Saturday, July 30, 2005

Again Observing The Observers. . .

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 "Manners and Morons" - Molly Ivins - July 28, 2005

"China Floats, America Sinks" - Greg Palast - July 22, 2005

"The Source Beyond Rove" - Roger Morris - July 27, 2005

"Who's Going To Stop Us?" - Jennifer Loven, A.P. - July 30, 2005

"After all, their “private sector” supporters count and compile the votes with secret software – and do so with no official independent means of validation.  These facts about voting in the United States are publicly known and undisputed.  And yet, despite compelling and unrefuted evidence of voting fraud, no one, except some determined citizen groups and a small minority of members of Congress, appear to be bothered enough to take action."

by Ernest Partridge, The Crisis Papers, "The GOP is Certain to Win in 2006 — Unless..." - 7/25/05

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"We Need You to Get Mad, Stay Mad and Not Give Up" - (2nd Related Link Here)

"Democrats Play Dead on the Patriot Act" - It passed unanimously in the Senate.

"Here it is:  The sad story of how powerless Democrats are in Washington.  Even while Bush lags in the polls in the low '40s, the GOP is cashing in on win after win in energy, guns, and roads."

a BuzzFlash Headline, July 30, 2005


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Friday, July 29, 2005

We Are Still Allowing. . .

It Is Continuing To Get Worse - Because We Keep Allowing It To
by The Old Hippie Because This Is Simply Insane


CAFTA Passed, Rove is not in prison, much less even on trial, an ultra-right wing sycophant is headed toward the Supreme Court, whom can't seem to remember he was a member of the Federalist Society, open arrogant lies continue to go un-punished, the obvious and smirkingly corporatist take over of "our" government is allowed to worsen, even beyond what it has already reached, known and proven war crimes committed "in our names" go un-punished, known and proven torture of children in "our" prisons continue to be un-punished, not to mention the torture and rape of these children and the other adults in these prisons, that "our" own Pentagon has stated on the public record as having been swept up in broad sweeps of arrests, and that possibly 60% to 70% of these people are most likely innocent of any crimes, but yet most are still there, without charges filed against them - tortured, raped, murdered. . .  And it all remains un-punished, And it all continues - Because "We," Americans continue to allow it. . .

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If you deny any of this is true, then (unapologetically) fuck you.  You are either a complete idiot, a coward, or part of them, and in any way you look at it - It is this "continued allowing" that is America's biggest problem.

If you are still with me, then here are a few current items you may find of interest. . .

 1.  Senate Probe of Prewar Intelligence Stalls

 2.  CAFTA: Democracy Sold Out

 3.  Truth Takes a Spin

 4.  A US District Judge Defends the Honor of the Judicial Wing

"We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant or deny the defendant the right to counsel," he said.  "The message to the world from today's sentencing is that our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart."

He added that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks have made Americans realize they are vulnerable to terrorism and that some believe "this threat renders our Constitution obsolete ... If that view is allowed to prevail, the terrorists will have won."



 5.  A National Guardsman Testifying at a Hearing for U.S. Soldiers. . .

. . .accused of killing an Iraq general said he saw classified U.S. personnel beat prisoners with a sledgehammer handle and mock the general's death, according to a transcript.



 6.  Clinton Angers Left With Call for Unity

 7.  Toxic Elements Found in Infants' Cord Blood

In a benchmark study released today, researchers found an average of 200 industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of newborns, including seven dangerous pesticides — some banned in the United States more than 30 years ago.  The report, Body Burden — The Pollution in Newborns, by the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group, detected 287 chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of 10 newborns.  Of those chemicals, 76 cause cancer in humans or animals, 94 are toxic to the brain and nervous system and 79 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.



 8.  And For Those Whom Have Forgotten History. . .

"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 literature, 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."

-- 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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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

So, What Do You Think?

Feel Safer Now?  Believe Your Rights, Liberties, & Freedoms Are Intact?
compiled by The Old Hippie Because It Is Only Getting Worse


"Well, the GOP is temporarily succeeding at making treason appear normal and fully acceptable when the national security is damaged by a Republican.  Because Republicans are "good people" who betray the country out of divine inspiration, not malice."
-- A BuzzFlash News Analysis - July 27, 2005


Your Right   1.  Bowing Down to Those Who Undermine - David Sirota

  2.  Who's Taking Blame for Christian Violence?
- Toronto Star

  3.  Conspiracy Theories and the Fight for Truth
- CommonDreams

  4.  This Guy is a Modern-Day Hitler
- Alternet.org

  5.  Discourses on Iraq and the Middle East - Noam Chomsky

            (A MIT Video Lecture - 59:19 - RealPlayer)

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  6.  Karl Rove, the CIA and the Media - Watching America

  7.  Watch It - Excellent Ad - Then Just Do The Right Thing. . .

Stop Cox Nomination Ad

  8.  And Finally, Since Americans rank At The Bottom in Geographical Knowledge. . .

Map - Middle East


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Monday, July 25, 2005

Aw Hell, It IS True Afterall. . .

We - Americans - ARE Guilty Of Torturing Children In Abu Ghraib
by Many Sources - Including, Del Spiegel, Sunday Hearld, Watching The Watchers, et al.


"While there isn't even an inkling of this in the US Mainstream media, all over the world people are beginning to read about the US abusing children at Abu Ghraib."

[ The following is from http://watchingthewatchers.org/story/2005/7/23/121327/078#shame ]
[ Important related link: English translation of a German televised video Special Report ]


Child Abuse at Abu Ghraib

Data is emerging, no matter how the administration attempts to hide it, that the new photos and video of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison include the torture of children.


