Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Bottom Line

Tomorrow I am off to Oregon for a much needed vacation. I will try to check my email from the laptop and maybe even squeeze off a post. In the mean time...

Shakespeare's Sister sums up the "smoking gun" of this "Downing Street Memo" nicely:

1. After Downing Street is a Coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups, which launched on May 26, 2005, a campaign to urge the U.S. Congress to begin a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war. The campaign focuses on evidence that recently emerged in a British memo containing minutes of a secret July 2002 meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials.

2. The name is a reference to the Downing Street Memo, a British memo recently made public in the London Times, which contained the minutes of a secret July 2002 meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials.

3. After Downing Street reports: In response to the release of the memo, “John Bonifaz, a Boston attorney specializing in constitutional litigation, sent a memo to Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, the Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, urging him to introduce a Resolution of Inquiry directing the House Judiciary Committee to launch a formal investigation into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House to impeach President Bush. Bonifaz's memo, made available today at http://www.blogger.com/, begins: ‘The recent release of the Downing Street Memo provides new and compelling evidence that the President of the United States has been actively engaged in a conspiracy to deceive and mislead the United States Congress and the American people about the basis for going to war against Iraq. If true, such conduct constitutes a High Crime under Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution.’"

4. Congressman Conyers is now seeking 100,000 signatures to sign a letter on the Downing Street Inquiry. Information available at Raw Story and dKos.

5. Sign the letter here. Write to your Congresspeople here.

Another important piece of information that has been overlooked in this story, as reported in a recent Salon article by Juan Cole, is that Tony Blair had to convince George Bush to go after al-Qaida in Afghanistan, and Bush would only do so in exchange for Britain’s support of the Iraq invasion:

Astonishingly, the Bush administration almost took the United States to war against Iraq in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11. We know about this episode from the public account of Sir Christopher Meyer, then the U.K. ambassador in Washington. Meyer reported that in the two weeks after Sept. 11, the Bush national security team argued back and forth over whether to attack Iraq or Afghanistan. It appears from his account that Bush was leaning toward the Iraq option.

Meyer spoke again about the matter to Vanity Fair for its May 2004 report, "The Path to War." Soon after Sept. 11, Meyer went to a dinner at the White House, "attended also by Colin Powell, [and] Condi Rice," where "Bush made clear that he was determined to topple Saddam. 'Rumors were already flying that Bush would use 9/11 as a pretext to attack Iraq,' Meyer remembers." When British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in Washington on Sept. 20, 2001, he was alarmed. If Blair had consulted MI6 about the relative merits of the Afghanistan and Iraq options, we can only imagine what well-informed British intelligence officers in Pakistan were cabling London about the dangers of leaving bin Laden and al-Qaida in place while plunging into a potential quagmire in Iraq. Fears that London was a major al-Qaida target would have underlined the risks to the United Kingdom of an "Iraq first" policy in Washington.

Meyer told Vanity Fair, "Blair came with a very strong message -- don't get distracted; the priorities were al-Qaida, Afghanistan, the Taliban." He must have been terrified that the Bush administration would abandon London to al-Qaida while pursuing the great white whale of Iraq. But he managed to help persuade Bush. Meyer reports, "Bush said, 'I agree with you, Tony. We must deal with this first. But when we have dealt with Afghanistan, we must come back to Iraq.'" Meyer also said, in spring 2004, that it was clear "that when we did come back to Iraq it wouldn't be to discuss smarter sanctions." In short, Meyer strongly implies that Blair persuaded Bush to make war on al-Qaida in Afghanistan first by promising him British support for a later Iraq campaign.”

Finding out if this underreported outrage is true is an important part of the inquiry for which After Downing Street is fighting. That President Bush’s entire presidency has relied on his ostensibly unique ability to “keep America safe,” even though he had to be cajoled into going after the party truly responsible for 9/11, is not only an outrage, but a national disgrace.

See you in Oregon!!

I'm out.

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'Deep Throat" or Downing Street Memo?

So we find out this evening that Mark Felt is, "Deep Throat" the source that leaked information on the "Watergate" scandal and brought down President Richard Nixon.

My reaction?

Too little too late.

This is a matter for the historians now.

Especially when we have a possible modern "Watergate" scandal brewing in the "Downing Street Memo" that current day journalists should be focusing on. This is a scandal which shows that the Bush government fixed the intelligence to support a war in Iraq. It also shows that our government did not believe Iraq was a greater threat than other nations and that the Bush administration’s public assurances of "war as a last resort" were at odds with their privately stated intentions.

God, I'm watching MSNBC and the "Deep Throat" story is all that they are talking about. This is going to go on for days (groan) and yet when is someone going to cover the damn "Downing Street Memo" in any detail?!!!

Damn this "liberal media."

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Is Pakistan the New Iraq?

This from VOA News:

Pakistani police Tuesday recovered the bodies of six men killed during violent protests in Karachi. The riots erupted after a suicide attack at a Shi'ite mosque in the city killed five people and injured 26 others.

In a separate incident Monday evening unknown assailants in Karachi killed a popular Sunni Muslim cleric.

Monday's violence comes just three days after a suspected suicide bomb killed at least 19 and injured dozens more at a Shi'ite festival in Islamabad.

**GOI Comment: It appears that things are really heating up in Pakistan and that should worry everyone since they sit on nuclear weapons. The sectarian violence between the Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims in Iraq seems to be spreading now into Pakistan threating a religious civil war. There is also a great threat now that a world-wide, sectarian, Islamic war is beginning. The Ironic thing is that the current leader of Pakistan is President General Pervez Musharraf who is a dictator that took power during a coup!! Not to mention that Osama bin Laden is most likely somewhere in Pakistan and probably being "ignored" by Musharraf because of this civil war threat.

India is also very interested in what Pakistan is doing as Pakistan has been a long time enemy. That and India sits on nukes as well.

Iran is escalating it's nuclear program in response to the Iraq invasion. The Iranians are dominated by the Shia and are supporting Iraqi Shia in opposing the Sunni insurgentcy.

Not to mention the tension in Saudi Arabia between the dominate Sunni and a radical, fundamentalist branch of Shi'ites.

Seems to me that our world is much more dangerous because of the Iraqi war. It has kind of "tipped the scale" in tensions between Muslims.

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Monday, May 30, 2005

Iraqi Police Suffer More Losses During "Sweep"

Blasts kill up to 30 Iraqi police, wound 100.

Despite the much antisipated "Operation Lightning," Iraqi-led security sweep in the capital.

There are some political parties in Iraq who oppose this operation because they believe that it will lead to trampling on the rights of innocent civilians.

Despite all efforts the violence rages on with no end in sight.

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Friday, May 27, 2005

This is a sign in front of a North Carolina church. The pastor went on MSNBC and said that the Quran is a "tool of Satan." Once again, I thought that we were trying to win "hearts and minds" of Muslims. Oh yeah and why doesn't the White House come out against this pastor and his church like they did against Newsweek??

As of today, however, the pastor has removed the sign and apologized:

"I apologize and deeply regret that it has offended so many in the Muslim community," said Lovelace, referring to the sign. "I don't want my actions causing death or any violence."

Just like the Newsweek story though the message has already been sent out to the Muslim community and the damage is done.

---End of Transmission---Posted by Hello

Debate on John Bolton Continues

This from CNN:

After hours of heated debate over President Bush's nomination of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Senate Republicans late Thursday failed in their bid to cut off debate over the nomination -- prompting Majority Leader Bill Frist to lampoon Democrats for engaging in "another period of obstruction."

GOI: The Ironic thing is that Mr. Dr. Senator Bill Frist (R) of Tennessee voted WITH the Democrats to keep the debate open!

