Friday, September 21, 2007

Real Casual Friday

The running-dog capitalist ownership of this site (me) has given the day off to the entire exploited workforce (me). Unless, of course, something happens.

Posted by David Corn at September 21, 2007 11:27 AM


capt said...

Bush 'knew nothing' on Hunt-Iraq oil deal

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- President Bush said he “knew nothing” about a deal between Hunt Oil, which has ties to the administration, and the Iraqi Kurdistan government.

Bush was pressed on the controversial production-sharing contract during a news conference Thursday.

“Our embassy also expressed concern about it,” Bush said when asked if it undermined a national oil law. “I knew nothing about the deal.”

“I need to know exactly how it happened,” he added. “To the extent that it does undermine the ability for the government to come up with an oil revenue-sharing plan that unifies the country, obviously I’m -- if it undermines that, I’m concerned.”

The revenue-sharing law is different than the oil law.

The Kurdistan Regional Government has signed a number of oil and gas deals with private oil companies since the toppling of Saddam Hussein. The KRG sees it as a sign of economic development in a war-torn and struggling country, but the move is seen by others as undercutting the federal Iraqi government.

Iraq hasn’t been able to pass an oil law, which it is waiting for before moving forward on developing its vast oil sector.

The Hunt Oil deal was announced by the KRG Sept. 8. Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said all but a handful of KRG oil deals are considered illegal and will not be upheld.

But the Hunt deal has raised concerns in the United States, considering the connections of Ray Hunt, its chief executive officer.

Hunt was appointed by Bush twice to the president’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board -- "which is said to have access to intelligence that experts acknowledge is advantageous to the international energy interest of the Hunt Oil Company,” according to a statement by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, who has called for investigations into the deal.

Hunt has also been a major fundraiser for Bush and held a top Republican Party position.


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

The “know nothing” defense is only slightly more believable than the “I don’t recall” BS.


capt said...

What Will Become of Tuvalu's Climate Refugees?

International legal experts are discovering climate change law, and the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu is a case in point: The Polynesian archipelago is doomed to disappear beneath the ocean. Now lawyers are asking what sort of rights citizens have when their homeland no longer exists.

Shuuichi Endou is photographing every single citizen in a country. It may sound ludicrous but it is entirely plausible. After all, the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu only has about 11,000 inhabitants, and the 41-year-old Japanese photographer has already captured the images of the 340 people who live on the Nukulaelae atoll. By the time next year's G-8 Summit in Japan rolls around, the other 10,500 portraits should be finished. Endou wants to use them to give the rich and powerful a jolt, so that they finally understand the need to reduce emissions and stop global warming.

The photographs of the Tuvaluans are meant to give climate change a human face. They are a people whose country is doomed to disappear. The group of islands lies just 10 centimeters (roughly four inches) above sea level; if the average sea level continues to rise, in just 50 years there will be nothing here but waves.

Some of the islands are already uninhabitable; the ocean nibbles at the narrow landmass from all sides. Nine islands totaling just 26 square kilometers (10 square miles) in area make up the fourth-smallest country in the world. There's hardly any industry, no military, few cars and just eight kilometers of paved roads.

The majority of the people make their living from fishing and agriculture. The country is so small that there is only a rough division of labor, with people acting as cooks and captains, ice cream salesmen and politicians.


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

what sort of rights citizens have when their homeland no longer exists

My guess is - about the same rights we freedom loving Americans gave to the unfortunate natives when we discovered our great country.


capt said...

General Betray-Us and

I have often been critical of, basically because I feel, for the most part that they support Democrats to the detriment of democracy. However, was a big help to me at Camp Casey in August ‘05 and organized the thousands of candlelight vigils that occurred across the country. I will always be grateful to them for that.

I had a policy when my children were younger. I would always try to catch them doing something “right” (sharing, being kind, etc) and I would praise them and give them a treat. In that vein, I have to give my 100% support to in regards to their right-on ad in the NYT that has become even the object of a Senate denouncement.

It must be hard for to have 21 Democratic Senators vote to denounce the ad when has been so supportive of the party. However, I don’t think that it’s appropriate for the Senate to be voting on newspaper ads, when it is a clear 1 st Amendment right of anyone in our representative republic to place such ads, whether one agrees with them or not, and with almost half the Senate Dems voting to denounce MoveOn’s freedom of speech and the Dem leadership taking impeachment “off the table” and giving BushCo more latitude to spy on us, I wonder which part of our Constitution the Dems will defile next?

