- Peace Garden: 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005

US candidate's anti-war appeal

Friday, September 30, 2005

Feingold is coming closer - but still not there.

POTENTIAL 2008 Democratic presidential contender Senator Russ Feingold has made an early appeal to anti-war activists and set himself apart from possible rivals by calling for a pullout of US troops from Iraq by the end of next year.
No other Democrat pondering a run for the White House, nor any of the party's congressional leaders or prominent foreign policy voices, has broken with Republican President George W. Bush and endorsed a timetable for Iraq withdrawal.
He voted against the war and the Patriot Act. If he starts calling for an immediate end - then I'll get a little more excited.

Coming closer than most, Russ - just a little more!


Where Have All The Protest Songs Gone, Long Time Passing?

Glenda Holste writes a great article on the lack of protest music.

The year 2005 needs songs to guide the feet, to hold to the heart, to articulate whole political ideas that challenge hubris as a foreign policy and plutocracy-enrichment as domestic policy. New songs. Songs that take their heritage seriously, as did the protest songs of the 1960s and 1970s.
Is there not in the mind of a musical artist just one anthem as great as "We Shall Overcome?"
After watching the PBS special, "Get up, Stand up", I have to agree on some points with Holste. But I still think we can resurrect some of the great ones from years ago. Our iPods should be filled with songs like "Ohio", "Imagine", "Give Peace a Chance" - yesterday's songs of protest, peace, hope. But don't forget today's songs like Bright Eyes' "When the President Talks to God."

Unlike Holste I think we don't need one anthem, we need all the anthems of yesterday and today to stop the madness.


Commander Now Backs Off Troop Pullout Idea

Thursday, September 29, 2005

General Casey destroys all our hopes - like I really believed "pullout" when I heard it.

The top US commander in Iraq backed away on Wednesday from his prediction that a substantial pullout of US troops could begin by next spring, as the White House undertakes a new campaign to win public support for the war effort.
Gen. George Casey's latest assessment came as President Bush - down in the polls and criticized for his hurricane response - starts to turn his focus back to the fight against terrorism and to Iraq, the issues that helped him win re-election last year.
Bush on Wednesday sent Casey and Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of US Central Command, to Capitol Hill to update lawmakers on war operations. "We're on the offense," Bush said, the two generals at his side in the Rose Garden. "We have a plan to win."
Bush warned of an upsurge in violence before Iraqis vote Oct. 15 on a new constitution. He said that insurgents ultimately will fail.
That warm and fuzzy feeling all over again. Shades of "Brownie, you're doing a helluva job."

I think they need more than words to win public support. They need a plan to pull the troops out NOW!


Shameless Promotion

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Blog Advance is a good site to register with - relatively new, 30 second window, manual surf.

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Of course there is also Blogazoo, Blog Xchange, Blog Soldiers, Blog Clicker and (my fave) Blog Explosion. All great.

Try them all.


Insurgents seize 5 towns near Syria

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The news from Iraq is depressing - or has this always been the case but never reported?
Towns near Syria:

A senior U.S. Marine commander said Monday that insurgents loyal to militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had taken over at least five key western Iraqi towns on the border with Syria and were forcing local residents to flee.
Moqtada Sadr again:
U.S. and Iraqi soldiers clashed with gunmen loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr early Sunday, trading fire in a long-running gun battle that broke nearly a year of calm between U.S. soldiers and militiamen in the Shiite slums of Sadr City.
Deepening rifts:
Iraq's rushed constitutional process has deepened ethnic and sectarian rifts and is likely to worsen the insurgency and hasten the country's violent break-up, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said on Monday.
"The constitution is likely to fuel rather than dampen insurgency," said Robert Malley, head of the think-tank's Middle East and North Africa programme, introducing an ICG report.
"A compact based on compromise and broad consent could have been a first step in a healing process. Instead it is proving yet another step in a process of depressing decline."
This is progress? This is what W, his regime and some Dems want to risk our lives and future for?


St. Patrick's Four Not Guilty of Conspiracy

Monday, September 26, 2005

St. Patrick's Four were charged with misdemeanors.

"The decision to acquit on the conspiracy charge, a felony, is a huge victory, given the narrow parameters within which the four could present their defense, and given the restrictions on deliberations. This is a major setback in the government's efforts to criminalize dissent," said Bill Quigley, acclaimed public interest lawyer and law professor at Loyola University School of Law, who has been acting as legal advisor to the defendants.
The four were convicted on lesser charges, damage to property and trespassing, both misdemeanors which carry possible sentences of one year and six months respectively.
"Regardless of the penalties, we will continue to call for justice for the Iraqi people and our troops," stated Daniel Burns, one of the four defendants. "We know our principled dissent now represents the majority of the public, and we're inspired by the jury's decision to refuse the government's attempt at intimidation."
One victory. Now let's see the justice system's response to today's arrests (misdemeanors).


Get the boats

Sunday, September 25, 2005

 Posted by PicasaGreat cartoon from www.truthout.org. W is running out of areas to hide from the "growing tide" of discontent. Ending on the White House roof is dangerous. I can't think of too many who would want to rescue him.