Um, Bill? If indeed we are engaging in "another period of obstruction" as you said then YOU helped vote for that "period of obstruction."

Maybe Frist mistook the hippocratic oath he took as a physian to be a hypocrat's oath. OR maybe he has multiple personality disorder.

So much for Mr. Frist's "up or down" vote. Being fair, however, he had to vote with the democrats to use a procedural tactic to get his way on this vote in the future. Only someone would voted against cloture can move to vote for another cloture vote in the future. When democrats want to use a procedural vote (against those 3 "right-wing" judges) then they are wrong but when Frist does it then it is noble and just I guess (gags on vomits on the hypocracy).

Nice Frist.

Good luck becoming President.

If the Republicans want to speed up an "up or down" vote then why do they keep blocking John Bolton's records?!! Who's being the obstructionists here??

In any case, I am going to be the first to wave my sandals in the air and yell, "Flip-flop, flip-flop" should Frist be the Republican nominee for President in '08.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Bush Propaganda

Bush on tuesday talking about his social security "plan":

See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda. (Applause.)

**GOI Comment: Well, I guess at least he finally openly admitted it. The sad thing is that when he admits to using propaganda he gets thunderous applause.


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Quran Kicked but Not Flushed

This from The Washington Post:

Detainees told FBI interrogators as early as April 2002 that mistreatment of the Koran was widespread at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and many said they were severely beaten by captors there or in Afghanistan, according to FBI documents released yesterday.

The summaries of FBI interviews, obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union as part of an ongoing lawsuit, include a dozen allegations that the Koran was kicked, thrown to the floor or withheld as punishment. One prisoner said in August 2002 that guards had "flushed a Koran in the toilet" and had beaten some detainees.

But the Pentagon said yesterday that the same prisoner, who is still in custody, was reinterviewed on May 14 and "did not corroborate" his earlier claim about the Koran.
"We still have found no credible allegations that a Koran was flushed down a toilet at Guantanamo," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said in a statement last night.

**GOI Comment: Hmm. Let's see. So we didn't flush the Quran but we DID kick, throw to the floor or withhold the Quran as punishment. As if kicking the Holy Quran is any better then flushing it down a toilet!! Muslims consider the Quran to be the living world of Allah (God) just as the Christians believe of the Bible. How many God fearing Muslims are going to be relieved that we (American's) "only" kicked the Quran rather then flushed it down the toilet?? This is like saying that no, I didn't punch my wife in the face but I did kick her in the shins. Either way it is an abuse.

WOW, WHAT A RELIEF!!! The kicking of the Quran incidents are mentioned like they are somehow less offensive and somwhat justifiable. This is as much an outrage as if it we were indeed flushing the Quran down the toilet.

The article goes on:

Whitman said in his statement last night that al Qaeda members have been trained to lie about their treatment during incarceration, and that officials at Guantanamo Bay have had "a great deal of sensitivity to the importance of the Koran and other religious items and practices and . . . extensive procedures were put in place to respect the cultural dignity of the Koran."

**GOI Comment: Hmm. That's interesting. Why would we be releasing al Qaeda members in the first place? I thought that they were the enemy?? Sure there are going to be a few people who lie about their treatment and yes al Qaeda members are not the most credible people but does that mean we are to believe everything that U.S. officials say about Guantanamo Bay? We are to believe that dozens of prisoners collaborated to all say that they saw the Quran being kicked around like a soccer ball when none of them didn't? This is epecially difficult to swallow when the United States does not exactly have the best track record of credibility either given Abu Ghraib and the 2 prisoner deaths in Afghanistan. Besides, I highly doubt that these prisoners are given much access to one another. Even ONE accurate example of Quran desecration is too many and should not be tolerated if we are going to try and "spread Democracy" and "human rights" in the world.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

400,000 Embryos

The Washington Post has reported that there are some 400,000 human embryos frozen at fertility clinics within the United States.

Now, President Bush has come out against using these embryos for stem cell research arguing that he will not support taking a life to save a life. This is in accordance with his "culture of life."

The thing is that many of these embryos will be destoryed if not used for impregnation or stem cell research. I highly doubt that Bush can find 400k women to impregnate with these embryos so they will have to be destroyed.

Does that not violate the President's stance of not destroying a life?? I thought that using these embryo's for research was a form of abortion? Wouldn't destroying them too be a form of abortion??? And we can not just keep them frozen because more are being created every day.

If Bush is for a "culture of life" why doesn't he support embyronic stem cell research to help those "living" with DISEASES?!!!


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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Deal.

Wow, we have a moderate, center in the Senate!! We need a moderate center to keep either extreme from obtaining total power. It's about time that they stood up to hammer out a compromise. I think, however, that all this does is "kick the ball down the street."

The real question is whether the Dem's are going to filibuster a supreme court nominee. I just hope that Bush will nominate a judge that is not seen as an extremist so that we can avoid this "nuclear" nastyness. The last thing that the supreme court needs is an extremist judge from either side. This country badly needs moderation and balance right now to help bridge the wound that has been opened, pussing and bleeding since the 2000 election.

There are those on the left who see this deal as a negative thing. However, it appeared that the Dem's did not have the numbers to knock down the "nuclear option" and therefore would have lost the filibuster on judges. This would include the filibuster on supreme court nominees and therefore Bush would have been able to nominate anyone to the bench. This deal protects the right of the Dem's to filibuster a supreme court nominee and that is a very, good thing.

True, I am a liberal and I do not agree with the 3 nominees that are going up for a vote now but I am also an independent and an American. The country has been pushed over the edge on the right side for the last few years and I think now most Americans have had enough of it and want to push the country back toward a more true, balance of power.

I will say, however, that I (along with a lot of people) am still not very sure what the F this whole "deal" means (besides the fact that it helps Sen. McCain's presidencial bid in 2008). The whole thing was quite anti-climactic given the months and months of harsh rhetoric on both sides. But hey, I guess I don't care too much since we "saved" the Republic (for a few more days at least).

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Monday, May 23, 2005

Why We Need the Right to Filibuster Judges.

Because The 55 Republicans Senators represent states with a population of 112,858,577 residents or 49%, while the 45 Democratic and Independent Senators represent States with a total of 117,657,044 residents or 51% of the population.

Thus Common Sense Mom @ Daily Kos explains:

We all understand that the Senate was set up as a "check and balance" to the inherently more politically populace driven House of Representatives. By choosing Senators by State instead of population, the founding fathers hoped to protect the rights of the minority against the "tyranny of the majority." But if population is considered, or the vote count received by each Senator, there is no doubt that our founding fathers' fear is being turned on its head.

Republican Senators, in fact, represent a minority of Americans. If the "nuclear option" is utilized to strip Democratic Senators, who represent more Americans, of their right to dissent, then we will have a TYRANNY OF THE MINORITY!

Thomas Jefferson must be rolling in his grave.

Any questions??

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Sunday, May 22, 2005

The Saddam Pictures

I think that we can all agree that Saddam Hussein was a tyrant and that he should be arrested and tried for war crimes but these pictures are not about Saddam in my opinion.

Despite Saddam's crimes we have to show that we are a civilized country who treats prisoners the right way so that we CAN be the good example of democracy that we want Iraqi's to see us as being.

These pictures do not help improve our credibility in the Arab world. These pictures are certain to offend Arab's to a high degree and tarnish America's image already soiled by the Abu Ghraib prisoner scandal.

