Saturday, May 5, 2007

George Tenet's Evasions

In October 2002, as Congress was about to vote to grant George W. Bush the authority to invade Iraq, Democratic Senator Carl Levin forced the CIA to declassify intelligence analyses indicating it was unlikely that Saddam Hussein would strike the United States with unconventional weapons or share such arms with anti-American terrorists. But CIA director George Tenet undermined the political punch of this disclosure by stating publicly that the CIA's view was not inconsistent with Bush's claim that Iraq posed an immediate and direct WMD threat. Moreover, Tenet's CIA at the same time revealed there had been "senior level contacts" between Iraq and Al Qaeda. This suggested that Saddam was in league with the 9/11 murderers. Unmentioned was that CIA analysts had concluded there was no evidence of significant ties between Baghdad and Osama bin Laden. With this misleading disclosure, Tenet helped Bush grease the way to war.

As Tenet recounts this episode in his new book, At the Center of the Storm, he concedes he was wrong to have bent to a request from National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to issue this public comment. But he neglects to mention release of the intelligence that appeared to link Saddam to Al Qaeda. Here's the Tenet formula in a nutshell: Accept some blame while blaming others and sidestepping inconvenient matters.

Tenet acknowledges that the CIA failed to act on pre-9/11 leads and botched the WMD issue. But he ducks a critical charge: He and his agency disregarded warning signs about the WMD intelligence that was being oversold by the White House. For instance, Tenet downplays questions raised within the agency about the credibility of Curveball--the fabricator who claimed Iraq had mobile bioweapons labs--and ignores previously disclosed e-mails that document this internal debate.

It's hard to tell the unvarnished truth about oneself (and one's agency); it's easier to do so about others. And Tenet does unload. He notes that the Administration never seriously considered options other than full-scale war on Iraq and that it did not ponder the implications of "what would come next." Its prewar WMD rhetoric, he writes, "seemed considerably ahead of the intelligence we had been gathering," and the Administration ignored prewar assessments of troubles that could arise following an invasion. Tenet also shows how calamitous postinvasion decisions were not rigorously discussed before being implemented.

This is a profound indictment, but Tenet never faults Bush. He aims mostly at Vice President Cheney and the neocons. Cheney, Tenet notes, made claims about Iraq's WMDs that were not even supported by the CIA's overstated intelligence. On one occasion Tenet had to kill an over-the-top Cheney speech on the unproven Al Qaeda-Iraq connection. Before and after the invasion, the neocons relentlessly promoted Ahmad Chalabi, a controversial Iraqi exile and schemer, as the solution to whatever the problem of the moment was. Condoleezza Rice was "remote," did little in response to pre-9/11 warnings and failed to broker Iraq policy in an effective manner. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was out of touch with reality on Iraq. Tenet also slams David Kay, whom Tenet hired to lead the WMD search in postinvasion Iraq. Kay's crime? Not leaving his post quietly but instead telling the press and Congress that there were no WMDs to be found. In all this, Bush, inexplicably, is blameless.

Tenet's book is gripping (thanks to co-author Bill Harlow, a novelist and former CIA spokesman). But it's self-serving and partial. Tenet never holds himself fully accountable for his prime mistake: not paying sufficient attention to prewar questions about both the WMD intelligence and the postinvasion planning and not speaking out about his and the Administration's multiple failures until now (when he is making millions of dollars with his mea-quasi-culpa). All his explaining and blaming cannot cover up an undeniable fact: Tenet was not merely at the center of a disastrous storm; he helped to create it.


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

"Tenet was not merely at the center of a disastrous storm; he helped to create it."

Good point.



capt said...

Poll: Bush Hits All-Time Low

George W. Bush has the lowest presidential approval rating in a generation, and the leading Dems beat every major '08 Republican. Coincidence

May 5, 2007 - It's hard to say which is worse news for Republicans: that George W. Bush now has the worst approval rating of an American president in a generation, or that he seems to be dragging every '08 Republican presidential candidate down with him. But According to the new NEWSWEEK Poll, the public's approval of Bush has sunk to 28 percent, an all-time low for this president in our poll, and a point lower than Gallup recorded for his father at Bush Sr.'s nadir. The last president to be this unpopular was Jimmy Carter who also scored a 28 percent approval in 1979. This remarkably low rating seems to be casting a dark shadow over the GOP's chances for victory in '08. The NEWSWEEK Poll finds each of the leading Democratic contenders beating the Republican frontrunners in head-to-head matchups.

Perhaps that explains why Republican candidates, participating in their first major debate this week, mentioned Bush's name only once, but Ronald Reagan's 19 times. (The debate was held at Reagan's presidential library.)

