later to confirm the aforementioned murder of your son, your first-born, your kind and gentle sweet baby.  Hard work is burying your child 46 days before his 25th birthday.  Hard work is holding your other three children as they lower the body of their big (brother) into the ground.  Hard work is not jumping in the grave with him and having the earth cover you both.

We're watching you very carefully and we're going to do everything in our power to have you impeached for misleading the American people," she said, quoting a letter she sent to the White House.  "Beating a political stake in your black heart will be the fulfillment of my life ... ," she said, as the audience of 200 people cheered.


Jennifer Sheehan
Cindy Sheehan, left, president of the Gold Star Families for Peace and
other touring activists were greeted by supporters after arriving at a
rally on the Freedom and Faith tour bus at a lawn on the grounds of
the Red Mile track in Lexington, Ky., Monday, June 13, 2005.


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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Even A Few More. . .

Random Signs That Something Is Possibly Awakening Inside The Empire
compiled by The Old Hippie Because I Hope It's Not Too Late To Stop Angered Chaos


Found At Atrios's Eschaton. . .
The Rude Pundit of course lives up to his name,
so those with delicate sensibilities should not click through.
The rest of you however...

Found At Rolling Stone. . .
The Girl Who Tried to Save the World

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Found At Cursor.org. . .
USA Today reports that 'The debate's over: Globe is warming' --
following the Friday resignation of President Bush's climate reports editor.

Found At Michael Moore's Must Reads. . .
The Downing Street Memo awareness gap narrows. (An explanation would be nice.)

Also From Michael Moore's Must Reads. . .
Monsanto ordered to hand over a secret study that questions
the benefits of genetically modified food.

Found At AlterNet.org. . .
The Mad Cow Cover-Up Begins to Unravel
John Stauber, PR Watch
EnviroHealth: Last week the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture announced
that an American cow tested positive for mad cow disease.

Found At BuzzFlash. . .
Court rejects media pleas to ease ownership rules; a small victory for consumer groups and Americans.  Now we just have to get the "Fairness Doctrine" reinstated and put Fox News back under the rock from which it crawled. 6/14

Found At CommonDreams.org. . .
Poll: USA is Losing Patience on Iraq; 59% Support Troop Cuts — A New High

Found At OldAmericanCentury.org. . .
White House rejects call for Iraq pullout timetable:  The fact that the Whitehouse is populated by representatives from the companies that are making billions off of this war has absolutely nothing to do with it, I'm sure -ed. 6-14

Final Note Today. . .
Did you notice?  At all of the "mainstream" corporate media's web sites - That Michael Jackson is their "biggest and most prominent" top-story/most-important-headline?  Whereas at all of the independent, and progressive, et al, news web sites. . .  It doesn't exist as a prominent, or "important" story, if it exist at all?

Who is giving Americans news that is important to us all, and who is giving Americans bullshit, and misdirection, of no real importance to our daily lives, and livelihoods?  Who do you trust?

If your answer to that doesn't scare you, then you need to open your eyes to your own destruction.  If you don't understand how not having a trusted "mainstream" media to keep us Americans honestly informed to the reality around us all is "destruction," then you are indeed a major part of the problems we reality-based Americans must overcome - Before there is any hope stopping this corrupt, and deadly, administration that has successfully overtaken our Constitutional Democracy.


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Saturday, June 11, 2005

"Losing" Our Country. . . ?

No, Not Losing It - We've Already Lost It, By Any Real Measurement
by The Old Hippie Because The Reality Of It Really Pisses Me Off


Paul Krugman, in the New York Times says we are "Losing Our Country."  Mr. Krugman is an extremely knowledgeable economist, and presents informed commentary - But his article's title is wrong, it is in the present tense, as if the loss of the American middle class, and the post-Depression/post-WWII economic equality, still is happening, and that there is some of that America left.  That is wrong.  It is gone, as he states at the end of his second paragraph, "...that was another country.  The middle-class society I grew up in no longer exists."