Today, George, in his unbridled and un-matched arrogance and just abject stupidity called the MoveOn ad “disgusting.” What I find more disgusting is a cowardly Commander in Chief and all of his supposed underlings lying to our country and the world and sending our young troops to fight, die, be wounded and kill innocent people when they were too “busy” to do the same in their mistake of a war: Vietnam.

What I find disgusting is CNN (where I just saw Eli Parisier of MoveOn debate a pro-war person) rarely criticizes the occupation or shows the tragic consequences of this war and they are raising money so a poor Iraqi boy can have reconstructive surgery on his badly burned face. That is great, but what about examining the reasons little Youssif was burned in the first place and start calling for an immediate withdrawal of troops? What about the millions of other Iraqis who have been wounded or displaced? Who is telling their stories and raising money for them to be whole and have homes?

What I find disgusting is General Betray-Us allowing himself to be used as a political force field for the lying administration and lying himself. Sectarian violence is not down 80%, the General Accounting Office report and the fact that hundreds of Iraqis are killed every month 50,000 leave their homes on a monthly basis directly contradict those “facts.” The only reason some places are safer in Iraq is because the neighborhoods have been ethnically cleansed and the sectarian militias are providing security to small geographic areas. In the very violent south; Shi’a Mahdi are fighting Shi’a Badr. It is a disaster that needs to be faced and solved now, not put away until the spring or prolonged so Dems can get the White House back in ‘08.

General Betray-Us has not only betrayed America and his oath of service, but he has betrayed the very troops he should care about more than being an “ass-kissing little chicken-shit” to a Commander in Chief who has spent years betraying the troops. It is time to truly support our troops and start withdrawing them immediately. Not to “pre-surge” levels but to “pre-invasion” levels. It is time to listen to the people of Iraq and force the mercenary killers and other contractors to leave and give the people of Iraq back their jobs (50% unemployment rate in some areas, some areas higher) and their country.

The occupation of Iraq is a disaster and I applaud MoveOn for moving a little closer to the true “anti-war” movement and encourage them to come with us farther.

Anyone who is concerned with the rapid slide to fascism should be supporting MoveOn in this battle.

Anyone who cares about democracy over Democrats (or Rethugs) should join me in supporting MoveOn in this particular struggle and in bringing MoveOn more fully to the table with the peace movement.

Thanks MoveOn for speaking for the majority of Americans and please stick to your so-called guns. The struggle is worthwhile!


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

Cindy is right on every point.


capt said...

From a BBC email. Two headlines for the same story?

Two Sistani aides killed in Iraq

Two aides of Iraq's most senior Shia cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, have been shot dead in separate incidents.

Blackwater working again in Iraq

US security firm Blackwater resumes work in Baghdad days after a shootout which killed 11 Iraqis.


Blackwater = death squads?

All democratic dictators have to have their death squads.


Gerald said...

What a day!

A 51 year old Swede, Eva Birath, began bodybuilding at 47 after she lost her job in marketing. I'm not much on bodybuilding but people are free to do what may make them happy. I give Eva credit for reinventing herself.

There is a horrific outbreak of cholera in Iraq because the water is contaminated. Yes, Hitler Bush is a murderer. I do not like saying that he is a murderer but my perception says that he is a murderer and it is my opinion that he is a murderer. I can only conclude that Hitler Bush is a murderer.

The cockles of my heart were warmed today because Pope Benedict refused to see M. C. or Mushroom Cloud Rice. Finally, my Pope may be getting it right! Why give Hitler Bush's murdering war machine credibility??? The Hitler Bush War Machine is a murdering bunch of scurvy rats.

Hitler Bush's Illegal War Is Imploding

Gerald said...

“I refuse to be silent any longer. I refuse to be party to an illegal and immoral war against people who did nothing to deserve our aggression. My oath of office is to protect and defend America’s laws and its people. By refusing unlawful orders for an illegal war, I fulfill that oath today.” - U.S. Army First Lt. Ehren Watada

Gerald said...

