- Peace Garden: 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005

The Iraqi Vote

Monday, January 31, 2005


Photo from Herald Sun Posted by Hello

It is amazing that so many U.S. citizens have tears of "joy" in their eyes because of yesterday's voting. Their glee is very interesting. This sentiment was not so apparent after the Afghans held their "historic" election. I did not see reports of U.S. citizens painting their thumbnails ( a la Afghanistan's election process) as some have done (forefingers) after yesterday. So why the difference?

Before we talk differences, let's talk similarities:

- Both elections had calls of boycotts and proposed violence,

- Both were "historic" and

- Both elections really mean very little. Kharzai's power is overshadowed by the warlords, and Allawi is overshadowed by uber-warlord - the occupying U.S.

So why are so many driven to ecstasy over yesterday's election? Why is the media falling over with praise and calling it a great success? I think many hope that the election may signal the start of troop withdrawals (based on wishful thinking rather than the administration's voice). I also think that Afghanistan was always a side issue. Iraq has always been more important than Afghanistan - Iran, Iraq and Syria were on the neo-con's radar, not Afghanistan. The neo-cons were forced, by events, to deal with Afghanistan, the Taliban and Osama. But, happily for their agenda, the public's focus has been shifted from Osama to Iraq and the "insurgents".

So why the joy in Mudville with the blue ink fingers? Why are so many citizens so excited about Iraq's elections when they did not get excited about our November election or the "problems in our electoral process". It boils down to so many being led by a propoganda machine that is far and away the best history has ever see, My hat (if I wore one) would be tipped to W and regime for creating the glee.

So why push Iraq's vote? We know the joy will be short-lived as the danger for our troops will not be vanquished by this vote. Instead this glee and focus on a vote takes our eyes off the domestic issue of Social Security reform. It makes some "feel good" that we brought "democracy" or at least a voting process to Iraq. It tries to justify our entry into Iraq (an entry that began with lies of WMD's and never about bringing democracy to the Middle East). Double-speak is a talent this administration has. And they are very good at it. It is time for all citizens to question everything. Think for yourselves.

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US troops will never overcome insurgents, warns senior officer

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Telegraph | News has an article about Iraq and has the chilling words of a senior military official that "the insurgency in Iraq will last at least a decade and American troops alone will not be able to defeat it." Yeah great news. So forget about the "success" of the voting. The success of "democracy". When the civil war continues and as long as we are there, it can never be called a success. Rest assurted that the "elected" officials will never ask us to leave. We knew, from our crystal ball, who would win. We also know that we will not be asked to leave (the smoke filled room deal).

We must demand that W set a timeframe, not an Iraqi leader. And that timeframe of withdrawal nmust be NOW. We cannot wait the ten years this official foretells. 10 years of American lives and dollars funnelled from domestic issues is much too much to ask.

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Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do?

Bill McKibben writes about a Vermont meeting where the large national environmental groups were "attacked" by two writers who penned the "Death of Environmentalism" paper. Several confusing and disturbing things cross my mind. The most disturbing is the polling presented that this country is turning more and more to the right.

The statistics came from a data set on North American values collected by a Canadian polling firm over the last decade - and what they showed was that, quite simply, this country is deeply conservative and getting more so. The battle of values has been won, at least for the moment, and not by us. For instance, what percentage of Americans do you suppose would agree with the following statement: "The father of the family must be a master in his own house"?
1992: 42 percent of Americans agreed
1996: 44 percent
2000: 49 percent
2004: 52 percent
Across 105 different values - everything from "concern for appearance" and "joy of consumption" to "acceptance of violence" and "xenophobia" - they found that over the past decade, an already generally conservative country has been making a beeline in the direction of status and security. A decade ago, 30 percent of Americans thought men were naturally superior; now the number is 40 percent. No matter what you ask, be it whether "to relieve tension a little violence is OK," or "it's important that people admire things I own," the numbers show a nation almost inconceivable to your average card-carrying Sierra Clubber. A decade ago, 17 percent of Americans thought that pollution was necessary to preserve jobs; now the number is 29 percent. In 1992, 66 percent of Americans said they "discussed local problems with people in my community," a number that has since dropped to 39 percent.

The bright spot is that the writers are not all doom and gloom but look for environmentalists to "come together to reconstruct an alternative vision" that will work with today's mindset. A big but very important task.

Does this poll also sign the death notice for progressives? I don't believe so at all. Opinions are constantly evolving and will change again. As the writers see the opportunity to reconstruct for a new vision, the progressives must work together to not change their message but to quicken the inevitable change of the views and opinions of the public. The Iraq dilemma and our upcoming Iran/Syria adventures are slowly changing the dynamics. And as W pushes his domestic agenda, minds and hearts will be changed again. W has not won the hearts and minds in Iraq, he is not winning the hearts and minds of the majority of reality-based citizens (thank God).

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Cheney Criticized for Attire at Auschwitz Ceremony

Cheney and his attire really stood out at the Auschwitz ceremony. Okay, so maybe attire is not his forte. The real issue is, as I see it, his attire really reflects his lack of respect for others. He clearly stuck out like a sore thumb.