Department of Peace

Department of Peace legislation was introduced and endorsed by 60 House representatives.

H.R. 3760, a bill to establish a Department of Peace and Nonviolence. This legislation will raise prevention of domestic and international conflict, and working for nonviolent resolutions to conflict when it arises, to the same or higher level of governmental priority as violent or repressive responses.
The department will work proactively with every branch of the Federal Government. It will draw upon the intellectual and spiritual wealth of organizations and individuals who are already developing and employing nonviolent approaches and practices which resolve conflicts and advance the human condition.
Thank you to Kucinich and the other 59. Also thanks to Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN) who introduced the legislation on the Senate floor.
Speaking from the Senate floor, Dayton said, "If we are to remain the world's leader, and if we are to lead the world into a more secure and more prosperous future, we must become better known and more respected for our peacemaking successes than for our military forces. Peace, to have any lasting value, must be advanced, expanded and strengthened continuously. Doing so requires skill, dedication, persistence, resources, and, most importantly, people."


Cindy Sheehan's Speech from Yesterday

Cidy Sheehan's speech in DC was moving and motivating.

One thing the Camp Casey movement that hunkered down in Crawford, Texas this past August taught us is that we the people of America have the power and we can and should name our national policy and make sure it is carried out. I constantly get asked if we are making a difference and if we think (like we're naïve boobs) that we will actually stop the war. Well, looking back at how Vietnam was ended and looking back in the history of our country, most notably in the suffragette, union, and civil rights movements, we the people are the only ones who have been able to transform history and affect true and lasting change here in America: so to those people who question if we are making a difference: I tell them to go back to school and read their history books!! And another thing these questioners overlook is that WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!!! And we are here to tell the media, Congress, and this criminal and criminally negligent administration: WE ARE NOT GOING AWAY!!!
We in the peace movement need to agree on one thing: yes we need an exit plan, but it is not a strategy, it is a command. The command should be: have all of our military personnel and paid killer mercenaries out of Iraq within 6 months and the generals carry out the command. Simple, it's not brain surgery and I think it is so easy even George Bush can sign the order. We can't give the homicidal maniacs any wiggle room or long term strategy sessions. For one thing, when our leaders strategize, we are put in even more jeopardy, they have proven that they are not too bright or even a little compassionate. But the most important thing is that people die everyday in Iraq for absolutely no reason and for lies. We have to say NOW because the people on the other side are saying NEVER. We can't compromise, we can't say please, and we can't retreat. If we do, our country is doomed. We have to honor the sacrifices of our loved ones by completing the mission of peace and justice. It is time. Bring our troops home, NOW!.
I think the operative word is:NOW. and I think it is important that our elected politicians realize that is the important word.

This war is not for us to WIN - no matter how you define it. As so many want to say - we broke it we must fix it. But to take that "store policy" analogy further, when the owners of the store just want us out before we break anything else - well we just turn around, leave, and the store owner picks up after us and makes things right. We broke it - sure - we pay - sure - but we don't become the owners after paying for the items we broke.

Iraq is not our new colony to play with.


Raise our voices!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

 Posted by PicasaThanks to Project for Old American Century.


Cindy Sheehan Takes on the Democrats, Hillary Clinton

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Village Voice reports on Cindy Sheehan's talk at St. John the Divine.

When Sheehan assumed center stage, she kept her focus on Bush, calling him “a liar” whose “reckless, callous, and moronic policies have made our country vulnerable.” Bush, she said, had proven himself a coward who cares little about the troops in Iraq.
“I hate to be harsh,” she said, “but we’re not accepting any excuses for not bringing our troops home.”
But Sheehan isn’t stopping her critique with Bush. On the contrary, she has begun to set her sights on Congress and the Democratic Party as well. When she spoke in Brooklyn on the night before, she took note of the fact that Senator Hillary Clinton voted to authorize Bush to use force in Iraq and– like most Senate Democrats–has done little to bring the troops home. Clinton, in fact, has filed legislation calling for more troops.
In an interview after her speech, Sheehan told the Voice she was “so frustrated” by leading Democrats like Clinton “who should be leaders on this issue, but are not.” Already, she has set up a future meeting with New York’s junior senator this weekend. And she plans to sit down with the state’s senior senator, Chuck Schumer, too. “It’s time for them to step up and be the opposition party,” she said. “This war is not going to end unless the Democrats are on board with us.”
It is about time for all elected officials to announce their stands - continue the war or pull the troops out within months rather than years. It is time for elected officials to listen to their constituents. It is time for those who won't listen to step aside. It is time to govern FOR and WITH the people - rather than with lobbyists for the benefit of corporate wallets.


Today, the Antiwar Movement Goes on Trial

Monday, September 19, 2005

Leigh Saavedra provides a great synopsis of the St. Patrick 4 whose bogus trial started today.