Even though I think he mis-titled his article, I do agree with the entire content of the short article completely.  Like Mr. Krugman, I'm an American of that same post WWII/boomer generation.  Rather than economics, my education was in the sciences, (double-major, Zoology & Chemistry,) so my approach to politics over the last 35-40 years has been from a slightly different perspective.

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But we both, along with all of the reality-based Americans, have come to same conclusion, which he states clearly in his article, "Since 1980 in particular, U.S. government policies have consistently favored the wealthy at the expense of working families - and under the current administration, that favoritism has become extreme and relentless.  From tax cuts [15% of which goes to the top 1/10th of the top 1%] that favor the rich to bankruptcy "reform" that punishes the unlucky, almost every domestic policy seems intended to accelerate our march back to the robber baron era."

As he further states, "It's not a pretty picture - which is why right-wing partisans try so hard to discredit anyone who tries to explain to the public what's going on."

Most of us, myself included, are not gifted with Mr. Krugman's knowledge of economics, but thanks to the incredible arrogance, and corrupted incompetence of these thieves/robber barons in high places, it doesn't take a large brain to be able to see what has happened.  With the help of a corporately corrupted mainstream media, and the opportunistic manipulation of political apathy, ideological ignorance, and manufactured fear, we Americans, the large 95% of us, have been robbed blind of our money, and our liberties.  We have been purposely lied to, jerk around, and used, as "those few" smirked all the way to their off-shore banks.

And it really pisses me off that Americans, so far, are allowing them to get away with it.  And I admit that I simply do not know why.  Maybe denial is still the major controlling factor, the "it couldn't happen here" syndrome.

The American Constitutional Democracy still exist, in theory, but the reality is that America is now an enhanced corporatist/theocratic fascistic oligarchical plutocracy, protected from the masses by "changed," and corrupted, regulatory laws, and hastily enacted "Patriot Act" laws, or more succinctly, totalitarian safeguards.

Doesn't this reality piss you off, or maybe scare you more than the "terrorists?"


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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

More Observing Of. . .

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


Patriot "The Russert Watch" - Arianna Huffington - June 7, 2005

"CNN Stuns U.S. With Actual News" - CJR - June 6, 2005

"The Politics of Climate Change" - OpenDemocarcy.net - In Pictures

"Godless America" - This American Life (RealAudio) - June 3, 2005

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"As The World Burns" - Mother Jones - May/June 2005 Issue

"Integrated Power"- A National Security Strategy - Center for American Progress - June 2005

"G8 Scientists Tell Bush: Act Now - Or Else..." - The Independent/UK - June 8, 2005

"Operation Truth" - optruth.org - Updated Every Day


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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I keep Hoping. . .

But My Hope Keeps Getting Smacked By Successful Arrogant Ignorance
by The Old Hippie Because I Am Able To See The Reality


I hope for rational reality-based reaction to obvious bad things, lies, illegal war, unnecessary deaths, un-deniable environmental damage, open theft of public monies, breakdown of the separa-

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tion of church and state, destruction of the checks and balances on the abuse of power, the incredible complete take-over of all of the federal regulatory agencies by corporate ex-CEOs and/or their lobbyists/lawyers, the corrupted and consolidated-down to just five corporations complicit and/or silenced mainstream media, the brazen and purposeful loss of the majority's economic security for the profit security of the very few, etc., etc. . .  Well, at least I kept hoping for rational response, but as events continued to worsen, and the arrogance of the manipulation of the apathy and ignorance continued, and continues to this day, I have to admit that I am finding hope of a "rational" response hard to hold on to. . .

Maybe instead of rational, the response may possibly turn out to be a massive bursting of a building up realization of truth, and its resultant anger. . .  It has gotten so bad, so fast, that even this dark possibility - is a feared "hope" of correction.


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I hope I'm wrong.  A rational reality-based correction of America's bad turn toward imperial bully would be much better than the chaos of an angry revolt against deadly theft, and arrogant ignorance, run amok.

