Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Asleep In The Bunker

The other day, during his end-of-the-year press conference, George W. Bush said he would happily consult with military commanders, members of Congress (even Democrats!) and other experts about what to do in Iraq. But note how he framed this open-mindedness: "I am willing to follow a path that leads to victory." Just as he was making that remark, TomPaine.com was posting my latest "Loyal Opposition" column. Here it is.

Bush, Asleep In The Bunker
David Corn
December 20, 2006
www.tompaine.com

David Corn writes The Loyal Opposition twice a month for TomPaine.com. Corn is also the Washington editor of The Nation and the co-author, along with Michael Isikoff, of HUBRIS: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War Read his blog at DavidCorn.com.

I'm sleeping a lot better than people would assume.
--George W. Bush

Don Rumsfeld is the finest Secretary of Defense this nation has ever had.
--Dick Cheney

This is scary. The president of the United States of America has created a hellish disaster that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and thousands of American soldiers, and he's resting well. The vice president believes that the man responsible for three of the greatest military blunders in U.S. history (attacking Iraq without devising a strategy for securing the country after the invasion; dissolving the Iraqi army, creating armed and trained recruits for the incipient insurgency; and mounting an extensive de-Baathification campaign that destroyed the governing infrastructure of the nation) did his job well.

Such comments suggest that the two people in charge of this country are not living in denial but detachment. They must realize that Iraq is a mess perhaps beyond remedy. But that doesn't seem to affect them. How can that be?

Bush and Cheney are in the bunker. The American public has rendered a judgment on the war and Bush and Cheney's management of it which is: not worth it, and you blew it. Washington's policy poohbahs—with the release of the Iraq Study Group report—pronounced the war practically lost. (Bush, showing more than he intended, said of the report, "To show you how important this [report] is, I read it." Still, he rejected its key Hail-Mary proposals.) Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, the nation's number-one Johnny-come-lately, seconded the Iraq Study Group's conclusion that the United States is losing in Iraq. And all this occurred before the recent news that the Joint Chiefs of Staff have concluded that the White House cannot define the military mission in Iraq, that attacks against Iraqi and American troops are (once again) up, and that the Pentagon considers Shiite militants, not the Sunni insurgency, as the most grave threat in Iraq (meaning the Bush administration is supporting a government run by Shiites unable or unwilling to control Shiite death squads).
Bush seems unable to grapple with the worsening situation in Iraq. Apparently lacking ideas of his own, he held high-profile meetings with military commanders and experts to ponder options. And this was front-page news. (Shouldn't the president regularly be talking to his commanders and outside experts about the Iraq dilemma?) Yet this chatter produced nothing immediate. Bush delayed a speech in which he supposedly will announce changes in his Iraq policy. The bottom line: The commander in chief had no clear notion of his own about what to do next.

As the Iraq Study Group showed, there are no new big—or promising—ideas for Iraq. The report produced by the panel led by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Representative Lee Hamilton was infused with not only realism but also pessimism. It noted the fundamental challenge is resolving the deeply rooted sectarian conflict causing much of the violence in Iraq. Yet the report said, "Many of Iraq's most powerful and well-positioned leaders are not working toward a united Iraq." If that is indeed the case, the main proposals of the commission—enhance the training of Iraqi security forces, withdraw combat troops slowly (if conditions permit), and conduct a diplomatic blitz—will not likely produce much. After all, why bother to train the security forces of a government driven by sectarian strife? (Might U.S. forces end up training militia loyalists?) The Baker report—quite purposefully—avoided talk of victory in Iraq. The mission per Baker is to clean up the mess (somewhat) and get the United States out.

That is not, I am guessing, how Bush views the matter. He cannot concede he's made that mess. He cannot let go of his grandiose (post-weapons of mass destruction) justification for bringing death and chaos to Iraq: Turning Iraq into a stable beacon of democracy and spreading freedom and positive change throughout the region. (Of course, the opposite appears to be happening. Arab moderates have been weakened by the Iraq war, and existing conflicts in the area have been intensified by the war.) So here's the bad news: Bush is in a hole and he will keep on digging.

Bush is not interested in extrication. (No thank you, Mr. Baker.) He wants that victory. Consequently, he's going to be more interested in listening to anyone who says there is a path to victory than anyone who counsels there is way (maybe) to minimize the damage done. And since any alternative to the present course, including a minimize-the-damage-done plan, carries with it the risk of dangerous consequences (withdrawing U.S. troops could lead to more chaos in Iraq and the onset of regional conflict), Bush probably figures he might as well pursue a plan with some promise—however illusory—of victory.

It's no surprise, then, that the White House seems to be leaning toward a "surge"—sending thousands of troops into Baghdad in a desperate attempt to stifle the sectarian violence there, if only temporarily. The Pentagon opposes doing so. And such an action, as Powell, the Iraq Study Group, General John Abizaid, the Central Command chief, have noted, is unlikely to address the fundamental factors shaping and driving the sectarian warfare. But by ordering a surge, Bush could play the role of the decisive decider-in-chief, willing to make the hard call necessary for triumph.

As Bush and Cheney plot the way ahead in that bunker, they are dismissing the Baker report and holding on fast to the belief they did the right thing and this will all end up well. It's easy to envision them bucking not only Baker and Daddy Bush's realist pals but the military, Nervous-Nellie Republicans in the Congress, and, yes, the American public. Days before the elections, Cheney laid out the White House strategy when he said that the Bush administration will pursue its Iraq policy "full speed ahead." Despite the election results, the Baker report, and the ever-deteriorating reality in Iraq, Bush shows no signs of revising his basic approach. It is full speed ahead-perhaps until he can dump this war on another president in January 2009—and damn the consequences.

Posted by David Corn at December 21, 2006 03:53 PM

105 comments:

capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

It is obvious to me that Bush will announce a troop "surge" or build-up as a way of saber rattling at Iran.

Bush doesn't care one lick about what JB3 or any of his dads cronies say, he was right all along and he will be damned if he will ever see it differently.

The scary part is:

HE THINKS HE IS RIGHT ABOUT ATTACKING IRAN!!!

Or he can "do" a little on the Koreans in the north. He will be just as resolute because he is still surrounded in a cocoon of "yes" people that stroke his ego for the sake of his ego. American values, the constitution, the law are all far below where the megalomaniac places himself and his abilities.

He needs to be impeached and removed from office. Crimes have been committed and he is responsible no matter what anybody thinks and we are a nation of laws and nobody is above the law.

The same pathetic spineless political expedience protected GHWB and Ronny Raygun from impeachment for Iran/contra.

Do we really want to replay this mess?

Thanks for all of your work.


Kirk

David B. Benson said...

Damn the consequences...

Impeach and damn the consequences...

Saladin said...

Robert from previous thread, I used to agree with your sentiment, but it has become crystal clear to me that this stampede we call the vote has lead us to disaster. The two labels we have to choose from mean nothing, they haven't for a very long time. I do not believe there will be anything substantially accomplished even if the dems proceed with investigations, because they are complicit as well. There is no way they can get at the truth without themselves being drug through the mud. I am sick and tired of these idiot politicians treating us like we are nothing but morons who go to the "selection" like obedient little boys and girls, it isn't working! The option? Revolution, or at least a nationwide strike and uprising to force them to do the right thing. We keep using the same tactics and wonder why nothing changes. Instead of voting we should be marching on DC screaming for justice, what good is it to vote if both choices are intent on decimating the Muslim people and creating a police state here at home? This shit has got to stop, voting is just going through a useless motion if all we get is endless war regardless of the will of the people. And I don't think Micky Mouse has enough backing to make any difference. If your choice was the devil or his right hand man would you bother? They have destroyed democracy, and if we don't do something about it we will never get it back.

capt said...

Saladin,

There are too many other things on which voting depends. The law and the direction of your community within the context of the county, state and nation is vote driven and begs socially concerned citizens.

If you just don't vote you hardly have a right to complain.

Voting is a right that you disenfranchise yourself from if you just don't bother.

THAT is what the evil bastards want, less people voting makes victories for them.

Vote - make your one voice heard. If everybody just stayed home what good do you think that would do?

There will NEVER be good governance without citizen participation.

We are a screwed up country as much as we are BECAUSE of the non-voters.

To surrender your right and your voice is a way to make certain you do not share in the responsibility for what happens. DO NOT chicken out just because you don't like the results.

From my POV in all the posts you have made about not voting none - not one has ever been convincing or compelling. It sound like you are making excuses for yourself.

Vote, and as a citizen you should encourage everybody to vote. What if every person here took your pleading seriously and just stayed home? If you think government is bad now, just imagine how bad it could be. (far worse than Hitler)



capt

capt said...

Israel Bombs Anti-Semitism Out Of Lebanon



After decades of periodic conflict with Lebanon that cost thousands of lives, Israel successfully eradicated all traces of anti-Semitism from its northern neighbor with a series of heavy bombing attacks in July.

"Israel really turned us around on the whole Jew-hating thing," said Hezbollah leader Sheikh Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, shortly after a U.N.–brokered ceasefire was declared on Aug. 14. "After destroying much of our infrastructure and displacing nearly 1 million civilians, we've come to respect Israel as a legitimate power and a beacon of democracy, and not a pack of lying, usurping, hook-nosed dogs."

The last-ever Israel–Lebanon conflict began on July 12, when Hezbollah militants launched Katyusha missiles into Northern Israel, killed three Israeli soldiers, and kidnapped two others. Despite this initial success, Israel eventually prevailed in ridding the majority-Arab nation of a pervasive prejudice, the roots of which extend to Phoenician times.

Many in the international community were greatly surprised by the development. "We assumed this was just another regional war of attrition, a short-term, semi-effective defensive measure at best, a conflict-feeding 'eye for an eye' tactic at worst," French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said. "But we see that we were being far too cynical. It's basically resolved now."

Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution, a Washington–based think tank, said that there was "very strong" evidence that not only was a virulent anti-Jewish sentiment completely wiped out in Israel's bombing campaign against Lebanon, but so was any hard-line political opposition to Israel's existence or its annexing of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights following the Six-Day War in 1967, and general anger over Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

"It's remarkable to think that, had Hezbollah been capable of making surgical pre-emptive strikes against Israeli military installations and densely populated urban centers, Israel would most likely be renouncing Zionism and abandoning the region at this very moment," Talbott said in August.

The bombings have had the most significant impact on Lebanon's youth. Many who saw parents and friends killed in the attacks said they will now spend the rest of their lives supporting Israel.

"I was upset at first when a bomb destroyed my school and killed many of my schoolmates and left me without legs," said Tyre bombing victim Sherifa Ayoub, 14, as she wheeled down her rubble-strewn street. "But as the days went on, and the bombs continued to fall, I began to realize that I had spent my whole young life arbitrarily lashing out at a people I thought I hated, when, all along, what I really hated was myself."

Israel's crushing victory has led Talbott and other Mideast experts to speculate that the nation may go on to bomb the anti-Semitism out of such hostile neighbors as Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

Maybe we can start the war against anti-Semitism? Most Arabs are Semites so . . .



capt

capt said...

