Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 28, 2006

OT 06-69

Open thread ... other news & views ...

Posted by b on July 28, 2006 at 03:02 AM | Permalink

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"Liberated" Krugman column Reign of Error

Whatever the reason, the fact is that the Bush administration continues to be remarkably successful at rewriting history. For example, Mr. Bush has repeatedly suggested that the United States had to invade Iraq because Saddam wouldn't let U.N. inspectors in. His most recent statement to that effect was only a few weeks ago. And he gets away with it. If there have been reports by major news organizations pointing out that thatss not at all what happened, I've missed them.

It's all very Orwellian, of course. But when Orwell wrote of 'a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past,' he was thinking of totalitarian states. Who would have imagined that history would prove so easy to rewrite in a democratic nation with a free press?

Posted by: b | Jul 28, 2006 3:37:57 AM | 1

Watch Pakistan

Iran and Syria, as the US in its more blinkered moments chooses to think, are not behind this phenomenon. It is beyond the capacity of either to be responsible for such a far-reaching development. Islamic radicalism is a response to Islamic humiliation. Iran and Syria are not behind this humiliation. America and Israel are.

There is a lesson in all this for Pakistan as well. Its elites (including the military which has always been part of this elite club) have also failed the test of nation-building. Able to deliver neither democracy nor welfare, their most signal achievement has been submission to America and the creation of an exploitative order. If only they could realize the extent of their growing irrelevance.

How fareth the armies of the faith? Alas, not much better. Their leaders spout ignorance. Some of them have proved to be past masters at hypocrisy, talking of democracy but sleeping with the enemy. Some religious outfits, although mercifully not all, deal in the worst kind of sectarian violence, bringing a bad name to Islam.

But there are other role models to follow, none more inspiring than Hamas and Hezbollah. What distinguishes them above everything else is their spirit of defiance and resistance. If only through some miracle some of this spirit could rub off on the Pakistani nation and those who lay claim to being its leaders.


Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jul 28, 2006 3:50:51 AM | 2

Article;
Whats Really Happening in Lebanon?
by Ted Baiamonte 07/27/2006

I think this guy has a really great idea. The question is, how can it be promoted?

Posted by: tescht | Jul 28, 2006 3:56:47 AM | 3

Walmart tried to get a foot into the German market, but without regard to laws and working against labour organisations instad of working with them.

The never made a profit and now they give up: Wal-Mart Announces Sale of German Business

"As we focus our efforts on where we can have the greatest impact on our growth and return on investment strategies, it has become increasingly clear that in Germany's business environment it would be difficult for us to obtain the scale and results we desire," said Duke. "This sale positions us to increase our focus on the markets where we can achieve our objectives."

Posted by: b | Jul 28, 2006 4:02:46 AM | 4

Upps, we are breaking a law by conducting war crimes? We need to change that law immediately.

Detainee Abuse Charges Feared

An obscure law approved by a Republican-controlled Congress a decade ago has made the Bush administration nervous that officials and troops involved in handling detainee matters might be accused of committing war crimes, and prosecuted at some point in U.S. courts.

Senior officials have responded by drafting legislation that would grant U.S. personnel involved in the terrorism fight new protections against prosecution for past violations of the War Crimes Act of 1996. That law criminalizes violations of the Geneva Conventions governing conduct in war and threatens the death penalty if U.S.-held detainees die in custody from abusive treatment.
...
Gonzales told the lawmakers that a shield is needed for actions taken by U.S. personnel under a 2002 presidential order, which the Supreme Court declared illegal, and under Justice Department legal opinions that have been withdrawn under fire, the source said. A spokeswoman for Gonzales, Tasia Scolinos, declined to comment on Gonzales's remarks.
...


Posted by: b | Jul 28, 2006 4:28:49 AM | 5

b,

Congratulations on being an inhospitable host to the wal-mart blight. While I've never been inside one of those, I've seen its effects, all over the place. It ruined my little hometown -- by killing all the local business, leaving the landowners little choice but to arson their properties. Very sad.

Posted by: anna missed | Jul 28, 2006 5:23:07 AM | 6

@anna - we have other big chains, several and very competitive to each other. So small businesses also have a hard stand here. But the native big ones do adhere at least to law, they pay halfway decent wages and they aren't completely unfriendly to unions.

Walmart lost a $1 billion in their German adventure because a stupid management thought it could implement their US experience here.

Posted by: b | Jul 28, 2006 5:29:03 AM | 7

Slate has a good piece about the Italian CIA/Sismi scandal: Italy's Watergate

Tracing the phone of Marco Mancini, Sismi's No. 2, led them to a penthouse apartment on Via Nazionale, a popular shopping thoroughfare in Rome. On July 5, police raided the apartment and discovered a Sismi spy den filled with dossiers on various enemies of the Berlusconi regime. There were files on journalists, prosecutors, and businessmen, as well as evidence that Sismi had been paying reporters at the right-wing paper Libero to spy and plant stories on the agency's behalf.

The same day, prosecutors arrested Mancini, along with another Sismi official, on suspicion of being involved with the rendition. The head of Sismi, Nicolo Pollari, has escaped arrest thus far. But he is alleged to have personally run the secret spy shop, and his assurances earlier this year that he knew nothing of the Omar rendition appear less credible every day. More troubling still, last Friday, a security official at Telecom Italia named Adamo Bove, who had been assisting Spataro's team in monitoring Mancini's phone, left his Naples apartment, telling his wife he had to run an errand, and threw himself off a highway overpass. Police have launched an investigation into what they're calling "instigation to suicide."
...
After all, it would be paranoid—even unpatriotic—to suggest that behind closed doors the very people we entrust to keep us safe might be spying without cause on civilians, misleading supposed allies, or running up $158,000 hotel bills. And it seems paranoid to suggest that the recent suicide of a man who was assisting the investigation of Italy's disgraced No. 2 spy might have been anything but a suicide. But at a certain point, the frequent instances of abuse and overreach by intelligence agencies—from the Stasi to Sismi, from J. Edgar Hoover's files to Pollari's—begin to seem less like the anomaly and more like the rule. And you're left to wonder: If this country had an investigator with the autonomy and perseverance of Armando Spataro, just what might he uncover?


Posted by: b | Jul 28, 2006 5:47:38 AM | 8

@anna missed:

Take my advice: don't go to a Wal-mart to absorb the ambience. They're even worse inside than you might think. I've been in a couple with friends who actually shop there.

Ever been inside a down-at-the-heels dollar store? One that's dirty and disorganized, with products misfiled with other products, things just left in heaps (not put on shelves or built into displays, just piled on the floor), broken and open packaging mixed with fresh, and ugly, we're-too-cheap-to-paint-or-wallpaper-over-the-original-surfaces decor? Expand that to many thousands of square feet, add lots of screaming children and insufficient lighting, and you're more or less there. Wal-mart is such a store as the damned must browse in Hell.

Posted by: The Truth Gets Vicious When You Corner It | Jul 28, 2006 5:57:55 AM | 9

tescht, I was thinking the same thing myself.

What is a fair settlement to Persian and Arabic hatred of the Israeli state, and Israel's need to remain Jewish in the face of low birthrates with respect to Arab Israelis?

The original 1947 borders when Israel was established, the 1967 borders which I believe is after a war with Egypt? Does this solve the problem ... I think it is fair that the Israeli state remain if only that the alternatives are genocide or exodus, and the world does not need more refugees.

The fresh water issue looms as well. Israel is on the ocean, which is a boon to trade as well as a source of wealth from fishing, if any fish are left. The north side of Israel holds its enemies -- but should Israel be supported as it attempts to gain territory? I think not. That way lies madness -- growth at the zero sum rate.

Could the surrounding nations accept a docile Israel? I should hope that its high-tech research and electronics and communications expertise are a real commodity that it could offer to its neighbors.

I'm just trying to visualize a simple and peaceable possible outcome.

Posted by: jonku | Jul 28, 2006 6:00:16 AM | 10

I mentioned before that Germany wasn't the first to say No(r)way to Wal-Mart.

Posted by: Monolycus | Jul 28, 2006 6:03:05 AM | 11

WaPo's Ignations has a bit of new reporting on Iraq. The strategy change with more troops in Baghdad is not the only tool. Again the US tries to play by the Israeli counter insurgency book, this time using assassinations of "death squad leaders". Has worked so well for the Israeli ...

Do or Die Against Iraq's Death Squads

The military calls the new battle for Baghdad "Operation Together Forward." It began about two weeks ago, with raids by U.S. and British special operations forces to capture or kill death squad leaders. So far, about 10 have been "taken out," most of them members of the Mahdi Army, according to administration officials. The operations included a strike by British forces against a Mahdi Army lieutenant who had been terrorizing residents of Basra in southern Iraq.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad, who accompanied Maliki here, explained the new strategy in an interview yesterday. "We need to make it risky for people to operate these death squads," he said. Although U.S. military planners were worried that Sadr might respond by bringing his fighters out in the streets en masse, Khalilzad said that, so far, "Moqtada's reaction has been muted. He understands that the death squads are out of control. They include former Saddamists who joined the Mahdi Army and are not under his control." Administration officials say that they don't want a pitched battle with Sadr, but that, in the words of one official: "If confrontation comes, it's best that it come now."

This stealthy war against the death squads is at the center of the new strategy for securing Baghdad. U.S. officials concede that the initial plan for retaking control of the capital, announced when Maliki took office in May, was a flop.
...
The new idea is to add more force -- beefing up the 52,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops in the city by about 20 percent. In addition to targeting death squad leaders, the United States plans to retake Baghdad neighborhoods by starting with the city's 117 police stations. The plan is to install stronger Iraqi police leadership and embed U.S. forces with them. Administration officials speak of an "ink spot" strategy for Baghdad, establishing these pockets of security and then expanding them outward.