Okay, I know the right wingnuts will say that he had to stay warm and dry to protect his health. But come on now, couldn't he have looked a little better and fit in with the others. Carson, from Queer Eye, should have talked to him. Wear something more appropriate and quit shopping at WalMart.

"The vice president, however, was dressed in the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower...they had the unfortunate effect of suggesting he was more concerned with his own comfort than the reason for braving the cold at all."

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Sunni Arabs concerned over a 'Shiite crescent' of power in Mideast

Saturday, January 29, 2005

A Shiite crescent is now being talked about.

"Jordan’s King Abdullah II told The Washington Post in December that Iran was seeking to create “a Shiite crescent” in the Middle East that would include Iraq, Syria and Lebanon."
Hey, Abdullah, don't worry. W has your back. Those are the countries on W's hit list-no worries. It may take two or three years, but that "crescent" is not a worry. Now you, on the other hand, better think about converting as well. Remember, W has a problem figuring out friends and enemies. He has a problem understanding the differences in various religious sects also.

On a related note - I don't believe it!!! Bush states that the Iraq election won't bring instant peace. Wow, it took him until the day before the election to figure it out. A new record for him. But have no fear. Sure there are some tough roads ahead. Blood will continue to be spilled. But he has words of promise:

"He said Iraq was the latest in a string of countries to help spread democracy. “Over the past year, the world has seen successful elections in Afghanistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Georgia, Ukraine and the Palestinian territories,” the president said. “In countries across the broader Middle East, from Morocco to Bahrain, governments are enacting new reforms and increasing participation for their people.”

Doesn't it give you a warm and fuzzy....

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Peaceful means best way to spread freedom

Helen Thomas weighs in with her insights. Not much for me to say except, thanks Helen. You are absolutley correct when you write: "The president would do a huge favor to the United States, Iraq and the world by learning that he can spread more freedom by peaceful means rather than by force of arms. He would achieve his goal and save lives." If only he would listen.

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Self promotion

I think this is the first-ever post about a blog service - traffic generator. Oh well, this won't hurt a bit.

BlogAzoo joins with BlogClicker, BlogExplosion and others as an easy way to generate visitors to your site. Surf and earn credits. BlogAzoo just popped today. Jump on early and earn those credits.

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Our Next Attorney General?

Friday, January 28, 2005

Please contact your Senators and "demand' that they vote NO to Gonzales' nomination. How can we consider a man who gave the "green light" to torture and twists interpretations of laws and treaties as our next AG? How many Democrats will have the gumption to stand against this nomination? Let us hope that the majority rise up to make a stand to defend our civil liberties and the rights of all.

Be assured that a "no" vote is not, as the White House would have you believe, a political one. It is instead a vote against a nominee who had no regard for humanity or legality.

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Bush: U.S. troops will leave Iraq if asked

After reading this article I come away with the notion that we know ahead of time who is going to win on Sunday. "“I’ve heard the voices of the people that presumably will be in positions of responsibility after these elections..." sure sounds like W has ESP or a heads-up on the final vote.

Sure, why not. We are trying to teach Iraq how to run an election. Our country - where 30% of the population votes, where elections are contested, where elections are stolen, where the dead "vote early and often" - is the perfect teacher.

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Neocon Logic Makes India the Next Target for U.S. War

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Har Shukla writes a great tongue in cheek article. For any W lovers who read this article - it's sarcasm folks, don't get excited about invading India.

But the hysterical thing is that this article makes more sense than the reasons we invaded Iraq and are using to justify incursions into Iran and Syria. I hope the neocons don't get any new ideas.

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Trying to get Iran to shoot first

World Peace Herald has an article about the US Air Force playing "cat and mouse" games over Iran. Flying in Iranian air space hoping that defense systems turn on. That will give us the excuse to fire at the defense radar sites. It is also an opportunity to chart everything in Iran, getting ready for "d-day".Tease and tease, just like a schoolyard bully.

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Wake Up! Bush Is Serious

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Paul Craig Roberts brings the voters to the door of reality.

"The neoconservatives are Jacobins. The neocons are the greatest threat America has ever faced, and they have the reins of power. Americans need to wake up to this fact and stop indulging their macho "kick their Muslim butts" fantasies and their "end times" Rapture fantasies. The Bush administration is not establishing any democracies. It is starting a war that will last a generation. That is the neocon plan."

Why is it that all can't see through the smoke and mirrors? Herman Goerring was right when he said:

"It is always simply a matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
It sure is working here. So many lockstep with W, Rice, Gonzales, Cheney....at the price of our freedom, our lives and the lives of the world's citizens.

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Stop the War Coalition

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Dayton calls his vote against Rice a statement against 'lying'

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Minesota Senator Mark Dayton will vote against Condi. "I don't like to impugn anyone's integrity, but I really don't like being lied to repeatedly, flagrantly, intentionally," he said. "It's wrong. It's undemocratic, it's un-American, and it's dangerous. "And it is occurring far too frequently in this administration. And this Congress, this Senate must demand that it stop now."

I wish he were my Senator instead of Lieberman whose nose is stuck so far up W's rear it is disgusting. Joe has got to go.