THE CRIME: On March 17, 2003, Dan, Clare, Peter, and Teresa entered a military recruiting center in Lansing, N.Y., and poured a half cup of their own blood around the vestibule...
The following month the four were tried for criminal mischief. Nine of the 12 jurors voted to acquit them, and after 20 hours of deliberation, the judge declared a mistrial. At such declaration, the crowded courtroom gave the four a standing ovation. The district attorney said that he would not prosecute them again, expecting that another jury would yield the same verdict.
A year later, however, the U.S. government decided to retry the four peace activists, this time on the more serious charges of conspiracy.
The fact that these four pacifists are being tried again, even after the war has been shown to most people's satisfaction to have been a mistake, and worse, that they are not allowed to express their feelings or use the illegality of the war in their defense throws open doors and windows that even the most cynical weren't truly expecting two years ago.
Whether our constitutional right to freedom of speech will live or not is the point. What happens in Binghamton in the coming week or weeks will probably be a barometer. If Daniel, Clare, Peter, and Teresa are found guilty of conspiracy, then all those who vocally support them are guilty.
And if we are, then our worst fears about the so-called PATRIOT Act have grown as real as a match held up to our Constitution.
A case to keep our eyes on. A case whose conclusion will say so much about this country's future/character/basis of freedom.


NYPD Unplugs Cindy Sheehan

Sarah Ferguson at the Village Voice reports on Sheehan's apperance in NYC today.

Cindy Sheehan may be the Rosa Parks of the anti-war movement. But that didn't stop members of the New York Police Department from marching into the crowd of about 150 people gathered in Union Square Monday to hear her speak and yanking away the microphone.
The NYPD pulled the plug just as Sheehan was calling on the audience not to lose heart in the fight to end the war in Iraq.
Police dragged away Paul Zulkowitz, a.k.a. Zool, an organizer with “Camp Casey New York,” the small encampment that he and other activists helped set up a month ago in Union Square in solidarity with Sheehan’s vigil outside President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. The New York branch existed much to the ire of the city’s Parks Department. Today, Zulkowitz was arrested for failing to obtain a sound permit—a charge that normally warrants no more than a summons.
Cracking down? Wonder who orchestrated and ordered this?


Bill Maher's words of advice

Thanks to www.rule19.org for bringing this to our attention. From Bill Maher:

"Mr. President, this job can't be fun for you any more. There's no more money to spend--you used up all of that. You can't start another war because you used up the army. And now, darn the luck, the rest of your term has become the Bush family nightmare: helping poor people. Listen to your Mom. The cupboard's bare, the credit cards maxed out. No one's speaking to you. Mission accomplished.
"Now it's time to do what you've always done best: lose interest and walk away. Like you did with your military service and the oil company and the baseball team. It's time. Time to move on and try the next fantasy job. How about cowboy or space man? Now I know what you're saying: there's so many other things that you as President could involve yourself in. Please don't. I know, I know. There's a lot left to do. There's a war with Venezuela. Eliminating the sales tax on yachts. Turning the space program over to the church. And Social Security to Fannie Mae. Giving embryos the vote.
"But, Sir, none of that is going to happen now. Why? Because you govern like Billy Joel drives. You've performed so poorly I'm surprised that you haven't given yourself a medal. You're a catastrophe that walks like a man. Herbert Hoover was a shitty president, but even he never conceded an entire city to rising water and snakes.
"On your watch, we've lost almost all of our allies, the surplus, four airliners, two trade centers, a piece of the Pentagon and the City of New Orleans. Maybe you're just not lucky. I'm not saying you don't love this country. I'm just wondering how much worse it could be if you were on the other side.
"So, yes, God does speak to you. What he is saying is: 'Take a hint.' "
Priceless monologue.


Bring Them Home Now Tour

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Bring Them Home Now Tour visited New Haven today. I am a terrible judge of crowd size but maybe 1,000 or more(?).

The site also lists some great news from Chicago and Philadelphia.

On the urging of members and friends of the Bring Them Home Now Bus Tour, the Philadelphia City Council voted today 16 to 1 for a Resolution calling on the federal government to "rapidly withdraw US troops from Iraq expeditiously."
Similar resolution in Chicago. The momentum is building. Those wanting this insanity to end now are a majority. When will W and regime respond to the voices? When will elected officials either join the majority voice or step aside?


St. Patrick's Four

SP4 Trial & Tribunal
Begins Sept 19th


Words of Wisdom

"War is like cancer: it will only get worse if we don’t prevent it and heal it." – Deepak Chopra


U.S. says Syria facilitates terror in Iraq, Israel and Lebanon

Continuing to increase the intensity of our bark:

In a spirited attack, the State Department's spokesman accused Syria of making trouble not only for Iraq, by allowing foreign fighters to infiltrate the country, but also for Lebanon and the Palestinians.
Adam Ereli characterized Syrian government-sponsored trips to the borders to illustrate for diplomats and international observers the difficulty of closing them as a "dog and pony show" that proved nothing.
"Syria, more and more, is being recognized as a destabilizing element in the region," Ereli said Friday. "It's not just about Iraq; it's about Iraq, it's about Lebanon, it's about the Palestinian Authority. Because there's a connection between Syria and terrorism and murder and mayhem in each of these three different areas."
Hell, they may even be responsible for the levee breaks in New Orleans. It sure looks like Syrai is number one on our hit list. Iran is still up there in "popularity" but there are so many other nations including Putin who are telling us to slow down there.
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. 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.


