Archive for May, 2008

Body of War by Phil Donahue on Bill Moyers’ Journal

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Enter the story of Iraq war veteran Tomas Young who was shot and paralyzed less than a week into his tour of duty. Three years in the making, BODY OF WAR tells the poignant tale of the young man’s journey from joining the service after 9/11 to fight in Afghanistan, to living with devastating wounds after being deployed to Iraq instead.  Site for the movie here 

If you’re going to send young men and women to fight for this nation, tell the truth. That’s one of the biggest reasons for the First Amendment. And we haven’t been. And so I thought I will tell the story, the real story of the harm in harm’s way.  The interview with Bill Moyers is here

Katie Couric a real journalist?

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Comparte her answers with Charlie Gibson and see which one would ask the tough questions next time?  Video is here

So this is a test

Friday, May 30th, 2008

See it is a test

Price of gasoline around the world

Monday, May 26th, 2008

The price of gas varies from about a dime to over $15.00 per gallon.  See the list here

Two goodbyes for Memorial Day 2008

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Two goodbyes for Memorial Day 2008.  Picture is here

BPA- Hard Clear plastic and canned food liner

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Bill Moyers’ Journal shows again why it is a must watch.  BPA.  Do you know what it is and where it is?  Do you know it is in every canned food container you have in your cupboard and it is in hard plastic water bottles and baby bottles.  It could cause illness and the charges against the substance have been leveled without comment from the industry making BPA.  See Bill Moyers’ Journal report on it.  Video is here

A post WW2 America

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

China, 1945-49:
Intervened in a civil war, taking the side of Chiang Kai-shek against the Communists, even though the latter had been a much closer ally of the United States in the world war. The U.S. used defeated Japanese soldiers to fight for its side. The Communists forced Chiang to flee to Taiwan in 1949.

Italy, 1947-48:
Using every trick in the book, the U.S. interfered in the elections to prevent the Communist Party from coming to power legally and fairly. This perversion of democracy was done in the name of “saving democracy” in Italy. The Communists lost. For the next few decades, the CIA, along with American corporations, continued to intervene in Italian elections, pouring in hundreds of millions of dollars and much psychological warfare to block the specter that was haunting Europe.

Greece, 1947-49:
Intervened in a civil war, taking the side of the neo-fascists against the Greek left which had fought the Nazis courageously. The neo-fascists won and instituted a highly brutal regime, for which the CIA created a new internal security agency, KYP. Before long, KYP was carrying out all the endearing practices of secret police everywhere, including systematic torture.

Philippines, 1945-53:
U.S. military fought against leftist forces (Huks) even while the Huks were still fighting against the Japanese invaders. After the war, the U. S. continued its fight against the Huks, defeating them, and then installing a series of puppets as president, culminating in the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

South Korea, 1945-53:
After World War II, the United States suppressed the popular progressive forces in favor of the conservatives who had collaborated with the Japanese. This led to a long era of corrupt, reactionary, and brutal governments.

Albania, 1949-53:
The U.S. and Britain tried unsuccessfully to overthrow the communist government and install a new one that would have been pro-Western and composed largely of monarchists and collaborators with Italian fascists and Nazis.

Germany, 1950s:
The CIA orchestrated a wide-ranging campaign of sabotage, terrorism, dirty tricks, and psychological warfare against East Germany. This was one of the factors which led to the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961.

Iran, 1953:
Prime Minister Mossadegh was overthrown in a joint U.S./British operation. Mossadegh had been elected to his position by a large majority of parliament, but he had made the fateful mistake of spearheading the movement to nationalize a British-owned oil company, the sole oil company operating in Iran. The coup restored the Shah to absolute power and began a period of 25 years of repression and torture, with the oil industry being restored to foreign ownership, as follows: Britain and the U.S., each 40 percent, other nations 20 percent.

Guatemala, 1953-1990s:
A CIA-organized coup overthrew the democratically-elected and progressive government of Jacobo Arbenz, initiating 40 years of death-squads, torture, disappearances, mass executions, and unimaginable cruelty, totaling well over 100,000 victims -indisputably one of the most inhuman chapters of the 20th century. Arbenz had nationalized the U.S. firm, United Fruit Company, which had extremely close ties to the American power elite. As justification for the coup, Washington declared that Guatemala had been on the verge of a Soviet takeover, when in fact the Russians had so little interest in the country that it didn’t even maintain diplomatic relations. The real problem in the eyes of Washington, in addition to United Fruit, was the danger of Guatemala’s social democracy spreading to other countries in Latin America.

Middle East, 1956-58:
The Eisenhower Doctrine stated that the United States “is prepared to use armed forces to assist” any Middle East country “requesting assistance against armed aggression from any country controlled by international communism.” The English translation of this was that no one would be allowed to dominate, or have excessive influence over, the middle east and its oil fields except the United States, and that anyone who tried would be, by definition, “Communist.” In keeping with this policy, the United States twice attempted to overthrow the Syrian government, staged several shows-of-force in the Mediterranean to intimidate movements opposed to U.S.-supported governments in Jordan and Lebanon, landed 14,000 troops in Lebanon, and conspired to overthrow or assassinate Nasser of Egypt and his troublesome middle-east nationalism.

Indonesia, 1957-58:
Sukarno, like Nasser, was the kind of Third World leader the United States could not abide. He took neutralism in the cold war seriously, making trips to the Soviet Union and China (though to the White House as well). He nationalized many private holdings of the Dutch, the former colonial power. He refused to crack down on the Indonesian Communist Party, which was walking the legal, peaceful road and making impressive gains electorally. Such policies could easily give other Third World leaders “wrong ideas.” The CIA began throwing money into the elections, plotted Sukarno’s assassination, tried to blackmail him with a phony sex film, and joined forces with dissident military officers to wage a full-scale war against the government. Sukarno survived it all.

British Guiana/Guyana, 1953-64:
For 11 years, two of the oldest democracies in the world, Great Britain and the United States, went to great lengths to prevent a democratically elected leader from occupying his office. Cheddi Jagan was another Third World leader who tried to remain neutral and independent. He was elected three times. Although a leftist-more so than Sukarno or Arbenz-his policies in office were not revolutionary. But he was still a marked man, for he represented Washington’s greatest fear: building a society that might be a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model. Using a wide variety of tactics-from general strikes and disinformation to terrorism and British legalisms, the U. S. and Britain finally forced Jagan out in 1964. John F. Kennedy had given a direct order for his ouster, as, presumably, had Eisenhower.
One of the better-off countries in the region under Jagan, Guyana, by the 1980s, was one of the poorest. Its principal export became people.

Vietnam, 1950-73:
The slippery slope began with siding with ~ French, the former colonizers and collaborators with the Japanese, against Ho Chi Minh and his followers who had worked closely with the Allied war effort and admired all things American. Ho Chi Minh was, after all, some kind of Communist. He had written numerous letters to President Truman and the State Department asking for America’s help in winning Vietnamese independence from the French and finding a peaceful solution for his country. All his entreaties were ignored. Ho Chi Minh modeled the new Vietnamese declaration of independence on the American, beginning it with “All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with …” But this would count for nothing in Washington. Ho Chi Minh was some kind of Communist.
Twenty-three years and more than a million dead, later, the United States withdrew its military forces from Vietnam. Most people say that the U.S. lost the war. But by destroying Vietnam to its core, and poisoning the earth and the gene pool for generations, Washington had achieved its main purpose: preventing what might have been the rise of a good development option for Asia. Ho Chi Minh was, after all, some kind of communist.

Cambodia, 1955-73:
Prince Sihanouk was yet another leader who did not fancy being an American client. After many years of hostility towards his regime, including assassination plots and the infamous Nixon/Kissinger secret “carpet bombings” of 1969-70, Washington finally overthrew Sihanouk in a coup in 1970. This was all that was needed to impel Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge forces to enter the fray. Five years later, they took power. But five years of American bombing had caused Cambodia’s traditional economy to vanish. The old Cambodia had been destroyed forever.
Incredibly, the Khmer Rouge were to inflict even greater misery on this unhappy land. To add to the irony, the United States supported Pol Pot, militarily and diplomatically, after their subsequent defeat by the Vietnamese.

