Saturday, June 28, 2003
A new voice has emerged in the re-election campaign of President Bush, that of Dennis Miller, who is gaining a reputation as a conservative comic by attacking Democrats with biting humor.
Miller flew on Air Force One from San Francisco to Los Angeles with the president on Friday, and later gave a stand-up routine at a Bush fund-raiser in Los Angeles. [more]
The Ballad of President Bush
More enemies he has proclaimed,
He's lined them up he's naming names.
He says the fight will never end
He asks the nation to spend and spend
Why should we?
Safety for the homeland says he,
But words are all that we can see
And the money he takes from all of us
He gives to friends and leaves us bust.
How could he?
But money is not all that's there
Our sons and daughters die, we care
Soon more will die than died before
He said that we had won the war.
Why would he ?
He lied to us the record's clear
Americans die it's what we fear
He should be impeached, or just resign
It's what we need, he's crossed the line.
But will he?
Friday, June 27, 2003
Bush rakes in the bucks in quick rush to California, is met by protestorsBush Raising Millions in Quick Trip to California
Excerpt: "Hundreds of anti-Bush demonstrators lined up behind barricades at the entrance to the Marriott, but the crowds around the hotel, where the roads had been barricaded for hours, did not approach the large sizes that had been predicted by the White House and local authorities. Still, a long cordon of police in riot gear guarded the hotel from protesters who waved signs that said 'Bush lies, Iraqi people and G.I.'s die!' and 'Leave No Millionaire Behind.'"
Thursday, June 26, 2003
Saith the George
'God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them.'
Israel calls this a fence.
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
This website has been created by collaboration between indymedia volunteers in Bristol UK, a group of journalists in Baghdad producing the Al-Muajaha newspaper, people in iraq interested in forming a Baghdad / Iraq Indymedia site, and some very brave people, mainly women, who have helped establish these links at a time of extreme International crisis.
reporter cum Bush junta propaganda conduit Judith Miller finally comes in for questioning by the likes of Howard Kurtz. Already known as a warmonger and a fawning admirer of champ swindler Ahmad Chalabi, Miller is depicted in the piece as having the nerve to threaten uniform military personnel with her chumminess with the pro-death assholes heading The War Against Terror (TWAT):
One military officer, who says that Miller sometimes "intimidated" Army soldiers by invoking Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld or Undersecretary Douglas Feith, was sharply critical of the note. "Essentially, she threatened them," the officer said, describing the threat as that "she would publish a negative story."
Of course if Fisk or anyone writing from the left - or even anyone writing objectively - were to be charged similarly, the killbloggers would be in full uproar.
But Miller is not interested in objectivity, so the story is consequentially not getting any play in Andy Land
, the most notable venue for Times
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Lisa You Ignorant Slut! (I've always wanted to say that...)
"For me the question is not so much whether or not to support Dean or Kucinich but whether or not radical forces should support a Democrat at all. If the radicals are going to support a Democrat Kucinich is certainly more radical than Dean. I do not give the slightest hoot as to which of them is more photogenic or more "electable" in the eyes of the corporate media."
Let me make it clear that I still worship Ralph Nader and think that he is the greatest journalist that ever lived. But I didn't and wouldn't vote for him, at least not on some Third Party ticket. Yet there are those of you who voted for Nader and now you know that there is in fact a difference between even evil DLC democrats and the Resident in Chief. Let's not make the same mistake twice. By the way, I'll take on Bob Harris and Tom Tomorrow as well just to make this interesting. Bob argued that this particular vote doesn't matter that much so you may as well vote your conscience. Keep in mind that if a candidate gets 50 percent of the vote they get the Moveon endorsement. That kind of matters. Moveon was able to raise $600000 for Wellstone during the campaign. In theory, they could lead a public financing initiative that could mean independence for a Dean or Edwards or even a Kucinich candicacy. In other words this vote matters. The only thing I wish they had done is used a mixed balloting system. Where's Norm in all of this...?