That bathroom break

Saturday, September 17, 2005

You know - something just crossed my mind about W's memo to Condi about the bathroom break. I thought it strange that he was asking her permission. But the really strange thing is:" I Think I may need a bathroom break?" Think you may need one. Either you need one or not W. Maybe time to get that prostate checked out.


E-mail Suggests Government Seeking to Blame Groups

Environmental groups joining the list of terror organizations?

Federal officials appear to be seeking proof to blame the flood of New Orleans on environmental groups, documents show.
The Clarion-Ledger has obtained a copy of an internal e-mail the U.S. Department of Justice sent out this week to various U.S. attorneys' offices: "Has your district defended any cases on behalf of the (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers against claims brought by environmental groups seeking to block or otherwise impede the Corps work on the levees protecting New Orleans? If so, please describe the case and the outcome of the litigation."
I thought the White House didn't want to play the blame game? And then to shift the focus to the Sierra Club or a local land trust - assinine.
If you listen to what some conservatives say about environmentalists, he said, "We're responsible for most of the world's ills."
Maybe that where those WMDes are - in the ANWR. A perfect reason to build roads, knock down trees - and don't forget those terrorist allies led by Bambi, Smoky the Bear and of course the ringleaders - green frogs. Curse them all - threatening freedom and W's vision of a corpoarte universe.


Pat Robertson's Friend Speaks Out

Friday, September 16, 2005

Chavez Takes Bush to Task on World Stage Over War in Iraq.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took President Bush to task in front of a global summit for waging war in Iraq without U.N. consent and won rousing applause for his critique.
The leftist leader told a U.N. summit on Thursday that fighting the war without U.N. authorization showed Washington did not respect the world body. He recommended moving U.N. headquarters to a country that has more regard for the organization.
"There were never weapons of mass destruction but Iraq was bombed, and over U.N. objections, (it was) occupied and continues being occupied," Chavez said. Bush alleged that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction but none have been found, shattering one of his main arguments for going to war.
Hugo, careful! You're pissing Pat off. And when he gets pissed, hurricanes follow - that direct line he has to God works!


Those of Us Who Know That America’s Worth Fighting for Have to Take It Back Now from Those Who Don’t

RFK, Jr. delivered a very moving speech to the Sierra Summit a few days ago.

This is the worst environmental president we’ve had in American history.
If you look at NRDC’s website you’ll see over 400 major environmental roll backs that are listed there that have been implemented or proposed by this administration over the past four years as part of a deliberate concerted effort to eviscerate 30 years of environmental law.
It’s a stealth attack.
The White House has used all kinds of ingenious machinations to try to conceal its radical agenda from the American people including Orwellian rhetoric. When they want to destroy the forests, they call it the Healthy Forest Act. When they wanted to destroy the air, they called it the Clear Skies Bill.
But most insidiously, they have put polluters in charge of virtually all the agencies that are supposed to protect Americans from pollution.
This is a long piece that touches on so many abuses of this White House - at the expense of citizens, nature - for the benefit of W's big business buddies.

RFK, Jr. closes with a great call to keep on fighting for Mother Earth, peace, justice....

I look at this White House and I ask myself—and this may be unfair—but I ask myself a lot of times, how did they get so many draft dodgers in one place? You know, the president, Dick Cheney five deferments; John Ashcroft, six deferments. Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Tom DeLay, all of their buddies. Dennis Hassert, Rush Limbaugh, well, you know, there are a lot of people who dodged the draft during the Vietnam War and I know a lot of them.
Most of them did it because they had moral qualms about that war.
But not these people.
These people love the war; they just wanted somebody else to fight it. And it occurs to me that the reason for that is that these are people who don’t understand the values that makes America worth fighting for. But America is worth fighting for and it’s worth dying for.
Those of us who know that it’s worth fighting for have to take it back now from those who don’t.



Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Dateline: Hollywood » Damn those Emmy officials. Thank you Reverend Robertson for setting the record straight - Ellen as the choice to host the Emmys pissed God off.

Robertson also noted that the last time Degeneres hosted the Emmys, in 2001, the September 11 terrorism attacks took place shortly before the ceremony.
“This is the second time in a row that God has invoked a disaster shortly before lesbian Ellen Degeneres hosted the Emmy Awards,” Robertson explained to his approximately one million viewers. “America is waiting for her to apologize for the death and destruction that her sexual deviance has brought onto this great nation.”
Pat. We know the evil Ellen won't apologize. EVIL IS AS EVIL DOES.

I know someone reading this is saying - Pat is insane. But wait - he does talk to God right. And why wouldn't God interfere with the Emmy host choice. I wonder who God would want to host the awards? Any ideas?


