Saturday, September 17, 2005


If George Bush had encountered the same fate as Jim Carrey's character in the movie Liar Liar, and had been rendered incapable of lying, America would not have been subjected to thirty minutes of manipulative propaganda on 9/15. Compelled to tell the truth, Bush's oration would have captured the reality of the situation in New Orleans, and of life for the poor and working class in an America dominated by a wealthy aristocracy:

8:02 P.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. It is a very good evening for me. I am still an obscenely wealthy and powerful autocratic leader of a nation of sheeple who falsely believe they are free. While I am surrounded by misery and suffering, I make this presentation of shameless propaganda from a comfortable, beautiful stage set while surrounded by an entourage of thugs who assure my safety. I am speaking to you from what is left of the city of New Orleans, a gem of an American city which was gutted by a powerful force of nature, and by the insidious social experiment undertaken by my malevolent administration. Millions of lives were destroyed by a cruel and wasteful storm, and by a cruel and wasteful federal government over which I zealously preside.

Hurricane Hugo at the U.N.

"Practically no one in the United States knows that we've donated millions of dollars to the governorship of Louisiana, to the New Orleans Red Cross. We're now giving care to more than 5,000 victims, and now we're going to supply gasoline, freely in some cases, and with discounts in other cases, to the poorest of communities, starting with New Orleans and its surroundings... We've been helping. And we've been even rescuing people."
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez; "Nightline" with Ted Koppel, 9-16-05

Hugo Chavez's performance at the UN was greeted with the bucket-loads of bile that one expects from America's rightward-titling media. Washington Post hatchet-man Colum Lynch provided a typical summary of the speech by dismissing it as "a rant" from the Venezuelan "bad-boy". But, Lynch isn't alone in his hostility; the outpouring of venom came from all corners; appearing in many newspapers across the nation, invoking the hackneyed expressions of contempt for any foreign leader who rebuffs Washington or who follows redistributive economic policies.

In fact, the speech was a brilliant and impassioned analysis of the current state of the world and of the United Nations. Chavez noted that the original intention of the gathering had been "completely distorted" by the so-called reform process introduced by John Bolton. The reforms are entirely designed to transform the UN into a cats-paw for American power creating greater flexibility for Washington's preemptive wars and for dismantling the foundations of international law. They signal the demise of the UN as a legitimate forum for world development and an invitation for Bush and co. to act with even greater impunity.

Jackbooted Police State Emerging in New Orleans

"Let's all be clear about one thing," writes Josh Marshall. "President Bush has now put us on notice, the Gulf Coast reconstruction effort is going to be run as a patronage and political operation," the same way Iraq is, and with the same disgusting corporate players - Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater, Shaw Group, Bechtel, the entire roster of carpetbaggers and opportunists who have soaked and defrauded the American people in the past, treating the bamboozled American taxpayer as an oblivious cash cow. Disaster and human suffering is considered an "opportunity" for the likes of Joe Allbaugh, Bush's former campaign manager and former head of FEMA. As if to demonstrate political patronage and cronyism knows no bounds, Bechtel's CEO was named to Bush's Export Council and put the former CEO of Bechtel Energy was put in charge of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Bush says he may need more power in disasters

George W. Bush used his failure before 9/11/2001 to seize power with the Patriot Act. Similarly, he is using his failure in responding to Hurricane Katrina to try to seize more power.

Bush wants the power to order the military to arrest people in the US. Currently, the military is barred by the Posse Comitatus Act from arresting people in the US. Changing this would negatively affect the nature of our society and the right to protest.

President Bush on Monday…raised the possibility that lawmakers might expand presidential authority to:

…Grant wider leeway for active-duty U.S. military personnel to carry out law enforcement operations.

Once the military starts arresting people in the US, it won’t be limited to natural disasters.

Protests can be declared “emergencies” for soldiers to arrest protestors if Congress changes the law about the role of the military.

What looks to me like a protest, may look like a riot to a government official.

Nor were arrests by the military needed in New Orleans. There were police in New Orleans. What was needed from the military was more food and water than they supplied.

Protests can be declared “emergencies” for soldiers to arrest protestors.

Rev. Pat Robertson and Gen. Rios Montt

While Pat Robertson's recent remarks on the Christian Broadcast Network's The 700 Club that the United States should "take out" Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez certainly caught the media spotlight, the statement by the evangelical minister was only the latest episode in a long and troubled story. Since the 1970s Robertson has loyally served hawkish U.S. foreign policy objectives in Latin America and played a particularly pernicious role in the region. Christian organizations nation wide would do well to heed the history and to rigorously challenge Robertson on his record.


September 17, 2005 -- More revelations emerge that Bush administration is protecting Osama Bin Laden. Intelligence sources are reporting that reports that Osama Bin Laden is seriously ill and requires medical attention are part of a neo-con disinformation campaign to divert attention away from the fact that the crafty "Al Qaeda" leader is never far away from his ex-U.S. Air Force T-39 twin engine Sabreliner, bought in 1993 from the Davis Monthan Air Force Base "boneyard" outside of Tucson, Arizona. The plane was purchased for $200,000 by Essam al Ridi to be used to ship missiles between Bin Laden's home base of Sudan and Pakistan. French intelligence documents show that in 1993 Bin Laden was still under "operational control" of U.S. and British intelligence. Furthermore, the plane sale was made to Bin Laden after National Security Agency intercepts of the Sudanese mission to the U.N. proved that two Sudanese diplomats were working with Bin Laden to bomb the World Trade Center in 1993.

Bin Laden's Sabreliner was, according to an ex-CIA source, retrofitted at an ex-CIA base in Marana, Arizona by Evergreen International, an airline company with close ties to the CIA. Evergreen currently operates the base as the "Evergreen Air Center."

Bin Laden's Sabreliner is now reportedly secretly stashed at a Pakistani military airbase, which means that Bin Laden is in Pakistan with the knowledge of President Pervez Musharraf (and likely his close "ally" George W. Bush). The ex-CIA source also revealed that, as the late British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook revealed shortly before his untimely death, "Al Qaeda" is nothing more than a CIA list of arms dealers, mercenaries, drug dealers, and terrorists used by the United States and the Saudis in the Mujaheddin war against the USSR. One of the most notorious heroin and cocaine dealers was Mohammed Atta, the lead 911 hijacker and someone frequently used as a prized and reliable courier by U.S., British, and Saudi intelligence.

September 17, 2005 -- Pentagon covering up shooting incidents in New Orleans and environs? Reports are emanating out of New Orleans that National Guard, regular military, officers of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and private security personnel have shot to death homeless and needy survivors of Hurricane Katrina. One shooting incident is alleged to have occurred last week at Louis Armstrong International Airport where over a hundred people were subjected to lethal force after troops feared they were going to "riot." It is uncertain how many people have been killed by lethal force in New Orleans, but the numbers mentioned are in excess of 150.

There are also reports that those who gathered in and around the New Orleans Superdome after the flooding were shot by troops and their bodies stored in walk-in freezers in the arena. Local reports from New Orleans suggest law enforcement personnel have been required to sign non-disclosure agreements about the shooting incidents. There are also recurring reports that troops, Federal law enforcement, and private security personnel are harassing civilians on the streets.

There are also credible reports that wealthy land speculators have descended on New Orleans to buy up flood ravaged property. Some of these individuals, notably from Florida, are connected to the GOP's Indian gambling casino scandal. Informed sources also report that there are plans by the land speculators to turn New Orleans into a "Las Vegas on the Gulf" minus the city's poor and largely African American population. Story unfolding.

After the Bush crime family steals the land and homes of the poor, burn and bury the corpses, and disperse the survivors to trailer park ghettos, will New Orleans become the "Las Vegas of the Gulf?"

Gimme an "F" (Reflections on Woodstock '69)

There I sat in front of the stage in that warm friendly bar in Milwaukee, gripping a cold beer (or maybe my fifth or sixth) and flashing back to a damp tent and sleeping bag in August of '69. I was 22 at the time and had hitchhiked up from Greenwich Village ... but that's another story.

That night in Milwaukee, Country Joe gave us a nice show, but never did give us more than an "F". He just used it as a teaser. Fucker. But here I was, sitting in a room full of "my generation," still angry, still idealistic, and, most importantly: still hopeful "after all these years." We have seen too many of our brothers and sisters drop out, burn out, or blow out.

But here we were, more wrinkles than we would want, more pounds than we would want, and more aches and pains than we deserve - but we were here. And we spoke of and drank to those members who were no longer with us. We were here to celebrate VVAW's 35th anniversary.

As José Martí once said: "I have lived in the belly of the monster, and I know its entrails, and my sling is that of David." The monster is big, the biggest empire yet to acknowledge its own imperialism, but so was the Roman Empire, and empires come and go. Back in the Sixties we used to hear people scream at us "Our country, right or wrong!" They probably didn't know that the whole saying (by Carl Schurz) is: "Our country, right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right." That is where I believe we are all coming from. From our rude awakening in 'Nam, to Winter Soldier, to Dewey Canyon III, up to the present day.