Court springs Irving



Holocaust denier David Irving won an appeal against his imprisonment in Austria.
A Vienna court on Wednesday found in favor of an appeal filed by the British historian, who was arrested during a November 2005 visit to Austria and sentenced to three years in prison for denying that Nazi Germany had carried out an organized genocide against European Jewry.

The court agreed to reduce Irving’s sentence and admonished him to leave Austria at the earliest opportunity.

Holocaust denial is a crime in Austria, Hitler’s birthplace, and prosecutors had wanted Irving’s prison term extended.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center deplored Wednesday’s ruling, saying it would only encourage Irving and his ilk.

The judge who freed Irving reportedly has close ties to a far-right Austrian party.

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

The Austrians should be booted out of NATO and the UN if they think it is necessary to incarcerate a person for something they said. Who gives a flying flip what some idiot says? How about the neo-nazi groups? These mindless and dumb sounding people only expose themselves for the hate filled pustules they are when they deny history. Let them hoist themselves on their own petards.



capt

Saladin said...

Capt, I didn't say just stay home. The election I am talking about is the one for president, and I mentioned an option. I realize that marching requires a lot more effort and sacrifice than simply showing up at the polling place, but our Republic is broken, all the voting in the world isn't going to fix it. What I am advocating is positive action, not sitting around doing nothing and bitching later. The people who keep enabling this two party rip-off system are just perpetuating the problem. We need CHANGE! Serious change, not bullshit lip service from the dems who have no other goal than enriching themselves thru that evil war machine. I think that anyone who votes for that system rather than working to make it right are the ones who have no room for complaint. No pain, no gain, dontcha know? Voting is a priveledge, the options are a sham. Do we let them get away with this theft, or do we fight for the rights so many died for? Who's in charge here anyway? The big money power brokers, or we the people? What they want is for us to tow the line and think our vote counts, but they are laughing at how foolish and gullible we are to fall for the same shit over and over again. It's time to take this bull by the horns and turn it around. Voting for war mongering maniacs will give us the worst case scenario. Vote for hillary? Not on your life!

capt said...

Saladin,

Write in Ron Paul if you like him but voting is the only way - not voting is just what the evil bastards want.

That is all I have ever said.

I have NEVER said anybody should vote for a candidate they don't like, that too would be dumb, eh?


capt

capt said...

What is Winter Solstice?



Winter solstice is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and marks the official beginning of winter. The sun is at its lowest in our sky because the North Pole of our tilted planet is pointing away from it.

This year, the solstice occurs at 7:22 p.m. EST on Dec. 21.

If you're already sick of winter, look at the solstice this way: The days are now getting longer. In six months, Earth will be on the other side of the sun and residents of the Northern Hemisphere will enjoy the longest day of the year.

Check out this amazing series of photographs that reveals the sun's shifting position in our sky throughout the year.

More HERE

capt said...

"The enormous gap between what US leaders do in the world and what Americans think their leaders are doing is one of the great propaganda accomplishments of the dominant political mythology." : Michael Parenti political scientist, author

=
"The modern susceptibility to conformity and obedience to authority indicates that the truth endorsed by authority is likely to be accepted as such by a majority of the people." David Edwards - British columnist - Source: Burning All Illusions, 1996

=
"A slave is he who cannot speak his thoughts.": Euripides

=
"Search for the truth is the noblest occupation of man; its publication is a duty." : Anne Louise Germaine de Stael - (1766-1817) French author

===

Read this newsletter online http://tinyurl.com/dy6yy

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

Echo from the end of a dolphin species



The Monitor's View

The baiji, a freshwater dolphin, has used sonar to find fish in China's Yangtze River for some 20 million years. Last week, scientists declared it basically extinct. Can the end of a nearly blind cetacean help humans see the need for greater species conservation?

Five events in Earth's history have caused extinction waves, including the asteroid thought to have slammed into the Yucatán and ended the dinosaur age. Whether the planet is on the verge of a sixth wave of extinctions, or already in it, is a matter of debate, but either way, the situation should be taken seriously.

The World Conservation Union's "Red List" is at an all-time high: 16,119 threatened species (out of 15 million estimated species). This century-old trend is largely human-made and ongoing, with one harbinger being the extinction of many large mammals from North America.

In 1973, the United States responded with the Endangered Species Act, the toughest such protection law in the world. Wolves, bald eagles, and grizzlies have rebounded, and about 85 percent of the 1,322 species on the US endangered list are stable or increasing, the Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson, Ariz., estimates.

Other places in the world are not so conservation-minded. Hot spots include Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Brazil, where massive logging and mining are eliminating forest habitat at alarming rates. And "China is dangerously near a crisis point" with its environment, writes Pan Yue, the vice minister of China's State Environmental Protection Administration.

What might persuade the world to make a much greater effort at species preservation?

When charismatic birds or mammals are threatened, that gets people's attention. One mammal humans warm to, the polar bear, has now been joined with another huge environmental challenge: climate change. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is to rule any day on whether to propose listing the polar bear as endangered. Environmental groups such as the Center for Biological Diversity say global warming is melting the ice on which the bears live. Climate change is likely to raise awareness about species extinction.

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

And another species bites the big one.



capt

capt said...

Sell-Out Democrats Have Walked into a Bush Trap on Iraq



The Democratic Party and its feckless leaders in Congress are about to fall into a trap. The trap is being sprung by President Bush and his too clever brain trust, but the sad fact is that it was actually laid by the Democrats themselves.

Taking over the Congress on a wave of popular revulsion at the twin catastrophes in Iraq and Afghanistan, Democrats could have issued immediate calls for an end to those wars, a return of the troops, and investigations into the criminal causes of those costly fiascos. They could have initiated efforts to halt funding for further war and foreign occupation. Of course, taking such stands and actions would have opened them to charges of being "soft on terror," but the public clearly isn't buying that crap any more. With a little courage and leadership they could have handled it, and come out winners.

Instead, they took what they thought was the easy road, condemning not the criminal policies themselves, but only the administration's handling of the wars. This led some to call not for an end to the wars, but for more troops.

Now, Bush has called their bluff by proposing just that: more troops for Iraq (the so-called "surge" option), and a major expansion of the army over the longer term--the better to allow the president to invade other countries even as the nation is already mired in two losing wars.

And what are the Democrats in Congress going to do? Devoid of any principles, their chance to demand an end to reckless imperialist military adventures squandered, they are likely to fall in line and vote to fund both an escalation of the Iraq War and an expansion of the military.

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

No impeachment, more wars - sounds like the neocon's actually won the last (s)election.



capt

Gerald said...

Recovering Democrat

Dear Posters:

If you ever read some of my posts, you will recall that I am a recovering Republican. This recovery took place in 1984. After years being on search and destroy missions against the Democrats, I came to the conclusion that to be a Republican will destroy a person’s soul.

Now, I am faced with a similar dilemma. To be a Democrat may also destroy a person’s soul. I dislike the evil Republicans and I fear that the Democrats will sell out the Americans’ wishes to investigate and possibly impeach the worst President in the history of the United States of America. To date I do not see sound leadership on the part of the Democrats.

I firmly believe that the Democrats are selling out the American people for thirty pieces of silver to lay out a Potter’s Field for a dead nation and her people.

The Democrats are having me rethink my commitment to the Democratic Party. But, where do I go? I cannot vote for Nazis, aka Republicans, and I cannot vote for a gutless party.

Decisions are difficult. I will have to remember what Seymour Hersh said after the 2004 fraudulent election. We will have to see how events play out.

Sincerely,

Gerald

Gerald said...

Failed Leadsership

Gerald said...

Bush and Nazi America Are Evil

Gerald said...

Santa, Please Grant These Wishes

Gerald said...

12. And finally, send the internet some long-awaited protection from the forces of government authority across the globe -- but especially in America, where Newt Gingrich and John McCain are leading the charge -- angered at what they cannot control. The internet is perhaps the last bastion of free speech on the planet right now, and that effective tool of democracy must be preserved and made to flourish.

Thank you for all your past presents and jollyness. Make Christmas this year one of peace, justice and hope for all around the world.

Thank you. And enjoy the cookies and milk we left for you under the tree.

Your friend,

Bernie #

Gerald said...

Bush Can't Kick the Habit

Gerald said...

Yet, like a junkie who needs one more hit to get his life in order, Bush is hooked on the drug of military might. If the Democrats continue to feed his dangerous habit they will only help Bush visit greater mayhem upon Iraq while undermining the core values of our own country.

Gerald said...

Same Old Crap

Gerald said...

"We're not winning, we're not losing," Bush told the Washington Post on Tuesday, a direct rebuke of Powell's formulation, saying he was citing Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and adding, "We're going to win." Winning means not ending the war while he is president. Losing would mean coming to the end of the rope while he was still in office. In his mind, so long as the war goes on and he maintains his will he can win. Then only his successor can be a loser.

Bush's idea of himself as personifying martial virtues, however, is based on a vision that would be unrecognizable to all modern theorists of warfare. According to Carl von Clausewitz, war is the most uncertain of human enterprises, difficult to understand, hardest to control and demanding the highest degree of adaptability. It was Clausewitz who first applied the metaphor of "fog" to war. In his classic work, "On War," he warned, "We only wish to represent things as they are, and to expose the error of believing that a mere bravo without intellect can make himself distinguished in war."

Gerald said...

Bush's Pride Keeps Killing Our Soldiers and the Iraqi People

capt said...

Why Impeaching Bush Is Good for Our Species



In his position as the Alpha Male, leader-of-the-pack, Bush may represent the vanguard of our species' future evolutionary development.


In congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's recently filed Articles Of Impeachment Against President George W. Bush, a significant portion of Article 1 accurately describes his lying to justify a war that has already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

Okay, so nobody's perfect. But could Bush be the "best" our species has to offer at this moment? What I mean to say here is that he may well represent the vanguard of our species' future evolutionary development. This is a disturbing proposition. However, please rest assured that I will address the moral question it raises below (i.e., whether the evolutionary path that we apparently have chosen is the optimal path).

We're the only animal that is aware of its own intelligence, so we vainly call ourselves homo sapiens (Latin for "wise man" or, as we Americans would say, "wise guy"). Admittedly, we've done pretty well since the wheel. But should we ever stop congratulating ourselves and remove our blinders, the equally characteristic, though less laudable, devious side of our nature would be revealed.


More HERE

capt said...

Behind Bush's "new way forward"



A battered group of neocons delivered the president his latest war plan, letting him reject the grave warnings of the Iraq Study Group and deny that we're losing the war.


"We're going to win," President Bush told a guest at a White House Christmas party. Another guest, ingratiating himself with his host, urged him to ignore the report of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, co-chaired by James Baker, the former secretary of state and his father's close associate, which described the crisis in Iraq as "grave and deteriorating," and offered 79 recommendations for diplomacy, transferring responsibility to the Iraqi government and withdrawing nearly all U.S. troops by 2008. "The president chuckled," according to an account in the neoconservative Weekly Standard, "and said he'd made his position clear when he appeared with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The report had never mentioned the possibility of American victory. Bush's goal in Iraq, he said at the photo op with Blair, is 'victory.'" Bush reasserted his belief that "victory in Iraq is achievable" at his Wednesday press conference.

