- Peace Garden: 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006

Tonight's State of the Union...

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Just enough time to stop off at the liquor store before I turn on our King's address. Have to be somewhat numb and in a slight coma to survive tonight's words of wisdom.

The task ahead: a shot for every smirk, a shot for every word flub and a shot for every time W talks about how hard it is to be Prezident. I hope I can survive.

Enjoy the show.

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Robert Cray's "Twenty"

Monday, January 30, 2006

Click and watch a very moving video from Robert Cray.

Last November 1, as the sun rose over a farm near Dover, New Hampshire the Eyes Wide Open crew once again began laying out more than two thousand pairs of boots representing the U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq. But this was not a standard stop on the nation-wide tour of AFSC’s acclaimed anti-war exhibit.
The boots were being prepared to play a role in a music video for blues musician Robert Cray’s poignant new song, “Twenty”, telling the story of a young soldier, who questions his mission in Iraq, but is killed before his deployment is up.
The video, directed by Robert Cray’s wife, Susan Turner-Cray stars Aidan Delgado, a 23-year-old Iraq-war veteran who served in Nasiriyah and at Abu Ghraib prison, before securing conscientious objector status and returning to the U.S. David Goodman, one of the Eyes Wide Open tour managers, has a cameo role in the video as a Vietnam Veteran.
Moving, poignant...I wish this would get play on the music video channels.

May become the song of this "war."

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Tom Hayden

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Tom Hayden spoke recently at an Out of Iraq meeting.

Their (our fearless leader's) agenda seems to resemble that of the Johnson and Nixon Administrations of old, which was, according to the Pentagon Papers, to remove “the issue of Vietnam from domestic political contention.” Back in those days, the US stopped bombing North Vietnam above the tentieth parallel “while dropping a higher total tonnage that before”. [see Ellsberg, p. 227]
And so the Bush Administration is creating credible rumors of significant though partial troop withdrawals, while intensifying the air war and use of death squads against the Iraqis who resist the occupation. They hope to take the war off television, and change the color of the casualties.
Our challenge is to resist these attempts to render the war invisible. We do that by applying people pressure to the pillars of the power and policy.
A while later Hayden reported on suggestions he heard during a recent trip to Jordan.
- the immediate inclusion of opposition voices in the discussion of how to reform the constitution.
- A US timetable for troop withdrawals, as recently announced by the Arab League conference in Cairo.
- Formation of a transitional caretaker government including the opposition as well as the current parties in power.
- A deadline for new and inclusive elections to an independent parliament.
- A peacekeeping force, under the UN and Arab League, composed of troops from nations not involved in the occupation – from France and Germany to Pakistan and Algeria.
- Renewed economic reconstruction under Iraqi sovereignty, instead of the neo-liberal elimination of all subsidies for necessities. This venture would include contracts with qualified American contractors who have supported the occupation. We don’t want to drink our oil, the Iraqis said, we want to sell it on the market.
- Restoration of most, not all, of the former Iraqi army to insure stability and protection in Sunni areas and parts of Baghdad.
My source made two other significant points. The first was that the majority of insurgent factions recognize the existence of the US as a superpower with economic interests and a stake in an orderly honorable troop withdrawal. The second was that once the end of occupation is negotiated politically, the al-Zarqawi group of foreign fighters will shrink and disappear, or be defeated within six months.
While in Amman, I also spoke with Prince Hassan, who said it is “time to change course” through a “sustained process of dialogue and negotiations to turn the rhetoric of Cairo into reality.”
So far the Administration has resisted these peace overtures, and the Democratic leadership has ignored them.
But the majority of the American people are starting to have their voices heard. Politicians - take heed or move aside.

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Two "War?" Fronts

Iran

says it will launch medium-range missiles if attacked, and accused Britain and the United States of arming rebels in its south, as international pressure on Tehran over its nuclear plans grow. "If we come under a military attack, we will respond with our very effective missile defence," Yahya Rahim Safavi, commander in chief of the Revolutionary Guard, told state television.
While at the same time, North Korea
warned of nuclear war Saturday and vowed to strengthen its deterrent forces as it demanded that Washington show evidence backing its allegation that the communist regime is counterfeiting U.S. money. "Dark clouds of a nuclear war are hanging low over the Korean Peninsula," the North's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a commentary carried by state-run Korean Central News Agency. "The ever-more frantic moves of the U.S. to ignite a new war against (North Korea) would only compel it ... to bolster its deterrent for self-defense in every way."
Boy, our foreign policy wonks are doing great.

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ABC News' Bob Woodruff and Cameraman Injured in Iraq

Bob Woodruff and Cameraman Injured in Iraq. Seems he was hit by shrapnel. This will clearly increase the coverage of the violence. More people have to realize that it is not the burgeoning Eden our leaders say.

Withdraw!

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The race is on (I hope)...

Ned Lamont for Senator from CT bumper sticker from CafePress.

Wonder if Lieberman will have his buddy W campaigning for him?

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The basis of this Nation...

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

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The Secret of the Universe...

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Looking for the ultimate truth? Looking for the secret to the universe. Then tune in to Current TV and watch "the gods must be bowling."

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'L'etat, C'est Moi'

Helen Thomas says it best:

We are now learning what President Bush considers to be the limits of his power—nothing.
It all smacks of France's Louis XIV's famous dictum: "L'etat, c'est moi"— "I am the state."

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BuzzFlash Editorial:

The Democratic Leadership in the Senate May Not Fight for the Constitution, But We Will.