I shared drinks and shot the shit with people I had known for a number of years, and with others I had just met. There were those who had driven in from their homes 10 minutes away, to my grueling 22 hour bus ride from PA, to those who flew in from the coast. Electricians, journalists, postal workers, photographers, musicians, the same eclectic blue collar/white collar mixture that stood up 35 years ago and yelled, "One, two, three, four, we don't won't your fucking war." We gave 'em an "F"!

Reflecting on My Lai and Thanh Phong

As I listen to, and read about the current revelations(?) and controversy regarding Bob Kerry's wartime experiences, I ask myself: is it true? There is a good chance it is, given Gerhard Klann's version of the events, confirmed by an almost identical independent Vietnamese account, and the almost immediate rebuttal by the other five members of the squad. I feel that Gerhard has struggled with and is trying to deal with his personal ghosts, accepting responsibility for what he had participated in. The others clearly haven't yet, be that for political or personal reasons.

The supreme issue here is not the question of whether or not he did it on purpose. Do not forget that the true victims here are the villagers at Thanh Phong. Attempts at atonement and reparations should be made to them. The other issue here is the healing of the psyche of a nation. Vietnam vets have been struggling with their personal ghosts since the first grunt in 'Nam first questioned the war. Pundits of late have been decrying the accuracy of thirty-year-old memories, and for this reason I suggest they go back and review the "Winter Soldier Investigation" sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Inc., assembled in Detroit, Michigan to give testimony on January 31 and February 1 and 2, 1971. One hundred twenty-five Vietnam veterans testified, and another hundred and fifty Vietnam veterans participated in this solemn act. [See end of article for website URL. -Ed]

These memories were not "thirty-year-old memories" . They were quite fresh in these veterans' minds and souls. This testimony was also published in the Congressional Record, "Extensions and Remarks" (April 7, 1971: 2825-2900, 2903-2936).

Transcript: Hugo Chavez Interview with Ted Koppel

Venezuelan President On Rocky Relations with Washington

Sep. 16, 2005 - In his first American broadcast interview since the Rev. Pat Robertson called for his assassination last month, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told ABC News' Ted Koppel today that he has evidence of a United States plan to invade Venezuela. In New York for the U.N. Summit, Chavez discussed his strained relationship with the United States government, Robertson's comments and the United States' dependence on Venezuela's oil supply.

Following is a rush transcript of the interview, which airs tonight on "Nightline" at 11:35 p.m. ET.

KOPPEL: Tell me a little bit -- most Americans don't know very much about you. Tell me a little bit about your youth, when you were a young man.

CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I would like to welcome you. And I would like to greet all of the people who are watching this program and who are listening to it. I was a farm kid from the plains of South Venezuela, from a very poor family. I grew up in a palm tree house with an earthen floor.

And later, we were lucky enough, my brothers and I, to be able to study. There were six of us. My father and my mother were both teachers. They inculcated to us the importance of studies. But out of every 100 children from my town, 99 didn't get to study. That was poverty, the poorest of the farmers.

Later, I was a young athlete. I was telling this friend here from San Francisco so that one of my greatest dreams was to be a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants. I played a lot of baseball. It was a passion of mine.

I painted. I wanted to be a painter. I sang. I still sing a little bit. I still paint a little bit. And I can still bat a bit.

But afterwards, when I was 16, I became a soldier. But I became a soldier, not because I had a military vocation initially, but because it was the only way that that young, poor-class child from the provinces could go to the center of the country: through baseball, which was my dream.

But I liked the army. And I became a patriotic soldier. And that's what I am, essentially, a patriotic soldier

'US planning invasion' of Venezuela

Washington - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he has documentary evidence that the United States plans to invade his country.

Chavez, interviewed on Friday on ABC television's Nightline, said the plan is called "Balboa" and involves aircraft carriers and planes. A transcript of the interview was made available by Nightline.

He said US soldiers recently went to Curacao, an island off Venezuela's northwest coast. He described as a "lie" the official US explanation that they visited Curacao for rest and recreation.

"They were doing movements. They were doing manoeuvres," Chavez said, speaking through a translator.

Phoenix and the Salvador Option - Non-transparent CIA 'precedents' in Iraq's torrent of bloodshed

"Developed by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1967, the Phoenix Program is considered the single-greatest American human-rights aberration of the Vietnam War.
Its purpose was to "neutralize" the Vietcong infrastructure. (emphasis added)

As Valentine underlines, due process was completely non-existent under the Phoenix Program and suspects, real or imagined, could be murdered, blackmailed, tortured or detained at will. At one point the program imposed monthly ""neutralization" quotas that led to further abuses in the field. The number of victims was never established but is estimated at between 40,000 and 60,000, of which many were innocent.

While recruitment for the Phoenix Program spread across all the branches of the US government, not all those approached accepted to serve. One Air Force officer who refused as a matter of conscience was Jacques Klein, who later rose to the rank of general and became one of the most respected UN troubleshooters in conflict areas. French-born, Klein reportedly commented that he would not join Phoenix because the means and methods used were "similar to those used by the Nazis in World War II".
Refugees awaken ghosts of Vietnam September 14, 2005 describes the Phoenix Program in Vietnam as follows: "Created by the CIA in Saigon in 1967, Phoenix was a program aimed at 'neutralizing' - through assassination, kidnapping, and systematic torture - the civilian infrastructure that supported the Viet Cong insurgency in South Vietnam. It was a terrifying 'final solution' that violated the Geneva Conventions and traditional American ideas of human morality."

"The following article examines evidence that the 'Salvador Option' for Iraq has been ongoing for some time and attempts to say what such an option will mean.
It pays particular attention to the role of the Special Police Commandos, considering both the background of their US liaisons and their deployment in Iraq.

The article also looks at the evidence for death-squad style massacres in Iraq and draws attention to the almost complete absence of investigation. As such, the article represents an initial effort to compile and examine some of these mass killings and is intended to spur others into further looking at the evidence.

Finally, the article turns away from the notion that sectarianism is a sufficient explanation for the violence in Iraq, locating it structurally at the hands of the state as part of the ongoing economic subjugation of Iraq."

For Iraq, "The Salvador Option" Becomes Reality June 2, 2005

RIVERBEND Girl Blog from Iraq... let's talk war, politics and occupation.

Baghdad Burning

... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend...

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Draft Constitution - Part I...
I’ve been reading and re-reading the Iraqi draft constitution since the beginning of September. I decided to ignore the nagging voice in my head that kept repeating, “A new constitution cannot be legitimate under an occupation!” and also the one that was saying, “It isn’t legitimate because the government writing it up isn’t legitimate.” I put those thoughts away and decided to try to view the whole situation as dispassionately as possible.

It was during the online search for the *real* draft constitution that the first problem with the document hit me. There are, as far as I can tell, three different versions. There are two different Arabic versions and the draft constitution translated to English in the New York Times a few weeks ago differs from them both. I wish I could understand the Kurdish version- I wonder if that is different too. The differences aren’t huge- some missing clauses or articles. Then again, this is a constitution- not a blog… one would think precision is a must.

My Song Is A Free Song: Remembering Víctor Jara

"Silence and screams are the end of my song," lamented legendary Chilean folk singer, Víctor Jara, as he composed his final poem as a suffering prisoner in Estadio Chile. Thirty-two years ago today, he was brutally executed by the Chilean military after enduring days of torture. He was, like so many others, a victim of the September 11th, 1973 coup that toppled Salvador Allende's democratically elected government and initiated the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. As a leading musician in Chile's new song movement, Jara sang songs in favor of Allende's presidency. In the years of Pinochet's dictatorship, his albums were only available on the black market and his music was effectively censored. Despite those efforts by the dictatorship, Víctor's music and memory lived on and continues to live in Chile's democratic present.

How Long Can The Pentagon Lie About Depleted Uranium?

The Pentagon's duplicity about the dangers of depleted uranium has been exposed by a government-funded study confirming that radiation causes cancer.

LIVERMORE, California - The U.S. government's duplicity about the harmful effects of depleted uranium appears to have no limits. While the Pentagon tells U.S. military personnel that the health risks from inhaling depleted uranium are low, a study - sponsored by the Dept. of Defense - confirms that even low-level radiation causes cancer.

A government-funded study has confirmed what nuclear experts have known for decades: Any dose of ionizing radiation poses serious health risks.

The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences published a report in June 2005 confirming that ionizing radiation (IR) causes cancer. The consensus opinion of the 17 independent scientists who signed the report was that exposure to radiation from medical x-rays and nuclear medicine is directly linked to cancer.