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Norway's Prime Minister's office says it plans to address the situation with the U.S. "in a very severe and direct way."

Could this mean losing yet another ally in the Iraq occupation?  Amnesty International in Norway has said that Norway can no longer continue their occupation of Iraq, or their support of US policy in this matter.

And some countries, as Tom Tomorrow notes, actually listen to their activists.

While there isn't even an inkling of this in the US Mainstream media, all over the world people are beginning to read about the US abusing children at Abu Ghraib.

Der Spiegel

The Sunday Herald in Scotland has a piece on the abuse of children at the notorious prison:

From Iraq's Child Prisoners, written one year ago:

It was early last October that Kasim Mehaddi Hilas says he witnessed the rape of a boy prisoner aged about 15 in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.  “The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets,” he said in a statement given to investigators probing prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib.  “Then, when I heard the screaming I climbed the door … and I saw [the soldier’s name is deleted] who was wearing a military uniform.”  Hilas, who was himself threatened with being sexually assaulted in Abu Graib, then describes in horrific detail how the soldier raped “the little kid”.


A DailyKos diarist has artist renditions of the abuse of a little girl being shown in magazines across the world.  Here are a few:

We Are All Guilty For Allowing. . .

We Are All Guilty For Allowing. . .

Reports put a rough estimate of children in Abu Ghraib at 107.  Remember that 70-90% of the people at Abu Ghraib were found to be innocent, and it translates into many innocent children being held to suffer for nothing.

The world is reading this, Norway is thinking of pulling out over it, and no one here knows anything about it.  The media will ignore this story as long as they can, and it explains why President Bush does not want the new photos released.

Could it be that child abuse would turn even his staunchest supporters against him?  Nevermind the abhorrence of such a thing on its very face.

I will close here with a quote from the man that Bush claims to live his life in homage to, Jesus of Nazareth:

"And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea."



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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Yep. . .

This Pretty Much Nails It. . .
by Siv O'Neall - Lyon, France - July 16, 2005


The Corporate Empire Rules the Planet:
A View from Europe 
[ Link To Original Article ]

The view of the world from a European outpost is not encouraging.  Even though the French and the Dutch voted NO to the Treaty for the European Constitution (TEC), there is no telling how far that NO is going to take us, given the worldwide power of the corporate empire that rules the planet.

In accordance with GATS, the General Agreement on Trade and Services, the goal of of the TEC was to spread the gospel of free trade and services with impunity and with the hope that the people who were concerned are not going to figure out the well-hidden message.

Most governments are well anchored to the power house represented by the multinational corporations.  They all seem to be lined up to compete in getting the lion's share of the booty when the resources of the planet are being divvied up between the plunderers.

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In Latin America, powerful popular movements are on the move to save their world from getting caught up, once again, in the claws of U.S. corporate imperialism, the 21st-century colonialism.  In the rest of the world, however, what has already been accomplished by the privatizers in terms of taking over what by right belongs to the people will have to be taken back by powerful popular protest movements.  Be it in Africa, in UK or in Bolivia, the gangrene that is spreading all over the planet through the multinational corporations has to be stopped.

The wheels of power are very clearly set on taking over all the wealth of the planet, everywhere, at any cost in lives and tax payers' money.  Where there is no shortage of a commodity, the shortage is created, be it about water being supplied to Delhi from the Ganges river in India (Water Privatisation And Water Wars, By Vandana Shiva) - or about the obscene power transactions in California culminating in the rigged 2001 electrical blackouts.


THE CORPORATE WORLD OF ANYTHING GOES

Take India as an example of this world-wide abuse of commodities: the Yamuna river where the once readily available water for Delhi has been polluted by the big industries ("Two decades of industrialization have turned the Yamuna into a sewer and toxic drain" - quote from Vandana Shiva) and the people have to pay exorbitant prices for water that gets transported in giant pipelines from far away, in this case from the Ganges river, water which the poor can not afford.

Anything goes in today's world of corporate supremacy.  The neocons have comfortably arranged the setting to keep the voices and the needs of the common man out of any form of decision making, mainly through the use of fear, secrecy and vicious propaganda as their tools.  It now seems almost impossible to even pick up an end of a rope to try to find a lifesaving solution to this horrendous state of things.  And we seem to be up against a wall because of the fact that the schemes so carefully worked out in the United States by the neocon regressives find a resonance in the Democratic Party.  There is no one any more to counterbalance the totally destructive and self-destructive actions the big corporations are undertaking to dominate the entire world.

Someone may think that the present-day conundrum is a problem that mainly concerns the U.S. and the Middle East/Central Asia.  Not so.  We are all in the crucible to be mangled and melted and ground to a manageable pulp that can serve in the geopolitical games of the corporate lords of the planet.  The governments, the G8 criminals, are not just doing the bidding of the corporate world.  They ARE the corporate world.


THE WORLDWIDE SWINDLE

No government will ever come to the rescue of the people since all governments in the industrialized world are in on this gigantic swindle.  The great world leaders are all lined up to take their share of the booty, be it in Iraq or Latin America or Africa.  Give them a chance and they'll all be ready to jump.  The IMF, the World Bank and the WTO are putting their people in place to serve the interests of the corporations.  George W. Bush is just one of their pawns.


If Chirac, the French president, and his government held out firmly against the U.S. plans to invade Iraq, it was not because of any compassionate feelings for the fate of the Iraqis and maybe not even any real understanding of the danger of bringing instability to that part of the world.  The French government was only looking out for itself.  France and Germany were both mainly tending to their own corporate interests, trying to keep some control over the unipolar world, this unipolarity being the mainstay of the PNAC articles of faith that have supplanted the U.S. Constitution and which is not well in tune with the planetary symphony.


