Sunday, July 30, 2006
Our father that doesn't want us to fight, and we have to recognize that he loves all his children equally. The same goes for our Father in heaven. "Jesus loves all his children." It isn't that "Jesus loves me, but he can't stand you," or "Jesus loves all his children, but he'll annihilate some." I love everyone in my family, because I am a liberal. Jesus was a liberal.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
President Bush surrounded by a gaggle of “snowflake babies.” (in-vitro babies developed from frozen embryos) Bush said, “Each of the children was adopted while still an embryo, and has been blessed with a chance to grow up in a loving family. These boys and girls are not spare parts.”
The scientists of the world who understand embryonic stem cell research, regardless of their religious point of view, understand that this avenue of research is holds enormous potential to treat and cure some of the most brutal diseases and injuries that have afflicted mankind - Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, strokes, spinal cord injuries, and millions more.
Because of in-vitro fertilization clinics, we have hundreds and thousands of surplus embryos, most of which will be autoclaved (incinerated). The ethical question is: is the potential to prevent human suffering and death from these embryos worth the fact that they are destroyed in the process of harvesting the stem cells from them. These are blastocysts, embryos that have only been able to develop for a few days, not larger than the period on the end of this sentence.
The bottom line is that physicians, with regard to the spiritual position of the fertilized egg, are religious decisions, and they belong in the religious domain, and the President and the Congress ought to be about allowing individuals to make those decisions for themselves, and not imposing their religious views, or the religious views of some narrow part of their constituency on the nation as a whole. Accepting this narrow belief based on the premise that life begins at conception would make God Himself the greatest abortionist of all, since 80% of fertilized eggs fail to implant in the mother's uterus and are flushed out during the menstrual cycle.
There was a very strong vote in the Senate and the House supporting stem cell research, and the tide is running very strongly in it’s favor. What is most critical is that some members of congress who have records that are 100% anti-abortion, chose to break away from the line which the anti-abortion groups wanted them to do, and decided that they could not make the ethical decision not to use this research to cure terrible diseases. I am sure that in the next administration, this issue will certainly come up, and I think it is very probable that whoever the next president is, would in fact sign, and not veto this kind of legislation for mere political reasons.
Reporters asked Tony Snow, the White House press secretary, about the president’s veto:
QUESTION: Can you remind us why the president believes that it is not appropriate to use — that it would be more appropriate for stem cells to be thrown away than to be used in this case for medical research?
SNOW: I don’t think that’s the choice that the president is presented. What the president has said is that he doesn’t want human life destroyed. Now, you may consider that insignificant. But the president has said. And you have had in a number of cases the snowflake babies where some of those fetuses have in fact been brought to term and have become human beings. The president believes strongly that for the purpose of research it’s inappropriate for the federal government to finance something that many people consider murder. He’s one of them. Furthermore, it is worth pointing out that this government did make available already existing lines — to get back to your question — there were existing lines. The most recent figures we have are 2004. But 85 percent of all the embryonic stem cell research on Earth was conducted using those lines. There is nothing that makes embryonic stem cell research illegal. It simply says that the federal government will not finance it. As you know, there are ongoing efforts in some states, including, I think, California and Massachusetts, to use state money for it. And I dare say if people think that there’s a market for it, they’re going to support it handsomely. The simple answer is he thinks murder’s wrong. And he has said.
Basically, what ex-Fox news anchor Tony Snow “White” is saying, is that the federal government will not finance stem cell research, because the President says its murder. But the President doesn’t have a problem with the corporations committing it. The result is that corporate CEO’s get richer, at the expense of the poor, who will no longer be able to afford this kind of treatment. Why doesn’t he arrest all the CEO’s of those companies for murder? The answer is that he doesn’t care about the ethics of this issue.
Under the Bush administration, government and corporate interests have merged. Snow talks about the states possibly funding the research, but we are no longer the United States of America. We are the United Corporations of America, which is one of the prominent characteristics of fascism. In fact, the original name for the fascism as defined by Mussolini was “corporatism.”
According to Dr. Lawrence Britt, of Princeton University, one of the 14 characteristics of fascism is:
9. Corporate Power is Protected
The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
This explains the quid pro quo lobbying (bribery), corruption, and cronyism that so out of control in this current administration. In addition to cutting governmental funding for everything by turning all agencies over to private corporations (which has resulted in the outsourcing of all our good jobs to other countries), now scientists will be leaving the United States in droves to continue this research overseas.
The President talks a good game about ethics and morality, but not at the expense of his corporate buddies. He’ll veto the first bill of his entire presidency. (The reason he hasn’t vetoed anything, is because he has put “signing statements” into the hundreds of bills that he has signed, saying that he doesn’t have to obey that law if he doesn’t want to. That is called a fascist dictatorship) He’ll get up in the middle of the night on a Saturday when he’s on vacation to sign a bill to prevent the legal guardian from fulfilling the wishes of his brain dead spouse to die in peace, but he’ll stay on vacation for three days before flying over and waving to the Katrina victims, dying by the thousands. He vetoed a bill that would help prevent disease and death, because he wants to appeal to the most extreme of his right wing base, so that his party can stay in power. He says stem cell research is murder, but he doesn’t mind if the corporations do it. And when the children are all grown up, at 18 he doesn’t mind shipping them off to war to become victims of the military-industrial-complex. War and death is good business, and good politics. How is that “pro-life”?
Here is a good analogy that can help you decide on this moral issue. Put yourself in this man's shoes. This is from a father of a child who had a genetic disease that could be passed on to his child. He knew he couldn’t be helped by this kind of research, but he had hope that his two-year-old daughter (who could potentially develop the same disease) could be helped in the future.
He said, “Say a house is on fire. There are two things in the house. There is a frozen blastocyst that is going to be destroyed anyway, and a two-year-old girl. Which one would you save?”
Friday, July 21, 2006
Three months ago, I wrote (“My fellow Americans: We cannot bomb Iran to peace,” Pittsburgh Post Gazette, April 17) because KQV did a poll in which 57% of Pittsburghers said they would approve using nuclear weapons against Iran.