The Congo/Zaire, 1960-65:
In June 1960, Patrice Lumumba became the Congo’s first prime minister after independence from Belgium. But Belgium retained its vast mineral wealth in Katanga province, prominent Eisenhower administration officials had financial ties to the same wealth, and Lumumba, at Independence Day ceremonies before a host of foreign dignitaries, called for the nation’s economic as well as its political liberation, and recounted a list of injustices against the natives by the white owners of the country. The man was obviously a “Communist.” The poor man was obviously doomed.
Eleven days later, Katanga province seceded, in September, Lumumba was dismissed by the president at the instigation of the United States, and in January 1961 he was assassinated at the express request of Dwight Eisenhower. There followed several years of civil conflict and chaos and the rise to power of Mobutu Sese Seko, a man not a stranger to the CIA. Mobutu went on to rule the country for more than 30 years, with a level of corruption and cruelty that shocked even his CIA handlers. The Zairian people lived in abject poverty despite the plentiful natural wealth, while Mobutu became a multibillionaire.

Brazil, 1961-64:
President Joao Goulart was guilty of the usual crimes: He took an independent stand in foreign policy, resuming relations with socialist countries and opposing sanctions against Cuba; his administration passed a law limiting the amount of profits multinationals could transmit outside the country; a subsidiary of ITT was nationalized; he promoted economic and social reforms. And Attorney-General Robert Kennedy was uneasy about Goulart allowing “communists” to hold positions in government agencies. Yet the man was no radical. He was a millionaire land-owner and a Catholic who wore a medal of the Virgin around his neck. That, however, was not enough to save him. In 1964, he was overthrown in a military coup which had deep, covert American involvement. The official Washington line was…yes, it’s unfortunate that democracy has been overthrown in Brazil…but, still, the country has been saved from communism.
For the next 15 years, all the features of military dictatorship that Latin America has come to know were instituted: Congress was shut down, political opposition was reduced to virtual extinction, habeas corpus for “political crimes” was suspended, criticism of the president was forbidden by law, labor unions were taken over by government interveners, mounting protests were met by police and military firing into crowds, peasants’ homes were burned down, priests were brutalized…disappearances, death squads, a remarkable degree and depravity of torture…the government had a name for its program: the “moral rehabilitation” of Brazil.
Washington was very pleased. Brazil broke relations with Cuba and became one of the United States’ most reliable allies in Latin America.

Dominican Republic, 1963-66:
In February 1963, Juan Bosch took office as the first democratically elected president of the Dominican Republic since 1924. Here at last was John F. Kennedy’s liberal anti-Communist, to counter the charge that the U.S. supported only military dictatorships. Bosch’s government was to be the long sought ” showcase of democracy ” that would put the lie to Fidel Castro. He was given the grand treatment in Washington shortly before he took office.
Bosch was true to his beliefs. He called for land reform, low-rent housing, modest nationalization of business, and foreign investment provided it was not excessively exploitative of the country and other policies making up the program of any liberal Third World leader serious about social change. He was likewise serious about civil liberties: Communists, or those labeled as such, were not to be persecuted unless they actually violated the law.
A number of American officials and congresspeople expressed their discomfort with Bosch’s plans, as well as his stance of independence from the United States. Land reform and nationalization are always touchy issues in Washington, the stuff that “creeping socialism” is made of. In several quarters of the U.S. press Bosch was red-baited.
In September, the military boots marched. Bosch was out. The United States, which could discourage a military coup in Latin America with a frown, did nothing.
Nineteen months later, a revolt broke out which promised to put the exiled Bosch back into power. The United States sent 23,000 troops to help crush it.

Cuba, 1959 to present:
Fidel Castro came to power at the beginning of 1959. A U.S. National Security Council meeting of March 10, 1959 included on its agenda the feasibility of bringing “another government to power in Cuba.” There followed 40 years of terrorist attacks, bombings, full-scale military invasion, sanctions, embargoes, isolation, assassinations…Cuba had carried out The Unforgivable Revolution, a very serious threat of setting a “good example” in Latin America.
The saddest part of this is that the world will never know what kind of society Cuba could have produced if left alone, if not constantly under the gun and the threat of invasion, if allowed to relax its control at home. The idealism, the vision, the talent were all there. But we’ll never know. And that of course was the idea.

Indonesia, 1965:
A complex series of events, involving a supposed coup attempt, a counter-coup, and perhaps a counter-counter-coup, with American fingerprints apparent at various points, resulted in the ouster from power of Sukarno and his replacement by a military coup led by General Suharto. The massacre that began immediately-of Communists, Communist sympathizers, suspected Communists, suspected Communist sympathizers, and none of the above-was called by the New York Times “one of the most savage mass slayings of modern political history.” The estimates of the number killed in the course of a few years begin at half a million and go above a million.
It was later learned that the U.S. embassy had compiled lists of “Communist” operatives, from top echelons down to village cadres, as many as 5,000 names, and turned them over to the army, which then hunted those persons down and killed them. The Americans would then check off the names of those who had been killed or captured. “It really was a big help to the army. They probably killed a lot of people, and I probably have a lot of blood on my hands,” said one U.S. diplomat. “But that’s not all bad. There’s a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment. ”

Chile, 1964-73:
Salvador Allende was the worst possible scenario for a Washington imperialist. He could imagine only one thing worse than a Marxist in power-an elected Marxist in power, who honored the constitution, and became increasingly popular. This shook the very foundation stones on which the anti-Communist tower was built: the doctrine, painstakingly cultivated for decades, that “communists” can take power only through force and deception, that they can retain that power only through terrorizing and brainwashing the population.
After sabotaging Allende’s electoral endeavor in 1964, and failing to do so in 1970, despite their best efforts, the CIA and the rest of the American foreign policy machine left no stone unturned in their attempt to destabilize the Allende government over the next three years, paying particular attention to building up military hostility. Finally, in September 1973, the military overthrew the government, Allende dying in the process.
They closed the country to the outside world for a week, while the tanks rolled and the soldiers broke down doors; the stadiums rang with the sounds of execution and the bodies piled up along the streets and floated in the river; the torture centers opened for business; the subversive books were thrown into bonfires; soldiers slit the trouser legs of women, shouting that “In Chile women wear dresses!”; the poor returned to their natural state; and the men of the world in Washington and in the halls of international finance opened up their check- books. In the end, more than 3,000 had been executed, thousands more tortured or disappeared.

Greece, 1964-74:
The military coup took place in April 1967, just two days before the campaign for j national elections was to begin, elections which appeared certain to bring the veteran liberal leader George Papandreou back as prime minister. Papandreou had been elected in February 1964 with the only outright majority in the history of modern Greek elections. The successful machinations to unseat him had begun immediately, a joint effort of the Royal Court, the Greek military, and the American military and CIA stationed in Greece. The 1967 coup was followed immediately by the traditional martial law, censorship, arrests, beatings, torture, and killings, the victims totaling some 8,000 in the first month. This was accompanied by the equally traditional declaration that this was all being done to save the nation from a “Communist takeover.” Corrupting and subversive influences in Greek life were to be removed. Among these were miniskirts, long hair, and foreign newspapers; church attendance for the young would be compulsory.
It was torture, however, which most indelibly marked the seven-year Greek nightmare. James Becket, an American attorney sent to Greece by Amnesty International, wrote in December 1969 that “a conservative estimate would place at not less than two thousand” the number of people tortured, usually in the most gruesome of ways, often with equipment supplied by the United States.
Becket reported the following: Hundreds of prisoners have listened to the little speech given by Inspector Basil Lambrou, who sits behind his desk which displays the red, white, and blue clasped-hand symbol of American aid. He tries to show the prisoner the absolute futility of resistance: “You make yourself ridiculous by thinking you can do anything. The world is divided in two. There are the communists on that side and on this side the free world. The Russians and the Americans, no one else. What are we? Americans. Behind me there is the government, behind the government is NATO, behind NATO is the U.S. You can’t fight us, we are Americans.”
George Papandreou was not any kind of radical. He was a liberal anti-Communist type. But his son Andreas, the heir-apparent, while only a little to the left of his father had not disguised his wish to take Greece out of the Cold War, and had questioned remaining in NATO, or at least as a satellite of the United States.

East Timor, 1975 to present:
In December 1975, Indonesia invaded East Timor, which lies at the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago, and which had proclaimed its independence after Portugal had relinquished control of it. The invasion was launched the day after U. S. President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had left Indonesia after giving Suharto permission to use American arms, which, under U.S. Iaw, could not be used for aggression. Indonesia was Washington’s most valuable tool in Southeast Asia.
Amnesty International estimated that by 1989, Indonesian troops, with the aim of forcibly annexing East Timor, had killed 200,000 people out of a population of between 600,000 and 700,000. The United States consistently supported Indonesia’s claim to East Timor (unlike the UN and the EU), and downplayed the slaughter to a remarkable degree, at the same time supplying Indonesia with all the military hardware and training it needed to carry out the job.