Putin, Bush Disagree on Iran Nuclear Issue

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave no support to his U.S. counterpart George W. Bush in his bid to to bring Iran before the UN Security Council for possible sanctions and acknowledged he has not yet forged an international consensus on how to deal with Tehran’s alleged nuclear program.

After a meeting at the White House, Bush and Putin emerged to reaffirm their friendship and emphasize that they both oppose Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, the Washigton Post reported. But Putin offered no backing for the tougher approach favored by Bush to bring the weight of the United Nations to bear, and instead called for more diplomacy with Iran’s new leadership.

Well, the putsch to the Syrian Border continues... Why? Funny you should ask.

2003 Bush Co, shuts down Syrian oil pipe line for Iraq.. Claiming illegal pumping. BBC NEWS | Middle East | US 'blocks' Syria pipeline

Then in May 2003 Bush Signs Executive order 13303, declaring all of Iraqs Oil to be under Coalition Control. (US Control)

"I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, declare all Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products, and interests therein, and proceeds, obligations, or any financial instruments of any nature whatsoever arising from or related to the sale or marketing thereof, and interests therein, in which any foreign country or a national thereof has any interest, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons. "

Now, what do we do with this oil, since we want to cut Syria out of the game ??

US Checking Possibility of Pumping Oil from Northern Iraq to Israel

What Noble Cause? By Cindy Sheehan

It has been one month, one week, and 4 days since I sat in a ditch in Crawford, Tx. My request was very simple: I wanted to speak to the man who has sent over a million of our young people over to fight, kill, and die in a country that was absolutely no threat to the United States of America. I wanted to ask him: "What is the Noble Cause that you keep talking about?"

Well, we all know now that George Bush never came down the road to talk to me. Thank God! Many people have been saying that I am the "spark," "catalyst," "face of the anti-war movement" etc. I beg to differ. George Bush and his arrogant advisers are the spark that lit the prairie fire of peace activism that has swept over America and the entire world. If he had met with me that fateful day in August it would not have been good for him (because I knew he was going to lie and I would have advertised that fact) but it would have had less of an impact on the peace movement if he had.

Upon reflection on the events of this past August, I have come up with two reasons why George could not meet with me: He is a coward and there is no Noble Cause. If George had as much courage and integrity in his entire body as Casey had in his pinky, he would have met with me. But, ironically, if George had that much courage and integrity he never would have preemptively invaded a practically defenseless country. His syncophantic cabinet and hangers-on are also incontrovertible evidence that he is a coward. No one better dare disagree with him. How dare a mom from Vacaville, Ca. have the nerve to contradict the emperor of Prairie Chapel Road!!??

Katrina Relief: It's Iraq Deja vu All Over Again

Reacting to all the pricey promises the president made in his big Katrina speech, a senior House Republican official told the New York Times, "We are not sure he knows what he is getting into."

If that's true, Bush must have the worst memory since Guy Pearce in "Memento" because he's definitely been down this road before.

The coming attractions for the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast play like a shot-by-shot remake of the mother of all disaster features, the reconstruction of Iraq.

Bush held up Cuba help over politicsWhat a shame. Not even in the face of the massive human suffering caused by Hurricane Katrina could the Bush admin

What a shame. Not even in the face of the massive human suffering caused by Hurricane Katrina could the Bush administration put aside its knee-jerk rejection of anything coming out of Cuba. Only two days after the storm hit the Gulf Coast, the Cubans quietly offered humanitarian assistance. No response.

Disney on Parade

The president, as he fondly recalled the other day, used to get well lit in New Orleans. Not any more.

On Thursday night, Mr. Bush wanted to appear casually in charge as he waged his own Battle of New Orleans in Jackson Square. Instead, he looked as if he'd been dropped off by his folks in front of a eerie, blue-hued castle at Disney World. (Must be Sleeping Beauty's Castle, given the somnambulant pace of W.'s response to Katrina.)

All Andrew Jackson's horses, and all the Boy King's men could not put Humpty Dumpty together again. His gladiatorial walk across the darkened greensward, past a St. Louis Cathedral bathed in moon glow from White House klieg lights, just seemed to intensify the sense of an isolated, out-of-touch president clinging to hollow symbols as his disastrous disaster agency continues to flail.

China Proposes a Deal to End North Korean Nuclear Standoff

China proposed a new compromise solution to the North Korean nuclear standoff and gave the countries involved in the talks one day to accept or reject the offer, but there were mixed signals on Friday about whether the United States and North Korea were prepared to come to terms.

Under the new proposal - Beijing's fifth such attempt to reach an agreement in the latest round of talks - North Korea was promised the right to retain a peaceful nuclear energy program and to receive a new light-water reactor at some point. The proposal also reflects American demands that any such steps occur after North Korea dismantles its nuclear weapons, according to diplomats who were briefed on the proposal but who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly

Friday, September 16, 2005

Malas intenciones desde el 11-S por Noam Chomsky

No es una tarea fácil adquirir cierta comprensión de los asuntos humanos. En algunos aspectos, es más difícil que con las ciencias naturales. La madre naturaleza no nos facilita las respuestas, pero al menos no se desvía de su camino para erigir barreras al conocimiento. En cuestiones humanas, en cambio, es necesario detectar y desmantelar estos obstáculos.

El proceso bolivariano en la coyuntura latinoamericana

Elementos de tendencia en la coyuntura larga latinoamericana

1.- La transición entre siglos encuentra a América Latina como región inserta en tres procesos básicos:

a) la globalización o mundialización inducida

b) el “consenso de Washington” que debería abrir paso a un Tratado de Libre Comercio Americano

c) la democratización (gobiernos civiles electos) bajo la forma de democracias poliárquicas restrictivas (poliarquías restrictivas). Estos tres procesos se dan en relación con un eje común: la extinción de un proyecto nacional de desarrollo y, con ello, la liquidación en la práctica de las tesis o imaginarios sobre la presencia o ausencia de una burguesía nacional en el subcontinente. No existe desarrollo nacional: puede o no existir un crecimiento precario derivado de una inserción en la lógica trasnacional de acumulación de capital. Los protagonistas “locales” de este crecimiento son políticos/empresarios trasnacionalizados y tecnócratas privados y públicos.

After Katrina, We Must Impeach Bush, Cheney, Chertoff

The longer we delay the necessary and principled impeachment process against Bush Jr. and his neo-conservative apparatchiks, the greater will be the disaster for all the peoples of the world and even here in the United States. Witness the racist and class-based criminal mistreatment inflicted by the Bush Jr. administration upon the victims of Hurricane Katrina. President Bush Jr., Vice President Cheney, and Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff must all be impeached immediately for denying Equal Protection of the Laws to the Katrina Victims because they are African Americans and because they are Poor in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Their criminal negligence and resulting mass homicides constitute "other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" within the meaning of Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution quoted above.

Rich Countries' Problem Too much military – Too little humanity

The United States of America launched its invasion against Iraq on March 20, 2003. On March 21, the American Physical Society emailed Dr. Daniel Amit, an eminent Israeli physicist, seeking his review of a scientific paper. That same day came his two sentence reply: “I will not at this point correspond with any American institution. Some of us have lived through 1939.”

On April 8, the Editor-in-Chief acknowledged Dr. Amit’s refusal while holding out hope that in the not too distant future he reconsider his position because, “We regard science as an international enterprise and we do our best to put aside political disagreements…”

The following day came Dr. Amit’s eloquent reply: “Thank you for you letter of April 8. I would have liked to be able to share the honorable sentiments you express in your letter as well as your optimism in the future role of science and the scientific community. To be frank, and with much sadness and pain, after 40 years of activity and collaboration, I find very little reason for such optimism. What we are watching today, I believe, is a culmination of 10-15 years of mounting barbarism of the American culture the world over, crowned by the achievements of science and technology as a major weapon of mass destruction.

“We are witnessing man hunt and wanton killing of the type and scale not seen since the raids on American Indian populations, by a superior technological power of inferior culture and values. We see no corrective force to restrain the insanity, the self-righteousness and the lack of respect for human life (civilian and military) of another race.

The War for Latinos

Jessica Sanchez poses an urgent threat to the US military. For a Pentagon stretched by stagnating enlistments and an Administration bent on waging a "global war on terror," the question of whether this four-foot-eleven Mexican-born legal resident and others like her will decide to join the military has enormous geopolitical implications.

The Pentagon is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to find out whatever it can about Sanchez and other young Latinos: what they wear, where they hang out, what kinds of groups they form, what they read, what they watch on TV, their grades, their dreams. Members of the military's numerous and well-funded recruiting commands use sophisticated Geographic Information Systems maps, souped-up recruiting Hummers and other resources to establish strategic positions in the minds, pocketbooks and neighborhoods of young Latinos like Sanchez.