We were afraid then. We are even more afraid now, because the right wing media machine is in overdrive. Their motto is “The only thing we have to sell is fear itself.” For example, Rush Limbaugh recently called the Israeli/Lebanese conflict, a “gift to the world.” This is "finally" our chance to go after Iran. As he puts it, there will be no peace until one side finally defeats the other completely. In his evil mind, peace means bombing and mass murder. Peace indeed… of the graveyard.
The right wing media hacks are not the only ones serving up the death. Republicans have decided what's on their mid-term menu. Start with an appitizer of anti-pasta: Anti flag-burning/gay/brown people/stem cell research for the next couple months, then on to the main course of WWIII rhetoric, with an unhealthy side of fear. On July 15th, the head chef, Newt Gingrich announced the Republican entrée that is guarananteed to make you a a repeat customer. He said that public opinion can change "the minute you use the language" of World War III. The message then, he said, is, "OK, if we're in the third world war, which side do you think should win?"
The rapture right is salivating right now. If you think that is disgusting, the dessert is a decadent “Using war to stay in power” sundae.
Americans: We cannot let these war pigs force fear mongering down our throats.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Bush said, “see the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it’s over”
First of all, who is "they"? The leaders of the free world? Uh, that would be you, Mr. President.
The other day, he was up there with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a G-8 press conference and all he could do was keep talking about how he was looking forward to dinner, and "slicing up the pig". A reporter asked him a very serious question about violence in the Middle East, and the standoff in Iran, and Bush said, "I thought you were going to ask about the pig!" Ha ha ha! He's up there doing schtick. What a hayseed.
But wait. The embarrassment didn't end there. At the dinner event, Bush felt compelled to sneak up behind Chancellor Merkel and give her a quick massage. Merkel is a woman of power and Bush finds that kind of exciting. So he makes his move, but he does it in a kind of distracted way, because if he's shot down, he can pretend it never really happened. And boy, did he get SHOT down. She threw up her arms like a move that she learned in a date rape class. Like, "Get your hands OFF me, you filthy manimal!" I have never seen such a look of contempt and disgust on a woman's face. But the real beauty of it was the Forrest Gump look on Bush's face right afterward. "Stupid is as stupid does." It's a new low for him. I think you could find a more intelligent, mature person at a junior high kegger. This is our President, people, and the whole world is laughing at us.
Here's the thing, there is so much shit happening in the world, but Bush passed decency legislation to increase the fines to $325,000 per person, per incident, even if a listener says a "bad word" that slips by the dump button by mistake. No one can afford that. That’s almost a year’s salary for the President of the United States! During the short 90 days congress is in session, they are busy with the decency bill, and anti-gay marriage amendment, anti-brown people bills, and anti-flag burning amendments. The whole world is burning, and this idiot wants a flag burning amendment. It's O.K. when he says shit, but when anyone else does it, they get a fine. Meanwhile the whole world is in the toilet.
You know the legend of King Midas? Everything he touched turned to gold? Bush is the anti-Midas. Everything he touches turns to shit - health care, the environment, the economy, the military, the gulf coast. He has even turned religion into shit by hijacking Jesus into the Republican Party. Now Jesus is pro-war, pro-rich, and pro-Republican!
Here's what I think the punishment should be: every time the President swears, he should put a hundred billion dollars in the swear jar - that way we could pay for the war he started. MSNBC should pay more too, because the hate that comes out of Headline News’ Glenn Beck’s mouth is way more obscene than “shit”.
Maybe if we complain enough, we can get the FCC to do something about this.
You can contact the FCC at the their website, http://svartifoss2.fcc.gov/cib/fcc475B.cfm, and fill out the FCC Form 475B, the Obscene, Profane, and/or Indecent Material Complaint Form. Tell them when, (aprox. 9:00am et) where (HNN), and what the President said, (see transcript above) how it wasn’t bleeped, and how the transcript was right on the screen spelled out so you could read it. Then you say something like “My nine year old is now running around saying ‘shit, shit, shit’, and when I tell him to stop, he says, ‘If the President can say shit, then so can I.’”
The United States, being a closely allied to Israel, has a similarly insane policy. Birds of feather, flock together. “Stay the course” – doing the same thing over and over and over again. In Iraq, our soldiers are sent into a village they think the insurgents are, and destroy it. The people who remain alive in the village are very bitter about the loss of their homes and loved ones. They, in turn, become insurgents, and other outside insurgents come back to the same village to join them, and then they have to do the same thing all over again. This process of repetition simply creates more, and more, and more terrorists. There were no terrorists in Iraq before we got there.
In 2002, Dick Cheney predicted, “Regime change in Iraq would bring about a number of benefits to the region. Extremists in the region would have to rethink their strategy of Jihad. Moderates in the region could take heart, and our ability to advance the Palestinian/Israeli peace process would be enhanced.”
So, how’s that working out for you, Dick?
If you are an intelligent and sensitive human being, you learn from your past mistakes and you make a rational decision to try something different. The Israeli leadership for all these many generations and the Bush administration since 9/11 have been incapable of performing that really rather simple mental and moral exercise.
It's astonishingly painful and upsetting to see this go on again and again and again and again and again. The situation between the Israelis and Palestinians has been going on my entire conscious life, and has been one of absolute pain, suffering, terror, death, destruction, and an ultimate flash point for God knows what kind of confrontation, among what nations, and what regions of the world that would begin right there. During the Cold War, or course, the United States and the Soviet Union played Arab against Jew and Jew against Arab over and over and over again. So here we are.
The US has not joined with other countries call on the Israelis for a ceasefire, because it doesn’t believe in negations. The way all wars have been settled in the past has been through negotiations, and the process may be messy, but the crisis is even messier. The man Bush choose to represent the United States at the UN, says Israel “has a right to defend itself”, and condemns Syria and Lebanon. Unfortunately, John Bolton’s philosophy is “do what’s in the interest of the US, and screw everybody else.” What he doesn’t realize in his mustachioed Cro-Magnon skull, is that it is not in our best interest to wage war, and divide other countries against each other with machiavellian politics.