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Sign the Petition


Sign the petition Posted by Hello

Click and sign this important petition:

“We, the undersigned citizens of the United States, affirm the international cooperation, universal humanitarian principles, and human rights law that arose from the ashes of World War II, thanks to the unprecedented national sacrifice and service of a generation of Americans. We call upon President George W. Bush to honor that legacy by rededicating our nation to the Geneva Conventions, the Charter of the United Nations, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a framework of law that protects the lives and dignity of civilians, prisoners of war, and wounded combatants – including the Iraqi people and our men and women serving today in Iraq.”
It's time to come back to the our senses. Come back to believing in the concept of justice and respect. Come back to leading the world through examples of decency. Lead with understanding and an open hand rather than a closed fist.

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"Should Anti-Bush Journalists Be Tried as "Spies?"

Monday, January 24, 2005

t r u t h o u t - William Norman Grigg writes an article about Hersh being accused, by Washington Times' Tony Blankley, of espionage. Sure hang Hersh for telling the truth and making W's nefarious plans public.

"Odd, isn't it, that Blankley's zeal to prosecute spies doesn't extend to the Plame case?" But that would mean the Administration's friend Bob Novak would be in trouble. Couldn't let that happen! Treason and the an accusation of espionage is only for the police-state's enemies and critics, not its friends and collaborators.

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Farewell Johnny Carson

Sunday, January 23, 2005

I know, Johnny Carson's passing away is not earth-shattering as far as politics or the peace movement. But I just had to comment on his passing. I grew up with Johnny as the host of the Tonight Show. Just last week I read an article that he was sending jokes to Letterman. I guess the publicist wanted to bring him to our attention as a comedian still working just before his passing. Goodbye from a fan.

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Afghan Women Still in Chains Under Karzai

Common Dreams has an article by Ramita Navai.

"It was three years ago that George Bush triumphantly announced: "The mothers and daughters of Afghanistan were captives in their own homes, forbidden from working or going to school - today women are free." However, most women still wear the all-encompassing burqa, through fear of attack and social pressure, a third of women in Kabul do not leave the house, forbidden from doing so by the male members of the family, and it is still almost impossible for women to get a divorce. It might be three years since the Taliban were toppled but age-old traditions and social attitudes are deeply engrained. "

Why is it we must look at everything around us through eyes and minds only interested in our particular culture? Shouldn't our State Department and foreign offices be aware of the cultures, tradition, mores, internal intricacies of a region before we try to install our form of "freedom and democracy?" Some ideas and traditions are not changed by bullets. Some traditions and allegiances are generations old, they cannot and will not be changed in three years by force or decree.

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Iran: The Next Strategic Target

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Amy Goodman (Democracy Now) has an interview with Seymour Hersh. A must read to learn more about our plans for Iran and the world.

When asked about the covert ops being run by the Pentagon Hersh said;

I think the president's got a lot of legal power here. The way the world shakes down is this, when it comes to covert secret operations abroad. If the CIA does it, under the law now they must tell the President. The President has to issue a finding approving it, and the Congress has to be told. The House and Senate intelligence committees have to be briefed. If the military does a covert operation, their interpretation of the law is simply that the president's rights as commander in chief trump any other requirement. That is, the military is there to prepare the battlefield with these operations. This is a military deal, totally. Nothing to do with intelligence. No need to inform anybody.
Pretty foxy, W!!

On the overall idea as to how an attack on Iran wil lead to "freedom":

I think their thinking is, that if we hit three or four dozen targets in the spring — late spring or summer, which I think is the tentative plan — that would be roughly at the time (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon is beginning his pullout of Gaza, and so the theory in the Pentagon (is) there would be more good feelings towards America in the Muslim world once this begins. And if Iraq can be stabilized, which they think it will — I don't know why, but they do — after the elections, if that gets stabilized, then the goal is you hit three or four targets quickly and cleanly and you be sure you're right and you have evidence to show that the Iranians are cheating more than they might — than the world [inaudible] knows, this could lead to the secular population, those millions of young people, etc., who don't like the clerical leadership, to overthrowing or beginning to agitate against the mullahs once again. And the only problem with that thinking, of course, is that it's pretty much unique to those group of civilians in the Pentagon; because almost everybody else I talked to, in and out of the government, were scathing in their critique of this, saying it's absolutely hogwash, that what's going to happen, of course, is that the White House and the Pentagon is ignoring the nationalism that exists, the enormous feelings of togetherness inside Iran and love for country
Wow, another bloody mess to look forward to. Thanks, W!!!

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We Want Our Revolution Now

We Want Our Revolution Now is a great piece written by Joyce Marcel. I especially love her closing lines:

"Remember, anything is possible. Nixon won a second term and was forced out of office two years later.

We need a revolution, and we need to start it now. Otherwise we'll all be meeting at the concentration camps, where our options will be much, much more limited."

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Abu Ghraib responsibility

This week's New York Times Book review has a cover article called "Atrocities In Plain Sight". It is a review by Andrew Sullivan of "The Abu Ghraib Investigations". The editors state that they rarely publish about government documents unless they "call out for comment." They also identify Sullivan as "a supporter of the war in Iraq... a stout defender of the Bush administration and a severe critic."

