Friday, June 29, 2007

Light--if any--posting this weekend

So please check back in on Monday AM...

also, please check out The Ballad of Adam & Steve, on Woody Guthrie's Guitar...I'll leave it on top of the site...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tony "Vafanculo" Scalia's Pissed At Roberts Cuz Roberts Ain't "Activist" Enough

Via TruthOut.Org:
To wit:
In the campaign finance case, he accused Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. of “faux judicial modesty” for writing an opinion that in Justice Scalia’s view effectively overturned the court’s 2003 campaign finance decision “without saying so.” The clear implication was that the chief justice lacked the courage or honesty to overturn the precedent openly as Justice Scalia himself would have done.

“This faux judicial restraint is judicial obfuscation,” he said.

And Justice Scalia was scathing in his criticism of an opinion signed by Chief Justice Roberts that limited, but did not completely abolish, the right of taxpayers to go to court to challenge government expenditures that promote religion. Justice Scalia would have gone on to shut the courthouse door completely, not simply limiting but overturning the precedent that the new ruling invoked.

We Are SOOOOOOOO Fucked.
How ya enjoying the reign of the Roman Catholic Inquisition on the fucking Supreme Court? Ya likin' this Opus Dei SCROTUS?
Where's some good, old-fashioned, anti-Catholic bigotry?
Both Alito and Roberts lied to the Congressional committees before which they appeared for confirmation.
Gutless fuckin Democraps genuflected to suck fascist cocks and refused to filibuster.
So now, along with Vanfanculo Scalia, and Unka Thomas, and the fucking worthless, turn-coat Kennedy, there are two MORE fascist motherfuckers leaving shit-trails throughout the SCROTUS.
Scalia's 71. The slimy shitwhistle could live, and adjudicate, for another 20 years.
Come on, Tony, you fascist, saturnine fucknozzle: Take the cannolis...and then fucking Feb '09.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I Haven't Dog-Blogged In A While

The crew remains the same: Mischief (senior dog), Dixie-Belle (the Beautiful one), Hanna-Stella (my own Handful), and Budreaux (the Smilingest dog)

This is Mischief

Dixie at her post, keepin' an eye on things.

Hannah's a big, black bundle of energy

Bud's the Happy One

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Sure Way To Erase The "Librul" Bias In The Press:

Fire the fuckers! Yeah, that works...
The TV reporter in Omaha who posted a photo of herself on with a congressional candidate, urging her friends to vote for him, is no longer working at the station.

Also out: an editorial cartoonist who said he didn't "give a rat's ass" about his newspaper's policy on campaign contributions by journalists.

And one newspaper has dropped the syndicated column "The Ethicist" by New York Times writer Randy Cohen because of his donation to, which he said he had thought of as "nonpartisan."

This is SUCH bullshit. Fire a reporter for donating a coupla hundred bucks to a candidate, but the fucking publisher donates THOUSANDS AND FUCKING THOUSANDS to the Bushevik regime and has no consequences?

Demonstrating once again the truth of AJ Liebling's maxin: The press is only free to the man whi owns one...

Monday, June 25, 2007

BULLETIN!: Guess Who PBS Named The "First Responder" For The Next Dumbocrap Debate?

According the Media Matters: Frank Fucking Luntz, that's who! Frank FUCKING LUNTZ!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Are these people out of their rabbit-assed, fucking minds?

The fat-faced, jowl-flopping, multi-chinned, feculent, Fucktard who once non-plussed BOTH Al Franken AND Joe Conason on Franken's normally fatuous radio program by claiming for himself the mantle of "a good guy doing good work for bad people." (A claim which neither Franken nor Conason, somehow, bothered to rebut.)

Here's David Brooks' whole report:
Email from David Brock, June 25, 2007.

Dear Friend:

I'm sure you've already heard that PBS will be hosting the next Democratic presidential forum on Thursday, June 28, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. What you may not know is that PBS has invited Frank Luntz, a longtime Republican pollster and strategist, to provide "immediate public feedback on the performances of the candidates" during post-forum coverage on the Tavis Smiley program.

Of course, when Luntz's appearance was announced, the press release made no mention of his Republican ties or long history of being criticized for his work.

If you don't know much about Frank Luntz, here are some important facts about this discredited Republican pollster:
In 1997, the American Association for Public Opinion Research formally reprimanded Luntz for refusing to release documentation in support of comments he made to the media regarding his polling work on the Republican Party's 1994 "Contract with America" campaign platform, according to a article.

Washington Post polling director Richard Morin reported that the National Council on Public Polls censured Luntz "for allegedly mischaracterizing on MSNBC the results of focus groups he conducted during the [2000] Republican Convention."

In September 2004, MSNBC dropped Luntz from its planned coverage of that year's presidential debate coverage, following a letter from Media Matters that outlined Luntz's GOP ties and questionable polling methodology.

According to a January 29, 2007, article on The New Republic's website, Luntz "not only helped write Republican House member Newt Gingrich's Contract with America; he was also responsible for its presentation to the public." He also "advised Republicans trying to impeach Bill Clinton."

Luntz's 2002 memo "The Environment: A Cleaner, Safer, Healthier America" coached Republicans on new ways to talk about global warming and warned the party that the environment "is probably the single issue on which Republicans in general -- and President Bush in particular -- are most vulnerable."

A June 2004 memo by Luntz, "Communicating The Principles Of Prevention & Protection In The War On Terror," urged Republicans to use concepts such as "It is better to fight the War on Terror on the streets of Baghdad than on the streets of New York or Washington" and "9/11 changed everything," which have been staples of Republican rhetoric ever since.

With his well-documented Republican ties and history of being criticized and reprimanded by his peers, it's clear that Frank Luntz cannot be trusted to provide objective analysis of Thursday's forum.

Today, I'm asking you to contact PBS and let the organization know that it should reconsider its decision to use Luntz in light of his partisan Republican ties and history of questionable scientific methodology. If Luntz must be a part of PBS post-forum coverage, let it know you expect that its viewers will be informed of these facts on the air.

Ms. Paula Kerger
President & CEO
2100 Crystal Dr
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 739-5015

Neal Kendall
Executive Producer
Tavis Smiley Show
4401 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 953-5872

Rove & Cheney Source Of US Climate Change Denials

The Bush Administration's Secret Campaign to Deny Global Warming
(Rolling Stone, via TruthOut.Org--which needs your support!)
It is no secret that industry-connected appointees within the White House have worked actively to distort the findings of federal climate scientists, playing down the threat of climate change. But a new investigation by Rolling Stone reveals that those distortions were sanctioned at the highest levels of our government, in a policy formulated by the Darth Cheney, implemented by the Council on Environmental Quality, and enforced by none other than Karl Rove.
"Earlier this year, the world's top climate scientists released a definitive report on global warming. It is now "unequivocal," they concluded, that the planet is heating up. Humans are directly responsible for the planetary heat wave, and only by taking immediate action can the world avert a climate catastrophe. Megadroughts, raging wildfires, decimated forests, dengue fever, legions of Katrinas - unless humans act now to curb our climate-warming pollution, warned the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, "we are in deep trouble."

You would think, in the wake of such stark and conclusive findings, that the White House would at least offer some small gesture to signal its concern about the impending crisis. It's not every day, after all, that the leading scientists from 120 nations come together and agree that the entire planet is about to go to hell. But the Bush administration has never felt bound by the reality-based nature of science - especially when it comes from international experts. So after the report became public in February, Vice President Dick Cheney took to the airwaves to offer his own, competing assessment of global warming.