Two members of the ISG were responsible for George W. Bush's becoming president. Baker had maneuvered through the thicket of the 2000 Florida contest, finally bringing Bush v. Gore before the Supreme Court, where Sandra Day O'Connor was the deciding vote. (Jeffrey Toobin of the New Yorker reported that she had complained before hearing the case that she wanted to retire but did not want a Democrat to appoint her replacement.) Through the Iraq Study Group Baker and O'Connor were attempting to salvage what they had made possible in Bush v. Gore. Upon Bush's receipt of the report, a White House spokesman told the press, "Jim Baker can go back to his day job."

The day after the report was submitted, on Dec. 8, Tony Blair appeared at the White House. He had testified before the Baker Commission, and supported its main proposals, but now stood beside Bush as the president tossed them aside, talking instead of "victory." "The president isn't standing alone," explained White House press secretary Tony Snow. Blair left to pursue a vain mission for Middle East peace, emphasizing by his presence the U.S. absence. His predetermined failure outlined the dimensions of the vacuum that only the U.S. could fill. On Dec. 18, Chatham House, the former Royal Institute of International Affairs, issued a report on Blair's foreign policy: "The root failure of Tony Blair's foreign policy has been its inability to influence the Bush administration in any significant way despite the sacrifice -- military, political and financial -- that the United Kingdom has made."

The day before the Chatham House report was released former Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared on CBS News' "Face the Nation" to announce his support for the rejected Iraq Study Group and declare, "We are not winning, we are losing." He made plain his opposition to any new "surge" of troops in Baghdad, a tactic he said had already been tried and failed. Powell added that Bush had not explained "the mission" and that "we are a little less safe."

More HERE

O'Reilly said...

IT IS A CRIME to mislead congress. When sitting Presidents break the law, the mechanism for justice is impeachment. If sufficient evidence exists as documented in the articles of impeachment, a house vote sends it to the senate to be tried. That is how justice is served.

THE DEATHS of 3000 American soldiers and 600,000 Iraqi civilians is a direct result of George W Bush fraudulent case for war. These murders are also impeachable offenses.

WE DID NOT go to Iraq to secure WMDs, yet that is what we were told.

IRAQ HAS NOTHING to do with terrorism.

WE DID NOT go to Iraq to secure their 'freedom' yet that is what we are being told.

THE 1% DOCTRINE is not a policy, it is an immoral justification for conducting aggressive, illegal and irresponsible wars.

THE AXIS OF EVIL is not based on anything we would actually call evil, like HItler, it exists as a political construct to pave the way for military action that is criminally irresponsible.

WHETHER BUSH REALLY sees himself as a modern day Churchill or not (and he does) does not excuse him for the criminal policies such as Iraq invasion, Abu Ghraib torture, Guantanemo torture, waterboarding, bloody beatings of suspected AL Quida, Iraqis, american contrsctors and innocent bystanders.

WE MUST NOT not allow this to be an americna legacy in 'the new world order'.

IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT and VICE PRESIDENT. Follow the facts. Disarm the crminally irresponsible executive.

Saladin said...

Capt, what good is it to vote for someone who is not interested in running for president? I would vote for him in a heart beat if he were running, but I think he is well aware of how the system is rigged, he wouldn't have a chance and he knows it. The powers that be would never allow a true republican to get control, you know what would happen than. That is the point I have been trying to make, our votes are rendered useless because no matter who wins the bad guys get what they want, endless war and control of the earth, it's people and it's resources. That foundation is what has to change in order to restore this republic to it's original intent. And the people are going to have to work for the change or they will get the same thing over and over again. They will vote for this war mongerer or that one, they will moan and bitch later about why said candidate is not following the will of the voters, the petitions will be passed around, cries for flooding politicians offices with letters and phone calls will ensue, and we will have just what we have now, bought and paid for reps who don't give a fuck what we think. Two years later we will do it all over again and wonder why it didn't work. Isn't that one definition of insanity?? Voting is easy, creating real change will require serious work and dedication on the part of millions of Americans, how bad do they want it? I disagree that voting is the only way, after all, we voted for the mess we have today. But, voting SHOULD be the ideal. We need an effective alternative that will deliver the vote back to the people, if our vote is a choice between hitler and stalin, it is time for change, or a hitler or stalin is what we will get, every time. That is NOT my definition of democracy!

Saladin said...

GO o'reilly! They have to be stopped dead in their tracks. It is the only way justice can be served. Impeachment, removal from office and then criminal charges. Enough is enough.

Saladin said...

U.S. to declassify secrets aged 25 and older
By Scott Shane Published: December 21, 2006

International Herald

WASHINGTON: It will be a Cinderella moment for the band of researchers who study the hidden history of American government.

At midnight on Dec. 31, hundreds of millions of pages of secret documents will be instantly declassified, including many FBI cold war files on investigations of people suspected of being Communist sympathizers. After years of extensions sought by federal agencies behaving like college students facing a term paper, the end of 2006 means the government's first automatic declassification of records.

Secret documents 25 years old or older will lose their classified status without so much as the stroke of a pen, unless agencies have sought exemptions on the ground that the material remains secret.

Historians say the deadline, created in the Clinton administration but enforced, to the surprise of some scholars, by the secrecy-prone Bush administration, has had huge effects on public access, despite the large numbers of intelligence documents that have been exempted.

And every year from now on, millions of additional documents will be automatically declassified as they reach the 25-year limit, reversing the traditional practice of releasing just what scholars request.
=========
Mike Rivero comment:
I would like to see Winston Churchill's message to Franklin Delano Roosevelt dated November 25th, 1941, sent one day after the British intercepted and decoded Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's orders to the Japanese fleet to sail into Hawaiian waters and to be prepared to attack Pearl Harbor. Of all the messages sent between Churchill and Roosevelt, that single message is the only one which remains classified.

This could be very interesting. I can't help but wonder at the clinton/bush motives?

rbs62 said...

Saladin,

By all means we should be (and I have been) in the streets. And on the phones. And in the polls. It is one thing to elect a candidate, or majority of candidates, quite another to hold them responsive to the collective bidding of "We the People." And I am quite as impatient and frustrated as you.

So, where does that leave us? How to maximise the pressure on those idiots who wish to surge forces in Iraq in the futile hope of salvaging victory, when said victory is indifinable, let alone attainable?

I, for one, am going to continue to express myself directly to their individual offices, trying as I can to undermine even the support of their own staffs. I cannot describe to you the silence I heard back from the staff member of Joe Wilson's office. The Congresscritter, you might remember my relating had come on Washingtoon Journal and defended the use of waterboarding with the statement of, "we must get the information." The kindly young women was beside herself as I related the Khmer Rouge use of the device, that one was on display in Pnohm Phen in the museum of their atrocities, and that the primary use of the device was to extract confessions of real or imaginary crimes indescriminatly. Do such tactics as mine work? If carried out by enough of us, perhaps. Along with marching in the streets, shakin' the windows and rattlin' the halls, for the times they are only a'changin' if we make 'em change.

Yesterday I heard Congresscritter Ike Skelton talking about the the United States' successful history in Counter-Insurgency operations. He listed the affairs in South America and the Phillipines as examples. Examples which were among the bloodiest and most disgraceful of American activities, leading to torture and dictatorships for years. Guess who is on my call list.

capt said...

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
~ Margaret Mead

rbs62 said...


From town halls to the state house, Vermont activists push for Bush impeachment
Christian Avard
Published: Thursday December 21, 2006


Dan DeWalt Earlier this year, five towns in the state of Vermont gained national attention when they passed articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush. Now RAW STORY has learned that more Vermont towns -- and some state legislators -- are gearing up to do the same.

Organizers in 40 towns across the state are currently collecting signatures in support of Bush's impeachment. They report having already surpassed the required number of signatures in the towns of Westminster and Brookline and are preparing to present them to their respective Town Clerks.

"There are some different variations going around," according to Dan DeWalt, a primary organizer in the effort. But DeWalt said that, though the language in the text may vary from town to town, the primary charges are unchanged. "The charges are spying on Americans, torture, and lying about the war."

"There will be variations," he explained, "but all they'll all be citing the same reasons."

"I think Vermont plays a central role," says John Nichols, Washington Correspondent for The Nation and author of The Genius of Impeachment: The Founder' Cure for Royalism, "because at this time, impeachment is very nascent and the process is beginning rather than finishing."

Nichols isn't holding out false hope for his cause. "If Vermont passes a law on additional resolutions on impeachment," he told RAW STORY, "it's news attention; it makes a story of it... It doesn't mean Vermont's going to impeach the President. What it does mean is that Vermont put impeachment on the table."

Although the movement may have ample energy and enthusiasm, gathering the required number of signatures could pose a challenge. Organizers are looking for more volunteers, whose willingness to venture out into the bitter cold will make all the difference.

"It's a bit of an uphill climb for me," says Craig Hill, who is spearheading the effort in Montpelier, "because I need 400 signatures and to do this in this cold weather will be tough."

Still, Hill characterizes his feelings for the work as "positive and optimistic," telling RAW STORY, "I see all the opportunity we have to make a huge impact. We just need the numbers, and people with energy, enthusiasm."

Hill believes that the articles could make a national impact. "If we help and get 100 towns to pass it and put it on the ballot," he explains, "there will be numbers of articles and great enthusiasm across the country."

While efforts on the ground are getting established, lawmakers are also considering legislation at the state level. The Vermont Democratic State Committee approved Section 603 of the Jefferson Manual -- a book of rules and procedure and parliamentary philosophy by Thomas Jefferson -- which states that the U.S. House of Representatives can investigate actions into impeachment based on a motion of charges transmitted from a state legislature.

Last year, State Rep. David Zuckerman of Burlington sponsored a piece of legislation asking the legislature to formally call upon the U.S. House to open impeachment proceedings. Since it was introduced late in the session, the House leadership did not take up the issue, but Zuckerman plans to re-introduce the legislation in the new biennium. The Vermont State Legislature re-convenes in January 2007.

The crux, organizers explain, will be figuring out how the bill can withstand scrutiny from Washington lawmakers and pass constitutional muster. Zuckerman and co-sponsors of the legislation believe they can find a way.

"When Vermont acted last March, a lot of places around the country were inspired to act," claims Nichols.

"If Vermont were to move at a much more aggressive and intense level," speculates Nichols, "there will be many more communities that will be more organized in a noisier way."

"The attention that was garnered in 2006 was significant. The attention garnered in 2007 could be profound."

capt said...

Daily Show on Bush’s "We’re not winning, we’re not losing"



Jon Stewart tracks Bush's clear and consistent message on Iraq and throws in a Tony "I Don't Know" Snow instant classic for good measure.