Concerning the torture in Abu Ghraib, Sullivan calls it a scandal (rightly so). And on the question of responsibility, he, this defender of the administration, writes:

There are various levels of accountability. But it seems unmistakable from these documents that decisions made by the president himself and the secretary of defense contributed to confusion, vagueness and disarray, which, in turn, led directly to abuse and torture. The president bears sole responsibility for ignoring Colin Powell's noble warnings.

Sullivan goes on to say that he does not imply that those who "unwittingly" made Abu Ghraib possible are as guilty as those who actually did the torture. Sullivan does not imply it, but I state it. Bring to justce not just the soldiers, but everyone involved - up to and including Alberto Gonzales, Rummy, Uncle Dick and W.

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Democrats and Iran: Look Who Supports Bush's Next War

Joshua Frank mentions Obama and Kerry as being warm to an Iranian program. "Recently, the Democratic Party's rising "progressive" star Barack Obama said he would favor "surgical" missile strikes against Iran." Frank also mentions Kerry, who I would expect this stance from based on his Iraq stance. But Dean is a concern. I was hoping something more from the Guv.

Well it looks like the Kucinch, Boxer and a handful of others are the true "progressives" interested in peace and diplomacy rather than war and threats.

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Iran is everyone's target

Friday, January 21, 2005

Dickie Cheney may have been trying to comfort us when he said, "Iran was at the top of the administration's list of world trouble spots and expressed concern that Israel "might well decide to act first" to eliminate any nuclear threat from Tehran."

Comforted? More like disturbed and pissed. His concern that Israel may attack first is very disturbing. He does not express concern that an attack may create a very large war in the region. No, he is ticked that they may attack before we do.

How dare they take away from our fun. Come on Uncle Dick, set Sharon straight. We are the only superpower in the world. We get first dibs. Hey, tell him that God told W that we have to attack first. That'll convince him.

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Queer Eye for the Straight Cartoon Guy

Queer Eye for the Straight Cartoon Guy talks about Spongebob. Poor Spongebob. Picked on again.

Don't these fundamentalists have anything more important to do? Shouldn't they be getting ready for the Endtimes. They are close, you know - W is seeing to that. Spend more time on feeding and clothing the poor rather than worrying about cartoon character sexual preferences, Howard Stern's radio broadcasts, or science classes teaching evolution.

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Bush: The Crusade Must Go On

Took the day off yesterday from blogging. It wasn't the greatest of days - W's inauguration. The Crusade Must Go On - by Jim Lobe is an article about the speech - the war cry! Well it looks like the neo-cons are happy.

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Inauguration 2005: It's Party Time for Fat Cats

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Nader has his say about tomorrow's extra-special inaugural events. It's "pull out all the stops" for W. Hey, he deserves it. remember during the debates he admitted that being prezident is "hard work, real hard work".

Go to JibJab for a great movie on W's Second Term. Hey, I didn't know he played banjo. You may have a hard time with the site. I think they are being overloaded with visitors, but it is worth the try and wait.

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Transcript of remarks between Boxer and Rice

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Transcript of remarks from today's hearing. Congratulations Senator Boxer. Now follow up with a vote against Condi.

Well, with you in the lead role, Dr. Rice, we went into Iraq. I want to read you a paragraph that best expresses my views, and ask my staff if they would hold this up -- and I believe the views of millions of Californians and Americans. It was written by one of the world's experts on terrorism, Peter Bergen, five months ago. He wrote: "What we have done in Iraq is what bin Laden could not have hoped for in his wildest dreams: We invaded an oil-rich Muslim nation in the heart of the Middle East, the very type of imperial adventure bin Laden has long predicted was the U.S.'s long-term goal in the region. We deposed the secular socialist Saddam, whom bin Laden has long despised, ignited Sunni and Shi'a fundamentalist fervor in Iraq, and have now provoked a defensive jihad that has galvanized jihad- minded Muslims around the world. It's hard to imagine a set of policies better designed to sabotage the war on terror." This conclusion was reiterated last Thursday by the National Intelligence Council, the CIA director's think tank, which released a report saying that Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next generation of professionalized terrorists.

Thank you Senator for questioning Condi's integrity- as she so coldly retorted. Continue to question her attitude, lies and loyalty (she should be loyal to the Nation, the people, the Constitution).

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Searching

Searching this world for sanity,
Looking for an oasis of peace,
Trying to find it.

So much violence in the air,
War, hatred, prejudice,
Disrespect of others, disrepect of others' culture,
How can there be peace when hatred is so rampant.

Maybe I expect too much of my fellow beings,
Maybe peace can never be achieved on earth,
Maybe the only peace can be achieved within.

So I will first find the peace within,
Then I will let it radiate out,
And hope that it will multiply.

But I can never stop dreaming,
I can never stop searching for peace on earth,
Maybe one day I will find it.

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Condi on the Carpet

I know I may not have this 100% correct since I didn't watch her "performance". But I heard a snippet where Condi implied that we are winning the war on terror by the measure of the terrorities they lost and do not hold.