Nicaragua, 1978-89:
When the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza dictatorship in 1978, it was clear to Washington that they might well be that long-dreaded beast-“another Cuba.” Under President Carter, attempts to sabotage the revolution took diplomatic and economic forms. Under Reagan, violence was the method of choice. For eight terribly long years, the people of Nicaragua were under attack by Washington’s proxy army, the Contras, formed from Somoza’s vicious National Guard and other supporters of the dictator. It was all-out war, aiming to destroy the progressive social and economic programs of the government, burning down schools and medical clinics, raping, torturing, mining harbors, bombing and strafing. These were Ronald Reagan’s “freedom fighters.” There would be no revolution in Nicaragua.

Grenada, 1979-84:
What would drive the most powerful nation in the world to invade a country of 110,000? Maurice Bishop and his followers had taken power in a 1979 coup, and though their actual policies were not as revolutionary as Castro’s, Washington was again driven by its fear of “another Cuba,” particularly when public appearances by the Grenadian leaders in other countries of the region met with great enthusiasm.
U. S. destabilization tactics against the Bishop government began soon after the coup and continued until 1983, featuring numerous acts of disinformation and dirty tricks. The American invasion in October 1983 met minimal resistance, although the U.S. suffered 135 killed or wounded; there were also some 400 Grenadian casualties, and 84 Cubans, mainly construction workers.
At the end of 1984, a questionable election was held which was won by a man supported by the Reagan administration. One year later, the human rights organization, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, reported that Grenada’s new U.S.-trained police force and counter-insurgency forces had acquired a reputation for brutality, arbitrary arrest, and abuse of authority, and were eroding civil rights.
In April 1989, the government issued a list of more than 80 books which were prohibited from being imported. Four months later, the prime minister suspended parliament to forestall a threatened no-confidence vote resulting from what his critics called “an increasingly authoritarian style.”

Libya, 1981-89:
Libya refused to be a proper Middle East client state of Washington. Its leader, Muammar el-Qaddafi, was uppity. He would have to be punished. U.S. planes shot down two Libyan planes in what Libya regarded as its air space. The U. S . also dropped bombs on the country, killing at least 40 people, including Qaddafi’s daughter. There were other attempts to assassinate the man, operations to overthrow him, a major disinformation campaign, economic sanctions, and blaming Libya for being behind the Pan Am 103 bombing without any good evidence.

Panama, 1989:
Washington’s bombers strike again. December 1989, a large tenement barrio in Panama City wiped out, 15,000 people left homeless. Counting several days of ground fighting against Panamanian forces, 500-something dead was the official body count, what the U.S. and the new U.S.-installed Panamanian government admitted to; other sources, with no less evidence, insisted that thousands had died; 3,000-something wounded. Twenty-three Americans dead, 324 wounded.
Question from reporter: “Was it really worth it to send people to their death for this? To get Noriega?”
George Bush: “Every human life is precious, and yet I have to answer, yes, it has been worth it.”
Manuel Noriega had been an American ally and informant for years until he outlived his usefulness. But getting him was not the only motive for the attack. Bush wanted to send a clear message to the people of Nicaragua, who had an election scheduled in two months, that this might be their fate if they reelected the Sandinistas. Bush also wanted to flex some military muscle to illustrate to Congress the need for a large combat-ready force even after the very recent dissolution of the “Soviet threat.” The official explanation for the American ouster was Noriega’s drug trafficking, which Washington had known about for years and had not been at all bothered by.

Iraq, 1990s:
Relentless bombing for more than 40 days and nights, against one of the most advanced nations in the Middle East, devastating its ancient and modern capital city; 177 million pounds of bombs falling on the people of Iraq, the most concentrated aerial onslaught in the history of the world; depleted uranium weapons incinerating people, causing cancer; blasting chemical and biological weapon storage and oil facilities; poisoning the atmosphere to a degree perhaps never matched anywhere; burying soldiers alive, deliberately; the infrastructure destroyed, with a terrible effect on health; sanctions continued to this day multiplying the health problems; perhaps a million children dead by now from all of these things, even more adults.
Iraq was the strongest military power among the Arab states. This may have been their crime. Noam Chomsky has written: “It’s been a leading, driving doctrine of U.S. foreign policy since the 1940s that the vast and unparalleled energy resources of the Gulf region will be effectively dominated by the United States and its clients, and, crucially, that no independent, indigenous force will be permitted to have a substantial influence on the administration of oil production and price. ”

Afghanistan, 1979-92:
Everyone knows of the unbelievable repression of women in Afghanistan, carried out by Islamic fundamentalists, even before the Taliban. But how many people know that during the late 1970s and most of the 1980s, Afghanistan had a government committed to bringing the incredibly backward nation into the 20th century, including giving women equal rights? What happened, however, is that the United States poured billions of dollars into waging a terrible war against this government, simply because it was supported by the Soviet Union. Prior to this, CIA operations had knowingly increased the probability of a Soviet intervention, which is what occurred. In the end, the United States won, and the women, and the rest of Afghanistan, lost. More than a million dead, three million disabled, five million refugees, in total about half the population.

El Salvador, 1980-92:
El Salvador’s dissidents tried to work within the system. But with U.S. support, the government made that impossible, using repeated electoral fraud and murdering hundreds of protesters and strikers. In 1980, the dissidents took to the gun, and civil war.
Officially, the U.S. military presence in El Salvador was limited to an advisory capacity. In actuality, military and CIA personnel played a more active role on a continuous basis. About 20 Americans were killed or wounded in helicopter and plane crashes while flying reconnaissance or other missions over combat areas, and considerable evidence surfaced of a U.S. role in the ground fighting as well. The war came to an official end in 1992; 75,000 civilian deaths and the U.S. Treasury depleted by six billion dollars. Meaningful social change has been largely thwarted. A handful of the wealthy still own the country, the poor remain as ever, and dissidents still have to fear right-wing death squads.

Haiti, 1987-94:
The U.S. supported the Duvalier family dictatorship for 30 years, then opposed the reformist priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Meanwhile, the CIA was working intimately with death squads, torturers, and drug traffickers. With this as background, the Clinton White House found itself in the awkward position of having to pretend-because of all their rhetoric about “democracy”-that they supported Aristide’s return to power in Haiti after he had been ousted in a 1991 military coup. After delaying his return for more than two years, Washington finally had its military restore Aristide to office, but only after obliging the priest to guarantee that he would not help the poor at the expense of the rich, and that he would stick closely to free-market economics. This meant that Haiti would continue to be the assembly plant of the Western Hemisphere, with its workers receiving literally starvation wages.

Yugoslavia, 1999:
The United States is bombing the country back to a pre-industrial era. It would like the world to believe that its intervention is motivated only by “humanitarian” impulses. Perhaps the above history of U.S. interventions can help one decide how much weight to place on this claim.

Congress to investigate oil companies and OPEC- YEAH! Bush to veto- BOO!

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

U.S. House passes bill to sue OPEC over oil prices

The House overwhelmingly approved legislation Tuesday allowing the Justice Department to sue OPEC members for limiting oil supplies and working together to set crude prices, but the White House threatened to veto the measure.

The bill would subject OPEC oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela, to the same antitrust laws that U.S. companies must follow.

The measure passed in a 324-84 vote, a big enough margin to override a presidential veto.

The legislation also creates a Justice Department task force to aggressively investigate gasoline price gouging and energy market manipulation.

“This bill guarantees that oil prices will reflect supply and demand economic rules, instead of wildly speculative and perhaps illegal activities,” said Democratic Rep. Steve Kagen of Wisconsin, who sponsored the legislation.

The lawmaker said Americans “are at the mercy” of OPEC for how much they pay for gasoline, which this week hit a record average of $3.79 a gallon.

The White House opposes the bill, saying that targeting OPEC investment in the United States as a source for damage awards “would likely spur retaliatory action against American interests in those countries and lead to a reduction in oil available to U.S. refiners.”

The administration said less oil going to refineries would limit available gasoline supplies and raise fuel prices.

Foreign investment in U.S. oil infrastructure has declined in the last decade. But the state-owned oil companies of several OPEC nations are owners of U.S. refineries, and those investments could be affected if the legislation becomes law, said Arlington, Virginia-based FBR Capital Markets Corp.

The bill also requires the Government Accountability Office to carryout a study on the effects of prior oil company mergers on energy prices.

The Senate would still have to approve the House measure.

The Senate previously approved similar legislation as part of a broad energy bill. However, the OPEC-suing provision was removed after White House opposition in order to get the underlying energy legislation signed into law.