Yesterday, eight Canadians died in Lebanon, a Lebanese-Canadian couple, their four children, his mother and an uncle, said relatives in Montreal. Asked to comment on the deaths in an Israeli air strike of eight Canadian citizens in southern Lebanon Sunday, here is what our "diplomat" said: "it is a matter of great concern to us ...that these civilian deaths are occurring. It's a tragedy."
"I think it would be a mistake to ascribe moral equivalence to civilians who die as the direct result of malicious terrorist acts," he added, while defending as "self-defense" Israel's military action, which has had "the tragic and unfortunate consequence of civilian deaths".
In other words, Lebanon civilian deaths are morally not same as terror victims. That's good diplomacy - to tell Lebanese civilians (who want nothing to do with any of this, they are simply caught in the middle) that their deaths do not count as much as Israeli deaths.
John Bolton and the chicken hawks WANT WWIII. That's why they’re talking like this. Every one of them is saying we are already in WWIII. It’s like a freak show, - Newt Gingrich, Neil Cavuto, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh. What’s so freaky about it? They all talk out of the same mouth. Wow! Hey mom, give me a dollar! I want to go to the carnival freak show! Rush says that getting rid of the Mulahs in Iran is a great opportunity. Bombing and killing is a great opportunity.
They all talk like this because it’s good for the Republicans in November. If they can make the WWIII the national issue, then it won't matter how much the Republicans screwed up this country, Americans will be scared to death, and they vote for them in again because of the “security issue”. They will destroy the whole world as long as they can use the war to stay in power, and at the same time make money through the military industrial complex. Here is the Republican motto in the midterms: "The only thing we have to USE is fear itself," which is of course, exactly the opposite of FDR's famous saying. Bolton is worried, because after the midterms, his recess job appointment comes up for assessment again, and if the Democrats take the Senate he will be handed a pink slip. Even if Democrats don't take the senate, he could be gone, because he's such an asshole, even the current senate rejected him, that why Bush put him in on recess. You can always count on Bush to get the best man for the job. "You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie!"
Encouraging and supporting Israel in a bloody confrontation with Hezbollah in Lebanon may seem to be a justified and reasonable action in the shortest of terms and from the narrowest of perspectives, but the United States of America is not Israel, and we have regional and global interests and responsibilities that far surpass those of this one small ally. This reactionary small mindedness will not serve America, or the world in the long run.
It doesn’t matter “who started it”. If you take land and houses and personal freedoms away from individuals, and if you systematically deprive a whole people of dignity and national identity, they do not forgive or forget their deep sense of injury, deprivation and injustice. Giving them a thorough beating at regular intervals, or endlessly frustrating their hopes of enjoying the benefits of political self-determination and economic prosperity, does not diminish their personal bitterness of alleviate their collective hunger for revenge and restitution. That point should be beyond debate, in my opinion.
Open confrontation of Hezbollah by the United States, allied with Israel, will have a powerful impact on the Iranian people, as well. Argue, if you will, that Iran is a known supporter of Hezbollah and Hamas, and thus of international terrorism. That is a reality that none can deny. But let's look beyond Bolton's bully national self interest and look at long term, not just for the United States, but for the world. prioritize. It is the people of Iraq and Iran on whom we depend not just for "regime change" in the short term, but for peace and stability (and resistance to terrorism) throughout the region in the decades ahead. It is the people of those countries whose trust and respect we must win. We don't do that by threatening to nuke them, forcing our brand of democracy on them, putting them out of work, insulting their leaders, refusing to negotiate, etc., etc.. It is the trust and respect of those people that we have lost --- to a significant extent because we are identified in their minds with the narrow interests of Israel. Why is that so difficult for Americans to understand?
The national philosophy of Israel and the United States (it is really deeper and more significant that just a military tactic) that underlies this devotion to pre-emptive war, massive over-reaction, and particularly its corollary, collective punishment, is obviously and demonstrably foolish and futile. It doesn’t deter enemies, and it never will. It simply creates more enemies.
The philosophy is complicated by the misinterpretation of religion, claiming that this or that tract of land was given by God to a certain group of people. That conclusion is false. We don’t have any rights to God’s property. If we claim any rights, then we are thieves – even if we do so in the name of our religion.
As Prabhupada said in “The Peace Formula”: “The great mistake of modern civilization is to encroach upon other’s property as though it were one’s own and to thereby create an unnecessary disturbance of the laws of nature…This earth is, therefore, the property of God, but we, the living entities, especially the so-called civilized human beings, are claiming God’s property as our own, under both and individual and collective false conception. If you want peace, you have to remove this false conception from your mind and from the world. This false claim of proprietorship by the human race on earth is partly or wholly the cause of all disturbances of foolish and so-called civilized men who are claiming proprietary rights on the property of God because they have now become godless… In the Bhagavad-gita, the holy book of India, Lord Krishna delineates the peace formula. He says that He is the factual enjoyer of all activities of the living entities, that He is the Supreme Lord of all universes, and that He is the well-wishing friend of all beings. When the people of the world know this as the formula for peace, it is then and there that peace will prevail.”
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Tuesday, July 4th: North Korea launches seven missiles including its long-range Taepodong-2, to send the United States a signal. The North Koreans are quite familiar with the new US policy of pre-emptive war, and the State-run media stepped up its rhetoric with the United States on Monday, July 3rd reporting that the country would respond to any pre-emptive U.S. military attack with an "annihilating strike and a nuclear war."
Sunday, July 9th: A Pakistan International Airlines plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Multan Airport in eastern Pakistan Monday, killing all 45 people aboard. Among the were two judges from Lahore High Court, two army brigadiers, and a vice-chancellor of a government university in Multan. That’s a pretty heavy payload of important people.
Monday, July 10th: In India, the Agni-III surface-to-surface nuclear capable missile was test-fired off the coast of Orissa state but crashed into the Bay of Bengal without reaching its target. The listed range of the Agni III, is 1,865 miles, hundreds of miles longer than that of other missiles India has tested, would put more of China's major cities within striking distance.