When Blair played along with the U.S. in the illegal invasion of Iraq, it was because the UK government, Anthony Blair and the Chancellor to the Treasury, Gordon Brown, in particular, were confident that they would be rewarded by sharing in the booty after the takeover of Iraq.  They have largely been disappointed in their hopes.  But then - how can they possibly at this point find a way out of their misdirected collaboration with the great beast, playing second fiddle in the 'Power House' created by the neocons?  (See: "How We Got Into this Imperial Pickle: A PNAC Primer").


When 'New Labour' came to power in UK, when Gerhard Schröder and the 'New Social Democrats' took over from Helmut Kohl in Germany in 1998, we had no idea that those supposedly leftist governments were going to sell us down the river, gleefully, knowingly and without a second thought.  They both came to power during the '90s when Bill Clinton, the corporate pawn-in-chief was in power in Washington.  All three were men of big words, compassionate words, promising the 'reforming of society'.  Blair promised in 1997 that he was going to be the head of one of the greatest radical reform governments in History (qu'il conduirait "l'un des plus grands gouvernements radicaux réformateurs de notre Histoire" - that, under 'new Labour', Britain would no longer have to choose between the US and Europe.


FALLING BACK TO REALITY

Other European governments spoke as seductively of their concern for the people, of the European Union that was well under way, EU being the great saviour that was going to solve all the problems in the history of the continent.  In fact, this alliance had been well under way since the European Coal and Steel Community was established by the Treaty of Paris in 1952.  Now it was in the process of becoming a union including all of Europe and, or so we thought, of becoming a counterweight to the blundering monolith in the West.  Would we finally, through our precious enlarged union, be able to stay the power of the all-devouring great beast, the United States of America?  Hopes were high, but the fall back into reality was a hard one - for the leaders of this bogus 'neo-socialist' world.

There was a lot of talk about the European promised land.  It turned out, however, that we would, according to the proposed EU Constitution (which has now been defeated by France and the Netherlands), be acting under the whip and carrot of the multinational corporations, the big arms industry in particular, which is of course tied in with all the other multinationals.  We would be another hand in the U.S. dominated NATO alliance, a handy tool for the planetary takeover by Big Business.  Social contracts would be forgotten, overruled by stock market concerns.

Privatization would be the rule of the land, 'la concurrence libre et non faussée' (= free and unalleviated competition) would now be the gospel of the future days of glory for the corporations, and a total disregard for the wellbeing of the common man.  The middle class would see their comfortable cushions being stripped away layer by layer, the poor would be poorer, and the rich would be richer.


THE END OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE

The days of the American empire are clearly already counted, but the fall of the House of Bush and all the seemingly powerful forces shoring up George W. would only be a beginning of the end.  If it's even that.  It is a prerequisite, certainly, but the corporate world would probably still be intact and the religious followers of the money would continue on their trek.  We must never forget that the gangrene goes way outside of any national borders and that all the serpents growing from the head of Medusa have to be slain.

The manipulators are very deliberately blurring our vision of what is actually going on in Iraq and elsewhere.  They are heaping more or less important issues on our retinas and brains: scandals, real or invented, and also totally fabricated accounts of progress in Iraq and in the realm of national security, fake news that is spun for the benefit of the ignorant masses.  But the question is now: how long are the masses going to remain blind?  The day is close at hand when lots of various political and religious groups will see that they are being used, certainly not in their own interest, but exclusively to help the top guns finish their destructive game.

The only realistic way to fight back against this shortsighted scheme of ruling the world by a shallow and single-minded rich-getting-richer mentality must, of course, be popular mass movements as an answer to the people's loss of participation in everything concerning their own destinies.

The boundless greed of the few blind-leading-the-blind psychopaths has to be dealt with once and for all before it destroys the planet.  It's high time to get organized.  We must try to force the media to cooperate in our attempt to stop the gangrene or else we'll have to work through popular mass movements independent of the corporate media.  In the eleventh hour, they will have to jump onboard if they want to survive at all.  Signs are already appearing today that they see the flood coming and that they realize they are about to drown.

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Siv O'Neall was born and grew up in Sweden, graduated from Lund University.  She is living in Lyon, France with her family after having lived extensively in Paris, France and in New Rochelle, N.Y.  She is now retired but she has worked for many years as a French teacher in Westchester, N.Y. and as an English teacher in the Grandes Ecoles (Institutes of Technology) in France.

Copyright 2005 by Siv O'Neall


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Friday, July 22, 2005

Covers It Completely. . .

Sometimes One Finds The Perfect Exposure Of Reality, Here Are Two
by Lloyd Dangle, Satirist Extraordinaire, and Molly Ivins, Writer Extraordinaire


Troubletown


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Molly Ivins - Has an excellent reality-based article on this subject, with references to further proof of the reality. (The Article Linked Here)

The Referenced Links. . .

1.  "One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism"

2.  "When Corporations Rule the World"

3.  "The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century"

The Full Article Itself. . .

Big Time Trouble
Molly Ivins - Creators Syndicate

07.21.05 - AUSTIN -- If you had done a poll in November 2000, or in November 2004, I don't think you would have gotten out of single digits with this proposition: "George W. Bush wants to radically revise American law, including complete repeal of the New Deal, and take us back to the economic legal system that prevailed at the turn of the 19th century -- Robber Barons Redux."