For 5 years, we have taken some potshots at some people in the Democratic Party, as we should. But, generally, we stood in support of the Dem Party leadership because when you have had a choice between a party that -- in general -- claims to work for the common good and -- on the other hand -- a dictatorship run by incompetent law-breaking, torturing elitists, you go with the former...
We have been betrayed by our own party...
From now on, our first and only priorities are citizen patriots who stand up for the Constitution, Democracy, Voting Rights, Justice, Honesty, Accountabilty -- Winning...
We say to the Democratic Congressional leadership, "Enough!"
The time for excuses is over. If the Democratic leadership wants a battle, they got one -- from the patriots of America.
The Constitution comes first. We'll fight through the entrenched Washington Dems if we have to.
We believe in the Spirit of 1776 and the legacy of the American Revolution.
We believe it's worth battling for.
When will the Dems listen? Kudos to BuzzFlash. I agree that the stakes are too high for party politics. The people, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the environment and peace are more important than party.

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The Truth About the State of our Union

The Truth About the State of our Union is from Dennis Kucinich.

The facts are clear. Our economy is struggling and leaving tens of millions of Americans behind. According to the non-partisan National Journal, since President Bush first stood before Congress and the nation in 2001, the median income in this country has decreased, the jobless rate has jumped from 3.9% to 4.9% and the number of families living in poverty has increased from 8.7% to 10.2%. Our trade deficit has doubled. Inflation has gone up. Personal bankruptcies have gone up. Consumer debt has gone up. College tuition has gone up. And, the price of gas has gone up. All the while, this Administration has turned a $128 billion federal budget surplus into a $319 billion deficit.
Today, almost 6 million more Americans do not have any health insurance than when President Bush took office. In total, over 45.5 million Americans, or over 15% of our total population, have no health care coverage at all.
What the President has in store for his message this year is not known yet. But, we do know the President Bush will speak in glowing terms about the state of our union. The truth is the state of our union is in great peril. This Administration is conducting a war with no end in Iraq, illegally spying on Americans at home, overseeing an economy that is increasingly leaving more and more Americans behind and abandoning Gulf in their hour of great need.
If recent history is any precedent, then next week we should see more of the same old dance around reality that has been the hallmark of President Bush's annual address.
Wouldn't it be great to hear W speak the truth for once. Tell us the truth about Iraq/Iran, Abramoff, Katrina, wiretaps, Alito (and why he was chosen), plans for a theocractic monarchy, the growing chasm between the rich and the poor, the devastation our energy policies are having on our environment, the truth about the Patriot Act...

IT'LL NEVER HAPPEN!

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Bush claims authority

Bush claims authority on war, eavesdropping...

President Bush yesterday said he has exclusive authority over a broad range of issues -- including forbidding White House officials to testify before Congress about the government's Hurricane Katrina response and ordering warrantless electronic surveillance within the United States.
"Conducting war is a responsibility in the executive branch, not the legislative branch," the president said at a 46-minute press conference. "Most presidents believe that during a time of war that we can use our authorities under the Constitution to make decisions necessary to protect us."
Asked whether he would support efforts in Congress to spell out his authority to continue the eavesdropping program, Mr. Bush cited what he said was the extreme secrecy of the operation, first revealed by the New York Times last month. "It's important for people to understand that this program is so sensitive and so important that if information gets out to how we run it or how we operate it, it'll help the enemy," he said.
Asked why his administration has refused to allow senior staff, including his former FEMA director, Michael Brown, "to testify, to interview or talk with congressional leaders" about the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Bush cited his executive authority.
"If people give me advice and they're forced to disclose that advice, it means the next time an issue comes up I might not be able to get unvarnished advice from my advisers," he said. "It will have a chilling effect on future advisers if the precedent is such that when they give me advice that it's going to be subject to scrutiny."
Let's see, it's bad that we found out he was breaking the law - it helps the enemy. One thing for sure, it proves to so many that some are corrupt.

Let's see - he wants to make sure he continues to get "unvarnished advise." How about worrying about getting the right advice - based on facts.

You are not the Supreme Leader. You job is to uphold and protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. That is your job. Do it. And if you are caught not doing it - do not blame the accuser - do not hide behind yor favorite screen: fear.

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An Inconvenient Truth

Friday, January 27, 2006

Al Gore on the big screen. Hope it comes around here. From the Sundance website:

Extreme poverty, intractable wars, virulent disease, hatred of all stripes–these are a few of the scourges we live with today. And yet global climate change trumps them all; for if it's not addressed, all life on the planet will be devastated, regardless of geography, class, race, or creed. The Inconvenient Truth is the gripping story of former Vice President Al Gore, who became interested in this startling issue while at college 30 years ago, and now devotes his life to reversing global warming. Traveling the world, he has built a visually mesmerizing presentation designed to disabuse doubters of the notion that climate change is debatable. The heart of Davis Guggenheim's film is this elegant multimedia lecture itself, where Gore indisputably correlates CO2 emissions with exponentially rising temperatures, already responsible for dramatic climactic shifts like ice-cap melting, drought, and rising sea levels. Interwoven with this riveting public address are intimate moments revealing the poetic, searching side of Gore as he struggles to define his purpose in the aftermath of the 2000 election. This is activist cinema at its very best, for it serves to popularize and demythologize a problem long obscured by those most threatened by the solution. With humor and searing intelligence, Gore outlines crucial steps we must take to avert impending disaster and proves that inaction is no longer an option–in fact, it's immoral.
Looking forward to seeing this.