But why would I support somebody who doesn't agree with me totally? Because I think that modern elections rest on the 20 percent of swing voters out there. And, and this is a gut thing, I think that Dean could reach those voters more effectively than Dennis. It's not just some of his centrist policies, I think Dean is just a much better and more charismatic speaker. That matters in the age of television. Even if we get a kind of perfect compression over the net before the election, you'll have to look good on netcasts. It will take a superior politician to beat Bush. It's that whole Kennedy/Clinton thing, charisma counts. Oh, and for his centrism, keep in mind that the DLC is already attacking him. That certainly makes him left enough for me...I just think that Dean is the most electable "anti-war" candidate.
"Anyway, I think you can see where I am coming from here. For what I would like to accomplish politically, Kucinich is a far better candidate than Dean. Incidentally, he also is running a kick-ass internet campaign."
How are we defining kickass? You know who leads in the grass roots internet efforts called Meetup? Howard Dean far and away. Edwards comes in a distant second. Where's your kickass guy on that list? Where's his daily blog? Dean has one. Where are the links on Kucinich's imaginary blog to the Internet movers and shakers? I don't like Dean's link to Instanpundit but I think I know why he put it there...(oh lawdy don't let it be his position on Israel..) And this thing about the Internet is that it's not a money thing. It's clearly an intelligence thing. Dean didn't have that much more money than Kucinich when this thing started. He's getting lots of individual donations. That's just better, smarter campaigning. I think the net can be a decider, especially if we can create an alternative media out here that's just more compelling than the usual network idiocy...but it will take a smarter, more competent to take advantage of the net's exponential advantages. Right now, that Dean guy looks a lot like that smarter, more competent guy whatever his faults.
With that said, there's a very good chance that no one will get 50 percent of the vote and we will continue to have this debate in the future, because there will be other Moveon votes. I will take another look at Kucinich. Policy wise he is closer to what I stand for...But my vote for Dean stands for now.
Lisa Stolarski Strikes Back! Read More of her Pro-Kucinich Propaganda!
For me the question is not so much whether or not to support Dean or Kucinich but whether or not radical forces should support a Democrat at all. If the radicals are going to support a Democrat Kucinich is certainly more radical than Dean. I do not give the slightest hoot as to which of them is more photogenic or more "electable" in the eyes of the corporate media. ANY Democratic candidate who addresses the real issues in this political/economic climate stands a good chance of beating Bush. My strategy is to help elect the most radical of all possible Democrats. It will not be a cure-all for the problems that are of concern to radicals in the US, and most of the people in the rest of the world, but we will stand a better chance of substantiating changes in various policies with a more enlightened administration. I really believe we owe it to ourselves and the rest of the world to stop the court appointed despot in the white house before he does any more irreparable damage.
I would like to inform everyone, just incase you all were wondering about this seeming contradiction, that Kuchinich has a long piece on his web site about how he came to support Women's Right to Choose. I am glad he decided to support Choice because if he didn't support it then I would not vote for him no matter how "on" he is about the other issues. I am not going to sacrifice women's equality for a "mostly progressive" agenda. Choice is definitely a litmus test. A progressive against Choice would show a significant lack of continuity in world view. But Choice, Healthcare and the Iraqi War are not the only issues of current contention. Also of concern are: Affirmative Action, Racial and Gender Discrimination, Nuclear Disarmament, Campaign Finance Reform, Civil Liberties, Clean Water, The Right to Drinkable Water, Lack of Corporate Accountability, The Death Penalty, Private Prisons, Corporate Imperialism, GATT and NAFTA, The Drug War, The Out of Control Deficit, Education, The Wack Tax Cuts, The Environment, WTO/World Bank Manipulation of Entire Countries, Gay Rights, GMOs, Military Spending, Nuclear Safety, Farmer's Right to Farm, Farm Worker's Right to a Living Wage, Access to Prescription Drugs especially for the Elderly, Social Security and Pension Protection, Fair Trade, Universal Health Care, Weapons & Non-Proliferation, Workers Rights...and probably a dozen other things I am not thinking of right now. Kucinich is down with all of that. Dean on the other hand does not yet seem to understand that all of these issues are connected. He is progressive on three or four--maybe also gay rights--issues. But he has not built a convincing world vision of peace, freedom and liberty for all people in a sustainable, nature preserving environment. Dennis Kuchinich has, slow as he may have been to come around on Choice. The difference becomes apparent when you visit each of their web sites.