Recruiters are devising new and often unexpected ways to penetrate daily Latino life. "I went to a birthday celebration at Chuck E. Cheese's," says Sanchez, a 25-year-old single mom from San Marcos, California, just outside San Diego. "We were watching a puppet show when all of a sudden a military song is playing in the background. I thought that was weird but kept watching. A couple of minutes later, all of us were looking at pictures on a TV screen of people in the Army giving food and supplies to kids in Iraq. My friends and I thought that was really weird - and got out."

The bad news for Pentagon planners is not just Sanchez's negative reaction to the puppet show, or even her eventual decision not to join the Navy. It's that she and other Latinos who are rejecting the military's overtures are turning around and organizing a grassroots movement against recruitment in their community.

The War for Latinos

Jessica Sanchez poses an urgent threat to the US military. For a Pentagon stretched by stagnating enlistments and an Administration bent on waging a "global war on terror," the question of whether this four-foot-eleven Mexican-born legal resident and others like her will decide to join the military has enormous geopolitical implications.

The Pentagon is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to find out whatever it can about Sanchez and other young Latinos: what they wear, where they hang out, what kinds of groups they form, what they read, what they watch on TV, their grades, their dreams. Members of the military's numerous and well-funded recruiting commands use sophisticated Geographic Information Systems maps, souped-up recruiting Hummers and other resources to establish strategic positions in the minds, pocketbooks and neighborhoods of young Latinos like Sanchez.

Recruiters are devising new and often unexpected ways to penetrate daily Latino life. "I went to a birthday celebration at Chuck E. Cheese's," says Sanchez, a 25-year-old single mom from San Marcos, California, just outside San Diego. "We were watching a puppet show when all of a sudden a military song is playing in the background. I thought that was weird but kept watching. A couple of minutes later, all of us were looking at pictures on a TV screen of people in the Army giving food and supplies to kids in Iraq. My friends and I thought that was really weird - and got out."

The bad news for Pentagon planners is not just Sanchez's negative reaction to the puppet show, or even her eventual decision not to join the Navy. It's that she and other Latinos who are rejecting the military's overtures are turning around and organizing a grassroots movement against recruitment in their community.

U.S. Decertifies Venezuela on Drug Control

The Cubanization of United States policy toward Venezuela has begun in earnest. Yesterday, President George W. Bush released his findings on drug war “certification” – the highly politicized list the White House has produced since the mid-1980s of which countries are doing their part in “international” drug control efforts, and which have “failed demonstrably.”
Only two countries did not make the cut this year. The first was perennially-decertified Myanmar (Burma). The second was, as the State Department threatened last month, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela…

Locals, Officials Suggest Levees were Intentionally Blown

Could the levees in New Orleans have been INTENTIONALLY blown out in order to provide the justification for total FEMA federal takeover?

The locals certainly seem to think so, yet, as usual, the mainstream media is barely picking up on this wave of opinion, so it is left to us once again to bring the issue into the open.

This website distances itself from claims that the levees were blown to target the lower class areas and save the richer areas. The fact is that the disaster affected everyone, and now that the lower classes have largely been evacuated, the middle class are being targeted by door to door raids. Jack booted thugs are arresting people if they don’t leave and confiscating their firearms.

When Katrina hit, it drifted 15 miles to the east of where forecasters said it would strike. Therefore it wasn’t quite the monster described. The storm passed through with relatively minor damage, it was the the storm surge from the Gulf that caused Lake Pontchartrain to rise three feet and the subsequent flooding.

Support the St. Patric's Four!

First Fedral Conspiracy Trial Of Anti-War Protesters Since Vietnam

Summary. Two days before the invasion of Iraq, four Catholic Workers from Ithaca (NY), in an act of non-violent civil resistance, entered a military recruiting center, read a statement, and carefully poured their own blood around the vestibule. The four, all parents, were tried in Tompkins County Court in April 2004 on charges of criminal mischief. Nine of twelve jurors voted to acquit.

However, almost a year later, the US government decided to retry the four, now on charges of conspiracy. If convicted, they face up to six years in prison and $250,000 in fines. The St. Patrick's Four trial begins September 19 in Binghamton, NY.

DIEB-THROAT : 'Diebold System One of Greatest Threats Democracy Has Ever Known'


Identifies U.S. Homeland Security 'Cyber Alert' Prior to '04 Election Warning Votes Can be 'Modified Remotely' via 'Undocumented Backdoor' in Central Tabulator Software!

In exclusive stunning admissions to The BRAD BLOG some 11 months after the 2004 Presidential Election, a "Diebold Insider" is now finally speaking out for the first time about the alarming security flaws within Diebold, Inc's electronic voting systems, software and machinery. The source is acknowledging that the company's "upper management" -- as well as "top government officials" -- were keenly aware of the "undocumented backdoor" in Diebold's main "GEM Central Tabulator" software well prior to the 2004 election. A branch of the Federal Government even posted a security warning on the Internet.

Electricity Turned On In New Orleans Neighborhood For Bush, Turned Off When He Left...

Lights in New Orleans. For Bush.

Brian Williams:

I am duty-bound to report the talk of the New Orleans warehouse district last night: there was rejoicing (well, there would have been without the curfew, but the few people I saw on the streets were excited) when the power came back on for blocks on end. Kevin Tibbles was positively jubilant on the live update edition of Nightly News that we fed to the West Coast. The mini-mart, long ago cleaned out by looters, was nonetheless bathed in light, including the empty, roped-off gas pumps. The motorcade route through the district was partially lit no more than 30 minutes before POTUS drove through. And yet last night, no more than an hour after the President departed, the lights went out. The entire area was plunged into total darkness again, to audible groans. It's enough to make some of the folks here who witnessed it... jump to certain conclusions.

No jumping required to reach those conclusions.

Read the Wayne Madsen Report

"Synagogues" and demagogues

George Bush has condemned the Palestinians for destroying the "synagogues" of Gaza. What complete and utter nonsense. Leaving those buildings standing, when the Israelis had demolished every other building they had occupied, was nothing more than a cynical ploy, which Bush fell for, or rather, took the opportunity to demagogue about, since not even Bush is stupid enough to have "fallen for" something so transparent. The deputy chairman of the French parliament claimed it was "reminiscent" of acts of Nazi anti-Semites, cleverly smearing the Palestinians without actually calling them anti-Semites. In fact, these buildings no longer had anything to do with Judaism, but they had everything to do with occupation.
In the U.S. (and, I guess, elsewhere), small suburban Jewish congregations will occasionally share a building with a congregation of another faith. What makes a building a synagogue isn't that it was built by Jews, or that Jews have on occasion worshipped there; what makes it a synagogue as far as I can determine is the presence of one or more Torahs. And I feel rather confident in saying that there were no Torahs left in the "synagogues" of Gaza.

If the buildings themselves had been so sacred, the Israelis could have torn them down brick by brick and rebuilt them elsewhere, or just jacked the building up and towed it away. Not only weren't they synagogues any more, they weren't even sacred -- some of them, at least, had most recently been used as fortresses from which the occupants could actually attack not just their fellow human beings, but their fellow Jews no less.

"Abou Moussab Al-Zarkaoui est mort. Son nom est utilisé par les occupants pour rester en Irak"

Zarqawi is dead. His name is being used by the Occupiers of Iraq to maintain power

Cheikh Jawad Al-Khalessi est imam chiite de la mosquée Al-Kazemiya, à Bagdad, et doyen de l'école religieuse attenante. Il est de passage à Paris après la rencontre interreligieuse de Sant'Egidio, à Lyon.

Abou Moussab Al-Zarkaoui a déclaré la "guerre totale" aux chiites et perpétré le massacre le plus sanglant à Bagdad, mercredi 14 septembre, depuis le début de la guerre en Irak. Que pensez-vous de cette déclaration ?

America's 'Mental Defectives' Confront Iran

On a recent visit to a periodicals room in the Joe Paterno wing of Penn State's Pattee Library I ran across a fascinating journal, The Long Term View, published by the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover. Its Spring 2004 issue was entirely devoted to the question, "Why We Seek War" and its editor, Lawrence R. Velvel, commenced his introduction by asserting: "The United States is a nation which seeks war. We better change or we may end up destroying ourselves and perhaps even the world." [p.3]

Mr. Velvel provides some twenty-one reasons why Americans seek war, but I was especially intrigued by reason number six: "Government is incompetent and its leaders stupid." [p.9] Velvel offers many persuasive reasons for government incompetence (which should not prevent us from acknowledging widespread incompetence in the private sector), but he's less persuasive when attempting to explain why leaders become stupid.

True, Velvel gets close when he observes: "politicians, who run government, care little about truth, accuracy, honesty, or any of those other disposable attributes. They care far more about what can be spun, sold, and made to sound good, so that they will get votes." [Ibid.] Were one to add that most politicians these days are driven by ideology, then he arrives at our present day phenomenon: the ideological moron.