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Circumvent...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A verb meaning to go around; bypass: to avoid or get around by artful maneuvering.

So let's get this straight. W asks the lawyers if he can spy on us with FISA in place. The answer is: NO. So he does it anyway saying that the law is 18 years old and times have changed.

Isn't that circumventing the law? Isn't that breaking the law? If the law was outdated shouldn't the law be changed rather than ignored?

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YouTube

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

George W. Bush Picks His Nose and comes up with a doozy. The film is a little dated but it still is a great reality-film of our beloved leader.

Also take a look at Deconstructing George Bush. Great film on his wiretap escapades speech broken down and shown in the light of truth!

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Did you ever notice...

W, in yesterday's speech, called his illegal wiretaps a "Terrorist Surveillance Program". TSP - who would be against that? W

A clever use of terms. Clever double-speak, smoke and mirrors - oh hell - plain bullshit.

In hearing his speech patterns, when he gets to a phrase or concept that is "out there" or contrived - he hesitates, seems to stall, has an imperceptible giggle and comes out with a smirk. Boy when he came to TSP - that was some big stall, a big chuckle and a huge smirk.

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A follow-up...

Monday, January 23, 2006

A few days ago I posted about nuclear power and Lovelock's view that nuclear energy should be used. Last night on "West Wing" the "threat" side of the question was dramatized. Radioactive steam, mass exodus, death of workers...But as Lovelock notes:

We must stop fretting over the minute statistical risks of cancer from chemicals or radiation. Nearly one third of us will die of cancer anyway, mainly because we breathe air laden with that all pervasive carcinogen, oxygen.
It still is very hard to overlook the threat, to overlook the cancers, to overlook the sufferings, to overlook the pain...

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United States Ranks 28th on Environment

NY Times reports

A pilot nation-by-nation study of environmental performance shows that just six nations - led by New Zealand, followed by five from Northern Europe - have achieved 85 percent or better success in meeting a set of critical environmental goals ranging from clean drinking water and low ozone levels to sustainable fisheries and low greenhouse gas emissions. The study, jointly produced by Yale and Columbia Universities, ranked the United States 28th over all, behind most of Western Europe, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Costa Rica and Chile, but ahead of Russia and South Korea.
The bottom half of the rankings is largely filled with the countries of Africa and Central and South Asia. Pakistan and India both rank among the 20 lowest-scoring countries, with overall success rates of 41.1 percent and 47.7 percent, respectively.
Something to be proud of? Something besides democracy to export?

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Democrats Denounce Bush's Human Pesticide Testing Plan

Bush's Human Pesticide Testing Plan is outlandish. Where are the other media outlets?

Today, Senator Barbara Boxer, Rep. Henry A. Waxman, and Rep. Hilda L. Solis criticized a Bush Administration plan to promote pesticide experimentation upon humans. The plan, contained in a final draft rule, was leaked to the legislators by a concerned Administration official who requested that the original copy of the plan not be duplicated in its entirety and widely distributed out of concern for anonymity. According to the EPA's communications plan, the Administration will officially announce the pesticide experimentation plan later this week as a final regulation.
In August 2005, Congress enacted a moratorium upon EPA using human pesticide experiments until strict ethical standards were established. Senator Boxer championed the moratorium in the US Senate. Representative Solis pushed the moratorium through the US House of Representatives.
"The Administration plan is inconsistent with the law passed by Congress with bipartisan support. The loopholes which allow continued testing on pregnant women, infants and children are contrary to law and widely accepted ethical guidelines, including the Nuremberg code. The fact that EPA allows pesticide testing of any kind on the most vulnerable, including abused and neglected children, is simply astonishing," said Senator Boxer.
"The regulation is an open invitation to test pesticides on humans, which is the exact opposite of what Congress intended," said Rep. Waxman. "The Administration predicts that over 30 pesticide experiments will be submitted to EPA each year under the new rule. That's an enormous step in the wrong direction."
"This is yet another example of the Bush Administration choosing to ignore the letter of the law and going its own way. Congress passed legislation to curb the practice of unethical pesticide testing on humans, but with this rule the Bush Administration is authorizing systematic testing of pesticides on humans which not only fails to meet its congressional mandate but which will increase the number of unethical studies," said Congresswoman Solis. "Americans should be concerned about just how far the Bush Administration will go to allow pesticide testing on pregnant women and children and, the ease at which it chooses to ignore the law. The Bush Administration must revise this rule to meet its Congressional mandate and give Americans a policy which is moral, ethical, and safe."
No justification. No "for national security." NO!

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James Lovelock: Nuclear power is the only green solution

Sunday, January 22, 2006

James Lovelock and his latest book was recently noted in this blog. In this particular article, Lovelock comes out to fully support the use of nuclear energy. He points to global warming issues, the use of fossil fuels, nuclear energy opposiyion...