In reading the Arab news networks it appears that the reaction to the pictures is split and that is not a good sign. Despite his war crimes many in the Arab world see these pictures as insulting to their former President and to Arab morality in general. You do NOT show an Arab man in his underwear if you are trying to win Sunni supporters of Saddam to the side of democracy. Maybe more importantly, however, It does not help win the "hearts and minds" of the average, morally conservative Iraqi.

President Bush, however, blew off any impact that these pictures may have on the Sunni rebels by saying:

"I don't think a photo inspires murderers," Bush said of the insurgents. "These people are motivated by a vision of the world that is backward and barbaric."

Again, you do not try to win the rebel Sunni's to the political and democratic process by calling them "barbaric and backward." Our President needs to learn to stop putting his foot in his mouth in such situations.

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Friday, May 20, 2005

Baggy BVD Torture??

You would think that we would have learned from the Abu Ghraib pictures. I do not think that this is going to do anything to help win the "hearts and minds" of the Iraqi people. Let alone those of the great Muslim world.

Meanwhile in Iraq today there were Shia and Sunni protests against the American occupation. In other Iraqi news, tensions are mounting between the Shia and Sunni.

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Posted by Hello

Details of Afghanistan Prisoner Death's

Read all about "Good Old American Values" In Afghanistan. No wonder America has little to no credibility or respect with the rest of the world. Especially in the Muslim world.

It's a long and disturbing article but something that I think we should all read. It gives the average American a view into how some in the military are representing us to the world.

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

FOX News in Ratings Free Fall

Big thanks to News Hounds for this story:

Here's something you won't hear on Fox News -- ratings for the cable news channel have been plummeting since before the November election.

According to TV Newser, the number of people watching Fox during prime time in the 25 to 54 age bracket dropped in April for the sixth straight month.

TV Newser cited a CNN press release which gave these totals for Fox's primetime audience in the 25 to 54 age bracket: Oct. 04: 1,074,000; Nov. 04: 891,000; Dec. 04: 568,000; Jan. 05: 564,000; Feb. 05: 520,000; March 05: 498,000; April 05: 445,000. That amounts to a decline of 58 percent, with no sign of leveling off.

Other cable stations' ratings were also down since the election, but CNN's, for example, appeared to have stabilized last month while Fox's continued to drop.

What the press release didn't say is that we can add 629,000 people to those who don't watch Fox. That works out to just over 89,857 people for each of the seven News Hounds who are watching Fox so those people don't have to.

Now that we've added another Hound, we should be able to take care of the remaining 445,000 in even less than six months.

Fox's plunging ratings should be a warning to those cable stations trying to copy the news channel's conservative Republican slant. People are tired of it. Try something different, like a progressive television show, for a change.

***GOI Comment: Fox News should stop calling itself "News." Or at least be honest and tell everyone finally that you ARE a conservative opinionated network.

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The Secret Way to War

Many thanks to UK PLC for mentioning this article in connection with the now infamous "Downing Street Memo." It gives A LOT more information on the lead up to the Iraqi War and how the Bush Administration basically made up "evidence" to go to war.

Here is a quote from the article used to show how the Bush administration used propaganda to "sell" the Iraqi Invasion to the American people.

There was no point in seeking to convert the intellectuals. For intellectuals would never be converted and would anyway always yield to the stronger, and this will always be "the man in the street." Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect. Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology.

-Joseph Goebbels
Nazi Propaganda Minister

Pretty scary since the Bush people used the same style of propaganda to whip up support for their "made up war."

Once again, here is the LINK

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Downing Street Memo Revisited

Some of you might have already heard of and/or read this memo but for "some reason" it has basically been ignored by the American main stream media. So I am going to hit it again here @ GOI.

Here's the gist if you haven't heard it yet:

It is a 2002 British official's report that the Bush administration appeared intent on invading Iraq long before it sought out Congress' approval -- and that it "fixed" intelligence to fit its intention.

This from the Christian Science Monitor:

The document was written by British national security aide Matthew Rycroft based on notes he took during a July 2002 meeting of Mr. Blair and his advisers, including Richard Dearlove, the head of Britain's MI-6 intelligence service who had recently met with Bush administration officials.

Among other things, the memo said:

Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The [National Security Council] had no patience with the UN route .... There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action. ...

It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.

The memo's authenticity was not disputed by Blair's office.

Hearst Newspapers columnist Helen Thomas lamented last week that Britons and Americans – in her judgment – no longer care about the credibility and accountability of their leaders.

I am not surprised at the duplicity. But I am astonished at the acceptance of this deception by voters in the United States and the United Kingdom.

I've seen two US presidents go down the drain – Lyndon B. Johnson on Vietnam and Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandal – because they were no longer believed. But times change – and I guess our values do, too.

In Sunday's Washington Post the paper's ombudsman Michael Getler wrote that his e-mail inbox was "inundated last week by write-in campaigns provoked by two self-described media watchdog organizations, both on the liberal side of things."

Mr. Getler wrote that he received over 1,000 e-mails attacking the Post for not following up on the Sunday Times disclosure the memo. Getler wrote that he was "amazed that The Post took almost two weeks to follow up on the Times report."

The key line in the leaked memo, in my view, is the assessment by British intelligence, after a visit to Washington, that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." That kind of assertion has been made by critics and commentators, but it has not been included in official post-invasion assessments here about how the country went to war under what turned out to be false premises about weapons of mass destruction and other matters. Investigating that assessment, coming from the key US ally in the war, certainly seems journalistically mandatory. Indeed, while official US commissions and committees have documented just how bad US intelligence was, they have stopped short of assessing what happened to that intelligence after it was prepared.

GOI Comment: This is a big deal no matter what the corporate owned "main stream media" says (or doesn't say). Write your senators, represenatives and newspapers. Call radio talk shows and your friends. We can not let this story die because it sheds more, honest light on the shaddy nature of the pre-war intelligence and planning. We can not let this story die. We bloggers have forced the MSM to keep stories alive before and we can do it with this story too. This Newsweek "story" is a total distraction to the real news of this memo. Keep the pressure on the media and the government because this story is not going to go away quietly. Not if we have anything to do about it.

You might also want to go to The Downing Street Memo.com where you can sign a petition, write your senators and representatives and take further action.

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Virginity or Death!

This is the title of a story by Katha Pollitt in the latest editions of The Nation. This post is going to be a summary of this article:

Imagine a vaccine that would protect women from a serious gynecological cancer. Wouldn't that be great?

Human papilloma virus is not only an incredibly widespread sexually transmitted infection but is responsible for at least 70 percent of cases of cervical cancer, which is diagnosed in 10,000 American women a year and kills 4,000. Wonderful, you are probably thinking, all we need to do is vaccinate girls (and boys too for good measure) before they become sexually active, around puberty and HPV-and, in thirty or forty years, seven in ten cases of cervical cancer-goes poof. Not so fast: We're living in God's country now. The Christian right doesn't like the sound of this vaccine at all. "Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful," Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council told the British magazine New Scientist, "because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex."

I remember when people rolled their eyeballs if you suggested that opposition to abortion was less about "life" then about sex, especially sex for women. You have to admit that thesis is looking pretty solid these days. No matter what the consequences of sex-pregnancy, disease, death -- abstinence for singles is the only answer. Just as it's better for gays to get AIDS then use condoms, it's better for a woman to get cancer then have sex before marriage. It's honor killing on the installment plan.

What is it with these right-wing Christians? Faced with a choice between sex and death, they choose death every time. No sex ed or contraception for teens, no sex for the unwed, no condoms for gays, no abortion for anyone -- even for that poor 13-year-old pregnant girl in a group home in Florida. I would really like to hear the persuasive argument that this middle-schooler with no home and no family would have been better off giving birth against her will, and that the State of Florida, which totally failed to keep her safe, should have been allowed, against it own laws, to compel this child to bear a child. She was too young to have sex, too young to know her own mind about abortion -- but not too young to be forced onto the the delivery table for one of the most painful experiences human beings endure, in which the risk of death for her was three times as great as in abortion. Ah, Christian compassion! Christian sadism, more likely. It was the courts that showed humanity when they let the girl terminate her pregnancy.