During the past five years, both media and political circles have devoted an enormous amount of attention to social issues and culture wars -- rise of the Christian Right, anti-abortion groups, our debates over moral decline and moral relativism, prayer in the schools, school vouchers, displaying the Ten Commandments, sex and violence in entertainment, bias in the news media, gay marriage and all the rest of it.  I sometimes think all of it amounts to a bunch of people saying, "The world would be a much better place if everybody else thought exactly the same way I do."  Reminds me of Dr. Henry Higgins in his famous philosophical disquisition, "Why Can't A Woman Be More Like A Man?"  Higgins finally discovers the ultimate problem: "Why can't a woman be more like ME?"

Then, of necessity, we have spent huge amounts of time on Sept. 11, terrorism, Iraq, and related and ancillary problems.  It is not necessary to review the bidding here, but Iraq is becoming as divisive and unpopular as the Vietnam War.

While we have been absorbed in the silly circus of cultural issues and the riveting questions of the war, we've also been getting our pockets picked.  Big time. I am impressed that cartoonist Lloyd Dangle in the strip "Troubletown" managed to get the whole problem into 12 panels, each announcing some piece of economic news accompanied by an American saying, essentially, "What, me worry?"  The U.S. is over $7 trillion in debt (no problem);  China buys $1 billion worth of U.S. treasury bills a day (thanks for floating us);  Americans love the prices at Wal-Mart (made in China, cute!);  the Chinese save 50 percent of their domestic product;  the average American has $9,000 on his credit cards;  our economy is fueled by a fragile housing bubble;  the minimum wage is $5.15 per hour … ;  taxpayers who earn over $1 million saved $30K under Bush tax cuts;  the war in Iraq costs $9 billion a month; by 2040, our kids will be unable to do more than pay the interest on the national debt ... ;  bankruptcy reform makes it impossible to escape your debts;  in Darfur [Sudan], people earn $1.25 a day.

For those who prefer to get their economic news from a more respectable source than a cartoon, I recommend Bill Greider's op-ed article in the July 18 New York Times, "America's Truth Deficit."  He begins with the startling thesis that we face structural economic problems as serious as those that destroyed the late Soviet Union and that, like the USSR before its breakup, our leaders cannot talk about these problems honestly.  "[Our] weakening position in the global trading system is obvious and ominous, yet leaders in politics, business, finance and the news media are not willing to discuss candidly what is happening and why.  Instead they recycle the usual bromides about the benefits of free trade and assurances that everything will work out for the best."

It is a curious thing that as the disadvantages and, indeed, perils of globalization become clearer and the subject of ever-more worried books by respected economists, the mainstream media keep treating the whole problem as though it were about a bunch of protesters in turtle costumes at the G8 summit.  If it were not for Lou Dobbs on CNN, one would never even hear it mentioned on television.

Forget what the Supreme Court thinks about teaching creationism in the schools:  Think about what it will contribute to the spiraling disasters of globalization by dismantling the entire economic regulatory system built up over the past 100 years.  As Greider notes, "Washington defines 'national interest' primarily in terms of advancing the global reach of our multinational enterprises."  Problem is, our multinational corporations increasingly work against the interests of Americans themselves.  In addition to outsourcing jobs, the companies locate sham headquarters in off-shore tax havens to avoid paying taxes.  The only restraints we have ever had on multinational corporations are government regulation and the right to sue the bastards for the various kinds of harm they cause.  It is precisely those two forms of control that are being not just undermined but tossed out entirely by an increasingly activist right-wing judiciary.

Recommended reading:  Greider's "One World, Ready Or Not";  David Korten's "When Corporations Rule the World";  and Paul Krugman's "The Great Unraveling."

(c) 2005 Creators Syndicate


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Thursday, July 21, 2005

It Is Beyond Me. . .

How/Why We've Allowed The Thieves To Continue To Worsen Our Lives
by The Old Hippie Because This Continued Allowance Is Really Pissing Me Off


It really has gone too far, hasn't it?  And it continues to get even worse, as hard as it is to accept, daily.  We, America, The Pax Americana Empire, have become, in just a few years, just the blink of the political eye, "The Evil Empire."  Buried in, and under the secrecy, lies, manufactured fears,

Read

propaganda, wholesale destruction of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," hidden within a dense web of incredible denial, ignorance, and just plain stupidity, that is making everyones lives, Americans, and the rest of the world's peoples, worse off, and less secure.

I readily admit, the fact that so many Americans, with a straight face, still claim to not see it, is simply beyond me.  One of the consequences I am able to see, is that the truly desperate, the slowly awakening seriously suppressed, more so now than ever before in American history, far out number the "protected."

Every single time this has happened within the many written histories of this planet, without exception, really bad, and violent, things happened.  And in almost every case, most of the thieves, their sycophants and collaborators, scurried into hiding, with their profits secure - and those that had allowed it to continue to the point of "desperation-violently-unleashed," those that remained silent, and silenced, that had hoped they were "safe" with their arrogant denial, almost always went down in the flames of the readjustment.  But not just those cowards lives were destroyed, many more innocent lives got vaporized in the "un-expected violence" of the desperate.

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This "administration's leaders," now obvious to even those still hiding within their denial, are seriously opportunistic lying corporatists thieves of the worse ilk, willing to destroy any semblance of resistance to their "profit taking," power, and their "freedoms," even if it means the destruction of thousands, upon thousands, of lives, and/or the destruction of the American Constitutional Democracy, and the very stability of the planets biosphere.

To use the vernacular - This is really serious shit.  It is not "politics as usual."  It can not be ignored.  It has to be fought, resisted, protested, revolted against.  It has truly gotten so bad, dangerously bad, that we have no choice - Or almost all of us will go down in the flames. . .

