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.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Government contact info

I saw this comprehensive list on a Kos link:

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Interesting Timing

The Kennedy School put out a report on Israeli influence in US foreign policy. I hear the report isn't getting much publicity, especially in the corporate media. How surprising! However, there is some mainstream reporting.

Then there's this enlightening quotation from the Introduction,
importantly, saying that Israel and the United States are united by a shared terrorist threat has the causal relationship backwards: rather, the United States has a terrorism problem in good part because it is so closely allied with Israel, not the other way around.

What's really funny is that if you Google, "Israel lobby report," today you get several hundred articles bashing the report, as opposed to about a dozen reporting on the research itself.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006



Thursday, March 09, 2006


It’s hard to believe that things are coming to this so soon, but if we don’t believe what we see, then we are truly blind.

Exhibit A: Operation “Iraqi Freedom”

SusanG at DailyKos demonstrates the contradiction between Don-speak and truth.

On Tuesday, Rumsfeld addressed the disparity head on. He was saying about 350 civilians had been killed in the last couple of weeks in Iraqi fighting, while the various media were reporting a number two or three times that. Secretary Rumsfeld said that misreporting had swayed American public opinion to where eighty percent of the public believe Iraq is headed toward civil war. As Washington Post reporter, Bill Brubaker writes,
"Interestingly, all of the exaggerations seem to be on one side," Rumsfeld said today, referring to recent reporting on the conflict. "It isn't as though there simply have been a series of random errors on both sides of issues. On the contrary, the steady stream of errors all seem to be of a nature to inflame the situation and to give heart to the terrorists and to discourage those who hope for success in Iraq."
SusanG then directs us to today's story by Ellen Kickmeyer, Official Says Shiite Party Suppressed Body Count. Kickmeyer says,
Shiite militias have been accused of abducting and executing large numbers of Sunni men in the days immediately following the Feb. 22 destruction of the Askariya mosque, a revered Shiite shrine in the northern city of Samarra.
Okay. We know it's bad. It's worse than we thought. We can't trust the info, either. Oh well, we're over $200 billion in the hole.

Sounds bad, right?

Rice, Rumsfeld Make Their Cases for Supplemental Request
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2006 – In a rare joint appearance before Congress, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today urged the Senate Appropriations Committee to quickly pass a $91 billion supplemental spending bill.

The bill proposes $65.3 billion to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as about $20 billion needed for Hurricane Katrina reconstruction.

Condi and Don just put in a request for $71 ba-ba-ba-billion for this escapade.

Good-bye America. It's over.

We are a military war machine, and we all know how that story ends: in flames. Our leaders are part of a money and power system that is so insulated from the fundamental experience humans have shared for the last 7,000 years, and that brought us to this pinnacle of wealth and prosperity we're about to jump off.

And here's a fact about world safety and survival we never would have known if Don didn't tell us:
Even though the extremists are under constant pressure and on the defensive, they still seek to bring terror to American shores and cities and to all who oppose their views, Rumsfeld said. "These enemies cannot win a single conventional battle, so they challenge us through nontraditional asymmetric means with terror as their weapon of choice," he said.
Lucky for us we have Condi and Don to rely on. Because of their intrepid leadership, we still have a fighing chance against our enemies.
The terrorists also are skillful at manipulating the media. "One of their principal goals is to make our cause look hopeless," he said.

But the cause is not hopeless, Rumsfeld said. Terrorists in Iraq tried to disrupt three elections in Iraq, but failed, he said. The Feb. 22 attack on the Golden Mosque in Samarra was aimed at stopping the formation of a permanent Iraqi government, "and thus far (terrorists) are failing at that as well," he said.

Exhibit B: The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001

On Thursday, March 10, 2006, President Bush signed the renewal of the USA Patriot Act into law at a White House ceremony. Bush praised the effectiveness of the Patriot Act in helping the United States remain safe by tracking down and finding terrorists.
According to David Stout,
The Patriot Act expanded government surveillance powers in ways that its supporters say makes it easier to track terrorists, but which its critics say infringes on privacy by allowing investigators access to information like medical and library records.
Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin was the only Senator to vote against the original Patriot Act in 2001, and he led the fight in the Senate to try to rally resistance to the passage of this renewal of the Act. Stout reports that Mr. Feingold did not attend the signing ceremony, but issued a statement.
"Today marks, sadly, a missed opportunity to protect both the national security needs of this country and the rights and freedoms of its citizens," Mr. Feingold said, vowing to press for further improvements in the law.

The ACLU is pleased that the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General has released a semi-annual report mandated by the Patriot Act HR 3162 Section X. This report was released on time, on March 8, 2006, and outlines various allegations of abuses of civil rights and civil liberties,
including mistreatment of federal prisoners, misuse of surveillance powers, mistreatment of protesters at the 2004 political conventions, and misuse of the material witness statute.
However, according to Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, in a statement released the same day as the DOJ OIG report,
An innocent American who may have had his or her home searched under a delayed notification ‘sneak and peek’ warrant, or had their medical records seized under Section 215 the Patriot Act, would never know that these awesome powers have been misused against them and therefore would not have any reason to report them to the Inspector General. ...

... The report also indicates the Inspector General believes his office does not have authority to review the warrantless surveillance of Americans by the National Security Agency as authorized by President Bush. We believe the Inspector General has an important role to play in reviewing the NSA program and in determining whether the department or any of its agencies played any role in these illegal operations.

Senator Feingold, his colleagues who voted against the renewal of the Act, and the ACLU and other civil liberty watchdog groups are not giving up the fight. Amendments and revisions have been drawn up for key provisions, particularly for reigning in the use of NSLs (National Security Letters).

Monday, March 06, 2006

$1,000,000,000,000+ ...

The reason the term, "Homeland Security" is so unsettling is because it implies we have a legitimate interest in securing other places besides the United States. There is no such thing as "the homeland." There's the United States, and that's where we live.

We have no business laying claim to or taking responsibility for defending other places. After all,
Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world, so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it, for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But in my opinion it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

Farewell Address (1796)
George Washington

Who are we kidding? As Larry Margusak of the AP says in his article, Guards Fault Homeland Security Protection,
WASHINGTON - The agency entrusted with protecting the U.S. homeland is having difficulty safeguarding its own headquarters, say private security guards at the complex.

So now it's a matter of reading up on SIPRI and doing whatever is necessary to shut the killers down.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


I have to give credit where it's due: This is from "Laura" davsand at DU. Thanks, Laura!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Iran, nukes, fear and speculation

OK, most people who have been to Global Research know that Michael Chussudovsky and his comrades over there are pretty overt Communists. Still, as a 1st Amendment American citizen, I'm willing to believe in my educated mind that no one has a monopoly on the truth.

So occasionally I breeze into some of the interesting and speculative writing that they post there, like this article by Michael Keefer.

One of the key thesis statements is:
The ironies are glaring. The U.S. government is contemplating an unprovoked attack upon Iran that will involve “pre-emptive” use of nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear-weapons-holding state. Although the pretext is that this is necessary to forestall nuclear weapons proliferation, there is evidence to suggest that planning for the attack has involved, very precisely, nuclear weapons proliferation by the United States.

It would appear that this sinister complex of criminality involves one further twist. There have been indications that the planned attack may be immediately preceded (and of course ‘legitimized’) by another 9/11-type event within the U.S.
Just as with his 911 planted explosive theory--it's riveting. Is it true? Read it yourself and decide.