"We're going to see a big debate on it going forward," Cheney told ABC News, about "the extent to which it is part of a normal cycle versus the extent to which it's caused by man." What we know today, he added, is "not enough to just sort of run out and try to slap together some policy that's going to 'solve' the problem."

Even former White House insiders were shocked by the vice president's see-no-evil performance. "I don't see how he can say that with a straight face anymore," Christine Todd Whitman, who clashed privately with Cheney over climate policy during her tenure as the administration's first chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, tells Rolling Stone. "The consequences of climate change are very real and very negative, but Cheney is not convinced of that. He believes - not quite as much as Senator James Inhofe, that this is a 'hoax' - but that the Earth has been changing since it was formed and to say that climate change is caused by humans is incorrect."

Christine Todd Whitman? Hmmmm...
Wasn't it she who, toeing the Regime line, said there were no environmental threats posed by the residues and detritus spread throughout NYC in the wake of the 9/11 catastrophe?
Just askin'...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Lobbyists: Doing Good Things For Bad People

From Harpers, July, '07 (via TruthOut.Org, which I support with a small monthly donation):
In March, when the U.S. State Department announced its new global survey of human rights, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared that the report demonstrated America's commitment to civil liberties, the rule of law, and a free press. "We are recommitting ourselves to stand with those courageous men and women who struggle for their freedom and their rights," she said. "And we are recommitting ourselves to call every government to account that still treats the basic rights of its citizens as options rather than, in President Bush's words, the non-negotiable demands of human dignity."

Flipping through the report, however, one cannot help but notice how many of the countries that flout "the non-negotiable demands of human dignity" seem to have negotiated themselves significant support from the U.S. government, whether military assistance (Egypt, Colombia), development aid (Azerbaijan, Nigeria), expanded trade opportunities (Angola, Cameroon), or official Washington visits for their leaders (Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan). The granting of favorable concessions to dictatorial regimes is a practice hardly limited to the current administration: Bill Clinton came into office having said that China's access to American markets should be tied to improved human rights - specifically its willingness to "recognize the legitimacy of those kids that were carrying the Statue of Liberty" at Tiananmen Square - but left having helped Beijing attain its long-cherished goal of Permanent Most Favored Nation trade status. Jimmy Carter put the promotion of human rights at the heart of his foreign policy, yet he cut deals for South American generals and Persian Gulf monarchs in much the same fashion as his successor, Ronald Reagan.

How is it that regimes widely acknowledged to be the world's most oppressive nevertheless continually win favors in Washington? In part, it is because they often have something highly desired by the United States that can be leveraged to their advantage, be it natural resources, vast markets for trade and investment, or general geostrategic importance. But even the best-endowed regimes need help navigating the shoals of Washington, and it is their great fortune that, for the right price, countless lobbyists are willing to steer even the foulest of ships.

American lobbyists have worked for dictators since at least the 1930s, when the Nazi government used a proxy firm called the German Dye Trust to retain the public-relations specialist Ivy Lee. Exposure of Lee's deal led Congress to pass the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA), which required foreign lobbyists to register their contracts with the Justice Department. The idea seemed to be that with disclosure, lobbyists would be too embarrassed to take on immoral or corrupt clients, but this assumption predictably proved to be naive. Edward J. von Kloberg III, now deceased, for years made quite a comfortable living by representing men such as Saddam Hussein of Iraq (whose government's gassing of its Kurdish population he sought to justify) and Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire (for whose notoriously crooked regime he helped win American foreign aid). Two other von Kloberg contracts - for Nicolae Ceauşescu of Romania and Samuel Doe of Liberia - were terminated, quite literally, when each was murdered by his own citizens. In the 1990s, after Burma's military government arrested the future Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi and cracked down on the pro-democracy movement she led, the firm of Jefferson Waterman International signed on to freshen up the Burmese image.

Although there are distinct limits to what they can achieve, lobbyists are the crucial conduit through which pariah regimes advance their interests in Washington. "It's like the secret handshake that gets you into the lodge," as one former lobbyist told me. Occasionally, firms will achieve spectacular successes for a client: one particularly remarkable piece of lobbyist image management, for example, occurred in the mid-1980s, when the firm of Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly helped refashion Jonas Savimbi, a murderous, demented Angolan rebel leader backed by the apartheid regime in South Africa, as a valiant anti-communist "freedom fighter." Savimbi visited Washington on numerous occasions, where the lobby shop had him ferried about by limousine to meetings with top political leaders, conservative groups, and TV networks. Black, Manafort checked repeated threats by members of Congress to cut off aid to Savimbi's rebel group, which was burning and raping its way through Angola with the help of American taxpayers.

Read more. Before we kill all the lawyers, I would happily advocate the disposal, into a deep pit filled with lye, of all the lobbyists (many of whom, unsurprisingly, ARE lawyers). They're the political equivalent of 'mercs'--who have sold their claims to humanity by the contract they have made to kill for cash--and sell their souls (NOT cheaply) to the most reprehensible autocrats, thugs and assassins and grease the skids for pariah states.
The REALLY GOOD NEWS is that Harpers' Archives are on-line in an easily reached and easily researched format.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Now HERE'S Some Stinky Shit: Remember All Those Saudis Flying Home Post-9/11?

Matt Renner, one of the indefatigable squad of real reporters working at/for TruthOut.Org, sez:

"Newly released documents reveal that the FBI suspected that a plane hired to transport members of the bin Laden family from the United States back to Saudi Arabia might have been chartered by Osama bin Laden himself. These new documents raise new questions about the FBI investigation into the 9/11 attacks."

TO itself appended the following note:
Editor's Comment: Yesterday, CNN's Wolf Blitzer asserted the FBI documents released to Judicial Watch were generating conspiracy theories; an FBI spokesman appearing on the show agreed. Our editors have reviewed the documents carefully and feel that they are newsworthy. It's also worth noting that while the FBI now maintains that there is "nothing new and nothing significant in these documents," the FBI fought a protracted legal battle with Judicial Watch to keep them from bringing the documents to public view. TO/ma

Halliburton Has Lied Conspicuously and Continually To Congress, Oversight Committees, The Military & The Press

But their lies to their stock-holders might just be the straws undoing the camel's spinal chord:
{From TruthOut.Org (which I support with a small, monthly donation of $10, and encourage anyone to do the same)}:

Halliburton Accused of Cooking Its Books
Investors have shrugged off almost all the bad news at Halliburton Co. the past few years - accusations of overbilling the Army and bribing foreign officials, along with scrutiny over business dealings in Iran and non-competetive bids on government work. None of it cost them anything, and the Regime cast a blind eye.
(Shit, Darth Cheney STILL collects an annual, hundred-thousand dollar stipend from 'em, in acknowledgment of his vital role in their 'bidness' dealings. With this kind of juice, you just shut up and collect your dividends.)
But the same investors might take notice, if Halliburton's financial statements were in doubt, and a former company accounting executive says they are.

To read all about it, follow the link embedded in the headline of this post...To explore the latest of the Halliburton fiascoes in Iraq, click here.

US/VA shoddy treatment of Vets: "A Blue-Print For Social Dislocation"

It is disgraceful that the USer military establishment views the soldiers it creates, uses, and then drops as if they were refuse. Why do veterans of USer military service constitute between 25% and 33% of all the homeless men in Murka?
Because, once the military has used you up, physically and psychologically, the bureaucracy tosses you aside like a piece of shit.
Some folks are noticing, finally.
Here's an editorial from Daytona Beach, Fla, which ends:
The numbers, the lost lives and broken promises to veterans ought to be a national shame for a country so gushy with "Support Our Troops" rhetoric toward men and women who supposedly "live in honor among us, or sleep in valor beneath this sacred ground," as President Bush described them in a speech from Arlington National Cemetery last Veterans Day. That so many veterans end up in more proximity to gutters than honors shows to what extent the rhetoric is less than what it seems with its $2 yellow-ribbon stickers on the back of cars and a veterans' mental care system stuck in the middle of the last century.