As they flex their muscle, right-wing Christians increasingly reveal their condescending view of woman as moral children who need to be kept in line sexually by fear. That's why antichoicers will never answer the call of prochoicers to join them in reducing abortions by making birth control more widely avaiable: They want to make it less available. Their real interest goes way beyond protecting fetuses -- it's in keeping sex tied to reproduction to keep women in the place. If preventing abortion was what they cared about, they'd be giving birth control and emergency contraception away on street corners instead of supporting pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions and hospitals that don't tell rape victims about the existence of EC.

Issue: May 30, 2005 (p.) 9

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Where There Is Smoke.

This from The Washington Post:

"The damage cannot be controlled by the belated retraction from Newsweek under U.S. government pressure," Qazi Hussain Ahmad, the leader of the religious-party alliance, said in a telephone interview from Islamabad.

Ahmad noted that Newsweek, before publishing the item, had run it past a senior Defense Department official to check its accuracy. "The fact that the story was given by Newsweek to a U.S. government official and the Pentagon cleared it before publication tells a lot," Ahmad said.

Newsweek's editor, Mark Whitaker, said in an interview Sunday that a senior Pentagon official had declined to comment after a correspondent showed the official a draft before the item was published and asked, "Is this accurate or not?" The magazine, Whitaker said, would have held off publishing the item if military spokesmen had requested that. Whitaker said Pentagon officials offered no objection to the story for 11 days after it was published.

One problem for the government, and for the United States, is that the Newsweek article was not the first to report allegations that the Koran had been desecrated at the Guantanamo facility. In March 2003, for example, Afghan men who had been freed from the prison told reporters in the Afghan capital, Kabul, that American soldiers had taunted them by sitting on the Koran or dumping it into a toilet.

Pre-emptive Karma points out that Keith Olberman smells some smoke too:

Last Thursday, General Richard Myers, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Donald Rumsfeld’s go-to guy whenever the situation calls for the kind of gravitas the Secretary himself can’t supply, told reporters at the Pentagon that rioting in Afghanistan was related more to the on-going political reconciliation process there, than it was to a controversial note buried in the pages of Newsweek claiming that the government was investigating whether or not some nitwit interrogator at Gitmo really had desecrated a Muslim holy book.

But Monday afternoon, while offering himself up to the networks for a series of rare, almost unprecedented sit-down interviews on the White House lawn, Press Secretary McClellan said, in effect, that General Myers, and the head of the after-action report following the disturbances in Jalalabad, Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, were dead wrong. The Newsweek story, McClellan said, “has done damage to our image abroad and it has done damage to the credibility of the media and Newsweek in particular. People have lost lives. This report has had serious consequences.”

Whenever I hear Scott McClellan talking about ‘media credibility,’ I strain to remember who it was who admitted Jeff Gannon to the White House press room and called on him all those times.

Whenever I hear this White House talking about ‘doing to damage to our image abroad’ and how ‘people have lost lives,’ I strain to remember who it was who went traipsing into Iraq looking for WMD that will apparently turn up just after the Holy Grail will — and at what human cost.

***GOI Comment: Well said Keith. Let me play "Devil's Advocate" for a minute. Call me skeptical but why would the Pentagon decline comment on such a major allegation if there was no evidence of truth to the story? Not only that by why did they offer no objection for 11 days after it was published and then out of the blue say there was no evidence to back up the Quran desecration story??

The fact is that the American government DOES have a credibility problem. The Bush administration and the Pentagon are asking everyone to "trust" them that they have not "found" any "credible" information to back up abuses of the Quran. Trust does not come easily, however, to this administration. This is the same administration after all who led the country (and parts of the international community) into war on "faulty evidence" and then found themselves intertwined in the Abu Grhaib prisoner abuse scandal.

I would not be playing the skeptical "Devil's Advocate" of this administration and the Pentagon so much if they had not waited so long to deny the story. It is almost as if they let the story run to purposely discredit the liberal Newsweek magazine. Either that or they are covering up evidence that the Quran was in fact abused. It is not hard to imagine given the WMD lies, Abu Ghraib abuses, etc. If there IS any truth to this story then I can see why they might not want the "truth" to get out given the riots that have already occured in the Muslim world.

I wouldn't put anything past this administration at this point.

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Monday, May 16, 2005

Newsweek Adds Garbage to the Bush Garbage Heap

The Newsweek issue was a terrible mistake but that does not mean that this Administration did not already dig itself a HUGE hole with previous prisoner abuse stories. The fact is that our credibility is like a cracked water pipe gushing forth to form a massive pool of rage and anti-American sentiment. This Newsweek story is like another pipe breaking to add to a pool that already exists. The Bush administration should hold themselves just as accountable as they are doing with Newsweek. It is because of the Bush administrations "faulty intelligence" that we are even in this position in the first place. Let's NOT forget that they basically relied on one source of information themselves and rushed into war. That souce being Curveball.

Support Our Troops Via Communism??

A customer came into my wife's place of work awhile back who works for the local sheriff's office and he was wearing a green "Support the Troops" bracelet. He then stated how the ironic thing is that the bracelet has "Made in China" printed on the underside.

How bad has our economy become when we even outsource making "Support the Troops" bracelet's to Communist China?!

---End of Transmission---

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Let's Get Involved

Friday night we watched the movie, "Hotel Rwanda" and I was VERY moved by it. I felt especially moved having lived in Africa for two years. A similar situation is occuring in Darfu, Sudan in Northern Africa and we need to do everything in our power to stop the killing. Write you Senators/Representatives or (if you live outside of the U.S.A) write your approriate officials. Another thing we have done and you might want to do as well is to join Amnesty International and give them a small donation. I know that some of you might not have very much money (that is certainly our case) but we have more then most of the people suffering in Dafur (and in places all over the world). A small sacrifice on our part in donating a little money will go a long way in helping those being opressed by stopping human rights violationas all over the world. If you can't afford the money then there are other options. You can send emails/letters/FAX's to some of these organizations around the world to either send support or send encouragement to stop human rights violations. Stop by and visit the Amnesty International website when you have a chance.

Thursday on the Al Franken Radio Show I learned about RAN (Rainforest Action Network) and plan to join/make a contribution to their organization. They not only protect the rainforests of the world but they also protect "old growth" forests here in America. They have actively stopped Burger King from importing cheap beef from tropical countries where rainforests are denuded to provide pasture for cattle.

And guess what. They succeeded!!

This campaign succeeded in several ways. After sales dropped 12% during the boycott in 1987, Burger King cancelled $35 million worth of beef contracts in Central America and announced that they had stopped importing rainforest beef. The rainforest issue also began to gain ground in the public's awareness, and consumers began to appreciate the power they have to change things through their purchasing choices.

If you are interested in Environmental groups then I would also recommend joining/donating to The Sierra Club. They were named America's most effective evironmental organization. According to a survey funded by the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan public policy group located in Washington, D.C. Right now you can join for the low rate of $15!!!

Power to the people.

---End of Transmission---

Friday, May 13, 2005

Is Rape and Marital Abuse Now a "Family Value?"

Dr. W. David Hager, is a notable obstetrician-gynecologist and Bush Administration appointee to the Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs in the Food and Drug Administration.