I do admit I fear the future, not because of terrorists, but because of real domestic enemies, and truly insane ideologies, now in control of our once-upon-a-time great, and once-upon-a-time world respected Democracy, that once-upon-a-time had the hope of so many, to guide this chaotic planet's nations into sanity.


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Monday, June 06, 2005

It Seems. . .

It May All End Rationally, But Who Really Knows
by The Old Hippie Because I See Signs Of Hope


One Sign of hope is that the word "Impeachment" is more openly sneaking into the media recently.  From Santa Cruz in the west, to Boston in the east, from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, to Ramsey Clark, to even mainstream media, like at CNN. . .  More and more I'm seeing the word appear outside of the fringe, and in the main.  This is a good sign, a sign of hope that reality-based rationally just might win out after all, but - Who knows?

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I certainly don't have the answer.  I'm like most of you who are reading this, a typical over-educated, tree-hugging, reality-based, white suburban/urban American.  Maybe unlike some of you, I got lucky, and was able to get an education that many kids today can only dream about, now that most of their pathways to that education has been cut away from them.  Also I'm lucky in that I was able to retire at an earlier age than many, and am able to spend an inordinate amount of time researching all that I have written here in this blog, and included within my web site, and have written to the little email e-list that I run.

Because of that education, and the time to do the research, and observing the observations, and research, of many others, from all sides, I've been able to put together a clearer picture of "what's happening" than most of my fellow citizens, that simply don't have the time to do this research, because of trying to survive this economic mess we are all in now.

I have, as have many others, tried to present the results of this research in a way that is covered in reality-based facts, rather than biased opinion.  But opinion can not be avoided.  When I have presented opinion, I've endeavored to make sure it was reality-based/informed opinion, rather than the ideological rantings of corrupted or complicit sycophants.

I have also, for the past week or so, tried to think of a way to present that "clearer picture" to you the readers of this blog, in a nutshell. . .  But that is difficult to accomplish.  Without re-presenting all of the historical background, well covered in this blog, and many other sites, and without re-presenting all of the current events evidence and proofs, also well presented in this blog, and many other sites, the "nutshell" of what's happening, and what has happened, is that a small group of opportunistic ideologues have taken extreme advantage of this democracy's freedoms, and its citizen's political apathy, and ignorance, to over-take the American government for the single benefit to themselves of profit.  Mainly profits in dollars, but also opportunistically, the profits of the powers and ideologies to be able to change the laws of the land to better protect themselves from the awaking anger of the realization of "what's happened" within, and from, the masses - Us.  So far, they have been stunningly successful.

So far. . .  I only wonder for how much longer. . .


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Sunday, June 05, 2005

More 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


Patriot "How Many Deep Throats Does It Take" - Bob Harris - June 2, 2005

"Iraq, Afghan Vets - Homeless" - Stars & Stripes - June 5, 2005

"Administration's Offenses Impeachable" - Bangor Daily - June 2, 2005

"America's Religious Right" - (All 5 Parts) Weissman at Truthout.org

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"Air Force Academy Chief Admits School Bias" - AP - June 3, 2005

"Bush Not At All Realistic About The War" - Seattle Post-Intelligencer - June 3, 2005

"Take Back America" Videos - Speeches by Moyers, Edwards, Huffinton, et al

"Gulag Of Our Times" or a "Model Facility" - Debate - Democracy Now! - June 1, 2005


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Saturday, June 04, 2005

I Agree. . .

What a Friend We Have in Jesus!
by Ernest Partridge, Co-Editor of The Crisis Papers, May 24, 2005


In our struggle against the right-wing theocrats, our strongest ally is Jesus of Nazareth.


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Nothing else today -

Just read the article, and then think, talk, debate it, because as the author states. . .


"Face it:  progressive Americans are in a desperate struggle with religious-right fundamentalists.  Moderate Christians and Republicans should join this struggle,
for the survival of our democracy is at stake."

[ The title above is a direct link to the full article at the Crisis Papers web site.]