Hello!!!! The supposed war on terror is not about territories, or capitals, or cities. Haven't we learned that lesson already. The war is for the hearts and minds of the populace, the hearts and minds of the youth. Faced with no future, faced by an occupying force, faced with oppression, the youth will gravitate towards the one that holds out some form of promise. Right now we are not making any promises to the masses. Our promises are to the leaders (who are seen as pawns of the U.S. or worse - murderers themselves - 6 prisoners shot to death by our current crowned Iraqi leader).

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4 more years - 4 more wars!!

Monday, January 17, 2005

First we had Afghanistan - Over? No not yet.

Then we had Iraq - Over? Are you kidding, this war, started with lies, is just getting going.

The next 4 wars:

1) Iran = Seymour Hirsch has the inside scoop,

2) Syria - the entry point for the terrorists,

3) Lebanon - might as well join in with Israel to battle Hezbollah,

4) Armaggedon - hey, we went this far. Let's bring Jesus down from the heavens, Right? It seems to be what is pushing so much of our actions lately.

Religious fanaticism is dangerous no matter the brand or belief system.

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14 defining characteristics of facism

Sunday, January 16, 2005

BUSHFLASH''s latest movie. Watch and you decide how many of the 14 characteristics the U.S. is exhibiting under W. 1, 4, or all 14? great flash movie but all too real.

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News Alert!!!

FOX News (that purveyor of truth and reality) has reported that the FBI (The hallmark of truth and reality) has warned that terrorists may use limos packed with bombs. Not just in DC during the inagural, but also Vegas, NY, LA....

Why a limo? Because the tinted windows and the presence of a limo may make someone think that a VIP is inside and security may ease up. My God, pure genious right?

Come on folks, the fear machine hasn't been running lately (pushed to the bask by the tsunami. Well it's back! Next up, iPods as weapons of terror.

Keep us in fear and worried about a faceless enemy as the true enemies of our freedom use the Patriot Act to take away rights of individuals.

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Overheard at the gym.....

Overheard conversation in the locker room: "Around Valentine's Day we begin our push towards Damascus. At the same time, Israel begins attacking Hezbollah camps and strongholds. We have to do this because Syria is acting as the pipeline for terrorists."

The Source?: I have no idea where the guy got this from.

Possible?: Definitely. This has been talked about for a while. Could this be the reason for the smoke and mirrors for the suppossed dissension in the regime's ranks?

Probable?:You betcha.

So maybe it is : Beware the ides of February. What a great Valentine's Day present.

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Saturday, January 15, 2005


The Countdown is on. Hey it's only 4 more years. How bad can it be? Oh yeah, that bad!!! Posted by Hello

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HONOR THE MEMORY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING

Short Flash Movie of MLK. We know what he thought about Nam - we know what he would be saying about today's war and world.

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Thanks to Kucinich and others....16 National Heroes

January 12, 2005

The Honorable George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500


Dear Mr. President,


We write to urge you to take immediate steps to begin the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.

Although the initial invasion of Iraq may have occurred with minimal troop deaths, the subsequent occupation of the country has been anything but successful. Already more than 1,300 American troops have lost their lives since the war began on March 19, 2003. At least 10,000 American troops have been injured as well, and it is impossible to know exactly how many thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians have been killed. Despite the enormity of the war’s casualties, the Iraqi insurgency continues to grow stronger with every passing day.

Iraq is no closer to becoming a stable democracy today than it was two years ago, as evidenced in recent weeks by the daily torrent of insurgent attacks on American forces and Iraqi civilian leaders. On January 4th, insurgents assassinated Ali Haidari, the governor of the Iraqi province that includes Baghdad. Just as devastating to the prospect of democracy, on December 30th, al-Jazeera satellite channel reported that all 700 electoral workers in Mosul quit their posts out of fear of being killed. Two weeks later, on January 10th, the entire 13-member electoral commission in the Anbar province, just west of Baghdad, resigned after being threatened by insurgents. If even Iraqi election officials fear for their lives, how can we possibly expect Iraqi citizens to feel safe going to the polls? How can we continue to put our own troops in harm’s way, the continued targets for Iraq’s thousands of malcontent insurgents?

It has become clear that the existence of more than 130,000 American troops stationed on Iraqi soil is infuriating to the Iraqi people - especially because Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction and did not have a connection to the tragic events of September 11th, 2001 or to the al Qaeda terrorist organization. Indeed, the very presence of Americans in Iraq is a rallying point for dissatisfied people in the Arab world. The events of the last two years have not only intensified the rage of the extremist Muslim terrorists, they have also ignited civil hostilities in Iraq that have made Americans and Iraqis substantially less safe. Therefore, by removing our troops from the country, we will remove the main focus of the insurgents’ rage.