Opposition to nuclear energy is based on irrational fear fed by Hollywood-style fiction, the Green lobbies and the media. These fears are unjustified, and nuclear energy from its start in 1952 has proved to be the safest of all energy sources. We must stop fretting over the minute statistical risks of cancer from chemicals or radiation. Nearly one third of us will die of cancer anyway, mainly because we breathe air laden with that all pervasive carcinogen, oxygen. If we fail to concentrate our minds on the real danger, which is global warming, we may die even sooner, as did more than 20,000 unfortunates from overheating in Europe last summer.
I find it sad and ironic that the UK, which leads the world in the quality of its Earth and climate scientists, rejects their warnings and advice, and prefers to listen to the Greens. But I am a Green and I entreat my friends in the movement to drop their wrongheaded objection to nuclear energy.
Even if they were right about its dangers, and they are not, its worldwide use as our main source of energy would pose an insignificant threat compared with the dangers of intolerable and lethal heat waves and sea levels rising to drown every coastal city of the world. We have no time to experiment with visionary energy sources; civilisation is in imminent danger and has to use nuclear - the one safe, available, energy source - now or suffer the pain soon to be inflicted by our outraged planet.
We do have the memories of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, "The China Syndrome." And we do have the issue of "what to do with the waste." But maybe he is right? Other environmentalists are in agreement with Lovelock. There clearly is a growing voive in calling for nuclear energy.

Personally still torn over this issue... Is the risk worth it? Or are the risks outweighed by the use of fossil fuels and lack of motivation to conserve?

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Cheney does not believe in close ties between Iran, Al-Qaeda

Cheney joining the reality train?

US Vice President Dick Cheney has said he does not believe there are close relations between Iran and Al-Qaeda, seeming to distance himself from some earlier US administration charges.
"I think you've got to remember that the Al-Qaeda organization is primarily made up of radical Sunni Islamists, of course, and the Iranian regime is Shia-dominated -- Shia. So there's not a natural fit there," Cheney said in a telephone interview with the Hugh Hewitt Show, released by the White House.
Sure he preached the crazy notion that secular Saddam was allied with OBL. So he got that wrong. With this reality talk does Uncle Dick deserve some credit?

Hell no! Let's wait until next week. Remember how many times the mission in Iraq changed? I am sure statements of the alliances between Iran and others will change as well. Uncle Dick may soon bring up those ties between Iran and K.A.O.S. Where is Maxwell Smart when we need him?

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OBL - to W's rescue

Friday, January 20, 2006

Osama may just be W's "Knight in Shining Armor." Just when the "I" word is gathering steam, just when more and more are calling for withdrawal...OBL comes forward.

Breaking more than a year's silence, Osama bin Laden warned Americans in an audiotape released today that Al Qaeda was planning more attacks on the United States, but he offered a "long truce" on undefined terms.
Of course we rejected the "truce" offer because "we never negotiate with terrorists." But maybe this once we should have seen what OBL was talking about.

Remember when W said he didn't know where Osama was and didn't really care - W's eyes were on Iraq. Now it seems our eyes can be on both Osama and Iran at the same time.

The timing is perfect - for W. Thanks Osama.

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Thanks Google!

Google gets my vote for standing up to Big Brother.

Google Inc. is rebuffing the Bush administration’s demand for a peek at what millions of people have been looking up on the Internet’s leading search engine — a request that underscores the potential for online databases to become tools for government surveillance.
Mountain View-based Google has refused to comply with a White House subpoena first issued last summer, prompting U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales this week to ask a federal judge in San Jose for an order to hand over the requested records.
The government wants a list all requests entered into Google’s search engine during an unspecified single week — a breakdown that could conceivably span tens of millions of queries. In addition, it seeks 1 million randomly selected Web addresses from various Google databases.
To fight child porn?

I'm just happy that the NSA won't see how many times I searched "Bush sucks".

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Iran and the world...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Interesting article about Iran and it's oil market. Seems they are in the process of creating the Iranian Oil Bourse.

It will be based on a euro-oil-trading mechanism that naturally implies payment for oil in Euro. In economic terms, this represents a much greater threat to the hegemony of the dollar than Saddam’s, because it will allow anyone willing either to buy or to sell oil for Euro to transact on the exchange, thus circumventing the U.S. dollar altogether.
Will we stand for this? Of course not. Maybe this is why there is such a push to demonize Iran - the dollar's power is threatened.

The article also talks about steps we may take:

Americans cannot allow this to happen, and if necessary, will use a vast array of strategies to halt or hobble the operation’s exchange:
· Sabotaging the Exchange—this could be a computer virus, network, communications, or server attack, various server security breaches, or a 9-11-type attack on main and backup facilities.
· Coup d’état—this is by far the best long-term strategy available to the Americans.
· Negotiating Acceptable Terms & Limitations—this is another excellent solution to the Americans. Of course, a government coup is clearly the preferred strategy, for it will ensure that the exchange does not operate at all and does not threaten American interests. However, if an attempted sabotage or coup d’etat fails, then negotiation is clearly the second-best available option.
· Joint U.N. War Resolution—this will be, no doubt, hard to secure given the interests of all other member-states of the Security Council. Feverish rhetoric about Iranians developing nuclear weapons undoubtedly serves to prepare this course of action.
· Unilateral Nuclear Strike—this is a terrible strategic choice for all the reasons associated with the next strategy, the Unilateral Total War. The Americans will likely use Israel to do their dirty nuclear job.
· Unilateral Total War—this is obviously the worst strategic choice. First, the U.S. military resources have been already depleted with two wars. Secondly, the Americans will further alienate other powerful nations. Third, major dollar-holding countries may decide to quietly retaliate by dumping their own mountains of dollars, thus preventing the U.S. from further financing its militant ambitions. Finally, Iran has strategic alliances with other powerful nations that may trigger their involvement in war; Iran reputedly has such alliance with China, India, and Russia, known as the Shanghai Cooperative Group, a.k.a. Shanghai Coop and a separate pact with Syria.
Whatever the strategic choice, from a purely economic point of view, should the Iranian Oil Bourse gain momentum, it will be eagerly embraced by major economic powers and will precipitate the demise of the dollar. The collapsing dollar will dramatically accelerate U.S. inflation and will pressure upward U.S. long-term interest rates.
Excellent analysis, scary scenarios... Question everything...