An example of Dean's lack of coherent world view came across my email today from supporters of Kucinich. The issue was the military budget and here is the story vebatim:
> WHO IS THE PEACE CANDIDATE?
> Beginning Tuesday, activists who've joined the peace and justice group
> MoveOn.org will be able to vote online. If you are one of the many
> planning to vote for a "peace candidate," please read this email
> closely, and forward it to others.
> An interesting exchange occurred at yesterday's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition
> Candidates' Forum, in answer to a question about the "Digital Divide"
> that separates minorities and the poor from middle class whites in
> computer access. Congressman Dennis Kucinich received warm applause
> when he declared: "As long as we're spending so much money for the
> Pentagon, and so little money for education, we're going to have all
> kinds of divides in this country…The only way we're really going to
> close the divide in this country is to start cutting the Pentagon budget
> and put that money into education."
> Howard Dean spoke next and commented: "I don't agree with Dennis about
> cutting the Pentagon budget when we're in the middle of a difficulty
> with terror attacks."
> That's a stark contrast on one of the biggest questions facing
> Democrats. Dean describes himself as a fiscal conservative adamant
> about balanced budgets. But if the soaring Pentagon budget is
> untouchable, are we being candid with voters about delivering them an
> enhanced domestic agenda of which Democrats can be proud?
> With Democratic candidates promising increased spending in such areas as
> healthcare, education and the environment, how can the federal budget be
> balanced while Pentagon cuts are deemed off-limits?
> Dennis Kucinich has made cuts in the bloated military budget central to
> his campaign. He has repeatedly pointed out that Pentagon spending will
> soon rival the military budgets of all other countries in the world
> combined, that unneeded and Cold-War era weapons are still being
> produced, that Star Wars missile defense is a boondoggle, and that the
> Pentagon has a trillion dollars in irreconcilable accounts.
> Kucinich's commitment to fundamentally shift our nation's budget
> priorities toward civilian needs like healthcare, schools, cities,
> retirement security and environmental cleanup has attracted thousands to
> our campaign, and last week helped earn the endorsements of progressive
> Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey and leading peace activist and businessman
> Ben Cohen. (Text of endorsements at http://www.kucinich.us.)
An ironic, white-haired gentleman once said "you cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war." Sage thought. This military logic makes about as much sense as keeping a loaded gun in your cookie jar to make sure your family is "safe." No safety nor peace ever came from a warrior mentality. In fact the opposite is true. A candidate for peace must understand that weapons make war, always and only war. Peace is achieved through cooperation regarding resources. Gestures of cooperation create trust which is a necessary condition for peace. Military gestures create the opposite of trust. The fact that our government is bent on spending unfathomable amounts of money on weapons undermines trust between nations thereby derailing this definitive condition for peace. If Dean is a "peace candidate" then why does he not know this?
Anyway, I think you can see where I am coming from here. For what I would like to accomplish politically, Kucinich is a far better candidate than Dean. Incidentally, he also is running a kick-ass internet campaign. I know that means something to you. And we have a group in Pittsburgh that "meets up" for Kucinich. Don't underestimate him, Phil, he's real. He also is not accepting corporate contributions. His entire campaign is grass-roots, which speaks volumes in itself. Look. If you think the internet can tip the playing field back to something resembling democracy, why are you bent on dissing the more radical candidate in favor of the one that is practically endorsed by the Washington Post? (MoveOn ariticle from a few days ago.) Work with me here, Shropshire, forget the dazzle and look at the issues. Then vote for Kucinich in the MoveOn Primary.
Effects-based air operations - cause and effect
Under the umbrella of an EBO campaign, "the goal of war is to get an adversary to act according to our strategic interests", in the view of Gen Deptula, even to the point of "being able to achieve one's objectives without combat".