When the NEWSWEEK Poll asked more than 1,000 adults on Wednesday and Thursday night (before and during the GOP debate) which president showed the greatest political courage - meaning being brave enough to make the right decisions for the country, even if it jeopardized his popularity - more respondents volunteered Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton (18 percent each) than any other president. Fourteen percent of adults named John F. Kennedy and 10 percent said Abraham Lincoln. Only four percent mentioned George W. Bush. (Then again, only five percent volunteered Franklin Roosevelt and only three percent said George Washington.)

A majority of Americans believe Bush is not politically courageous: 55 percent vs. 40 percent. And nearly two out of three Americans (62 percent) believe his recent actions in Iraq show he is "stubborn and unwilling to admit his mistakes," compared to 30 percent who say Bush's actions demonstrate that he is "willing to take political risks to do what's right."


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

Here is a sincere question:

Does anybody think it is a good idea to have one party rule? As in the president and both houses of congress owning a majority be it D or R?


David B. Benson said...

I don't know why Jimmy Carter was so unpopular. I thought he did a decent job.

I do know why George XLIII is so unpopular...

capt said...

'Globe' Asks, With Photos: What Else Would Money Spent on Iraq Buy?

NEW YORK The folks at The Boston Globe's got to wondering the other day: With the price tag for the Iraq soaring to at least $456 billion, what else could that money have been spent on?

But rather than just rattle out some numbers on ending malnutrition around the globe, they put together a photo gallery today to illustrate the idea. Some of what they pictured:

-- "Tagged as the most expensive high school in Massachusetts, at $154.6 million, Newton North High School could be replicated almost 3,000 times using the money spent on the war."

-- "At published rates for next year, $456 billion translates into 14.5 million free rides for a year at Harvard; 44 million at UMass."

-- "With just one-sixth of the U.S. money targeted for the Iraq war, you could convert all cars in America to run on ethanol. estimates that converting the 136,568,083 registered cars in the United States to ethanol (conversion kits at $500) would cost $68.2 billion."

-- "The Red Sox and Daisuke Matsuzaka agreed on a six-year, $52 million contract. The war cost could be enough to have Dice-K mania for another 52,615 years at this year's rate."

The final photo slot asked for readers' suggestions. Among the ones submitted:

-- Annex Venezuela

--Pay off everyone's student loans

-- "Crash program to install new nanosolar technologies (not the old-style panels..these are coatings) on every outdoor roof surface and sell back excess electricity back to the grid."


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

I think the obvious purchase is: Give the $$ we spend in Iraq to big oil to keep gasoline and heating fuel under $3 a gallon.


Anonymous said...

Does Pandemoniac post here?

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

Jimmy Carter made his biggest mistake when he chose to run in 1976. ANYONE who had been inaugurated in January 1977 would have had a rough ride. Too many bills, literal and otherwise, were coming due for our country. I fear that thanks to the Elephascists, an even bigger set of bills will be coming due for the Chimperor's successor(s).

WTF said...

The Myth that ronnie raygun was anything but a budget buster has been perpetuated by the idiot repugs, and why anyone believes this crap to this day is beyond me. Lying politicians are all over and on both sides. The big question is why do we have so many politicians and so few leaders? What is needed these days is some leadership not the constant flogging of a mediocre choice. The last presidential election gave us a choice between two skull and bone members, which only have about 600 in the world. WTF? Is this any way to choose our candidates? Plus how are these guys chosen anyway? By their bank accounts, how about putting a regular person in there, not someone bought and paid for by the corporate masters of this country. But, all of this bitching and moaning about the situation won't change anything, it has gone too far to ever come back in an orderly fashion this country and yes, the world is going to have to suffer some really bad times in the future. The current situation in various parts of the world can and will get worse, plus the US is going to suffer some really bad times itself. Prepare and be informed enough to try and protect yourselves, for what good that will do. Nope the game is over, we just haven't left the stadium yet.

capt said...

We're Number Two: Canada Has as Good or Better Health Care than the U.S.

Despite spending half what the U.S. does on health care, Canada doesn't appear to be any worse at looking after the health of its citizens

The relative merits of the U.S. versus Canadian health care systems are often cast in terms of anecdotes: whether it is American senior citizens driving into Canada in order to buy cheap prescription drugs or Canadians coming to the U.S. for surgery in order to avoid long wait times. Both systems are beset by ballooning costs and, especially with a presidential election on the horizon, calls for reform, but a recent study could put ammunition in the hands of people who believe it is time the U.S. ceased to be the only developed nation without universal health coverage.

Gordon H. Guyatt, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, who coined the term "evidence-based medicine," collaborated with 16 of his colleagues in an exhaustive survey of existing studies on the outcomes of various medical procedures in both the U.S. and Canada. Their work appears in the inaugural issue of the new Canadian journal Open Medicine, and comes at a time when many in Canada are debating whether or not to move that country's single-payer system toward for-profit delivery of care. The ultimate conclusion of the study is that the Canadian medical system is as good as the U.S. version, at least when measured by a single metric—the rate at which patients in either system died.