The red pill or the blue pill

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Which pill will you take?  Video is here

You are a monkey and you are nothing more

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

You are a monkey and you are nothing more.  Video is here

There are billions of galaxies in the observable universe
And each of them contains hundreds of billions of stars
In one of these galaxies
Orbiting one of these stars
Lies a little blue planet
And this planet is run by a bunch of monkeys

Now these monkeys don’t think of themselves as monkeys
They don’t even think of themselves as animals
In fact, they love to list all the things that they think
separate them from the animals:
Opposable thumbs
Self-awareness
They use words like Homo Erectus and Australopithecus

You say Toe-mate-o, I say Toe-motto
They’re animals all right
They’re monkeys
Monkeys with high-speed digital fiber-optic technology
But monkeys nevertheless

I mean, they’re clever
You’ve got to give them that
The Pyramids, skyscrapers, phantom jets,
the Great Wall of China
That’s all pretty impressive
For a bunch of monkeys

Monkeys whose brains have evolved
to such an unmanageable size
that it’s now pretty much impossible
for them stay happy for any length of time

In fact, they’re the only animals that think
they’re supposed to be happy
All of the other animals can just be

But it’s not that simple for the monkeys

You see, the monkeys are cursed with consciousness
And so the monkeys are afraid
So the monkeys worry
The monkeys worry about everything
but mostly about what all the other monkeys think
Because the monkeys desperately want to fit in
with the other monkeys

Which is pretty hard to do
because a lot of the monkeys hate each other
This is really what separates them from the other animals
These monkeys hate
They hate monkeys that are different
Monkeys from different places
Monkeys who are a different color

You see, the monkeys feel alone
All six billion of them

Some of the monkeys pay another monkey
to listen to their problems

The monkeys want answers
and the monkeys know they’re going to die
So the monkeys make up gods
and then they worship them
Then the monkeys start to argue
over whose made-up god is better
Then the monkeys get really pissed off
and this is usually when the monkeys decide
that it’s a good time to start killing each other

So the monkeys wage war
The monkeys make hydrogen bombs
The monkeys have got their entire planet
wired up to explode

The monkeys just can’t help it

Some of the monkeys play to a sold out crowd of other monkeys

The monkeys make trophies
and then they give them to each other
Like it means something

Some of the monkeys think they’ve all figured out
Some of the monkeys read Nietzsche
The monkeys argue about Nietzsche
without given any consideration to the fact that Nietzsche
was just another monkey

The monkeys make plans
The monkeys fall in love
The monkeys have sex
and then they make more monkeys

The monkeys make music
and then the monkeys dance
Dance, monkeys, dance

The monkeys make a hell of a lot of noise

The monkeys have so much potential
if they would only apply themselves

The monkeys shave the hair off of their bodies
in blatant denial of their true monkey nature

The monkeys build giant monkey hives that they call “cities”

The monkeys draw a lot of imaginary lines in the dirt

The monkeys are running out of the oil
which is what fuels their precarious civilization

The monkeys are polluting and raping their planet
like there’s no tomorrow

The monkeys like to pretend that everything is just fine

Some of the monkeys actually believe that the entire universe
was created for their benefit

As you can see . . . these are some messed up monkeys

These monkeys are at once the ugliest
and the most beautiful creatures on the planet

And the monkeys don’t want to be monkeys
They want to be something else
But they’re not.

Times the word monkey was used: 63

50 Lies of Barack Obama

Friday, May 16th, 2008

I am so sick of the spam that people send that is simply untrue.   I do enjoy debunking them so keep them coming as I love to hate them!!!  The latest batch will of course deal with Barack Obama.   And as with every single other of these emails the answer to the claims are out there if you choose to look.  Do a search of Google by putting the first line of the spam into Google and then look for a post by Snopes or UrbanLegends or other blogs that do real research as opposed to opinion based blogs.  It is easy to do and actually fun when you find out the truth and then send the truth back to people to enlighten them.  Most people will see the accusatory email and this is the response to send the people you receive these emails from…with footnotes as opposed to the accusations.

50 Truths about Barack Obama


1. Selma Got Me Born.  Senator Obama meant that the civil rights movement helped foster greater understanding between people of different races, which made it possible for his mother and father to have a relationship.  He didn’t mean that the events in Selma literally led to his being conceived. Here is a section from that speech: http://www.barackobama.com/2007/03/04/selma_voting_rights_march_comm.php

“What happened in Selma, Alabama and Birmingham also stirred the conscience of the nation. It worried folks in the White House who said, ‘You know, we’re battling Communism. How are we going to win hearts and minds all across the world? If right here in our own country, John, we’re not observing the ideals set fort in our Constitution, we might be accused of being hypocrites.’ So the Kennedys decided we’re going to do an air lift. We’re going to go to Africa and start bringing young Africans over to this country and give them scholarships to study so they can learn what a wonderful country America is. This young man named Barack Obama got one of those tickets and came over to this country. He met this woman whose great great-great-great-grandfather had owned slaves; but she had a good idea there was some craziness going on because they looked at each other and they decided that we know that the world as it has been it might not be possible for us to get together and have a child. There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama, because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don’t tell me I don’t have a claim on Selma, Alabama. Don’t tell me I’m not coming home to Selma, Alabama. I’m here because somebody marched. I’m here because you all sacrificed for me. I stand on the shoulders of giants. I thank the Moses generation; but we’ve got to remember, now, that Joshua still had a job to do. As great as Moses was, despite all that he did, leading a people out of bondage, he didn’t cross over the river to see the Promised Land. God told him your job is done. You’ll see it. You’ll be at the mountain top and you can see what I’ve promised. What I’ve promised to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. You will see that I’ve fulfilled that promise but you won’t go there.”

2. Father Was A Goat Herder.  Barack Obama Sr. did grow up herding sheep in a village in Kenya, and only got to go to America because he earned a scholarship to study abroad at the age of 23.   “Due to a program offering Western educational opportunities to outstanding Kenyan students that was organized by nationalist leader Tom Mboya, Obama Sr. was awarded a scholarship in economics, and at the age of 23 he enrolled at the University of Hawaii.”

3. Father Was A Proud Freedom Fighter.  Senator Obama never claimed that his father was a “proud freedom fighter.”  He has spoken frankly about how his father went back to Kenya and served as a government bureaucrat, until political problems led him to become a disillusioned alcoholic in his later years.

4. My Family Has Strong Ties To African Freedom. Kenyan politician Raila Odinga has claimed that he and Obama are related, though there does not seem to be much evidence.  In any case, Obama is actually related to Dick Cheney, and I wouldn’t hold that against him.  See the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7176683.stm

5. My Grandmother Has Always Been A Christian. Obama’s grandmother IS a Christian — he was referring to his grandmother in Kansas.  As most people understand, a person has TWO grandmothers. The author confuses Obama’s U.S. and African-born grandmothers.

6. My Name is African Swahili.  His first name, “Barack,” is a word in both Swahili and Arabic.  See this page from the University of Pennsylvania:
http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/004187.html

7.  I Never Practiced Islam.  Senator Obama’s mother did not raise him with any religion. He attended both public and Catholic schools in Indonesia.  He never attended a “madrassah.”  See Time Magazine: http://time-blog.com/swampland/2007/01/disgusting.html. and See CNN.COM: http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/01/22/obama.madrassa/

8. My School In Indonesia Was Christian. He attended a Catholic school in Indonesia for two years.  The other two years were spent in public schools.

9.
I Was Fluent In Indonesian. Sen. Obama never claimed to be able to speak Indonesian fluently.  See Time Magazine: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1695803,00.html

“Obama’s years living in Indonesia, moreover, have made him the most popular U.S. politician in Southeast Asia. When prominent Indonesians visit the U.S., the first person they want to meet is Obama, says Parnohadiningrat Sudjadnan, the Indonesian ambassador to the U.S. “Back home people think of him as one of us, or at least one who understands us,” he says, adding that they are delighted to find that Obama speaks passable Bahasa, the language spoken in Indonesia and Malaysia.”

10. Because I Lived In Indonesia , I Have More Foreign Experience. The smear emails don’t make much sense: they claim that Sen. Obama’s time in Indonesia was enough to turn him into a Muslim fanatic, but not enough for him to have experience in foreign countries.  Obama said that his view of the world is different because of his childhood. Anyone with a similar experience, as well as psychologists and sociologists, can confirm this statement too (TPM).

See Time Magazine: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1695803,00.html
“Some would argue that his childhood experiences, as well as his mixed heritage (his father was Kenyan, his mother from Kansas), gives him a better inner compass on foreign policy than most Americans. They cite the pioneering work of Ruth Hill Useem, the late sociologist of Michigan State University, who spent her career studying what she called Third Culture Kids — the millions of U.S. children (an estimated 20 million since the advent of mass air travel) who have been carted abroad by their missionary, diplomatic, corporate or military parents. These frequent-flier kids don’t spend enough time in their adopted countries to become fully bicultural, but they take pieces and add it to their home values and traditions — creating millions of “Third Cultures.” Studies have shows that kids who have spent time abroad are more likely to go to college, to relate to one another despite the influences of vastly differing cultures, and to latch on to one aspect of their culture — in Obama’s case African Americanism.”