The standing army is a threat to democracy, always has been.
But just discarding the injured and the wounded is a threat to our humanity.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy

There's a link in the headline of this post.
The importance of the viewpoint expressed in the video notwithstanding, I don't really like the whole idea of a 'professional military' all that much, and that makes me very ambivalent about the whole thing...

It's not just a housing recession anymore

"It's not just a housing recession anymore, it looks more and more like an economic recession."
So says Nouriel Roubini, a Clinton administration Treasury Department director and economic adviser who now runs Roubini Global Economics in New York, in a story on Bloomberg, yesterday, via TruthOut.Org.
The worst is yet to come for the U.S. housing market.

The jump in 30-year mortgage rates by more than a half a percentage point to 6.74 percent in the past five weeks is putting a crimp on borrowers with the best credit just as a crackdown in subprime lending standards limits the pool of qualified buyers. The national median home price is poised for its first annual decline since the Great Depression, and the supply of unsold homes is at a record 4.2 million, the National Association of Realtors reported.

``It's a blood bath,'' said Mark Kiesel, executive vice president of Newport Beach, California-based Pacific Investment Management Co., the manager of $668 billion in bond funds. ``We're talking about a two- to three-year downturn that will take a whole host of characters with it, from job creation to consumer confidence. Eventually it will take the stock market and corporate profit.''

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders fell in June to the lowest since February 1991, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index released this week. Housing starts declined in May for the first time in four months, the Commerce Department reported yesterday. New-home sales will decline 33 percent from 2005's peak to the end of this year, according to the Realtors' group, exceeding the 25 percent three-year drop in 1991 that helped spark a recession.

That was the recession which prompted the most memorable bon mot of recent Presidential campaign history: "It's the ECONOMY, stupid!" and propelled Bill Clinton, the most effective Republican president of the last 100 years, into office.
Follow the links to read more at either Bloomberg's or TruthOut.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's The End Of The World As We Know It; Do You Feel Fine?

Really. We are SOOOOOOOO Fucked!

From The Independent (GB): The Earth Today Stands in Imminent Peril (via Truth-Out.Org)
Six scientists from some of the leading scientific institutions in the United States have issued what amounts to an unambiguous warning to the world: civilization itself is threatened by global warming.

In a densely referenced scientific paper published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A some of the world's leading climate researchers describe in detail why they believe that humanity can no longer afford to ignore the "gravest threat" of climate change.

"Recent greenhouse gas emissions place the Earth perilously close to dramatic climate change that could run out of control, with great dangers for humans and other creatures," the scientists say. Only intense efforts to curb man-made emissions of carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases can keep the climate within or near the range of the past one million years, they add.

The researchers were led by James Hansen, the director of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who was the first scientist to warn the US Congress about global warming.

The other scientists were Makiko Sato, Pushker Kharecha and Gary Russell, also of the Goddard Institute, David Lea of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Mark Siddall of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in New York.

In their 29-page paper, "Climate Change and trace gases", the scientists frequently stray from the non-emotional language of science to emphasise the scale of the problems and dangers posed by climate change.

In an email to The Independent, Dr Hansen said: "In my opinion, among our papers this one probably does the best job of making clear that the Earth is getting perilously close to climate changes that could run out of our control."
Hansen was one of the government scientists on whom two generations of Busheviks imposed a uneducated, p.r. censor/watcher/minder:
Hansen has said that the tipping point (also known as the runaway effect) is upon us, and that if by 2016 the human population is unable to reduce greenhouse gases, that the oceans might rise as much as 10 feet by 2100.

There is a short clip in the 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth that shows Hansen being questioned by Al Gore on May 8, 1989, at what appears to be a Congress meeting. Gore criticizes Hansen for apparently contradicting himself in a written testimony on global warming. At that point, Hansen reveals that the last paragraph in the testimony was not written by him, but added by someone else.
The muzzling of critical scientific voices on the issue of the Global Climatic Change crisis has been going on for nearly 20 fucking years.

I hope the grandchildren of these fucking deniers don't live by the, that's not true. Really I hope they do get caught in the murderous crisis and perish cursing their ancestors...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Fucking Clueless In Gaza, #2: Israel Shatters Cease-Fire, Bombing and Strafing Hamas

Jun 20, 2007 11:19 AM

GAZA – Israel attacked Islamist fighters in Gaza today for the first time since Hamas seized the territory, and ended an embargo of the Palestinian Authority by opening contacts with a new government in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli soldiers killed four Palestinian fighters in a pre-dawn incursion into the Gaza Strip to hunt for wanted militants. Israel also carried out air strikes against rocket launch sites after one rocket fired from Gaza struck Israel.

The recent events seem to have provided Israel with the excuse it needed to re-engage its genocidal attacks on Palestinians who wont just roll over and assume the =butt-fuck= position.

Where's The Fucking Amendment That Allows The Fucking Chimperor To Ignore The Fucking Law?

I guess I missed the FUCKING MEMO!

This fucking fascist fucker Bush has issued over 750 "signing statements," on the strength of which he asserts himself not compelled to execute or enforce the law.

NYT, via TruthOut.Org:
Lawmakers to Investigate Bush on Laws and Intent
Lawmakers say they plan to dig deeper into the Bush administration's use of bill-signing statements as ways to circumvent Congressional intent. In a limited examination of the administration's practice of reserving the authority to interpret legislation, the Government Accountability Office determined that in six out of 19 cases it studied, the administration did not follow the law as written after President Bush expressed reservations about some legislative directives. By using signing statements, the president has reserved the right not to enforce any laws he thinks violate the Constitution or national security, or that impair foreign relations.
Ex-fucking-cuse ME?!?!?!

Exactly when did the gibbering, simpering, smirking, scampering, strutting Simian-in-Chief become a fucking Constitutional expert?
And, if I may repeat myself: Where the FUCK does the Constitutional authority for this shit come from?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

In Israel, Fear Is The Ultimate Renewable Resource

Naomi Klein's got a column on the developments in Gaza and their implications for Israel and the region in a forthcoming edition of The Nation:

...Why, in the midst of such chaos and carnage, is the Israeli economy booming like it's 1999, with a roaring stock market and growth rates nearing China's?...
...Israel's economy isn't booming despite the political chaos that devours the headlines but because of it...
...(T)he chaos in Gaza and the rest of the region doesn't threaten the bottom line in Tel Aviv, and may actually boost it. Israel has learned to turn endless war into a brand asset, pitching its uprooting, occupation and containment of the Palestinian people as a half-century head start in the "global war on terror."
...So in a way (Tom) Friedman is right: Israel has struck oil. But the oil isn't the imagination of its techie entrepreneurs. The oil is the war on terror, the state of constant fear that creates a bottomless global demand for devices that watch, listen, contain and target "suspects." And fear, it turns out, is the ultimate renewable resource.
She's sooo damned smart...

Al's NOT Gonna Run

While it's not the centerpiece of the article, it is always firmly in the minds of all his interlocutors. I believe he's out: He's told too many people, too often, and too passionately, that he's got a NEW master, and it's not USer partisan politics, it's the Global Climate Crisis.