Video WMP

Video MOV

"We're not winning, we're not losing….Are we covering the spread?"

More HERE

capt said...

It's the money, honey



Mark Twain quipped that the lack of money is the root of all evil. Humans are irrational, but societies are rarely so, until they choose to become extinct. Understanding the economic factors underpinning society helps us to appreciate the process of change better than an independent evaluation of all else.

In past articles, I have shown the impact of economic incentives in addressing terrorism, [1, 2] as a determinant of foreign policy [3] and as a guide to reconstruction [4]. An over-reliance on other factors, such as religion, human emotions, politics, nationalism, makes for interesting debate but usually ends up as an exercise in romanticism.

The success and decline of religions, as well as the failure of political systems such as communism, all hark back to economic factors. The ability to feed and care for adherents has too often been mistaken for spiritual success, in much the same way that religion can be blamed for entrenched inequality and poverty - for example, by its role in maintaining social strictures that in essence allowed vested interests to flourish in various countries. Communism collapsed not because it is a bad idea per se, but because the idea is inconsistent with cold economic realities.

More HERE

corky said...

I like your blog capt.!

corky said...

I hear that capt.

The only thing worse than working all day and being poor? Turning on the T.V. and seeing talking heads talking about how great the economy is!

corky said...

Have you heard about the phony white powder envelopes turning up lately? Gets almost no coverage on the news. Always sent to non Fox news outlets and democrats.

capt said...

For anybody interested - About the hacking has the technical information about their site/server being hacked.


capt

capt said...

Hey Corky!

The "news" is just government propaganda these days.

It seems like they don't even pretend anymore.

I heard they traced the actual anthrax attacks to the military lab and the FBI covered it up.




capt

rbs62 said...


The Last Man of the Junta: An Open Letter to Henry Kissinger from One of Pinochet's Political Prisoners
by Fernando A. Torres
Global Research, December 18, 2006
Counterpunch.org


All of the original members of the military junta that overthrew Allende and his government with the knowledge and the direct support of the US government, are now gone.

Nixon is gone and Kissinger is left alone on this earth.

Now we will never know the number of secrets or the details that they took to their graves with them. Nor will we ever know the whereabouts of the missing ones--- every single one of them. I also wonder if justice will prevail and will catch up with Kissinger, the last man of the Junta? F.T.

"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves." - Henry Kissinger

An open letter to Henry Kissinger

I was not an "irresponsible" Chilean sir, but I did pay the heavy price of your words.

Mr. Henry Kissinger Kissinger Associates. New York

I do remember your reprimand to Chileans when they elected socialist Salvador Allende in 1970: "We cannot allow a country to go Marxist just because its people are irresponsible"

Although we were used to this kind of rhetoric coming out from the White House those years, we couldn't imagine that those opprobrious words of yours would eventually seal the future of Chile in one of the most horrendous episodes in Latin America's history. Yes, I can say we underestimated you sir.

Bombs falling from the skies, towers and buildings destroyed, hundreds of people butchered. Thousands missing and soccer stadiums converted into concentrations camps. Do you remember this, your own 9/11?

Since day one; since before Allende was ratified by Chilean parliament as its legitimate President, you, Secretary of Sate and National Security Advisor, Mr. Kissinger, were plotting the overthrow of Allende. You conjured up the assassination of General Rene Schneider -- who supported the Chilean Constitution -- to provoke an early military coup.

You plotted a "two track" policy toward this small country aimed, on the one hand, to isolate Allende internationally and, on the other (more dirty) hand, to provoked a military coup through assassinations, political subversion and economic sabotage.

Your goal, Mr. Kissinger, in uniting military leaders in neighboring countries to pressure Chile, later became "Operation Condor", which was the coordination of the secret political police forces to carry out exchange of information and prisoners, kidnappings, torture, and political assassination such as the one against Orlando Letelier and his aide Ronni Moffit carried out in Washington DC by Chilean and Cuban terrorists lead by CIA agents Michael Townley and Novo Sampol [who later was convicted in Panama for various terrorists attack and an attempt to assassinate Fidel Castro, but was eventually freed at the behest of the United States, which pulled the strings on the outgoing puppet president, Mireya Moscoso].

You, Mr. Kissinger, and Nixon lied to Congress, given misleading information and assuring the US played no role in Chile's democracy deceased. You may know that at the time there was no danger of the elusive "weapons of mass destruction" but the "danger" of the spread of communism in the southern cone. You believed Chile's "irresponsible" people were prescribing a wrong example; Chile was a dangerous "dagger pointed at the heart of Antarctica," as you put it. A dagger that needs to be removed at any cost. Allende must be stopped even at the expense of democracy itself.

Because 9/11/1973 is of your absolute responsibility Mr. Kissinger, we the "irresponsible" people of Chile are naming you the Chilean version of Osama Bin laden, to say the least.

Mr. Kissinger, I was not an "irresponsible" Chilean because I was a 14 year old kid that couldn't vote, but I did have to fully pay the heavy and bloody price of your words, sir. However thinking about your role not only in Chile but in Indochina, East Timor, Cyprus, your betrayal of the Kurds in Iraq, your unconditional support of South Africa's Apartheid, etc. etc., I can say something you cannot: my hands are clean.

Sincerely
Fernando A. Torres



Fernando A. Torres was a political prisoner in Chile when he was sent to exile in 1977. He is now a freelance journalist.

****************************

It is this sort of activity which Congresscritter Ike Skelton is refering to when he talks about successful U.S. Counter-Insurgency operations of the past. Please join me in telling him that this is an unacceptable option as we move forward.

*******************************

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Lara Battles or
Wednesday, June 28, 2006 Whitney Frost (202)225-2876

SKELTON HONORED FOR DEDICATION TO PROFESSIONAL MILITARY EDUCATION

Washington, DC – Congressman Ike Skelton (D-MO), the Ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, was recently honored by two of the nation’s premier institutions for professional military education.

A new academic chair at the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and a specialized military library at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, will bear Skelton’s name.

Skelton, who is known for his expertise in the area of professional military education, said, “It is absolutely humbling to be recognized by these outstanding schools that educate some of our country’s most promising young leaders. Providing our military with the best equipment and technology is not enough. We must also develop our human resources, so our men and women in uniform have the intellectual tools they need to fight and win our nation’s battles today and in the future.”

During graduation ceremonies on Friday, June 16, the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College announced the creation of the Ike Skelton Distinguished Chair for Counterinsurgency. The person chosen to fill this new position will serve as an advocate for counterinsurgency studies and will assist staff with curriculum development related to counterinsurgency.

On Friday, June 23, the Joint Forces Staff College commemorated its 60th anniversary with ceremonies that included the dedication of the Ike Skelton Library. The Ike Skelton Library is an extensive, specialized modern military library, focused on joint and coalition operations, military history, operational warfare, and operations other than war.

- 30 -

Congressman Ike Skelton (D-MO) serves as Ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee. For further information, please contact Lara Battles or Whitney Frost at (202)225-2876, or check Congressman Skelton's web site at http://www.house.gov/skelton.

Saladin said...

Robert, I absolutely think that tactic can work. Taking matters into our own hands is what I have been trying to promote. Casting a vote and saying "There, I did my duty" is obviously a failure. I really liked Capt's broken bus analogy, it described perfectly how our political process operates. We the people are stuck on the broken bus, but the only options for fixing it are an illusion because all we ever get is a corrupt driver and a mechanic bent on more sabotage rather than working to get it back on the road. It is time to get off that bus and start hitch hiking! Meaning, "shakin' the windows and rattlin' the halls." The voting process is being used as a weapon against us, it is time to make it start working FOR us rather than against us. If we don't do it, it won't get done. We can not count on the reps, they will do the very opposite of the mandate given them, end this war, bring what is left of our broken military back home where they belong, and impeach and prosecute all those responsible for these crimes, left and right. If they won't do it, what are our options? I am SO beyond frustrated!

capt said...

I was listening to Thom Hartman on AAR yesterday and a guy called in to tell everybody he was a life long GOP and that he and many other GOPhers want Bush AND Cheney impeached then face trial for their crimes.

I thought - well maybe . .

The next call was a woman that called in for another topic but was compelled to join the last caller as she too was a GOPher that wants one simple thing - what America has always claimed - JUSTICE.

It was uplifting to say the least.

We all have to do everything we can do to take our country and our way of life back from the insane warmongering hate filled idiots.



capt

capt said...

Is Santa an illegal alien?

Does he have the right visas and biometric passport?

David B. Benson said...

capt --- His elves are experts at making everything...

capt said...

"His elves are experts at making everything"

Except low-fat Santa chow!

HA!



capt

David B. Benson said...

capt --- Even that. But Santa needs all that extra energy for the one night a year he works super-hard in the cold and dark, whipping up and down chimneys...

capt said...

DB,

It is good work if you can get it!

HA!



capt

capt said...

Climate Change vs Mother Nature: Scientists reveal that bears have stopped hibernating



Bears have stopped hibernating in the mountains of northern Spain, scientists revealed yesterday, in what may be one of the strongest signals yet of how much climate change is affecting the natural world.

In a December in which bumblebees, butterflies and even swallows have been on the wing in Britain, European brown bears have been lumbering through the forests of Spain's Cantabrian mountains, when normally they would already be in their long, annual sleep.

Bears are supposed to slumber throughout the winter, slowing their body rhythms to a minimum and drawing on stored resources, because frozen weather makes food too scarce to find. The barely breathing creatures can lose up to 40 per cent of their body weight before warmer springtime weather rouses them back to life.

But many of the 130 bears in Spain's northern cordillera - which have a slightly different genetic identity from bear populations elsewhere in the world - have remained active throughout recent winters, naturalists from Spain's Brown Bear Foundation (La Fundación Oso Pardo - FOP) said yesterday.

The change is affecting female bears with young cubs, which now find there are enough nuts, acorns, chestnuts and berries on thebleak mountainsides to make winter food-gathering sorties "energetically worthwhile", scientists at the foundation, based in Santander, the Cantabrian capital, told El Pais newspaper.


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

Bear but for the grace of God go I?



capt

David B. Benson said...

capt --- Beary good!

(of you to post that...)

capt said...

Nature is just enough; but men and women must comprehend and accept her suggestions.
Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825 - 1921)

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC), Parts of Animals

Nature does nothing uselessly.
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC), Politics

I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.
E. B. White (1899 - 1985)

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.
Frank Lloyd Wright (1869 - 1959)

Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative.
H. G. Wells (1866 - 1946)

David B. Benson said...

Bush isn't actually asleep in the bunker or at the wheel. It's more a lack of functional grey matter...

Saladin said...

U.S. Selective Service Prepares Test of Military Draft
Friday, December 22, 2006

AP

WASHINGTON — The Selective Service System, which has remained in existence despite the abandonment of conscription three decades ago, is making preparations to tests its draft machinery in case Congress and President George W. Bush need it, even though the White House says it does not want to bring back the draft.

The agency is planning a comprehensive test — not run since 1998 — of its military draft systems, a Selective Service official said. The test itself would not likely occur until 2009.