11. I Am Stronger On Foreign Affairs
– LIAR, except for Africa (surprise) and the Middle East (bigger surprise), you have never been anywhere else on the planet and thus have NO experience with our closest allies.  If Obama’s travels in Africa, Asia and the Middle East don’t have any relevance to foreign affairs, what would?  A visit to Antarctica?

12. I Blame My Early Drug Use On Ethnic Confusion.  The smear email suggests that Sen. Obama had no problems growing up as a biracial kid in the 1960s and 1970s.  The anonymous people who put out these emails must know him better than he does.

13. An Ebony Article Moved Me To Run For Office.  This may be an incorrect memory from childhood.  The article may have appeared in another magazine.

14. A Life Magazine Article Changed My Outlook On Life.  The book recites a memory from his childhood. Several advertisements depicting the whitening creams that Obama described did appear in magazines at that time (and still do today.) – From TPM.

15. I Won’t Run On A National Ticket In ’08.   The quotation is false: Obama said he had “no plans” to run, which is the standard cover used by politicians. In fact, out of all candidates in the primaries, every single one had stated this at one point–including Sen. Clinton and McCain (from TPM).

16. Present Votes Are Common In Illinois.  Present votes ARE common in Illinois, as has been explained by Illinois legislators, newspapers and researchers. Present votes are made strategically to help weaker representatives in your party–for example Planned Parenthood ASKED Obama to vote “present” instead of “no” on some abortion bills so that other Democratic State Senators would have cover.

17. Oops, I Misvoted.  No idea what this one is even referring to. Here is a complete list of Obama’s voting record: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/o000167/

18. I Was A Professor Of Law.  Sen. Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago; according to UC, he was a professor of law. It does not get any simpler than this, even if the academic titles seem confusing. Obama was also NOT on leave when he was teaching… he has been on leave since his election to U.S. Senate. Here is the U of Chicago School of Law statement on this very issue: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/media/index.html

19. I Was A Constitutional Lawyer.  Sen. Obama worked as a civil rights lawyer in Chicago from 1993 to 2002.  See Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_life_and_career_of_Barack_Obama. Also here is the website of the law firm he worked for: http://www.lawmbg.com/index.cfm/PageID/2674

20. Without Me, There Would Be No Ethics Bill.  Sen. Obama did propose and pass the toughest ethics legislation in Congress yet, banning many different ways that lobbyists got legislators to do favors for them.  Find the text of the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act at http://obama.senate.gov/issues/ethics_and_lobbying_reform/

21. The Ethics Bill Was Hard To Pass.  Just because a bill passed in two weeks does not mean it was not difficult to pass.  The full process actually took more than 14 days.  However, if your opponent accuses you of getting bills passed TOO fast, you obviously do not have many vulnerabilities.

22. I Wrote A Tough Nuclear Bill.  Sen. Obama’s original bill was much tougher but the Republicans required it toned down before it was allowed to pass (this was prior to 2006 takeover) in its final form–which still established new regulations which no-one else did.  Obama also worked with Republican Senator Dick Lugar to pass a bill to keep nukes out of the hands of terrorists.  See coverage at http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=388×3353

23. I Have Released My State Records.  All IL Senate records are available through Illinois State. Read What Media Matters Had to Say: “The Associated Press reported that Sen. Barack Obama “says he can’t step up and produce his own records from his days in the Illinois state Senate. He says he hasn’t got any.” But Obama did not claim that the documents do not exist. In fact, the article quoted Obama saying: “I don’t have — I don’t maintain — a file of eight years of work in the state Senate because I didn’t have the resources available to maintain those kinds of records.”

24. I Took On The Asbestos Altgeld Gardens Mess.  Sen. Obama can legitimately take credit for this but other people were involved also.
 
From: http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/president/stories/obamaearly.html
“Key players who worked with Obama at Altgeld Gardens said he deserves credit for pulling together a team of hundreds of residents who rallied for improvements at their housing projects. Obama helped secure grants for a jobs program and pushed for asbestos removal. His biggest accomplishment may have been to leave in place a group of activist mothers, some of whom continue to work or live at Altgeld Gardens.”

25. My Economics Bill Will Help America.  It is unclear what Senate bill contained Sen. Obama’s “111 economic policies.”  In any case, Sen. Obama’s economic program has many positive features, including cutting loopholes exploited by corporations and wealthy Americans, cutting taxes on the middle class, and shoring up Social Security by ensuring that the rich pay as much of the rest of the us into the system.

26. I Have Been A Bold Leader In Illinois. The “supporter” who said Obama was not bold was actually a Republican state senator.  Whether Obama was a bold leader is a value judgement left for the reader.  He did some good work on healthcare and criminal justice in Illinois.

27. I Passed 26 Of My Own Bills In One Year.  Untrue accusation, which also contradicts claim #36.

28.
No One Contacted Canada About NAFTA.  The Canadian embassy contacted Mr. Goolsbee in his civilian role, not the other way around. The statement is imprecise, though.

From: http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/the_facts_about_nafta-gate.html

It’s now clear that a Canadian news report that started this flap wasn’t accurate. No evidence has surfaced to show that any Obama “staffer” telephoned the Canadian ambassador in Washington, and all concerned deny that any such conversation took place. But it is equally clear that Obama’s senior economic adviser did visit Canada’s consulate in Chicago on Feb. 8, and that NAFTA was one of the several topics discussed.”

29.
I Am Tough On Terrorism.  Sen. Obama did not vote for the resolution designating the Iranian group a terrorist organization because he did not want to give George W. Bush an excuse to start another war.

30.
I Am Not Acting As President Yet.  Not sure what it means to be “acting as President” when you’re a candidate.  In any case, the FARC accusation is false. It’s a false quotation.

31.
I Didn’t Run Ads In Florida.  Obama advertised on national cable. Some adverts would be seen in Florida due to inability of disabling that from happening. The decision was cleared beforehand through the South Carolina DNC head as required by DNC rules. The Herald Tribune wrote, “Obama’s campaign launched national television advertisements on CNN and MSNBC that are shown in Florida ” and “Obama’s campaign spokesman Bill Burton disputes the pledge was broken. He said the campaign asked CNN and MSNBC to pull Florida from the ad buy, but the networks said they could not.” From: http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20080123/NEWS/801230668

32.
I Won Michigan.  Sen. Obama never claimed to win Michigan; he wasn’t even on the ballot there.  He mistakenly said “Michigan” in one interview when discussing the states he had won, but it was a gaffe.  Clearly tired, he also called the interviewer by the wrong name.

33.
I won Nevada.  Sen. Obama never claimed to win Nevada, although he did get one more delegate from the state due to the rules for proportionally allocating delegates by voting district. From USA Today, “Obama said in a statement released by his campaign around 6:15 p.m. ET that he came from 25 points behind and nearly beat Clinton today because he did well across all of Nevada — ‘including rural areas where Democrats have traditionally struggled.'” From:http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-01-19-nevada_N.htm

34.
I Want All Votes To Count.  Sen. Obama wanted the primary votes to count according to the rules everyone (including Senator Clinton) agreed to in the beginning. 

35.
I Want Americans To Decide.  It’s not Sen. Obama’s fault that some states use caucuses to choose their delegates and others use primaries.  Caucuses may be less representative, but this is the way states like Iowa and Nebraska do their voting.  He has won big victories in primaries (e.g. Virginia, Wisconsin, Louisiana) as well as caucuses.

36.
I passed 900 Bills in the State Senate.  – LIAR, you passed 26, most of which you didn’t write yourself.  Quotation is false. In addition, the number 26 is the number of bills he passed in his last year ALONE.

37.
My Campaign Was Extorted By A Friend.  No idea what this is about.  Accusers give no details, evidence, reference.

38.
I Believe In Fairness, Not Tactics – LIAR, you used tactics to eliminate Alice Palmer from running against you.  Alice Palmer held Obama’s seat in the Illinois state senate before him, and she decided she wanted to run for the spot again after his first term.  However, she was unable to get enough legitimate signatures to run for the seat.

39.
I Don’t Take PAC Money.  Obama has not accepted PAC money directly or indirectly in this election. According to Factcheck.org: “We’ve seen no evidence that Obama is not adhering to the letter of his pledge.” From: http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/pac-ing_heat.html

40.
I don’t Have Lobbysists – LIAR, you have over 47 lobbyists, and counting.  Obama never made that statement. His statement is that he does not employ federally registered lobbyists and his administration will not include any. That statement is correct.