". . .the powerful need control. . .  Fortresses, and garrisons, to guard their power.  And soon the guarding is yet another thing to be proud of.  Layers within layers, built to preserve their ages, and their pride from the weak, and the least that might attack from without.  And yet- - It is from within that most nations fall."
-- Yeesha, a character in a game, describing a truism of real history


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Monday, July 18, 2005

Breaking. . .?

How Can It Be "Breaking," If We All Knew It In 2003?
by BuzzFlash and the L. A. Times - July 18, 2005


"LA Times, July 18th:  "Rove and Cheney chief of staff were intent on discrediting CIA agent's husband, prosecutors have been told."  As BuzzFlash Has Repeatedly Pointed Out, This Was Confirmed in a Washington Post Article Posted on September 28, 2003.  Yes, That's 2003!  What's More, If You Read the 2003 WP Article Closely, the Source for the WP Information May Very Well be -- Band Roll Please -- Karl Rove!  And, PLEASE REMEMBER, It Was the CIA That Requested the Leak Investigation, Not Joe Wilson.  Rove, Bush and Cheney Vs. the CIA.  It Has a Scary Ring to It, Doesn't It?  As in Treason."
-- Quote from BuzzFlash, which links to this L.A. Times article


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Want more?  Look in the right hand sidebar  ==>
In the "Links of Interest," and the "Blogs of Interest," sections. . .
Lots of links to truthful, and well researched facts, and honest opinion galore!

Maybe you should try a few?


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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Bombshells #2. . .

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.  The Logic of Suicide Terrorism
          - It’s the occupation, not the fundamentalism


  2.  A Little Conspiracy Theorizing - BuzzFlash

  3.  Follow the Uranium - Frank Rich

  4.  Fighting Back The Empire - Economic Boycott Of The US

  5.  Discourses on Iraq and the Middle East - Noam Chomsky

            (A MIT Video Lecture - 59:19 - RealPlayer)

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  6.  An Unreasonable Woman - CommonDreams - Mokhiber/Weissman

  7.  Why My Comcast Horror Story Is Better Than Yours
Censorship Defined - For the past week, anyone using Comcast has been unable to receive any Email with "www.afterdowningstreet.org" in the body of the Email.

  8.  Diebold Rep Gave $10,000 to County GOP

  9.  There Goes the Electrical Grid - Molly Ivins


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Saturday, July 16, 2005

SS Created

Genesis of an American Gestapo
by Mike Whitney - July 16, 2005


Tyranny has very few indispensable parts: a compliant media that will regulate information to meet the goals of the state; a “rubber-stamp” Parliament that will endorse the policies of the supreme leader; a judiciary that will adjust the law to serve the requirements of the ruling body, a strong military to seize the wealth of weaker nations; and a security apparatus, that will eliminate any domestic threats to the system.

On June 29 President Bush took the great leap forward in transforming the nation’s intelligence services by ordering a restructuring of the FBI and putting “a broad swath of the agency” under the direct control of the executive.

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Bingo -- Bush’s personal secret police: an American Gestapo.

The formation of the new agency was presented as part of 74 recommendations made by the 9-11 Commission on Intelligence.  Every member of the so-called “independent” panel was handpicked by the Bush team, and their proposals reflect the narrow interests of American elites.  Bush loyalists and Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) members Lawrence Silberman and Charles Robb, (both of whom were directly involved in the 9-11 whitewash) chaired the committee, and provided the rationale for the dramatic changes to the existing system.  Astonishingly, Bush was able to unilaterally create the National Security Service without congressional approval as part of his sweeping powers under the new anti-terror legislation.

The freshly minted National Security Service, which has been dubbed the New SS, will operate under the authority of former ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte, whose involvement in overseeing the terrorist activities of death squads in Nicaragua will provide him with the necessary experience for his new task.  Negroponte, the new Intelligence czar, will report directly to the President, who in turn will carefully monitor the violations of civil liberties that will naturally evolve from unsupervised investigations.

The formation of the Bush Gestapo overturns long held precedents for maintaining the independence of law enforcement agencies.  Those guidelines have been summarily discarded by the administration, just as they have been ignored by the collaborative media.  The nation’s steep descent into despotism was barely greeted with a whimper of protest from the mainstream press.  The editors of The New York Times applauded the changes as a sign of progress, a step forward in making America safer and “breaking down walls” between foreign and domestic agencies.  This is true; there are many cumbersome “barriers” between the President and absolute power but, for all practical purposes, those have now been effectively removed.  Notwithstanding the NY Times’ perky assessment, the deleterious effects on the American people will be felt for decades to come.

In a Washington Post article innocuously titled “Bush Approves Spy Agency Changes,” veteran journalist Walter Pincus makes scant reference to the many civil liberties groups that fought the creation of the National SS.  Timothy Edgar, from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), criticized the president’s action saying, “The FBI is effectively being taken over by a spymaster who reports directly to the White House. . . . It's alarming that the same person who oversees foreign spying will now oversee domestic spying, too.”

“Alarming” to whom?  It’s not alarming to the president or his cadre of corporate benefactors who would rather eschew the nettlesome requirements of the Bill of Rights to eliminate potential dangers to the state.  To them, the emergence of the secret police augers stability in the markets, eliminating disruptive elements without recourse to the law.  Personal freedom is the sworn enemy of “top-down”, orderly societies.  The Bush Gestapo will ensure that the decision-making power continues to be entrusted by those who’ve demonstrated their natural right to lead.