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Bush Ally Joins Authors Seeking US Wiretapping Ban

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Chris Hitchens, a neo-con if I ever heard one, has joined the reality train.

The British writer Christopher Hitchens, one of the most reliable allies of the US administration's conduct of the war on terror, has joined a lawsuit seeking a ban on a domestic spy program authorized by President George Bush.
In two lawsuits filed separately yesterday by the American Civil Liberties Union in Detroit and the Centre for Constitutional Rights in New York City, the National Security Agency is accused of violating the constitution by eavesdropping on people without court oversight.
They represent the first legal challenge to the surveillance program, which has outraged members of Congress and led to charges that Mr. Bush has overstepped his authority as president.
In the ACLU suit, Hitchens joins other writers, Greenpeace and the Council on American-Islamic Relations in seeking an immediate end to the wiretaps, saying they violate constitutional rights to privacy and free speech.
The suit brought by Hitchens, Tara McKelvey, a senior editor at American Prospect magazine, James Bamford, author of two books on the NSA, and Barnett Rubin, an academic at New York University, addresses one of the primary fears surrounding the extrajudicial surveillance of telephone calls and email - that the NSA used the eavesdropping program to spy on opponents of the Bush administration. Hitchens and the other plaintiffs said they feared their email and telephone calls were monitored, compromising their contacts in the Middle East. "People will say it's wartime and we have a deadly enemy, and I agree with that. I was in favor of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan very strongly, but it is even more important in such a time that we don't give away power to the unaccountable agencies that helped get us into this in the first place," Hitchens told the Guardian. "It is extremely important we know what the rules are and there has to be a line drawn. You mustn't turn emergency or panic measures into custom or practice."
Self-motivated but... Now all he has to do is call for withdrawal.

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'We Are Past the Point of No Return'

Monday, January 16, 2006

"The Revenge of Gaia" is the latest from James Lovelock.

Thirty years ago, the scientist James Lovelock worked out that the Earth possessed a planetary-scale control system which kept the environment fit for life. He called it Gaia, and the theory has become widely accepted. Now, he believes mankind's abuse of the environment is making that mechanism work against us. His astonishing conclusion - that climate change is already insoluble, and life on Earth will never be the same again.
The world has already passed the point of no return for climate change, and civilisation as we know it is now unlikely to survive, according to James Lovelock, the scientist and green guru who conceived the idea of Gaia - the Earth which keeps itself fit for life.
In a profoundly pessimistic new assessment, published in today's Independent, Professor Lovelock suggests that efforts to counter global warming cannot succeed, and that, in effect, it is already too late.
The world and human society face disaster to a worse extent, and on a faster timescale, than almost anybody realises, he believes. He writes: " Before this century is over, billions of us will die, and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable."
We are the enemy...we are the terrorists who are destroying the Earth. Is it too late as Lovelock states?

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I Have A Dream

Martin Luther King said

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
Those were very different times. That speech was in regard to very different circumstances. If he were alive today I am sure his dream would be for: an End to the War, a pursuit of love of all cultures and creeds, a hope that this nation would turn away from fear and violence...

If he were here today I am sure he would be outraged at the growing economic inequalities in today's society, would rail against the rise of the corporate state, and would condemn the attempts to destroy the Bill of Rights.

If he were alive today... he would be leading the call to change this country and turn it around.

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

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Iran 'years from nuclear bomb'

Why the rush and callls for military action. According to those knowledgeable about nuclear weapons...they

believe(s) it would take Iran at least a decade to produce enough HEU for a single nuclear weapon.
Why the rush?
Polls? Ways to increase our military presence and bases? Ways to bring about the Rapture?

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Capital Punishment's Joke

Old, Blind, Crippled - and Fit for Execution concerns 76 year old Clarence Ray Allen.

With Allen legally blind, hard of hearing, confined to a wheelchair by the debilitating effects of diabetes, and barely able to speak above a whisper, his judicial killing is being denounced as an affront to human dignity.
His case, the latest in a long line to raise disturbing questions about the way capital punishment is administered in the United States, is filled with ghoulish ironies. He almost died of a heart attack four months ago but doctors at San Quentin prison resuscitated him - fulfilling their professional obligations, just as the prison's executioners are now preparing to fulfil theirs at one minute after midnight on Tuesday.
Special arrangements will have to be made to get Allen into the death chamber, which does not permit wheelchair access because of a steep bump running across the floor. (The chamber was designed for death by poison gas, and the lip helps to make the room airtight.) His lawyers have requested for him to be allowed to take his final steps with a walker, but the prison authorities have not made clear whether they will assent, as protocol dictates that prisoners' hands must be manacled and their feet shackled as they make their final journey from holding cell to death chamber.
Two prison guards will be on hand - either to help Allen drag his feet over the lip of the door or else to carry him bodily on to the stretcher where he will be injected with drugs to knock him out, collapse his lungs and stop his heart.
Even by the grim standards of other executions, his treatment strikes activists as particularly shocking.
He was found guilty, arranged murders...but the death penalty? Is this justice, revenge or just some gross thrill some look for? Come on Ahnuld - you're wrong again. You have a few days left to make it right.