Tuesday, July 11th: A series of bombs strike Bombay's packed commuter trains, and India demands that Pakistan dismantle the "infrastructure of terrorism." The bombers, it turned out, systematically chose first-class men’s compartments, targeting the white-collar establishment.
Today, Thursday, July 13th: As I am writing this, CNN is reporting that the entire Middle East is on the brink of war. Israel attacked the Beirut airport, because the Hezbollah kidnapped Israeli soldiers. Lebanese Hezbollah counterattacked by firing rockets into Haifa, Israel, killing19 people, so Israel hit the airport again, and it is in flames right now. Lebanese and Syrian civilians are currently moving into air-raid shelters, because they are afraid they might be bombed.
Bush, of course, is taking the role as cheerleader by saying that Israel has a right to defend itself. One of Bush's stated goals in taking out Saddam Hussein was that it would help the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. I can't think of any policy that this administration has enacted - foreign or domestic, that hasn't resulted in exactly the opposite result - disastrous consequences. (see previous post "Upside Down World") Back in February of 2003, George Bush justified his policy in this way, "Old patterns of conflict in the Middle East can be broken if all concerned will let go of bitterness, hatred and violence, and get on with the serious work of economic development, political reform, and reconciliation. America will seize every opportunity in pursuit of peace."
I don't think that has happened. In fact, the war and subsequent occupation has only strengthened the most extreme fundamentalist groups, and the result is that right at this moment, the situation in the Middle East is deteriorating very rapidly. Israel is doing exactly what Hezbollah wanted to achieve with its provocations. Israel is accusing Syria and Iran of orchestrating this, and now, a nightmare scenario such as Israel striking Iran, with Iraq in the middle, would create nothing less than a superhighway of terrorists through that region, is not as remote a possibility as it was last month.
Meanwhile, back here in the good old USA, idiot talking heads in the media are running around like chicken-hawks with their heads cut off today, blindly supporting the Bush culture of death policy, and attacking anyone who has a different idea. On his CNN Headline News show, Glenn Beck proclaimed that recent violence in the Middle East and India are evidence that "we've got World War III to fight," and also warned of "the impending apocalypse." Beck added that President Bush is facing the threat "by himself," while former Vice President Al Gore is more concerned with the fact that "[t]he ice is starting to melt in Greenland." (see previous post: "Who's the greater threat - Fox News, or North Korea?") Glenn Beck is insane. Unstead of talking seriously about an extremely delicate situation, he is hyping a potential WWIII like it's a cheap going out of business sale. This guy has no regard for human life, or the planet. He is a sensational, bloviating idiot, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing". The media is in desperate need of journalists who can look at a world situation with gravity and foresight. CNN should fire this heartless, headless hack.
I hate to say it, but Beck might be right about the possibility of an impending third world war. People a lot smarter than him have been predicting this for years.
The rift between India and Pakistan is worth a closer look. These two countries are natural rivals because of disputed territory in Kashmir. They’ve had three wars in the last few years.
Thirty years ago, the Indian saint, Swami Prabhupada, predicted that WWIII would start between India and Pakistan.
From a morning walk conversation, April 4, 1975, in Mayapur, India:
Prabhupada: Yes. All Western adventure to keep people in darkness. And that is going on. Now it will be smashed by the next war. Next war will come very soon.
Tamala Krsna: (Surprised) Oh!
Tamala Krsna: Next war...?
Prabhupada: Your country, America, is very much eager to kill these Communists. And the Communists are also very eager. So very soon there will be war. And perhaps India will be the greatest sufferer… Because America is aiming to start the war from India.
Prabhupada: Yes. Because India and Russia, they are...
Brahmananda: They are... Friendship.
Prabhupada: No. Side by side. If the war is started from India...
Rupanuga: So India will become...
Prabhupada: And the Russians are ready here already, I have heard, with soldiers and... Not soldiers. I mean to say...
Prabhupada: Yes. They are also vigilant… Pakistan will start the war with India. And then everything will be...
Tamala Krsna: Will this war spread to many different countries and continents?
The swami predicted WWIII would come “soon”. How soon is soon? Well, back in 1956, Prabhupada wrote an article in Back To Godhead called "Blind Materialism” in which he gave a very chilling estimate:
“By the grace of the illusory energy of Godhead we are now engaged more and more in the dangerous type of work in this machine-age. The machine-age is the result of dangerous type of work. When we leave aside the culture of spiritualism, we are entangled in the dangerous type of work. Nobody can live for a moment without work and therefore when finer elements are made to stop working, gross materialism occupies the devil's brain. The result is that we have now come to the age of nuclear weapons for the destruction of material civilization. By the law of nature, the nuclear weapons have been produced for crushing the result of blind-materialism.
The peace move of different powers of the world, by the false gesture of suspending the experiments of dangerous weapons--may be very much pleasing to the comparatively weak nations--but these temporary peace-moves will prove useless by the law of material nature. When the dangerous weapons are produced, they must be utilised for annihilation of blind materialism by the plan of the Daivi Maya or the external energy of Godhead. The problem can be solved when they are taught about their spiritual identity. The soul-killing civilization is progressively taking to the dangerous type of work by invention of huge mechanical means. The illusory energy is creating this atmosphere for blind materialism and on the other hand she is arranging for their destruction also. Such opposite methods are called illusory energy. The human energy is thus misused for breaking the same thing which is produced by the same energy. It is something like blazing the fire and extinguish it by pouring water simultaneously--a sign of insanity or spoiling the valuable human energy meant for spiritual culture. History has been repeated so many times and many many leaders of materialism like Napoleon, Hitler and others now remain in name only without any sign of the material progress planned by them. De-Stalinisation has already begun in Russia. Nobody is enjoying the result of civilization created by atheists like Ravana, Kamsa, Aurangzeb, Napoleon or Hitler. Everything is in oblivion and this teaches us the lesson that the materialistic plans of the present age will also meet with the same fate after a lapse of 50 years. Therefore blind materialism does not bring in any permanent relief in the world.”