Last October Hager spoke at the pulpit in the chapel of the Asbury Evangelical College. He spoke with a religioius zeal and according to The Nation magazine:

Hager opened his Bible to the Old Testament Book of Ezekiel and looked out into the audience. "I want to share with you some information about how...God has called me to stand in the gap," he declared. "Not only for others, but regarding ethical and moral issues in our country."

For Hager, those moral and ethical issues all appear to revolve around sex: In both his medical practice and his advisory role at the FDA, his ardent evangelical piety anchors his staunch opposition to emergency contraception, abortion and premarital sex. Through his six books--which include such titles as "Stress and the Woman's Body" and "As Jesus Cared for Women," self-help tomes that interweave syrupy Christian spirituality with paternalistic advice on women's health and relationships--he has established himself as a leading conservative Christian voice on women's health and sexuality.

And because of his warm relationship with the Bush Administration, Hager has had the opportunity to see his ideas influence federal policy. In December 2003 the FDA advisory committee of which he is a member was asked to consider whether emergency contraception, known as Plan B, should be made available over the counter. Over Hager's dissent, the committee voted overwhelmingly to approve the change.

Back at Asbury, Hager cast himself as a victim of religious persecution in his sermon. "You see...there is a war going on in this country," he said gravely. "And I'm not speaking about the war in Iraq. It's a war being waged against Christians, particularly evangelical Christians. It wasn't my scientific record that came under scrutiny [at the FDA]. It was my faith.... By making myself available, God has used me to stand in the breach.... Just as he has used me, he can use you."

Up on the dais, several men seated behind Hager nodded solemnly in agreement. But out in the audience, Linda Carruth Davis--co-author with Hager of Stress and the Woman's Body, and, more saliently, his former wife of thirty-two years--was enraged. "It was the most disgusting thing I've ever heard," she recalled months later, through clenched teeth.

According to Davis, Hager's public moralizing on sexual matters clashed with his deplorable treatment of her during their marriage. Davis alleges that between 1995 and their divorce in 2002, Hager repeatedly sodomized her without her consent. Several sources on and off the record confirmed that she had told them it was the sexual and emotional abuse within their marriage that eventually forced her out. "I probably wouldn't have objected so much, or felt it was so abusive if he had just wanted normal [vaginal] sex all the time," she explained to me. "But it was the painful, invasive, totally nonconsensual nature of the [anal] sex that was so horrible."

"In early 2002," Hager told the churchgoers that day, "my world fell apart.... After thirty-two years of marriage, I was suddenly alone in a new home that we had built as our dream home. Time spent 'doing God's will' had kept me from spending the time I needed to nourish my marriage." Hager noted with pride that in his darkest hour, Focus on the Family estimated that 50 million people worldwide were praying for him.

Linda Davis quietly fumed in her chair. "He had the gall to stand under the banner of holiness of the Lord and lie, by the sin of omission," she told me. "It's what he didn't say--it's the impression he left."

(In one of his books, he refers to a man who raped his wife as "selfish" and "sinful.")

In tandem with his medical career, Hager has been an aggressive advocate for the political agenda of the Christian right. A member of Focus on the Family's Physician Resource Council and the Christian Medical and Dental Society, Hager assisted the Concerned Women for America in submitting a "Citizen's Petition" to the FDA in August 2002 to halt distribution and marketing of the abortion pill, RU-486.

"I would be asleep," she recalls, "and since [the sodomy] was painful and threatening, I woke up. Sometimes I acquiesced once he had started, just to make it go faster, and sometimes I tried to push him off.... I would [confront] David later, and he would say, 'You asked me to do that,' and I would say, 'No, I never asked for it.'"

Sometime between the births of Neal and Jonathan, Hager embarked on an affair with a Bible-study classmate who was a friend of Davis's. A close friend of Davis's remembers her calling long distance when she found out: "She was angry and distraught, like any woman with two children would be. But she was committed to working it out."

"Sex was coinage; it was a commodity," she said. Sometimes Hager would blithely shift from vaginal to anal sex. Davis protested. "He would say, 'Oh, I didn't mean to have anal sex with you; I can't feel the difference,'" Davis recalls incredulously. "And I would say, 'Well then, you're in the wrong business.'"

Money was an explosive issue in their household. Hager kept an iron grip on the family purse strings.

These financial atmospherics undoubtedly figured into Linda's willingness to accept payment for sex. But eventually her conscience caught up with her. "Finally...I said, 'You know, David, this is like being a prostitute. I just can't do this anymore; I don't think it's healthy for our relationship,'" she recalls.

Eventually, Davis was diagnosed as having narcolepsy, a neurological disorder that affects the brain's ability to regulate normal sleep-wake cycles.

For Davis, the diagnosis spelled relief, and a physician placed her on several medications to attain "sleep hygiene," or a consistent sleep pattern. But Davis says it was after the diagnosis that the period of the most severe abuse began. For the next seven years Hager sodomized Davis without her consent while she slept roughly once a month until their divorce in 2002, she claims. "My sense is that he saw [my narcolepsy] as an opportunity," Davis surmises. Sometimes she fought Hager off and he would quit for a while, only to circle back later that same night; at other times, "the most expedient thing was to try and somehow get it [over with]. In order to keep any peace, I had to maintain the illusion of being available to him."

She says she confronted her husband on numerous occasions: "[I said to him,] 'Every time you do this, I hate your guts. And it blows a bridge out between us that takes weeks, if not months, to heal.'" She says that Hager would, in rare instances, admit what he had done and apologize, but typically would deny it altogether.

**GOI Comment: I can see why that Bush would want to keep someone like Hager on his Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs in the Food and Drug Administration.

Hager preaches and lives those "good old fashioned family values" that the GOP claims so often after all.

---End of Transmission---

British Say Bush Rushed to War with Thin Evidence

Britain, America's main ally in the Iraqi War has evidence that Bush and his administration purposely knew there was thin evidence and pushed for war anyway.

This from Walter Pincus @ The Washington Times:

Seven months before the invasion of Iraq, the head of British foreign intelligence reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair that President Bush wanted to topple Saddam Hussein by military action and warned that in Washington intelligence was "being fixed around the policy," according to notes of a July 23, 2002, meeting with Blair at No. 10 Downing Street.

"Military action was now seen as inevitable," said the notes, summarizing a report by Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6, British intelligence, who had just returned from consultations in Washington along with other senior British officials. Dearlove went on, "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

"The case was thin," summarized the notes taken by a British national security aide at the meeting. "Saddam was not threatening his neighbours and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."

Britain's intelligence boss believed that Bush had decided to go to war in mid-2002, and that he believed U.S. policymakers were trying to use the limited intelligence they had to make the Iraqi leader appear to be a bigger threat than was supported by known facts.

Another piece of the British memo has relevance now, as the United States battles an insurgency that some say was exacerbated by faulty planning for the post-invasion period. "There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action," the notes say, without attributing that directly to Dearlove.

**GOI Comment: Well, there isn't any doubt anymore that Bush pushed for this war despite thin evidence. Paul O'Neil, Richard Clarke and Bob Woodward all spoke out that Bush was planning to invade Iraq 3 months after 9/11. Now this report from the British.

Bush wanted this war so bad that he was willing to "mislead" the American people via faulty intelligence. He played on America's emotions directly after September 11th to gain support for his "pet project" of invading Iraq. He intentionally used the American public's patriotism to blindly push the country into war and so far the blood of 1,600 American lives are on his hands. In addition to the other coalition and untold Iraqi lives lost. Then you have the thousands of injured soldiers and citizens. All because Bush has some sick obsession with Saddam Hussein.

He is down right shameful and disgusting.

I would dare to say that he straddles the line toward being a borderline war criminal.