Scott Campbell, the service's director for operations and chief information officer, cautioned that the "readiness exercise" does not mean the agency is gearing up to resume the draft.

"We're kind of like a fire extinguisher. We sit on a shelf ...Unless the president and Congress get together and say, 'Turn the machine on' ... we're still on the shelf," Campbell told The Associated Press.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson prompted speculation about the draft Thursday when he told reporters in New York that "society would benefit" if the U.S. were to bring back the draft. Later he issued a statement saying he does not support reinstituting a draft.

The administration has for years forcefully opposed bringing back the draft, and the White House said Thursday that policy has not changed and no proposal to reinstate the draft is being considered.
The "readiness exercise" would test the system that randomly chooses draftees by birth date and its network of appeal boards that decide how to deal with conscientious objectors and others who want to delay reporting for duty, said Campbell.

The Selective Service will start planning for the 2009 tests next in June or July, although budget cuts could force the agency the cancel the tests, said Campbell.

On Wednesday, Bush said he is considering sending more troops to Iraq and has asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to look into adding more troops to the nearly 1.4 million uniformed personnel on active duty.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, increasing the Army by 40,000 troops would cost as much as $2.6 billion (euro1.97 billion) the first year and $4 billion (euro3.04 billion) after that. Military officials have said the Army and Marine Corps want to add as many as 35,000 more troops.
============
Since it is a well known fact that bush always means the opposite of what he says I suppose the draft is a given. The question is, when the dems step up to the plate will they put a stop to it? Or will it just be a "temporary" thing while they try to bring the troops home? (That is a joke.)

Saladin said...

Oh yeh, happy winter solstice everyone!

Saladin said...

Will the Democrats Save our Civil Liberties?
December 20, 2006
Anthony Gregory
The Independent Institute

Many commentators have called the Democratic victory in the November elections a referendum on the Bush administration’s policy in Iraq. They have also noted that the voting public is concerned by the attacks on civil liberties so loyally defended by nearly all the Republican lawmakers in fighting the war on terror. The Democrats, presumably, now have a mandate to reverse current trends in domestic as well as foreign anti-terror policy.

There is little reason for optimism that the Democrats will follow through on this supposed mandate, and deliver us from the evil of the growing police state of warrantless searches, indefinite detentions, sweeping surveillance, and other attacks on civil liberties.

For one thing, Democrats have supported the worst of Bush’s policies. Only one Democrat in the Senate, Russ Feingold, opposed the Patriot Act when it was first proposed. Just this year, Democratic members of the House overwhelmingly, and Democratic Senators unanimously, approved the Defense Authorization Act for 2007, which contains frightening modifications of the Insurrection Act and new exceptions to Posse Comitatus, empowering the president to summon the National Guard, without gubernatorial authority, and to enforce martial law during “emergencies” ranging from natural disasters to health crises. More than 25 percent of Senate Democrats even voted for the Military Commissions Act, marking the first time since the Civil War that the federal government suspended Habeas Corpus.

Although the Democrats will sometimes attack an egregious Bush proposal, they have not used the power of the purse or the filibuster to do anything about it. Nor should we assume they will be so mindful of civil liberties now that they are in the Congressional majority and have their eyes set on the presidency. Power corrupts, and Democrats in power have long shown a willingness to shred the Bill of Rights.

Woodrow Wilson arrested hundreds of antiwar Americans, including a presidential candidate, for protesting the draft; deported anarchists to Communist Russia; and imprisoned a movie producer for depicting the British as an American enemy in his film about the American Revolution. (Under the 1918 Sedition Act, it was a federal crime to criticize a U.S. ally, which Britain was.) Franklin Roosevelt oversaw an Office of Censorship, made plans to detain hundreds of peaceful political enemies, imprisoned war opponents, and interned 110,000 innocent Japanese Americans. Lyndon Johnson had the FBI spy on reporters and used the FBI and CIA to wiretap, monitor, and infiltrate the campaign of his presidential rival, Barry Goldwater.

But we don’t need to go back so far to indict the Democrats on civil liberties issues. Under Bill Clinton, the police state grew perhaps as much as it feasibly could during a relative time of peace. According to the ACLU, Clinton expanded stealth surveillance of the citizenry far beyond anything seen under any prior administration. Clinton sought to allow the feds to peek at everyone’s bank account, have a key to all private encryption and e-mail, and censor the Internet. After the Oklahoma City bombing, Clinton signed the draconian Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, expanding the authority of secret courts, unleashing the FBI to investigate First Amendment–protected activities, and allowing the INS to deport American citizens.

Under Clinton, there was also the military operation on American soil just outside Waco, Texas, where about 80 American civilians died when a 51-day standoff culminated in a fire breaking out after a federal tank rammed through a religious sect’s home and gassed its women and children with poisonous and flammable CS gas. In this case, an imaginary meth lab was the original rationale to circumvent Posse Comitatus’s prohibitions on military involvement in law enforcement—the drug war, which the Democrats have consistently and enthusiastically upheld, has also been a disaster for civil liberties and the rule of law.

When the Democrats controlled both the presidency and the legislature, as they did during much of Wilson, all of FDR, and all of Johnson, civil liberties suffered greatly. When, under Clinton, they split the government with Republicans, the police state nevertheless grew—meaning neither the GOP nor partisan gridlock is our salvation, either.

If the Democrats want to win points as better guardians of American liberty than the Republicans, they can begin by abolishing huge portions of the war on terror infrastructure—the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the new presidential powers over martial law. They should then challenge Bush on the principle of the unitary executive, block funding for warrantless military surveillance of the population, and strip away the Justice Department and military’s power to indefinitely detain people without due process.

The Democrats, however, have had about as shameful a record on all this as the Republicans, even when they were the opposition party. Now that they have a better seat at the table of power, who thinks they’ll do anything to curb the police state they helped so much to build?
=========
I am looking forward to the many improvements now that the dems are in charge! (That was another joke.)

Saladin said...

From town halls to the state house, Vermont activists push for Bush impeachment

Christian Avard
Raw Story
Thursday, December 21, 2006

Earlier this year, five towns in the state of Vermont gained national attention when they passed articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush. Now RAW STORY has learned that more Vermont towns -- and some state legislators -- are gearing up to do the same.

Organizers in 40 towns across the state are currently collecting signatures in support of Bush's impeachment. They report having already surpassed the required number of signatures in the towns of Westminster and Brookline and are preparing to present them to their respective Town Clerks.

"There are some different variations going around," according to Dan DeWalt, a primary organizer in the effort. But DeWalt said that, though the language in the text may vary from town to town, the primary charges are unchanged. "The charges are spying on Americans, torture, and lying about the war."

"There will be variations," he explained, "but all they'll all be citing the same reasons."

"I think Vermont plays a central role," says John Nichols, Washington Correspondent for The Nation and author of The Genius of Impeachment: The Founder' Cure for Royalism, "because at this time, impeachment is very nascent and the process is beginning rather than finishing."

Nichols isn't holding out false hope for his cause. "If Vermont passes a law on additional resolutions on impeachment," he told RAW STORY, "it's news attention; it makes a story of it... It doesn't mean Vermont's going to impeach the President. What it does mean is that Vermont put impeachment on the table."

Although the movement may have ample energy and enthusiasm, gathering the required number of signatures could pose a challenge. Organizers are looking for more volunteers, whose willingness to venture out into the bitter cold will make all the difference.

"It's a bit of an uphill climb for me," says Craig Hill, who is spearheading the effort in Montpelier, "because I need 400 signatures and to do this in this cold weather will be tough."

Still, Hill characterizes his feelings for the work as "positive and optimistic," telling RAW STORY, "I see all the opportunity we have to make a huge impact. We just need the numbers, and people with energy, enthusiasm."

Hill believes that the articles could make a national impact. "If we help and get 100 towns to pass it and put it on the ballot," he explains, "there will be numbers of articles and great enthusiasm across the country."
========
Some people who are tired of sitting around on a broken bus waiting for an incompetent and corrupt mechanic!

Saladin said...

The United States is Insolvent
Sunday, December 17th, 2006
Prepare to be shocked.

drmss.com

The US is insolvent. There is simply no way for our national bills to be paid under current levels of taxation and promised benefits. Our combined federal deficits now total more than 400% of GDP.

That is the conclusion of a recent Treasury/OMB report entitled Financial Report of the United States Government that was quietly slipped out on a Friday (12/15/06), deep in the holiday season, with little fanfare. Sometimes I wonder why the Treasury Department doesn’t just pay somebody to come in at 4:30 am Christmas morning to release the report. Additionally, I’ve yet to read a single account of this report in any of the major news media outlets but that is another matter.

But, hey, I understand. A report is this bad requires all the muffling it can get.

In his accompanying statement to the report, David Walker, Comptroller of the US, warmed up his audience by stating that the GAO had found so many significant material deficiencies in the government’s accounting systems that the GAO was “unable to express an opinion” on the financial statements. Ha ha! He really knows how to play an audience!

In accounting parlance, that’s the same as telling your spouse “Our checkbook is such an out of control mess I can’t tell if we’re broke or rich!” The next time you have an unexplained rash of checking withdrawals from that fishing trip with your buddies, just tell her that you are “unable to express an opinion” and see how that flies. Let us know how it goes!

Then Walker went on to deliver the really bad news:

Despite improvement in both the fiscal year 2006 reported net operating cost and the cash-based budget deficit, the U.S. government’s total reported liabilities, net social insurance commitments, and other fiscal exposures continue to grow and now total approximately $50 trillion, representing approximately four times the Nation’s total output (GDP) in fiscal year 2006, up from about $20 trillion, or two times GDP in fiscal year 2000.

As this long-term fiscal imbalance continues to grow, the retirement of the “baby boom” generation is closer to becoming a reality with the first wave of boomers eligible for early retirement under Social Security in 2008.

Given these and other factors, it seems clear that the nation’s current fiscal path is unsustainable and that tough choices by the President and the Congress are necessary in order to address the nation’s large and growing long-term fiscal imbalance.

Wow! I know David Walker’s been vocal lately about his concern over our economic future but it seems almost impossible to ignore the implications of his statements above. From $20 trillion in fiscal exposures in 2000 to over $50 trillion in only six years? What shall we do for an encore…shoot for $100 trillion?

And how about the fact that boomers begin retiring in 2008…that always seemed to be waaaay out in the future. However, beginning January 1st we can start referring to 2008 as ‘next year’ instead of ‘some point in the future too distant to get concerned about now’. Our economic problems need to be classified as growing, imminent, and unsustainable.

And let me clarify something. The $53 trillion shortfall is expressed as a ‘net present value’. That means that in order to make the shortfall disappear we’d have to have that amount of cash in the bank – today - earning interest (the GAO uses 5.7% & 5.8% as the assumed long-term rate of return). I’ll say it again - $53 trillion, in the bank, today. Heck, I don’t even know how much a trillion is let alone fifty-three of ‘em.