Again, while it may be logistically difficult to immediately remove every American soldier, we urge you to take immediate action to begin the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. This is the only way to truly support our troops. Thank you for your consideration of this request.
Sincerely,

Representaives

Lynn Woolsey (CA-06)

Danny Davis (IL-07)

Lane Evans (IL-17)

Sam Farr (CA-17)

Raul Grijalva (AZ-07)

Alcee Hastings (FL-23)

Maurice Hinchey (NY-22)

Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL-02)

Dennis Kucinich (OH-10)

Barbara Lee (CA-09)

John Lewis (GA-05)

Jim McDermott (WA-07)

Grace Napolitano (CA-38)

Major Owens (NY-11)

Jose Serrano (NY-16)

Pete Stark (CA-13)

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Neoconservatives at Sea

Jim Lobe writes about a troubled neo-con camp. What is going on? There seems to be some dissension in the ranks - is someone getting to W and the regime? Or is this just smoke and mirrors?

In my opinion, things aren't coming up roses just yet, but I will never count them out. They thought and strategized an Iraq war for so long, it is clear they are steadfast in their resolve. Family squabbles always have a way of working themselves out - especially when outsiders try to "attack" the family.

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Give peace a chance

Friday, January 14, 2005

Give Peace A Chance By Lennon/McCartney

Two, one two three four

Ev'rybody's talking about

Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism

This-ism, that-ism, ism, ism, ism.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

Com'n

Ev'rybody's talking about ministers, Sinister, Banister.

And canisters, Bishops, Fishops, Rabbis, and Pop eyes, Bye bye, bye byes.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

Let me tell you now

Revolution, evolution, masterbation, flagellation, regulation, integrations, meditations, United Nations.

Congratulations.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

Ev'rybody's talking about John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary, Tommy Smothers, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Cooper, Derek Taylor, Norman Mailer, Alan Ginsberg, Hare Krishna , Hare Krishna, Hare Hare Krishna.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

Written years ago but so appropriate today.

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Iraq New Terror Breeding Ground

Washington Post reports on the National Intelligence Council's assessment of Iraq and terrorism today. "Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next generation of "professionalized" terrorists..."

As for the lies about Al-Qaeda and Saddam, the report states "Osama bin Laden rejected the idea of forming an alliance with Hussein and viewed him as an enemy of the jihadist movement because the Iraqi leader rejected radical Islamic ideals and ran a secular government." Well another lie laid to rest.

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Jocks?

Wonkette gets a thumbs-up for bringing our attention to the following from the NY Times:

Roland W. Betts and George W. Bush have been needling each other for more than 40 years, ever since the day they met as remarkably similar freshmen at Yale. . . Both came from families that stretched generations back into the aristocratic precincts of the East Coast, both had sharp senses of humor, both loved sports and jocks.

Okay. So what definition are we going to use? And if the definition is "jockstrap" - used or unused? size? ...

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I love the internets and I.T.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

"We need to apply 21st-century information technology to the health care field. We need to have our medical records put on the I.T."—Our President at Collinsville, Ill., Jan. 5, 2005
Thanks W for validating my vote in November.

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US troops flee to Canada to avoid service in Iraq

US troops are moving to Canada. That's right, no draft dodging, just dodging a false war.

Pte Brandon Hughey, 19, who deserted from the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, said that he had volunteered because the army offered to pay his college fees. He began training soon after the invasion of Iraq but became disillusioned when no weapons of mass destruction were found. "I had been willing to die to make America safe," he said. "I found out, basically, that they found no weapons of mass destruction and the claim that they made about ties to al-Qaeda was coming up short. It made me angry. I felt our lives as soldiers were being thrown away."

What will W and Rummy do if they call for war and the troops don't show up?

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NEWS FLASH!!!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The search for WMDs in Iraq is over. None were found.

What a surprise. It took us this long to figure that out. Many of us saw through the WMD lies, the Sadaam-Al Qaeda link lies.....

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U.S. mulls strikes on Syria

United Press International reports on this frightening possibility. There is talk that the attacks would be by Kurdis fighters - the sanctioned "hit squads". That still doesn't make it better.

Well as I have been saying all along - it's Iran or Syria. I was banking on Iran to be the first target. Hey, but this all may be a ruse. Maybe the next nation to attack is ... hell let's atatck Iraq again - we didn't get it right the first time W.

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A Democratic Blueprint for America's Future

I love this speech by Ted Kennedy. A great vision for America.

"In the face of their tactics, we cannot move our party or our nation forward under pale colors and timid voices. We cannot become Republican clones. If we do, we will lose again, and deserve to lose. As I have said on other occasions, the last thing this country needs is two Republican parties."

Very good insights into the problems and ways to combat the ills facing us. A progressive vision that respects all, works for all, includes all. Bravo Ted!

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PDA Supports Dean for DNC Chair

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Progressive Democrats of America endorses Dean. Not any need to comment but to say : Go Governor Dean!!!

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Washington rumbles with questions on Iraq exit

Dissenting voices are being raised from corners you wouldn't expect. Even Bob Grant (radio talk show nut) is now calling for a timetable for pull-out - a quick timetable. But don't think that the political world as we know it is crashing around us. Grant goes on to say that we should never start a war if we intend to pursue it in a politically-correct frame of mind. Grant would have destroyed the Sunni's by detonating neutron bombs. You know the ones that kill people but save buildings and infrastructure. He feels that if we don't intend to destroy the "enemy" we should not risk our troops.

I don't agree with his call for blood, but I welcome his call for pull-out. Coming from complete opposites but still saying - pull our troops out now.