---End of Transmission---

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Tom DeLay and His Sycophants Celebrate Questionable Ethics

Tom DeLay as his loyal, cadre of sycophants are going to gather tonight in a "tribute" to the embattled U.S. House Representative.

A tribute to Tom DeLay is like a tribute to the Robber Barons.

However, according to The New York Times:

...only about three dozen House Republicans will be there.

That means that most of the Republican House members will pass on this sick game of "who's your daddy."

Although the participants are just as controversial as the "man of the hour" himself. They include: Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. These are two main figures (along with DeLay and Sen. Bill Frist) who manufactured the pseudo-religious, political, propoganda event "Justice Sunday."

This tribute reminds me of the grand celebrations that dictators narcissitically constructed to pump up their egos and make them feel like they are adored by others.

Not only that but this is Tom DeLay at his bullying best. It's an event that DeLay can use to see who exactly supports him amongst his colleagues in the House and who do not. Forcing his party to either support him or be singled out in their Republican primaries in 2006.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Yes, the United States of American Corporations.

That should be the official title of America.

My wife is taking a tax class toward her accounting degree and came across this nasty little statistic:

In 2003: Individuals payed 83% of federal taxes
Corporations only payed 13% of federal taxes.

United Airlines is cutting pensions and the Bush government doesn't seem to care. This massive corporation is allowed to file bankruptcy but the average citizen? No way. Not anymore.

So, United Airlines can file bankruptcy but is not going to pay pensions to retiree's. The retiree's were counting on that money to partly pay for credit card bills but if they can't pay due to United's screw job they can't file for bankruptcy!!! THIS IS INSANE!!!

Now, how is all of this helping us have confidence in the Bush economy??

Corporations are the new feudal landlords and the rest of us are just lowly surfs.

Makes ya feel all warm and fuzzy inside huh??

Yeah, me either.

---End of Transmission---
Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Strange and Hypocritical Sexuality of the Republican Party

Republicans have such a strange relationship with sexuality. Case in point, anti-abortion extremist Neal Horsley.

Last night, anti-abortion extremist Neal Horsley was a guest on The Alan Colmes Show, a FOX News radio program. The topic was an interesting one - whether or not an internet service provider should allow Horsley to post the names of abortion doctors on his website. Horsley does that as a way of targeting them and one doctor has been killed. In the course of the interview, however, Colmes asked Horsley about his background, including a statement that he had admitted to engaging in homosexual and bestiality sex.

At first, Horsley laughed and said, "Just because it's printed in the media, people jump to believe it."

"Is it true?" Colmes asked.

"Hey, Alan, if you want to accuse me of having sex when I was a fool, I did everything that crossed my mind that looked like I..."

AC: "You had sex with animals?"

NH: "Absolutely. I was a fool. When you grow up on a farm in Georgia, your first girlfriend is a mule."

AC: "I'm not so sure that that is so."

NH: "You didn't grow up on a farm in Georgia, did you?"

AC: "Are you suggesting that everybody who grows up on a farm in Georgia has a mule as a girlfriend?"

NH: It has historically been the case. You people are so far removed from the reality... Welcome to domestic life on the farm..."

Colmes said he thought there were a lot of people in the audience who grew up on farms, are living on farms now, raising kids on farms and "and I don't think they are dating Elsie right now.

You know what I'm saying?"
Horsley said, "You experiment with anything that moves when you are growing up sexually. You're naive. You know better than that... If it's warm and it's damp and it vibrates you might in fact have sex with it."

***GOI Comment: This is what you get when you have these far right wingers who preach this "abistence only" policy. Sexuality is a normal, natural thing and you can not just supress it. If you do, then you end with with people like Horsley who take out their sexual frustrations on ANIMALS!!! I guess his answer to avoiding "unwanted pregnancies" is to diddle with the mule!!

In addition to Horsley, Colmes has recently interviewed Randall Terry another radical anti-abortionist and anti-gay activist. In the middle of an otherwise serious interview, Terry began joking - apropos of nothing - that he and Colmes were ex-lovers.

***GOI Comment: For people that are supposedly against homosexuality they sure are obsessed with it, don'tchya think??

Another extremist interviewed by Colmes not too long ago was Rev. Fred Phelps who stated on the show that he thought the death penalty should be given for those who engage in "sodomy." When Colmes asked Phelps if he had ever engaged in gay sex, Phelps blustered but never said no.

***GOI Comment: It's a simple "yes" or "no" Reverand. No need to get all blustery about it.

Hmm, I'm beginning to sense a pattern here. Come to think of it, Ann Coulter is reputed to have an unusually, er, wide-ranging sex life, too, though as far as I know it's just confined to men. Still, it doesn't exactly match the profile of an ultra-conservative.

***Very Conservative and Very Anti-Homosexual Mayor Jim West of Spokane, Oregon Outted As a Hypocrite.*** (Read More Below).

This from The Seattle Times:

Jim West, who rose to the top ranks of the state Republican Party over many years as a state lawmaker, should resign as mayor of Spokane.

Allegations of child molestation many years ago, along with use of the perquisites of his office to lure a man he believed to be 18 into a date, will overwhelm his ability to fully serve the citizens of Spokane.

Use of a City Hall computer and offers of a city internship to a young man he was courting online show a tragic willingness to abuse power. Elected officials must be held to the highest standards of ethical conduct

In light of the allegations, West has all but admitted he is bisexual. He also admitted frequenting a Web site intended for a gay audience. Many people are surprised to learn about West's sexuality, but that in itself is no reason to resign. West is not married. His private life is his own.

That said, West also must face the hypocrisy of his stances on gay rights as a state legislator and mayor. On several occasions, West voted against legislation that would protect gays and lesbians from discrimination. According to the Spokesman-Review, he supported legislation that would have prohibited gays and lesbians from working in schools and day-care centers.

As recently as last week, he opposed a Spokane City Council ordinance extending benefits to domestic partners of city employees.

The sad irony is West now seeks the kind of respect for his privacy and sexuality that he was unwilling to grant, legislatively, to others.

***GOI Comment: No one cares what you do in the sexual life as long as it is not illegal. IF However, you belong to a party that opposes the rights of homosexuals and you yourself oppose measures to advance gay rights and protections then your sexual history is fair game. ESPECIALLY if you are yourself a homosexual. These examples are a just a few of the hypocrisies on sexuality in the Republican party.

All this and yet we are told over and over by Republicans that theirs is the party of "Morals and Values??" They are so screwed up about what's "moral and immoral" that they can't see straight enough to walk down the street!!

---End of Transmission---

Sen. Harry Reid Goes On the Offensive Over Judges

This from the Salt Lake Tribune:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is ratcheting up the rhetoric, stopping just short of calling Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch a hypocrite.

Instead, the Nevada Democrat said Friday, "He's been a terribly big disappointment to me."

Reid called Utah Sen. Bob Bennett "totally rational" in their discussions of the issue, but said Hatch is another matter. Hatch claims the minority party has created a crisis in the courts by refusing to vote on the president's nominees.

"I can't imagine how Orrin Hatch can keep a straight face," Reid toldThe Salt Lake Tribune editorial board. "I don't know how, within the framework of intellectual honesty, he can say the things he does."

Reid says Hatch is "disingenuous" in his recollections of history, pointing out that Democrats have approved 207 of the president's judicial candidates and rejected just 10.