Imperial Propagandists

Since the invasion and occupation of Iraq by U.S. forces, there is much talk about the opinions and views of Western “experts” on Iraq. With the exception of very few honourable voices, the majority of Western “experts” are imperial propagandists complicit in U.S. war crimes against the Iraqi people.

As flood waters recede, more racist gov’t atrocities exposed

The ravages of capitalism continue to be exposed in the aftermath of Katrina, as even more stories highlighting the official hostility and neglect toward the poor and people of color of the region—before, during and after the hurricane—are brought to worldwide attention.

Two paramedics from California trapped in New Orleans by the storm after attending a conference there wrote a gripping account of their experiences that appeared first in Socialist Worker, circulated widely on the Internet, and eventually was picked up by other media.

Venezuelan Leader Lashes at US in UN Speech

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez called the United States a "terrorist state" and said the United Nations headquarters should be moved away from New York.

The outspoken Chavez littered his speech to the UN world summit with anti-US comments which were strongly applauded. The ally of Cuba's President Fidel Castro followed this up with a press conference at which he accused the US administration of supporting terrorism.

March on Washington

Venezuela's Chavez Says UN Needs a Revolution

Caracas, Venezuela, September 15, 2005—Venezuela’s President Chavez, in a fiery 22 minute speech at the opening of the 60th UN General Assembly, called for a revolution in the UN, proposing four immediate changes for the transformation of the UN. “The 21st century demands changes that are only possible with a refounding of this organization,” said Chavez. “Mere reforms are not enough…”

"Proponemos que la sede de Naciones Unidas salga de un país que no es respetuoso con las resoluciones de la Asamblea"

Excelencias, amigas y amigos, muy buenas tardes:

El propósito original de esta reunión ha sido desvirtuado totalmente. Se nos ha impuesto como centro del debate un mal llamado proceso de reformas, que relega a un segundo plano lo más urgente, lo que los pueblos del mundo reclaman con urgencia, como lo es la adopción de medidas para enfrentar los verdaderos problemas que obstaculizan e impiden los esfuerzos de nuestros países por el desarrollo y por la vida.

Cinco años después de la Cumbre del Milenio, la cruda realidad es que la gran mayoría de las metas diseñadas, pese a que eran ya de por sí modestísimas, no serán alcanzadas.

Chavez propone refundar la ONU fuera de EE.UU.

NACIONES UNIDAS, 15 de septiembre.—El presidente venezolano, Hugo Chávez, declaró el jueves en la Cumbre Mundial para celebrar el LX aniversario de la ONU que la organización no sirve para nada y pidió que sea sacada de territorio estadounidense hacia una "ciudad internacional'' que está todavía por crearse, reportó AP.

Whiteness is, among much else, a bad idea

The History of a Bad Idea

David Roediger - author of The Wages of Whiteness and Towards the Abolition of Whiteness - comes from Rush Limbaugh's neck of the woods in downstate Illinois river country, but looks at his skin color quite differently.

In his 2002 book Colored White, the 52-year-old historian from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, notes that he hails from "that part of the Mississippi River which divides Missouri from Illinois ... the lone portion of the Mississippi to divide slavery from freedom."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Crossing the Rubicon: An Interview with Michael Ruppert

Most people I know have some intuitive sense that the stories told about the way the world works in our culture of daily "news" (and I use the term loosely) are suspect. The real stories about power and the ways power is exercised lie buried beneath the surface. But how deep, to quote The Matrix’s Morpheus, does this rabbit hole go? For those willing to crawl down the hole, U.S. investigative journalism has its own Morpheus, and his name is Michael Ruppert.

A UCLA political science honors graduate and former LAPD narcotics investigator, Ruppert is the editor/publisher of From the Wilderness (, a monthly newsletter now read by more than 16,000 subscribers in forty countries, including forty Congressmen, both Houses’ intelligence committees, and professors at more than thirty universities around the world. He is also author of a new and startling book called Crossing the Rubicon, in which he draws on From the Wilderness’s seven years of research to tell a disturbing story about the way the world really works.

U.S. Military in Paraguay Prepares to "Spread Democracy"

Controversy is raging in Paraguay, where the U.S. military is conducting secretive operations. 500 U.S. troops arrived in the country on July 1st with planes, weapons and ammunition. Eyewitness reports prove that an airbase exists in Mariscal Estigarribia, Paraguay, which is 200 kilometers from the border with Bolivia and may be utilized by the U.S. military. Officials in Paraguay claim the military operations are routine humanitarian efforts and deny that any plans are underway for a U.S. base. Yet human rights groups in the area are deeply worried. White House officials are using rhetoric about terrorist threats in the tri-border region (where Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina meet) in order to build their case for military operations, in many ways reminiscent to the build up to the invasion of Iraq. (1) The tri-border area is home to the Guarani Aquifer, one of the world’s largest reserves of water. Near the Estigarribia airbase are Bolivia’s natural gas reserves, the second largest in Latin America. Political analysts believe U.S. operations in Paraguay are part of a preventative war to control these natural resources and suppress social uprisings in Bolivia.

Argentine Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel commented on the situation in Paraguay, "Once the United States arrives, it takes it a long time to leave. And that really frightens me." (2)

You're an asshole

Video: Mr. Bush, Your an asshole: Flash presentation.

The Enablers

Four years ago, the United States was hit by a terrorist attack. Three days later, the U.S. Congress signed away the people's freedom, writing a blank check for tyranny to a ludicrous little man installed in office after the most dubious election in American history. Last week, the poisonous after-effects of this abject surrender took yet another sinister turn, as Bush factotums in the courts once again upheld the Leader's arbitrary power over the life and liberty of his subjects.

The joint House-Senate resolution of Sept. 14, 2001 -- approved by a combined vote of 518-1 -- gave President George W. Bush the most sweeping powers ever granted an American leader. Bush was authorized to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against any organization or individual that he alone declared was somehow connected to the Sept. 11 attacks. His arbitrary will would be the sole deciding factor. This timorous resolution was, in effect, a repeal of the Magna Carta: the nobles of the land giving back hard-won rights to a harsh, incompetent despot.

Las guerras mienten por Eduardo Galeano

« Pero el motivo... -indagó el señor Duval- Un hombre no mata por nada. -¿El motivo?- contestó Ellery, encogiéndose de hombros. -Usted ya conoce el motivo.» Ellery Queen. Aventuras en la Mansión de las Tinieblas.

Las guerras dicen que ocurren por nobles razones: la seguridad internacional, la dignidad nacional, la democracia, la libertad, el orden, el mandato de la civilización o la voluntad de Dios. Ninguna tiene la honestidad de confesar: «Yo mato para robar».

Time for a Truth & Justice Commission

What actually happened in New Orleans these past two weeks? We need to sort through the rumors and distortions. Perhaps we need our version of South Africa's Truth And Reconciliation Commission. Some way to sort through the many narratives and find a truth, and to find justice.

I spent yesterday inside the city of New Orleans, speaking to a few of the last holdouts in the 9th ward/ bywater neighborhood. Their stories paint a very different picture from what we've heard in the media. Instead of stories of gangs of criminals and police and soldiers keeping order, there were stories of collective action, everyone looking out for each other, communal responses.

The United States Becomes Its Own Worst Enemy

Since the 1970s the United States has become increasingly captive to consumeristic frenzy and religious zeal at home and to an arrogant and bloody militarism abroad. As we do so, has not the following description come to fit us as a people?

Violence, intolerance, aversion and suspicion toward new ideas, an incapacity for analysis, an inclination to act from feeling rather than from thought, an exaggerated individualism and a too narrow concept of social responsibiity, attachment to fictions and false values..., too great an attachment to racial values and a tendency to justify cruelty and injustice in the name of those values, sentimentality and a lack of realism... .

Not all of us, just yet; but those words were written to describe the people of the eleven states of the "New South" that evolved after 1877. The quotation is from The Mind of the South (1940); its author was the Carolinian journalist W.J. Cash.

The New South was a toxic brew of institutionalized cruelty and systemic irrationalities, fueled by fear, greed, and hatred; only the worst of its social crimes was the encouragement and immunity given to the lynching of thousands of blacks after 1877.

Bush's Holy War on Nature

Hurricane Katrina showed us how difficult it has become to distinguish between natural disasters and man-made ones. First, the Army Corp of Engineers decides it can build a better river than Mother Nature and in the process deprives the delta of storm-absorbing wetlands and barrier islands while allowing the ground under New Orleans to subside into a suicidal bowl. Then a storm hits and... well, you know the rest of the story. The lesson is simple: we are embedded in natural systems and whether we acknowledge that or not can be a matter of life and death.

Elecciones internas en el PT: el partido ante el espejo

Querida Ana, esta noche/madrugada cayó por aquí una tormenta, perdona la expresión, “do c…”, rayos, truenos y agua sin fin; al lado de la Avenida 23 de Mayo, el ruido de la lluvia conseguía apagar el estruendo permanente del tráfico; un “toró” que dicen en algunas regiones del país. Pensé mucho en tí y, menos alegre y gracioso, un poco en la situación del país.