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

Set aside the quality issue and just consider the simple fact that there is not 45 million uninsured in Canada.

Our system is making millionaires out of the educated while millions are forced out of a failed system.


capt said...

Beating global warming need not cost the earth: U.N.

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Humans need to make sweeping cuts in greenhouse gas emissions over the next 50 years to keep global warming in check, but it need only cost a tiny fraction of world economic output, a major U.N. climate report said on Friday.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in the third of a series of reports, said keeping the rise in temperatures to within 2 degrees Celsius would cost only 0.12 percent of annual gross domestic product.

"It's a low premium to pay to reduce the risk of major climate damage," Bill Hare, a Greenpeace adviser who co-authored the report, told Reuters at the end of marathon talks that ran over their four-day schedule to finalize the document.

"It's a great report and it's very strong and it shows that it's economically and technically feasible to make deep emission reductions sufficient to limit warming to 2 degrees," he said.

"It shows that the costs of doing this are quite modest."


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

It really doesn't matter the cost of saving ourselves from ourselves, the real cost is the result of doing nothing.


capt said...

"The big question is why do we have so many politicians and so few leaders?"

The real leaders can't make a competitive war-chest to buy a seat at the table. No honest person can rally millions from the people so the corporate interest has all the pull. We "the people" are just strung along with lies and failed efforts to challenge the status quo. That sucks.


capt said...

Rocky Anderson Obliterates Sean Hannity at University of Utah Debate on Impeachment

Last night's debate between Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson and FOX News propagandist and right-wing hack Sean Hannity was amazing. Anderson bombarded Hannity with a devastating indictment of all the President's lies and the senseless continuing occupation of Iraq, and all Sean can do was hide behind the troops and hurl juvenile insults, without ever once addressing the points Anderson raises. Here are the closing remarks.

Download (WMV)

Download (MOV)

If you want to check out the entire debate (and I highly recommend you do), you can view the Google Video here or you can stream it from the website (note: it only works with Internet Explorer). Rocky's opening goes 30 minutes, followed by 30 minutes from Sean, then there's a 15 minute period where they question eachother, followed by a 20 minute Q&A from the audience, then a 2 minute closing.

If there's one thing I took away from this (besides that Sean is a chump who can barely defend himself), it's that Hannity is NOTHING without his FOX News bully pulpit.


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

Maybe we can get Corn to debate Rocky? I think the "no impeach" position is weak and indefensible.


Gerald said...


Welcome to the Weekly Sunday Section by Gerald

Personal stress must be reduced to control the heart arrhythmia that increases the heartbeat to a dangerous level and placing my life in grave jeopardy. For this reason I need to reduce my postings and I need to develop a carefree attitude about Nazi America and her imminent demise.

My Weekly Sunday Section by Gerald will begin with certain blogs, blogspots, and websites. Plus, I may try to add some additional information on justice and peace.

The New Testament – John 31:34-35

“A new commandment I give you, that you love one another as I have loved you, so you also love one another. By this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

May God bless and keep you in the palm of His hand!

Illegal immigrants can voice their concerns but nonviolent protesters against the Iraq war are arrested. There is something wrong in Nazi America.

Gerald said...

How Great Thou Art

Gerald said...

On Eagles Wings

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day

Gerald said...

Make It New

Gerald said...

Seven Beatitudes to Change the World

Gerald said...

Pax Christi USA

Gerald said...

One Day You're Gonna Wake Up

This article concludes Weekly Sunday Section by Gerald. God willing, I hope to be back next Sunday and share some ideas and thoughts with you.

Robert S said...

I just don't see it - Capt.

"Until now, however, it was not clear whether photons – particles that make up all forms of light – can split and form new waves when the light source is close to the object. If we use ray optic techniques – where light travels in beams - photons break down at close range and the object does not appear invisible. If we study light as it travels in waves however, invisibility is maintained."

In my limited understanding of the subject, the question of the wave/particle aspects of electro-magnetic radiated energy (i.e., light) relates more to the examined measurement than to the light itself.


Excerpted from:

Quantum uncertainty

by Peter Landshoff

Bohr's version of quantum mechanics contained the first hint that electrons, although they are particles, are wave-like. This was made explicit in 1926 by the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, whose equation we still use today as the starting point of most calculations.