41.
My Campaign Had Nothing To Do With The 1984 Ad.  The author of the 1984 ad was not a campaign worker of the Obama campaign. The author of the ad was exposed to be Phillip de Vellis of Blue State Digital. See: http://www.bluestatedigital.com/2007/03/on_the_1984_video.html

42.
My Campaign Never Took Over MySpace.  Author makes a completely nonsensical claim that Obama’s campaign “took over” MySpace which is A) not true and B) technically not possible without criminal activity.

43.
I Inspire People With My Words – LIAR, you inspire people with other people’s words.  Sen. Obama made use of similar words from a speech given by his friend and supporter, Governor Deval Patrick of Massachussetts.  He has inspired people with plenty of other words before.

44.
I Have Passed Bills In The U.S. Senate.  Sen. Obama has passed several important bills and amendments in the U.S. Senate. Information is available on the US Senate website.

45.
I Have Always Been Against Iraq.  Sen. Obama has consistently opposed the WAR in Iraq.  Unlike the author of the list, Obama does not believe that funding of the troops should be cut immediately without being able to ensure a safe and orderly redeployment. As Obama explained: “Once the bus is in the ditch, there are only so many ways to get it out.” (for quote see: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/02/27/clinton_attacks_on_all_fronts/?page=2)

46.
I Have Always Supported Universal Health Care.  “Universal healthcare” is defined as “healthcare that is available universally.” Obama’s plan makes healthcare universally available. Take a look at his plan and judge for yourself: http://www.barackobama.com/issues/healthcare/

47.
I Only Found Out About My Investment Conflicts Via Mail.  No evidence for this accusation – it is unclear what it is referring to.

48.
I Am As Patriotic As Anyone – LIAR, you won’t wear a flag pin.  The author assumes that everyone has to wear a flag pin to be patriotic.  I love this country and I don’t wear one — do you? You could at least hear him out: http://www.barackobama.com/factcheck/2007/11/12/obama_is_a_patriot.php

49.
My Wife Didn’t Mean What She Said About Pride In Country.  Michelle Obama said she was proud of her country.  Her statement did imply that she had been less proud before than she is now.  I know I was a little less proud of my country when its government started torturing people and invading countries for no reason.

50.
Wal-Mart Is A Company I Wouldn’t Support.  Sen. Obama does not support Wal-Mart’s policies. TreeHouse is not “affiliated with” Wal-Mart. The latter is a customer of TreeHouse. Michelle Obama has left TreeHouse. It should be noted that while Obama is not lying as the author suggests, even this type of “connection” with Wal-Mart should be considered bad in the opinion of yours truly.

McCain does not remember the 80s and Iran-Contra

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

This is just embarrassing for McCain.  He claims Reagan did not negotiate with the Iranians.  Wasn’t McCain alive in the 80s or is he just that stupid?  Story is here

Ron Paul explains the banking system con game that can bring the nation down

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Ron Paul discusses banking fraud.  Video is here

Gore Vidal speaks his mind about Bush and America on DemocracyNow!

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Gore Vidal speaks his mind about Bush and America on DemocracyNow!  Story and Video is here

AMY GOODMAN: You wrote two books during the Bush administration. Two of the books you’ve written are Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace and Dreaming War. Why these two?

GORE VIDAL: Well, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, that’s my main book during that period. That was the foreign policy of the Bush administration: perpetual war. This was also Harry Truman’s dream. He started the Cold War. If any history had been imparted to our people, they’d know all this. And if you think I enjoy having to be the one to tell them about it, I don’t.

AMY GOODMAN: And what about Dreaming War?

GORE VIDAL: Well, same thing. They were dreaming war. You can see little Bush all along was just dreaming of war, and also Cheney dreaming about oil wells and how you knock apart a country like Iraq and of course their oil will pay for the damage you do. For that alone, he should have been put in front of a firing squad.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you believe in the death penalty?

GORE VIDAL: No. But in their case, yes.

Several on-camera explosions

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

A few giggles a few laughs a few talking heads who should be pied.  Story is here

Ron Paul explains- NeoConservatives are NOT Conservatives nor are they Republicans

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Ron Paul explains- NeoConservatives are NOT Conservatives nor are they Republicans.  Video is here

AWOLBush.com

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Offering a $50,000 reward for proof that George W. Bush fulfilled his National Guard service from 1972 to 1973.  He was certainly AWOLBush.com!

Bush sacrifices for the war effort

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Bush sacrifices for the war effort.  Story is here

WHAT sacrifice?

He said he wanted to stand in solidarity with the war families.

How about not being a war profiteer?

How about not starting a war against a nation that didn’t attack us?

How about the truth?

How about Impeachment and Imprisonment?

As far as flawed intelligence just look up Douglas Feith who screened all of the data and altered it to fit what the Administration needed by way of an angle to perpetuate the myth that we needed to attack Iraq.

And yes, throw in the “If a Democrat is elected we will be doomed!” line for good measure.

Who are these people that still believe this Used Car Salesman of a President?  Apologies to Used Car Salesman worldwide!

I know of more than 4000 Americans who ALSO gave up golf for the war effort.

‘Flawed’ prewar data ‘disappointed’ Bush

President says he gave up golf in 2003 because of conflict

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

(05-14) 04:00 PDT WashingtonPresident Bush said Tuesday he was disappointed in “flawed intelligence” before the Iraq war and was concerned that if a Democrat wins the presidency in November and withdrew troops prematurely it could “eventually lead to another attack on the United States.”

In an interview with Politico magazine and the Internet portal Yahoo, Bush also said he gave up golf in 2003 out of respect for U.S. soldiers killed in the war, which has now lasted more than five years.

“I didn’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf,” he said. “I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.”

Bush said he made his decision after the August 2003 bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad.

A question submitted from the online audience asked Bush whether he felt he had been misled about Iraq as he made the decision to go to war.

” ‘Misled’ is a strong word,” he said. “Not only our intelligence community, but intelligence communities all across the world shared the same assessment. And so I was disappointed to see how flawed our intelligence was.

“Do I think somebody lied to me? No, I don’t. I think it was just, you know, they analyzed the situation and came up with the wrong conclusion,” he added.

He acknowledged concerns about leaving the unfinished Iraq war to a Democratic successor. Both Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton have said they will bring troops home if elected.

Bush said his “doomsday scenario of course is that extremists throughout the Middle East would be emboldened, which would eventually lead to another attack on the United States.”

What would a terrorist do to ruin America?

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

The steps a real terrorist would take to destroy America.  Video is here

The punchlines write themselves!!! Watch 178 Republicans in the House vote AGAINST a bill glorifying mothers in America! No kidding!

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

See the actual vote results here and the actual wording of the measure is located here…this stuff is IMPOSSIBLE to make up because the idea is so far out of whack with what logic demands it would be rejected immediately by any TV or movie producer as being too far flung but this ACTUALLY happened in the US House of Representatives.

So the idea here by the Republicans was to tie up things so nothing of substance could get done in the US House of Representatives.  So the House had to wait to vote for a bill praising mothers on the week before Mother’s Day.  OK….

Story is here

These feel-good laws are always just eye-rolling to normal people who want substantial work done on behalf of normal Americans…not just the top 2%.  Bills like this Mother’s Day bill seem to circle around with predictable regularity.  The week before Mother’s Day will have a bill passed praising mothers…and it passed unanimously…duh…right??

WRONG

The Republicans made a move to revisit the law immediately after it was voted on and passed unanimously…then…178 Republicans voted against it!!!  IT being a bill praising mothers in America.  IT was unanimously passed…THEN…voting re-opened on it and 178 Republicans voted against it.

Republicans voted against a bill praising mothers of America.  If humans exist only on Earth I do not know where those bipedal mammalian homo-sapiens exist but it ain’t on this planet!

Worst.

Vote.

Ever.

Well…almost.  Ok not even the top 10.  It was still REALLY dumb.

DOWN WITH MOTHERS!!!!!  BOOO MOTHERS!!!!  BOO HISSSSSSSS!!!!!!!

Privately run corporation running Homeland Security Detention centers

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

The problem with privatized prisons is that the investors are paid more money when more prisoners are incarcerated so if you were a politician wouldn’t you create crazy new laws to lock people away while the result is actually you making more money as you invest in a company like this?   

The most telling part of this video is the DHS guy overseeing the Corrections Corporation of America in running the DHS detention facilities try to show that the CCA having oversight over their own prison system is best.  Video is here

I want to know the politicians who have invested in CCA.  However the stock chart sure looks bad for them.  Stock chart is here

An opinion on CCA is here

Wikipedia has some more about CCA here

Checkpoints in the USA? Do you have your papers?