Via TruthOut.Org: Rolling Stone's lengthy article/interview is a MUST READ:
Gore understands that confronting the climate crisis will require not just new kinds of technology but a new kind of politics. In a sense, he is following a path blazed by filmmaker Michael Moore, using his own presence and political outrage to focus public attention on a broader cause. In the two years since he wrote "The Time to Act Is Now," the introduction to the special issue on global warming we published in 2005, Gore has not only shifted the national debate on planet-warming pollution, he has found his true voice - at once reasoned and impassioned, urgent and optimistic. At the end of May, he sat down with ROLLING STONE in his office in Washington, D.C., to discuss the threat posed by catastrophic climate change - and why he believes it's not too late to stop it.
"The civil rights movement took off in the United States only when it was lifted out of the political framework and placed in a spiritual framework. Young people asked their parents, "You tell me to choose right over wrong, so explain to me why this guy Bull Connor is acceptable." When the adults couldn't answer, that's when the laws changed. Young people are now asking their parents and grandparents, "Please explain to me why what's going on with global warming isn't insane." A lot of adults can't answer. The revolution is beginning..."
Also, I believe, if he should WIN the Nobel prize, it would in a strange way militate against his being regarded as sufficiently "Murkin" to be considered a viable candidate by John & Mary Sixpack, Mrs. Soccermom, or the NASCAR Bubba Brigade, all of whom are fiercely proud of their ignorance, obduracy, and "all-Murkin" anti-intellectualism...

Monday, June 18, 2007

The "Two-State Solution" Meant Two PALESTINIAN States? Who'da Fuckin Thunk It?

By ANNE GEARAN, AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration on Monday lifted its economic and political embargo against the Palestinian government, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced.

The move follows the expulsion of the militant Hamas movement from the Palestinian Authority, and is meant to strengthen Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas by resuming direct U.S. aid.

...(Rice) said the administration will ask Congress to rework a previous $86 million aid request. That money had been intended to help shore up Abbas' security forces but could now be put to other uses.

..."Through its actions, Hamas sought to divide the Palestinan nation, we reject that," Rice said. "It is the position of the United States that there is one Palestinian people and there should be one Palestinian state."

"We are not going to countenance that somehow the Palestinians are divisible," she said "We are not going to abandon the Palestinians living in Gaza."

That line about Fatah's security forces is just too fucking funny for words, except it's pretty tragic at the same time cuz of course, just about all of Abbas' security forces are now dead or disarmed.

This solution works for the Zionists, too, because it means Israel may continue to expend (US-financed) weaponry and ordinance on the 'dirty wogs' in Gaza, without incurring the enmity of anybody else in the world except the Arabs who already detest 'em...

Examine, also, please, the logic of the last lines: By this measure, one would have to conclude the Busheviks' opposition to the Dumbocraps was because the Dums are 'divisive.' The Chimp said six years ago he wanted to be dictator-for-ever. Hamas WON the 'democratic' elections, dinnit? Hamas, not Fatah, is the duly elected authority, right?
Why, yes; yes, that's right. Hamas IS the duly elected Palestinian Authority.
Why do you ask?

They Called It "Malingering" In The Last Couple Of Wars

When soldiers fresh from the battlefield exhibit signs of extreme psychological distress, the brass ALWAYS suspects 'malingering,' first. So the first instinct is to ignore the soldier's complaints. Cuz the battlefield is SUCH a crappy, horrible, horrible place, the brass knew/know that any sane person would do ANYTHING to get out of having to go back there... If this is unclear, there's a whole book about it: Catch-22. Still as relevant today as when it was first published 46 years ago. I read it on the transport plane taking me overseas, in '65.

Walter Reed Patients Say Mental Care Falls Short
(Another piece of what should be Pulitzer-winning reportage by the WaPo's two best: Anne Hull and Dana Priest; via Truth-Out.Org)
Every month, 20 to 40 soldiers are evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan because of mental problems, according to the Army.
Most are sent to Walter Reed along with other war-wounded.
For amputees, the nation's top Army hospital offers state-of-the-art prosthetics and physical rehabilitation programs, and soon, a new $10 million amputee center with a rappelling wall and virtual reality center. Nothing so state-of-the-art exists for soldiers with diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder, who in the Army alone outnumber all of the war's amputees by 43 to one.
Because of it's associations with 'shirking' or 'malingering', the military bureaucrats are often loathe to allocate many resources to the repair of what they are almost always SURE is dishonesty.

Of course, most of the pencil-jockeys have never stained their shorts in a fire-fight, either.
Fuck the RAMFs!

It's Okay, Cuz The Guy Was Brown

Predictably, in a putative excess of zeal, the fascist fux of Homeland Security and the notoriously brutal, stupid LA County pigs FUCKED UP, big-time!

They 'deported' a mentally challenged US CITIZEN to Mexico, where he has disappeared. His family fears for his life. He speaks both English and Spanish, but can neither read or writer either one. He called a family member from Tijuana, but apparently had no idea where he was.

Neither HSA nor the LACounty Pigs have admitted any responsibility in the matter; nor have they undertaken to try to help find the guy.

But that's okay. They followed procedures. They got the right paperwork.
Besides, what's the big deal: he's just another dumb, criminal spic.
He's got a record, and was in jail when they deported him.
That makes it alright, right?

This story has gotten some local (LA) coverage, and I heard about it on the NPR show, Latino USA, but I do not think I've heard any other information about the case.

That shouldn't come as ANY surprise...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Walking Wounded: Psychologically Traumatized Vets Desperately Seek--But Don't Get--Help

This is just a fucking DISGRACE!!!!

The War Inside
Troops Are Returning From the Battlefield With Psychological Wounds, But the Mental-Health System That Serves Them Makes Healing Difficult

I put up a similar post up here on Friday.


Jeezis, I hate Hate HATE these fuckers...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Phil Donahue on Real News: "Journalists should be barking dogs nipping the heels of the powerful"

Or: Salih Booker on "the Real World."

Visit: The Real News Dot Com

Clueless in Gaza: What The FUCK Are These People Thinking?

This is stupidity of such magnitude as to be, practically, impossible to replicate, duplicate, or comprehend (via Yahoo News):

RAMALLAH, West Bank - The U.S. strengthened its offer of support for President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday, telling him an international aid embargo against the Palestinians would end as soon as he forms a new government without Hamas, aides to Abbas and a Western diplomat said. The United States and European Union issued statements expressing backing for Abbas in light of the upheaval that has remade the Palestinian territories, but they said no decision had been reached on lifting the embargo.

Crowds of Gaza Strip residents converged on the border crossing with Israel desperate to leave the coastal strip, but they found locked gates. Israel, meanwhile, said it would allow food and other basic supplies into Gaza.

These fuckers are just insane, promising Fatah the end of the embargo when Fatah builds a gocvernment in Palestine WITHOUT Hamas, which just kicked the living shit outta Fatah in Gaza, deposed 'em, and won control over the whole territory?

I cannot believe even that feculent, stupid, insipid bint Condi Rice could be THIS stupid.