And next year we’d have to put even more into this mythical interest bearing account simply because we didn’t collect any interest on money we didn’t put in the bank account this year. For the record, 5.7% on $53 trillion is a bit more than $3 trillion dollars so you can see how the math is working against us here. This means the deficit will swell by at least another $3 trillion plus whatever other shortfalls the government can rack up in the meantime. So call it another $4 trillion as an early guess for next year.

Given how studiously our nation is avoiding this topic both in the major media outlets and during our last election cycle, I sometimes feel as if I live in a small mountain town that has decided to ignore an avalanche that has already let loose above in favor of holding the annual kindergarten ski sale.

The Treasury department soft-pedaled the whole unsustainable gigantic deficit thingy in last year’s report but they have taken a quite different approach this year. From page 10 of the report:

The net social insurance responsibilities scheduled benefits in excess of estimated revenues) indicate that those programs are on an unsustainable fiscal path and difficult choices will be necessary in order to address their large and growing long-term fiscal imbalance.

Delay is costly and choices will be more difficult as the retirement of the ‘baby boom’ gets closer to becoming a reality with the first wave of boomers eligible for retirement under Social Security in 2008.

I don’t know how that could be any clearer. The US Treasury department has issued a public report warning that we are on an unsustainable path and that we face difficult choices that will only become more costly the longer we delay.
==========
Another bushco mission accomplised.

Saladin said...

Robert, sorry for the repost of your Vermont article, I don't know how I could have missed it!

Saladin said...

The Warmonger’s Brigade
by Michael Gaddy

Lew Rockwell

It appears the Bush administration has a real problem on its hands – the war effort is not going well at all and the military is on the verge of "breaking." I do believe I have a plan, which if implemented right away could provide the needed relief Bush is desperately searching for. Desperate times call for desperate measures. If this country is indeed in danger of having to fight the enemy on our soil, it is time to pull out all stops. If the Bush administration is serious about "protecting our freedom" and this is not a war started on lies to increase the bottom line of companies from the Military Industrial Complex, it is time to deploy the Warmonger’s Brigade.

First battalion would consist of all male and female members of the immediate families of everyone in the Bush administration. Of course W’s daughters would be the first to be placed in this battalion, followed closely by Dick "water boarding" Cheney’s daughter, Mary. I am aware that she is pregnant at this time but within a reasonable time after giving birth, she could rejoin her battalion in preparation for deployment to the Iraq Theater of Operations. After all, her significant other is also female so the infant will not lack for maternal care. This administration has found no problem with sometimes deploying both parents to Iraq, so Mary Cheney being deployed would be business as usual.

Included in this battalion would be the children of all cabinet members, led of course by any eligible children of Alberto "torture is ok" Gonzales. I’m sure Karl (the leak) Rove has some children, nieces or nephews that would make good cannon fodder. Included in this battalion would be all eligible employees and family members (18 to 38 years of age) of CIA, NSA, DIA, and BATFE. Since these agencies have declared war on American civil liberties, extending the declaration to include real enemies should present no problems.

So he would not feel left out, all of Donald Rumsfeld’s eligible kin would be immediately drafted for service, even though he is no longer with this administration. They of course would be required to ride in unarmored Humvees while wearing Vietnam Era flak jackets.

Second battalion would consist of all family members of those in Congress who have supported the war in Iraq. Chelsea Clinton could vie for command of this battalion with eligible members of the McCain family. Charles "slavery is okay if you're serving the state" Rangel could insure that all members of the Black Caucus have their relatives fitted for new uniforms, trained, and ready for deployment.

Third battalion would consist of all male and female members of those at FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC, and the Weekly Standard. Of course all relatives of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and William Kristol, followed closely by relatives of those at the New York Times and the Washington Post would receive orders for immediate deployment. All other media outlets in this country that have supported this war would also see their children deployed for immediate service in the "global war on terror."

Fourth battalion would consist of members from all the church leaders in this country who have blindly supported the illegal invasion of a country that posed no threat to us. Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson and others would of course dutifully escort their family members to the induction centers and then volunteer for support duties themselves. No deferments for Conscientious Objector status would be allowed.

Recon battalion would consist of family members of all executives of companies in the Military Industrial Complex who has realized such huge profits from this war. No exemptions would be allowed. If a company is in business to profit from the blood of others, it should also be willing to provide the material (their children) to the effort that produces those profits.

Special Operations elements of the Warmonger’s Brigade would consist of all members of the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NASCAR and all other professional and amateur sports teams. If service to this country when we are so at risk is really necessary, as this administration claims, we need combat troops more than we need to be entertained. With their wonderful conditioning and the fact many athletes would rather fight than play the game they are paid to play, combat would be an excellent alternative. Naturally, all members of professional wrestling and boxing would be given command positions in this unit.

Staffing the Psychological Operations unit should be Max Boot, Cal Thomas, Ann Coulter, James Meigs, Andrew Sullivan, George Will and Charles Krauthammer. No one else could match this group when it comes to turning outrageous lies into palatable truth for the masses. Their lust for war is so strong they should be required to feel the sting of battle firsthand.

Anyone displaying "support the troops" ribbons would be eligible for immediate induction into the combat support battalion. Their children and grandchildren would be dispersed within the other combat battalions. If our country is in real trouble, supporting the troops should include providing the troops, and who better to do that than those who blindly support war.

If steps to establish the Warmonger’s Brigade as outlined above are not immediately enacted by those in the White House, Congress and the Pentagon, they are either the biggest hypocrites on the planet or this war is a hoax. Then again, it could be both.
==========
That is a positively BRILLIANT plan. A sure way to stop ALL war mongering!

capt said...

"Then again, it could be both."

Far more likely both I say sadly.

UGH!


capt

O'Reilly said...

President Bush issued 16 pardons on Thursday and commuted the sentence of an Iowa man who was convicted on drug charges.

[..]With this batch, Bush has issued 113 pardons and commuted three sentences in his nearly six years in the White House, according to spokesman Tony Fratto.

Pardons are an end-of-the-year presidential tradition, and Bush was not expected to issue any more this year. He last issued pardons in August.

[..]The list did not include former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, charged in the CIA leak case with perjury and obstruction.

capt said...

"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security." : Albert Einstein - (1879-1955) Physicist and Professor, Nobel Prize 1921


===

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Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

HIS WAY



In the wishful imagining of many Washington wonks, both Democratic and Republican, Rumsfeld’s departure, coupled with the publication of a comprehensive policy review by the grand old bipartisan Pooh-Bahs of the Iraq Study Group, would by now have produced a realistic and pragmatic plan, publicly anointed by Bush. This plan would have featured an ambitious diplomatic campaign, including talks with Syria and possibly Iran, aimed at stabilizing Iraq gradually, which in turn might help set conditions for a managed American exit from daily combat in Iraqi cities and villages; the exact timetables and methods of this troop redeployment and withdrawal would be determined later.

The President, however, has little interest in or talent for the energetic global diplomacy recommended by the Iraq Study Group, which was co-chaired by James Baker, who was Secretary of State under Bush’s father. Bush the younger is plainly annoyed by the commission’s forceful, vivid account of his failures in Iraq. He seems to have interpreted the report as one more lousy shot at him from the has-beens and second-guessers who shaped his father’s notably more successful foreign policy. If the President had embraced the Study Group’s critique of Iraq’s dire condition as true and helpful, of course, he would have had to admit that he was wrong about the invasion and the occupation, and that his father’s crowd was right.

Bush has now immersed himself in his own Iraq review, one that will allow him to claim the credit for any shift in direction, but this effort has become transparently unconvincing. He gives the impression of a man wandering around Washington looking for a new mentor. The practical-minded intelligence analyst he appointed as Rumsfeld’s successor, Robert Gates, who is another friend of his father’s, has already declared that "there are no new ideas on Iraq," yet the President has spent December in sleeves-rolled-up discussions with State Department experts and military officers, apparently searching for such ideas. It seems a little late in his chief-executive-style Presidency for such an earnest return to graduate school. Worse, he remains imprisoned by his binary vision and rhetoric. When he emerged from one Iraq cram session, a reporter asked if he had heard any encouraging new plans. The President could only think to say, "I’ve heard some ideas that would lead to defeat. And I reject those ideas."


More HERE

th said...

Hello Corn Posters! Happy Holidays including Solstice, the most amazing time of year. Good to see the posts on this alternative site. Thanks Captain for the address!

We have deep powder here. Solstice day, the cat named Junior climbed a skinny Ponderosa tree, fell on top of the car, and the cat walked away with an attitude as if to say..."cheap tree!" He is testing the nine lives theory.

I say impeach Bush before he attacks Iran.

Gotta go and finish cutting thetop off for Xmas tree for Junior.

Later,
th

capt said...

th,

So very good to hear from you!

As always.



capt

capt said...

Did you know that nobody - no congresscritter is sworn in on the bible? (or Koran)

They are sworn in as a group and the "hand on the bible" (or Koran) is a photo op after the swearing in?

All the noise is just that - noise.


capt

Carey said...

Instead of Christmas memories I'd like to offer a timely chuckle from Rosa Brooks.

Time For That Old Bush Magic

Speaking of troop surges, we all awoke to these headlines, "Generals Say More Troops Needed in Iraq". So, as I said on DWF, the dictatorship is complete. The generals have acqiesced to the almighty chimpster.

Pray hard this Christmas, especially for the troops which I know we will all do.

Merry Christmas.

Carey said...

That stupid Congressman making all the noise about the Koran business is actually trying to perilously change immigration law for the worse by disallowing Muslims the right to enter.

Immigration law is so screwed up. If you want in, you can't even have high blood pressure, let alone be handicapped.

capt said...

Ask any general or troop "in country" if they want more troops and to a person they will always say they need more troops. How else can they ever be relieved.

It is just the place to ask the question and know ahead of time the answer.

It is like asking a contractor if they want more time to finish a job - of course they do.


capt

capt said...

"Do not hold the delusion that your advancement is accomplished by crushing others.": Marcus Tullius Cicero - (106-43 B.C.) Roman Statesman, Philosopher and Orator

=
"The bad thing of war is, that it makes more evil people than it can take away." : Immanuel Kant - (1724-1804) German philosopher

=
"There are some whose only reason for inciting war is to use it as a means to exercise their tyranny over their subjects more easily. For in times of peace the authority of the assembly, the dignity of the magistrates, the force of the laws stand in the way to some extent of the ruler doing what he likes. But once war is declared then the whole business of state is subject to the will of a few ... They demand as much money as they like. Why say more?" [Erasmus of Rotterdam 1469-1536, Adages IV.i.1]

===

Read this newsletter online http://tinyurl.com/dy6yy


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

David B. Benson said...

Season's Greeting to all and sundry!

capt said...

Cagle cartoons year end round up

Seasons Greetings and a hearty Happy Holidays to all!


capt

Gerald said...

Bush and Cheney plan an early attack on Iran! How is that for a Merry Christmas report?

Gerald said...