The day will come, hopefully in the not too distant future, when the folly of Bush's illegal and immoral war against Iraq will be seen for what it really is ~ a travesty of justice and an international crime worthy of the gallows. - Allen Roland

Gerald said...

An Uncompassionate Conservative

Gerald said...

Bush's lies now fill volumes. He lied us into two hideously unfair tax cuts; he lied us into an unnecessary war with disastrous consequences; he lied us into the Patriot Act, eviscerating our freedoms. But when it comes to dealing with those less privileged, Bush's real problem is not deception, but self-deception.

Gerald said...

I receive emails from These emails help to restore some of the piss and vinegar in me so that I can continue what appears to be a losing fight against demented, deranged, and demonic evils from Hitler Bush and his mass murders and war crimes against humanity.

Gerald said...

I second Cindy Sheehan's article and her call to support to continue their fight for us and for all of God's children.

Thanks MoveOn for speaking for the majority of Americans and please stick to your so-called guns. The struggle is worthwhile!

David B. Benson said...

Greg Colvin, on AlterNet, is quite good today, writing about the new Progressivism which is required.

capt said...

"The War between the States... produced the foundation for the kind of government we have today: consolidated and absolute, based on the unrestrained will of the majority, with force, threats, and intimidation being the order of the day. Today's federal government is considerably at odds with that envisioned by the framers of the Constitution. . [The War] also laid to rest the great principle enunciated in the Declaration of independence that 'Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed'.": - Walter E. Williams (1936- ) Columnist, Professor of Economics at George Mason University

"Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge, fitter to bruise than polish.": - Anne Bradstreet

"The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false." -- Paul Johnson (1928- ) British Roman Catholic journalist, historian, speechwriter and author "One day posterity will remember these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage." - Yevgeny Yevtushenko (1933- ) Russian poet 1969


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label "Liberal?" If by "Liberal" they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer's dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of "Liberal." But if by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."

But first, I would like to say what I understand the word "Liberal" to mean and explain in the process why I consider myself to be a "Liberal," and what it means in the presidential election of 1960.

In short, having set forth my view -- I hope for all time -- two nights ago in Houston, on the proper relationship between church and state, I want to take the opportunity to set forth my views on the proper relationship between the state and the citizen. This is my political credo:

I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas. It is, I believe, the faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith. For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man's ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves.

I believe also in the United States of America, in the promise that it contains and has contained throughout our history of producing a society so abundant and creative and so free and responsible that it cannot only fulfill the aspirations of its citizens, but serve equally well as a beacon for all mankind. I do not believe in a superstate. I see no magic in tax dollars which are sent to Washington and then returned. I abhor the waste and incompetence of large-scale federal bureaucracies in this administration as well as in others. I do not favor state compulsion when voluntary individual effort can do the job and do it well. But I believe in a government which acts, which exercises its full powers and full responsibilities. Government is an art and a precious obligation; and when it has a job to do, I believe it should do it. And this requires not only great ends but that we propose concrete means of achieving them.

Our responsibility is not discharged by announcement of virtuous ends. Our responsibility is to achieve these objectives with social invention, with political skill, and executive vigor. I believe for these reasons that liberalism is our best and only hope in the world today. For the liberal society is a free society, and it is at the same time and for that reason a strong society. Its strength is drawn from the will of free people committed to great ends and peacefully striving to meet them. Only liberalism, in short, can repair our national power, restore our national purpose, and liberate our national energies. And the only basic issue in the 1960 campaign is whether our government will fall in a conservative rut and die there, or whether we will move ahead in the liberal spirit of daring, of breaking new ground, of doing in our generation what Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman and Adlai Stevenson did in their time of influence and responsibility.

Our liberalism has its roots in our diverse origins. Most of us are descended from that segment of the American population which was once called an immigrant minority. Today, along with our children and grandchildren, we do not feel minor. We feel proud of our origins and we are not second to any group in our sense of national purpose. For many years New York represented the new frontier to all those who came from the ends of the earth to find new opportunity and new freedom, generations of men and women who fled from the despotism of the czars, the horrors of the Nazis, the tyranny of hunger, who came here to the new frontier in the State of New York. These men and women, a living cross section of American history, indeed, a cross section of the entire world's history of pain and hope, made of this city not only a new world of opportunity, but a new world of the spirit as well.