No sé muy bien, sin embargo, por dónde empezar para explicarte un poco la situación que vive Brasil en estos días, ya desde hace tres meses que iniciara la que pasará a la historia como la crisis del “mensalão” (algo así como sueldazo mensual). En realidad, hay dos temas diferentes, aunque mezclados. El primero, el “mensalão” en rigor, que es el del eventual pagamiento a diputados, aliados por cierto, para que votasen a favor de las propuestas del gobierno; el segundo, financiación ilegal de campañas electorales.

Meanwhile, in Iraq...Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches

For the last several days at least 6,000 US soldiers along with approximately 4,000 Iraqi soldiers (Read-members of the Kurdish Peshmerga and Shia Badr Army) were laying siege to the city of Tal-Afar, near Mosul in northern Iraq. It is estimated that 90% of the residents have left their homes because of the violence and destruction of the siege, as well as to avoid home raids and snipers.

The Fallujah model is being applied yet again, albeit on a smaller scale. I haven’t received any reports yet of biometrics being used (retina scans, finger printing, bar coding of human beings) like in Fallujah, but there are other striking similarities to the tactics used in November.

While the US military claims to have killed roughly 200 “terrorists” in the operation, reports from the ground state that most of the fighters inside the city had long since left to avoid direct confrontation with the overwhelming military force (a basic tenet of guerrilla warfare).

Ecuador Removes Controversial Foriegn Minister

The rumors that we have been hearing for some time now have been confirmed: Ecuador is going to remove its foreign secretary, Antonio Parra Gil. More precisely, Parra will be sent off to Madrid to switch places with Ecuador’s ambassador to Spain, Fracisco Carrión, who, according to President Alfredo Palacio, will “maintain the same nationalistic and sovereign policies of his predecessor, but with a less belligerent discourse.”

Tellingly, Palacio confirmed the switch to the media just as he headed off for his visit as president to the United States. The move is a blow to the Ecuadorian social movements, who had come to count on Parra as one of their few trusted allies in the government. The biggest effect will be likely be on Ecuador’s relationship with neighboring Colombia, especially in terms of one of the most controversial issues of the drug war in that country…

Asesinato de defensora de derechos humanos consterna a Brasil

El asesinato a tiros de una religiosa ligada a la lucha por la tierra consternó Brasil este fin de semana. El crimen ocurrió el sábado 12 de febrero, en Anapu, sudoeste de Pará. Exactamente tres días después que la monja hubo entregado las denuncias de amenazas de muerte, que sufre desde 1999, al titular de la Secretaría Especial de Derechos Humanos, ministro Nilmário Miranda; al vocero Agrario General, Gercino Filho, y a las autoridades del gobierno del Estado de Pará. Y sólo nueve días después de la instalación, en Pará, del primer grupo de trabajo estatal del Programa Nacional de Protección a los Defensores de Derechos Humanos, que apunta a garantizar el trabajo de estos agentes sociales.

Tomás Hirsch candidato único de la izquierda chilena

El candidato del Pacto Juntos Podemos Más, Tomás Hirsch, el lunes formalizó su candidatura a la presidencia de la República, completando de este modo la nómina de los candidatos presidenciables.

El candidato de la agrupación de izquierda excluida del parlamento, llegó hasta la sede del organismo electoral cerca de las 18:00 horas, y tras firmar ante el director del Servel, Juan Ignacio García, calificó su postulación como una candidatura “de la esperanza”.

Detective Story that Linked £1m Pinochet Cash to BAE

US investigators find 100 accounts linked to general; Secret payments listed to alleged front companies
Augusto Pinochet, the 89-year-old former strongman of Chile and alleged torturer and murderer, has frequently slipped his pursuers, pleading ill health or relying on protectors at home in the Chilean military. But now an unexpected nemesis is pursuing him, in the shape of his tax returns.

The dogged pursuit of his multimillion dollar fortune by a Chilean judge, Sergio Muñoz, culminated last month in the arrest of General Pinochet's wife and son in Santiago. The hunt has unearthed a sophisticated array of bank accounts and offshore hiding places. It has also left Britain's biggest arms company, BAE, facing many questions in what may prove one of the biggest scandals to hit an already scandal-prone company.

BATHroom break

Either George W. Bush needs a potty break and doesn't know when to capitalize or when to use a question mark, or he's sending secret coded messages to Condi about needing a bath.

The Graft Goes On

Miss Molly:

Some of you may have heard me observe a time or two—going back to when George W. was still governor of Texas—that the trouble with the guy is that while he is good at politics, he stinks at governance. It bores him, he’s not interested, he thinks government is bad to begin with and everything would be done better if it were contracted out to corporations.
We can now safely assert that W. has stacked much of the federal government with people like himself. And what you get when you put people in charge of government who don’t believe in government and who are not interested in running it well is … what happened after Hurricane Katrina.

Many a time in the past six years I have bit my tongue so I wouldn’t annoy people with the always obnoxious observation, “I told you so.” But, dammit it all to hell, I did tell you, and I’ve been telling you since 1994, and I am so sick of this man and everything he represents—all the sleazy, smug, self-righteous graft and corruption and “Christian” moralizing and cynicism and tax cuts for all his smug, rich buddies.

Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention.

FuneralGate - Corpse-Abusing Company Gets FEMA Contract

A funeral services company which recently learned that one of its subsidiaries is negotiating a lucrative contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to remove dead bodies in areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, paid $100 million to settle a class-action lawsuit several years ago alleging the company desecrated thousands of corpses, and dumped bodies into mass graves.

Moreover, the company paid $200,000 to settle a whistleblower lawsuit that sought to expose that two members of the Texas funeral commission, the agency which regulates the funeral industry, were actually employees of the company they were supposed to monitor--an obvious conflict-of-interest.
In the civil matter, which took place at two Jewish cemeteries in Florida, the plaintiff's attorney said that SCI secretly broke into and opened burial vaults and dumped remains in a wooded area where the remains may have been consumed by wild animals.

"Call Me Bushtail..." Bush, God and Katrina

In literature, God has sent warnings. In Moby Dick, Herman Melville's sea saga, Captain Ahab refused to recognize God's limits. The white whale (God's creature?) warns Ahab in a first encounter by chewing off the captain's leg. Instead of respecting this admonition, the commander of the commercial whaling vessel sought revenge domination over nature, in the form of a large animal. Ahab moved decisively to assert domination over the natural order.

In Life, George Bush froze unscripted-when world-shaking issues fell onto his morally weak shoulders. Suffering and death confound him. Perhaps Barbara traumatized the seven year old W when little sister died of leukemia? The day after the funeral, the Bushes played a round of golf the proper set dealing with death. Barbara, according to Dr. Justin Frank, had trouble connecting emotionally with her son.

Speculators Rushing In as the Water Recedes

A New Orleans land rush that "raises the question of what sort of housing -- if any -- will be available to those without a six-figure salary,"

Would-be home buyers are betting New Orleans will be a boomtown. And many of the city's poorest residents could end up being forced out.

BATON ROUGE, La. — Brandy Farris is house hunting in New Orleans.

The real estate agent has $10 million in the bank, wired by an investor who has instructed her to scoop up houses — any houses. "Flooding no problem," Farris' newspaper ads advise.

Her backer is a Miami businessman who specializes in buying storm-ravaged property at a deep discount, something that has paid dividends in hurricane-prone Florida. But he may have a harder time finding bargains this time around.

In some ways, Hurricane Katrina seems to have taken a vibrant real estate market and made it hotter. Large sections of the city are underwater, but that's only increasing the demand for dry houses. And in flooded areas, speculators are trying to buy properties on the cheap, hoping that the redevelopment of New Orleans will start a boom.

Mahathir calls US, UK terrorist nations

US and British pilots whose bombs killed Iraqi civilians were murderers, and actions taken by those two countries during the invasion and occupation of Iraq amounted to terrorism, former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has said.

Several British and US diplomats walked out in protest of Mahathir's broadside against their countries in a speech at a national conference in Kuala Lumpur on human rights on Friday.

After hurricane, Cheney's office diverted power crews from hospitals to oil pipeline

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina roared through South Mississippi knocking out electricity and communication systems, the White House ordered power restored to a pipeline that sends fuel to the Northeast.

That order - to restart two power substations in Collins that serve Colonial Pipeline Co. - delayed efforts by at least 24 hours to restore power to two rural hospitals and a number of water systems in the Pine Belt.