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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Tangents and other thoughts

Tangents and other thoughts.
by Doyle Watson on June 2, 2005 My personal thoughts, right or wrong!


I read the posts and listen to a multitude of different sources and all I see and hear is everyone passionately presenting their cases and of course everyone has evidence they say proves their case!

In reality who really cares?

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Everyone can present any subject to the general public and given the dumbing down of society through a substandard education system who can tell the difference?

I for one highly dislike the Government, Republican and Democrat alike, neither party has performed any miracles nor have they showed me that they can competently represent me.  City, County, State or Federal Governments are all corrupted by the power they yield.  I myself have been unable to find in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence any sentence which specifically states that there is suppose to be a separation of Church and State, (and I challenge anyone who reads this to prove me wrong), there is a reference that the Government may not force the Citizens of this Country to worship a particular religion, (this is my own interpretation, I can copy the exact writings if you all insist?), appears to me to be a tangent which has captured a number of peoples attention preventing them from focusing on issues which could do serious harm to the general citizenry’s health and wellbeing, both documents have been interpreted and everyone dictates and state what they feel or believe the Documents mean, in reality, both documents set down that our Fore Fathers wanted to put in writing what every Citizen in this Country’s rights were, neither Document grants any rights, these Documents also set forth that The Government is limited in what it can do and to ensure this there must be a separation between all three branches of Government ensuring that there is a checks and balances which has gone right out the window with a one Party control of all three branches.

Neither Party impresses me with their intelligence nor does the general public.  The citizens of this country do not have a grasp of the whole situation and will never obtain that grasp since they are unable to comprehend what is actually going on.

I guess in a way global warming, all the pollution, the diseases (cancer, aides, etc), the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, Terrorists, and Religious Radicals of all faiths, force reality upon us and that is not a very nice reality.  Death is wholly accepted by a lot of people and the listed realities are going to visit death upon us all.

I am aware that everyone reading this posting is probably saying to themselves by now that this is a really bleak outlook, at least that is a start, if people start recognizing this maybe everyone will stop going off on tangents and begin to make real and true changes.  A very good start would be to see a change in at least one of the branches of Government to the other party in 2006, another good start would be for everyone to begin learning, for everyone to go into life open to new ideas and willing to learn new things would go a long way towards solving a lot of this Countries problems, just the exercise of learning will set an individual apart from others, one may actually figure out a solution to a lot of this Countries problems, and eventually maybe the problems which plague a lot of the world.


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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

This Past Week. . .

I've Seen Indications That Anger And Outrage are Overcoming Denial
by The Old Hippie Because The Reality Of The Darkness Has Gotten Far Worse Than Predicted


I will say right up front I believe the anger and outrage, that is beginning to seep out around the edges of what is left of this once great Constitutional Democracy, isn't enough, and is way too late for so many whose lives have been devastated, for so many that are now dead, for nothing more than a few people's uber greed - "Profits over even life."

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Almost all that they set out to do, has been accomplished, for no other reason than the American people allowed them to get away with it.  In fact, are still allowing them to get away with it.  No one above a sergeant has faced any real punishment at all.  The Supreme Court has overturned the Arthur Andersen conviction for shredding Enron documents, Martha Stewart is living in luxury almost no American can comprehend, Ken Lay lives within even greater luxury to this day, nuclear weapons are back on the table, true religious nut jobs have very real political power, and are using it to re-write American history and law, opportunistic corporatists are taking full advantage of their ignorance to re-write American regulatory law to protect themselves from "the masses," all the senior military Generals/Admirals that have openly stated the truth, and all of the political "whistleblowers" who tried honorably to get the truth to the apathetic Americans, have had their careers crushed and "retirement" forced upon them, and they are still trying to tell the "in denial" America the truth - But it, the truth, has a hard time getting past the complicit corporate media.

The facts of the reality have been exposed, and exposed, and re-exposed, and still. . .

There is no revolt.  No impeachment.  No punishment.  No mass uprising.  Nothing.

Yet.


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