Tonight we salute Governor and Senator Herbert Lehman as a symbol of that spirit, and as a reminder that the fight for full constitutional rights for all Americans is a fight that must be carried on in 1961.

Many of these same immigrant families produced the pioneers and builders of the American labor movement. They are the men who sweated in our shops, who struggled to create a union, and who were driven by longing for education for their children and for the children's development. They went to night schools; they built their own future, their union's future, and their country's future, brick by brick, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, and now in their children's time, suburb by suburb.

Tonight we salute George Meany as a symbol of that struggle and as a reminder that the fight to eliminate poverty and human exploitation is a fight that goes on in our day. But in 1960 the cause of liberalism cannot content itself with carrying on the fight for human justice and economic liberalism here at home. For here and around the world the fear of war hangs over us every morning and every night. It lies, expressed or silent, in the minds of every American. We cannot banish it by repeating that we are economically first or that we are militarily first, for saying so doesn't make it so. More will be needed than goodwill missions or talking back to Soviet politicians or increasing the tempo of the arms race. More will be needed than good intentions, for we know where that paving leads.

In Winston Churchill's words, "We cannot escape our dangers by recoiling from them. We dare not pretend such dangers do not exist."

And tonight we salute Adlai Stevenson as an eloquent spokesman for the effort to achieve an intelligent foreign policy. Our opponents would like the people to believe that in a time of danger it would be hazardous to change the administration that has brought us to this time of danger. I think it would be hazardous not to change. I think it would be hazardous to continue four more years of stagnation and indifference here at home and abroad, of starving the underpinnings of our national power, including not only our defense but our image abroad as a friend.

This is an important election -- in many ways as important as any this century -- and I think that the Democratic Party and the Liberal Party here in New York, and those who believe in progress all over the United States, should be associated with us in this great effort. The reason that Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman and Adlai Stevenson had influence abroad, and the United States in their time had it, was because they moved this country here at home, because they stood for something here in the United States, for expanding the benefits of our society to our own people, and the people around the world looked to us as a symbol of hope.

I think it is our task to re-create the same atmosphere in our own time. Our national elections have often proved to be the turning point in the course of our country. I am proposing that 1960 be another turning point in the history of the great Republic.

Some pundits are saying it's 1928 all over again. I say it's 1932 all over again. I say this is the great opportunity that we will have in our time to move our people and this country and the people of the free world beyond the new frontiers of the 1960s.

John F. Kennedy
Acceptance of the New York Liberal Party Nomination
September 14, 1960

Gerald said...

Pope refuses to meet with Mushroom Cloud

Gerald said...

Christian Rights

There are at least two reasons why Pope Benedict may have decided peremptorily against a private meeting with Ms Rice.

First, it was Ms Rice who just before the outbreak of the Iraq war in March 2003 made it clear to a special papal envoy sent from Rome, Cardinal Pio Laghi, that the Bush administration was not interested in the views of the late Pope on the immorality of launching its planned military offensive.

Secondly, the US has responded in a manner considered unacceptable at the Vatican to the protection of the rights of Iraqi Christians under the new Iraqi constitution.

capt said...

Iraqis: Video shows Blackwater guards fired 1st

Official in Baghdad says U.S. contractors were responsible for 11 deaths

BAGHDAD - Iraqi investigators have a videotape that shows Blackwater USA guards opened fire against civilians without provocation in an incident last week in which 11 people died, a senior Iraqi official said Saturday. He said the case had been referred to the Iraqi judiciary.

Iraq's president, meanwhile, demanded that the Americans release an Iranian arrested this week on suspicion of smuggling weapons to Shiite militias. The demand adds new strains to U.S.-Iraqi relations only days before a meeting between President Bush and Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf said Iraqi authorities had completed an investigation into the Sept. 20 shooting in Nisoor Square in western Baghdad and concluded that Blackwater guards were responsible for the deaths.

He told The Associated Press that the conclusion was based on witness statements as well as videotape shot by cameras at the nearby headquarters of the national police command. He said eight people were killed at the scene and three of the 15 wounded died in hospitals.

Blackwater, which provides most of the security for U.S. diplomats and civilian officials in Iraq, has insisted that its guards came under fire from armed insurgents and shot back only to defend themselves.


capt said...