Bolton's disruptive agenda all too obvious

Since his recess appointment by President Bush to represent the United States at the United Nations, John Bolton has proceeded to live up to the hubris of his previous comments:

"There's no such thing as the United Nations." If U.N. headquarters in New York "lost ten stories, it wouldn't make a difference." And there was his threat, while undersecretary of state in 2002, to withhold U.S. dues if the U.N. didn't fire Jose Bustani, director of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Bustani wanted the authority to investigate violations -- with Iraq as the first target. Had Bustani prevailed, Bush's constant refrain about WMD in Iraq would have been proved false, leaving his utopian adventure without its main rationale.

El sabotaje de EEUU en la ONU posterga el compromiso de reducir la pobreza mundial

El pastel de cumpleaños para la Organización de Naciones Unidas (ONU) llegó algo apachurrado y, aunque bien decorado por fuera, está algo hueco por dentro. En el 60 aniversario, no ofrece mucho que celebrar la gran declaración que se negocia para la Cumbre Mundial -la reunión más grande de jefes de Estado en la historia-, que resolvería los problemas más graves del mundo y de esta institución.

Entre el sabotaje de último momento de Estados Unidos y la falta de unidad de los países del mundo en respuesta a demandas de Washington, la declaración del compromiso mundial para reducir pobreza y enfermedad, promover el desarrollo y derechos humanos, fortalecer la seguridad mundial y reformar la ONU, que se había negociado durante casi un año, quedó diluido y remite al futuro toda una gama de asuntos clave que se suponía serían acordados aquí y ahora.

The St. Patrick Four: The feds confront the Anti-War Movement

On September 19 the first federal conspiracy trial of civilian war resisters to the US invasion of Iraq will take place in Binghamton, New York, a declining and decaying city in upstate New York, 3 hours northwest of New York City. This is the second trial of the “St Patrick Four” – they were acquitted a year earlier by a jury in Ithaca, New York by a 9 to 3 vote in which the presiding Judge David Peeble conceded that the four had represented themselves “probably better than some of the attorneys that practice in this court.”

The trial of the St. Pat Four has national significance because it raises several fundamental issues regarding constitutional freedoms and the Bush-Gonzalez ongoing campaign to silence and intimidate dissent and public expressions of opposition to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The trial of the St. Pat Four will establish whether the Federal Government can jail dissenters engaging in civil disobedience for up to six years and fine them up to $250,000 on feckless charges of “conspiracy to impede an officer of the United States by threat, intimidation or force”. Even more ominous, in terms of the procedures for a fair trial, the senior US District Judge for Northern New York, Thomas McAvoy, has ruled that the defendants cannot discuss the reasons and motivation for their action. According to McAvoy, “This court offers no opinion on the war in Iraq as it is entirely irrelevant to this matter…assuming an illegal war, it does not provide a justification for violating the criminal laws of the United States.”

Sir, No Sir! An Interview with David Zeiger

The Oleo Strut was a coffeehouse in Killeen, Texas, from 1968 to 1972. Like its namesake, a shock absorber in helicopter landing gear, the Oleo Strut’s purpose was to help GIs land softly. Upon returning from Vietnam to Fort Hood, shell-shocked soldiers found solace amongst the Strut’s regulars, mostly fellow soldiers and a few civilian sympathizers. But it didn’t take long before shell shock turned into anger, and that anger into action. The GIs turned the Oleo Strut into one of Texas’s anti-war headquarters, publishing an underground anti-war newspaper, organizing boycotts, setting up a legal office, and leading peace marches.

Hurricane Katrina and Climate Justice

For nearly five years George Bush has infuriated much of the world by refusing to take action on global warming. Instead, he has called for more study. In a way, he got what he wanted with Hurricane Katrina.

One of the strongest storms on record, Katrina provided an epic and horrific laboratory for observing what happens when corporations and consumers pump more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The world’s top climate scientists have long documented the effects of burning fossil fuels--oil, coal and gas-- and predicted dire consequences for the world’s climate, including increasingly severe and frequent storms and floods.

The Great American Jobs Scam

Lurking within the records of most cities and states in America there lies a scandal. A tax scandal. A jobs scandal. A corporate and political scandal.

It's the Great American Jobs Scam: an intentionally constructed system that enables corporations to exact huge taxpayer subsidies by promising quality jobs - and then lets them fail to deliver. The other benefit often promised - higher tax revenues - often proves false or exaggerated as well.
Take for example: New York City, which must hold the record for job blackmail, though it is hardly alone. One study of 80 companies that had received "retention" subsidies from the Big Apple found that at least 39 had later announced major layoffs, or they had entered into large-scale mergers or put themselves up for sale - events that usually trigger mass layoffs. A detailed analysis of 10 subsidized companies found they had a total loss of more than 3,000 jobs.

Expulsion is Transfer: The Colonial Logic of Bush's Response to New Orleans

It’s not so much that the Emperor has no clothes but that his clothes, under the black sky, are shining white, with many thousands gone, enabled deliberately by his white imperial rule. I believe this to be the only honest, rational conclusion to draw from all the evidence on the ground in New Orleans.

A lot of the shock and awe being expressed in the mainstream media over the Bush administration’s four days of willful indifference toward the suffering of Black people of New Orleans, those who either did not or could not leave, is disingenuous. For example, Chicago’s Mayor Richard M. Daley’s comment that he was “shocked” to hear that Bush wanted no part of a substantial material aid package he had offered on Sunday, one day before the landing of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, is a salient fragment of the noxious whole.

Judith Miller and Jayson Blair

In 2003 the New York Times faced a major scandal involving one of its reporters, Jayson Blair. Blair was caught with his pants down, so to speak. He plagiarized the work of other reporters, quoted people he had never contacted, and claimed to be in places he never visited.

The Times called the Blair mess "a low point in the 152-year history of the paper." It is indeed very bad if a reporter behaves more like a novelist, but it always seemed to me that the Times protested a little too much in the Blair case. While the Times is said to be the newspaper of record, it has had many low moments in its history.

The Times told Martin Luther King to shut up and mind his own business when he dared to speak out against the war in Vietnam. Dr. Wen Ho Lee went to jail because of the Times’ hyperventilation, only to be cleared of any wrongdoing. Tons of newsprint went into reporting the Whitewater non-scandal.

The Internationally Recognized Rights of the 'Internally Displaced'

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the debate is already raging on how to deal with those displaced by the disaster and whether to rebuild New Orleans and other coastal communities. Competing interests combined with poor planning and a disjointed response from public and private agencies have created confusion about priorities, funding and other crucial details. It is imperative that a human rights and humanitarian law framework be applied to these discussions and form the basis for all future action.

The United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement provide just such a framework. The principles identify the internationally recognized rights and guarantees of people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes and communities due to a number of factors, including natural disaster. According to this set of principles, those who have been displaced from their homes but not crossed international borders are classified as “internally displaced persons,” not “refugees” or “evacuees.” This is not a mere question of semantics, but an essential definition that establishes the obligations that government has to protect and defend the rights of the Gulf Coast residents who have been dispersed across the country.

Good morning Rolling Stones

(M. Jagger/K. Richards)

You call yourself a Christian
I think that you're a hypocrite
You say you are a patriot
I think that you're a crock of shit

And listen now, the gasoline
I drink it every day
But it's getting very pricey
And who is going to pay

How come you're so wrong
My sweet neo con.... Yeah

It's liberty for all
'Cause democracy's our style
Unless you are against us
Then it's prison without trial

But one thing that is certain
Life is good at Haliburton
If you're really so astute
You should invest at Brown & Root.... Yeah

How come you're so wrong
My sweet neo con
If you turn out right
I'll eat my hat tonight

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah....

It's getting very scary
Yes, I'm frightened out of my wits
There's bombers in my bedroom
Yeah and it's giving me the shits

We must have lots more bases
To protect us from our foes
Who needs these foolish friendships
We're going it alone

How come you're so wrong
My sweet neo con
Where's the money gone
In the Pentagon

Yeah ha ha ha
Yeah, well, well

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah...
Neo con

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

No War But Class War!

Look upon the city of New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast now, and you see the true face of capitalism. Look upon the tens of thousands of people who were abandoned, displaced, and then even disparaged by our government and its media minions for being trapped there by poverty, age, youth, or disability. They lived for days on end with no food, water, or shelter. They lived amidst corpses and raw sewage, seeing the ill and elderly die with nothing but the odd blanket or sheet with which to cover their bodies, watching babies being born with only contaminated water in which to wash their tiny bodies, and being promised that help would come tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, until tomorrow never came for thousands.

What you see, in the majority of those people, is the productive labor force that kept that city alive before Hurricane Katrina. You see the people who rang up the sales of goods they could never, in their wildest dreams, afford, who waited and bussed tables, cleaned houses, cared for the children of the wealthy, and generally did all the work of a service industry that keeps a tourist city alive. These are the people whose work produced the wealth of those who were able to leave the city in safety. When, after days without food, water, or adequate shelter, they attempted to appropriate the goods they had generated the capital to produce, property abandoned by those whom they had supported by their labor, they were shot at, vilified, and defined as criminals

Galloway Does Boston Proud

“We who live in the United States or Britain, only have to answer one question, do we stand with the occupier, or with those who are resisting colonial occupation.”