As coalition forces go after the Shiite death squads and Sunni insurgents, Khalilzad wants to push ahead with the larger reconciliation strategy. "We need to treat reconciliation the same way we treated the constitution and the formation of the government," he says, with meetings every day and "frank talk" about how to stop the ruination of Iraq. Meanwhile, to fund reconstruction without further depleting U.S. coffers, the Iraqis will ask European and Asian nations to contribute $100 billion or more over the next five years.
...


Essentally US death squads against all other death squads. Anyone doubts this will end in another desaster. As for $100 billion from Europe and Asia, just remember: "You break it, you own it."

Posted by: b | Jul 28, 2006 6:04:07 AM | 12

Israel's need to remain Jewish in the face of low birthrates with respect to Arab Israelis?

I don´t understand the need of any country to adhere to one religion and have the religion determ administrative functions etc. This is apartheit nothing else. It din´t work in SA and wil not work in IL.

Why not one big state with freedom for all?

Posted by: b | Jul 28, 2006 6:13:07 AM | 13

Bernhard, I agree about the absurdity of a culture that is also a race (in the sense of not marrying outside itself) and also a country.

Yet I admire the tenacity of the New York Orthodox Jews, they even have their own neighborhoods. A culture that persists even as its descendants try to escape it, women who can't go to college yet still educate themselves and manage their families well.

I chose the Orthodox Jews as an example because I lived near them and worked with them and had friends in the community -- I don't have much other exposure to Jewish culture except the secular jews who are part of the fabric of New York, and they are indistinguishable from non-jewish New Yorkers.

You have to admire a successful culture, even if its values have been exploited to the extent of offensive actions -- the US comes to mind, as does the UK and even my own country, Canada.

It's not black and white -- does the human race need to eradicate all differences, homogenize all cultures to survive?

Your question "Why not one big state for all" is valid. Yet we have seen this over and over, the powerful dominate the weak.

It is at the least a waste of good soldiers and defense spending to attack Iraq and garrison Afghanistan when those troops are sorely needed enforcing ceasefires and defending innocents in the places they are needed most -- Africa, Palestine, the Phillipines -- many opportunities for citizen soldiers to have adventures that they can tell proudly so their grandchildren can sing great songs about them.

It is such a waste of energy, money and people, with little tangible result except death and emnity.

Posted by: jonku | Jul 28, 2006 6:38:53 AM | 14

"Mr Bush just doesn't get it."
by Khaled Almaeena 7/28/2006

"False pretexts have now become the norm for them. They talk about suicide bombers.
I mentioned that to a Palestinian professor who retorted: "Give us F-16s, Apache gunship helicopters and M-16 assult rifles and I promise you there will be no more suicide bombings."

Posted by: tescht | Jul 28, 2006 6:44:24 AM | 15

The only thing I read at Pravda on the Potomac is the news, anymore.

When Hiatt, Mallaby. Cohen, and Ignatious start in with foreign policy recommendations, it's best to do the exact opposite.

Posted by: Ms. Manners | Jul 28, 2006 6:48:09 AM | 16

Just in case you had doubts...

Police spies chosen to lead war protest

Problem-reaction-solution at work.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 28, 2006 8:42:04 AM | 17

Sibel Edmonds: "Whistleblowers Witch Hunt Begins

On Wednesday, July 26, Russell Tice, former National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence analyst and a member of National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), was approached outside his home by two FBI agents who served him with a subpoena to testify in front of a federal grand jury.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 28, 2006 9:22:11 AM | 18

Laptop border searches OK'd

"Three-judge panel unanimously says that border police may conduct random searches of laptops without search warrants or probable cause. These searches can include seizing the laptop and subjecting it to extensive forensic analysis."


Posted by: Rick Happ | Jul 28, 2006 9:40:01 AM | 19

Residents of the U.S. interested in making donations to provide practical help to Lebanese victims of the current conflict can follow these links to relevant sites of UNICEF, the American Red Cross, and Catholic Relief Services:

http://tinyurl.com/jv29g
http://tinyurl.com/ebt3k
http://tinyurl.com/jeog4

There are, of course, other venues for aid, here in the U.S. and elsewhere - I cite these particular ones because I've given through them in the past. In the words of Lennie Bruce, "I'm a liberal - I've got the cancelled checks to prove it."

Posted by: Fannie Farmer (Mrs.) | Jul 28, 2006 10:08:41 AM | 20

Will Moon of Alabama and other blogs be filtered from U.S. schools and Public Libraries in the future?

House Passes Broad Mandatory Filtering Bill


"The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would force schools and libraries to block chat and social networking sites as a condition of receiving federal E-rate funding. This bill goes far beyond the already broad mandate that requires schools and libraries to filter out obscenity and "harmful-to-minors" content and would block access to many legal and valuable web sites and Internet tools. Because chat and social networking are woven into the fabric of Internet communication, a huge range of sites may be declared off limits in libraries and schools. The bill appoints the Federal Communications Commission as the arbiter of what can and cannot be accessed in libraries around the country, meaning that for the first time, the federal government would be getting into the business of evaluating and screening wholly lawful Internet content. July 27, 2006"

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jul 28, 2006 10:15:03 AM | 21

Gonzalez seeks "protection" from War Crimes Act of 1996 Ten years ago, the Republican Congress passed the War Crimes Act,which makes violations of the Geneva Convention by Americans criminal acts. Now, the Attorney General is urging the current Republican Congress to "shield" those who participate in the War On Terror from the Act.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 28, 2006 11:09:27 AM | 22

This is big, but may fall under the US media table.

Major powers postpone meeting to discuss Iran's nuclear program

UNITED NATIONS: Six major powers Thursday postponed a meeting on Iran's nuclear program, with diplomats linking it to the UN Security Council's failure to pass a statement on the deaths of four UN peacekeepers this week. No official reason was given for the postponement of the meeting by the five UN Security Council permanent members - Britain, China, France, Russia and US - and Germany to discuss a resolution against Iran.

But the postponement came one day after the Security Council failed to agree a statement on the killing of four UN peacekeepers during an Israeli attack in Lebanon.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin announced the meeting had been postponed and that no new date had been set.

Diplomats said earlier this week that progress was being made in agreeing a resolution that would state that Iran must suspend all enrichment-related activities that could be linked to making a nuclear weapon.

But there has been a dramatic change of atmosphere after the failure to condemn the deaths of Austrian, Canadian, Chinese and Finnish soldiers in Lebanon Tuesday.

The United States blocked attempts to pass a strong statement condemning the attack or Israel. And China's envoy Wang Guangya warned Wednesday there could be an impact on efforts to agree other key issues such as Iran's nuclear program.

"I hope not, but I think that somehow it will have an impact, because if we want the unity of the council on this issue we also want the unity of the council on other issues," he said.

Questioned specifically about the Iran dispute, where China and Russia have resisted US calls for sanctions, the Chinese ambassador said: "I think all members will reflect on what lessons there are to be learned from this episode."

Posted by: b | Jul 28, 2006 11:47:02 AM | 23

An interesting bit from a Lebanese column

This came only hours after another party official, Mahmoud Komati, stated that Hizbullah had been surprised by Israel's reaction to the capture of two soldiers on July 12.
...
In his statement on Al-Manar, the secretary general declared that Hizbullah knew Israel intended to launch a major military operation in October.

Premature ejaculation of the October suprise?!

Posted by: b | Jul 28, 2006 11:56:40 AM | 24

Cloning a comment over at Angry Arab

1. The first aircraft hijacking was carried out by Israel in 1954 against a Syrian civilian airliner.

2. Grenades in cafes: first used by Zionists against Palestinians in Jerusalem on 17 March 1937.

3. Delayed-action, electrically timed mines in crowded marketplaces: first used by Zionists against Palestinians in Haifa on 6 July 1938.

4. Blowing up a ship with its civilian passengers still on board: first carried out by Zionists in Haifa on 25 November 1940. The Zionists did not hesitate to blow up their own people in protest at the British policy of restricting Jewish immigration to Palestine. The ship, Patria, was carrying 1,700 Jewish immigrants.

5. Assassination of government officials: first carried out by the Zionists against the British in Cairo, when on 6 November 1944 Lord Moyne was assassinated by the Stern Gang. Yitzhak Shamir, a member of the Irgun and later leader of the Stern Gang and Israeli prime minister, was behind the plan.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jul 28, 2006 12:04:37 PM | 25

Friday poetry break. Written by my friend, Jan Richmond:

SEVEN MINUTES

I've got a pocketknife with a corkscrew and a lathe
So I can whittle myself into wall-eyed delirium
Got a lampworking torch so hot
Oxygen runs from the room when I even think
About fusing and slumping
Got a gun so grey it disappears behind
Any penitentiary wall or school uniform or lobe
Of the brain or stretch of undecided sky
Got a needle that runs the whole length of my body
Got a rocket launcher named
Birthday who makes me feel special
A slingshot made from a human tendon
Got a route that elides the thickest part of the crowd
Wends around the Lost Child booth
Under the rusted bleachers barnacled with chewing gum
And into the gut of the hidingest bully
Got kosher slaughter and Halal purity laws
And Mormon frogeye salad
Got a list of names that comes when I call
Got a deck of cards and a bunch of dictionaries
Got a thirst for knowledge and a head for figures

But I would give up all that I've got
My thousand-year-old recipes and instantaneous fruitions
My carefully wrought arsenal of ideas
My tights and cape
To make the world go away for seven minutes
Only my baby can ease my troubled mind

Posted by: biklett | Jul 28, 2006 12:18:46 PM | 26

Cloned Poster - #25: I don't want to shoot the messenger, but some of the arguments posted by Angry Arab do not seem right: obviously, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by Gavrilo Princip was "an assassination of a government official", which occured 30 years before. And what about the asssassinations of two (or was it three?) US presidents in the 19th Century?