The National Security Service will have unlimited power to conduct the apocryphal war on terror anyway it sees fit.  The agency will operate independent of congressional oversight and beyond the bothersome glare of America’s permanently embedded media.  It will provide the requisite muscle for maintaining America’s one-party system; spying, harassing and intimidating those dissident elements that dare to challenge the status quo.  We should expect to see an up tick in dirty tricks, coerced censorship and “disappeared” persons in the wake of the new changes.

General Michael Hayden, deputy director of National Intelligence, attempted to assuage fears that civil liberties would be savaged by the Bush brown shirts.  Hayden stated unequivocally that the US no longer had the “luxury” of maintaining the divisions between foreign and domestic intelligence structures because, “Our enemy does not recognize that distinction.”  In other words, it’s too dangerous to be free any longer.

Isn’t this the unavoidable logic of Fascism?

The creation of the National Security Service comes on the heels of other developments that are equally ominous.  Homeland Security’s Michael Chertoff announced this week that the 180,000 public employees in the government’s largest agency would be further corralled under the central authority of the president.  Invoking the pretext of “national security,” Chertoff plans to appoint a few new agency chieftains (Bush loyalists) who will be tasked at consolidating the disparate groups under a model of corporate rule.  The changes represent even more power for the president.

Similarly, the release of a 40-page document from the Defense Department states the intention of the Pentagon to “expand military activity” within the United States, a practice that has been banned since 1878 under the provisions of the Posse Comitatus Act.  Americans would be surprised to know that the administration is maneuvering to sidestep the existing law and deploy troops inside the country on the president’s orders.  Consider, for a moment, the potential for disaster if Bush is allowed to use the military as his own private resource: dispatching protestors, patrolling cities and supervising elections as happens in third world nations.  The Pentagon document clearly “asserts the president’s authority to deploy combat forces on US territory to intercept and defeat threats.”  (Washington Post)

Sounds like a military dictatorship to me.

Is there any doubt where all of this is heading?

The National Security Service, which is an autonomous, domestic spy-agency, signals a tectonic shift in the political landscape.  The genesis of the Police State marks the end of American democracy, the final wooden stake to the heart of privacy, security and personal liberty.  Bush’s meteoric rise to power has been accompanied by a breakdown of traditional safeguards at every juncture, leaving the system vulnerable to incalculable damage.  The message to citizens is clear: all of the institutions upon which democratic societies depend (the executive, the Congress, the Judiciary, the media, the military, and law enforcement) have withered beneath the Bush onslaught and been reduced to rubble.  The entire system has been corrupted from top to bottom.  America is a gaunt, skeletal figure, rattling around in its cage, ready to be blown over by the first brisk wind.  Democracy is dead.

Now, will someone please tell the American people?

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state, and can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com.


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Friday, July 15, 2005

He Did It Again. . .

William Rivers Pitt At Truthout Nails The Reality Perspective Once Again
by William Rivers Pitt, A truthout Perspective, June 30, 2005


I'm not going to reproduce it here - Just go read it - This is a direct link to it.


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Go read it - I didn't reproduce it here


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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Synoptic. . .

Articles Presenting A Summary Of The Principal Parts Of The Whole
compiled by The Old Hippie Because There Are Only So Many Ways To State The Obvious


[ First sentence of each synoptic quote links to its original article. ]
[ Any red highlights are mine, not the original author's. ]

"The CIA says that Bush's invasion of Iraq has created ideal conditions for training insurgents and terrorists.  The longer we are there, the worse it gets.  - - -  Each month in the 21st century the government's own statistics tell the tale of the US winding down as a superpower and devolving into a third world country.  Not a single net new high tech or manufacturing job has been created for native-born Americans in the 21st century."

"The horrific terrorist bombings in London are a pale reflection of the terror erupting from George W. Bush's energy plan, which will ultimately kill far more people and wreck far more planetary havoc than four bombs and fifty deaths on a single city's streets."

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"Listen to Thom Hartmann's interview with George Galloway - this British Parliamentarian has been taking the President (and British Prime Minister) to task on the Iraq war."  [a Windows audio media file (.wma 17:37) from KPOJ-620AM]

"The Gallup organization has reported that 86% of Americans believe a college education will be beyond the reach of most families in the future.  It's a subject of almost universal concern among parents.  Since 1980, as measured by the consumer price index, college costs have grown 2-2½ times faster than inflation."

"How do social, economic, demographic, and environmental pressures and the complex interactions among them connect to insecurity, instability, and violenceWorldwatch [Institute] is analyzing these questions for its ongoing Global Security Project.  Be sure to visit here regularly to find new reports and links."

"When Tom Paine published his pamphlet “Common Sense” in January of 1776, six months before the Declaration of Independence was signed, he had a clear objective: to transform protest into rebellion."


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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Been A Week. . .

1 Hurricane, 3 Days Without Power, Plenty Of Time To Think
by The Old Hippie Because America Has Become "Them"


When did we become the bad-guys?

When we knowingly allowed this corrupt Empire of Christian-Fascists to become the American reality, in the well proven corrupted 2004 "presidential" election, and as a nation, did nothing, and to this day, have done nothing, to stop "them."

As a nation, we have done nothing to stop them, because we all have become them.

If anyone has a different explanation for why there hasn't been a national in-the-streets revolt to stop the exposed, and well proven, crimes of this administration - I would love to hear it.

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Look back to late 2001 and note that every single thing the un-patriotic, loopy, anti-war, reality-based, treasonist-liberals, had predicted would happen - Has come true.

We have less freedom and liberty within our nation.

We are not safer, we are in more danger.

Acts of terror, worldwide have increased, not decreased.

We are the only 1st world nation without universal health care.

We are the most imprison nation on Earth, and in history.