“The swamp of hatred that our policies have created in the Muslim world nourish the mutation of hatred that believes killing innocent people in New York or London is somehow a blow against those responsible in our countries for those policies. All we have done be invading and occupying Iraq is increase the number of people who hate us and the intensity with which they hate us.”

“The US and Britain’s unquestioning support for the State of Israel is the flaw that lies at the heart of the West’s attitude toward the Muslim world.”

Standing ovation from 400 people.

The Man Beneath The Hood Speaks Out: "They tortured me, they humiliated me"

An interview with Shalal el Kaissi, who has become a symbol of U.S. torture .

"They tortured me, they humiliated me, they have destroyed me inside. I want that what has happened to me never happens again, that everyone knows what those months in Abu Ghraib were like. This is my new life: to denounce that which is happening in the Iraqi prisons, to defend the rights of those who are inside of them”. Former prisoner number 151716 of the prison of shame speaks. The man who has been recognised in one of the photo-symbols of the violence of Abu Ghraib: the hooded prisoner, standing balanced on a cardboard box, his shoulders to the wall, with his arms opened and the fingers of his hands connected to electrical wires.

Ali Shalal el Kaissi, 42 years old, was arrested in October of 2003 in a car park near the mosque of El Amariyah and was imprisoned with the accusation of being part of the guerrilla movement. In the disgusting jargon of his torturers, he was “Clawman”, due to a noticeable burn mark on his hand. He was released January of 2004 and, several months later, founded together with another 12 persons, “The association of the victims of American occupation prisons".



Tulane’s National Primate Research Center Reports No Release of Nearly 5,000 Test Monkeys or Disease Agents – Other NOLA Defense or Research Projects Involve HIV, SIV, SARS, Herpes-B, Anthrax, Botulism, Measles, West Nile and Mousepox

No Confirmed Information on Other NOLA Level-3 Labs Involved in Bioweapons Research – At Least One Lab Reportedly Compromised.

September 13, 2005 0800 PST (FTW) – Prior to the arrival of Hurricane Katrina on August 29th, the greater New Orleans area was a significant hub of infectious disease and biological weapons research. At least five Level-3 biolabs were located either in New Orleans or in its nearby suburb of Covington. Level-4 is the only higher containment level and is used primarily for weapons research on hemorrhagic fevers and other viral agents. Although there were many causes for alarm with Katrina, the biggest initial worry for FTW had been the status of nearly 5,000 monkeys (kept outdoors behind barbed wire) used in infectious disease research at the Tulane University National Primate Center.

National Institutes of Health spokesperson Ann Puderbaugh told FTW, “The National Primate Research Center at Tulane came through the storm just fine. There were no injured or escaped animals and there was no release of any biological agents due to other causes.”

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported very little damage and no release of agents at any of its monitored facilities. CDC maintains a Select Agent Release Program and had issued warnings prior to Katrina’s landfall and had subsequently posted a request for any labs compromised to immediately notify them. CDC spokesman Von Roebuck told FTW, as far as the Select Agent program was concerned, “We made an immediate outreach to all of these laboratories. The reports back were that there had been little or no damage. No loss of or release of any agent occurred and there is currently security in place at all of our facilities.”

American Violence in Iraq: Necrophilia or Savagery? Part 4: Obedience, Defiance, and Conscience

On the cover of its April 1994 issue, The World & I magazine printed the following question: “How violent is America?” On that occasion, the magazine was referring to US domestic violence.

On the index page, the editors expanded on the argument by placing under that same question the following introduction: “More people died in gunfire in the United States during the past four years than were killed in Vietnam War. Finally, Americans have had enough. But how effective are the proposed solutions?”

More revealingly, on page 20, the magazine’s editor, Morton A. Kaplan, commenced the special essay on the topic by stating, “Violence seems to rule America…

News From Behind The Facade by John Pilger

When I lived in the United States in the late 1960s, my home was often New Orleans, in a friend's rambling grey clapboard house that stood in a section of the city where civil rights campaigners had taken refuge from the violence of the Deep South. New Orleans was said to be cosmopolitan; it was also sinister and murderous. We were protected by the then District Attorney, Jim Garrison, a liberal maverick whose investigations into the assassination of John Kennedy were to make powerful enemies behind The Facade.

The Facade was how we described the dividing line between the America of real life -- of a poverty so profound that slavery was still a presence and a rapacious state power that waged war against its own citizens, as it did against black and brown-skinned people in faraway countries -- and the America that spawned the greed of corporatism and invented public relations as a means of social control; the "American Dream" and the "American Way of Life" began as advertising slogans.

Tal Afar: Crackdown in the Sunni Heartland

The siege of Tal Afar follows a familiar pattern of brutal American incursions into densely populated areas under the pretense of fighting terrorism. It is a ritual that is repeated endlessly despite the dismal results. The Pentagon seems to prefer these grand displays of military strength to anything that might produce a political solution. It brings to mind the old saw, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again: expecting a different result.” This appears to be the guiding principle of the Defense Department with Tal Afar serving as the most recent example.

In the present case, a city of 250,000 has been almost entirely evacuated following weeks of artillery bombardment, aerial bombing raids, downed power lines and water systems, and house-to-house searches.

Nicaragua : Marcha contra el CAFTA

Los sectores populares y las organizaciones de todo el país afínes al Frente Sandinista y agrupadas en la Coordinadora Social (la otra cara de la sociedad civil que no se reconoce en la Coordinadora Civíl), han marchado por las calles de Managua pidiendoles a los diputados que no ratifiquen el Tratado de libre comercio entre Estados Unidos y Centroamerica-República Dominicana (Tlc-Cafta).

Actualmente el Cafta ya ha sido aprobado por los Parlamentos de El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, República Dominicana y Estados Unidos (estos últimos con una reducida mayoría de 2 votos en la Cámara), mientras que todavía resisten Costa Rica y Nicaragua.

Diferente es la situación en estos dos países.

Speaking Out Against War

BRUNSWICK, Maine - Appearances are deceiving in the case of Kathy Kelly.
The high-profile peace activist visited Brunswick to protest the weekend's air show and promote her eternal message of peace; but rummaging through luggage in her hosts' car after returning from Peaks Island, Kelly looked more like a tourist stretching the last days of summer.

With her characteristically peaceful and almost otherworldly expression, Kelly hardly looks like an outraged, demanding poster-child for extremist government protests, as some who don't hold her views have portrayed her.

Kathy Kelly, founder of Voices in the Wilderness, enjoys some quiet moments at a Brunswick home Monday afternoon following a weekend of speaking engagements throughout the Mid-coast region about her peacemaking activities in Iraq and elsewhere. Kelly spoke Monday night at the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick. (Rachel Ganong / The Times Record)
Yet, no one can deny that this serene woman stirs things up. Kelly has made 26 trips to Iraq, repeatedly defying U.S. sanctions. She also landed herself in federal prison three times for her efforts to promote peace by challenging the U.S. war machine.

Iraq Slams U.S. Detentions, Immunity for Troops

Earlier this week, Iraqi Justice Minister Abdul Hussein Shandal quite reasonably asserted “No citizen should be arrested without a court order.” But in the gleaming democracy that is Iraq, a foreign military occupying force detains thousands of Iraqis indefinitely and without charge, and its troops are immune from Iraqi law.

"No War has Ever Been Declared by the People" Eugene V. Debs and the Legacy of Dissent

Eighty-seven years ago-on September 14, 1918- Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926) was sentenced to ten years in prison for opposing U.S. entry into World War I.

Debs was one of the most prominent labor organizers and political activists of his time. He was also nominated as the Socialist Party's candidate for president five times. His voting tallies over his first four campaigns effectively illustrate the remarkable growth of the party during that volatile time period:

1900: 94,768
1904: 402,400
1908: 402,820
1912: 897,011

America's entrance into World War I, however, provoked a tightening of civil liberties, culminating with the passage of the Espionage and Sedition Act in June 1917. This totalitarian salvo read in part: "Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty in the military or naval forces of the United States, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment of not more than 20 years, or both."

First Lady Becomes President's Defender

WASHINGTON - Laura Bush is reprising her role as her husband's first defender, making several trips to the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast as President Bush's approval ratings sink to their lowest level yet.

Mrs. Bush is highlighting the positive that has come out of the storm, telling the stories of strangers helping one another in a time of tragedy.

Mrs. Bush said Tuesday that much more human good than bad has come from the disaster, despite what people see on TV. She said the evacuees she has met in her three trips to the Gulf Coast are hopeful and thankful that they don't have to start from rock bottom because of the donations and the kindness of strangers.