Grenades and mines and other explosive attacks were an anarchist tactic in the 1800s, well before its use as a terrorist weapon in pre-Israel Palestine.

Posted by: ClaudeB | Jul 28, 2006 12:24:42 PM | 27

just listened to the two buffoons speak

& answer qustions put by their apes

couldn't understand a fucking word

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 28, 2006 1:25:38 PM | 28

& i speak a number of labguages

just not the ones they were speaking

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 28, 2006 1:36:35 PM | 29

I should probably have linked to the Geneva Conventions in the OP. In particular, Article 3 (specifically mentioned in the War Crimes Act), Section 1.(c) prohibits:
Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;

I would worry, too ,if I were Gonzalez

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 28, 2006 1:50:10 PM | 30

antifa seems to have a handle on it ;

"And that is hard to believe. Judging them by what they do instead of what they say, the opposite conclusion is easier to believe -- that all this talk of the Mother of All Ceasefires is just deception, which is the first weapon of war."

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 28, 2006 1:51:18 PM | 31

Here is my contribution to biklett's suggestion of Friday poetry break.

September 1, 1939 by W. H. Auden


The last stanza of that poem begins:

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

@biklett #26 quite powerful, thank-you.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 28, 2006 2:02:50 PM | 32

The Doors have been running through my head for the last several days, so I'll suggest them for Fri. night listening - for amusement, there's "Whiskey Bar", "Light My Fire" for the NeoCon's who eroticize war, "Strange Days", "The End"...Lyrics - don't know if the music is online or not

Posted by: jj | Jul 28, 2006 2:17:46 PM | 33

No offense intended to FannieFarmer(Mrs.) in 20, but after their performance during Katrina and 9/11 I wonder if the Red Cross is the best depository of relief funds. This came through my email for those who might be interested:

URGENT: LEBANON PALESTINE EMERGENCY FUND

For Immediate Release
July 27, 2006

The ongoing invasion of Lebanon by Israel has left hundreds of its
residents either dead or injured. Meanwhile, the 58-year Zionist
occupation of Palestine has escalated, bringing with it more death and
destruction for the Palestinian people.

Hundreds of thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians have been rendered
homeless and unable to meet their most basic
needs by Israel's deliberate and conscious effort to destroy Lebanon's
civilian infrastructure. Entire neighborhoods in the south of Lebanon and
Beirut have been literally wiped out using US-supplied weapons.

Since the siege of Gaza one month ago, the Palestinian death toll includes
more than 31 children, killed by the hand of the "Israeli" occupier.

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, calls on all people of
conscience to donate to its Lebanon Palestine Emergency Relief Fund. All
donations will be used to help Palestinian and Lebanese victims of the
latest Israeli aggression.

Please make your tax-deductible donation payable to "Al-Awda, PRRC".
Indicate "Lebanon Palestine Emergency Fund" in the memo section.

Checks or money orders should be mailed to:

Al-Awda, PRRC
PO Box 131352
Carlsbad, CA 92013, USA

To make a secure online donation using your credit card, go to
http://www.al-awda.org/donate.html and follow the instructions. Please email
us at info@al-awda.org to let us know that your online donation is intended
for the 'Lebanon Palestine Emergency Fund'.

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
PO Box 131352
Carlsbad, CA 92013, USA
Tel: 760-685-3243
Fax: 360-933-3568
E-mail: info@al-awda.org
WWW: http://al-awda.org

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition (PRRC), is a not for profit
tax-exempt educational and charitable 501(c)(3) organization as defined by
the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States of America. Under
IRS guidelines, your donations http://www.al-awda.org/donate.html to PRRC
are tax-deductible.

And, yes, Biklett @ 26, quite powerful. No baby here, but sorely in need of that seven minutes. Seems self-centered to wish for it, given that I sit in the surreal air conditioning of New York while Lebanon is being reduced to rubble, and the US government conspires one thing after another to steal from its citizens and the world. Today the stealth attack is to push two bills through the U.S. House of Representatives that would undermine or eliminate critical public health and environmental protection programs.

Posted by: conchita | Jul 28, 2006 2:20:15 PM | 34

Here's an unexpected treat: Leonard Cohen reads his poetry on the Online NewsHour.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 28, 2006 2:30:14 PM | 35

From the Poetry Corner of the Speverent Rooner.

A Short Poem.

Po

Posted by: gmac | Jul 28, 2006 4:13:07 PM | 36

Correction re above poem (26)- it is by Jan Richman (pal), not Richmond (my neighborhood). Sorry Jan.

Posted by: biklett | Jul 28, 2006 5:08:45 PM | 37

Shit...

Five shot, one killed at Seattle Jewish Federation

Get ready for the media assault...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 28, 2006 9:24:43 PM | 38

Oh, how horrible, Uncle. Looks like they got a nut on their hands.

Posted by: Ensley | Jul 28, 2006 9:35:55 PM | 39

Geez, what is it about Seattle?
Nine "bizarre" murders in Seattle in nine days

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 28, 2006 9:38:35 PM | 40

9 killed in Seattle area in as many days

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 28, 2006 9:48:19 PM | 41

Here's the deal:

Turkey agrees to staff the suicidal NATO mission to southern Lebanon in exchange for permission to invade Kurdistan. We knew the Kurds would be sold out, it was just a question of when and for how much.

Posted by: BMOC | Jul 28, 2006 11:31:01 PM | 42

something to keep in mind next time you hear ned lamont's selective "anti-war" rhetoric..
forward: Antiwar Candidate Backs Israeli Strikes

The anti-Iraq War challenger in Connecticut's upcoming Democratic primary has issued strong statements backing Israel's military operations in Lebanon, but his campaign boosters are being painted as anti-Israel by supporters of Senator Joseph Lieberman.

Ned Lamont, a Greenwich, Conn., businessman who holds a slight lead in the polls over Lieberman, told the Forward that he supports Israel's current operations in Gaza and Lebanon, and that he disagreed with the European Union's declaration that criticized Israel's actions as a "disproportionate" response.

"When we're dealing with Hezbollah and Hamas, who are both dedicated to the elimination of Israel, it's a little presumptuous of us to say what's proportionate and what's not from over here on this side of the Atlantic," Lamont said. "I don't think it's for the United States to dictate how Israel tactically defends itself."
...
"I've been very clear from the get-go that [I'm] a supporter of Israel."
...
In his interview with the Forward, Lamont said that he did not agree with calls for an immediate, unconditional cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah.

Posted by: b real | Jul 28, 2006 11:33:54 PM | 43

breal -

¡¡¡argh!!!! another fucking fraud.

Posted by: conchita | Jul 28, 2006 11:48:06 PM | 44

@Conchita:

Forget about that one real quick don't we.


Vote Reublican or Liberman. Dip shit Liberman's got seniorty, and can deliver for CT.

What you posted is one of the the most painful pieces of news I've seen in a year.

Fuck Lamont!

Posted by: Ms. Manners | Jul 29, 2006 12:06:33 AM | 45

Go Ned, support Israel in it's Suicide!!! Conchita, you do know that he thinks shipping our factories to slave wage zones is fine too...

In case anyone around here thinks BubbleBoy should be impeached, msnbc's running a poll. (I don't know if they mean Both or just Chimpy...) Here's the link

Posted by: jj | Jul 29, 2006 12:08:32 AM | 46

The news rpt. I hrd. on Air America @8:00(PDT) said shooter was a male Pakistani.

Posted by: jj | Jul 29, 2006 12:12:19 AM | 47

Ms. Manners,
are you for real?

Posted by: citizen | Jul 29, 2006 12:21:49 AM | 48

Citizen, of course not.

Martial law anyone?

HOUSE LEADERSHIP INVOKES “MARTIAL LAW,” FORCING MEMBERS TO VOTE ON KEY BILLS WITHOUT FULL KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT THEY ARE VOTING ON

Under the martial law procedure, longstanding House rules that require at least one day between the unveiling of significant legislation and the House floor vote on that legislation — so that Members can learn what they are being asked to vote on — are swept away.  Instead, under “martial law,” the Leadership can file legislation with tens or hundreds of pages of fine print and move immediately to debate and votes on it, before Members of Congress, the media, or the public have an opportunity to understand fully what provisions have been altered or inserted into the legislation behind closed doors.  This is the procedure that the Leadership intends to use to muscle through important bills in the next two days.link

Posted by: jj | Jul 29, 2006 12:43:24 AM | 49

peter dale scott reviews The One Percent Doctrine

The book can be construed as a well-argued case for impeachment of the Vice-President, and possibly also of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Both men are accused of misdirecting the country and even at times of frustrating the clearly expressed will of President Bush, who in this book emerges as far closer to Tenet than many of us had believed.
...
Suskind’s case against Cheney and Rumsfeld seems carefully tailored for exploitation by Democrats in the next Congress.
...
But Suskind, in designing a narrative that can be absorbed and digested by the American political process, avoids some important facts which no one in power seems willing to mention. The most obvious fact suppressed in Suskind’s narrative is the importance of controlling Middle East oil as a prime motive for invading Iraq.

One can agree with Suskind that the war has become an unambiguous setback to the war on terror. ... But he accepts at face value the misleading claim that WMD provided the “primary impetus for invading Iraq”
...
Suskind’s view of the war as a product of bad intelligence fits very well with Senator Kerry’s current position that the war in Iraq was a “mistake.”
...
An honest analysis of U.S. strategy in Iraq must acknowledge this long-standing design for gaining control of Iraqi oil reserves, and the decade-long abuse of the false WMD issue as a means to this end. Both political parties have been complicit in this design; and there will be no end to our current nightmare until one party successfully repudiates it – specifically the twin goals of dominating Middle East oil unilaterally, and of maintaining permanent military bases in Iraq. Suskind’s book, valuable as it is in detail and anecdote, obscures and indeed falsifies these fundamental issues.


and, sure, the ideologues at foggy bottom may have thier panties in a bunch over venezuela purchasing a couple dozen sukhoi-30 jets, a couple dozen shiny helicopters, some TOR-M1 sam's, 100,000 rifles, and maybe a submarine, but you gotta love hugo's leadership when you get a load of these numbers:

100 Million Trees for Venezuela

Venezuela has launched a five-year reforestation project for Orinoco headwaters and tributary rivers in which more than 900 conservation committees and students from more than 100 schools will help plant 100 million trees in a 150,000-hectare area.