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

Why do people like me that are doing nothing wrong have to stop for these checkpoints?  I have stopped at a few I guess driving back from Mexico and Arizona.  These are NOT at the border these are 50 miles within the border.  How is this not a violation of laws allowing me to not be bothered by police without a real reason and probable cause? Stopping at the fruit inspection thing coming back from Tahoe is the same thing. I have stopped there each time coming back from Tahoe and have been waved through when the fruit fact checkers are doing other things.   Are there others around the nation? Where are these and are they increasing?  Roadblocks targeting every citizen in every single car that comes along are unconstitutional, as the precedent set by Terry v. Ohio establishes. Without probable cause, the police may not lawfully stop anyone. They do it all the time, but it’s forbidden by the Constitution.  DUI checkpoints are optional and an “out” must be given so they turn out to be optional but checkpoints 50 miles within the border and are preceded by miles of desert are they truly optional?  Video is here  Another video shows Border Patrol Agents not stating why they are stopping the person driving through the checkpoint.  Very very surreal.  Video is here.  A great blog highlighting this practice with several more videos.  Blog is here

“Oh just shut up and answer the questions and you will be waved on.”  That’s not the point.  The point is that even THAT is too much to ask me without probable cause.  The Authorities cannot go fishing for things to blame on people.  That’s called the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution.

====The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. ====

Stop and Identify statutes in the USA.  Story is here

Do you have the right to travel freely around the USA if you are a citizen of the USA?  Story is here

What do you do if you are stopped by the police?  Read this page

What are your rights if other agencies stop you?  Read this page

Your rights even during a time of war shall not be denied for when are your rights more of a test of our nation than at a time of war.  And if this time of war is a test then our nation has failed miserably.

Why am I being stopped by you and what if I say no? 

Torture and War Crimes investigation/Panama Canal nationalization

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

“Torture Team”: British Attorney Philippe Sands on the White House Role in Sanctioning Torture

The House Judiciary Committee is preparing to hold a series of hearings examining the Bush administration’s role in authorizing the illegal torture of prisoners in US custody at Guantanamo and elsewhere. We speak to British attorney and author, Philippe Sands, author of the new book Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values. On Tuesday, Sands testified before the House Judiciary Sub-Committee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.   See the video here

“Economic Hit Man” John Perkins Recounts US Efforts to Block Nationalization of Panama Canal

Panamanian President Martin Torrijos was in Washington earlier this week to discuss a pending free trade agreement with the United States, where he drew praise from President Bush on winning national approval for the $5.2 billion expansion plan for the Panama Canal. But three decades ago the moves to nationalize the Panama Canal by President Torrijos’s father, General Omar Torrijos, met with enormous resistance in this country. See the video here

DemocracyNow is truly the most informative news program broadcast daily.  If you do not watch it…if you have never watched it…you do not know what news CAN be. 

What happened to this guy? He has disappeared and it seems his people have too.

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Um….I’m trying to place him.  He had a huge hub bub a while ago.  He has slithered away to obscurity.  I forget.  Maybe we will hear from him at the Republican convention as his people are loud and I actually saw ONE bumper sticker for him today and I could not imagine who would still be willing to vote for him.  This guy has some interesting ideas but as for social programs he wants to take a huge axe and kill everything that the US Government can do for its people and allow corporations free reign.  Oh well here he is speaking to Tim Russert.  Video is here

Want to know why oil costs so much? Speculators

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Why does oil cost so much?  Story is here

Paul Harvey- racist, torturer, WMD supporter and hypocrite

Monday, May 5th, 2008

He justifies using Weapons of Mass Destruction.  So I guess he approved of the 9/11 attack on the US since that was basically the same thing that we did to the Indians and others as we fulfilled our Manifest Destiny?  He would also approve using chemical weapons on and by US troops as we did to the Indians well as torture as we did to the slaves?  Sounds like a textbook “Republican Christian” to me!!  Republican and Christian being an oxymoron of a phrase of course.  Audio is located here!!

Paul Harvey shown to think that there is no difference between military and civilians which can also be related to those that died in 9/11 in the World Trade Center.  Video is here

Then he says God says all people are important to Him.  Audio here

Not very Godly, not very Christian, not a good person with loving ideas for and about others that have less than he does. 

 Wikipedia page on Paul Harvey.

The death of the DC Madame

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Very very suspicious.  Video is here

BEHOLD- the Great Double Standard

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Must See TV!!!!

Bill Moyers Journal on PBS. 

View old shows here

BEHOLD- the Great Double Standard

Video is here

You are voting for a Republican???

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Reagan led the charge to the largest tax ever handed to a nation (of course George W. Bush Republican has topped Reagan while Clinton made the deficit go down) this is called the US National Debt.   The debt has been credited with helping to kill the USSR however the economy of the USSR was so weak that they were not supplying Cuba with the financial support as they had done for decades.  The USSR was on its last legs and to say that the military spending of the US led to the fall of the USSR could also see the emergence of Pac Man as a reason for the fall of the USSR  The USSR was headed down as all economists saw…Russian soldiers were not given socks and were not fed adequately which tells the full tale right there.  The USSR was a dead man walking for at least a decade prior to 1989.  So this completely negated the positive result of the massive deficit buildup of 4.7 Trillion dollars.  4.7 Trillion dollars were spent for what reason?  It was not needed. 

The Reagan years gave us the blight of Homeless that continues today.  Most need mental care as opposed to being thrown in the street and the Regan years did NOT benefit all equally.

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0610-01.htm

The people that did this also wrapped themselves in God and Patriotism.  Where in The bible did Jesus deny someone in this manner?  We are the richest nation ever with over $12 Trillion in real estate alone and for us to not provide for our poorest would surely result in God not being happy with us.  His Son never did that and THAT would most certainly be acting in His image…something such Godly Republicans need to re-read in The Bible.  Republicans Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell sure knew who God would hate (God apparently DOES make junk) but they also forget who God would help.  I never understood how they would do that since it is quite clear…and I am an Athiest knowing it makes no sense to not help people.

 ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me’ 

The financial spending by Reagan relates to the NeoCon agenda as outlined by Grover Norquist as saying that he wanted the Federal Government to be small enough so that it could be drowned in the bathtub.  The NeoCon agenda is to simply spend the Federal Government into oblivion.  They want EVERYTHING to be privatized.  Nothing should be done for people through the government.  The problem with this is then that the institutions doing things for people have only profit as a motive as opposed to having to actually having to face the wrath of the public and possibly be thrown out every 4 years.  This is easily seen by the way Blackwater is handling things in Iraq.  This is easily seen by the way Halliburton is handling things in Iraq.  This is easily seen by the way Health Care works in the US.  Courts have ruled that the main purpose of Corporations is to make a profit.  To make a profit Health Care Corporations must cut costs by denying coverage to people or limiting coverage.  This silly thought was highlighted during the interview of Iranian President Ahmadinejad on 60 Minutes when he laughed at the thought that so many US citizens did not have Health Care.  Imagine a Corporation doing a massive job somewhere perhaps a highway or a hospital somewhere and as the project continues the realization occurs that the project will actually not be financially viable in this town because the population had changed or some other project for the Corporation had made cash scarce so a possibly important project was just stopped.  WalMart has done this in the past and this is a prime example of what happens when the Corporation is given such power.  WalMart has moved into many small towns and basically decimated the financial district of that town.  As the years go on WalMart is not pulling the profits as they envisioned from that small town store so they close the store.  As the financial area was closed and now WalMart is closed the city has nothing.  The WalMart workers were making much less than the merchants prior so there is no one to build stores for the citizenry so the town has nothing.  This has happened countless times and results when a Corporation is handed such power in that they dominate an area or are given a project to carry out for profit and then the Corporation sees things in a different manner in time.  Where is the accountability factor?  If you are for the privatization as Reagan and Bush then why don’t you walk to the Halliburton world Headquarters and ask to see their books and see where taxpayers have been ripped off for things not delivered by Halliburton.  Why don’t you ask the women raped by KBR (subsidiary of Halliburton with offices in the Grand Cayman Islands avoiding taxes due to former CEO Dick Cheney’s great idea) and try to help those women sue KBR.  KBR cannot be sued as the power handed to that Corporation which denies the power of the Individual to seek restitution from actions of the Corporation.  Is this right?