But EBO can, if he is right, produce even more dramatic results. "I want to see a set of integrated physical and cognitive effects models that could help [the US] achieve its national security objectives without the adversary even knowing he's been influenced."
Hmm, instead of trading in vinegar for honey, the military wants to employ secret vinegar.
Does anybody know what this means? Does the military?Link
It sounds like the stuff of the darkest sci-fi fantasies, but it's not. The Air Force Space Command Strategic Master Plan is a clear statement of the US's intention to dominate the world by turning space into the crucial battlefield of the 21st century.
The document details how the US Air Force Space Command is developing exotic new weapons, nuclear warheads and spacecraft to allow the US to hit any target on earth within seconds. It also unashamedly states that the US will not allow any other power to get a foothold in space.
The rush to militarise space will also see domestic laws and foreign agreements torn up. As the document warns: 'To fully develop and exploit [space] ... some US policies and international treaties may need to be reviewed and modified'.
Paul Krugman keeps up the fierce attack on Bush lies and deception and media silence and public apathy in the face thereofDenial and Deception
Monday, June 23, 2003
Why I'm Voting For Howard Dean
I'm voting for Howard Dean on Tuesday. My vote isn't etched in stone and I may change my mind before the Pennsylvania primary. Yet Dean to me has a few qualities that I think stand out. One: he's one of the two candidates that opposes the Iraq war. I believe that the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan are nightmarish and that American casualties will probably mount. I believe Dean, who is by far the most photogenic and dynamic of the Democratic speakers, can best exploit and explain this position. Two: He's run a brilliant campaign so far and he's the only candidate that I believe understands the net and understands it's potential. Why is this important? Because traditional politics poisoned by hard money combined with the decided FCC lean of the corporate media will give the Republicans a decided Orwellian advantage. Yet on the net, where Dean's Meetup sign-ups are nothing short of astonishing, it can be a fair vote. Let a thousand Three River Techs bloom, all of which endorse Howard Dean. I think we can make a fight of it out here. Three: Looks count and see one again. It matters how you look on television. Whenever I see Howard speak I feel like saying "Give 'em Hell Howard". Four: A vote for Kucinich is a vote for Graham or God help us Leiberman. I have nothing against Dennis (well his history as a pro lifer frightens me just a bit...) in fact I think he would be a great secretary of labor. But after watching him in debates, I just think that Dean can reach more voters. That's just a gut feeling. My gut told me the same thing about Bill Clinton. Charisma matters. He will also clean Bush's clock in a debate, decisively. It will be the guy who can talk against the guy who can't. I can't wait.
Lisa Stolarski, who should be blogging, supports Dennis Kucinich.
I don't agree with Lisa's choice. I'll explain why in my next post. But I think Lisa should be blogging more. I hope this encourages her.
I have not supported a democrat since the 1988 primaries when I was 19 years
old and down with Jesse Jackson. (Please don't laugh, at that time he was
the vocal candidate for national healthcare and childcare.) Since then my
politics have become far more thoughtful than anything I have seen come out
of the Democratic party and I have regarded the Democrats as wavering,
spineless second placers in the political contest to kiss corporate ass.
And for the most part, over the years they have been.
I am faced with a tough decision this election year. There is a fascist
running our country who is holding the whole world hostage (except France,
of course) to oil companies, gmo producers and self appointed World Bank and
IMF policy makers. Women's reproductive choice is seriously at risk of
being overturned. We are in a state of continual war perpetuated by
continual lies and being forced to spend record dollar amounts on the
military. The military money, by the way, is not going to support the
families of our people overseas. The rich are enjoying unprecedented tax
cuts while the country racks up unprecedented deficit. The poor have been
conveniently iced out of the new tax benefits as services to the needy are
being axed back a couple of centuries. Environmental concerns are being
laughed out of Congress while the Court Appointed Despot proposes 1200 new
nuclear power facilities to disgrace our landscape.
I imagine you can guess my tough decision. There is no third party that has
established itself at the lower levels of government sufficiently that the
Left can count on popular support of that party's Presidential candidate.