Do the math. 1956 + 50 years = 2006
I started to think about India and Pakistan after the train bombing. This happened around the anniversary of the London subway bombings, and it was synchronized, so it reeks of Al-Qaeda. And of course, where is Osama Bin Ladin? He’s probably in Pakistan, although if you ask George Bush, he’ll say, “I don’t know where he is… I don’t spend that much time on him.” The CIA dismantled the Osama task force a year ago. You get the feeling that Pakistan knows where he is, and they also know where Mulah Omar is, and where Iman El Zarwahiri is, and all these madrasa schools are still open for a reason, and every time Musharif makes a move like he’s going to capture or kill Osama Bin Ladin, they attempt to assassinate him. They seem to have settled on not spending any more time on him.
Lets look at the timeline again. India fired its missile the day after the important people in the Pakistani airliner were killed. A top official at Pakistan International Airlines, who owned the plane, said there was no report of any fault in the plane before it took off. A similar thing happened in Rockaway, New York. A plane crashed immediately after it took off. Nobody knows what happened to that plane. People speculate, “shoulder fired rocket?” Who knows? After the plane crashes, India fires a missile test, and the next day someone, who is being protected by the Pakistanis, blows up their trains.
What’s especially weird about India’s missile test is that Bush sold the Indian government technology which was really everything that India dreamed of having, because India is not a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty, so India gets to import nuclear fuel and technology to produce nuclear energy, and also got permission from Bush to continue to build as many nuclear weapons as it desires. They can build bombs, and no one inspects them, because they are not agreeing not to proliferate. The U.S., Russia, and China agree not to proliferate. In fact, we don’t, according to what we think is happening. None the above mentioned countries make new bombs. It’s really a good deal that India gets to make new bombs without inspections. Bush just went over there gave them Carte Blanche, and in so doing completely obliterated the very serious non-proliferation treaty, because other countries who see this deal will think they can do the same thing. It’s a good deal for India. What did we get?
“The United States is looking forward to eating Indian mangoes.” – George W. Bush, March 2nd, 2006
We got mangoes. We didn’t get anything really good. Mangoes are good in sorbet. I like tropical fruit, but mangoes for nukes/nukes for mangoes, you know… not really a great deal. They did that deal in under two hours, because Bush really didn’t feel like negotiating that day, and he didn’t want to change his schedule, so he just said, “whatever you want”, and walked away.
India, (that could reach Pakistan prior to this with a nuclear weapon), was testing something that could reach China for the first time. What’s interesting about that, is that China doesn’t want to help us out with the negotiations with North Korea, who also tested 7 missiles on the 4th of July.
It just looks like, to me the whole world is preparing so that Dick Cheney can have the war he wants. People were really disappointed that we didn’t really get to use nukes on Russia - people like Cheney, who I believe has an “innie”, and he want to use nuclear weapons so he can feel like a man. They never got their war because Russia went broke fighting Afghanistan. If that is what everybody is posturing for, and people are literally choosing up sides right now by launching their missiles and showing where they are right now in WWIII, it’s probably going to be us, Israel, and India, against Pakistan, China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
Although the situation in the Middle East is currently spiraling out of control, I don't think even that is going to be enough for Bush and the chicken-hawks in his administration. It looks like they will never settle down until they get WWIII, the war they really wanted – their perpetual war for perpetual profit.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Here is the conversation between Brit Hume, and Ron Williams (who is not exactly a liberal himself), saying, “You got to be kidding me.”
WILLIAMS: Let me ask you a question here. How much can we really do as a superpower, given the fact that we are in Iraq, we are trying to deal with the Iranians, we are in Afghanistan. Given the idea that North Korea is now acting up, there is a limit to what we can possibly do, and you are suggesting that we “take a hard line”. You're not suggesting that we start bombing the sites!
HUME: But that is something we could do.
WILLIAMS: What are you inviting? What are you guys suggesting is the “hard line” in North Korea?
HUME: One thing about knocking the missiles out on the ground, I mean, they’re just sitting there like the Washington Monument. They can be struck. That, at least, is something we could do, and could make a successful possible strategy.
If Brit Hume wants to bomb North Korea, then I think we should put Fox News headquarters somewhere in South Korea or Japan, so he might understand what North Korea’s retaliatory capability is. Is he CRAZY?
Whenever something looks like the Washington monument, Brit Hume wants to blow it up? What kind of a mind-set is that? Who’s the terrorist now, Brit? Paging Dr. Freud! Kim Jong Il, you can’t wave your missiles in Brit Hume’s face, otherwise, he’ll want to nuke you. (Not that they have anything against George Washington, but it’s standing right there where they want the Reagan monument.)
The Clinton administration, despite all its faults, did a fine job in North Korea. We negotiated a framework in which the North Koreans were able to show us that they were getting rid of their plutonium, they were burying it in the ground. We were able to monitor the whole thing. They were cheating, but we KNEW they were cheating, because of the oversight. Now, no one knows anything about North Korea, because nobody’s in North Korea. Bush called Kim Jong Il a “pygmy”, a “spoiled child at a dinner table.” That’s great diplomacy. That works really well.
Hume is not the first chicken-hawk on Fox that spews fear mongering brinksmanship. After Iran unveiled it's nuclear program, John Gibson said this on the May 8th edition of Fox's "The Big Story":
GIBSON: Now it's time for "My Word." Tony Blair today said that any notion of a nuclear attack on Iran is absurd. That was the word he used: "absurd." His former foreign secretary, Jack Straw, had described an alleged plan of the U.S. to use nuke bunker-busters against a facility Iran has thought to be making nuke bomb materials in as completely nuts. I think both gentlemen were just saying that to be heard at this time.
Reality is something different. Notwithstanding the fact that Iran wrote President Bush a letter suggesting there may be other ways to resolve the two countries' differences over nuclear capabilities, if Sy Hersh was right about Pentagon plans to use nukes to derail Iran's nuclear ambitions, then Blair and Straw are obviously just trying to calm down the public in Britain and elsewhere about what might be inevitable.