Beltway vs. Blogosphere

Howard Fineman has an article on MSNBC.com about a civil war in the Democratic party.

“It’s not a fight between liberals and conservatives,” Rosenberg told me the other day. “It’s between our ‘governing class’ here and activists everywhere else.”
In other words, it’s the Beltway versus the Blogosphere.
Fineman uses Cindy Sheehan as an example of the growing rift. Beltway folks avoided her while grassroots folks welcomed and cheered her.
It wasn’t so much the content of what she said; she was, after all, claiming mostly to be asking questions. It was the WAY she came to prominence—quickly, virally, seemingly from out of nowhere—and her stubbornly confrontational tone.
No. I think it was her message - End The War. That is what is lacking in the Democratic Party today - someone with the guts to say "End it now" (Not as some say, more troops, or end it in 18 months).
I am waiting to see which, if any, of the crop of likely Democratic challengers tries to make himself the avatar of the “emerging activist class.” Dean did it without even knowing he was doing it. I don’t think Cindy Sheehan is running. Who will it be? Unless somehow it turns out to be Hillary—who voted for the prewar resolution on Iraq and in other ways has tried to burnish her “moderate” credentials.
Who indeed? We need a Peace candidate.


U.S. says 'all options on table' to punish Syrian meddling in Iraq

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Threatening words directed at Syria.

The top U.S. diplomat in Iraq said Syria has become a hub for terrorists and that U.S. "patience is running out," but he refused to specify what consequences Damascus might face.
The U.S. warning comes as thousands of U.S. and Iraqi forces continued a major assault in the town of TalAfar near the Syrian border, that has left up to 200 insurgents dead.
Speaking to reporters at the State Department, U.S. ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad said: "Our patience is running out, the patience of Iraqis are running out. The time for decision ... has arrived for Damascus."
The top U.S. diplomat in Iraq said Syria has become a hub for terrorists and that U.S. "patience is running out," but he refused to specify what consequences Damascus might face.
The U.S. warning comes as thousands of U.S. and Iraqi forces continued a major assault in the town of TalAfar near the Syrian border, that has left up to 200 insurgents dead.
Speaking to reporters at the State Department, U.S. ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad said: "Our patience is running out, the patience of Iraqis are running out. The time for decision ... has arrived for Damascus."
Khalilzad refused to rule out either a military strike on Syria or an attempt to further punish Syria through the United Nations Security Council.
"All options are on the table," he warned.
Khalilzad refused to rule out either a military strike on Syria or an attempt to further punish Syria through the United Nations Security Council.
"All options are on the table," he warned.
The situation is heating up. We do not know how many forays our troops have made into Syria in hot pursuit - we may never know. So are we gearing up? What about troop strength - how can we start a new war? No worry there because of our Iraqi friends.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said in an interview yesterday that the United States could withdraw as many as 50,000 troops by the end of the year, declaring there are enough Iraqi forces trained and ready to begin assuming control in cities throughout the country.
How convenient. 50,000 to be redeployed - I wonder where? Is this to take our eyes off of the Katrina fiasco or is it a continuation of W's Napoleonic mission to take over the universe?


Change to Sheehan's visit

Monday, September 12, 2005

It looks like Cindy will be in New Haven on Sunday at 3. Change those calendars so you can be there to lend support - raise your voice to end this war.


Iraq insists Syria 'exporting destruction'

Rattling the sabres.

Iraq accused Syria of "exporting destruction" by allowing insurgents to sneak into the country, as thousands of American and Iraqi troops pressed on with a military offensive through Tal Afar near the Syrian border. Iraq also closed its border with Syria to stop what it calls foreign fighters entering the country, and Iraq's Red Crescent said up to 7,000 families were fleeing the fighting in Tal Afar.

Defense Minister Saadoun al-Doulaimi kept up the drumbeat of complaints against Syria for allegedly facilitating insurgent entry into Iraq.

The drumbeats sounding again. It is the "wheel of war". Iran, Syria, Iran....Take your pick. Katrina had to throw a little curve our way but, with our Iraqi friends helping out, we are back on track.

Long live the war machine.


American al Qaeda Member

Sunday, September 11, 2005

American al Qaeda Member Warns of Attacks. Okay so it may be legit. I don't know. But what gets me is

Only a few years ago, Adam Gadahn was a southern California teenager with interests in the environment and heavy metal music.
So now he is a "tree hugger" who listened to Ozzy. Damn those trees and Ozzy. We knew they would drive him to Osama.

Come on - are his environmental and music interests relevant?


Pentagon Revises Nuclear Strike Plan

The Pentagon wants to begin the end of the world.

The Pentagon has drafted a revised doctrine for the use of nuclear weapons that envisions commanders requesting presidential approval to use them to preempt an attack by a nation or a terrorist group using weapons of mass destruction. The draft also includes the option of using nuclear arms to destroy known enemy stockpiles of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.
The document, written by the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs staff but not yet finally approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, would update rules and procedures governing use of nuclear weapons to reflect a preemption strategy first announced by the Bush White House in December 2002. The strategy was outlined in more detail at the time in classified national security directives.
I wonder how fast Rummy will approve this? This is what he wants.