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A Proud Nation Surrounded by Nuclear States

Iran and the World. As our sabers are rattling, as too many call for military action...profound words come forth...

s the US and Israel both know, it would be extremely tricky because of the possible Iranian retaliation which could stir up a great deal of trouble for the US and its allies in the Middle East through Iran's links to extremist Islamic groups such as Hizbollah and Islamic Jihad.
Already influential inside Iraq, where the US has more than 130,000 troops tied-up, Iran could wreak havoc there. Iran has also taken care to build much of its nuclear infrastructure underground making facilities less vulnerable to attack. Iranian officials like to boast that taking on Iran militarily would not be as simple as crushing Iraq which was already weakened and isolated in the region when it was invaded in 2003.
Iran, a major oil producer, could also retaliate effectively on the economic front. That is the problem for the West as it prepares to discuss possible sanctions against Iran. As one Western diplomat put it: "We have to find a way to hurt Iran, without it hurting us."
Will W heed these words of caution? If history is any indication - NO!

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Choose life...

Friday, January 13, 2006

Thanks towww.whitehouse.org.

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Rhino's Blog

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Rhino's Blog is gone.

It is with great sorrow that we inform the readers of Rhino's Blog that Gary Rhine has passed away. Gary died while doing something he loved - flying a small plane. The plane crashed in Lancaster, California, on January 9th at 1:40 p.m.
Great site - alas no more.

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Nut cases are nut cases

Religious fanatics are found in all nations, under all creeds... It seems Pat Robertson and W have much in common with their sworn enemies.

Pat Robertson and 20 million American fundamentalists are not alone.
The new president of Iran also believes that the end of the world is nigh and "believers" can help speed it up. His government has now allocated millions of dollars for the Jamkaran mosque to help believers prepare for the event. It is staffed by the Bright Future Institute, which fields inquiries and prepares Iranians for the end of this world and eternal life in the next. Among Muslims, especially Shias, much attention is given to this coming battle between good and evil: some 20 percent of the population in Iran is reported to believe in an Armageddon-type scenario – except the roles are reversed, with America representing evil. The ascetic President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lives so modestly that his only declared assets include a 30-year-old car and a small house, and no money in a bank account.
Muslims also believe in Jesus Christ, called Issa or the Maseeh (Messiah), and the Second Coming. It is indeed a foreboding confluence of interests.
Why is it that the entire world has to suffer because of the crazy beliefs of others? Based on this article, we can see that Iran, the U.S. and Israel are on the road to make their "rapture times" a reality.
It is indeed an irony that today, at the beginning of the 21st century, America, Iran, and Israel all have governments heavily influenced by fanatical religious fundamentalists. The rest of the world should be aware and wary.
Maybe Marx was right about religion.

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Israelis plan pre-emptive strike on Iran

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Iran is in several crosshairs. Get ready for the next big show!

Israel is updating plans for a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities which could be launched as soon as the end of March, according to military and intelligence sources.
he Israeli raids would be carried out by long-range F-15E bombers and cruise missiles against a dozen key sites and are designed to set Tehran's weapons programme back by up to two years.
Pilots at the Israeli air force's elite 69 squadron have been briefed on the plan and have conducted rehearsals for their missions.
The prime targets would be the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, 150 miles south of Tehran, a heavy-water production site at Arak, 120 miles south-west of the capital, and a site near Isfahan in central Iran which makes the uranium hexafluoride gas vital to the arms manufacturing process.
Sources say one, possibly two airfields in Kurdish northern Iraq have been earmarked as launch-points to reduce flying time over Iran.
With our saber rattling as well, I think we can expect some action soon.

You know, maybe we are coming close to The Rapture. Brought about by man, but coming close.

So quick to judge others. So quick to harm others. What about the nuclear facilities in Israel? Or here? What would we be doing if a nation threatened to bomb our many sites of WMDes?

The Doomsday Clock may be adding a few minutes to its face very soon.

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National Security Agency mounted massive spy op on Baltimore peace group, documents show

Baltimore peace group is called the Baltimore Pledge of Resistance.

The Baltimore Pledge of Resistance is part of the national Iraq Pledge of Resistance, which works with the Baltimore Emergency Response Network and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) -- part of a national group committed to nonviolent civil resistance to stop the war in Iraq. The Pledge lobbies Maryland congressmembers via letters, phone calls, faxes, emails and face-to-face meetings; members of the group are periodically arrested for peaceable protests.
Damn those Quakers. Consorting with the enemy like that. According to the article, they were even seen inflating balloons. Heavens! Thank God the NSA is there to protect us from these enemies. The next on the list? Democrats seeking an end to the war. Why those bastards are
giving "comfort to our adversaries"
Bush argued that irresponsible discussion harms the morale of troops overseas, emboldens the insurgents they are fighting and sets a bad example for Iraqis trying to establish a democratic government.
Of course, calls for peace demoralize the troops, not the killings, lack of progress, lies. lack of armor... And we are setiing a bad example...? Oops! I think that's what democracy is all about...

Oh well, so he didn't get it quite right.

Damn those Quakers!

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Army Men Project

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Army Men Project seems like a simple project from Mouths Wide Open. Some may say juvenile - some may say petty. Will it end the war? But why not pass some around.

Just imagine seeing those little soldiers with the "Bring me Home" label on the bottom in the mall, or the post office or church pew. See them, read their message and work to grant those "soldiers'" wishes. Drop off a few in your hometown.