"Everybody Cryin' "Mercy" But They Don't Know The Meaning Of the Word"

(--apologies to Mose Allison...and H/T to my old friend Richard, in Santa Fe)

Washington Post Neologism Contest:
Each year, the Post asks readers to submit new definitions for pre-existing words. Here’s the current list...
§ Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
§ Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
§ Bustard (n.), a rude bus driver.
§ Cabbage Patch: A patch for those trying to stop eating cabbage.
§ Circumvent (n.), the opening in the front of boxer shorts.
§ Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon.
§ Discussion: n., a Frisbee-related head injury.
§ Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
§ Excruciate: n., the ligament that attaches your ex-wife to your paycheck.
§ Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
§ Flattery: n., a place that manufactures A and B cup brassieres only.
§ Flatulence (n.) the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
§ Frisbeetarianism (n.), The belief that, when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck there.
§ Gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash.
§ Ineffable: adj., describes someone you absolutely cannot swear in front of.
§ Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
§ Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightie.
§ Nincompoop: n., the military command responsible for battlefield sanitation.
§ Oral-B: Monica’s grade on her last intern evaluation.
§ Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.
§ Ozone: n., area in which the G-spot is located.
§ Perplexed: adj., lost in a movie theater.
§ Pimple: n., pimp’s apprentice.
§ Pokemon (n), A Jamaican proctologist.
§ Pontificate: n., a document given to each graduating pope.
§ Pop Secret: Paternity suit settled without publicity.
§ Population: n., that nice sensation you get when drinking soda.
§ Racket: n., a small pair of breasts.
§ Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified demeanor assumed by a proctologist immediately before he examines you.
§ Semantics (n.), pranks conducted by young men studying for the priesthood.
§ Spatula: n. A fight among vampires.
§ Sudafed: A software program on how to file a civil action against the government.
§ Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.
§ Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent

Friday, June 15, 2007

Combat Trauma: Injured Vets Find Scant Concern, Little Care, But LOTS of "Command Hostility"

From the Seattle Times, via TruthOut.Org
By the end of his tour in Iraq, Command Sergeant Major Thomas Adams was crushed by memories. Too many memorial services for dead soldiers. Too many visits to the wounded in hospital wards. Too many innocents - men, women and children - blown up by insurgent bombs or killed inadvertently by his Fort Lewis brigade. "What I'm telling you is that there's absolute carnage out there," Adams said. "We have to be ready for the trauma of today's battlefield."

This is an important story. Sgt. Major Adams is right at the top of the NCO Hierarchy. And the story comes on the heals of reports recently that USer Military and Veterans services for psychologically and brain-damaged victims of combat traume in Iraq were NEVER up to the task of helping returning vets, even in peace-time. Reports in USA Today, and other news sources tell of lack of care, substandard treatment, scarcities of professionals to treat returning vets, and attitudes in the command structure itself which punish injured soldiers for 'weakness' if they seek help.

This is exactly the situation faced by vets of the Vietnam conflict. Not coincidentally, mentally/psychologically injured vets comprise as many as 40% of the nation's perpetual homeless. This is not a recent phenomenon, either. This headline, from 2005, proclaims "Republican Budget Cuts Target Veterans…again". The theme was repeated again, barely a year later, under the headline, Dean: "Bush Balancing Budget on Backs of Wounded Veterans
For the second time in a week, the Bush Administration will deliver a major address to the nation's largest veterans' group the day after the Associated Press revealed drastic cuts to veterans' benefits in the President's budget. Vice President Dick Cheney addressed the American Legion's annual convention today, one day after the Associated Press reported that "draconian" cuts in the Bush budget will mean that "at least tens of thousands of veterans" will face "delayed or even denied care" in coming years. [Associated Press, 2/27/06]
I'm a vet--who fortunately was spared the kinds of combat which takes such a horrific toll--and I take this betrayal of injured troops personally.
(Fookin BRILLIANT poster by Micah Wright,

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Deconstructing "The Australian Dentist's Tale: Well-Meaning--But Destructive--Exceptionionalist Cods'wallop

I received this from a good-hearted, earnest, well-educated, humane friend this morning. I've seen it before, but this was the first time i was inspired to reply.
(My friend wrote:) "Written by an Australian Dentist....and too good to delete..."
To Kill an American...
You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.
So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let everyone know what an American is. So they would know when they found one. (Good one, mate!!!!)
"An American is English, or French, or Italian , Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan.
An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.
An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.
An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.
An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.
An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return.
When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!
As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan . Americans welcome the best of everything...the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services. But they also welcome the least.
The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty , welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America.
Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. It's been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.
So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself . Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.
>Please keep this going!
>Pass this around the World ?
>Then pass it around a gain.
>It says it all, for all of us
>Please do not just delete.
>Pass it on first.
I replied:
"I shall win no friends by sayin' this--since when has that mattered to me???--but this is no more than another heaping, steaming gob 'American exceptionalist' bs/propaganda...

"That it originates from an Aussie is irrelevant: Aussies were still shooting Abos for sport into the 1940s...John Howard, the Aussie PM, is a fascist asshole. Being 'an American' gains no particular virtue from his lips.

"If you examine the points one by one-- actually read 'em, and regard what's left out --they conceal FAR mor than they reveal.

"If you really wanna stop the madness of King George, we gotta stop believing-- and circulating --this kinda kudzu...

"No offense intended, (my friend)...But I've been seeing this kinda stuff all my life-- though much more since the Commander-in-Chimpo took over-- and looking around, I find it has authorized--and still authorizes--the continued, and growing limitations on the rights of citizens, far more than it promulgates our freedoms...

What became--for example-- of our "habeas Corpus?"
Having said all that, it occurred to me actually to deconstruct the claims made with the facts that are elided.

The first is that it was not written by "an Australian dentist.":
The author of this screed is one Peter Ferrara, an associate professor of law at the (notoriously right-ward listing) George Mason University School of Law in Northern Virginia. Mr. Ferrara's commentary was originally published in the National Review on 25 September 2001. This fact probably makes it all the more important to deconstruct the text.

Para 1:
"An American is English, or French, or Italian , Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan."
It strikes me as significant that the writer categorically claimed 'natural' American-ship to (mostly) light-skinned Europeans. The folks who "MAY also" be Americans tend to be the marginalized peoples, both in the USofA and elsewhere (including Australia). This subjunctive mood appears in the next paragraph, too. Vide!

Para 2:
An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.
The thing about them Injuns izzat ya cain't trust 'em, ya see. Mebbe them's "REAL" Murkins, but mebbe not; they got SECRETS...On'iest good injun ah ever seed wuz a DAID injun...

In para 3, we get religious purity, once again tempered with subjunctivity:
An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.
Ya see, The DEFAULT "Murkin" is a person of the CHRISTIAN faith. "He" (sic) COULD be one of them other kindsa heathens, and if'n they's respeckful 'n know they places, we let'um." I'd like to see a citation for the assertion that there are more Muslims in the USofA than in Afghanistan, albeit Afghanistan's not that big a place--@ 17 30 million before we started killing 'em off, wholesale, in '03. If there were 30 million Muslims--give or take a few--in the USA, there would be significantly more than 1--that is, ONE--Muslim Congresscritter, I imagine. Though, to be fair, there are exponentially more indigenous descendants of the original tribal inhabitants than there are reflected in the number of "out" Indians in elected public life.

Para 4:
An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.
This is a joke, right? I'd be willing to bet the whole goddamn ranch that there aren't 100 avowed atheists/agnostics in ANY elected offices in ANY civic positions ANYWHERE in the USofA today. No admitted atheist can be elected president, or senator, or congresscritter, or governor; damn few would be elected to State Leges, either. I'll believe that bit of malarkey when ANY presidential candidate in EITHER the Democratic OR the Republican wings of the Party of Property openly declares their skepticism of Intelligent Design/Creationism.

Para 5:
An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return.
That is such a bald-faced lie--okay, extremely charitably, such an arrant misreading--of the realities of international relations as to be dismissable on the spot. OF COURSE there were quids for the so-called 'generous' pro quos': UN votes, trade preferences, bidness deals, military bases (over 800 of them world-wide), financial concessions, the whole Murkin empire is founded our so-called generosity. Americans dedicate a far smaller fraction of their personal and gross national products to the poor of their own communities--to say nothing of their international 'largesse'--than any of the so-called 'civilized' world.