Posted by: b real | Jul 29, 2006 12:58:40 AM | 50

breal -

¡¡¡argh!!!! another fucking fraud.

Don't you understand that you have to be a fraud, as you call it -- a servant of empire, to rise that high. They -- the money crowd -- don't let others.

In this society, people rise to the level of violence and mendacity they can countenance. Any accidental exceptions are continually denigrated and reviled by the frauds, whose very existence is threatened by those not fatally compromised.

Posted by: The Realist | Jul 29, 2006 1:04:20 AM | 51

what are they afraid of?

Posted by: citizen | Jul 29, 2006 1:07:39 AM | 52

My local news channel is saying that Hezbollah has made a tentative agreement with the Lebanese government on conditions for a ceasefire. No word on a reply from Israel yet.

Posted by: 2nd anonymous poster | Jul 29, 2006 1:07:42 AM | 53

Do you really think Lamont isn't going to be subject to the same AIPAC tactics and pressure that every other politician running for that office is?

Posted by: | Jul 29, 2006 1:09:41 AM | 54

That last reply was to jj's post.

Now @The Realist "Don't you understand..."
Your question is snotty, designed it seems to make you feel superior. Why so happy to kick conchita when she's down?

And for your appearance of intelligence, why would you imply that all the levers of power are out of reach? Only a fool would be so blind... unless of course your goal is simply to drive her off the field.

So what's your game?

Posted by: citizen | Jul 29, 2006 1:18:01 AM | 55

Of course, I understand that, citizen. I was just doing a disgusted angry riff on the notion that supporting this Israeli action is equivalent to supporting Israel. I'm waiting for someone to challenge AIPAC along those lines in public, hence I put it out there in cyberspace.

Ilan Pape, an Israeli Prof. who is a Socialist anti-Zionist, just put tog. an Israeli Anti-war coalition. I was going to post a link to his site, but it's not avail. at the moment. It's his name .org/.com. I heard end of an interview w/him & a guy named Jeff Blankfort today. The latter said his site had been hacked. Wonder if Pape's has been as well.

Posted by: jj | Jul 29, 2006 1:32:31 AM | 56

How many dead in Lebanon?

"There is little doubt that the real death toll is far higher than the official one. The question remains, by how much?"
- Dahr Jamail

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jul 29, 2006 2:37:02 AM | 57

Pact Near on Deadline for Iran -Washington Post
”U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice overcame Chinese and Russian opposition by pledging the United States to participate directly in international talks with Iran to resolve the crisis.”
- I find that statement very questionable.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jul 29, 2006 2:55:11 AM | 58

Damascus Meeting

Is this propaganda or real news?

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jul 29, 2006 3:14:20 AM | 59

Saw a South African movie Tsotsi last night.

Highly recommended. Sountrack kicks all manner of ass as well.

Oh, and fuck Ted Lamont.

Posted by: ran | Jul 29, 2006 4:01:52 AM | 60

@citizen@48:

I think so. Just more than a little pissed when I see what the run up to 2008 is going to be like, with all these Democrats "staying the course" on Iraq and vociferously defending Israel.

This is not what an opposirion party is supposed to do. And since a third party has absolutely no chance of "winning in the US., it seems like we are totally fucked.

Really tired of voting for the lesser of 2 evils.

And the realist in me says vote for Lamont, cause he's the lesser of 2 evils and Liberman's defeat might spook the Dem herd.

My reaction to the B Real snippet about Lamont was
about the same as Conchita's, I guess. Sure felt like a kick in the guts to me.

"most painful pieces of news I've seen in a year" should have read:

most painful pieces of POLITICAL news I've seen in a year.

Sorry.

Posted by: Ms. Manners | Jul 29, 2006 8:46:55 AM | 61

Meanwhile, a bit of cheerful news.

Texas gets a new Army base:


FT SHEEHAN TEXAS

Posted by: Ms. Manners | Jul 29, 2006 9:13:45 AM | 62

the realist and citizen @51, 54, 55, i clearly went to bed too early last night. my reaction, like ms. manners, to breal's post stems from a bit of history. i have staunchly defended ned lamont here and campaigned for him. my disappointment in the statements about israel were not made in ignorance about the political landscape in the u.s., but because until i read that i still had hope that he would not become just another politician/fraud. of course, the lieberman camp wouldn't hesitate for a moment to label him anti-semetic if he veered even slightly from the demopublican party line, particularly since the connecticut primary is considered to be neck-in-neck at the moment.

my reaction also came from the fact living in new york, no let's make the u.s., i have no representation. hillary clinton is a mouthpiece for aipac and where was bill this week? stumping for joe lieberman in connecticut. lamont is clearly the lesser evil. i had hoped that a candidate running on an anti-"war in iraq" (should be occupation) platform would be basing this in principle not political expediency. now i wonder. not to support an immediate and unconditional ceasefire??? wtf? where is the humanity in this position?

i also have a bone to pick with ned lamont because his office has yet to respond to my query about the status of his investment in haliburton and if he has divested. breal's post was exactly a nail in the coffin, but each day i find that any illusion i have of hope for this country and the world is just that - an illusion.

if i was registered as a connecticut democrat, i would certainly vote for ned and i do hope he wins the primary, because i do believe he would be better for the country than lieberman. but as ms. manners said, and many others here, where the hell is the opposition party in this country?

Posted by: conchita | Jul 29, 2006 10:03:47 AM | 63

my darling conchita

there is no party of opposition

that is a peculiarly dkosian illussion

the fight is where it has always been

on the street

where you have fought your fight & will continue to do so

the corruption of the democrats, is not yours, on the contrary - it is people like who are exemplary

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 29, 2006 10:51:32 AM | 64

...why would you imply that all the levers of power are out of reach?

Let me try to pick up this thread and respond to conchita.

It might be painful, but, at a time when, having just had her illusions broken, she might be open to hearing reality.

Are all the levers of power out of reach?

Not at more local levels, though even there $$$$ plays an inordinate role.

But at the Congressman/Senator level?

We all know the arguments about not only the Jewish lobby, but the military/industrial complex, and the presence of money in politics.

We all know that the system survives on the back of the over-worked homemaker, who, too busy making a living to do more than cursorily follow the news through MSM, never understands issues and inevitably parrots back the proper vote response.

Sure, some congresscritters are better at bringing home the bacon, like bridges to nowhere, and more especially, military contracts, and tax giveaways to corporations.

But the level of ideological uniformity on substantive matters (not fabricated wedge issues) surpasses even the Soviet Union in its heyday. This is a serious statement. Let's take some time to think about it.

(And the very few congresscritters who really have a different viewpoint, like Ron Paul, like him or not, can be dismissed as useful examples of powerless diversity, an advert for Democracy in Action.)

How many critters are anti-war and anti-imperialist domination, categorically, and state it overtly? Not just against how this war is prosecuted, or even whether we should have starved Iraq to death for a few more years before we invaded, but against ALL war except for legitimate self-defense. How many are against using sanctions, and the threat of violence to terrorize other people into obeying our dictates? The military/industrial lobby is even more powerful and far reaching than the Jewish one.

None.

How many critters have stood up categorically for civil rights, privacy, and liberty in EVERY vote, not just the Patriot Act, designed to take them away after 9-11?

None.

How many are for small, local farmers, and against agribusiness and GMO food, categorically?

None.

How many are for Universal health insurance, and universal elimination of poverty, want, and a structural underclass in this country, categorically?

None. Not even the rhetoric of the sixties.

How many are for DECENTRALIZED renewable energy, against the ethanol agribusiness fraud, and against nuclear power, categorically?

None.

How many speak up honestly against the destructive effects, like jingoism and superiority, of nationalism and patriotism? (Read Robert Jensen's "Citizens of Empire" if you don't understand my point here.) This is the basis of the ideological crux of our nation being "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world," as MLK said.

None.

How many are against corporations having the rights of people without the responsibilities? (See "The Corporation" if you don't understand why this is so important)

None.

How many are for fair trade, categorically, and against free trade?

Two, maybe........

I could go on and on. At the critter level, the candidate is marketed like a consumer product, and they appeal to us at the style level, the empty rhetoric level. ("I see a New America, where all are provided with opportunity....") The product we purchase is like a box of cereal, half full, and devoid of nutrition. Then we are surprised that we don't feel good afterwards. We are the proverbial ever-jilted lover, always choosing inappropriate consorts.

We must improve our critical thinking skills. Would we accept empty promises when buying a house or a car? Of course not! What is the candidates past history? It is easy to come out against a failed war. Was the candidate against the war before it began? Do we even know? Is the candidate in favor of all nations right to defend themselves from US domination and depredation, or do they just believe that countries should be starved to death, or the victim of a CIA coup in order that they do our will? We must demand to know the answers to these questions.

Candidates' positions are meticulously crafted to imply anti-establishment stances without actually holding them. All political speech is full of loopholes and plausible deniability. It is a rigged game, designed by lawyers, as a plurality of candidates are, against an easily dupped public. We need our own lawyers to hold candidates to account, and to parse any contract offered the voting public. And even then, once safely ensconced in office, many a candidate has claimed that "situations have changed," as a way to recant their proffered positions. All count on the public's poor memory and dramatic lack of monitoring after elections are over. Unpopular votes are carefully crafted to take advantage of these factors.