Hey the yellow ribbons were a media hit...

Have to go to the toy store to pick up my supply.

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Public enemy

Saturday, January 07, 2006

From The Boston Globe

He's a regular guy, personable, plainspoken, ''with something of the earthy American sense of humor of a Mark Twain...a Will Rogers.'' Guided by his secretary Lee Sarason, he cozies up to the electorate by stoking their disdain for fancy ideas and encouraging them to follow their hearts, not their minds.
Windrip's economic policies are disastrous, his figures often incorrect, and his platform seems to change depending on who he's talking to, but none of that matters as long as he keeps expressing himself decisively. ''I want to stand up on my hind legs,'' he writes in ''Zero Hour,'' his widely read pre-campaign book, ''and not just admit but frankly holler right out that...we've got to change our system a lot, maybe even change the whole Constitution (but change it legally, not by violence)....The Executive has got to have a freer hand and be able to move quick in an emergency, and not be tied down by dumb shyster lawyer congressmen taking months to shoot off their mouths in debates.''
When Windrip is elected, all hell breaks loose. Dissent is crushed, the Bill of Rights is gutted, war is declared (on Mexico), and labor camps are established to help shore up Windrip's vaunted ''New Freedom,'' which is more like a freedom from freedom. All that's really left of the old America are the flags and patriotic ditties, which for many is more than enough.
You know - you take out those names and replace them with some of today's names (W and Rove) and change Mexico to Iraq (or maybe Iran or even Venezuela) and Sinclair Lewis's book ("It Can't Happen Here") is very timely and prophectic. No wonder it has been reprinted.

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Pat Robertson, Elliott Abrams, Sharon, and Bush

Leave it to Pat Robertson

...to ascertain God’s will yet again, this time in regards to the stroke that befell Sharon.
The televangelist detected the hand of God Almighty, saying that Sharon had crossed the Creator’s wishes by giving Gaza back to the Palestinians.
“He was dividing God’s land,” Robertson said on his 700 Club TV show, adding: “I would say, ‘Woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU, the United Nations, or the United States of America.”
Robertson was merely espousing in his typical clumsy style what a lot of rightwing fundamentalists believe: And that is that the existence of the state of Israel foretells the End Times, the coming of the Apocalypse, when Jesus will return and when everyone will either have to convert to Christianity or die.
And Bush, whether he believes this or not, takes that constituency seriously.
Patty has an interesting take on the world - an interesting take on world events - an interesting take on the future - an interesting take on death.

Thank goodness I'm not in his "world" - the land of the loonies. Problem is: W hears the same voices...

It seems "Loony World" not only has a leader, a minister, but also a news broadcaster. Sean Hannity

...made it clear he thinks Israel should attack Iran and not waste any time over it. Even Alan Colmes seemed uncharacterisitcally bellicose during the segment.
Thanks Sean for your words of wisdom. Not as insightful as Patty's, but keep trying.

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We did not anticipate...

Paul Bremer

who led the U.S. civilian occupation authority in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, has admitted the United States did not anticipate the insurgency in the country, NBC Television said on Friday.
Bremer, interviewed by the network in connection with release of his book on Iraq, recounted the decision to disband the Iraqi army quickly after arriving in Baghdad, a move many experts consider a major miscalculation.
When asked who was to blame for the subsequent Iraqi rebellion, in which thousands of Iraqis and Americans have died, Bremer said "we really didn't see the insurgency coming," the network said in a news release.
Are you kidding me? Even I, sitting in Connecticut miles away, never having seen the battle plans, never having been to Iraq, never leading a military batallion...I expected a tri-party civil war with our troops stuck in the middle. Wow, maybe I should have been called in to the preparation meetings.

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Coming to their senses...

Three GOP Senators are at odds with W over his claimed rights to waive laws to protect the country.

Three key Republican senators yesterday condemned President Bush's assertion that his powers as commander in chief give him the authority to bypass a new law restricting the use of torture when interrogating detainees.
John W. Warner Jr., a Virginia Republican who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, issued a joint statement rejecting Bush's assertion that he can waive the restrictions on the use of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment against detainees to protect national security.
''We believe the president understands Congress's intent in passing, by very large majorities, legislation governing the treatment of detainees," the senators said. ''The Congress declined when asked by administration officials to include a presidential waiver of the restrictions included in our legislation. Our committee intends through strict oversight to monitor the administration's implementation of the new law."
Separately, the third primary sponsor of the detainee treatment law, Senator Lindsey O. Graham, Republican of South Carolina, told the Globe in a phone interview that he agreed with everything McCain and Warner said ''and would go a little bit further."
''I do not believe that any political figure in the country has the ability to set aside any . . . law of armed conflict that we have adopted or treaties that we have ratified," Graham said. ''If we go down that road, it will cause great problems for our troops in future conflicts because [nothing] is to prevent other nations' leaders from doing the same."
Are they supporting the Bill of Rights and the Constitution? Or just looking for some voter support for the GOP in 2006? I hope the former.

But whichever it is, these three plus others who question the wiretaps, question the war, question...are applauded. Now just keep up the pressure!

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Tinker, Tailor, Miner, Spy - Why the NSA's snooping is unprecedented in scale and scope.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Shane Harris and Tim Naftali deal with the scope of the wiretaps and spying. A little history - a lot of facts. The closing paragraph sums up the next few months...