Of course, the biggest issue is that attacking Iran would be yet another war crime by this craven administration. No one can argue that Iran poses an imminent threat to anyone, least of all to the U.S.--the only legitimate grounds under the U.N. Charter and the Nuremburg Charter, to which the U.S. is a signatory, for initiating a war. Attacking a country that poses no such threat is defined as the most heinous of war crimes: a Crime Against Peace.

Gerald said...

The Untouchables

Gerald said...

AEI, please visit Iraq

Gerald said...

And now I must in effect revoke this entire letter. The truth is that, as a human being, I would feel horrible if any of you were by some miracle to post yourselves in Iraq and were to be harmed. And the reason I would feel terrible is quite simple: I have a conscience.

My question for all of you: why don’t you feel the same?
_______

Gerald said...

Celebrate Christmas: Defy Authority

Gerald said...

"The spiritual life is not a theory," says one spiritual book. "It must be lived." Jesus said that over and over. To be Godly, he kept saying, you must do strive to do Godlike things. That's not a comfortable "lifestyle choice." As I sang in my "leftist Christian hymn" a few months back, "it's an inconvenience to love Jesus."

capt said...

Buddhists in Congress? Who knew?



TUSCALOOSA | In all the brouhaha stirred up by Virginia Republican U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode over the first Muslim ever elected to Congress using a Koran in his private swearing-in ceremony next month (the official swearing-ins are done sans holy books of any kind), little attention has been paid to the fact that on Nov. 7 the first two Buddhists to ever serve in Congress were also elected.

Not only that, one of them is a southerner, Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat from our neighboring state of Georgia, who took out the inflammatory and confrontational former Rep. Cynthia McKinney in last year's primary and coasted to victory in the general election in his heavily black, Democratic district in and around Atlanta. The other Buddhist elected in November was Rep. Mazie Hirono, a Democrat from Hawaii, a state which probably has more Buddhists than any other.

In his mean-spirited attack on Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, a Democrat and Muslim elected in Minnesota, Goode has generally shown himself not only to be a fool, but a bigoted one at that. In a letter to his constituents, in which he failed even to use Ellison's name, referring to him only as "The Muslim Representative from Minnesota," Goode said that he does "not subscribe to using the Koran in any way" and warned that "if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode [don't you love it when politicians refer to themselves in the third person] position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran."

Never mind that Ellison, who has handled Goode's hysterical attack on him graciously, can trace his roots in this country back to the 1700s and is a Muslim-convert, was born in America as an American. His presence here has absolutely nothing to do with immigration (unless you are talking about the forced kind in the belly of a slave ship) and he was duly elected by a majority of the people in his district, just as it is supposed to work in our democracy under the United States Constitution.

Maybe after Goode finishes making a idiot of himself over Ellison and the Koran, maybe he can turn his attention to these two nefarious Buddhists. Wonder what they will place their hands on in their own private ceremonies?

Oh, that's right, they are Buddhists. So the answer would be "nothing."

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

" Eternal nothingness is fine if you happen to be dressed for it."
~ Woody Allen (1935 - )



capt

Gerald said...

Here's my wish for you. Have a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday in the Spirit of the Season. That Spirit, in a word, is Love.

And don't let the Powers That Be tell you otherwise.

_____________________________

I was hungry and you gave me food.
I was thirsty and you gave me drink.
I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
I was naked and you clothed me.
I was sick and you visited me.
I was in prison and you came to me.
- Matthew 25-35

Gerald said...

Who will end up paying the price?

Gerald said...

If the “dominoes” fall in 2007, who will really end up paying the price - the guilty parties, or the people? I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.

Gerald said...

Eyes Wide Open

capt said...

Bob Geiger has a collection of cartoons from various artists



capt

capt said...

Sale ends U.S. voting-machine inquiry



WASHINGTON — A federal investigation into possible ties between a U.S. maker of electronic-voting machines and the Venezuelan government has ended after the company's Venezuelan owners said they will sell the firm.

Smartmatic said Friday that it agreed to sell its subsidiary, Sequoia Voting Systems, the third-largest supplier of voting equipment in the United States. Smartmatic, which was owned through a series of trusts by Venezuelan entrepreneurs, acquired the firm last year from a British company.

Concerns about the purchase arose this year in the media and in Congress, which prompted a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The secretive interagency committee, which probes multinational deals with national-security implications, received attention this year when it cleared the purchase of a major provider of U.S. port security by a Dubai-based company, a transaction that fell apart after questions were raised on Capitol Hill.

This time, the concerns focused on whether, through its complex corporate structure or former business arrangements, the company had benefited from relationships with the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, a foe of President Bush.

In addition, Smartmatic has provided the election technology used in Venezuelan elections that opposition groups have called into question.

International observers have cleared the elections, and Smartmatic says the Chávez government has no ownership in or control over the company.

In the November midterm elections, more than a dozen states used Sequoia technology.

"Given the current climate of the United States marketplace ... we feel it is in both companies' best interests to move forward as separate entities with separate ownership," Smartmatic Chief Executive Antonio Mugica said.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who in May raised questions about Smartmatic and Sequoia with the Treasury Department, said, "It seems the company could not overcome the cloud of doubt surrounding this deal; had they been able to, we would not be talking about a sale of Sequoia today."

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

Of course no mention of the purchaser? Could it be Diebold?

Better yet a group of Abramoff type "investors"?



capt

capt said...

Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island



Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India's part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true.

As the seas continue to swell, they will swallow whole island nations, from the Maldives to the Marshall Islands, inundate vast areas of countries from Bangladesh to Egypt, and submerge parts of scores of coastal cities.

Eight years ago, as exclusively reported in The Independent on Sunday, the first uninhabited islands - in the Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati - vanished beneath the waves. The people of low-lying islands in Vanuatu, also in the Pacific, have been evacuated as a precaution, but the land still juts above the sea. The disappearance of Lohachara, once home to 10,000 people, is unprecedented.

It has been officially recorded in a six-year study of the Sunderbans by researchers at Calcutta's Jadavpur University. So remote is the island that the researchers first learned of its submergence, and that of an uninhabited neighbouring island, Suparibhanga, when they saw they had vanished from satellite pictures.

Two-thirds of nearby populated island Ghoramara has also been permanently inundated. Dr Sugata Hazra, director of the university's School of Oceanographic Studies, says "it is only a matter of some years" before it is swallowed up too. Dr Hazra says there are now a dozen "vanishing islands" in India's part of the delta. The area's 400 tigers are also in danger.


More HERE

capt said...

Scientists discover 52 new speices on Borneo Island



GENEVA -- Scientists have discovered at least 52 new species of animals and plants on the southeast Asian island of Borneo since 2005, including a catfish with protruding teeth and suction cups on its belly to help it stick to rocks, WWF International said Tuesday.

"The more we look the more we find," said Stuart Chapman, WWF International coordinator for the study of the "Heart of Borneo," a 85,000-square-mile rain forest in the center of the island where several of the new species were found. "These discoveries reaffirm Borneo's position as one of the most important centers of biodiversity in the world."

Much of Borneo, which is shared by Indonesia, Malaysia and the sultanate of Brunei, is covered by one of the world's last remaining rain forests. However, half of the forest cover has been lost due to widespread logging, down from 75 percent in the mid-1980s.

The discoveries bring the total number of species newly identified on the island to more than 400 since 1996, according to WWF, known in North America as the World Wildlife Fund.


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

Too bad so many new discoveries are on islands. The clock is ticking, eh?



capt

capt said...

Gators swamp Ohio St.



Horford cuts Oden down to size


GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida coach Billy Donovan had no idea if junior center Al Horford, who had missed the previous two games with a high ankle sprain and favored the injury during Friday's practice, would even suit up for yesterday's showdown here against third-ranked Ohio State.

But Horford wasn't about to miss this one.

He privately told teammate and confidant Joakim Noah later that night he was going to try to play, then went out and gave the defending national champions a huge lift. Horford came off the bench to score all 11 of his points in the second half and grab 11 rebounds and block three shots as the more experienced, fifth-ranked Gators (11-2) schooled the new kids on the block, 86-60, before a record crowd of 12,621 at the O'Connell Center.

It was a huge statement game for Florida. "This shows we're here and we're not going anywhere," Horford said.

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

Go Gators!



capt

capt said...

What's Going On?



Why would Dick Cheney and the neocons who convinced Bush to start this war decide to pull out now? They created the war to achieve their imperial dream of privatizing Iraqi oilfields and building permanent U.S. military bases nearby to protect them. They are willing to sacrifice the lives of our soldiers and the Iraqi people in pursuit of their dream.

Cheney is undoubtedly telling the evangelical Dubya to hang in there, God is testing him. Remember Bush said he consulted with his heavenly father before starting the war. If Bush thinks God told him to start this war, what will it take to make him stop?

And it could get worse. Cheney-Bush has sent our battleships to the Persian Gulf to "warn" Iran that we mean business. And the White House blacked out parts of a New York Times op-ed on negotiating with Iran written by two former U.S. government advisors. This means, in all likelihood, that Cheney has decided it's time to pick off the next member of the Axis of Evil. They're following the same strategy they used on the way to Iraq: convince the American people that Iran is building weapons of mass destruction, notwithstanding overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Attacking Iran would cause a disaster of epic proportions.

Now that the Democrats are taking over the reins in Washington, we have a golden opportunity to set things right. But incoming Senate majority leader Harry Reid has decided to align himself with the 12 percent of Americans who support sending more troops to Iraq.

It seems more likely the Republicans, not the Democrats, will try to derail the Cheney-Bush war express. Senator Gordon Smith (R-Ore) declared last week on the Senate floor: "I, for one, am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day. That is absurd. It may even be criminal. I cannot support that anymore."

Ultimately, it is up to the American people to step up to the plate and stop this war. It's fine to tell the pollsters we want our troops out of Iraq. But that's not doing the trick. The Vietnam War ended after thousands of people marched in the streets. We may not have the draft to get the college kids off their duffs. But we do have our consciences. And that should be enough.

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

Mother, mother
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today - Ya
Father, father
We don't need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some loving' here today
-Marvin Gaye, "What's Going On?, 1971




capt

capt said...

How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, his precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments.

~Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)

capt said...

NEW VIDEO - Christmas at War



It's one week before Christmas. 2,948 American families will be missing a family member this Christmas due to this immoral war in Iraq. According to a recent study it is estimated that around 650,000 Iraqis have also died since the war begin. This Christmas we need to all take time out of our busy holiday schedules to think about those who have been killed in the Iraq war. It is up to us to make sure that this coming year brings many changes to help get our country back on track. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ - who taught love, compassion, understanding, and most of all PEACE. Let this holiday remind us that peace is a possible goal and that we have much work to do in order to achieve it.

Posted on 18 Dec 2006 by Ava

More HERE

*****end of clip*****


Another excellent video from Ava.


capt

capt said...

A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on the highway. Suddenly a man knocks on his window. The driver rolls down his window and asks, "What's going on?"

"Terrorists down the road have kidnapped George W. Bush and Dick Cheney," the man says, "They're asking $100 million ransom. Otherwise they're going to douse them with gasoline and set them on fire. We're going from car to car taking up a collection."