Are we cray? Are we led by crazies?


9/11 and Manipulation of the USA

Norman Solomon is author of "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death."

To observe the political manipulation of 9/11 after the towers collapsed was to witness a multidimensional power grab exercised largely via mass media. By the end of 2002, Didion concisely and incisively described what occurred: "We had seen, most importantly, the insistent use of September 11 to justify the reconception of America's correct role in the world as one of initiating and waging virtually perpetual war." Instead of, even in theory, being a war to end all wars, the new war for America would be a war to end peace.
Let us remember those who died on 9-11. Let us remember everyone (on all sides) who have suffered because of the "war on terror" and the war in Iraq. Let us remember the living also who suffer.
While military spending zooms upward, a downward slide continues for education, health care, housing, environmental protection, emergency preparedness and a wide array of other essentials. Across the United States, communities are suffering grim consequences. "Now it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war," Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1967. The same statement is profoundly true in 2005.


'War on Terror' Said to Cause U.S. Deaths as Bush Invokes 9/11

This article deals with the "War on Terror" and how it has impacted our lives.

The U.S. government's ''war on terror'' has cost many Americans their lives by diverting funds from basic services and health care, a prominent doctor and professor said in comments published to coincide with Sunday's fourth anniversary of the ''9/11'' terrorist attacks.
While 3,400 people died in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, some 5,200 fell on the same day to common diseases, said Erica Frank of the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.
A similar number of Americans have died from these causes--including cancer, heart disease, stroke, flu, and Alzheimer's disease--each day since, according to Frank, who based her figures on official estimates.
''It is certainly justifiable for governments to appropriate substantial funds to prevent potential future threats to our security. But public funding for current threats should not be compromised,'' she said.
New Orleans is a prime example. Funds for the leveees used for Iraq - National Guard busy in Iraq.

Speaking of the "war on terror", where is our Terror Alert color chart? Haven't seen those pretty colors in a while. No need to instill fear in us lately?


Peaceful Tomorrows 9/11/05 Statement

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Peaceful Tomorrows is an organization of family members who lost their lives 4 years ago. No one can dispute their right to speak out against war:

Four years after September 11th, it is still time to continue the process of healing, and to make America, and the rest of the world, a safer place. But safety cannot come at the cost of our own freedom and our democratic way of life. As we felt four years ago, and continue to feel today, we must not become the evil we deplore. Today, more Americans than ever before are speaking out against the direction our nation has taken since September 11th. We invite everyone to join this discussion, and ask that it be conducted with civility and respect. By honoring our Constitutional freedoms, our democratic traditions, and each other, we honor all of those who were killed on September 11th, 2001. Let their legacy be a better America and a safer world for everyon
The best way to honor the lives of those lost on 9-11 and those lost in Iraq is to end the war and begin to sow peace.


“The War in Iraq is Increasingly Unpopular and Must End”

Friday, September 09, 2005

Kucinich paints a very bright future for activism.

Fortunately, we have a democracy and on major questions, in the end, popular will determines policy. But it takes patience and persistence on the part of the activists and organizers.
I can tell you what the country will look like when those citizen activists have succeeded: Popular opposition will come from all walks of life: veterans, families of active duty servicemen and women, unions, religious groups. Conventional labels will not apply. Conservatives, libertarians, liberals and progressives will be calling for bringing the troops home. By the way, that is an important point: citizen organizers should not feel constrained by the conventional political labels. Is opposing the war a liberal or a conservative position? I couldn't say.
Let me tell you about my own efforts: I have been working with a fellow Democrat, Neil Abercrombie, and two of the most conservative Republicans in the Congress, Walter Jones and Ron Paul, to introduce the first bipartisan bill to begin the end of the war in Iraq. That bill is H.J. Res. 55, and I really believe that building support around it should be a legislative goal of the antiwar movement.
It is time for Dems and Prepugs to realize that they have to stand up against this war, stand up against this regime of liars and incompetents. Powell is slowly coming out with words of wisdom - I just wish he had more balls when he was Secy of State. Others must follow - for the good of our nation, citizens and Mother Earth.

See you in DC.


Call to Action

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Cindy Sheehan asks:"What Kind of Extremist Will You Be?" She writes that the death of her son, Casey, and Martin Luther King were both on April 4, but years apart. Before Casey's death Cindy admits that she was not vocal about the Iraq insanity. She was silent. As she points out, MLK stated: "We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people." Now she is in the forefront of calling for an end to the senseless war. And she challenges all of us to become active.