Para 6:
When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!
The FUCKING CIA CREATED Usama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, to say nothing of the Taliban, with boundless quantities of weapons and armaments. Freedom for Afghanis had nothing--less than nothing--to do with it. The reason was to "bleed the Russkis dry, like VietNam did" for the USers 20 years earlier. "We" supplied NO food support to the people of Afghanistan in that period--and very damn little afterwards, when we virtually abandonned the country in the '90s--no medical services, no building assistance, no security; nothing but guns and bullets...Many of which, apparently, are returning now to bite us the way they bit the Russians--and for many of the same reasons.

Para 7:
As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. Americans welcome the best of everything...the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services. But they also welcome the least.
This is sheer balderdash, the lack of citation for the first assertion notwithstanding. As for the rest, most Murkins aren't even aware of the "best" of the productions of the rest of the world, mostly because we are submerged in their cheapest, mass-produced exports. Murkins typically reject out of hand the "best" of other cultures; they tend to describe that as "best" which best duplicates their already uninspired, insipid, commodified, parochial tastes.

Para 8:
The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty , welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest- tossed. These in fact are the people who built America.
The current emblem of the USofA, in the rest of the world, is no longer the romantic posture of the welcoming Statue (which was pretty much a little, white lie to begin with), or Emma Lazarus' humane, generous poetry; it is, rather, the 700-mile, 20-foot-high fence being erected between the US and Mexico, by the very people it's being designed and built to keep out. If you forgot about feudalism, you could almost believe you invented the "country" club country.

Para 9:
Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. It's been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.
There were folks working in the WTC that day who were, justifiably, more fearful of a raid by the INS than they were about attacks by hijacked airliners. In the rhetoric of Tom Tancredo and others, those folks would now be expelled, had they not then been killed. In the towers, that day, too, as Ward Churchill (in?)famously noticed, were toiling the minions of the CorpoRat & Militarial hierarchy whose labors enslaved and criminalized those selfsame same victims, along with their relatives and friends, well before their tragic demises in the falling towers.

Para 10:
So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself . Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.
Yeah, just don't try to come LIVE here.
"Papers!?! Where Are Your Papers, Miguel???!"
As for "killing Americans," if one admits any truth to the assertions so fervently averred by the "Australian Doctor," us Murkins don't need any help at all from the outside. We've been doing our BEST for 500 years.

It may seem that something so transparent is an insufficient object for the expenditure of much energy. But I don't think so. The message forwarded by my friend is an exemplar of a whole galaxy of spinning propaganda banners to which the USer image-consumers are constantly compelled to attend and in which they are often unconsciously submerged..and by which they cannot help but be influenced, since the prose panders so vividly to those destructive myths of USAxceptionality...
(Revised @ 3:50 pm, MDT, 6/14/07)

The Older I Get, The Better I Usta Be...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Supporting The Troops (Cont'd): Bushevik Homefront Insurance Program Refuses/Reduces Vets' Counseling Expenses

Tricare, the Govt. program that covers out-care for returning vets, is stretched thin, and is cutting payments to therapists counseling returning vets. This is of a piece with the standard reply of the military to soldiers' complaints of 'battle stress'/PTSD, which the hierarchy regards as a species of malingering.

Via Truthout.Org:

By Kimberly Hefling - The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Jun 11, 2007 13:29:04 EDT

WASHINGTON — Soldiers returning from war are finding it more difficult to get mental health treatment because military insurance is cutting payments to therapists, on top of already low reimbursement rates and a tangle of red tape.

Wait lists now extend for months to see a military doctor and it can takes weeks to find a private therapist willing to take on members of the military. The challenge appears great in rural areas, where many National Guard and Reserve troops and their families live...

Roughly one-third of returning soldiers seek out mental health counseling in their first year home. They are among the 9.1 million people covered by Tricare, a number that grew by more than 1 million since 2001.

Tricare’s psychological health benefit is “hindered by fragmented rules and policies, inadequate oversight and insufficient reimbursement,” the Defense Department’s mental health task force said last month after reviewing the military’s psychological care system.

The Tricare office that serves Fort Campbell, Ky., and Fort Bragg, N.C. — Army posts with heavy war deployments — told task force members that it routinely fields complaints about the difficulty in locating mental health specialists who accept Tricare...

Not unlike the way the Pukes are pro-life right up until birth, these egregious Fucktards are 'pro-troop,' until they get home. Then they're on their own.

These fuckers just disgust me.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Paris Hilton Has Found The Lord!

Can I get a "Halle-fucking-lujah???

Apparently, the rigors of her incarceration have induced in the formerly frivolous and flighty and publically fucking heiress a sense of her own mortality and immorality. According to Bawbwa Wawa, on The View, the notoriously naughty fornicatrix has found the Lord inside the joint, and will--she avers--change her evil ways when she's released from durance vile.

Not only has the weepy wench discovered the Lord, she apparently has found her social conscience, and will use some part of her enormous inheritance to found theater workshops for disadvantaged youth.

Ah, the power of a the Law.

I used to catch a lot of grief from students and fellow faculty members when I suggested to them that it would be a salutory experience if every child--but especially the children of privilege and comfort, such as Ms Hilton--should experience a full-on, big-time, assume-the-position, serious-as-a-heart-attack cop encounter--either by a good cop on a bad day, or by a bad cop ANY day. We should all know what it is we authorize our "authorities" to do to "prevent" crime...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Where Were You, This Week In Peace?

This Week in History is a collection designed to help us appreciate the fact that we are part of a rich history advocating peace and social justice. While the entries often focus on large and dramatic events there are so many smaller things done everyday to promote peace and justice.
To the real peace advocates - YOU!

June 11, 1962:
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) held its founding convention in Michigan and issued The Port Huron Statement, laying out its principles and program.
“Making values explicit—an initial task in establishing alternatives—is an activity that has been devalued and corrupted. The conventional moral terms of the age, the politician moralities—’free world,’ ‘people's democracies’—reflect realities poorly, if at all, and seem to function more as ruling myths than as descriptive principles.”

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Glaring Oxymoronics On AAR: The Best Of "The Lionel Show"

I cannot ABIDE that squeaky, specious, spuriously self-regarding asshole. His mommy told him he was sooo smart and sooo clever, and had suuuuch a grand vocabulary, and for some reason nobody else came along in later life to disabuse him of these 'little white lies.'

I simply CANNOT listen to him, and am having the same trouble with MUCH of what AAR has become. The (so-called) Young Turks are not far enough removed from their fascist roots to be very compelling; they're too forgiving of the right. Stephanie Miller? Her female, A.M. schock-jock schtick, abetted by (not) funny boys, is only occasionally diverting. Ed Schultz? C,mon, the only reason he's doing "Left" is because there was already a fat, slow-witted troglodyte (Slimeball) doing "Righty" radio. Thom Hartmann i can abide, mostly; Randi Rhodes, too. But the whole thing suffers mightily for the lack of Sam Seder and Mike Malloy. The weekends--when not pre-empted here by Denver Broncos/Rockies 'sports' are better: Ring of Fire is 'don't miss' radio.

But the Green brothers, while possibly preserving the franchise, have polluted it terribly...

Friday, June 08, 2007

This Has GOT To Be Good For The Pukes: Ted Stevens (R-AK) Implicated In Corruption Probe

Sen. Stevens Told to Keep Records for Graft Probe
By Paul Kane
The Washington Post

Thursday 07 June 2007

Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, disclosed in an interview that the FBI asked him to preserve records as part of a widening investigation into Alaskan political corruption that has touched his son and ensnared one of his closest political confidants and financial backers.