Anyone can fall in love with a handsome, slickly marketed candidate -- but who is doing all this slick marketing, and what is in it for them?

We are always presented with candidate as "savior," but is this role even possible working within the existing corrupt systems? At least candidate as "competent tinkerer of the corruption" is more believable. But what is it in our inner psychology that we are so disempowered that we feel we must look for a savior, about whom we know little or nothing?

So is it all hopeless? No.

The most hopeful way to effect meaningful, not rhetorical, change, is at the local level, as in Chicago, where they just voted in a LIVING WAGE. Or where towns have taken anti-war, anti-nuke, etc. stands.

Then localities can band together and multiply their effect.

At the higher levels, the work consists of campaign reform, getting ALL private money out of elections, and having them publicly financed. Then candidates will not have to be wholly owned commodities of corporations.

Next, we must work to educate an alienated, apathetic, and easily fooled, public. We must fight to take back the media, especially the elite pro-war media, like NPR, which are so effective at defining the views of the professional classes. When half the population still thinks that Iraq posseessed WMD, and that Saddam was friends with Al-Qaeda, we have a lot of grassroots work ahead of us. We must teach others to doubt the benificence of elite leaders, just as we must do the same. We must teach people to question all power and authority -- and to be aware of their own interests and how they differ from elite interests. If this work is too hard and daunting, we can retreat to illusion that an "enlightened" elite candidate will magically create the positive change we seek. And have our hearts broken again.

The main point is to learn from history. Read Howard Zinn's "People's History of the United States." And learn that all progressive change comes from grassroots struggle. Nobody is going to give you anything because you voted for them. It doesn't happen that way. There are no enlightened despots.

Think of candidates as scales, not people. When you can bring enough force to bear on your end of the scale to outweigh the force brought by the corporate opposition on the other side, you will win -- no matter who the candidate is.

Why did Richard Nixon, who was surely near as detestable as Bush, set up the EPA? Not noblesse oblige, but grassroots pressure.

Study grassroots movements in Mexico and Central America and learn from them. None are so naive as to believe that "rights are accorded them." They understand that they must struggle, and even be prepared to die, for the changes the seek. They understand power, without illusion, and so are prepared to wrest it away -- against all odds.

It is all a matter of cause and effect. But most people get them confused, and eternally have their hearts broken.

But it doesn't have to be. Ditch Kos (a slick marketing tool, based on the "lesser of two evils" philosophy), and read Acorn (housing), and Nathan Newman (labor), and myriad other activists -- anti-empire, sustainable ag., etc. -- who are on the frontlines of the postive change we would like to see.

If enough people go to activist's sites, learn, and work against power, building substantial motivated constituencies, the Ned Lamonts of the world would somehow find the way to follow.

Posted by: Malooga | Jul 29, 2006 12:28:25 PM | 65

This recently posted article at BuzzFlash suggests that there may be some diligent and honest prosecutors in our government doing their jobs:
Ex-Pentagon/Custer battles execs accused of fraud

"Two former Pentagon officials, including an acting secretary of the Navy, have been accused of scheming with a banned American contractor to get lucrative rebuilding contracts in Iraq, The Associated Press has learned.

The contracting firm, Custer Battles LLC, was suspended two years ago by the military for submitting millions of dollars in fake invoices....

The current suit names former acting Navy Secretary Hansford T. Johnson, former acting Navy Undersecretary Douglas Combs, and Custer Battles LLC officials including founders Scott Custer and Mike Battles, who were barred in 2004 after billing the government for work that was never done and for padding invoices by much as 100 percent.

Also named were six companies connected to the contracting firm, including Windmill International Ltd., a worldwide contractor run by Combs and Johnson, and a Romanian company, Danubia Global, which purchased Custer Battles in 2005. "

The part that is really interesting is this:

"According to the suit filed in Virginia, the shell companies committed other illegal acts, including selling weapons on the Iraqi black market, creating a dangerous possibility that 'insurgents could buy them and use them to attack U.S. soldiers.'"

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 29, 2006 1:22:52 PM | 66

Heads up!

9/11 + The Neo-Con Agenda Panel Discussion to Run on Saturday, July 29th at 8PM (EST) Tonight.

C-SPAN has confirmed that their coverage of the 9/11 + The Neo-Con Agenda Panel Discussion will air on C-SPAN 1 on July 29th at 8PM (EST). The panel features incredible presentations by 9/11 Scholars for Truth founder James Fetzer, BYU Physics Professor Steven Jones, President of the Institute for Space and Security Studies Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Lt. Col., USAF, ret., Filmmaker and Radio Broadcaster Alex Jones, and Terrorism Expert Webster Tarpley.

The appearance of this discussion on the nation’s premiere public affairs cable network is an incredible boon to the 9/11 Truth Movement. None of the 9/11 Truth events that C-SPAN has covered in the past are as hard-hitting as the 9/11 + The Neo-Con Agenda program. This panel discussion cuts to the heart of the issue and exposes the events of September 11th, 2001 as a complex premeditated plot carried out by criminal elements within the U.S. Government as a pretext for launching the endless “War on Terror” in which the globe is currently embroiled. C-SPAN’s coverage of this pivotal information will bring considerable national attention to the 9/11 Truth Movement. It will also lend further credibility to the Scholars for 9/11 Truth, the premiere organization within the movement for peer-reviewed scientific research on 9/11 issues.

---

The program will air on C-SPAN 1 at 8PM EST (7PM CST) on Saturday, July 29th and then air again for the West Coast at 11pm EST (10pm CST).

If you don't have cable, you can watch online by clicking here: C-SPAN to Air 9/11 Exposé- July 29th at 8PM (EST)

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 29, 2006 1:32:20 PM | 67

malooga

thank you & because you always bring so much to our discussions

& that is no small thing

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 29, 2006 1:38:23 PM | 68

Audit Finds U.S. Hid Actual Cost of Iraq Projects

The State Department agency in charge of $1.4 billion in reconstruction money in Iraq used an accounting shell game to hide ballooning cost overruns on its projects in Iraq and knowingly withheld information on schedule delays from Congress, a federal audit released late Friday has found.

The agency hid construction overruns by listing them as overhead or administrative costs, according to the audit, written by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, an independent office that reports to Congress and the Pentagon.

In March 2005, USAid asked the Iraq Reconstruction and Management Office at the United States Embassy in Baghdad for permission to downsize some projects to ease widespread financing problems. In its request, it said that it had to “to absorb greatly increased construction costs” at the Basra hospital, and that it would make a modest shift of priorities and reduce “contractor overhead” on the project.

The hospital’s construction budget was $50 million. By April of this year, Bechtel had told the aid agency that because of escalating costs for security and other problems, the project would actually cost $98 million to complete. But in an official report to Congress that month, the agency “was reporting the hospital project cost as $50 million,” the inspector general wrote in his report.

No wai! /snark

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 29, 2006 1:50:43 PM | 70

Proportionality

I was just listening to This American Life on NPR and one of the stories was about a girl named Sarah York, who at the age of 11 became pen pals with Manuel Noriega and visited Panama twice in '88 and '89 on Noriega's dime.

Part of the report was the reminder to me of the Panama Invasion. Remember Operation Just Cause?

I do. And I am reminded of one of the best documentaries I have ever seen, The Panama Deception. It exposed Bush 41 lies about the invasion, where they claimed first only 200 civilian casualties, then revised the number to 500. However the number most independent experts believe is closer to 3000.

So lets review, shall we? (1) Panama never attacked the USA and was never a threat, (2) The US invaded because Bush needed a new boogieman after Gaddafi and before Saddam, (3) The US government killed about 3000 innocent civilians, droping bombs and firing artillery on residential apartment buildings, (4) They wanted to clip Noriega, but he was smart enough to hide-out in the Vatican Embassy, and (5) The result was to convict Noriega of suspicious drug charges to sit in a jail in Miami for 40 years and a U.S. installed government.

Over 3000 killed for one drug prosecution is a severeyl disproportionate, meaningless and craven crime against civilians for pure political motivations . And people wonder where Dubya gets his insensitivity to the loss of human life? And people want Bush I to act as a peace negotiator in the current conflict? And then of course there is mummy, famous for her trademark hits, "...and so many of the people in the arenas here, you know, were underprivileged anyway. This is working very well for them" (referring to the Katrina evacuees living the Astrodome) and "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" (refering to the War on Iraq). What a family. They're effin' sociopaths.

Addendum: From the Annals of Those Who Never Learn

According to Wikipedia,

One notorious after-effect of the invasion was nearly two weeks of widespread looting and lawlessness, a contingency which the United States military apparently had not anticipated.

Sound familiar? They're talking about Panama, not Iraq.

Posted by: Bubb Rubb | Jul 29, 2006 1:56:35 PM | 71

@Uncle Scam (70) - so the state department screwed up some 50 million in a 1.4 billion budget. The complete bidget for the Iraq war by now some $500 billion and under the control of the defense department. They screwed up, racateered, stole BILLIONs.

Do I see some scapegoating here?