The driver asks, "How much is everyone giving on average?"

The man responds: "Most people are giving about a gallon."

capt said...

Soul star James Brown dies at 73



Singer James Brown, known as the "Godfather of Soul", has died at the age of 73, his agent has said.


He was admitted to hospital in Atlanta after being diagnosed with severe pneumonia but died at 0145 local time (0645 GMT), said Frank Copsidas.

The star was famous for hits including I Got You (I Feel Good), Papa's Got a Brand New Bag and Living in America.

"He is such an influence, I learned so much from him," Mr Copsidas told the BBC World Service.


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

If you believe in forever
Then life is just a one-night stand
If there's a rock and roll heaven
Well you know they've got a hell of a band, band, band

Jimmy gave us rainbows
And Janis took a piece of our hearts
And Otis brought us all to the dock of a bay
Sing a song to light my fire
Remember Jim that way
They've all found another place
Another place to play

If you believe in forever
Then life is just a one-night stand
If there's a rock and roll heaven
Well you know they've got a hell of a band, band, band

Remember bad bad Leroy Brown
Hey Jimmy touched us with that song
Time won't change a friend we came to know
And Bobby gave us Mack the Knife
Well look out, he's back in town
They'll all be there together
When they meet in one big show

If you believe in forever
Then life is just a one-night stand
If there's a rock and roll heaven
Well you know they've got a hell of a band, band, band

There's a spotlight waiting
No matter who you are
'Cause everybody's got a song to sing
Everyone's a star
(Everybody's got to be a star)

If you believe in forever
Then life is just a one-night stand
If there's a rock and roll heaven
Well you know they've got a hell of a band

If you believe in forever
Then life is just a one-night stand
If there's a rock and roll heaven
Well you know they've got a hell of a band

If you believe in forever
Then life is just a one-night stand
If there's a rock and roll heaven
Well you know they've got a hell of a band, band, band



THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS - "Rock And Roll Heaven" lyrics

capt said...

Congress, the Voters & a Peace Plan



As President Bush prepares to announce the policies that will define the final two years of his presidency, what I propose privately and now publicly is this:

First, that the President initiate -- and Congress require as a condition for support -- a credible and legitimate attempt to broker a broader and comprehensive Middle East peace.

Specifically I suggest that the President state -- and Congressional leaders urge him to state -- that he is sending former Presidents George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton on a Middle East peace listening tour. They would meet with Israelis and governments throughout the region, to determine how they define their security needs, consider creative policies to bridge differences, and report back to the President and Congress their findings and suggestions about the possibilities to escalate the search for peace.

We should be escalating the search for peace, not stirring the winds of war. A grateful Nation, a generation of young people, and our allies everywhere would applaud the honorable beginning of an American President naming two former Presidents to initiate this effort and explore the opportunities.

It is time to end this dialectic of death and offer a better way.

More HERE

Carey said...

Tuesday the 26th Hardball will again show a revealing interview with John Edwards and his wife, one smart cookie.

I highly recommend trying to catch it.

Kirk, I thought your kidnapping of Cheney and Bush joke hilarious.

capt said...

Carey,

That joke was from:

http://www.iraqslogger.com/

and is the current joke circulating in Baghdad among the troops.

That says more than I could possibly say.

Also I do hope everybody has:

http://www.icasualties.org/oif/Details.aspx

set as their home page. It is very sobering to watch for names we might know - almost as bad imagining the grief as it ticks up in places with people we will never know.

(Hajji I am there with ya brother moment by moment)

Why does peace on earth have to be a distant hope, a wish on a star, a dream?

Maybe next Christmas will bring more than just a prayer for peace . . .



capt

capt said...

Chris Dodd calls for withdrawal from Iraq



SJ Mercury News:

Sen. Chris Dodd, a Democrat who is considering a run for the White House, argued in a column in an Iowa newspaper Sunday for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Iowa is home to the first contest for the Democratic nomination for president.

In an op-ed in The Des Moines Register, the Connecticut lawmaker wrote: "The time has come for the United States to begin the process of getting our troops out of Iraq."

Dodd, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, argued in the column that the U.S. strategy in Iraq "…makes no sense. It never really did. It is as bad in person as it appears on television."
Read on…

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

Watch the reaction by the finger-in-the-wind Democrats.



capt

capt said...

Mercenaries, Private Defense, and Genocide


[…]

States can’t allow international mercenaries or defense firms on principle. For if defense firms can operate internationally, what is to stop them logically from operating domestically? No state can operate, committing the domestic crimes it does, if its officials are being detained and brought to trial. Therefore, we can always expect states vigorously to condemn mercenaries and paint them as some sort of lawless beasts who are out for money at the expense of some poor and persecuted people.

In this season, our messages are supposed to be of love and peace. I can only convey the message that has come to me this day, the message you are reading. There is no peace on earth. There are many vicious, brutal, and evil men. They need to be stopped and brought to justice. The system of states is designed to protect and coddle many of these beasts. Genocide is one result.

My peace message this year is that the new year and all future years will be much happier when people gain the basic right of hiring their own defense.


More HERE

Hajji said...

G'morning...

Jill and I have been lucky enough to get a few hours off work to enjoy a bit of holiday cheer with Katie, who got to come home to cold, rainy South Carolina from her home in the Florida Keys...lucky here.

Karl and Heidi came down for a short visit. Spanky got to call each of the last 3 days thanks to the "pocurement" of a satellite phone. He called last night and we talked while watching the SAME football game! AFN Network recievers have popped up in the most bizzare places... No running water, but internet service, Satellite TV and phones....go figgure!

I wanted to say "Thanks" for your cards and letters. Spank has gotten some packages from some of you, but he couldn't detail what, from who, so he said "Thank You, whoever you are...and you KNOW who you are!"

REAL Christmas, New Year and his Birthday celebrations are due him, when he returns. Posssibilities have him back in Germany, last week of January, and home by late Feb/early March. Not gonna let him out of our sight for a while.

Thanks again!

-T

capt said...

"Spanky got to call each of the last 3 days"

And football too? THAT makes for a very happy holiday!

Thanks for the update.



capt

Hajji said...

The Freedoms My Brother Is Defending
_______________


Here is what my brother, a member of the Army National Guard, told me as he prepared to serve in Iraq this year:


"...The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is who controls the armed forces. Civilian command of the Army is a cornerstone of our democratic system."

My brother told me that he takes his oath to defend the Constitution seriously and that he will fight and die if necessary to honor his commitment. When I asked him if he would be offended if I participated in activities opposing the war, he replied that it was not only my right but my obligation, and the obligation of all civilians opposing this war, to try to change bad policy. "Give us good wars to fight," he said.

While acknowledging that another possible moral option is to refuse to participate in a bad war, my brother chooses to place his oath to the Constitution and his belief in our democratic system at the pinnacle of his moral convictions. That some of us might differ with him is basically irrelevant -- we (most of us) are not faced with his decision.

For the record, he believes that the war on terrorism is necessary to deal with real threats facing the United States. He is not convinced of what Iraq has to do with the matter, which puts him fairly well in the mainstream of American opinion.

So it is terribly upsetting to me to hear that some people despair that there is "no point" to their soldier's death or wounding in the Iraq war. America does not have to be right in order for our soldiers' service to have meaning.

What I find offensive is the idea that we have to "follow through" in order to give their deaths meaning post hoc. It is dreadfully apparent from the Iraq Study Group report that Iraq isn't going to have a democracy in any meaningful time frame. Even if this administration does everything perfectly, the best-case scenario is that we might maintain the barest outlines of order.

Victory being out of the question at this point, the only democracy my brother is fighting for in Iraq is our democracy. The only constitution he is in Iraq fighting to defend is our Constitution. If my brother dies, it will not be for a mistake but rather because of his deeply held belief that the time it takes us as a people to figure out through democratic processes that we are wrong is more important than his own life.

This places upon us an obligation. My brother and other service members living and dead have given us the sacred responsibility to use the democratic means we have at hand to bring judgment to bear on whether any given war is worth our soldiers' lives.

Despite the clear results in last month's elections and the grim conclusions of the Iraq Study Group, we are still hearing intransigent rhetoric and seeing unrealistic posturing from some of our leaders. This is unacceptable.

It's not too late for us to honor the almost 3,000 U.S. service members who have died defending the principles of our democracy. It is morally imperative for us to honor our living service members and to do what is demanded of us by our democracy and by common decency. We have taken a small step by changing some of our leadership in Washington, but now it is upon us to follow through at home and demand accountability from our leaders.

What are you, fellow citizens, willing to do to defend our Constitution? Will you dignify the sacrifices of our soldiers? Will you honor my brother's faith in our system? Will you let my brother or others die to eke out a slightly smaller disaster in Iraq? These are the questions we face in the wake of the Baker-Hamilton report.

My brother is betting his life that you are not going to ask this of him. He has placed his trust in the idea that we will not ask him to die for anything less than the necessary defense of our democracy. Reasonable people may at one time have disagreed about the necessity of the Iraq war, but now that it has become abundantly clear from every quarter that we cannot win, will you be responsible for asking my brother to stay?

My family begs of you: Do not ask this of him. Do not ask this of us. My brother is doing his constitutional duty. Now it is time for us to do ours.

The writer is a member of Military Families Speak Out, an organization of more than 3,100 military families opposed to the war in Iraq.
_____________


The question remains...how long does it take before soldiers' faith in our "democrazy" falters and to "defend the constitution" he realizes from where the danger actually is most likely to come?

-T

capt said...

Hajji,

Excellent post;

"America does not have to be right in order for our soldiers' service to have meaning."

Service and duty are both honorable and heroic no matter what, how or why that service is applied or misused.



capt

capt said...

Bush is bracing for new scrutiny



President Bush is bracing for what could be an onslaught of investigations by the new Democratic-led Congress by hiring lawyers to fill key White House posts and preparing to play defense on countless document requests and possible subpoenas.
Bush is moving quickly to fill vacancies within his stable of lawyers, though White House officials say there are no plans to drastically expand the legal staff to deal with a flood of oversight.

"No, at this point, no," Tony Snow, the White House spokesman, said recently. "We'll have to see what happens."

Snow rebutted the notion that Bush is casting about for legal advice in the wake of his party's loss of control of the Congress.

"We don't have a war room set up where we're ... dialing the 800 numbers of law firms," he said.


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

Music to my ears. I hope Crusader Bunnypants needs a good attorney and soon.



capt

capt said...

Rumsfeld and the American Way of War



Rumsfeld's farewell speech on December 15th is therefore all the more remarkable because it attempts to revive older notions, long discredited and seriously at odds with facts that he himself accepted only weeks earlier. It represents a type of recidivism that is all-too-common when disaster approaches and it reveals the kind of intellectual schizophrenia that afflicts those who rise the top. It is a symptom of the complete failure of the crew that has led the U.S. for the past six years, and their total inability to confront reality.


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

The most profound paragraph in a very good article.



capt

capt said...

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