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Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" Voted US Viewers' Favorite Movie of 2004

Monday, January 10, 2005

Congratulations Michael. Looking forward to the sequel and the next film on the pharmaceutical industry. Great photo of MM. One of the wires had an article about a voting controversy. Not for "The Passion" - oh no. But for "F 911". Hey MM accuses the nuts of stealing the November election, they accuse MM of stealing the "People's Choice". Of course we all know which election/vote was more important, right? That's right - "The People's Choice" Hurrah!!!! The November election just may have determined the future of mankind - how boring.

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U.S. Rep. Coble says Iraq pullout should be considered

AP Wire reports that 10-term Rep. Coble, supporter of W, is ready to pull the troops out. Watching the talking head shows yesterday I walked away with the notion that the regime may in fact be hatching something. A lot of talk that after the elections we hand over the reins and begin the pull-out. Interesting thought - too good too be true. But something is brewing - the question is - What could it be?

By the way, Kucinich gets a pat on the back in this article. Where was the press when he was running?

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I'm for rent!!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

$240,000 for some ranting and raving to support No Child Left Behind. Armstong Williams took the money because he believed in the program.

W. Give me $240,000 and I'll "believe" in a program too. How does the little guy get in on ths action? Let's see, what would I support for $240K. - I can always support W's.... How about supporting .... Well as far as Iraq goes I can support....Hey W. How about just giving me $240K for the fun of it.

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Assassins!!!

U.S. Special Forces are reportedly training para-miltary forces(Kurdish and Shiite). The reason, let these "death squads" roam Iraq, Syria and Iran and kill "insurgents". A great way to win the hearts and minds of ....well the only hearts and minds we will win over are the "death squad" personnel. I guess our solution to fighting terror is with terror.

Is killing justified when it is in the name of democracy? Is terrorism acceptable if the proposed outcome is equality and justice? Do the ends ever justify the means? Does one defeat violence with more violence?

I know, the answers are obvious (at least to reasonable minds). I hope W and regime would see and understand the answer.

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Billionaire Urges Bush to Give Inaugural Funds to Tsunami Survivors

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Mark Cuban , owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has a great idea but one that would never be accepted. Isaac had posted a comment about the things that the ball money could be used for. If only W would listen.

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Al-Qaeda's unfinished work

Asia Times Online has a very good article - touching on the history and goals of Al-Qaeda.

Do we really think we can "destroy" Al-Qaeda? Is it that easy? W claims that we captured 75% of the organization's leaders - isn't it clear that there are others stepping up to take their place (if we really believe his numbers)?

Pay special attention to the goals of Al-Qaeda. We are not the traget, we are simply a pawn in the game of Mid East government change. And as we continue our Mid east policy, and continue in Iraq and threaten Iran and Syria, we are creating a worsening situation for us and a much better situation for Al-Qaeda. With our help they will come closer and closer to their goals.

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Wolfowitz Says He Will Keep Job At Pentagon

Washington Post states that Paul Wolfowitz will stay as a driving force in W's regime. Well thank God! What would we do without you Paul. You are an integral part of the equation. Without your vision and voice we would not be where we are now. For the End Times, Paul - for the End Times.

Really think about it, where else could he go? Who would want him as an employee or, even worse, a boss?

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Meanwhile, Back in Iraq...

Friday, January 07, 2005

Our thoughts have been with those in South Asia. 150,000 lost... if not more. Devastation...villages wiped out...villages saved that took heed of nature's warning. Amazing.

Our eyes and ears were on Senator Boxer and the Congress as the Ohio debacle was brought to the floor. Sure W won, but at least those that watch C-Span saw and heard impassioned and true Americans fighting for our voting rights.

Meanwhile, Back in Iraq... it's the SOS. Still the quagmire...still more deaths...still more bombs...still no sign of ending. Now with the election drawing closer, the "experts" are predicting the worst battles/conflicts ever. Wow, encouraging words huh?

”As a result of its initial miscalculations, misdirected planning, and inadequate preparation, Washington has lost the Iraqi people's confidence and consent, and it is unlikely to win them back.." So what the hell are we still doing there?

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Final Vote Results for Roll Call 7

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The "Thanks for having balls" award goes to 31 U.S. Representatives and Senator Barbara Boxer. Sure the election results would not be overturned, but at least these brave souls had the guts to stand up and say that something was fishy in Ohio.

Thumbs down to ABC-TV News coverage of this vote (hardly a mention). At least NBC-TV News had an In-Depth analysis of the vote, so that get a thumbs up. (Sorry, no thumbs for any other station - I only have one TV to scan the news world).

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Gonzales Now Suddenly Supports Geneva

T r u t h o u t has the latest on Gonzales - the repentant torturer. He is now an angelic humanitarian. It was disgusting listening to the hearing. Sure there were some pointed questions but I felt like I was witnessing a simple slap on the wrist before the Senate lets this guy run roughshod over us. Do we really believe that he has a change of heart as he is trying to get to this very important governmental post?

Bravo to the committee that came after Judge "hang 'em high" (in opposition to the nomination).