Stevens, who is famous for bringing home federal earmarks for Alaska when he was Appropriations Committee chairman, was not previously known to be linked to the Justice Department's probe, which has uncovered evidence that more than $400,000 worth of bribes were given to state lawmakers in exchange for favorable energy legislation.

Investigators have used secret recording equipment, seized documents and cooperating witnesses to secure the indictments of four current and former state lawmakers, including the former state House speaker, shaking the core of Alaska's Republican Party.

Two executives of a prominent energy company have pleaded guilty to bribery and extortion charges and are cooperating with the inquiry, which is being run by the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section and includes two federal prosecutors and FBI agents based in Anchorage.

"They put me on notice to preserve some records," Stevens said in a brief interview about his legal team's discussions with the FBI. He declined to say what kinds of records were involved but confirmed that he had hired lawyers and that his son, former state Senate president Ben Stevens, "is also under investigation."

The FBI issued subpoenas last year to contractors who had performed work on Ted Stevens's Anchorage residence, seeking information about the alleged involvement of energy company executive Bill J. Allen, a key figure in the state bribery probe, in overseeing the renovations.
(Click the link under the headline for more)

Of course, Ted's as innocent as a new-born lamb.

NY Times Editorial: Deliver Subpoenas on Rove, Meirs

What is it that prevents Sen. Leahy, chair of the Senate Judiuciary Committee, from presenting Rove, Miers, and others in the ShiteHouse with the subpoenas that have long been authorized?

I don't think Leahy's a gutless tool; really, I don', really! I don't!

It's Subpoena Time
The New York Times | Editorial

Friday 08 June 2007

For months, senators have listened to a parade of well-coached Justice Department witnesses claiming to know nothing about how nine prosecutors were chosen for firing. This week, it was the turn of Bradley Schlozman, a former federal attorney in Missouri, to be uninformative and not credible. It is time for Senator Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to deliver subpoenas that have been approved for Karl Rove, former White House counsel Harriet Miers and their top aides, and to make them testify in public and under oath.

Mr. Schlozman was appointed United States attorney in Missouri while the state was in the midst of a hard-fought Senate race. In his brief stint, he pushed a lawsuit, which was thrown out by a federal judge, that could have led to thousands of Democratic-leaning voters being wrongly purged from the rolls. Just days before the election, he indicted voter registration workers from the liberal group Acorn on fraud charges. Republicans quickly made the indictments an issue in the Senate race.

Mr. Schlozman said it did not occur to him that the indictments could affect the campaign. That is hard to believe since the Justice Department's guidelines tell prosecutors not to bring vote fraud investigations right before an election, so as not to affect the outcome. He also claimed, laughably, that he did not know that Acorn was a liberal-leaning group.

Mr. Schlozman fits neatly into the larger picture. Prosecutors who refused to use their offices to help Republicans win elections, like John McKay in Washington State, and David Iglesias in New Mexico, were fired. Prosecutors who used their offices to help Republicans did well.

Congress has now heard from everyone in the Justice Department who appears to have played a significant role in the firings of the prosecutors. They have all insisted that the actual decisions about whom to fire came from somewhere else. It is increasingly clear that the somewhere else was the White House. If Congress is going to get to the bottom of the scandal, it has to get the testimony of Mr. Rove, his aides Scott Jennings and Sara Taylor, Ms. Miers and her deputy, William Kelley.

The White House has offered to make them available only if they do not take an oath and there is no transcript. Those conditions are a formula for condoning perjury, and they are unacceptable. As for documents, the White House has released piles of useless e-mail messages. But it has reported that key e-mails to and from Mr. Rove were inexplicably destroyed. At the same time, it has argued that e-mails of Mr. Rove's that were kept on a Republican Party computer system, which may contain critical information, should not be released.

This noncooperation has gone on long enough. Mr. Leahy should deliver the subpoenas for the five White House officials and make clear that if the administration resists, Congress will use all available means to get the information it needs.

That snivelling little shit-whistle Schlozman needs to be staked out on top of a fire-ant mound, covered in honey, and left to shriek out his last little simpering squeaks into the uncaring dirt. I heard some of Schlozman's testimony. The squeaky-voiced twit lied, and lied, and lied, and lied; and nobody on the Senate committee called his lying ass on it. I said back in Feb, when the subpoenas were authorized, that the Senate Judiciary Committee didn't have the guts/stones/balls to actually do it.

I can only hope they prove me wrong; but I doubt I shall be surprised.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Plan Colombia! Right-wing Para-Military Drive Peasants Off Land

Massacres and paramilitary land seizures behind the biofuel revolution

· Colombian farmers driven out as armed groups profit
· Lucrative 'green' crop less risky to grow than coca

Oliver Balch in Mutat and Rory Carroll in Cartagena
Tuesday June 5, 2007
The Guardian

Armed groups in Colombia are driving peasants off their land to make way for plantations of palm oil, a biofuel that is being promoted as an environmentally friendly source of energy.

Surging demand for "green" fuel has prompted rightwing paramilitaries to seize swaths of territory, according to activists and farmers. Thousands of families are believed to have fled a campaign of killing and intimidation, swelling Colombia's population of 3 million displaced people and adding to one of the world's worst refugee crises after Darfur and Congo...

...Under its Plan Colombia project, Washington has funnelled more than $5bn (£2.5bn) in mostly military aid to its South American ally since 2000 - its biggest aid project outside Afghanistan and the Middle East. The Democrats say the security forces are accused of human rights abuses and complicity with traffickers.

Mr Uribe revealed the unpublished findings in an effort to get the bad news out of the way before he started lobbying Congress; the White House did not immediately respond.

"They told me they were worried about revealing this number because of my upcoming trip to the United States - that the Americans should reveal it," he said. "But that's why I'm revealing it. We're not trying to put makeup on what is a serious matter."

Plan Colombia began in 1999 and was supposed to halve production of coca within five years, using sprayer planes and officers on the ground. But the latest estimate suggests that since then it has risen 27%.

There's more to the story. Follow the link under the headline of this post. USer-funded dispropriation is just about the national sport of the USer CorpoRat elites. They've gotten very good at it...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

More Good News on the Global Warming Front: U.S. scales back climate science via satellites

'Overall climate program in serious jeopardy,' NOAA and NASA experts say

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration is drastically scaling back efforts to measure global warming from space, just as the president tries to convince the world the U.S. is ready to take the lead in reducing greenhouse gases.

A confidential report to the White House, obtained by The Associated Press, warns that U.S. scientists will soon lose much of their ability to monitor warming from space using a costly and problem-plagued satellite initiative begun more than a decade ago.

Because of technology glitches and a near-doubling in the original $6.5 billion cost, the Defense Department has decided to downsize and launch four satellites paired into two orbits, instead of six satellites and three orbits.

The satellites were intended to gather weather and climate data, replacing existing satellites as they come to the end of their useful lifetimes beginning in the next couple of years.

The reduced system of four satellites will now focus on weather forecasting. Most of the climate instruments needed to collect more precise data over long periods are being eliminated.

Instead, the Pentagon and two partners — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA — will rely on European satellites for most of the climate data.

'Serious jeopardy'
“Unfortunately, the recent loss of climate sensors ... places the overall climate program in serious jeopardy,” NOAA and NASA scientists told the White House in the Dec. 11 report obtained by the AP.