At the same time, Werner Heisenberg in Germany invented a formulation of quantum mechanics that seemed to be very different from Schrödinger's: it involved matrices rather than waves. Soon after, Paul Dirac, a Nobel prizewinner and occupier of the same professorship once held by Newton in Cambridge, showed that Heisenberg's theory could be cast into Schrödinger's form by a clever mathematical transformation. So people began to believe that they understood the mathematical structure of the theory, but its peculiar consequences continue to puzzle and fascinate us to this day.
Electrons as waves

Light has a dual nature: sometimes it seems particle-like and sometimes wave-like. But it turns out that this is also true of electrons and all other particles. If a beam of electrons is passed through a crystal, it is diffracted, a phenomenon usually associated with the wave-like behaviour of light.

When a fluorescent screen is placed behind the crystal, a diffraction pattern appears on the screen. The regularly spaced atoms in the crystal cause the diffraction. The pattern can be explained by associating with the electrons a wave of wavelength lambda, which changes with the momentum p of the electrons according to a relation discovered by the French physicist Louis de Broglie.
lambda = h/p

This is just the same relation as applies to photons, the "particles" of light. Indeed, quantum mechanics associates a wave with any type of particle, and the de Broglie relation is universal.
Figure 3: Electron microscope picture of a fly. The resolving power of an optical lens depends on the wavelength of the light used. An electron-microscope exploits the wave-like properties of particles to reveal details that would be impossible to see with visible light.

Figure 3: Electron microscope picture of a fly. The resolving power of an optical lens depends on the wavelength of the light used. An electron-microscope exploits the wave-like properties of particles to reveal details that would be impossible to see with visible light.
Source: LEO Electron Microscopy Ltd, Image of a fly.

Light waves or electromagnetic waves are streams of photons. The number of them is proportional to the intensity of the light.
Figure 4: In a diffraction experiment light is shone through a pair of slits onto a screen giving an interference pattern.

Figure 4: In a diffraction experiment light is shone through a pair of slits onto a screen giving an interference pattern. (See "Light's identity crisis" elsewhere in this issue).

It is possible to make the intensity so low that during a diffraction experiment only one photon arrives at the slits and passes through to the screen. (Similarly, we may allow just one electron to pass through the crystal.)

In these cases we cannot calculate with certainty the angle theta through which the particle is diffracted. However, if the experiment is repeated many times, we find a probability distribution for theta that has the same shape as the variation of intensity with theta in an experiment where there is a continuous beam of particles.
The Schrödinger equation

This suggests that the association of a quantum-mechanical wave with a photon, or with any other kind of particle, is somehow statistical. According to quantum theory one can never predict with certainty what the result of a particular experiment will be: the best that can be done is to calculate the probability that the experiment will have a given result, or one can calculate the average result if the experiment is repeated many times.

While in the case of photons the waves have a direct physical interpretation as electromagnetic field oscillations, for other particles they are much more abstract - purely mathematical constructs which are used to calculate probability distributions.

The "wave function" that describes an electron, say, varies with position r and time t and is usually written as follows:

It satisfies the differential equation which was first written down by Schrödinger. He could not prove that his equation is correct, though he was led to it through a plausibility argument from the various known facts about the wave nature of matter. The "proof" of the equation lies in its having been applied, successfully, to a very large number of physical problems.

It turns out that Psi has to have two components in order to describe physics successfully. It is complex-valued; the two components are its real and imaginary parts.

When Schrödinger's equation is solved for an electron in orbit round an atomic nucleus, it correctly leads to discrete energy levels. It is possible to do this calculation without understanding what the physical meaning of the wave function Psi is. Indeed, it was only some time later that Bohr suggested the correct physical interpretation: if a measurement is made of the position of the electron at time t, the probability that it is found to be within an infinitesimal neighbourhood of r, which mathematicians write as d3r, is:
|Psi(r,t)|^2 d^3r

This is the best information that quantum mechanics can give: if the measurement is repeated many times, a different result is obtained each time, and the only thing that can be predicted is the probability distribution. This basic indeterminacy has fascinated philosophers over the years, but most physicists have got used to it.

Robert S said...

Colbert: GOP Rep. believes drug slang is 'foreign language'
David Edwards and Nick Juliano
Published: Friday May 4, 2007

Stephen Colbert's "434-part" Congressional profile "Better Know a District" stopped just outside the nation's capital yesterday for an interview with Rep. Tom Davis, who represents northern Virginia.

Davis' district happens to be the home of Doobie Brothers drummer John "Tiny" Hartman, which prompted the following from Colbert:

"Are you familiar with what a doobie is," Colbert asked. "It's the same thing as a dutchie, ganja, spleef, chronic."

"That's a foreign language to me," Davis cut in. "We have 120 foreign languages in Fairfax County spoken in our schools."

"Oh, they're speaking this in your schools," Colbert quipped. "I guarantee."

The following video is from Comedy Central's Colbert Report.