Oversight is the power INDIVIDUALS have over governmental projects that are huge and serve the population en-masse.  You may complain about cost overruns and other things associated with the government building a bridge but why don’t you try to have that bridge built and paid for by a corporation who in the middle of the project reevaluates the fiscial viability of the project and pulls out.  We are seeing the results of such a problem in the oil industry today.  How many $40 Billion quarters will Exxon etc have before something is done?  Do you really believe the supplying of 20 million gallons of gas rightfully handed Exxon more profit this year than in 1990 when oil was $18 dollars a barrel? If I sold 100 widgets in 1990 and 110 widgets in 2008 and my profit in 1990 was 1/10th the profit of today you would think something was going on.  Don’t you remember Enron?  Power brokering by Enron was a huge fraud (whose paperwork was stored at the World Trade Center but that’s another email) that ripped off my current state of California… and was clearly fraud… but Governor Schwarzenneger is not pressing to get the money back that was STOLEN from me.  Power of the Corporation…lack of power of the Individual….redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich…the wet dream of the NeoCon Reagan/Bush ilk.

Reports show at least 18,000 people die annually for a lack of Health Care and if you have never hesitated going to the doctor then you are one of the luckiest people in the nation or you have the Health Care plan that the Senate and House and President have…ironically Republicans use THAT NATIONALIZED SOCIALISTIC Health Care program.  Why do they?  It isn’t a “Do as I say not as I do” concept is it?  Who took care of Reagan when he was shot in 1981?  Where does W go for his annual health review?  They go/went to a military SOCIALISTIC NATIONALIZED Health Care facility.  Do as I say…not as I do.

Blackwater has been handed full military rights in Iraq.  You do know that no contractor can be charged with crimes in Iraq nor can they be when the contractor individual comes home.  This is the giving of more power to the Corporation than the Individual.  Show me in the Constitution where there is ONE mention of Corporation.  In fact the corporatization of our government is highly contrary to the Constitution in that the original leaders created a nation where the power resided in the individual. 

The NeoCon privatization agenda is contrary to the Constitution in that it gives the power to the Corporation.  Corporations have a perpetual life.  Where in the Constitution is anyone given a perpetual life?  Corporations are given special taxation benefits in that costs associated with making a Corporate profit are paid for by the US Taxpayer as opposed to the individual….why can’t I write off my food and housing and new car and gas and clothing since they all allow me to keep myself healthy so I can go to work?  Those are expenses for me!!!  Corporations can write them all off.  Individuals claiming to be Corporations can as well but poor me living on a W2 cannot.  The poor pay the taxes as the rich do not…George W Bush said that a couple of months ago as shown in a quote by the MSM…but he gave massive tax breaks to the top 2% of wage earners as opposed to the poor.  And NOW we are handing out $600 to taxpayers so there could be a stimulation to the economy.  What a fool!  If you want a stimulation have the poor pay a lot less in taxes (or none) because the dollars that go to their taxes would be spent for food and housing which would be a natural economic stimulation.  Give a rich man $600 and he just may pocket it or give that money to Obama…which is what I am doing.  How is this Economic Stimulus Plan not a condemnation of the Trickle Down Theory of Economics which is what we are subjected to today?  This Stimulus Plan is a condemnation of the tax structure George W Bush has handed us in that the money has been taken from the lower class to the point that the normal flow of cash throughout the economy needs to be adjusted.  I have no debt.  I have savings I do not spend.  Handing me $600 is foolish.  I will invest that $600 in a potential President who will hopefully change the way things work in America. 

The NeoCon agenda as begun by Reagan and continued to a much lesser extent by Bush I and to a huge extent by Bush 2 deals with the negating of the individual and the strengthening of the Corporation.  Part of the strengthening of the Corporation is the removal of taxes from Corporations and the Super Rich and placing the taxation weight on the Middle Class and Poor.  You do know that the lawyers in the IRS number 500 or so that dealt with the top 1% of Estate Tax cases were all moved off the Super Rich and moved to deal with the taxes that can be sucked out of the Middle Class and poor.  These 500 lawyers were revenue positive by the way as reported by the MSM.

If you support this plan for our nation then either you own a Corporation yourself or as Super Rich.  Those 50% of the population that work for under the national average income approx. $41,000 (it used to be $42,000 but that has dropped by $1000 under Bush 2) and believe that the Republican Party has something for you other than a big fist in your eye as they redistribute wealth to the Super Rich and their Corporate buddies then you are highly naïve and do not understand the concept of voting against your own best interest.

There are so many more reasons outlining clearly the difference in the Republican outlook and the Democratic outlook on people, money, power and the nation.  The people benefiting the politics of the past Administration are the top 2%.  The 98%ers have lost out.  They pay more in taxes and have seen fewer benefits.  America is going the wrong way as the vast majority say with every Presidential and national survey.  Those that say no are deluding themselves or are Super Rich.  Logically Republicans should see about 10% of the vote at most.  The remaining 90% of people should be voting their best interests and should not vote for those proclaiming the financial and political stances as framed above.  How clearer can it be?  Those that are on the fence are ill-informed and make things worse for us all.  Reagan Democrats?  Compassionate Conservatives?  25% of the nation believes things are going well.  The Presidential candidate distancing himself furthest from the NeoCon agenda should logically get 75% of the vote.  The vote will invariably be close at probably a 50/50 split.  So 25% of the population of voters are voting against their best interest.  Those people.  Those people are the ones to blame.  The 25% core voters are just not dealing in reality so they are to be written off entirely.  But the other 25% that will make up the vote for the Republican candidate are the fence sitters to blame for what is going on in America that is bad. 

Fence sitters- shame on you!

U.S Military spending V.S. the World 2008

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Take a guess as to the amount of money the US spends on its military compared to the rest of the world’s spending.  Then look here for the answer

OF COURSE the Iraq War is over oil!!!

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

OF COURSE the Iraq War is over oil!!!  It was originally called Operation Iraqi Liberation and that was soon changed because it literally spelled out what the NeoCons were doing.  Story is here.  Interesting quotes below….

“The good Lord didn’t see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected regimes friendly to the United States. Occasionally we have to operate in places where, all things considered, one would not normally choose to go. But, we go where the business is.” Dick Cheney
Collateral Damage Conference, Cato Institute June 23, 1998
http://www.cato.org/speeches/sp-dc062398.html

The U.S. has an enormous stake in the Persion Gulf because of oil Mar. 1994 Paul Wolfowitz
“The United States and the entire industrialized world have an enormous stake in the security of the Persian Gulf, not primarily in order to save a few dollars per gallon of gasoline but rather because a hostile regime in control of those resources could wreak untold damage on the world’s economy, and could apply that wealth to purposes that would endanger peace globally.” Wolfowitz concludes, “Given this permanent stake in the security of the Persian Gulf, the Gulf War provided an opportunity to base security on a foundation of credible commitment by the United States and its coalition partners.”

Reagan on Defending American Oil Interests in the Gulf
Nov. 26, 1983
Reagan”…we should assign the highest priority to access arrangements which would facilitate the rapid deployment of those forces necessary to defend the critical oil facilities…”

Dick Cheney, USA Vice-President speaking in 1990:
“Whoever controls the flow of Persian Gulf oil has a stranglehold not only on our economy but also on the other countries of the world as well.”

“OIL IS MUCH TOO IMPORTANT A COMMODITY TO BE LEFT IN THE HANDS OF THE ARABS.”
Henry Kissinger

[Iraqis] know we own their country…It’s a good thing, especially when there’s a lot of oil out there we need.
~U.S. Brig. General William Looney

[Iraqis] know we own their country. We own their airspace… We dictate the way they live and talk. And that’s what’s great about America right now.
~U.S. Brig. General William Looney

“Along with Latin America, West Africa is expected to be one of the fastest-growing sources of oil and gas for the American market.” —->OFFICE OF VP DICK CHENEY,
MAY 16th, 2001

“By 2010 we will need [a further] 50 million barrels a day. The Middle East, with two-thirds of the oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize lies.” – US Vice President Dick Cheney, then Halliburton chief executive officer, London, autumn 1999

Who is making money off NOT supporting the troops?

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

KBR is a subsidiary of Halliburton which is the company that VP Cheney used to be the CEO for just prior to becoming the Vice President.  One would think that the bad look of what is going on with contractors in Iraq would make some people feel embarrassed but apparently not.  Story is here

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Cassaday said he later observed his colleagues returning to KBR’s camp with equipment they had stolen from the U.S. military, including refrigerators, artillery round detonators, two rocket launchers, and about 800 rounds of small arms ammunition. After he informed the KBR camp manager of the thefts, Marines searched the camp with dogs to recover the stolen property. For his trouble, Cassaday said, KBR security officers jailed him in his tent for two days. He then spent another four days in “protective custody” before being transferred, against his will, to work in a laundry.

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Satellite radio ratings FALL 2007

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Satellite radio ratings FALL 2007.  Report is here