liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I haven't read the Rolling Stone article on The Man Who Sold the War. James Bamford apparently wrote all kinds of interesting things about Rendon colluding in the propaganda run-up to the war.

Additionally, Rendon published a response to the article. They rebut everything Bamford said. They depict him as a liar. They are convincing, but, hey, that's their job.

On the other hand, there are some really fascinating documents on Rendon's website. Among the Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communications entries is one hefty PDF doc entitled, The Defense Science Board Report on Strategic Communications. After glancing at that alone, it seems as if all our worst fears about the "strategic communications" Republican media nightmare we've been living in for the last seven or eight years are very well-founded.

Until I read the article from Rolling Stone, this looks like the best piece I know of on the Rendon Group.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Guess which country

This is a quotation from an AP story today:
The impact on the civic, political and economic life of the country is evident in increased self censorship by the media, lack of public confidence in the electoral system, reluctance to express disagreement with government policies for fear of retribution and capital flight,
Shannon said. Give up? It's a quotation from Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon in charge of Latin American affairs, talking about ... drum roll ... Venezuela!

I know. It thought he was talking about the United States of America at first, too.

The Iraq Wall

Henry Scheerer over at Huffington Post has a blog entry calling for the imminent withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. To read him, the withdrawal is all but underway already.
In that spirit, I go out on the following limb: the Senate's oh-so-delicate walking away from full arm-link with the President on the war is just the beginning. Here's how this story ends: for purely political reasons, the US gets out far sooner than the true believers would like, far later than the anti-war folks would have wanted, and at a time determined (as was the onset of the war) by the political calendar....You can't be sure exactly when the alarm rings that signals end-of-toleration for the adventure, but we've clearly passed that point, and now all that's left is to manage the pullout as deftly (and, if you're the President, as much as you can to show we've "won") as possible.
I differ. I don't believe the forces that we have set in motion can be recalled by anyone now. This cataclysm has taken on a life of its own.

If Bush can't conduct the war, guess what? The ONI and the other secret offices in the Pentagon that run the country will find somebody else to fight it. We're there for the duration. If the country wants out, the war propaganda machine and the Department of Homeland Security will do whatever is necessary to convince us otherwise. We're going to see absurdly destructive, wasteful, unreasonable and inhumane behavior committed in the Middle East in our name. If we don't like it, it will be committed here, too.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Carter Speaks

Jimmy Carter posted an editorial to the LA Times yesterday.

There's another interesting article in the Italian Communist paper Liberazione, with this pithy quotation: La "guerra al terrorismo" รจ terrorismo. They are closely reporting on the protests at the American embassy in Rome. I first heard about the protest action from a British newspaper, The Independent.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Here's a journalist's account of Phosphorous Bombs

It's in the North County (San Diego, CA) Times newspaper. Apparently the author, Darrin Mortenson, was embedded earlier this year.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sneer Up

Homeland Security

"We're doing your dirty work!"

RAI Weapons Exposee

This is the page with the link to the English version of the RAI documentary airing tonight about the use of illegal weapons in Fallujah.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Alan Greenspan, the great supply side Objectivist has been Chairperson of the Federal Reserve Bank since 1987. His economic policy, as well as that of those who look to him for political support, has been summarized by politicians such as George Bush and John Snow as
The wealthy might be becoming wealthier, apologists for this growing inequality soon argued, but their growing fortunes spelled only good news. The more wealth in already wealthy pockets, the argument went, the more the wealthy would invest, the greater the prosperity for everyone.
This is the "money is good for rich people and bad for poor people" doctrine.

Sam Pizzigati has posted an article over at, that discusses the phenomenon of the growth in inequality of income distribution during the Greenspan era.

According to Pizzigati,
Our pay gap between typical CEO and typical worker has stretched wider than ever at the same time the educational gap between CEO and wage-earner has become narrower than ever before.
Greenspan, like all capitalists, has tried to wax altruistic upon his pending retirement by holding up "better education" as the great need for equalizing income distribution in America, by equalizing skills. This is the same problem education has always faced: the desire of those outside the education system to cure society of its ills by "fixing" education according to some formula or trend they perceive as being more relevant or urgent at the moment.

The inevitable result of this is the perpetuation of a flawed educational system, not to mention excessive divergence in income between workers and capitalists.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Frist joins SNEER campaign

"Never have I been slapped in the face with such an affront to the leadership of this grand institution." Bill Frist, Senate majority leader.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

rummy strikes again

Another Bush Administration Official Joins the Sneer Campaign

Rumsfeld denies UN rights experts access to Guantanamo detainees

According to AFP,
WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld refused UN experts access to detainees at a military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, dismissing a hunger strike there as a publicity stunt.

The Pentagon last week invited three UN human rights experts to "observe" operations at the Guantanamo detention center but the officials have said they will go only if they are allowed to interview prisoners privately.
He says the Red Cross has access to the prisoners 24/7 so, he doesn't see the need to increase the number of visitors. It just so happens that the Red Cross doesn't ever make their findings public.

Meanwhile, the hunger strike of about two dozen inmates goes on. Rumsfeld shrugs it off as a publicity stunt.

By the numbers

jpol over at Booman Tribune has highlighted some statistics on the Democratic Policy Committee's October 17th Report.

He wonders why they aren't more widely reported in the mainstream media since they are sitting there on a Senate Committee website for all to see, smack dab in the middle of the public domain.

He suggests that the reason may be that the statistics are too unfavorable toward the Bush Administration and the corporate media that support them.

Here are some of my personal "highlights:"
Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) found: 0

Approximate number of medical evacuations of U.S. military personnel performed since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom: 55,000

Weeks since the Pentagon developed a plan to draw down U.S. forces in Iraq to roughly 40,000 by mid-2005: 104* (now 106)

Estimated number of insurgents in Iraq (November 2003): 5,000

Estimated number of insurgents in Iraq (June 2005): 15 - 20,000
Something tells me that the publication of these stats by jpol on Booman, coupled with things like The World Can't Wait tomorrow, mean that the light is going to shine in the darkness now.