Posted by: b | Jul 29, 2006 2:20:40 PM | 72

@bubb rubb

(2)The US invaded because Bush needed a new boogieman after Gaddafi and before Saddam

that's a good part of the way it was sold, but there are better explanations. one is that just cause served as the first opportunity to put the powell/weinberger doctrines into play - u.s. military action using overwhelming force, complete media domination, a clear objective and exit strategy - in the name of building democracy & get the pentagon back on its feet (boots) after the cold war debacle in vietnam. "pineapple face" was the original saddam, and elliot abrams & his propaganda teams bullshitted the punditry as much as the public.


but we all that this whole democracy rhetoric is a cannard, so a better objective for regime change in panama was that the united states wanted a more controllable government in place to affect the pending canal treaties, requiring the imperialists to remove their bases and return control to panama in 2000.

yet, much in the same way that consecutive administrations have managed to use powell's naivete and willingness to do master's chores, there was even another reason to use overwhelming force to take out just one man. and that is that noriega had become a liability who had too much damning info on the cia drug biz & bush sr during an especially active period of imperialist aggression in the southern hemisphere. noriega was a long term intelligence asset for the united states, and he was using his knowledge to extract leverage upon those who felt they owned him.

from joe trento's book prelude to terror: the rogue cia and the legacy of america's private intelligence network,

Of all of George Bush's activities that later came back to haunt him from his CIA days, none is more inexplicable than this relationship with Panamanian strongman Manuel Antonio Noriega. The record shows that Bush put Noriega on the CIA payroll. Even after Bush left the CIA, he kept in touch with Noriega through Admiral Daniel Murphy, Bush's second-most senior adviser at the CIA after Knoche and later his chief of staff in his first term as vice president.

Behind the relationship between Bush and Noriega may have been the first attempt by America's private intelligence network to finance operations in this hemisphere with drug operations, as they had done in Laos.

...

Behind the payoff to Noriega was an illegal military operation the CIA conducted in Colombia in conjunction with Israeli Intelligence, called OPERATION WATCHTOWER.

WATCHTOWER has begun within a month of Bush's assuming the DCI job and at about the same time he was having his first meeting - in the spring of 1976 - with Noriega, who then was the head of Panama's intelligence service. Officially, the topic at hand was a series of terorist bombings aimed at Canal Zone citizens opposed to the proposed treaty that would give Panama control of the canal. In reality, the meeting had far more ominous implications.

...

Manuel Noriega learned of the entire WATCHTOWER plan not from his close relationship with the cocaine bosses fo Colombia but from U.S. Intelligence. Noriega had successfully bribed six communications experts for the National Security Agency (NSA) - nicknamed "the singing sergeants" by FBI counterintelligence agents - to provide transcripts and tape from the NSA station in Panama. Noriega learned that the CIA was financing its operations in Central America with drug money, as it had in Laos. To make matters worse, Noriega has possession of all secret communications channels and frequencies for the CIA and military intelligence agencies throughout Latin America.

Noriega then simply went to the CIA and demanded a piece of the drug action. Bush not only agreed; he went a step further by not notifying the Justice Department of the treasonous acts committed by the six NSA employees. He justified his actions by letting NSA know that he was protecting a "genuine intelligence asset," as he wrote in a still-classified memo to the CIA general counsel. [pp. 83-86]

colombia diplomat clara nieto picks up the story in her book masters of war: latin america and u.s. aggression, from the cuban revolution through the clinton years.

Upon Torrijo's death, Noriega (then chief of army intelligence) assumed command of the the national guard in a Machivellian move plotted with the military command. Like the others, he began to manipulate the presidents from the barracks. Noriega had Washington's support. He had been on the CIA's payroll for three decades as an informant. He also provided information to the Pentagon and National Security Council. During the 1970s Noriega was the principal asset of the new and dominant CIA station in Panama City.

Panama was the United States' political and military spy center for the entire continent. The Canal Zone held fourteen United States naval and air bases and the School of the Americas - though in the 1980s President Jorge Illueca evicted it from Panama - where military and police officers from all over Latin America received military training on counterinsurgency techniques and anti-Communist ideological indoctrination. Noriega received instruction at this school.

Washington has long known that Noriega was giving intelligence information on the United States to the Cuban government, but his services to the CIA and other intelligence organizations were more important. In April 1976 Carter's CIA director, Stansfield Turner, discovered that Noriega had infiltrated its networks and promptly took him off the payroll. The southern command's "singing sergeant" - supposedly a Puerto Rican - sole Noriega the transcription of telephone conversations of members of the government, the army, and Panamanian politicians intercepted by United States intelligence services. This business continued and spread wide. Two or three American soliders sold him classified material with the complete plan for United States "electronic surveillance" of the entire southern continent, as well as the National Security Agency's secret technical manuals with the list of intercepted telephone numbers in all its countries. The CIA did not punish the "canaries" in exchange for their collaboration in assessing the extent of the damage.

[interrupt -- nieto is incorrect here, as bush was director of the cia through jan 1977. turner served from march 1977 to jan 1981. for more info on the relationship between bush sr and noriega, see webster tarpley's unauthorized bio of the former.]

According to some, relations between the United States and Noreiga began to deteriorate in September 1985, when he removed President Nicolas Arditto Barletta, a former high World Bank official, and installed in his place Vice President Eric Arturo Delvalle.

...

Noriega's version of the events was different. He insisted that relations had begun to go downhill after National Security Adviser Admiral John Poindexter came to Panama in December 1985 to ask Noriega to have the Panamanian defense forces take part in an invasion of Nicaragua and he declined. He explained that Poindexter had threatened him and warned him he "had better think of the consequences." According to Noriega, this was why the United States launched a campaign to discredit him. Noriega's version was confirmed by the Miami Herald. Citing official American sources, the newspaper reported that Poindexter and Noriega had spoken about the Nicaraguan situation, with Poindexter asking for Panama's support for the contras, and that Noriega had refused.

...

The White House, the State Department (encouraged by Elliot Abrams), and Congress wanted to destroy Noriega, but CIA Director William Casey, the Pentagon, and Vice President (and former CIA director) George Bush believed that Noriega was extremely useful and praised his intelligence work highly. They did not want to create a conflict in the midst of the extensive clandestine operation (managed by Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North) to sustain Reagan's "secret war" against Nicaragua behind the backs of Congress and United States public opinion. The CIA gave Noriega $11 million to buy arms for the contras. He did not want this transaction to be known and warned that we would suspend the operation immediately if it became public. The Iran-Contra investigation documented that Noreiga offered Poindexter and North a deal: he would have the Sandinista leaders assassinated if Washington would "clean up" his image and lift the embargo on arms for the Panamanian defense forces.

noriega had the goods on washington, some greatest hits, classic records, we could say.


and speaking of tunes, bubb rubb, if you haven't checked out the new nomo cd, i'd highly recommend it. some mighty fine afro-beat, even if it is played by a buncha whitefellas in ann arbor. one of the best releases this year, IMO.

Posted by: b real | Jul 29, 2006 4:18:08 PM | 73

I still worry about pineapple face as he was so charmingly nicknamed. Yeah I know worry about a lebanese person copping much worse for just breathing would be more just, but thinking about how a society deals with its pariahs provides a pretty honest if extremely uncomfortable insight into that society.

I would imagine he has been buried alive rather like Al Queda's token disabled person Massasoui.

That whole keep them underground with just enough heat light and calories so that they cop their 3 score and 10, isn't punishment, it isn't 'protecting society'. and it sure isn't rehabilitation. It is making these people the playthings of institutionalised sadists, and has nothing to do with justice.

There are some very powerful reasons why socities banded together to deliver an 'impartial' punishment on miscreants, rather than just allow the victims to wreak their revenge.

Despite what many 'victims rights advocates' now claim it wasn't to protect the perpetrators, one of the motives was in fact to protect the victims from the consequences of their first heated response.

Now we have come full circle and the once impartial adjudicating establishment, implicates all of society in their peverted hunt for 'vengeance'. Frequently exceeding anything the victims would have wanted or sought.

Some of the seeds of Iraq and the Lebanon germinated here.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jul 29, 2006 4:54:37 PM | 74

merci, monsieur giapatista.

It's very good to see you with your oven full of delicious, piping hot croissants these days --which you graciously dispense to us, one-by-one. My old Citroen 2CV, the original ugly duckling, smiles.

Seriously, I hope that conchita, and the other Democrats, read this, think about the pattern, and reply substantively.

About the time that I stopped posting here, several months ago, my thoughts prompted by Petras, and Cockburn's smackdown of ignorant "leftist" bloggers, I began thinking about how far to the right political discourse in this country had moved. Additionally, discourse and education are so vitiated, so etioliated, that most so-called "leftist activists," whether Democrat in sympathy or not, are actually reactionary rightists by world-wide historical standards.

I began thinking about what a true, logically coherent, leftist agenda would look like, and what it would entail. I put some work into drawing up an agenda, the merest sketch of which you see in the posting above.

When I discussed this with my Democrat-affiliated friends, the response was always completely closed: It was a waste of time when there were more pressing concerns, such as -- fill in your own single cause, non-coalition building, anti-grassroots, issue here -- like, "I have to get my Senator to support some (easily gone against later) statement against invading Iran."

I pondered the problem some more.

I began to think that there is a pressing need to educate people to see issues, not as isolated singularities, but as whole logically-connected constellations, representing patterns of being, ways of living, manners of relating to, and inter-connecting with, the rest of the world. If people do not see this, then, I fear that we are doomed to failure, vainly pressing in on one part of the balloon, only to see it distend on the other side.

This is, to some extent, the lesson suggested by the failure of the Vietnam era anti-war movement to raise people's consciousness to look deeper, to see "the patterns that connect." This failure led the architects of empire, having reduced Southeast Asia to a mass of quivering purulating flesh, to merely redirect their energies towards their own hemisphere and the even more bloody wars of Central and South America. It led the elite to begin cutting back social benefits, so that people did not possess the leisure time to protest.

Anyway, I don't want to pursue what a left agenda would look like, in any depth, at this time. But I think it is important to point out to people that if they do not think about this, do not consider what a coherent sustainable world-system would look like to them, then the single issues which they are so assiduously pursuing become mere issues of style.

Would the world look any better if we pulled out troops out of Iraq, only to station them in Iran, or Syria? Would we have accomplished anything, besides further spreading the cloak of death and the cancer of depleted uranium?