They said they will face major gaps in data that can be collected only from satellites about ice caps and sheets, surface levels of seas and lakes, sizes of glaciers, surface radiation, water vapor, snow cover and atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Rick Piltz, director of Climate Science Watch, a watchdog program of the Washington-based Government Accountability Project, called the situation a crisis.

“We’re going to start being blinded in our ability to observe the planet,” said Piltz, whose group provided the AP with the previously undisclosed report. “It’s criminal negligence, and the leaders in the climate science community are ringing the alarm bells on this crisis.”

Bush has repeatedly cited his administration’s record on researching global warming as a response to criticism of his opposition to forced reductions in the greenhouse gases blamed for it. The administration has been spending about $5 billion a year on global warming: $2 billion on climate research and $3 billion on technologies for combating it.

I don' know how much more good news we can stand, folks; I jis' donno...

Monday, June 04, 2007

When The Rich Get Richer, Everybody Else Gets Fucked

Daniel Brooks, at HuffPost, 6/1/07:
"When the rich get richer and more numerous, those at the top bid up the prices of things we all need. Consider higher education --something which, through the peculiarities of the American economic model is financed privately through tuition rather than publicly through taxes. The more one can make with a university degree should one go corporate, the more the university can charge for the degree. And that's exactly what universities are doing in response to the corporate pay boom; private college tuition has tripled in real dollars in the past generation. But the higher the tuition goes, the greater the penalty becomes for those who don't sell out. Thus rising economic inequality pushes educated people in certain career directions, regardless of where their interests lie, regardless of their values."
I reproduced Brooks' "Commencement speech" here the other day. Read it, too, just below. Sobering thoughts: gives the lie to the specious notion that a rising tide raises all boats; rather it raises all yachts...

Faux "Corporate Responsibility": Managing the Message

From the annals of one of the universe's most obvious and obnoxious oxymorons: Corporate Responsibility (Website: Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Georgia), May 13, 2007)

In public relations, "the most striking single thing is the rapid growth in which companies are positioning or repositioning their environmentalism," said Burson-Marsteller's managing director of corporate responsibility. (Ed. Note: B-M's CEO, Mark Penn, is HRC's chief campaign strategist. One must wonder if that's indicative of her 'credibility' on climate-change issues?)

Manning Selvage & Lee's managing director said that helping "establish a company's credibility" on environmental issues is "a pretty powerful message." (Particularly, one suspects, if one can do it without actually changing any of one's bidness practices and, not incidentally, without costing oneself any real money.)

That's why Waste Management has its "Think Green" campaign, General Electric has "Ecomagination," Wal-Mart and Home Depot are installing efficient light bulbs in stores, and Delta Air Lines "pledges to soon plant trees on behalf of any passenger willing to pay extra."'s founder called Delta's campaign "greenwashing," adding, "Conservation is a lot more than replanting trees."

Environmentalists criticize Georgia Power's campaign to allow customers "to pay a premium ... to purchase energy made from renewable sources." The director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy pointed out that Georgia Power and its parent company, Southern Co., "are extremely aggressive in opposing any sort of regulatory action in protecting the environment."
Speaking of "greenwashing": San Francisco Bay Guardian, May 29, 2007

Professional Greenpeace turncoat Patrick Moore is going around with a slide show that "isn't as slick as Al Gore's," writes Amanda Witherell, promoting nuclear power as a safe, clean, reliable and emissions-free solution to global warming. Witherell discusses the role that the Nuclear Energy Institute and PR firm Hill and Knowlton have played in creating Moore's "Clean and Safe Energy Coalition" and takes a critical look at some of the factoids in his presentation, such as his claim that nuclear power plants could withstand a direct hit from a jetliner without breaching radioactive contamination.

Please consider putting /the Center for Media and Democracy in your list of frequently consulted resources.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

"Welcome to the 'Real World'": A Commencement speech grads should hear--but never do

Required Reading
By Daniel Brook |
June 1, 2007 (Boston Globe)

FOUR YEARS AGO, you were all gathered before me on this quad as eager freshmen; today we are gathered here again, to send you off into what MTV has dubbed "the real world." [pause for laugh, look surprised and flattered when it comes]

Back then I urged you to embark upon a liberal arts education. By sophomore year, reality began to set in, and your schedules included a "practical" course or two. You dipped your toes into Economics 101 and, as it's known on this campus, "Accounting for Lemmings." Ultimately, most of you, like most American undergraduates, majored in a pre-professional field.

While it is customary to inspire graduates with a plea to go forth and serve humanity, I will take the advice of one of your eloquent classmates and "cut the crap." This college, like many in our great nation, is sending most of you into the world burdened by five-figures worth of tuition debt and without a loan forgiveness program for public service. Choose to be a teacher in Boston and you'll find you've been priced out of homeownership in 91.7 percent of the region's census tracts. Take a government or nonprofit job in Washington, and get ready to commute two hours a day from affordable West Virginia if you want to start a family. Or you can go corporate and embrace the five-fold pay advantage of entry-level K Street lobbyists over Capitol Hill staffers.

During your four idyllic years here, your class has become known for its creativity. This year, we had a record number of entries in both our entrepreneurship concept contest and our playwrights festival. Should any of you decide to pursue a self-employed existence be sure you don't have any preexisting medical conditions, because if you do, you will not be able to get health insurance. Even those of you with more mundane aspirations must be careful: nearly 40 percent of entry-level jobs for college graduates no longer include employer-provided insurance.

To the parents who are shaking their heads and muttering "it was always thus," I say, it was not. In the 1970s, students could pay nearly three-quarters of their tuition with a Pell Grant; today, a grant covers only one-third. As recently as 1984, the cost of housing in San Francisco was just 63 percent higher than in the average American locale, proverbial Peoria; now it is three times as expensive. When I graduated from this university in the 1960s, my tuition was one-third of what it is today. (And to the chairman of economics: yes, Dr. Wisenheimer, I remembered to adjust for inflation.)

This may sound quite hopeless. Yet, if you managed to squeeze an American history course into your schedule of McKinsey & Company recruiting panels, you might have learned that these seemingly immutable financial facts of life are not foreordained. You might have learned that many public universities used to be free and private tuitions modest. And you might have studied how the rightward political swing of recent decades -- from Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign up to President Bush's Ownership Society --changed all that.

You'd know about how Ronald Reagan, as governor of California, overturned a hundred-year tradition that the University of California system would be tuition-free and as president, Reagan's federal human resources policy explicitly channeled top candidates into the private sector.

While I have enjoyed flouting convention in this speech, there is one convention I dare not overturn: ending on an upbeat note.

I would be remiss not to mention the remarkable opportunities available to those who successfully stifle their impulses toward service and creativity. With your prestigious degrees, you can easily join the ranks of America's millionaire yes-men and yes-women. In a nation with literally millions of millionaires, there's no need to build a better mouse trap or even to rise to the top of your profession.

It's just a matter of choosing the right field and always answering in the affirmative. "Yes" to hundred-hour workweeks; "yes" to never seeing your children; "yes" to your boss's capricious 3 a.m. BlackBerry demands.

As one of our trustees confided to me, every law partner at the eighth-best law firm in Cleveland is now a millionaire; the dead weight on the Wall Street trading floors get bigger Christmas bonuses than our department chairs make in a year. So think small. Aim low. Aspire to corporate mediocrity. And if you ever feel handcuffed to a job as pocket-lining as it is soul-crushing, then and only then, I urge you to give something back -- preferably in the form of a check to the alumni fund.


Daniel Brook is author of "The Trap: Selling Out to Stay Afloat in Winner-Take-All America."