I thought they were called "roofers." - David Frye parodying Richard Nixon

Which only goes to show that despite the quantum uncertainty inherit in universe, there are some properties which appear to remain constants...

capt said...

"I just don't see it - Capt"

I was trying to be funny.

No small wonder I am not a comedian.

Invisibility - I just don't see it - sounded funny at the time.


Robert S said...


It was/is funny...

My comment was targeted at the original article, which seemed to foster the idea that light was either wave or particle, rather than the notion that it displays aspects of both, dependent on human observation.

My comedic attempt - the cosmological constant of idiotic political speech, especially as concerns drug usage - apparently fared no better.

capt said...

"apparently fared no better"

Or I double reversed your reverse!

Tee hee!


capt said...

US is defeated in Iraq: Zawahiri

"The ones who have stirred up strife in Iraq are those who today are begging the Americans not to leave," said the white-turbaned Zawahiri, sitting next to bookshelves and an assault rifle.

Zawahiri mocked Bush for saying that a US-backed security plan for Baghdad was showing signs of success.

"The success is only for his pocket and Halliburton," he said, referring to the company once headed by Vice-President Dick Cheney.

Zawahiri also called on African-American soldiers to refuse to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying America had changed only the "appearance of the shackles and chains" of their slave forefathers.

Zawahiri repeatedly praised Black Muslim leader Malcolm X on the video, which included footage of the American militant's speeches, interspersed with documentary scenes of police action against blacks in the 1960s and poor blacks in urban ghettos.

Zawahiri's last public comments were on March 11, when he criticised the leadership of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas over its Saudi-brokered deal with the US-backed Palestinian faction Fatah.


capt said...

The Strangest Little Things in Nature

When small cannot get any smaller, you enter the quantum world of quarks, photons, and space-time foam. You're welcome to take a look at this indivisible side of nature, but just remember to leave your common sense at the door.

People as far back as the Greek philosopher Democritus believed that things were built up from irreducible pieces. Isaac Newton himself thought that light was not a wave, but rather a collection of tiny "corpuscules." Physicists have only recently acquired tools with sufficient resolution to see nature's inherent graininess.

Here's a quick tour of the quantum underbelly of the things around us.


Robert S said...

P. 15 -- In reviewing the troubling times the CIA went through in the 1990s, Tenet writes, "The Agency had also been rocked by false allegations in 1996 that some of its members had been complicit in selling crack cocaine to children in California. The allegations were ludicrous." This allegations was indeed unfounded. But Tenet fails to mention that the CIA's inspector general subsequently released two reports disclosing that the agency had worked with suspected drug traffickers when it supported the contras in Nicaragua in the 1980s. - David Corn, Tenent Abbreviated


An interesting editorial mistake. Did Mr. Corn mean to say "these allegations" or "this allegation"?

This is not, in context, a trivial distinction.

The CIA drug connection is so multifaceted as to be looking through a prism at an apparition.

The radio network which took as its name Air America knew well the tongue-in-cheek implications of its moniker.

Eugene Hasenfus was a real live person who cannot be wished away.

Gary Webb’s “Dark Alliance” Returns to the Internet
After an Arduous Journey, the Historic Document About U.S.-Sponsored Narco-Trafficking Finds a New Home
By Dan Feder
Special to The Narco News Bulletin
June 23, 2005

In August 1996, Gary Webb began publishing the results of a yearlong investigation that traced the money fueling the horrific U.S.-backed “contra” war against Nicaragua to the profits from Los Angeles’ 1980s crack epidemic. The CIA led its contra army to spend the entire decade terrorizing the Nicaraguan people and their Sandinista government, happily allowing the contras to flood Los Angeles and other North American cities with cocaine to fund their efforts. Gary provided extensively documented evidence that while poor communities in L.A. paid the price of the crack explosion – from rampant addiction in their neighborhoods to oppressive law enforcement and jailing with Reagan’s stepped-up “war on drugs” – the United States government protected the men moving a great deal of the drugs coming into the city. Local dealers faced life sentences while the bigtime narcos from Washington to Managua went free.

What came next is well known. Gary’s story, and the website he and the San Jose Mercury News created to showcase and expand upon it, were initially the talk of the global village. Politicians cited the article in both Sacramento and Washington. The CIA launched an internal investigation. Millions of people were visiting the website.

But then the backlash came. The L.A. Times, embarrassed at having missed a major story on its own turf, and the New York Times, happy to follow its colleagues’ lead in squashing a story that didn’t fit with its own narrative, wielded their mercenary pens against him. Rather than follow up on his exhaustive research, the attack dogs on both coasts pulled his work apart and attacked him for things he hadn’t even said. Although the CIA’s internal investigation would later confirm many of Gary’s own claims, the paper retracted the story and marginalized Gary to the point where he was forced to quit.