******************

Speaking about politics, or more properly, governance, I'd also like to point out that Americans -- particularly the educated, urban, relatively pampered, co-ordinator class which Kos, as well as this blog, attracts, are among the most brainwashed, naive, and gullible people on the planet.

Around the time of the fall of the Soviet Union, I owned a construction company, and I employed a number of middle class Poles, who had been driven into poverty, the same way that this government is determinedly driving its middle class into poverty. They were always sceptical of all systems of power and propaganda (media and culture), always looking below the surface to see just who benefits. (They were also more honest than any Americans I had working for me.)

As Robert Jensen recently put it, "While all the empires that have committed great crimes -- the British, French, Belgians, Japanese, Russians and then the Soviets -- have justified their exploitation of others by the alleged benefits it brought to the people being exploited, there is no power so convinced of its own benevolence as the United States. The culture is delusional in its commitment to this mythology, which is why today one can find on the other side of the world peasant farmers with no formal education who understand better the nature of U.S. power than many faculty members at elite U.S. universities."

Politicians, all of them, in interest of personal power, do nothing to combat this mythology, and so cause infite universes of unbearable suffering around the world.

******************

A big reason for this delusion is the sychophancy to which we, and our propaganda system, accord politicians.

It is generally agreed by those with IQ's higher than Terri Schiavo (or Dr. Frist, for that matter) that George Bush is, at best, a cipher: A completely uncurious man, without an interesting, or informed, opinion about anything. Yet every so-called "News" station, most especially NPR, leads off their news coverage with words like this: "Speaking today before a group of veterans today in Kalamazoo, President Bush said,'...'" This kind of hieratic coverage of a very ordinary man (who many agree has little actual power besides his ability to "speechify,") leads to a cult of personality surrounding the President. The same is true in local coverage. In my home state of Massachusetts, all coverage these days leads off with Governor Romney (a venture capitalist, or robber baron, if you will, by trade) opinining on the relative safety of the big-dig built tunnels -- which recently killed a women when several tons of falling concrete crushed her to death. Now, the good Governor doesn't know anything about engineering integrity. It's all a show, which we call publicity, but which is really a cult of personality, methodically built around a human being, in order to cultivate an heroic status to him. All in order to foster the myth of politician as benign savior. In reality, it should be a head engineer making these pronouncements.

But the problems of language, and public perception go deeper than this. Why does the media always refer to politicians as public servants? When I hold a cocktail party, my servants don't need 1/4 Million dollars just to compete for the opportunity to "serve" me. Why don't we strip the politicians of this warm hagiography and call them by what they actually are: "failed businessman/oportunist."

"Failed businessman/opportunist Bush met with fellow failed businessman/opportunist Cheney today, in an effort to divide up the spoils of so-called "re-building contracts" in Iraq. They decided that Cheney's former firm would get 50% of the action, while Bush's dady's firm would get 35%, and the rest would be divied between various Republican donors, with 1% going to Conneticut firms so that Senator Lieberman would feel compeled to undercut his fellow Democrats."

If we exercized "truthifying" like this, we might not have so many people looking at "Politician" as "Savior." That would be a good first step towards cleaning up our political culture, and bringing our expectations of politicians more in line with reality.

After all, they are not really "public sevants," they are instant members of an elite class, commanding large budgets and psychophantic self-important staffs, who we invest with the partial power of deciding who should live and who should die, who should be fed and who should starve, who shall be healed and who shall ail, who shall get ahead and who shall fall behind, in this fractious, yet predominately cowed, all-consuming, unsustainable, prideful and arrogant, society of ours, which we, in our own arrogance of power and ignorance of power, believe to be both a blessing and a role model to the rest of the world. All may all merciful God have pity on those who refuse to be so blessed.

***************

So, let us propose to see politician's for what they really are: At best the ruby-red gem, over-oiled and polished, around which the rest of the workings of the watch -- springs, cogs, and gears -- revolve.

And let us resolve to fill the vacancy in the hieratic order of society left by "politician as savior" with "activist as catalyst" making society, and all of us, work better.

Let us resolve to have real media that leads with the story of the activist in his struggle for greater justice.

Let us resolve to have real history, framed around social issues, that focuses upon activists and social movements struggling for greater justice instead of over-fed, periwigged, "leaders" spinning their finely crafted lies in favor of a self-perpetuating inequality, sold as "equality for us" (and always against "them"), for the few.

And let us resolve to have real news, that ridicules the mendacious Dow Jones average -- which rises as labor conditions fall. (Only a very small percentage of our society makes 20%, or more, of its income through investments -- and even this, when taxed less than the wages of the subsisdence worker, must be questioned) Instead, let us hear news about social conditions, and how suffering is being ameliorated, and wage labor, in which a vast majority of the population feels that it sells its soul working meaningless jobs, is becoming marginalized, on its way to extinction.

Let us hear real polling, not about fractious wedge issues, but about issues of commonality: The right of all to good health, safe food, and proper shelter.

Let us reject their moribund frames, and their murderous framing of issues, as the representative art of wealth and privilege was rejected in favor of a more honest art 150 years ago.

******************

And so we see that "politician as savior" is part of a failed structure, and a failed system of belief, neither of which will ever answer the needs of the people.

How could it, when politicians are merely the public face of big business, and large corporations; the comforting and confident public manager of populace and market. As George W. Bush reassured a scared public after 9-11, "Go, travel, take your family to Disneyland, shop and have fun."

Elections are merely the way that corporations decide which politician, and which false narrative, the public will most likely buy. Yes, all narratives contain a germ of truth, but when we talk about sustainable moral coherent ideologies, they are, all of them, lies.

(Dean did discover how to avoid the corrupting influence of Big Money. But he could not figure out how to avoid the terminal shoals of Big Media, which is merely another face of the Hydra. And, in the end, he was another disguised member of the elite: Pro-empire, pro-Israel, etc, etc.)

So, let us not praise the politician, but bury him. Or at least lead him to view his freshly dug grave upon assuming office, and remind him daily of the pile of dirt to be thrown upon him, should he stray from his self-proclaimed role of public servant.

And let us provide our activists with wide shovels, equipped with sturdy handles, in order to till the pile of dirt awaiting all politicians.

And let us make sure that we have enough activists to encircle the politician, and so channel his nervous energy to some small social utility.

Only then will we be safe from his deceitful excursions.

Posted by: Malooga | Jul 29, 2006 5:05:17 PM | 75

Front Page Malooga

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jul 29, 2006 5:13:13 PM | 76

malooga

fantastic work

& i'm glad you've given me a whack on the shoulders with yout buddhist baton

you have given us a great deal here, thank you

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 29, 2006 5:20:47 PM | 77

When I read the last 3 posts I am reminded of this song:


When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
The age of Aquarius
Aquarius!
Aquarius!

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revalation
And the mind's true liberation
Aquarius!
Aquarius!


This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
The age of Aquarius
Aquarius!
Aquarius!


I personally believe all these cosmic alignments will occur, dialectically, about the year 2525.

Posted by: Ms. Manners | Jul 29, 2006 5:46:18 PM | 78

And BTW, I was involved in the most successful 3rd party campaign in American history.

I think it would be much easier to take the whole enchilada from the top rather than from the bottom.
It would take a good 3rd party Presidential candidate with intellect and emotions of tool steel, and about $600-700 million.

Hardly insuperable problems with more than 2 years until November 2008.

Will write more on this later tonight or tomorrow.

Posted by: Ms. Manners | Jul 29, 2006 6:10:28 PM | 79

And BTW, I was involved in the most successful 3rd party campaign in American history

You were involved with the Bull Moose Party?

who knew?

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 29, 2006 7:25:23 PM | 80

@b real

noriega had the goods on washington, some greatest hits, classic records, we could say.

I knew parts in rough detail, but not all of the info. There was some info not included, like: the BCCI money laundering through their Panamanian branch. Also there were the Contra cargo flights refueling in Panama and loading up with Colombian cocaine to return to Miami. Certainly Noreiga had more goods on Bush and prosecutions were moving forward with Abrams and others, so Bush certainly was looking to eliminate potential witnesses before pardoning the lot of them (including some obscure drug dealer, can't remember his name).

I also believe in something else beyone the Contra/Drug/Cuba issues. I also believe (and this may be the reason why Abrams wanted to take him out) that they wanted Noriega to renegotiate the canal treaty Carter signed. Back in the '80's the Canal treaty was one of those big defining conservative issues and it literally sent LaRouche crazy. From so-called neocons today, to paleoconservative, to libertarian conservatives all were foaming at the mouth mad about this. Noriega wouldn't budge, wouldn't deal and no later "democratically" elected regimes would either. Although Bush I tried damn hard to at least keep Howard AFB open, to no avail, however thanks (1) the massive erosion of the U.S. manufacturing base and increased trade with Asia, (2) the fall of communism and the end of the cold war reducing old strategic issues, and (3) the era of military downsizing i.e. BRAC just getting started as well, which all helped ease the conservative anger, I guess.

But at the end of the day, over 30 U.S. soldiers were killed and 3,000 civilians, just to put one man in prison for 40 years for drug trafficing, using only circumstantial evidence at that as well. I suppose that if they used the real evidence, H.W. would probably be in that jail cell with him. That is the most disgusting thing I can think of in recent memory.

On an additional note: The more you look at Panama, the more it is looking like the model for Iraq 2.0. Abrams does have a senior national security position. It really makes you think. (1) The chop off the head theory (Saddam and Noriega); (2) lack of preparation for rioting and looting, (3) Instillation of a new pre-chosen leader (supposed to be Chalabi), etc.

It seems to me that it was probably a war plan written up by CIA/DoD on the issue of how to have a coup when the targeted leading in question controls the entire security apparatus and no one will flip on him. I can only assume that it was probably first written for a Cuba scenario for taking out Castro and liley they probably thought that an additional benefit of the invasion was to scare Cuba. Sort of a dress rehearsal (Grenada was another practice session too). However I have to imagine that plans to invade Cuba were nixed after Panama because CANF would never put up with 3,000 civilian deaths.