Global corporations now, in reality, have control of our government, by proxy.

Our national treasury has emptied into the hands of the very few.

We are living the largest deficit in our nation's history.

We are living the largest negative trade gap in our nation's history.

We are borrowing prodigious amounts of money from other nations, mainly China.

Guess into whose pockets that money is going, and who will have to pay it back.

We, as a nation, indefinitely imprison, and torture, human beings - Without charge -

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If we, as a nation, do nothing to stop them - Then we are "them."

"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 literature, 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."
-- 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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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Even 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


There Were 300-500 Protestors at Bush's PR Stunt in Morgantown, WV, on the Fourth, But You Wouldn't Know It From Reading This MSNBC Report.  On Air, An MSNBC News Reader Did Acknowledge Protestors Were Present but Implied They Were Not True Americans, Saying Something Like:  "Well, we don't know how many people were there for the speech.  There were some protestors but mostly it was patriotic Americans."  Stalin is Smiling Somewhere.
-- BuzzFlash, July 5, 2005

Girth of a Nation - ["...fierce opposition from conservatives.  Why?"]

To Really Piss Off The Radical Right, Just Tell The Truth, Publicly. . .

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"...it is starting to look as if Judith Miller's role in this developing story is much more profound, perhaps even sinister, than that of an honest journalist being pursued for her confidential sources by a dogged prosecutor.
-- Daily KOS, July 3, 2005

Books of The Bible - [Question: Who decided which books went into which bibles?]

Psychoheresy?!? - [Most definitely a "Says It All"]


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Monday, July 04, 2005

Timelines of Interest. . .

Histroy Is Complex, Timelines Help To Show The Connections Clearly
compiled by The Old Hippie As I had The Time


1.  The Bush Family

2.  From The Beginning 
(Warning:  Reality-Based)

3.  Create Your Own Personal Timeline 
(Very Cool, and Free)

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Nothing else. . .


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Friday, July 01, 2005

Quotable. . .

Quotes - Giving Evidence To The Realization Of The Growing Mind Set
compiled by The Old Hippie Because These Few Voices Speak For So Many Of Us


The post-speech arguments about "staying the course" advanced by Democrats, [are] analogous to "asking Jack the Ripper to perform surgery on his victims to help save their lives, and saying that it's his responsibility to do so since he's the one responsible for the damage."
-- Source of Quote by Eli at left i on the news blog --

"Terrorism is the war of the poor.  War is the terrorism of the rich.  I make $40,000 a year.  I consider myself rich.  If a country more powerful than my own attacked my country for NO GOOD REASON, I would fight them to the death, and I would consider them terrorists.  Would I be an insurgent or a terrorist?  I don't know.  I can't answer your question."
-- Source of Quote by Patrick at Michael Moore's Must Reads Mailbag, June 30, 2005

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"Karl Rove had it backwards: It's the Right that is uniquely unqualified to protect America in the age of terrorism."
-- Source of Quote by Joshua Holland at AlterNet

"The curtain has been pulled back on the wizard, and the fantasy is over.  It's long past time for straight talk by serious people. . ."
-- Source of Quote by Robert F. Sommer (parent of a soldier in Iraq) at the N.Y. Times

"There's a lesson for liberals in all this: American politics has become a game with no rules and no referee.  Play by the old rules--fairness, honesty, good faith--and face political extinction."
-- Source of Quote by Eric Alterman at the Nation

"I have never covered a president who actually wanted to go to war.  Bush's policy of pre-emptive war is immoral - such a policy would legitimize Pearl Harbor.  It's as if they learned none of the lessons from Vietnam."
-- Source of Quote by Helen Thomas at Ecotopics International news Service

[In my search for quotes, I ran across the following, which I present in full, because to present an out-of-context quote from it would do it a disservice.  It is from the "Baghdad Burning" blog by an Iraqi girl living in Iraq.]

Unbelievable. . .

“Not only can they not find WMD in Iraq,” I commented to E. as we listened to the Bush speech, “But they have disappeared from his speeches too!”  I was listening to the voiceover on Arabiya, translating his speech to Arabic.  He was recycling bits and pieces of various speeches he used over two years.

E., a younger cousin, and I were sitting around in the living room, sprawled on the relatively cool tiled floor.  The electricity had been out for 3 hours and we couldn’t turn on the air conditioner with the generator electricity we were getting.  E. and I had made a bet earlier about what the theme of tonight’s speech would be.  E. guessed Bush would dig up the tired, old WMD theme from somewhere under the debris of idiocy and lies coming out of the White House.  I told him he’d dredge up 9/11 yet again… tens of thousands of lives later, we would have to bear the burden of 9/11… again.

I won the bet.  The theme was, naturally, terrorism- the only mention of ‘weapon’ or ‘weapons’ was in reference to Libya.  He actually used the word ‘terrorist’ in the speech 23 times.

He was trying, throughout the speech, to paint a rosy picture of the situation.  According to him, Iraq was flourishing under the occupation.  In Bush’s Iraq, there is reconstruction, there is freedom (in spite of an occupation) and there is democracy.

“He’s describing a different country…” I commented to E. and the cousin.

“Yes,” E. replied.  “He’s talking about the *other* Iraq… the one with the WMD.”

“So what’s the occasion?  Why’s the idiot giving a speech anyway?”  The cousin asked, staring at the ceiling fan clicking away above.  I reminded him it was the year anniversary marking the mythical handover of power to Allawi’s Vichy government.

“Oh- Allawi… Is he still alive?”  Came the indolent reply from the cousin.  “I’ve lost track… was he before Al Yawir or after Al Yawir?  Was he Prime Minister or did they make him president at some point?”