Gary Webb later committed suicide. Mr. Corn does no service to his memory by his glib statement. What exactly does Mr. Corn believe the CIA - Drug connection to be?

See also, Robert Parry, Alfred McCoy, MK ULTRA, etc., etc.

capt said...

In all fairness I read Gary Webb back then and I did not believe the CIA connection until the DCI (dep. DCI) admitted as much.

Then I was FLOORED.


capt said...

Rush Limbaugh Mixes Science with Comedy

Rush Limbaugh, the conservative talks show host, proves that science can be twisted to support any viewpoint. He found LiveScience’s Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth and, after reading much of the presentation (hurl our planet into a black hole, blow it up with antimatter, and other pretty difficult schemes), rightly concludes that it’s virtually impossible for us to annihilate this world. He goes on to say that this is reason enough to go ahead driving your SUV and running your air conditioner, because you can’t destroy the planet by your actions.

That’s funny. And one assumes Limbaugh knows it is just humor. The Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth, by the creative ponderer Sam Hughes, lays out incredibly difficult but theoretically plausible ways to render Earth entirely gone, as in no longer here. Dust, vapor, food for a blackhole.

People who worry about global warming and the effect humans have on climate are, however, not arguing that we will obliterate the planet, but rather simply that we are contributing to a dangerous trend that will cause seas to rise and swamp coastal communities, might render many species of animals extinct, and that could generate a host of other ill effects for society and life as we know it.

Limbaugh can make you laugh, but encouraging gas guzzling just because it won’t literally destroy the planet is a sad recommendation even from someone who doesn’t worry about global warming. Should we not also be concerned about American dependence on foreign oil, the limited supply of oil, and our eroding ability to compete effectively in the global marketplace as the cost of oil skyrockets while we fail to robustly encourage investment in new technologies and sustainable energy sources? Those seem like reasonable concerns for a conservative, but perhaps I’ve just twisted the science to fit my views.


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

Well done. If "Global Warming" is just a way of branding conservation and concern for the overall health of the planet I can't see how that is a bad thing in any way. Maybe some of the SUV drivers can learn there is a cost associated with using too much oil even if they have the money to run at 3 miles per gallon. Maybe people can learn there are costs above and beyond their electric bill for running even one light bulb. (no matter what kind)


Robert S said...

Does anybody think it is a good idea to have one party rule? As in the president and both houses of congress owning a majority be it D or R? - capt

I would rather see a political landscape which included a real economic alternative to T.I.N.A. which is denied by the Democratic v. Republican duopoly. That said, under the present circumstances, a mixed government is better than a GOPher monopoly, a Democratic monopoly would be better still, and best would be where the Dems were seriously challenged from the left.

IMHO, of course. I am known to reject property rights uber alles.

capt said...

"Democratic monopoly would be better still"

THAT is where we part ways. A truly progressive or dare I say truly liberal monopoly would be better still. Neither of which is actually represented by the Democratic party, not anymore.

IMHO, but I tend to hate all parties and in large measure.


Robert S said...

THAT is where we part ways. A truly progressive or dare I say truly liberal monopoly would be better still. Neither of which is actually represented by the Democratic party, not anymore. Capt.,

It doesn't strike me as much of a parting of the ways; inasmuch as I agree that the Dems have largely turned there backs on their natural constituency and embraced the monied interests. They have only done so somewhat less enthusiastically than the GOPhers.

So, my position here is that the Rethuglicans are at least honest enough to say outright that their constituency is the "haves and have mores," and that their position is let the rich keep more and they will piss enough "trickle down" upon the rest us to keep us if not happy, then quiet, and if not quiet, then at least subdued or incarcerated. There really isn't much of an alternative within that group to justify them as being a viable choice, simply as an opposition to the Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party, at least in the wake of the New Deal, was an effort to make Capitalism palatable to the suffering masses; in the dust bowl, in the mines, in the factories, on the picket lines...

It was, after all, the Socialists who first proposed Social Security, unemployment insurance, minimum wages, etc.

It isn't that I want monopoly power in one party, it is rather I'd like to see the the spectrum shift from Center-Right to Fascist, to Socialist to Center-Right...

Robert S said...

Of the Sunday interviewers, it was George Stephanopoulos who went for the jugular by returning to that nonexistent uranium from Africa. He forced Rice to watch a clip of her appearance on his show in June 2003, when she claimed she did not know of any serious questions about the uranium evidence before the war. Then he came as close as any Sunday host ever has to calling a guest a liar. "But that statement wasn't true," Stephanopoulos said. Rice pleaded memory loss, but the facts remain.


The evidence is in! Government service leads to memory loss.

In a related survey, few of the government officers/employees who have complained of memory loss remember any consumption of cannabis products...

capt said...