He calls five judges Democrats have blocked - including Texas Supreme Court Justice Patricia Owen and California Supreme Court Associate Justice Janice Rogers Brown - the "worst of the worst." Reid notes that under Hatch, 69 of former President Clinton's judicial nominations "never saw the light of day" because Utah's senior senator stopped them from proceeding to the Senate floor for a vote. Republicans delayed approval of Richard Paez, a Brigham Young University graduate. In 1999, Hatch refused to sign off on any nominees until Clinton nominated Republican Ted Stewart, former Gov. Mike Leavitt's chief of staff.

**GOI Comment: Republicans blocked 69 judicial nominations from proceeding to the Senate floor for a vote (during the Clinton years) and now they are whining over 10 judges that the Democrats are blocking?!! The Senate Republicans (especially Hatch and Frist) are acting like the spoiled kid who gets his way to eat a nice, big sundae only to whine and demand that his/her parents buy the entire ice cream parlor just for him/her. The Republicans blocked SIXTY some judges!!! That's TEN TIMES the amount the Democrats are blocking. How soon these Republicans forget their own history. I wonder, would the Republicans want to trade their majority in the senate for these 10 judges? Because that might actually be what happens if America becomes any more upset over the "spoiled brat" nature of Republican tactics in the Senate.

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Sunday, May 08, 2005

Sunday Rhetoric

This from the Associated Press and The Guardian:

The latest insurgent attacks were part of a surge in violence that has killed more than 270 people - many of them Iraqi soldiers and police - since Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari announced his new government April 28.

**GOI Comment: These numbers are staggering and numbing but we must not loose grasp and concern over their meaning. Despite these numbers the "peanut gallery" of retired generals were "beating the dead horse" that everything is going "swimingly" in Iraq.

CNN's sunday program, "Late Edition" had two ex-U.S. Generals saying how well things were going in Iraq despite the 200 some lives lost in since April 28th. I wonder if the Iraqi's feel the same way. I'm sure that if more then 270 Americans were killed since April 28 that there would be some NO QUESTION that things in America were not "all right."

Most of those killer were soldiers and police men. Americans freak out when one police officer dies in a YEAR! Let alone some 270 in roughly TWO WEEKS!!

In other news, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi aide Ammar al-Zubaydi has been captured by Iraqi security forces in Iraq, the U.S. military said Sunday. Another Zarqawi aide caputred on April 26th helped U.S. soldiers capture 54 insurgents near the Syrian border on sunday.

Also, Pakistani officers have captured a top al-Qaeda official by the name of Abu Farraj al-Libbi.

This captures are great news, however, they will not end the struggle against Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. It is like killing one or two cockroaches and hoping you killed the infestation. You have to keep at it until you can kill off the nest and the breeding grounds.

Al-Qaeda is such an organization that it will always have enough angry, anti-American young Muslim men to fill it's ranks. Especially while America has a strong presence in Iraq and other Middle-Eastern countries. Not to mention as long as America overly supports Israel to the undermining of Palestian concerns and cause.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't do anything but American's need to recognize the amazing amount of suffering that Iraqi's are going through in this process. This "transition" is not going "easily" and the capture of one or two top guys is not any reason to celebrate and beat our chests as if we have defeated terrorism once and for all.

---End of Transmission---

Friday, May 06, 2005


This from the BBC:

The world must show zero tolerance to North Korea and put pressure on it not to launch a nuclear test, the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog has said.
Mohamed ElBaradei said a test would have "disastrous political and environmental consequences".

The warning came amid fresh reports of intelligence suggesting North Korea may be preparing to test a nuclear weapon for the first time.

Well, this is just GREAT news!! The invasion of Iraq could prove to be more then just a big, "Oops!" We had A hot-headed Bush full of revenge invading an Iraq without WMD's. The weapons inspectors did not find anything and should have been given more time and I think everyone can agree on that point by now. Iraq was being watched day and night via satelites and via the northern and southern "no-fly zones." Even Bush now admits that we have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in the September 11th attacks. Yet here we are stuck in Iraq engaged in "nation building" for god knows how long and now North Korea is going to test a nuke??

Like no one saw that coming.

EVERYONE knows North Korea had nuclear weapons and/or was in the later stages of developing them and we go after IRAQ?!!

Again quoting ElBaradei in the BBC article:

"So enough rituals. Now the time has come after 12 years since we reported North Korea in non-compliance to the Security Council... [for all concerned parties] urgently to bite the bullet and find a comprehensive solution and avoid this escalating nuclear danger."

Just great.

Way to keep your "eye on the ball" King George! America wants to help but we are busy playing "Army" with our toys over in the sandbox.

If North Korea moves on the United States and/or our allies in the South Asian-Pacific rim we would be pretty screwed with our "thumbs up our asses." We'd have to scramble and hope and pray that the rest of world would unite with us (even after our arrogant, idiotic actions in Iraq). Certainly we'd have to institute a draft since we have over-extended our troops in the Iraq war and have nothing left to protect the homeland from a REAL threat like North Korea!!

We could be pretty screwed for having gone after Iraq instead of N. Korea.

And you can thank our crazy, zealot "Uncle George" and his friends for that.

---End of Transmission--- Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Companies Bailing On DeLay

The organization, Drop the Hammer: A Project of the American Progress Action Fund seeks signatures from the public to put pressure on companies that give money to Tom DeLay to "drop the senator."

Well, the other day I received their latest update:

Dear James,

We have very good news to report: three of the five companies we targeted have publicly announced they will make no further contributions to Tom DeLay's legal defense fund. Because of you, American Airlines, Nissan, and Verizon are doing the right thing! Just yesterday, American Airlines publicly announced it would not make further legal defense contributions to DeLay and disassociated the company from the earlier decision to make the contribution:

American Airlines does not intend to make any future contributions to Representative DeLay's legal defense fund. The $5000 contribution, made three years ago, was done by an individual who is no longer part of American Airlines.

Roger Frizzell, Vice President, Corporate Communications and Advertising, American Airlines

And, today Nissan announced:

In July, 2001, Nissan North America made a $5,000 contribution to the Tom Delay Legal Expense Trust. We have not made any subsequent contribution to this trust, we will not make any contribution to the trust in the future and we do not plan to seek a refund.

Fred Standish, Director, Corporate Communications, Nissan North America

Also today, David Fish, Verizon's Executive Director of Media Relations announced Verizon now has a policy prohibiting any corporate contributions to legal defense funds and that their contribution to DeLay's legal defense fund predated this new policy.

This big success is a product of the action that you took. The thousands of emails sent and the phone calls you made had an enormous impact. Your voices were heard and you moved American Airlines, Nissan, and Verizon to take a positive step towards restoring confidence in an ethical government.

Now, let's keep the pressure on Bacardi and RJ Reynolds and convince those companies to do the right thing too. Tell your friends to visit DroptheHammer.org today - let's build on the momentum!

Thank you and congratulations on your success,

Brian Komar and the entire team at DroptheHammer.org and the American Progress Action Fund.

---End of Transmission---

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

How Conveniently They Forget

I thought that you all would enjoy this little article in the May 16, 2005 copy of The Nation:

Stephen Zunes writes: Amid the blare of the Bush Administration's alarms about Iran's alleged nuclear weapons capabilities, few remember that the United States, from the Eisenhower through the Carter presidencies, played a major role in the development of Iran's nuclear program. In 1957 the United States and Iran signed their first civil nuclear cooperation agreement. Over the next two decades, the United States not only provided Iran with technical assistance but supplied the country with it's first experimental nuclear reactor, complete with enriched uranium and plutonium with fissile isotopes. Despite the refusal of the Shah to rule out the possibility of Iran's developing nuclear weapons, the Ford Administration in 1975 approved the sale of up to eight nuclear reactors with fuel to Iran and, in 1976, approved the sale of lasers believed to be capable of enriching uranium. The Washington Post reported that an initially hesitant President Ford was assured by his advisers that Iran was interested only in peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Ford's Defense Secretary was Donald Rumsfeld, his Chief of Staff was Dick Cheney and his man in charge of nonproliferation efforts at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency was Paul Wolfowitz.