In January, Congress plans to hold hearings into the legality of the Bush administration's eavesdropping program. Lawmakers will want to know why, if the NSA cannot do its job while remaining within the legal bounds established in the 1970s, the Bush administration did not address that problem in the context of the Patriot Act. Congress might also ask why in the rush to begin data-mining, the NSA has abandoned the privacy controls planned for the TIA. As Adm. Poindexter himself noted in his resignation letter from the program in 2003, "it would be no good to solve the security problem and give up the privacy and civil liberties that make our country great."
I think that quote deserves repeating...
"it would be no good to solve the security problem and give up the privacy and civil liberties that make our country great."

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And the senseless war continues...

In one of the deadliest days in Iraq since the U.S. military overthrew Saddam Hussein, bombs killed at least 130 Iraqis and seven U.S. soldiers on Thursday — shattering hopes that last month’s election and the new year would herald a more peaceful era.
From MSNBC.com

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Did the CIA give Iran the bomb?

James Risen's new book new book explores some interesting cloak and dagger scenarios. One was called Operation Merlin. The idea involves Iran and includes:

..handing over tainted weapon designs to confound one of America's adversaries - is a trick that has been used many times in past operations, stretching back to the cold war. But in previous cases, such Trojan horse operations involved conventional weapons; none of the former officials had ever heard of the CIA attempting to conduct this kind of high-risk operation with designs for a nuclear bomb.
Seems we used Russian double-agents and successfully gave Iran the plans. The problem:
Iran has spent nearly 20 years trying to develop nuclear weapons, and in the process has created a strong base of sophisticated scientists knowledgeable enough to spot flaws in nuclear blueprints. Tehran also obtained nuclear blueprints from the network of Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, and so already had workable blueprints against which to compare the designs obtained from the CIA. Nuclear experts say that they would thus be able to extract valuable information from the blueprints while ignoring the flaws.
It's like "Spy vs. Spy" in Mad Magazine. Except this is real.

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Seperated at Birth II....

A piece from This Modern World by Tom Tomorrow.

Okay, so maybe they are a little different.

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Abramoff: The House That Jack Built

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Think Progress has the list of potential residents of the "rogues gallery." Just to whet everyone's appetite and encourage them to visit the site, the list includes: Rep. Hastert, Ralph Reed, Rep. Hayworth, Sen. Harkin,DeLay and of course our fearless leader - W!

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Abramoff - "the pioneer"

Abramoff pleads guilty in corruption case. So who is he going to take down with him?

Abramoff’s travels with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay are already under criminal investigation. The lobbyist’s interactions with the Texas Republican’s congressional office frequently came around the time of campaign donations, golf outings or other trips provided or arranged by Abramoff for DeLay and other lawmakers. In all, DeLay received at least $57,000 in political contributions from Abramoff, his lobbying associates or his tribal clients between 2001 and 2004.
Court papers released Tuesday also detailed lavish gifts and contributions that Abramoff gave an unnamed House member, identified elsewhere as Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Administration Committee, in return for Ney’s agreement to use his office to aid Abramoff clients.
The continuing saga of Abramoff’s legal problems has caused anxiety at high levels in Washington, in both the Republican and Democratic parties.
Abramoff raised at least $100,000 for President Bush’s 2004 re-election effort, earning the honorary title “pioneer” from the campaign.
In Bush’s first 10 months in office in 2001, Abramoff and other members of his lobbying team logged at least 200 contacts with the administration on behalf of at least one client, the Northern Mariana Islands. The meetings included some with high-ranking officials such as then-Attorney General John Ashcroft and policy advisers in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office.

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Seperated at birth...

Wiretaps, lies, wars...These two look more alike as every day goes by.

Tricky left in disgrace. Let's hope history repeats itself again.

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Zapatista

Subcomandante Marcos has been compared to Che especially with his latest trips by motorcycle. Based on this letter, it is clear he is very aware what befell Che (thanks to the CIA).

Whatever happens, know that it is an honor, and it shall be, to have you as compañeros and compañeras in struggle.
Interesting recent developments south of the border (Bolivia, Venezuela...). I wonder if Pat Robertson is adding any other names to his "assassination" list. Chavez should be expecting some company.

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The Hidden State Steps Forward

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Hidden State Steps Forward is by Jonathan Schell.

Bush's abuses of presidential power are the most extensive in American history. He has launched an aggressive war ("war of choice," in today's euphemism) on false grounds. He has presided over a system of torture and sought to legitimize it by specious definitions of the word. He has asserted a wholesale right to lock up American citizens and others indefinitely without any legal showing or the right to see a lawyer or anyone else. He has kidnapped people in foreign countries and sent them to other countries, where they were tortured. In rationalizing these and other acts, his officials have laid claim to the unlimited, uncheckable and unreviewable powers he has asserted in the wiretapping case. He has tried to drop a thick shroud of secrecy over these and other actions.
There is a name for a system of government that wages aggressive war, deceives its citizens, violates their rights, abuses power and breaks the law, rejects judicial and legislative checks on itself, claims power without limit, tortures prisoners and acts in secret. It is dictatorship.
The Administration of George W. Bush is not a dictatorship, but it does manifest the characteristics of one in embryonic form.
Reminds me of W's comments how everything would be easy if this were a dictatorship and he was the dictator (paraphrased). So what should we do? What should Congress do? What about W?
Either the President must uphold the laws of the United States, which are Congress's laws, or he must leave office.
And if he doesn't leave, Impeach to save the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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