I encourage and challenge every citizen of the world to do one small thing for peace each day. Even if it is to nag your elected officials to demand the keys of our country back from the all but convicted felons, liars and self-proclaimed pro-life hypocrites who have them now.
If there ever was a time in our nation's history that required the passion and compassion of extremists, it is now: This very minute.
What kind of extremist will you be?
Elisa Salasin also writes about her own transformation in "My September 11th". She talks about her activities on 9-11 (shopping trip) and how she viewed life and the world before that day. She also talks about her newfound activism.
We are all wronged until we are able to collectively recognize and articulate the continuity of tragedy, which stretched long before September 11th, and lives on today in Iraq, in Niger, in the destroyed lives of New Orleans' Ninth Ward. This continuity of tragedy is fueled by Martin Luther King's interrelated triple evils of poverty, racism, and war, and by each of our blindness and indifference to our role in this poisonous relationship. In his Beyond Vietnam address, King spoke of the need to send a message to the world, one of longing, of hope, of solidarity, and commitment: "The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise, we must choose in this crucial moment of human history." This is a choice that requires we do more than bring our bodies to the streets as we did on February 15, 2003, and then retreat back within our own lives, back to our own form of shopping trips for baby clothes.
Not long ago I had a dream in which I was searching for an orb, a smooth, unfractured sphere - for a wholeness that I, and we, have not yet achieved. As I searched, I became increasingly fearful that I wouldn't be able to find this orb, or perhaps that if I did, I would not have the strength or courage to carry it home. For to find that orb, and hold it in our hands with awe and reverence, requires that we take action. We must bring our bodies to the streets on September 24, 2005, and then keep them there as we each strive to understand, to educate, and to express not only our outrage but also our love. The "time to break silence" is now.
So what to do? Talk to your neighbors. Write. Come out to support Cindy Sheehan (she will be in New Haven on Sunday, September 16 from 4 to 6). Get yourself out to D.C. on September 24. Scream for an end to the war. Wear a peace button. Just do something!

See you in New Haven and then D.C.


Regime of Incompentence

Mark Fiore offers up "Whoopsi Gras". A biting condemnation of W and his reaction/inaction to Katrina. The final piece of the animated movie offers the words of a parish president, Aaron Broussard, relaying some tragic news. Broussard's words should be repeated over and over until W and "Browny" get it.

In a related matter, it seems Bush-isms are catchy. First we had First Mama making an ass out of herself, now Laura calls the hurricane "Corrina"- not once but twice. Is there something in the drinking water? W has got to leave office for the good of the nation - before we all start talking like him.



Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The acronym now means: F*** 'EM All.

They are ready to bulldoze N.O. and bring in W's friends to build the next mega city. Not to help the populace silly - to help line those wallets of the fat cats.


The Compassionate Bush

Now we know where W gets his heart and compassion from. Of course from Mommy. Barbara's comments on Katrina:

"Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them," Mrs. Bush told American Public Media's "Marketplace" program, before returning to her multi-million dollar Houston home. On the tape of the interview, Mrs. Bush chuckles audibly as she observes just how great things are going for families that are separated from loved ones, people who have been forced to abandon their homes and the only community where they have ever lived, and parents who are explaining to children that their pets, their toys and in some cases their friends may be lost forever. Perhaps the former first lady was amusing herself with the notion that evacuees without bread could eat cake.
Barbara, your Houston home or the Crawford ranch would even be better. Think about it and make the offer.


What's Next, Mr. War President?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Paul Craig Roberts lays out the truth about "...President Bush and his insane government." He points out the shifting of funds from flood control to the war. He points out the deadly delay in aid to the area. And he points out the deadly impact Katrina will have on our economy.

It is a major deal, one that will affect Americans far beyond New Orleans. According to reports, 25 percent of our oil and gasoline comes through the New Orleans port and refineries, all out of commission. Needed goods cannot be imported, and exports will plummet, worsening an already disastrous deficit in the balance of trade.
The increased cost of gasoline will soak up consumers' disposable incomes, with dire effects on consumer spending. U.S. economic growth will be siphoned off into higher energy costs. American lives far from New Orleans will be adversely affected.
His closing line is probably the most frightening.
What disaster will next spring from Bush's incompetence?
But I disagree. I think the next disaster will not be caused by his incomepetence but by his poltical machine maneuvering to regain the spirit and heart of his supporters. A terrorist attack or an Iranian or Syrian adventure? Have to get the media to focus on something other than the incompetence of the government and the deaths in Iraq.

The two "perfect storms" of Sheehan and Katrina put W back into a corner. But a cornered rat is very dangerous - striking to get away. That is the disaster we have may have to look forward to - W striking out to break out of the corner and try to shift opinion and support back to his insane policies.


Dennis Kucinich on Katrina

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Kucinich was on the House floor speaking about the government's reaction (or lack of) to Katrina.

Dennis Kucinich said our "indifferent government is in a crisis of legitimacy" and charged that it ignores its basic responsibilities for the health and economic welfare of the American people. Kucinich warned that without fundamental changes in American government, last week's tragedy could multiply to "apocalyptic proportions."
The Nation Editor Katrina vanden Heuvel, in her blog, called Kucinich's speech "a powerful indictment of the Administration's disgraceful priorities."
He ended by saying:
"As bad as this catastrophe will prove to be, it is in fact only a warning. Our government must change its direction. It must become involved in making America a better place to live, a place where all may survive and thrive. It must get off the path of war and seek the path of peace, peace with the natural environment, peace with other nations, peace through a just economic system."
The message of peace - I wish W would listen.