Yet it is is vital that we change the scene in Washington this year.
Because there is so much at steak and because the whole rest of the world is
counting on us to stop our government from defending and perpetuating
ubiquitous corporate and military exploitation of all places, things and
beings--down to our DNA!--I think we should pick the best of all possible
Democrats and put her or him in office. I never thought I would ever say
this, but I am saying it. Unless the Greens come on the scene with a huge
splash, like, yesterday, I am going to support a Democrat for President in
I had been leaning toward supporting Howard Dean but the AntiWar committee
has turned me on to this other dude, Dennis Kucinich. He is a Rep from Ohio
and was Mayor of Cleveland. Very popular in California and Wisconsin. His
opinions on the issues are posted on his web site and I am seriously
impressed. Kuchinich is right on about everything, Iraq, the so called "war
on drugs," GMOs, women's right to choose, campaign finance reform, et.
So I'm joining the Pittsburgh Anti-War committee in supporting Dennis
Kucinich for President in 2004. Howard Dean is a ray of hope of a few
issues I care about but Dennis Kuchinich may well represent the span of
progressive interests. Please check him out before you vote in the Move-on
Primary, his campaign is grass roots and he could use the kudos. He could
also use some cash if you have some.
Of course, part of me is looking forward to the total collapse of
civilization that George Bush is pushing us toward. In bankrupt Argentina I
learned recently the workers are collectivizing the factories, not in the
style of the Soviets but as independent collective enterprises. Perhaps the
total devastation of the US economy would do the world some good. If you're
looking forward to the post-apocalypse George Bush is your AntiChrist.
Bush campaign contributers know that Bush will steal from federal coffers to pay them back. Here's the scam: big contributers give money to Bush, he pays back with corporate favors and tax cuts, we get screwed, in effect paying for his scams....[in multiple ways...]The Money Magnet
Excerpt: "I'm sure there's no connection between fat-cat fund-raising and, say, federal tax policy. But there was some particularly interesting information about the Bush tax cuts in an article yesterday by The Times's David E. Rosenbaum. Citing data from a study by Citizens for Tax Justice, Mr. Rosenbaum pointed out that the richest 1 percent of Americans will get an average tax reduction of nearly $100,000 a year, while 'the tax relief most people will receive is quite meager.'
Half of all taxpayers will get a cut of less than $100 this year. By 2005, three-quarters will get less than $100."
Sunday, June 22, 2003
The United States locks up more than 5,000 children a year who enter the country illegally and alone, often holding them in harsh conditions without access to lawyers, rights group Amnesty International said yesterday.
Some are jailed with criminals, strip-searched, shackled, and physically abused, in violation of international accords and of a 1985 US court ruling that children in immigration custody must be treated with ''dignity, respect, and special concern for their vulnerability as minors,'' Amnesty said in a report released in Miami and other cities.
Some have been sent by their parents to join relatives in the United States. Others are fleeing abuse, war, and recruitment in rebel armies, Amnesty said.
''They come to this country seeking freedom only to find themselves instead facing abuse, detention, and neglect on the part of US authorities,'' said Ajamu Baraka, Amnesty's regional director for the southeastern United States. ''You are forced to appear before a judge to argue your case by yourself, often in a language you don't understand.''
US immigration authorities had no immediate comment.
It's dangerous for reporters in Iraq! UK journalist tells of encountering danger from US troopsObserver | Dangerous liasons
To see how many US and UK soldiers Bush has killed in Iraq with his lies, click here
Cost of the War in Iraq
"America was never innocent. We popped our cherry on the boat over and looked back with no regrets. You can't ascribe our fall from grace to any single event or set of circumstances. You can't lose what you lacked at conception.
"Mass-market nostalgia gets you hopped up for a past that never existed. Hagiography sanctifies shuck-and-jive politicians and reinvents their expedient gestures as moments of great moral weight. Our continuing narrative line is blurred past truth and hindsight. Only a reckless versimilitude can set that line straight."
--James Ellroy, American Tabloid