**GOI Comment: Iraq, Iran, Iraq, Iran. Seems as though the names of the countries are inter-changeable as are the players. As are our friends/enemies: Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, the Taliban. All "friends" at one time to this cadre of neo-conservatives and when they were no longer useful they were discarded and then labeled "enemies." Different decade but same countries and players.

---End of Transmission---

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Rumsfeld Offered to Make Deal with Saddam

This from the Times of India:

JERUSALEM: US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld paid a secret visit to former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and offered him freedom and possible return to public life if he made a televised request to armed groups for a ceasefire with allied forces, a media report said.

Saddam promptly rejected the offer, Ynetnews reported quoting a London based Al-Quds Al-Arabi daily. The visit came during Rumsfeld's visit to Iraq about two weeks ago and was known only to a few Iraqi officials in Jordan, the Arab daily reported quoting sources.

**GOI Comment: Now don't you find it disturbing that I had to go to a newsource outside the states to find this story?? I guess the American media is too "busy" with the "runaway bride" and Michael Jackson stories to be bothered with a story like this.

Yeah, American main stream media is just as corrupt, bought and paid for as much as our government. It use to be an additional check and balance on our government and corporations but now corporations own all the major news agencies.

Thank god for the foreign media, independent radio and internet bloggers. It was only in listening to the Randi Rhodes show on Air America radio that I found out about this.

---End of Transmission---

Pat Robertson on "This Week."

This past weekend Evangalist Pat Robertson appeared on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" and had some very inappropriate, inflamatory and unchristian statements.

STEPANOPOULOS: Sir you have described this [judges/filiabuster issue] whole battle in pretty apocalyptic terms saying the "liberals are engaged in an all out assault on Christianity. The Democrats will appoint judges who do not share our Christian values and will dismantle our Christian culture and that the "out of control judicary" is the most serious threat that America has faced in nearly 400 years."

"More serious then al-Qaeda, more serious then Nazi Germany and Japan. More serious then the civil war?"

ROBERTSON: George I really believe that. I think that they are destroying the fabric that holds our nation together. There's an assault on marriage. There's an assault on human sexuality as judge Scalia said, "They've taken sides in the culture war." And on top of that, if we have a democracy that the democratic processes should be that we elect representatives who will share our point of view putting both those things into law.

A few seconds later Stepanopoulos interrupts Robertson:

STEPANOPOULOS: But sir, let me just stop you there. How can you say that these judges are a more serious threat then Islamic terrorists who slam into the World Trade Center?

ROBERTSON: It depends on how you look at culture. If you look over the course of a hundred years, I think the gradual erosion of the consensus that's held our country together is probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings. I think we're going to control al Qaeda. I think we're going to get Osama bin Laden. We won in Afghanistan. We won in Iraq, and we can contain that. But if there's an erosion at home, you know, Thomas Jefferson warned about a tyranny of an oligarchy and if we surrender our democracy to the tyranny of an oligarchy, we've made a terrible mistake

**(GOI COMMENT: Yeah, Pat and tell everyone what an oligarchy IS exactly. Oligarchies are often controlled by a few powerful families whose children are raised and mentored to become inheritors of the power of the oligarchy, often at some sort of expense to those governed. In contrast to aristocracy ("government by the 'best'"), this power may not always be exercised openly, the oligarchs preferring to remain "the power behind the throne", exerting control through economic means.

Hmm. Sounds like what the big, right-wing corporate interests are doing huh Pat?

This from CBS:

Robertson and Falwell believe America deserved the 9/11 attacks:

A few days after the attacks of 9/11, Robertson had Rev. Jerry Falwell on his "700 Club" show. Falwell said the terrorist attacks on the U.S. were "probably what we deserve."

Robertson immediately said, "Jerry, that's my feeling. I think we've just seen the antechamber to terror."

**GOI Comment: These comments are ridiculous and extremely insensitive toward the victims of the 9/11 attacks and other forms of terrorism. I find it interesting as well how people became so incensed and outraged by Ward Churchill's comments on 9/11 and yet these comments by Pat Robertson have pretty much gone unnoticed and buried in the news.

Again from CBS:

Robertson's remarks were not a gaffe or a slip of the tongue. In an essay distributed by his Christian Broadcast Network, Robertson wrote, "We have insulted God at the highest level of our government. Then, we say, "Why does this happen?" It is happening because God Almighty is lifting His protection from us…. But I want to say as surely as I am sitting here today, this is only a foretaste, a little warning, of what is going to happen."

**GOI Comment: Many innocent people look to Robertson as a spiritual leader and yet he spits hate, violence and religious intolerance with comments like the above. This is EXACTLY why we need a seperation between church and state.

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Monday, May 02, 2005

The Greediest Generation

That is the title of an excellent Op-Ed piece that ran in the sunday New York Times.

Nicholas D. Kristof says that the Baby Boomers (himself one of them) are the greediest generation and are passing on massive deficits and other financial problems to the younger generations.

As a baby boomer myself, I can be blunt: We boomers won't be remembered as the "Greatest Generation." Rather, we'll be scorned as the "Greediest Generation."

But I fear that we'll be remembered mostly for grabbing resources for ourselves, in such a way that the big losers will be America's children.

We boomers are also preying on children in a more insidious way: We're running up their debts, both by creating new entitlement programs and by running budget deficits today. Laurence Kotlikoff, an economist and fiscal expert who with Scott Burns wrote the excellent and scary book "The Coming Generational Storm," calls this "fiscal child abuse."

The book says that the Treasury Department commissioned a study by two economists of the United States' long-term liabilities, for inclusion in the 2004 federal budget. The study found that the government faces a present value "fiscal gap" - the excess of expected payments over expected revenues - of $51 trillion. That's 11 times our official national debt and also greater than our total net worth, meaning that in some sense we're bankrupt.

Not surprisingly, the Bush administration took a look at the study, blanched, and declined to publish it.

**GOI Comment: The Bush-Republican tax cuts to the wealthiest of Americans is certainly not helping bridge the financial gap between generations either and now they want to make those tax cuts PERMANENT.

Care of the greedy, Republican boomers.


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Sunday, May 01, 2005

Tom DeLay's Lobbyist Mafia

I have been reading the Lou Dubose & Jan Reid's book, The Hammer: Tom DeLay. God, Money, and the Rise of the Republican Congress.

The book has been a very enlightening about the actions of Tom DeLay and his cronies in the U.S. House in relation to the lobbyists. DeLay basically only allows Republican lobbyists on "Capital Hill" and has them doing the bidding of the Republican party. Lobbyists are pressured to go out and "sell" Republican bills to their clients.

The DeLay lobbyist project that DeLay, Santorum, and Norquist run has public policy and political consequences that will last for at least a quarter of a century. By discipling the lobby and making it an extension of the Republican House conference, DeLay has expanded his influence far beyond the House. Lobbyists are being ordered to do the party's bidding. Lobbyists are told to lean on House members whom they have contributed money and tell them how the party wants them to vote.

Congressman Barry Franks states in the book how this process has become an accepted way of "doing business."

They don't even have to use threats anymore. Everyone is conditioned to behave a certain way.

New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler explains the situation like this:

They have institutionalized it. They're like the mob. When the mob bosses start out, they tell you if you don't pay them what they ask for, they are going to bomb your store. After a while, they don't need to threaten you anymore. You just hand the money over when they show up to collect it.

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