BTW - thx for the link to the music, I'll check it out.

Posted by: Bubb Rubb | Jul 29, 2006 8:05:53 PM | 81

pretty amazing. at 8 pm eastern, today, right now, no headlines on either wapo or nyt sites regarding leb. a couple of bits at the bottom.

it must a coincidence

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 29, 2006 8:13:18 PM | 82

slothrop

i will tell you something for nothing
the israeli army has commenced another incursion with tanks into south lebanon @ 2:30am ici

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 29, 2006 8:17:20 PM | 83

OK Dan, Roosevelt(TR) won 28% of the popular vote, and eighty-odd electoral votes:

STRONG AS A BULL MOOSE


Perot got 19% of the popular vote in 1992, but dropped out in July--when he had been leading for 2 months--claiming Republican operatives had tried to disrupt his daughter's wedding--then half-heartedly reentered the race two weeks later, and the party essentially fragmented.

PEROT


I don't know whether TR ever led for two months during the 1912 campaign, but I am completely convinced that Perot could have won it all in 1992, had his head been screwed on a little better.

1912 and 1992 could teach progressives a lot, IMO, Dan.

And if, as the old saying goes, a fish rots from the top, then it seems to me appropriate to cut the head off quick and transplant a new head.

Not really interested in waiting till 2525.

Posted by: Ms. Manners | Jul 29, 2006 8:24:18 PM | 84

Yes, I read somewhere that another reason for Panama was to test a new generation of weapons, and use it as a cookie cutter plan for Iraq and beyond.

Really, they only have two types of wars in their arsenal: Hot and Cool. By Hot, I mean that the justification is a threat, or an "evil" leader, or something of the sort. When they can't gin up even a fictitious threat, they resort to Cool, or humanitarian, justifications, as in Serbia. We're killing them in order to save them. As the quote goes, the public can be easily brought along with either justification.

Great history, both b.r.'s.

Just one bone to pick: "powell's naivete"? Are you kidding? The black whitewasher of red crimes against yellow people at My Lai was naive? C'monnnnnnnnnnn.

Posted by: Malooga | Jul 29, 2006 8:31:32 PM | 85

"they resort to Cool, or humanitarian, justifications, as in Serbia."

You got a real Cool view of history,Malooga, amusing really, from the top to the bottom. Half right, half wrong, IMHO.

But have fun with it.

Will just observe your comments from now on.

Posted by: Ms. Manners | Jul 29, 2006 8:41:47 PM | 86

I have no problem with informed argument. Fire away at me any time you want.

I'm not god. I've been wrong a lot, and changed my opinions. When I was young, I lived in Madrid during Franco's reign and became an avowed Fascist. I hope it is apparent that I have come some way since then.

There are also areas where I feel quite in the dark. Only now do I feel even the slightest grasp for the war in Lebanon that's been going on for weeks. So I say nothing, and try not to cry too much in public.

Posted by: Malooga | Jul 29, 2006 8:54:28 PM | 87

Dear Ms Manners,

What you propose in the way of a third party candidate at this stage in US History is most likely doomed to failure. I firmly believe, as Malooga has stated here before that there must be a third party at the local level starting with dog catcher and going on up to state representative and state senators. Only then can a third party candidate make a run for the white house. without the party apparatus behind him the candidate won't and can't make it.

Even if he should get elected because of overall disgust with the status quo he will not be an effective leader due to not having any allies in government. That is what happened to Jesse Ventura in Minnesota, sniping from all sides and he kind of just gave up after a while. Jimmy Carter was ostracized by the Washington insiders because he brought in his own team instead of using the usual suspects as everyone else did.....and he was democrat with a democratic house and senate IIRC.

I would truly love to see a viable third party, I would also like to see proportional representation in the electoral college. It is ludicrous that someone who gets less than fifty percent of the popular vote can end up with all electoral votes. These things can only be implemented from within and there is a lot of opposition to both by the parties in power. A third party president can do nothing to change this.

Having said all that, I will tell you that I most likely will vote for a third party candidate and encourage everyone else to do it as well. Jerome a Paris calls these "fuck you" votes and I agree wholeheartedly. I know I have no chance of seeing my guy in office and I don't really care. I actually contributed money to John Kerry and held my nose while doing so. I won't do that again.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 29, 2006 8:57:35 PM | 88

malooga

for all ms manners critique of my lovey doveyness - you bring a great deal to us & to me personally

& in this volatile slaughterhouse any perspective that actually attempt to communicate, any aspect, is something that makes the quotidian struggle a little clearer

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 29, 2006 8:58:22 PM | 89

Well Dan you'll be dead and the country utterly wrecked before it ever happens.

I'll check back with you in 2525.

As I told citizen the other night, I believe in reincarnation.

Hope you do too.


@Malooga:

I said you were batting .500. Check the stats in U.S. Baseball.

That's Major League!


Posted by: Ms. Manners | Jul 29, 2006 9:23:33 PM | 90

Elections are merely the way that corporations decide which politician, and which false narrative, the public will most likely buy. Yes, all narratives contain a germ of truth, but when we talk about sustainable moral coherent ideologies, they are, all of them, lies.

glad you're back, hope you stick around

the single issues which they are so assiduously pursuing become mere issues of style.

ahhh, this is a sticky one. my obsessions only make sense in their context. how to tackle the whole ball of wax?

Posted by: annie | Jul 29, 2006 9:24:26 PM | 91

You don't have to tackle the whole ball of wax.

Your obsessions make sense when you finally decide that you are an activist, and learn what this means and how to be effective.

(It makes no sense to try to set people's broken legs, and yet deny that you want to be a doctor, or learn any more about how to heal people effectively.)

Build sizable coalitions of people within your state, if you want to confront a Senator. Then you stand a chance of effecting change, or a least imposing a substantial cost for non-compliance, which might be the best you can do for a while. Still very effective.

Don't know how long or often I will be around...

Posted by: Malooga | Jul 29, 2006 9:36:20 PM | 92

Ms. Manners,
in one short round of comments, you have relished the image of DOS dead, emphasized Malooga's mistakes over substantial accomplishments, and preached to us the utility of ignoring the too-slow people and instead taking over the country from the top.

What is left to know about you?

Posted by: citizen | Jul 29, 2006 9:43:11 PM | 93

@Malooga:

Same way with me. I imagine 15 August the senatorial campaign in Virginia will be cranking up big time.

Then It will be time for me to go.

Posted by: Ms. Manners | Jul 29, 2006 9:47:43 PM | 94

annie and malooga,
my mother is having great success working with her entire church to get both Democratic and Republican politicians in her city to get behind the social justice program they support. They key is to first train a few people in activism, get the whole group on board, and then not ask the politicians to lead, but instead seize the lead till the politicians follow.

Which they now do in a room of over 1,000 people, united without exception.

Perhaps your group is not religious, but this church started with under a hundred people. And the group grows as people see it leading the politicians instead of the dispiriting opposite that is so common.

Courage.

Posted by: citizen | Jul 29, 2006 9:50:43 PM | 95

From the friday news dump: detainment widens it's scope-they are ignoring everything and everyone and pressing forward with police state policies.

And it seems only one news media source even covered it...

Bush submits new terror detainee bill

U.S. citizens suspected of terror ties might be detained indefinitely and barred from access to civilian courts under legislation proposed by the Bush administration, say legal experts reviewing an early version of the bill.


Shit they are not even wording it to keep the alarm down: ""engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners" ....not even wording it to specify acts of hostilities....but rather simply engaged in hostilities.
They are coming out with this at the height of a push back from the sane element who feel the constitution means something. I was feeling better that more and more voices were questioning the end-around policies of the Bush cabal. I had no idea the WH would push back with something like this. I have no doubt they now want to provoke a constitutional crisis. Or rather, I should say, they want to provoke the ultimate backing down from those who could make a constitutional crisis. This is very big. They want something to happen.

When this is over, if this is ever over, I hope the heads of all major news outlets are charged just as well with treason. Omitting the news, the sin of omission is still a lie.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 29, 2006 10:06:02 PM | 96

@dan of steele:

We should be glad Jesse Ventura "gave up". He was a nasty person. A friend of mine in Minnesota went to some protests where Ventura's policies were in uestion. Not only did Ventura authorize police brutality (my friend went as a clearly-marked observer once, and saw the lovely sight of the police herding the -- entirely peaceful -- protesters into an industrial area, then closing off the exits and breaking out the pepper spray, rubber bullets, and dogs; although she was unmolested because she whipped out a cell phone when they came her way, a fellow observer was temporarily blinded and made a prolonged stay in the hospital from dog bites), according to one of my friend's friends, once when there was a protest known to be coming, he ordered the police to confiscate all cell phones and cameras and keep journalists out, then went down to the protest in a cop costume and started beating the protesters up. While I can't verify that, it's consistent with his attitude.

There is a weird assumption on the left that third-party candidates must be better than the ones we get from the two main parties. Not so; a lot of them -- not all, but a depressingly large number -- are wackos and would-be war criminals.

Posted by: The Truth Gets Vicious When You Corner It | Jul 29, 2006 10:18:52 PM | 97

i'm a stupidd fellow, finally understanding that cnn is a readers digest for those who neither want to read or digest

just shit

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 29, 2006 10:28:33 PM | 98

THE HIDDEN POWER
The legal mind behind the White House’s war on terror.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 29, 2006 10:38:38 PM | 99

@citizen:

What is left to know about you?

Sales calls and money raising I guess.

Could probably also preach to your mothers church and finish with a sizeable collection.

WE REALLY NEED TO HAVE A THREAD ON THIS.

Posted by: Ms. Manners | Jul 29, 2006 10:55:59 PM | 100

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