If Iran is really going to develop the nuke bomb, which it can bolt on its already scary long-distance missiles, do you honestly think the world is going to stand by and let that happen? For one thing, Israel won't stand by. And since the Israelis probably don't have the precision nuke bunker-busters but might instead handle the problem with a barrage of many nuke bombs, world leaders may be coming to the U.S. saying, "Would you please use your super-duper nuke bunker-busters to end this thing with the least possible -- pardon the phrase -- collateral damage?"
Not long after that broadcast, Bush starts to make noise with Iran, and he says, O.K., we’ll negotiate with Iran, and we’ll tell them that they can have nuclear material for a civil electricity program, but they can’t enrich it. It’ll come from Russia, and they’ll make money – won’t that be great?
And North Korea is sitting there, going, “What’s wrong with me? I’m on your ‘Axis of Evil’ too. How come you don’t want to deal with me? What’s wrong with me? Why do you call me a pygmy?” So, they launch some scud missiles, and try for a long range ballistic, and of course, its years away from being ready, but they did it on the 4th of July, just to freak us out. Just to let us know that Bush doesn’t engage North Korea like he engaged Iran. Yet when Iraq did not have a nuclear program, Bush invaded them. So the message is blow up some missiles. Launch something, and we’ll get stuff too.
This foreign policy is so unbelievably bad. It hasn’t worked. It won’t work. They isolated the North Koreans, and wouldn’t talk to them. When Bush took office, they did not have a nuclear weapon, and we don’t know if they do now or not, and Iran did not have a nuclear program. Bush invaded Iraq, and now its full of terrorists. Iran is now saying they are definitely going nuclear, because if they think if they don’t have a nuclear weapon, they can’t protect themselves from crazy American administrations that want to attack them, so they follow the lead of Pakistan, that does have a nuclear program, and they are America’s greatest allies, even though they teach Wahhabist extremist views in their madrasa schools, and are probably protecting Osama Bin Laden. So we engage Iran, and say “we’ll pay you to stop” and North Korea’s like, “Pay us too.”
It’s a good thing that there was no Bush in charge during the cold war, and it’s good that Brit Hume wasn’t on Fox News during the Cuban missile crisis; otherwise I think it would have turned out quite differently.
So, who’s a greater threat to the United States? Fox news, or North Korea?
Following such conclusions, the demoniac, who are lost to themselves and who have no intelligence, engage in unbeneficial, horrible works meant to destroy the world.
The demoniac are engaged in activities that will lead the world to destruction. The Lord states here that they are less intelligent. The materialists, who have no concept of God, think that they are advancing. But, according to Bhagavad-gita, they are unintelligent and devoid of all sense. They try to enjoy this material world to the utmost limit and therefore always engage in inventing something for sense gratification. Such materialistic inventions are considered to be advancement of human civilization, but the result is that people grow more and more violent and more and more cruel, cruel to animals and cruel to other human beings. They have no idea how to behave toward one another. Animal killing is very prominent amongst demoniac people. Such people are considered the enemies of the world because ultimately they will invent or create something which will bring destruction to all. Indirectly, this verse anticipates the invention of nuclear weapons, of which the whole world today is very proud. At any moment war may take place, and these atomic weapons may create havoc. Such things are created solely for the destruction of the world, and this is indicated here. Due to godlessness, such weapons are invented in human society; they are not meant for the peace and prosperity of the world.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Even though the administration is calling Ken Lay a mere acquaintance of the President, he was actually “Kenny Boy”, Bush’s biggest Presidential campaign contributor, even for his gubernatorial race in Texas. Lay offered Enron's private jet to the Bush/Cheney campaign in '99-00. He was one of the biggest corporate crooks in United States history, yet he was another one of these Republicans who walked around praising God, and proclaiming his love for his Lord, quoting appropriate verses just to make himself look good. I’m sure that wherever he is, he is looking up on us today.
Standing outside the courthouse on May 25th, 2006, after he was found guilty of stock fraud, he said:
"I firmly believe I'm innocent... Despite what happened today, I am still a very blessed man... Most of all, we believe that God, in fact, is in control and, indeed, that he does work all things for good for those who love the Lord. And we love our Lord, and ultimately, all of these things will work for good."
Well, apparently, God wanted him dead. Or someone did…
According to stories on CNN, Rev. Dr. William Lawson, who delivered the eulogy at Lay's funeral, compared him to Martin Luther King, Jr., JFK, and Jesus: ". . . He was crucified by a government that mistreated him."
The service was attended by former President George H. W. Bush, former secretary of state James Baker, former secretary of commerce Robert Mosbacher Sr., and a number of energy industry executives.
“I plan to tell them this is not the first time somebody good has been falsely accused and even crucified,'' Lawson said today in an interview before leaving for Aspen. “Just like Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy, my hope is that people will view Ken Lay in a much more positive light after his death. Even though people say he's a robber and a crook and that it's a good thing he's dead, we have the right to tell his family we've seen this (vilification) before, and history can be kind.''
Ken Lay – the guy who knew so much. Perhaps the guy who knew too much.
Am I wandering into the realm of absolutely over the top conspiracy theory?
Ken Lay – the guy who was having the secret meetings with Cheney, to come up with the energy policy
Ken Lay – the largest lifetime patron of the political career of George W. Bush
Ken Lay – who created Enron out of a deregulation that he personally lobbied Bush Sr. for
Ken Lay – who knew where all the bodies were buried
Ken Lay – who had the private meeting with Ahnold Schwarzenegger in Beverly Hills just before the rolling blackouts hit California from Ken Lay’s company Enron, that brought down Gray Davis, and guess who’s now governer of California
Ken Lay was going to be sentenced in October, so now is the time he would be cutting deals with prosecutors.