Do You Know What it Means to Lose New Orleans?

The New York Times has Anne Rice commenting on New Orleans.

But to my country I want to say this: During this crisis you failed us. You looked down on us; you dismissed our victims; you dismissed us. You want our Jazz Fest, you want our Mardi Gras, you want our cooking and our music. Then when you saw us in real trouble, when you saw a tiny minority preying on the weak among us, you called us "Sin City," and turned your backs.

Well, we are a lot more than all that. And though we may seem the most exotic, the most atmospheric and, at times, the most downtrodden part of this land, we are still part of it. We are Americans. We are you.

Couldn't agree more. The use of the term "refugees", the delays, the media treatment, the "shoot to kill".... It was a disgrace.


A New Call

Saturday, September 03, 2005

U.S. Troops out of Iraq...
U.N. Troops in...
U.S. Troops into New Orleans to save lives!!


Kanye West Rips Bush at Hurricane Aid Show

Kanye West spoke from his heart.

Comedian Mike Myers was paired with West for a 90-second segment that began with Myers speaking of Katrina's devastation. Then, to Myers' evident surprise, West began a rant by saying, "I hate the way they portray us in the media. If you see a black family, it says they're looting. See a white family, it says they're looking for food."
While allowing that "the Red Cross is doing everything they can," West — who delivered an emotional outburst at the American Music Awards after he was snubbed for an award — declared that government authorities are intentionally dragging their feet on aid to the Gulf Coast. Without getting specific, he added, "They've given them permission to go down and shoot us."
After he stated, "George Bush doesn't care about black people," the camera cut away to comedian Chris Tucker.
He was right to express his opinion, but got it wrong. While W may in fact hate "black people", the situation in N.O. is because they are poor. It is more a case of class rather than race. Hell most did not have cars - they were not supporting W's friends by buying gasoline. W just hates that. If they can't support W's friends in high places - to hell with them!


The big disconnect on New Orleans

The big disconnect on New Orleans relates to the different versions of the stories out there. Who to believe: FEMA or one of those stuck on the interstate.

Sure W was all touchy-feely yesterday. He can pour on the compassion when he wants to (but not to Cindy Sheehan I guess). But the bottom line is that his words are not bringing about immediate actions. Even FOX News was screaming and yelling last night about the terrible situation. Geraldo Rivera - who I used to admire - shed a tear, screamed, yelled, referred to Willowbrook.

When FOX News begins questioning or railing against W's regime - you know he is in trouble.


Two "perfect" storms...poor Bush!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Molly Ivins points out that

One of the main reasons New Orleans is so vulnerable to hurricanes is the gradual disappearance of the wetlands on the Gulf Coast that once stood as a natural buffer between the city and storms coming in from the water. The disappearance of those wetlands does not have the name of a political party or a particular administration attached to it. No one wants to play, "The Democrats did it," or, "It's all Reagan's fault." Many environmentalists will tell you more than a century's interference with the natural flow of the Mississippi is the root cause of the problem, cutting off the movement of alluvial soil to the river's delta.
But in addition to long-range consequences of long-term policies like letting the Corps of Engineers try to build a better river than God, there are real short-term consequences, as well. It is a fact that the Clinton administration set some tough policies on wetlands, and it is a fact that the Bush administration repealed those policies - ordering federal agencies to stop protecting as many as 20 million acres of wetlands.
Last year, four environmental groups cooperated on a joint report showing the Bush administration's policies had allowed developers to drain thousands of acres of wetlands.
We all know that Mother Earth is in great danger because of our policies and attitudes. W is facing problems on so many fronts - the economy, energy policy, gas prices...Iraq. Ivins points out that
Unfortunately, the war in Iraq is directly related to the devastation left by the hurricane. About 35 percent of Louisiana's National Guard is now serving in Iraq, where four out of every 10 soldiers are guardsmen. Recruiting for the Guard is also down significantly because people are afraid of being sent to Iraq if they join, leaving the Guard even more short-handed.
The Louisiana National Guard also notes that dozens of its high-water vehicles, Humvees, refuelers and generators have also been sent abroad. (I hate to be picky, but why do they need high-water vehicles in Iraq?)
This, in turn, goes back to the original policy decision to go into Iraq without enough soldiers and the subsequent failure to admit that mistake and to rectify it by instituting a draft.
The levees of New Orleans, two of which are now broken and flooding the city, were also victims of Iraq war spending. Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, said on June 8, 2004, "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq."
Two perfect storms have shattered the levee of W's popular support. Those storms are Cindy (Sheehan) and Katrina. Both have shown the lack of compassion, the lack of planning, the greed, the lies on the part of this regime. It is time to feel for those impacted by war and Katrina - but it is also time to hold our officials accountable for their failures and crimes.


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