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Stand Up, Senator

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

William Rivers Pitt has a good article on tomorrow's congressional agenda. It clearly states why some/one Senator must stand with Rep. Conyers to contest the Ohio vote. I know it won't be my Senator Joey "Next stop: Syria and Iran" Lieberman.

Happily there is a rumor that Senator Barbara Boxer will join Conyers. One Senator is all it takes to debate this travesty. Come on Senator Boxer, please.

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Welcome to The Republic of Peace Garden

Found an interesting role-playing game site called Nation States. Based on a book called "Jennifer Government", you create a nation and rule it. You create its name, choose its currency, its flag, and national animal. It's fashioned after your own ideals and choices. My country "The Republic of Peace Garden" was just settled today.What follows is a synopsis generated by the game.

The Republic of Peace Garden is a tiny, safe nation, renowned for its absence of drug laws. Its compassionate, intelligent population of 5 million enjoy extensive civil rights and enjoy a level of social equality free from the usual accompanying government corruption. The government -- a sprawling, bureaucracy-choked, liberal, socially-minded morass -- devotes most of its attentions to Social Welfare, with areas such as Law & Order and Defence receiving almost no funds by comparison. The average income tax rate is 46%, but much higher for the wealthy. A very small private sector is dominated by the Arms Manufacturing industry. Crime is well under control. Peace Garden's national animal is the lamb, which frolics freely in the nation's many lush forests, and its currency is the euro.

So welcome to my land. I know, too much bureacracy and "Arms manufacturing" but otherwise it really does fit into my choices. Oh well, in the days to come I will see if my country survives and develops.

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Peace Meditation - Thich Nhat Hanh

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Beliefnet has a beautiful "peace meditation" based on the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh. Click on the "click here to begin" for the audio and video presentation. To work and promote peace we must be at peace within ourselves.

Something to consider as we contemplate Iraq, Afghanistan, Dafur, South Asia ...

W. Something for you to consider as well. To be a "peace" president (as opposed to your self-stated war prezident) you must understand the "oneness of all life". All life, W, not just the ones you hang around with. beings with two legs, with four legs, all creeds, all races, all nations, all species....

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Iraq battling more than 200,000 insurgents

Monday, January 03, 2005

Iraq's intelligence chief estimates are above the estimates the U.S. has been spouting. "Asked if the insurgents were winning, Shahwani answered: 'I would say they aren't losing.'"

Listening to Sean Hannity on the ride home today, he thinks we are doing GREAT in Iraq. The number of insurgents is very low in his view. The vast majority of Iraqis love us - love our occupying forces.

Speaking of Hannity, my Connecticut senator (Joe Lieberman) was on hannity asking for Sean's support. Joey was even more repug and hawkish today than he was in the debates. It is clear that Joe Must Go!!!

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Bush Administration Faces Record Afghan Poppy Crop

t r u t h o u t has an article from the LA Times that talks of the economic success of Afghanistan. Yes, the economy is booming - pretty poppies all in a row. The poppy farmers are really happy to see us. They didn't have such good luck under the Taliban.

So how does the government propose to combat the opium trade. Well we are thinking about our soldiers becoming in-the-field certified DEA agents. Karzai wants to spray the fields with "poison/herbicides." Interesting dilema. So we kicked out the Taliban so the drug warlords could come back? Mission accomplished?

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Jordanian authorities ban protest by US anti-war group

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Yahoo! News reports that anti-war (pro-peace) demonstrations in Jordan have been banned. Well I guess the King of Jordan has replaced Vlad Putin as W's best friend.

The groups included families of U.S. service personnel killed. A computer-generated signature letter from Rummy and now Jordan saying no to a candle-vigil.

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A state of chaos

Guardian Unlimited reports that even as there is chaos in the Middle East, chaos in South Asia; there is also chaos in the West Wing. The chaos in DC may have future repercussions for Iraq, Iran, Syria, South Asia.... There is a clearing of the halls going on. We saw it with the cabinet, but that is many times expected in a second term. But we are seeing it in the lower ranks as well. This coupled by Dobson's recent remarks really set the stage for "war at home". The interesting thing is that I feel this war will not be Dem vs. Repug's, liberal vs. conservative, Red State vs. Blue State. The neocons and Christian fanatics are really set to push their agenda of bringing the Second Coming to fruition. So the war wil be these nut-cases vs. reality based individuals (of all political affiliations, creeds, races, states....).

Truth versus fantasy - which side are you on?

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2004: Things to Forget

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Arianna Huffington posts some things of 2004 that she would like to forget. Besides some personal things, I would also like to forget:

- The "Passion of Christ". Come on it was a movie. If it doesn't win the Oscar or Golden Globe the world won't end (will it?),

- Ann Coulter's insensitive and sub-human remarks about killing and/or converting all Muslims,

- Kerry trying to out-hawk W as he repeats over and over again his call "to kill all the terrorists".

Things I want to remember:

- The excitement and hope we all felt in Dean and Kucinich's campaign,

- Sharpton's great speeches during the debates but especially during the Dem convention,

And we must always remember and honor:

- all lives, on all sides, lost in all wars,

- all lives lost in the tsuami and every natural disaster of 2004,

- Mother Earth.

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