Feinstein: Symbol of A Bush-Enabling Beltway Democrat

In the wake of the series of profound failures that define the 2007 Democratic Congress, there is much debate over what accounts for this behavior. There are almost 300 “Congressional Democrats” and they are not a monolithic group. Some of them are unrelenting defenders of their core liberal political values and some are committed to providing meaningful opposition to the radicalism and corruption of the Bush administration. But as the sorry record of the 2007 Congress conclusively proves, they are easily outnumbered in the House and Senate — especially the Senate — by Bush-enabling and Bush-supporting Democrats.

The standard excuse offered by many apologists for Bush-enabling Democrats — that they support the Bush agenda and capitulate to the right-wing noise machine due to political fear of being depicted as too liberal or “soft on terror” — is clearly inapplicable to many, if not most, of the enablers. California’s Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein provides a perfect case study for understanding why the Congress has done virtually nothing to oppose the most extreme Bush policies, while doing much actively to support it.

Feinstein represents a deep blue state and was just easily re-elected to her third term last year. She won’t run for re-election, if she ever does, until 2012, when she will be 80 years old. Her state easily re-elected a Senator, Barbara Boxer, with a much more liberal voting record than Feinstein’s. Political fear cannot possibly explain her loyal support for the Bush agenda on the most critical issues decided by the Senate.

Additionally, Feinstein is a 74-year-old divorced Jewish woman currently on her third husband, and it is thus extremely unlikely that she harbors any hopes of running in the future on a national ticket. She has as secure a political position as any politician in the country. Whatever explains what she does, it has nothing to do with “spinelessness” or fear. What would she possibly fear?

And yet, her votes over the last several years, and especially this year after she was safely re-elected, are infinitely closer to the Bush White House and her right-wing Senate colleagues than they are to the base of her party or to the constituents she allegedly represents. Just look at what she has done this year on the most critical and revealing votes:


Gerald said...

capt, you have been sharing some very good articles with us.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

*Dons tinfoil hat*

About DiFi and other Vichy Democrats--can we be sure that their timidity and/or complicity is really either of those?

Remember how those anthrax letters ONLY targeted Democrats and members of the media who had somehow offended His Chimperial Majesty? Notice how the sender(s) remain as free as Osama?

Can we be sure that the plane crash that killed Paul Wellstone and several other people was an accident?

One of the things I hate most about this (Mis)Administration is that I now feel compelled to give serious thought to the sorts of ideas I once would have airily dismissed as paranoid nonsense.

This tinfoil hat CHAFES, dammit! :)

David B. Benson said...

Ivory Bill Woodpecker --- Better quality tinfoil hats can be obtained from your local haberdasher. Buy several.


capt said...

We, women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country, to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs." From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: "Disarm, disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."-Julia Ward Howe

"In the general course of human nature, a power over man's substance amounts to a power over his will." -- Alexander Hamilton

"Most Americans aren't the sort of citizens the Founding Fathers expected; they are contented serfs. Far from being active critics of government, they assume that its might makes it right." : Joseph Sobran (1946- ) Columnist

"A State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands -- even for beneficial purposes -- will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.": John Stuart Mill - (1806-1873) English philosopher and economist

"I never could believe that Providence had sent a few men into the world, ready booted and spurred to ride, and millions ready saddled and bridled to be ridden." Richard Rumbold - (?-1626) British Colonel - Source: His final words on the scaffold before he was hanged in 1685.


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

Ohio cop on leave after video shows woman being hit by stun gun

An Ohio police officer has been put on paid administrative leave after his own police cruiser's dash camera captured him using a stun gun to subdue a handcuffed woman, an attorney for the city of Warren, Ohio, told CNN on Thursday.

Warren City police are investigating a September 2 incident in which the officer repeatedly used a Taser to control the woman, who police allege was wildly out of control after being forced from a bar.

According to Officer Rich Kovach's own police report, he shocked Heidi Gill, 38, seven times -- twice after she had been handcuffed.

In the report, filed September 4, Kovach describes responding to a "fight/disturbance inside the bar" and finding a belligerent Gill, who began cursing, refused to give her real name, then tried to flee.

After Gill was handcuffed and placed in a police cruiser, "she started kicking the rear driver side window and broke it," the report said.


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

Taser used on a handcuffed woman.


capt said...

New Thread