I think - selective memory loss. They seem to forget every crime and potential criminal act but they cannot forget a single small success or popular position.

I think there is something in the air in DC.


Robert S said...

Iraq situation may worsen.


Something in the air in D.C.?

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it Phase II of the Senate Intel Committee?


Bombs Kill 8 U.S. Troops in Iraq
Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Roadside bombs killed eight American soldiers in separate attacks Sunday in Diyala province and Baghdad, and a car bomb claimed 30 more lives in a wholesale food market in a part of the Iraqi capital where sectarian tensions are on the rise.

In all, at least 95 Iraqis were killed or found dead nationwide Sunday, police reported. They included 12 policemen in Samarra, among them the city's police chief, who died when Sunni insurgents launched a suicide car bombing and other attacks on police headquarters.



Is it the smell of death and destruction? Or the first whiff of Impeachment?

capt said...

In most communities it is illegal to cry "fire" in a crowded assembly. Should it not be considered serious international misconduct to manufacture a general war scare in an effort to achieve local political aims?: Dwight D. Eisenhower

How far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without?: Dwight D. Eisenhower

"We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy, for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers."

"A time comes when silence is betrayal." That time has come for us in relation to Vietnam. -

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift, is approaching spiritual death"

I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor. - Rev. Martin Luther King -

Listen to Rev King in this historic anti-war speech:


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

Surging Into Slaughter: The Bipartisan Death Grip on Iraq

Intro: It is becoming increasingly clear that regardless of who wins the election in 2008, the United States government is not going to withdraw from Iraq. It is just not going to happen. This is the awful, gut-wrenching, frightening truth we must face. The only way that American forces will ever leave Iraq is the same way they left Vietnam: at gunpoint, forced into a precipitous and catastrophic retreat. And how many thousands upon thousands of needless deaths we will see before that terrible denouement?

While Congressional leaders and George W. Bush start "negotiations" on ways to prolong the war crime in Iraq for another year or two (at least), on the ground in Baghdad, the situation is worsening by the day


capt said...

When will American people be told the truth about Iraq?

Now that President Bush and the Democrats have taken turns grandstanding over his veto of their troop withdrawal bill, it's time for a bipartisan burst of honesty.

Instead of haggling for political advantage, Bush and members of Congress should both confess that they have not been straight about the future in Iraq.

The president's promise to "complete the mission" is a triumph of a tired slogan over reality, just as the Dems' pledge to "end the war" is riddled with loopholes. It's time to cut the bull and be realistic about where we're going.

Start with Bush. While he blasted Dems again last Tuesday for demanding the start of troop withdrawal by Oct. 1 as a recipe for chaos, he has quietly accepted a de-facto deadline set by his own commander that is not much different.

Gen. David Petraeus said last week that he would decide in September whether the surge of added troops was working. Implicit in the commitment, which includes a public report to Congress, is that a lack of progress would doom the plan.

While it's not clear what Plan B is, it is certain the surge must pay dividends to continue past the fall.


Robert S said...

Marine major, Owen West, who has served two tours in Iraq, predicted that the 75,000 would be in Iraq at least until the fall of 2008.

That is when Americans will elect our next president. Surely by then, somebody will be forced to tell us the truth about Iraq.


Surely, by then. Right. Just as we have been given the truth about:

Oh, hell, chose your scandal...

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

Before anyone starts griping about the lack of Democratic courage, I want to remind everyone of what happened to the Democrats the last time they DID go out on a limb.

Remember the Civil Rights Acts that ended apartheid in the USA? The Democrats, and some honorable Republicans [yes, once there were honorable Republicans] did the right thing instead of the politically expedient thing.

After that, the DIShonorable faction of the GOP--which today IS the GOP--promptly turned to exploiting the racial bigotry of white Americans to become the dominant party for, oh, some 40 years now.

So even if the Democrats actually do have the power to cut the Chimperor and Darth Cheney off at the knees and bring the troops home, I don't blame them for lacking the courage to do so.

The Democrats know that the GOP Noise Machine would promptly go into "stab-in-the-back" mode. Hell, they're doing that already, since they know the war is lost. The Dems also know, from years of bitter experience, that my fellow white Americans are stupid enough and morally depraved enough to embrace such scapegoating eagerly.

The voting patterns of white Americans since the Civil Rights acts are a grim monument to Mencken's dictum: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it, good and hard."

Since my fellow palefaces' Pwecious Widdle Egos won't let them admit that they F**KED UP SUPREMELY, they will readily embrace the GOP lies yet again.

My own people sicken me. It shames me to admit I belong to them.

So I don't blame the Democrats. I blame my fellow white Americans. In the secrecy of the voting booth, they continue to bend the knee to the idol of racism, as they have done for decades. They deserve the government that they have now. Selah.