9/11 and the dubious connection with Iraq came up within less than a minute of the beginning of the speech.  The cousin wondered whether anyone in America still believed Iraq had anything to do with September 11.

Bush said:
“The troops here and across the world are fighting a global war on terror.  The war reached our shores on September 11, 2001.”

Do people really still believe this?  In spite of that fact that no WMD were found in Iraq, in spite of the fact that prior to the war, no American was ever killed in Iraq and now almost 2000 are dead on Iraqi soil?  It’s difficult to comprehend that rational people, after all of this, still actually accept the claims of a link between 9/11 and Iraq.  Or that they could actually believe Iraq is less of a threat today than it was in 2003.

We did not have Al-Qaeda in Iraq prior to the war.  We didn’t know that sort of extremism.  We didn’t have beheadings or the abduction of foreigners or religious intolerance.  We actually pitied America and Americans when the Twin Towers went down and when news began leaking out about it being Muslim fundamentalists- possibly Arabs- we were outraged.

Now 9/11 is getting old.  Now, 100,000+ Iraqi lives and 1700+ American lives later, it’s becoming difficult to summon up the same sort of sympathy as before.  How does the death of 3,000 Americans and the fall of two towers somehow justify the horrors in Iraq when not one of the people involved with the attack was Iraqi?

Bush said:
“Iraq is the latest battlefield in this war.  … The commander in charge of coalition operations in Iraq, who is also senior commander at this base, General John Vines, put it well the other day.  He said, "We either deal with terrorism and this extremism abroad, or we deal with it when it comes to us."

He speaks of ‘abroad’ as if it is a vague desert-land filled with heavily-bearded men and possibly camels.  ‘Abroad’ in his speech seems to indicate a land of inferior people- less deserving of peace, prosperity and even life.

Don’t Americans know that this vast wasteland of terror and terrorists otherwise known as ‘Abroad’ was home to the first civilizations and is home now to some of the most sophisticated, educated people in the region?

Don’t Americans realize that ‘abroad’ is a country full of people- men, women and children who are dying hourly?  ‘Abroad’ is home for millions of us.  It’s the place we were raised and the place we hope to raise our children- your field of war and terror.

The war was brought to us here, and now we have to watch the country disintegrate before our very eyes.  We watch as towns are bombed and gunned down and evacuated of their people.  We watch as friends and loved ones are detained, or killed or pressured out of the country with fear and intimidation.

Bush said:
“We see the nature of the enemy in terrorists who exploded car bombs along a busy shopping street in Baghdad, including one outside a mosque.  We see the nature of the enemy in terrorists who sent a suicide bomber to a teaching hospital in Mosul…”

Yes.  And Bush is extremely concerned with the mosques.  He might ask the occupation forces in Iraq to quit attacking mosques and detaining the worshipers inside- to stop raiding them and bombing them and using them as shelters for American snipers in places like Falluja and Samarra.  And the terrorists who sent a suicide bomber to a teaching hospital in Mosul?  Maybe they got their cue from the American troops who attacked the only functioning hospital in Falluja.

“We continued our efforts to help them rebuild their country.  Rebuilding a country after three decades of tyranny is hard and rebuilding while a country is at war is even harder."

Three decades of tyranny isn’t what bombed and burned buildings to the ground.  It isn’t three decades of tyranny that destroyed the infrastructure with such things as “Shock and Awe” and various other tactics.  Though he fails to mention it, prior to the war, we didn’t have sewage overflowing in the streets like we do now, and water cut off for days and days at a time.  We certainly had more than the 8 hours of electricity daily.  In several areas they aren’t even getting that much.

“They are doing that by building the institutions of a free society, a society based on freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and equal justice under law.”

We’re so free, we often find ourselves prisoners of our homes, with roads cut off indefinitely and complete areas made inaccessible.  We are so free to assemble that people now fear having gatherings because a large number of friends or family members may attract too much attention and provoke a raid by American or Iraqi forces.

As to Iraqi forces…There was too much to quote on the new Iraqi forces.  He failed to mention that many of their members were formerly part of militias, and that many of them contributed to the looting and burning that swept over Iraq after the war and continued for weeks.

“The new Iraqi security forces are proving their courage every day.”

Indeed they are.  The forte of the new Iraqi National Guard?  Raids and mass detentions.  They have been learning well from the coalition.  They sweep into areas, kick down doors, steal money, valuables, harass the females in the household and detain the men.  The Iraqi security forces are so effective that a few weeks ago, they managed to kill a high-ranking police major in Falluja when he ran a red light, shooting him in the head as his car drove away.

He kept babbling about a “free Iraq” but he mentioned nothing about when the American forces might actually depart and the occupation would end, leaving a “free Iraq”.

Why aren’t the Americans setting a timetable for withdrawal?  Iraqis are constantly wondering why nothing is being done to accelerate the end of the occupation.

Do the Americans continue to believe such speeches?  I couldn’t help but wonder.

“They’ll believe anything.”  E. sighed.  “No matter what sort of absurdity they are fed, they’ll believe it.  Think up the most outrageous lie…  They have people who’ll believe it.”

The cousin sat up at this, his interest piqued.  “The most outrageous lie?  How about that Iraq was amassing aliens from Mareekh [Mars] and training them in the battle art of kung-fu to attack America in 2010!”

“They’d believe it.”  E. nodded in the affirmative.  “Or that Iraq was developing a mutant breed of rabid, man-eating bunnies to unleash upon the Western world.  They’d believe that too.”

Mykeru has a fantastic post about the speech, as do Juan Cole (as usual), and TomDispatch


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