The last time there was sombody who was in serious trouble, and who knew too much about a Bush President was in 1987. William Casey, had been the campaign manager for George Herbert Walker Bush, who had engineered the “October Surprise” in the election of 1980. Bush went over and cut a deal with the Iranians and said, “You hold on to the hostages and make Jimmy Carter look bad, and Ronald Reagan (who was viewed as a right wing crack-pot by the majority of Americans and was down 6 points in the polls) Ronald Reagan will become President, and then we’ll sell you spare parts and missles." The guy who knew about that was William Casey. They made him the director of the CIA. He was called to testify before the senate, under oath, and he told his laywer Milton Gould he was going to tell the entire truth. The day he was going to testify before congress that George Herbert Walker Bush had cut a deal with the Iranians to flip a U.S. election in 1980.
The morning of his testimony, he suddenly has a seizure at his headquarters in the CIA office in Langley Virginia, falls over, they haul him away on a stretcher, they take him to Bethesda Naval Hospital, open up his skull, and take out the part of his brain that contols speech (the Broka’s region). They, for all practical purposes, cut out his tongue. He died six months later of complications from the surgery.
Now we have Ken Lay, just before it's time for him to start cutting deals with prosecutors, he's about to start singing like a canary, and suddenly he has a heart attack. Am I crazy? I don’t know.
I do know that the Bush crime family is ruthless, and I wouldn’t put anything past them.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
“The ‘religious right’ is neither”
They call themselves Christians, but what they are doing is completely unchristian. Their actions speak louder than their words.
As the liner notes to the Jim Wallis’s book “God’s Politics” proclaim, “Since when did believing in God and having moral values make you pro-war, pro-rich, and pro-Republican? And since when did promoting and pursuing a progressive social agenda with a concern for economic security, health care, and educational opportunity mean you had to put faith in God aside?”
"Now everything’s a little upside down, as a matter of fact the wheels have stopped, what’s good is bad, what’s bad is good, you’ll find out when you reach the top, you’re on the bottom." - Bob Dylan "Idiot Wind"
That understanding which considers irreligion to be religion and religion to be irreligion, under the spell of illusion and darkness, and strives always in the wrong direction, O Partha, is in the mode of ignorance.
Intelligence in the mode of ignorance is always working the opposite of the way it should. It accepts religions which are not actually religions and rejects actual religion. Men in ignorance understand a great soul to be a common man and accept a common man as a great soul. They think truth to be untruth and accept untruth as truth. In all activities they simply take the wrong path; therefore their intelligence is in the mode of ignorance.
Republicans are the ultimate flip-floppers.
FLIP: culture of life
FLOP: culture of death
FLIP: war as a last resort
FLOP: pre-emptive war
FLIP: no child left behind
FLOP: no child's behind left
FLIP: "The Clear Skies Act"
FLOP: fills our skies with pollution
FLIP: media information
FLOP: is media misinformation.
FLOP: is irreligion - meant to divide people with wedge issues, fear, and hate.
Up is down. Everything is it’s own opposite:
-A botched war is:
OPPOSITE a good re-election issue for the people who started it
-Money only flows from the rich to the poor
OPPOSITE instead of people who spend money, to the people who have money
-The greatest threat to marriage is when gay people get married
OPPOSITE rather than when other people do not
-The White house protects us
OPPOSITE by blowing a CIA operation
OPPOSITE means that the government spends more
Republicans strongest argument for the '08 elections are that Democrats want to "cut and run."
But the are hypocrites, because they have:
CUT the funds for the strengthening of the levees and then
RUN from the responsibility for their breaking.
CUT the taxes for the rich, and
RUN up the deficit to maximum proportions.
CUT school funds and
RUN from their failed schools.
CUT the funds for the troops and
RUN from the responsibility for 2500 dead and 40,000 wounded.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
When I first heard the furor from these conservative talking heads, the White House, and congress about the New York Times, I thought they had finally awakened to the seriousness of outing Valarie Plame. Once I realized they were ranting about the story that the government has been looking into wire transfers, which has been unclassified, and in public domain for years, I then became concerned that what we are seeing, particularly in W’s case, might be an early onset of Alzheimer’s. He’s completely forgotten how many times the White House has leaked sensitive information to the New York Times that has compromised US counter-terrorism operations. They were more than willing to do it as long as it served their political purpose. But now that they think that they can get some political gain out of this, they are trying to pretend like Heidi Fleiss on a crusade to prevent sexual promiscuity in Hollywood. I think they "dost protest too much”.
Why are they attacking the Times? This information was leaked to Wall Street Journal and the LA Times as well, who printed the same story. The Journal was not told not to print it, because it might make Bush look good, as if he was doing something about the war on terror. The Times, however, was leaked the story, and then told, "Hey, by the way, don't print this" then they went ahead and printed it anyway. It was a setup. Karl Rove set the Times up to be shot down. It's like handing fake documents to Dan Rather about Bush's millitary record, which he reports, and is then fired. It is meant to throw red meat to Bush's base, to give them a "liberal enemy" who can be labeled as "helping the terrorists".
The fact is, the Bush administration has been very ineffective in trying to track down financial information. They have failed in that front, and nobody is paying attention to that story. Less than a month after 9-11, on November 7th, 2001, Paul O’Neil of the Treasury Dept., said they were going to try to get financial information about people they thought were involved in terrorism. The thing they failed to do is go to congress and get authorization. That is what the New York Times reported, and that is why the administration are singling them out and "swift boated" in order to change the subject.
The story is that this could have been legal if congress had authorized it, but they didn’t. This is why the Supreme Court recently ruled that Bush has overreached his executive privileges. The founding fathers set this country up with three co-equal branches, but time and time again, Bush and his cronies have circumvented that system to achieve the goal of unlimited executive power, which is nothing less than imperial fascistic dictatorship. This administration could easily have stayed within the law, working inside the existing set of checks and balances, but they prefer to work outside the law, demonstrating again and again that they prefer to be outside that law and accountable to no one for anything.
Perhaps the reason the Bushies get so hysterical when it gets reported that they are listening to our phone conversations, and now looking into our bank records, without any oversight, may be that they are doing these things to spy on the Democrats, just as Nixon did in the 70’s. That is the reason these laws they are breaking were enacted in the first place.