From the Arkanshire, IBW

capt said...

Boehner acknowledges GOP nervous on Iraq


Another Democratic presidential candidate, former Sen.
John Edwards of North Carolina, argued against negotiating and said lawmakers should keep sending Bush the same Iraq spending bill.

"I think that America has asked the Democratic leadership in the Congress to stand firm, and that's exactly what I'm saying they should do," he said.

Edwards started airing a television commercial last week urging Congress to stand up to Bush and keep sending back the vetoed bill, which sparked a quarrel with Dodd.

"With all due respect, we could have used John's vote here in the Senate on these issues here," Dodd said.

Dodd and Boehner appeared on "Fox News Sunday," while Edwards was on "This Week" on ABC. Rangel spoke on "Face the Nation" on CBS while Lugar and Schumer were on "Late Edition" on CNN.


Robert S said...

Toby Keith: Working Class Hero, or Rich Asshole?
by Jaime O'Neill | May 7 2007 - 9:15am

Robert S said...

The lethal media silence on Kent State's smoking guns
by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman

The 1970 killings by National Guardsmen of four students during a peaceful anti-war demonstration at Kent State University have now been shown to be cold-blooded, premeditated official murder. But the definitive proof of this monumental historic reality is not, apparently, worthy of significant analysis or comment in today's mainstream media.

After 37 years of official denial and cover-up, tape-recorded evidence, that has existed for decades and has been in the possession of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has finally been made public.

It proves what "conspiracy theorists" have argued since 1970---that there was a direct military order leading to the unprovoked assassination of unarmed students. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents show collusion between Ohio Governor James A. Rhodes and the FBI that aimed to terrorize anti-war demonstrators and their protests that were raging throughout the nation.

It is difficult to overstate the political and cultural impact of the killing of the four Kent State students and wounding of nine more on May 4, 1970. The nation's campuses were on fire over Richard Nixon's illegal invasion of Cambodia. Scores of universities were ripped apart by mass demonstrations and student strikes. The ROTC building at Kent burned down. The vast majority of American college campuses were closed in the aftermath, either by student strikes or official edicts.



Can't be havin' none of those uppity protesters gettin' outta hand...

Free speech zones? Remember the
Florida FTAA protests?

How about the recent MacArthur Park May Day incident?
And speaking of Douglas MacArthur, he led such heroes as Patton and Eisenhower in attacks on US WWI veterans in Washington D.C. in 1934 - the Bonus Army incident.

How can you run when you know?

Robert S said...

1932, not 1934, sorry.

capt said...

"President Bush has ordered White House staff to attend mandatory briefings beginning next week on ethical behavior and the handling of classified material after the indictment last week of a senior administration official in the CIA leak probe. … A senior aide said Bush decided to mandate the ethics course during private meetings last weekend with Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. and counsel Harriet Miers. Miers's office will conduct the ethics briefings."

- "Bush Orders Staff to Attend Ethics Briefings: White House Counsel to Give 'Refresher' Course," Washington Post, Nov. 5, 2005

Was Miers training Rove how TO destroy emails? The "mandatory briefings" should preclude the "I didn't know better" excuse or am I missing something? Why does the MSM just forget these things?


Robert S said...

Why does the MSM just forget these things? - Capt.

It is awfully convenient for the corporate masters that control the marionettes for them to do so...

Robert S said...

GOP Convention Papers Ordered Opened
By Larry Neumeister The Associated Press
Friday 04 May 2007

New York - The city cannot prevent the public from seeing documents describing intelligence that police gathered to help them create policies for arrests at the 2004 Republican National Convention, a judge said Friday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV made the ruling regarding documents about information the New York Police Department says it used.

The city had contended that the documents should remain confidential, saying opening them would jeopardize the city's rights to a fair trial. Lawsuits allege that the city violated constitutional rights when it arrested more than 1,800 people at the convention.

The judge stayed his ruling for 10 days. Peter Farrell, a city lawyer, said the city is considering an appeal.

"The decision is a vindication for the public's right to know and a total rebuff of the Police Department's effort to hide behind the cloak of secrecy when it comes to its surveillance activities," said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, which sued on behalf of some of those arrested.

The convention was policed by as many as 10,000 officers from the 36,500-member department, the nation's largest. They were assigned to protect the city from terrorism threats and to cope with tens of thousands of demonstrators.

More than 1,800 people were arrested at the four-day convention at Madison Square Garden, where President Bush accepted his party's nomination for a second term in office.


The NYPD were using preemptive arrest tactics, and holding people, illegally, in squalid conditions in an abandoned warehouse on the Hudson River, for far longer than would have been necessary if they had been processing them in an orderly fashion.

The POLICE are the property militia of the wealthy. And historically, the goons of the bosses.

capt said...

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