This attack on the NYT is so quick, so focused, and so contrived. If they were really concerned about the leak, they would be asking who leaked the information. They are not asking that question.
When Republicans say the Times compromised our national security by printing this story, it's like the pot calling the kettle black. If you look at what they have compromised – back in August of 2004, on the eve of the Republican National Convention, the White House called a New York Times reporter and gave him information about an Al-Quaida operative that we had in our custody in Pakistan who we were using covertly to try to penetrate the Al-Quaida computer network. They exposed that, and compromised our ability to conduct national security, just to make Bush look good just before the convention. This cabal has no shame.
I heard radio talk show host Thom Hartman tell a story about when this news came out. He was at a hotel having his continental breakfast where the TV was on. ABC was saying goodbye to Charlie Gibson. Once that was over, at 9am, the local affiliate started running the 700 club, which looks just like network television. Roberston went off on this screed about how the NYT and the Democrats are traitors and treasonous, and they should all be put in prison. There was a couple in their late fifties, early sixties, average Americans, on vacation, having breakfast as well, and the wife said to the husband, “He’s right, that New York Times and those Democrats in congress, they should ALL be put in prison!” Her husband nodded, and Thom, who had lived in Germany for a year, thought to him self, “Holy cow! This is how ordinary Germans were talking about the Communists and the Jews in the late1930’s.”
Two weeks ago a top conservative Republican defense lobbyist, said to a friend who used to be in the CIA, “These are not Republicans, this is a tyranny of Fascists.” When conservatives start talking like that, it is saying something very dramatic about what these people are up to. There are a lot of Republicans who are very, very frightened of this administration. These guys are truly scary, and it’s time to start paying attention, because it doesn’t seem like anyone is. After this NYT story backlash, many of the leftists blogs like DailyKos, Fire Dog Lake, etc. were asleep at the switch, and were doing nothing. People need to wake up.
This "tyranny of Fascists" in America was prophesized 62 years ago by Vice President Henry Wallace. In early 1944, the New York Times asked him to, "write a piece answering the following questions: What is a fascist? How many fascists have we? How dangerous are they?"
Vice President Wallace's answer to those questions was published in The New York Times on April 9, 1944, at the height of the war against the Axis powers of Germany and Japan.
"The really dangerous American fascists," Wallace wrote, "are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power."
In 1938, Mussolini brought his vision of fascism into full reality when he dissolved Parliament and replaced it with the "Camera dei Fasci e delle Corporazioni" - the Chamber of the Fascist Corporations. Corporations were still privately owned, but now instead of having to sneak their money to folks like Tom DeLay and covertly write legislation, they were openly in charge of the government.
Vice President Wallace bluntly laid out in his 1944 Times article his concern about the same happening here in America:
"If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. ... They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead... Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion. American fascists of this stamp were clandestinely aligned with their German counterparts before the war, and are even now preparing to resume where they left off, after 'the present unpleasantness' ceases."
Fascists have an agenda that is primarily economic. As the Free Dictionary (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/) notes, fascism/corporatism is "an attempt to create a 'modern' version of feudalism by merging the 'corporate' interests with those of the state."
In a comment prescient of George W. Bush's recent suggestion that civilization itself is at risk because of gays, Wallace continued:
"The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by environment and adapted to immediate circumstances. But always and everywhere they can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain power. It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice. It may be shocking to some people in this country to realize that, without meaning to do so, they hold views in common with Hitler when they preach discrimination..."
But even at this, Wallace noted, American fascists would have to lie to the people in order to gain power. And, because they were in bed with the nation's largest corporations - who could gain control of newspapers and broadcast media - they could promote their lies with ease.
"The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact," Wallace wrote. "Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy."
In his strongest indictment of the tide of fascism the Vice President of the United States saw rising in America, he added, "They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection."
Finally, Wallace said, "The myth of fascist efficiency has deluded many people. ... Democracy, to crush fascism internally, must...develop the ability to keep people fully employed and at the same time balance the budget. It must put human beings first and dollars second. It must appeal to reason and decency and not to violence and deceit. We must not tolerate oppressive government or industrial oligarchy in the form of monopolies and cartels."
As Wallace's President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, said when he accepted his party's renomination in 1936 in Philadelphia, "...out of this modern civilization, economic royalists [have] carved new dynasties.... It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction.... And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man...."
Speaking indirectly of the fascists that Wallace would directly name almost a decade later, Roosevelt brought the issue to its core: "These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power."
But, he thundered in that speech, "Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power!"
President Roosevelt and Vice President Wallace's warnings have come full circle. Which is why it's so critical that this November we join together at the ballot box to stop this most recent incarnation of feudal fascism from seizing complete control of our nation.
"Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live."
- Adolf Hitler
"I’m gonna tell all you fascists
You may be surprised
People all over this world
Are getting organized
You’re bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose
Race hatred cannot stop us
This one thing I know
Your poll tax and Jim Crow
And greed have got to go
You’re bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose.
All of you fascists are bound to lose:
You fascists are bound to lose:
You fascists are bound to lose:
You’re bound to lose!
You fascists: Bound to lose!
People of every color
Marching side by side
Marching ‘cross the fields
Where a million fascists die
You’re bound to lose
You fascists bound to lose!
All of you fascists are bound to lose:
You fascists are bound to lose:
You fascists are bound to lose:
You’re bound to lose!
You fascists: Bound to lose!
I’m going into this battle
And take my union gun
Gonna end this world of slavery
Before this war is won
You’re bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose!
All you fascists are bound to lose:
You fascists are bound to lose:
You fascists are bound to lose:
You’re bound to lose!
You fascists are bound to lose!
I said, all you fascists are bound to lose!
All you fascists are bound to lose:
You fascists are bound to lose:
You fascists are bound to lose:
You’re bound to lose!
You fascists are bound to lose!
- Woody Guthrie
Music by Billy Bragg © Copyright 2000 by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc