Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Thrill is Gone

Twenty years after Live Aid, Bob Geldof launches another group of international concerts aimed at fighting poverty and famine in Africa. The musician and activist recently announced plans for concerts to be held on July 2, in five countries. He calls next month's concerts "Live 8" -- because they're scheduled just days before the leaders of the leading industrialized countries meet at the G-8 summit in Scotland.

This piece on Yahoo news "Live 8 struggles to draw US blacks to Africa roots" triggered the skeptic in me, as most news does.

So far Stevie Wonder, Will Smith, Mariah Carey, 50 Cent and P. Diddy are the biggest names in black music to agree to donate performances, and Youssou N’Dour seems to be the only well-known African artist to date. Madonna, Elton John, and Pink Floyd also included in the mostly white mostly rock concert. Performers are unpaid, and no money will be raised for Africa, however in Britain "...extensive publicity spurred more than 2 million text messages (at roughly $3.00 per try) for the chance to win tickets to the July 2 concert. The text competition earned more than $5 million, but none of it is slated for Africa. About half of the money will go to the Prince’s Trust, a U.K. charity that helps young people, and the rest will cover the cost of staging the concerts."

Yahoo byline Jon Hurdle writes: "Academics and civil rights leaders hope Live 8 concerts to press for action on poverty in Africa will reawaken interest among black Americans in the continent their ancestors came from as slaves. But in the city of Philadelphia...and New York, many Americans believe the cultural gap between them and Africa is too wide to bridge. Others say that the Live 8 objectives of doubling aid to Africa, forgiving debt and promoting fair trade were unlikely to strike a chord with black Americans who are struggling with problems of their own, from illegal drugs to gun crime and AIDS. We need to take care of home first," said Joyce Singleton, a nurse's assistant in North Philadelphia. "Africans need to take care of themselves before they start asking for handouts."

Let's look at this a minute Yahoo. In 4 sentences readers are told Blacks have no interest in ancestry, given images of Black American issues of drugs, guns, crime, and disease, and look how cold-blooded Joyce is, telling Africans to take of themselves before asking for handouts. Lemme see, drugs guns crime disease handouts cold-blooded, I guess that sums up why Black America is unlikely to get excited about Live 8.

I don't suppose it could have anything to do with the fact that the event is put on by a backpatting aging White rocker and friends (poverty and famine fighters) for the second time in 20 years and yet we see worse plundering of the mother country's riches, no less poverty, war, or starvation. When Africa's diamonds, petroleum, gold, and other resources are drained completely, the world bankers will be "forgiving debt" for the simple fact, as my dad used to say, you can't get blood from a turnip. If you want to see the best live concert, pick up Live In Africa (1974), BB and Lucille's DVD.

Carrying Water

As I wrote somewhere below the democrats will bring water to douse any republican cajones crackling in the fire. It begins with: Homeward Bound Act. Bipartisan supported of course, sponsored by the left of center Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and "Freedom Frier" Walter Jones (R-NC). Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Ron Paul (R-TX) along with cosponsors Martin Meehan (D-MA) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)

The Act requires BushCo announce a withdrawal plan by the end of this year and begin withdrawal by October 2006. Not gonna happen. With those permanent US bases in Iraq the US will be there "training" squads of Iraqi to keep the peace (protect US interests) for many years and generations of insurgents.

This week we arrived at Nixon's "Silent Majority" speech, November 1969: a vague promise in "which we will withdraw all of our forces from Vietnam on a schedule in accordance with our program, as the South Vietnamese become strong enough to defend their own freedom." (Insert Iraq.)

Way back yonder in the 1960s Senator Fulbright (known as a moderate dove of the Foreign Relations Committee) and congress were unwilling to confront Johnson on a timetable for Vietnam withdrawal, citing the "responsibilities of the United States as a great power" and to stall pulling troops out of the jungle.

Fulbright, Arkansas democrat, issued statements such as "rather than provoke a constitutional confrontation on the war…the committee was trying to exercise its responsibility in our constitutional system in as restrained and responsible a way as possible." An intellectual way of screwing reality with just a hint that to do otherwise would, god forbid, create a confrontational crisis and really BuFu us little people (stay the course). The Fulbright Hearings began in 1971 to "hear" testimony and debate, by hawks and doves, on the war in Southeast Asia. It was another 4 years before the US was completely out of VN and successfully rubbing Nixon's face in the mud.

April 17, 1971 Nixon stated: "Our goal is a total American withdrawal from Vietnam." Same goal back then (withdrawal), same issue (how to accomplish the goal). In 1971 we had the My Lai massacre, the NYT publishing the Pentagon Papers, approximately 47,000 dead soldiers, and Nixon announcing we were taking a defensive role in Vietnam and leaving offensive attacks to the South Vietnamese. It sounds so familiar. Massacres, paper leaks, death tolls, just don't have the same effect these days.

The time is upon us for hearings, bipartisan congressional bills, homeboy Acts named to induce a warm fuzzy and insinuate the end is near. We're at the political stage of not questioning the justification for our engagement in the War or hold anyone accountable, but the years of debating military withdrawal strategy, aka carrying water for the warmongers.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Grunt Nation

Over the years I've questioned my 3 sons for feedback on today's military. One son has almost 17 years and 3 Iraq tours, another just signed out after 12 years in MI, and the youngest silly pup, to prove himself to dad and big brothers, has a couple of years. The 3 of them hold strong independent ideas and this is an assessment of their opinions. Their feedback generally agrees on specific points regarding the current active duty military.

They agree officers in the military are paid to speak bullshitalese. It's rare for an officer to speak negative of the military or the CIC, unless he's in a small circle he trusts or he's retiring out. Some officers privately agree the Iraq War is nothing more than neocon ideology, reshaping the ME to secure resources, etc. Some officers have been told that anti-Bush comments could be punished even when spoken in a small group of fellow officers. When an officer admits what is going on is bullshit, he is also likely to accept it as functional necessary bullshit. A standing army is not much use without a war or two going on. A standing army eats a lot but when standing it is not filling the coffers of industry; a significant function whether we admit it or not.

The younger troops, grunts, are the bulk of the armed services, and the dumbest. The older grunts stick with it usually because of too little ambition, a wife and too many kids, debt up to their chevrons, and know that with the skills they possess they will not find a civilian job making the money they need to get by. As one son said, "for most troops the military is welfare with honor." One son stated many soldiers he's spoken with in the last couple of years think the war is bullshit and nothing to do with OBL/terrorists but at the same time its a steady job so go along with the ideology.

What many people don't think about is that, just as in Vietnam, most of those dying in Iraq are combat troops and support personnel. And to date not in great numbers. Many troops come home with stories of palace sleepovers and swimming pools. The odds of dying in Iraq are no where near as high as they were in VN, yet. Which may also be another reason why more troops are not sent, fewer targets, fewer casualties = the longer America's patience. The risks and potential adventure are acceptable to most soldiers. When questioned about similarities between Iraq today and Vietnam my sons tell me: The Shia are similar to the South Vietnamese in that they like where they are: In power. The North VN hard-liners were similar to the Iraq "insurgents", well trained and devoted to their cause. There is similarity in that the US has an enemy which most likely will not be defeated, because it is dedicated and can sustain itself indefinitely. In the end the US will have years of conflict without reaching the goal of a "free" Iraq. As with the North VN, the insurgency shows no signs of slowing down. The Iraq War's outcome will likely be the same as Vietnam.

Success is subjective for some, objective for others, and inside the "iron triangle" of military, big business, and politics success is measured by the ka-ching-ka-ching, not the liberation of peoples that the average American considers backward barbarians. It's the usual combination of money and an insensate American population. We are basically, predominantly still a nation willing to follow without question the politicians finger as he points to a demonized enemy, be it jap, gook, commie, terrorist, or raghead.

The Republican Party is supported by the troops, not because they live richer under republicans but because of the myth that republican presidents and congress hook the military up and the wussy peacenik democrats do not. By "hook" I assume better wages and benefits, etc. Of course we know the bulk of military spending goes to crony defense and armament contractors, not big troop pay raises and perks, but we're dealing with the grunt mindset. As long as the boys in uniform believe that myth they will not support democrats who they've been convinced are not supportive of their vocation, their lifestyle, or their existence.

The 3 sons agree that to start a war with Iran is extremely unlikely, but then Iran could "start" one with us.

Two of my three sons believe that if ordered, troops would open fire on fellow Americans. They tell me they know some in uniform who would have no problem shooting their fellow citizens for no other reason than it meant they got to shoot someone. I write this with no intention of denigrating the troops. I have no malice toward the troops as they include my sons. As a society we need to admit who and what we are as a people.

We like leaders who tell us we're heroes. We like believing when our "resolve is tested" we stand strong. We have no flaws, we make no mistakes. We want to be told we're a beacon of freedom and enlightenment (especially to ancient civilizations), we're strong and never faltering, we will never again hesitate, we are the cowboy in white hat galloping to save the world from its backwardness. It's okay to kill to get what we want and say it's done as liberating peacekeepers.

Tonight Bush gave a speech pushing the right buttons to make the majority of Americans "stay the course." Most will keep quiet because most have no children invested in war and most who do can agree to the trade-off. The criminals that led us into this mess may fall back as the war tolls on, (depending on how the public reacts) but only to serve us another mouthpiece in 3 years, maybe even a Democrat. They will tease us with words of anticipation. Hang in there. Roll the dice, flip the card, we'll win if we just keep playing.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

War: Strife, to Confuse (Merriam)

The fuss over Senator Durbin's recent comment ties in somewhat with the PBU week 26 topic of Bush ignoring UN requests for access to Gitmo, thus this post rags on both concerns.

Durbin stated "If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime Pol Pot or others that had no concern for human beings."

And as usual the neoconpublics feigned and farted outrage sending memos to the media to raise a stink over Durbin's comment. And again as usual, a teary-eyed Durbin and his spokespeople performed fellatiopology for any pain the remark may have caused anyone. Excuse me for finding this whole cock and bull stunt beyond ignorance and bordering on insane. It's repulsive. Not Durbin's comment or republican's faking injury to our troops, our country or themselves but the use of the incident as a shank and shive (tools of the criminals they are) to continue the national divide. I'm repulsed by the shallowness of what is deemed an outrage by America's two parties. Those who think the Durbin comment deserves all this attention need a serious free speech ass kicking.

I come from a long line of men and women in uniform, beginning with ancestors dying in Andersonville prison, great grandfathers, grandfathers, father, sister, uncles, aunts, cousins, spouse, and sons, in every war from the Civil War to the current Iraq War, from the Baatan Death march, German POW camps, Korea, Vietnam and both Iraq Wars, for the last 145 years. I've 145 years of letters and stories which will tell you there are no rules in war and no humanity other than what survives in an individual's soul. Why do folks believe war can be reasonable? The Fourth Geneva Convention? The First was written in 1864, the Second in 1882, the Third in 1929, and the Fourth in 1949. The Conventioners keep writing rules and wars keep getting fuckuglier.

It's shock and awe when you encounter humanity in the atrocity of war. Why must Americans insist it's the other way around? There's nothing humanitarian about war, or camps, collecting information, killing, conquering. Of course we're abusing and torturing detainees. But like most American's I'm not losing sleep over Gitmo or Abu. I suspect both are as horrific as previous camps run by the good ol' CIA boys who "taught" Reagan's Contra fighting amigos the art of collecting information. If the US is using torture, and they do, the evidence will confuse or disappear, as it always does from one "gate" to the next, one report to the next. The US will outsource torture from US territory anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Negroponte has old contacts in the neighborhood who need work, around Refugiado del Canto or Rio Coco.

The US is no different than any other regime. Murder. That's what wars do. It kills people. It rapes. War stacks the enemy (dead or alive) in a pyramid. War cuts bodies in half with weapons. It digs mass graves. It's brutality. It's torture. It beats people to death in prisons. Then the government sanitizes the evidence and lets the IRC or UN inspect and issue a report that goes something like this..….."found the US government guilty of engaging in a practice and policy of violations to include racial and religious humiliation but no convincing substantiation or credible evidence of systematic and gross human rights violations"….And America high-fives itself saying see, we're just calling them names and peeing on their bible, we're not the bad guys here. Know too that the Army will have 32 such internment/resettlement units added to the Army’s rolls between now and 2008. So many detainees, so little time. Remember this is a "generational war."

Reports are coming out of Iraq of US troops using mass graves, raping children, using napalm, killing for sport…and the pols say nothing. There is nothing but deceit in all the government has done for years and pols from both sides of the aisle say next to nothing, and those few who venture to comment honestly or anti-warish nearly always paddle back sniffling, asking forgiveness. Why? The nation twitters from one memo to another, one he said/he sorry to the next, arguing appointee after appointee who gets appointed anyway, point to billions stolen to the next billions lost, one squabbling ort to the next ort.

Those who consider themselves progressives will pay dearly and for a long time for their acquiescence these last many years. The type of government in power today is not going to go away by exposing their deceit and corruption. They've been exposed. They may take the money and run but doubtful, like serial killers they never stop and are thrilled by the power. They will not be deterred by petitions or moore movies or columnists or polls. They will not be keyboarded out of office regardless how many bloggers type it, wish it, print it and pass it along. The Democratic party is not going to take back the nation by a Cavalry charge on Capitol Hill, they can't even circle their wagons, and their hands are as bloody.

"A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows…of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love." MLK

Friday, June 24, 2005

Third World White

Faith in the American dream is basically for White folks, with the majority of those folks without good sense. Too many white folks don't grasp the turning point of what's happening in America today. Jerry Springer souls who see themselves as June and Ward leaving a legacy to the little Cleavers. And decent white folks who unfortunately still see the land of opportunity with the eyes of the 1950s. Poverty, joblessness, low wages, illiteracy, destruction of the family unit, has always been a struggle fought by minorities and now it's come home to Johnny White but he denies it.

In eras past White America had the Negro, the illegals, the opposition party as scapegoats, but those goats aren't as easy to stake down and blame America's problems on these days. There's not much difference in the 2 parties and it's no longer politically correct to blame darker folks for white failure. Though god knows millions of pale faces still believe it is and try. Maybe some can blame terrorism or terrorists but homegrown scapegoats aren't so much multiple choice anymore.

Most of white America also doesn't recognize that the same oppression that kept brown folks down is now targeting average Johnny White America. I'm not sure I'd even call it "oppression" as it is simply the law of supply. When there's too many to share the pie with, the greedy pie-keepers push those who are different away from the table. As the feeders grow in number it has to eventually exclude more white pie-eaters. Because upper class White Haves have less use for Johnny White they have to squeeze more white members down and out, rapidly. Once called white privilege, the privileges are being reduced for most of white America. Not taken away by minorities, goodness no, nonwhites haven't that kind of power. But taken away by their own. The old phrase "it's a man's world" is more appropriately a "white man's world", but today that won't take the average Johnny White man as far as it used to. No longer does the white ruling class care if Johnny White has employment, housing, education, opportunity, good health, it now doesn't even offer a definitive target to blame his fall on. As far as his "betters" are concerned, Johnny White can keep falling to the bottom. Serve or entertain is Johnny's options these days, just like brown folks have for a long time.

It's simple. Not only does Johnny White no longer produce mega capital for America's ruling class, he is no longer necessary as a consumer for the products he once produced. With 3 billion in China and India markets, who cares if 200 million gringos no longer buy $200 tennis shoes. Even at $10 a pair, 3 billion people with feet is just as profitable. Do the math. As Henry made his model T affordable to his workers so will multinational manufacturers to their new consumers, Ching Li and Bansi Bhanuprakash.

As Ford Motor no longer makes money on autos, but on the interest in lending to buyers, Johnny White America is no longer a viable credit market. The day is here when minimum wage will not float a 5 year auto loan or home mortgage. When only the upper class John White can afford $1000 a month car notes welcome to the world of POS cars (piece of shit) and raggedy ass taxis that smell like dirty feet and cigarettes. IBM etal can pay Bansi and Ching to train, market, and sell to one another, who needs po' unproductive Johnny White? Have you researched who owns America's wealth? It ain't Johnny. But lets not look under the rock of capitalism.

White "privilege" is already installing little measures that will weed out ne'er do well Johnny White. Special "clear" cards for airline flyers. Banking, DMVs, and housing rentals are enforcing stricter ID guidelines all in the name of securing the homeland but sorting the chaff at the same time. Identifying economic status. The upper classes will find no hassle in paying extra fees, providing documentation, having underlings to take care of hasslework, to secure special treatment ID. At the same time it ensures even white folks who don't travel much are treated like the least of us. It ensures poor white folks don't lie to get that license, cable TV, telephone, HUD rental, cash a check, fix that DUI, or get a gun permit. Fortified America, with a lot of white folks joining the ranks of the brown folks who cannot afford to buy special treatment ID. Welcome to the back of the bus. According to Homeland Security many of the coming changes will allow the concentration on those groups which are more likely to perpetrate fraud, lying, etc. Not professional criminals, but the desperate and poor who lie and cheat like criminals, as the professional criminals are in charge anyway.

Oh I know the huffy protest about if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about…yonk yonk…but truth is: if you can afford to have it erased you have nothing to worry about. Like all bureaucracy, the price starts small so it seems a reasonable request. John White can tout it as "keeping us secure" while tens of thousands of white and pink collar jobs are shipped to India (ignore that records and identities are sold, stolen, or ransomed). They'll just sell us more identity protection to protect us. Oh, that's right, "it's a different world" now. Sure it is, for white folks.

And when BushCo announces a military conscription or facsimile of, to protect us, Johnny White's past sin of stubborn bigotry will muzzle him. He'll pretend he wants it. Johnny will have to keep feeding fodder to the capitalist system he created a few hundred years ago. A government gun will be the only status for millions like him. Throwing away perfectly good white boys to keep the system slogging on a little longer. And I know folks think America will never be a "has been" until it is one. The standard of living slipping gradually goes almost unnoticed and each generation thinking their standard is the way it always was.

It all brings to mind some of my residency in third world countries. While the majority of people lacked everything, the ruling oligarch lacked nothing. Those in uniform were the "middle class" with a few privileges and the chance to be noticed. Where most citizens lived in cardboard shanties, shacks or mud huts, were rationed food and water, and if lucky a few hours of electricity, those who ruled spent evenings poolside, dining on surf and turf, and briefly, but fashionably, discussing the plight of the country's poor before enjoying themselves. That's where Johnny White America is headed, but with the American flare for things: Out to the shanty, with TV, prescriptions and foodstamps, to squat with the rest of the world, gaze at the party lights in the big house and wait for a few dollars from Johnny's allotment check.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The American Public

I divide the American public into percentages. Somewhere between 40-60 percent will support an incumbent administration regardless of the incompetence of its actions or policies. This group has surface knowledge and minimal understanding of the effects of political fallout. Their data is usually very one-sided, but they think they're well-informed and smarter than average. They fluctuate between 40-60 because a subgroup of approximately 20 percent know nothing but will follow the other 40 percent who impress them as knowing it all. They will flip-flop and mimic whatever they see on Fox or CNN, whatever their lover believes, whatever the landlord, pastor, coworker, or anyone in their circle who sounds smarter with a bigger vocabulary. They're not picky, just fickle.

This 60 percent are the Americans who would have ignored Nixon's "crimes" had not the media drummed the notion that all good Americans wanted Nixon impeached. These are the Americans who didn't think lying about a blowjob was a big deal and laughed across the Heartland about it, unless the church lady was near. They may be a little on the slow side or pompous religious side but they believe in orgasm and lying. This group's recent 20 percent flip-floppers is evident in Bush's latest poll numbers. His hardcore base is still there but a small number of them have flipped and taken their spouses, lovers, neighbors, and coworkers with them. Not enough, however, to rid us of the republicaneocon scourge.

The next 25 percent are the hardcore; that small group that couldn't change a belief if proof to the contrary sat on their face. Usually far right but a tiny few are far left. They dream of political utopias where destiny would be manifested by fist and force until the populace is educated for thinking on its own (i.e. their way). This group is rigid and uncompromising but they place their support behind whichever party shows the slightest chance of bringing about even a fraction of their desired world order. A few are in the "hold the nose" and vote group because they're pretty sure neither party is going where they want to go, but they can state they voted and who knows, their "arian" or "ism" could be slipped in with a little executive ordering and constitutional tweaking. Neocons are the dream come true for many in this group.

The remaining 15 percent are those who understand politics and know there's a better way but their voice and ideas never gain momentum. They don't make enough noise. A few stragglers in the group maintain hope, for peace, justice, brotherhood. A few try grassroots change and other admirable methods. Many recognize the futility of believing in genuine political change but watch the process closely. Most never waiver in their beliefs. Some become expats, rant on blogs, evolve as icons for a small audience. Sometimes labeled "fringe" and marginalized, because their faith in a brotherhood, would unravel elite rule.

Unless it becomes trendy by the trend makers to oust BushCo and install a new political system (not gonna happen), that 40-60 percent and the wingnuts in the 25 percenters, minus the flip-floppers, is enough to ensure a Neocon Empire, or facsimile by any name, for decades to come. And, that's not even factoring in the high tech vote fraud the system is capable of now. The NWO arrived as planned, unnoticed and with no resistance.

Freedom Racket

Eureka. Found why the "insurgency" keeps surging. Apparently someone needs to convince some of the Iraqi MPs (and their constituents) that US troops are needed in Iraq, for protection. These 82 MPs called for US troop withdrawal in a letter recently made public.

"The government action drew fire from Iraq's main Sunni religious authority, the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS), which said that it turned the “forced occupation” into an “occupation urged”.

Hmm...so the Sunni, the minority in Iraq, advocates US stays as an urged occupier. Sunni, Saddam's favored sect. I guess we made them an offer they can't refuse...their old jobs and perks, but under democracy of course and minus Saddam.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Spoonful of Sugar

October 6, 2005 National Depression Screening Day® (NDSD), the first and largest nationwide, community-based mental health screening program, provides in-person and online screening for four of the most common and frequently co-occurring mental disorders: depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. NDSD will call attention to mood and anxiety disorders on a national level. Children as young as 4 years of age are being dignosed with bipolar disorder, anxiety/depression, OCD, and "conduct disorder" (CD), a disorder during childhood or adolescence that involves defiant behavior, such as violating social rules or hurting other people, often associated with ADHD.

My parenting experience showed "hurting other people" particularly siblings was a skill to master. My sons methods of inflicting bodily pain on one another I'm sure would render them in need of tranquilizing. Maybe NDSD is searching for 4 year old children who attack total strangers. What does "violating social rules" mean? Etiquette? As when my son called another kid on the bus a dickhead all he needed was medication? It must be genetic as every one of mine made attempts at defiance and bending the rules.

The NMHA (National Mental Health Association) web site (supported by Eli Lily) has an online screening test, you can take anonymously. Answering 9 simple questions will tell you how depressed you are, or not.

Here are the key symptoms of depression:
A persistent sad, anxious or "empty" mood
Sleeping too little, early morning awakening, or sleeping too much
Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
Restlessness or irritability
Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
Fatigue or loss of energy
Thoughts of death or suicide

I answered 5 in the positive range (sleeping too little, restless/irritable, erratic appetite, fatigue, thoughts of death, I'm not a spring chicken anymore) and scored as likely suffering from depression. My children excuse my symptoms as menopause, my grandchildren excuse it as Just Nana, and other family and friends claim I've always been an irritable restless bitch.

There are times when treatment is needed for mental illness but the industry today is not making a distinction between mental illness and the "shit happens" in life. Today the pharmacorporations in bed with medical PACs and government heads, tell us every bad day, every painful episode, anything seen as a negative and the emotional sequelae are a disorder to be alleviated through drug treatment. Life today is no more physically or emotionally difficult than it was for our ancestors but we like to think it's more complex and difficult. Try living as a slave, crossing the plains in a wagon, finding yourself on the battlefield in WWI sucking up mustard gas, sending your 8 y/o to work in a factory, then tell me we have it tougher.

The course is being set. A nation chemically dim-witted lest we feel any angst. Here comes the brave new mood. (But on the bright side, dispensing drugs soon and widely will make the War on Terror Forever more bearable.)

BushCo Butt Wipes

Porter Goss says:

WASHINGTON, June 19 (Reuters) - CIA Director Porter Goss said he has an "excellent" idea where Osama bin Laden is hiding, but the al Qaeda leader will not be brought to justice until weak links in counterterrorism efforts are strengthened, Time magazine reported on Sunday. Notice when Bush's approval slumping OBL is waved at us.

In his first interview since becoming head of the CIA last year, Goss also told the magazine the insurgency in Iraq was not quite in its last throes, but close to it. We are close to winning the war on Iraq, seriously folks.

Goss did not say where he believed bin Laden was hiding, but intelligence experts have said the al Qaeda leader who has evaded an extensive U.S.-led manhunt is probably in the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan. OBL is always in the Pak/Afgh region.

"In the chain that you need to successfully wrap up the war on terror, we have some weak links. And I find that until we strengthen all the links, we're probably not going to be able to bring Mr. bin Laden to justice," Goss said. "We are making very good progress on it." "Weak links"? as in CIA, FBI, ISI, MI, IIS, or GID or what? Making good progress, just like we are on those Mr. Anthrax Letters.

He cited some of the difficulties as "dealing with sanctuaries in sovereign states, you're dealing with a problem of our sense of international obligation, fair play." Goss added, "We have to find a way to work in a conventional world in unconventional ways that are acceptable to the international community." So now we're concerned with what the international community finds acceptable when using the unconventional?

Al Qaeda could strike the United States again, he said. "Certainly the intent is very high. And we are trying to stay ahead of their capability. And so far, I think we have done pretty well carrying the war to them, as it were," Goss said. The usual "could strike" again, and we took the war (on terror) to them, link Iraq and 9/11 okay.

Bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, sporadically release taped messages that have been broadcast on Arab television or on the Internet since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Intelligence experts say the messages are partly to reassure followers that the leaders are still alive. And to reassure Americans that they could strike again if we don't fight the war in Iraq.

In the most recent message, a videotape broadcast by Arabic television Al Jazeera on Friday, Zawahri said reform in Muslim countries and "expelling the invaders" could not be accomplished except by fighting. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a key figure behind the insurgency in Iraq, is aligned with al Qaeda. Goss again wipes Bush, Iraq…aligned…with…al Qaeda...we must expell the terrorists.

Vice President Dick Cheney has said the insurgency was in the "last throes." President George W. Bush says it would be wrong to set a timetable for withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq and that they will stay until local security forces are trained to take over. Yep, the war will be over any day, just stay the course (a Cheney wipe).

Goss said, "I think they're not quite in the last throes, but I think they are very close to it. And I think that every day that goes by in Iraq where they have their own government and it's moving forward reinforces just how radical (the insurgents) are and how unwanted they are." We're fighting a winnable war people, trust us.

Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, said on Sunday that he did not believe that the insurgency was in the last throes. "I don't think Americans believe that we should cut and run out of Iraq by any stretch of the imagination. But I think they also would like to be told, in reality, what's going on," McCain said on NBC's "Meet The Press." "I think part of that is it's going to be at least a couple more years," he said. It won't be much longer folks, just stay the course. A wipe from McCain.

Goss expressed relief the new director of national intelligence, John Negroponte, was taking over what previously had been some of the key functions of the CIA director. "I would almost equate it to getting rid of a 60-pound back sack, climbing up a big, steep trail," Goss said. Praise for conventional death squads which we're using on Iraq males and females between 14-65 who might be the enemy.


Altogether now, say: it's the same old IraqTerrorWarAlQaeda.

Shitty Sunday

Reports are that Iraq will be Bush's top priority this coming week as he attempts to reverse his rapid slide into the shitter. Speechifier William McGurn and crew are preparing rolls of TP for boy George.

Bush has already repeated the ignorance of "stay the course" which bled us 4 decades ago in a US murder spree. So expect to hear more "stay the course" this week in different terms. Bush's January State of the Union address was the first speech written under McGurn. A synopsis of that speech:

a. We have to help Iraqi take control of their own.
b. We have to shine a light on the problems with Social Security.
c. We are committed to diplomacy regarding Iran and N. Korea.
d. We are doing great economically.
e. We have outdated immigration laws.
f. We will end world tyranny.
g. We value family values.

As BushCo remains constipated on the Reality of Iraq we can probably eliminate b, c, d, e, and g. Bush will assure us our presence in Iraq will end world tyranny if we stay the course and help the Iraqi people take control of their own country. He will, in his best wheedle, flatter and toady to the memories of those who have already sacrificed life and limbs in Iraq. In his best methamphetamine inspired confidence he will label those too cowardly to "stay the course" as appeasers/pussies, not that bluntly but in proper McGurnism. Or in McGurn's rewriting of FDR, Lincoln, JFK as those are a few of his favorites.

We may hear a rehash of Abe Lincoln quotes on preserving liberty. The struggle is not just for today but the future, not just for the Iraqi but for ourselves. That God has planted the love of liberty in our bosom (make that heart or spirit) and future generations will rise up to bless and thank us, if we but stay the course. It is the eternal struggle between right and wrong (make that good and evil-doers) and we must not be tempted by the gloom of those who would have us turn away from the struggle. He could use a direct Abe quote: "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it." Yea, that sounds good for Bush's current quagstool.

On second thought, the old nazicons just might pull out some Fuhrer speech. It's not like the press will connect the dots or point it out. Some phrases (using the T words instead of Communism): "Terrorism and tyranny with its method of madness is making a powerful and insidious attack discouraging and dividing our nation…" That would put the blame for our lack of uniting back on terrorists, and also eloquently state the old "with us or against us" mentality of Bush.

"Terrorism and tyranny is a fight against culture and the idea of freedom, a war against tradition and honor. It is an attack upon all the foundations of our nation and thus an attack upon the bases of our life….We have to rise above our pain…" See, if we don't keep dying and killing we will lose it all. "It" being our right to make profit, consume gluttonously, gamble, drink, surf porn, and satiate our bases with whatever we damn well please but lets call it love for God and freedom.

McGurn glibbed so much in the first speech he wrote for Bush, the SOTU, with 40 minutes spent on alarmist Social Security b.s. that more of the same can be expected. But, maybe I'm wrong. Bush could order immediate withdrawal from Iraq, admit the DSM is true, and in order to fulfill his uniter claim he's calling for the arrest of hundreds of corrupt politicians, and turning in his resignation. Shit-cans himself (officially).

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Where We Going

According to Pew Research: "The steady drip of negative news from Iraq is significantly undermining support for the U.S. military operation there. With the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq exceeding 1,700, there is widespread awareness of the rising American death toll. As a consequence, baseline public attitudes toward the war are gradually turning more negative. Support for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq continues to inch up ­ from 36% last October, to 42% in February, and 46% currently."

The only way the republicans are going to pull their cajones out of the fire is to justify the Iraq War as part of the war on terror and ratchet up the threat level to US. Quite a feat even with the neocon machinery of propaganda, and would likely require another "attack" on American soil with many deaths and concomitant mayhem, followed by a very lengthy media trial of a perp or two or three who survived the televised gun battle with US authorities, but who lo and we told are members of an Al-Kaydi mixed bag of Iraqi, Somalian, Sudanese, and Yemeni crickets, with an Anglo or two thrown in just to prove you can't trust anyone now days.

At the moment it appears the neocons never have a backup plan for any of their profitable adventures, and those cajones may have to continue to crackle in the fire, but don't count on it. The way politicians operate today the democrats will bring them water.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Onward Ho

Let's assume the Downing Street memo, the most recent hope of the left to bring down Bush, does bring down Bush. Let's imagine that Bush is impeached for lying to start a war. Then what? Cheney is president, Bush heads to Crawford to live in a bottle, and the left has sweet revenge? Or lets go even further, Bush and Cheney impeached, heads roll, resignations are submitted faster than the press can print them, a few Club Fed prison terms, and going down the line of succession we have a new CIC few Americans have heard of but a man the talking heads gush and describe as a benign and wonderful fellow.

Nothing changes other than the name and face of the puppet. The left feels vindicated and is dizzy for months, at last, a political "victory" over the hated smirking chimp. Pundits of the rightwing will write books and articles on how Bush was justified in lying to war because we needed to remove Saddam, we needed to be in control of the Middle East, we needed to push for a more democratic Arab world.

With the impeachment of Bush for "memogate" most of America's leftwing would choose to be content. Afterall, there are only 2 worn out options: Either a conspiracy nut, or be satisfied with, euphemistically, the letting of a little blueblood. The rightwing would be pissed but would "get over it." For a few months there would be bipartisan photo-op kisses to soothe the agitated masses. Both sides would agree that impeachment proves American democracy works, just like we're told. America would puff out its chest and boast to the world "see, we're free, we impeached our leader." Democracy in action. A tiny bump in the road of the republic. Both sides would say it's faulty thinking to expect any more of America. Revive old mantras of "the system may not be perfect but it's the best we have."

Impeachment is not likely, and with or without impeachment (or resignation) the depravity and criminality of US politics remain. The theft of the 2000 election to ensure the front man was in place in order to pull 9/11, which conveniently led to war, is filed in the conspiracy bin with JFK, the Gulf of Tonkin, USS Liberty, and all the others. Rather than hammering on when the disgrace began and the power behind it, American credulity would be satisfied with a high level head or two. New bumper stickers, new headlines, new evil-doers, and the old malignant crusade for "freedom" marches on, no apology to the dead.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

New & Improved

Nemagon is a pesticide that was used on banana plantations in Nicaragua and other countries in Central America, the Caribbean, and the Philippines. It is derived from debromochloropropane (DBCP) and kills a microscopic worm which inhibits the growth and damages the appearance of bananas. Though banned in the U.S. since 1979 because workers in the plants manufacturing the product were found to be sterile, Nemagon was exported throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s to unsuspecting banana producing nations. The pesticide was produced by Dow Chemical, Shell Oil, Occidental and others.

Male victims of Nemagon suffer from reduced or completely decimated sperm counts, with 67% of the male banana workers in Nicaragua rendered permanently sterile. Female victims suffer with menstrual disruptions, skin discoloration, repeated miscarriages, uterine and breast cancer. Both women and men live with migraines, bone pains, vision loss, fevers, hot flashes, loss of fingernails and hair, hematoma-covered skin, liver damage, kidney and stomach cancer.

In January 2001, the Nicaraguan National Assembly passed Law 364, which was specifically designed to assist banana workers in gaining compensation from companies that produced or used Nemagon.

May 2004. Dow acknowledges that it has put pressure on the U.S. and Nicaraguan governments to eliminate Law 364. "The last clause of [the First Amendment] protects every citizen's, including corporate citizens, right to 'petition the government for a redress of grievances,'" says spokesman Wheeler. "Dow attempted to make the U.S and Nicaraguan governments aware of the total lack of fair play that Dow has been subjected under Special Law 364 and in the Nicaraguan courts."

While the final version of CAFTA does not contain language that specifically targets Law 364, if ratified, the free trade agreement's investment rules may lead to the gutting of legislation such as Law 364. According to Stephen Porter, senior attorney with Center for International Environmental Law in Geneva, CAFTA's investment rules parallel NAFTA's infamous Chapter 11, which allows corporations to sue governments if they feel that domestic policies or laws create obstacles to profit-making.

Agreement for Nemagon Victims
On May 13 (2005) members of the cabinet of Nicaraguan president Enrique BolaƱos signed an agreement with leaders of several thousand former banana and sugarcane workers whose health has been damaged by exposure to the pesticide Nemagon (dibromo chloropropane, DBCP), principally in the 1970s. The 19-point agreement includes free health care for the former workers and a housing project for some of the former workers who have nowhere to live.

The government also agreed to provide 300 coffins annually for the communities where the victims live.

CAFTA. The new, improved blessings of globalization.

Free Trade

Background on Middle East Free Trade Area Inititiative (MEFTA)

In May 2003, the President proposed a plan of graduated steps for nations in the Middle East and Mahgreb to increase trade and investment with the United States and others in the world economy. The first step is to work closely with peaceful nations that seek to become members of the WTO in order to expedite their accession. As countries in the region implement domestic reform agendas, institute the rule of law, protect property rights (including intellectual property), and create a foundation for openness and economic growth, the United States is taking a series of graduated steps, tailored to the countries' level of development.

Background on Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZs)

In 1996, Congress authorized designation of qualifying industrial zones (QIZs) between Israel and Egypt, and Isreal and Jordan. The QIZs allow Egypt and Jordan to export products to the United States duty-free if the products contain inputs from Israel. The purpose of this trade initiative has been to support the prosperity and stability in the Middle East by encouraging regional economic integration.

In order for a QIZ article to gain duty-free entry, QIZ factories must add at least 35 percent to the value of the article. This 35 percent minimum content figure can include value-added in Israel, Egypt, or the United States. QIZs must encompass portions of Egypt and Israel, though the areas do not have to be contiguous.

The United States has approved the request of Egypt and Israel to designate three QIZs -- the Greater Cairo QIZ; the Alexandria QIZ; and the Suez Canal QIZ that includes an industrial area of Port Said.

Since 1999, the United States has designated thirteen QIZs in Jordan. The United States and Jordan negotiated a full FTA that Congress approved in 2001. Exports from Jordan to the United States grew from $31 million in 1999 to $674 million in 2003.

QUALIFYING PRODUCT REQUEST EXAMPLE (All quotes in US dollars) A lot of shirts.

November 30, 2000. Jordan, Iraq Agree to Build Oil Pipeline Linking Two Sides

Jordan and Iraq will boost cooperation in the field of energy by building an oil pipeline linking the two sides, Jordanian Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb said here on Thursday.

Ragheb said during a meeting with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein that Amman and Baghdad have agreed to build a pipeline for Iraq to export oil to its oil-deficient neighbor, the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported.

Iraq, Jordan's only source of crude oil, supplies the kingdom with about 100,000 barrels of oil each day. Jordan currently imports oil from Iraq by land transport.

The Jordanian prime minister did not say when the pipeline will be constructed.

Ragheb said that he held "sincere and fruitful" talks with Saddam, who, for his part, expressed readiness to strengthen cooperation with Jordan "in all fields," INA said.

"Jordan will do its best to help lift economic sanctions on Iraq to end the suffering of the Iraqi people," Ragheb was quoted as saying.

November 12, 2004 Iraq and Jordan have signed an agreement to extend a pipeline for Iraqi crude oil via the Jordanian territories of al-Aqaba Port, along with a holding agreement to increase the volume of oil exchange between the two countries.

After paying a short visit to Jordan and Turkey, Iraqi Minister of Oil H.E. Thamer al-Ghadban said that signing the agreements would further enhance ties with all neighbouring countries, citing that the Jordanian side had expressed preparedness to increase volume of cooperation to serve interests of the both fraternal countries.

Hogwashed

Townhall must be in hog heaven having so many Black and/or Jewish writers putting out. Of the top 10 hogwashed articles, rated by TH readers e-mailing (may have changed by now), 1/3 of the topics tell us liberals and Blacks are lying about reality:

1. Walter E. Williams: Victimhood: Rhetoric or reality? (Liberals fooling Blacks into playing victims because Blacks are dumb and liberals are liars.)

2. Thomas Sowell: Looking back. (Will future generations look back at how we weren't militaristic enough on NK and Iran, kill more brown people.)

3. Thomas Sowell: Liberals and class. (Being stuck in your class system a liberal lie.)

4. Thomas Sowell: Liberals and class: Part II. (More liberal lies about race, class, gender.)

5. Jeff Jacoby: The slavery shakedown. (Bad Black folks, still want that 40 acres and a mule in today's dollars from nice corporations who aren't really guilty because it happened so long ago.)

Remaining articles on UN, Amnesty International, Hillary, the usual. But the first 5 above affirm that liberals are to blame for the quality of life for Black Americans. The articles state that upward mobility is available to all and point to the hordes of "recent immigrants" who have been successful. Why can't Blacks? Because the liberals keep Blacks in perpetual victimhood, yak yak yak. I first heard that talking point around the time of Bush II's run in 2000. The racist freeper types chanted the mantra in nearly every argument on any subject with anyone who had a whiff of liberalism in their tone. Jeff Jacoby, Jewish, should not have been assigned an article as inflammatory as "slavery shakedown" for what has the holocaust been but a 60 Year Racket? If 'twere me passing out assignments I'd have asked Williams to write the victimhood rhetoric or real on the Holocaust Shakedown. And Jacoby could have written a prosy piece on "looking back at brown people of the world and will we regret we didn't kill 'em all."

When offering the "immigrants are successful why can't more of yous Black folks do that" conservatives always forget to mention that many, if not most, of the "immigrants" they're talking about are given perks and benefits that the rest of us are not. Many of the immigrants these conservatives point to are the happy beneficiaries of policies which enable U.S. trade negotiators to offer non-immigrant visas with benefits in return for overseas business opportunities for US corporations. There's a fortune in grant monies to NGO and States for immigration programs, which leads to NGOs targeting immigrants with programs for education, health, housing, employment, business loans, etc. While there are similar programs for all Americans, the targeting and concentration on immigrants remains lucrative for grant seekers and thus the focused aid to immigrants is more beneficial to same. The Department of Health and Human Services, Department of State, Office of Refugee Resettlement, and after every US war there's a bounty of ad hoc task force agencies to atone to a few of the folks left standing after our liberation sprees.

Excluding Mexico (#1), in 2001 India was second in immigrants to the US, followed by China, followed by the Philippines, and Vietnam. Let's look at a few factors the conservative why-can't-you-be-like-them crowd never mention. Many immigrant programs focus on self-employment for immigrants. Often these (legal) immigrants are backed by middle and upper-class White business owners who don't want to deal with predominantly Black or Latino working-class customers and "use" Asian/Indian immigrants to serve as a "buffer zone" while they still control wholesale and distribution and the immigrant business "owner" is left to face the hostility that would be directed at Whites. A few studies show that Asian business owners make modest profits, often exploit their workers, use extended family labor for free or cheap, and rarely become the moguls the rightwing wants us to believe. They also rarely point to the foreign Mafiosi involved in immigration.

Another factor is that most immigrants are not the poorest of the poor. It costs quite a bit and requires preparation to immigrate. Legal immigrants as a group have a higher college degree rate and a higher rate of having an advanced degree (medical, law, or doctorate) than do the US-born. The "model minority image" has more to it than just good ol' ingenuity. Refugee and asylum seekers are often former government, military, and upper middle class citizens in their country of origin.

Another item rarely mentioned is the US preference for immigrant labor as opposed to the alternative to train and hire Black Americans. Only at the height of America's industrial age of blue collar workers were Blacks entering the middle class in record numbers, and only because there was insufficient numbers of immigrant labor at the time. American industry prefers a labor pool of brown folks fearful of deportation. Today with the manufacturing base shrinking, and the same bigotry, employers still prefer lighter skin immigrants, who, aided by tax money and do-gooders, benefit over Blacks in the work force. Most forward thinking Blacks are against immigration. We know it's another policy that aids in the destruction of Black America. Pay no attention to what Vincent Fox says.

The preference of less pigment is everywhere. Black stars, especially females, are generally light-skinned, body and facial features less Black. Male stars are allowed more pigment, but Wesley Snipes hasn't been around a lot lately. Female singers are lighter skinned. Rapsters are allowed blackness as the genre is considered thuggish and gangster which perpetuates the Blacks are sinister mentality. I've watched high profile Blacks grow Whiter and lighter, Colin, Oprah, etc. Whoopi is an exception to the rule. Employers will go with the lighter face nearly every time. We have a phrase 'light, bright, and damn near White.' What a difference a shade makes. Remember Texaco "black jelly beans" are stuck at the bottom of the bag.

There's a variety of reasons Blacks are not living up to the "model minority" images. Men like Williams, Sowell, etc. know why and should stop pretending it's nothing more than liberal policy. We can't all be tokens. This is not to excuse the behavior we see today; criminality, promiscuity, ignorance, English only momma can understand, drugs, immorality, are everywhere, but where are the pundits demanding to know why millions of poor Whites aren't living up to the model immigrant image? Where are the pundits pointing to millions of poor lazy Whites performing a "shakedown" as they cash their government checks and whine about Blacks on welfare and Mexicans at the border.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Really?

UPI Hears... A former Bush team member during his first administration is now voicing serious doubts about the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9-11. Former chief economist for the Department of Labor during President George W. Bush's first term Morgan Reynolds comments that the official story about the collapse of the WTC is "bogus" and that it is more likely that a controlled demolition destroyed the Twin Towers and adjacent Building No. 7. Reynolds, who also served as director of the Criminal Justice Center at the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas and is now professor emeritus at Texas A&M University said, "If demolition destroyed three steel skyscrapers at the World Trade Center on 9/11, then the case for an 'inside job' and a government attack on America would be compelling." Reynolds commented from his Texas A&M office, "It is hard to exaggerate the importance of a scientific debate over the cause of the collapse of the twin towers and building 7. If the official wisdom on the collapses is wrong, as I believe it is, then policy based on such erroneous engineering analysis is not likely to be correct either. The government's collapse theory is highly vulnerable on its own terms. Only professional demolition appears to account for the full range of facts associated with the collapse of the three buildings."

This story was around 3 years ago but no one "heard." Must be a great deal of nail biting in some circles these days.

Liar Liar

Before rushing off to thank Walter Jones (R-NC) for changing his stand on "freedom fries" and "freedom toast" and who recently became "anti-war," if we were given wrong information on the Iraq War…. I would remember a few things.

Jones now "regrets" the tremendous stupidity of coining the terms above, an idea he attributes to " God's hand and a constituent's request." He doesn't regret serving his country in the National Guard during the Vietnam era 1967-1971, but unlike his boss, Jones' records can be found. Once a democrat he switched parties after losing in 1992 and returned to win in 1994 during the congressional republican takeover, and has won every 2 years since. He now says the war had no justification and his change of heart came after attending the funeral of soldier killed in Iraq. Jones is the son of a politician, with 20+ years himself in DC, through Reagan and Bush I, and he's clueless on how wars are justified?

He introduced H. Res. 167 in support of Pantano, the Marine investigated for murdering 2 unarmed Iraqi who were running from him. Jones has a rightwing nut voting record, pro big business, favors prayer in school, opposes funding for more health care, strongly favors SS privatization, more military spending, etc.

Jones likes his 15 spotlight minutes. He calls the Minutemen militia at the US/Mexico border "heroes." He introduced H.R. 235, a bill that "Permits church leaders to express personal views on political matters or elections during regular religious services." Endorsing politicians from the pulpit, said by some the bill to make us a theocracy.

The man is a Bible-baiting Bushista. That he has had a sudden change of heart regarding Iraq is not to be believed. Maybe he gets off on 15 minutes on a regular basis. Maybe he smells a real change of heart among his North Carolina constituents and he's covering his ass for the next election. He's had no epiphany regarding any of his other extreme wing proclivities; he may have the odor of a wet rat, ship, etc. Jones is a good example of the conservative thug, lying from both sides of his mouth.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Presidential Term Limits

109th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. J. RES. 24

Mr. HOYER (for himself, Mr. BERMAN, Mr. SENSENBRENNER, Mr. SABO, and Mr. PALLONE) introduced the following joint resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

JOINT RESOLUTION

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the 22nd amendment to the Constitution.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:

`Article --

`The twenty-second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is repealed.'.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Frankendarwin

A new study by Gregory Cochran claims IQ among Ashkenazi Jews is genetic. The Economist also ran a recent article, Natural Genius. Gregory is described as a freelance, independent physicist from Albuquerque, New Mexico, although he has worked as a consultant for aerospace companies and now an "unpaid" faculty member at University of Utah. I suppose the "independent" is assurance that he works for no man, group, foundation, creed, or color. He made news with the theory that homosexuality is/could be/might be caused by a virus or germ. Known as an evo-bio (evolutionary-biological) genius in some circles. His theories are widely quoted in racial-genetic-profiling rightwing circles.

Gregory theorizes that the Ashkenazic Jews (those from Eastern Europe, France, Germany) kept to a small gene pool, which reduces genetic diversity, but in this case through mutation created a intellectually master race. Gregory's thesis has not proved anything but it might according to several reviewers of the study. A reverse Bell Curve for Jewish folks.

Stated in the Economist, what can "be shown from the historical records is that European Jews at the top of their professions in the Middle Ages raised more children to adulthood than those at the bottom. Of course, that was true of successful gentiles as well. But in the Middle Ages, success in Christian society tended to be violently aristocratic (warfare and land), rather than peacefully meritocratic (banking and trade)." Well, duh. Then, as now, banking/trade funded the wars for land/power. That would suggest that successful, wealthier aristocratic folks economically favor and wage wars. What an unusual idea, huh?

Gregory is pulling ideas out of his ass to make a name for himself. Doing nothing more than using pretentious language, disguised as science, to support racist stereotypes.

We Don' Need No Stinkin' TV

Corporation for Public Broadcasting will have appropriations funding cut, maybe, from $400 million FY 2006, to a picayunish amount of $300 million. While I consider myself progressive, defined as moving forward, I'm hard put these days to feel any ire over the matter, for various reasons. Firstly, CPB is another obese bureaucracy waddling and panting along offering the audience peanuts while taking in billions. Government welfare to the CPB is just under 15 percent of CPB revenues, the remainder coming from individual and corporate donors, colleges, foundations, Dept. of Education funds, auctions, and creative fund raising, i.e. soliciting bequests from the living for a dole when they finally die.

The Corporation's revenues for FY2003 was $2.3 billion. By law, 95 percent of this money goes to support local television and radio stations, programming, and improvements to the public broadcasting system as a whole. That's an awful lot of improvements for big birdseed, rabbit food, and Jim Lehrer. Considering CPB's yearly revenue and the amount of Congressional funding, this all looks like another distracting nit for picking. If CPB can't survive 100 million less from 2.3 billion, then they don't need to.

The number of hours worth viewing CPB are too few considering the funding available to them. Reruns, too many. Cartoons, too many. The news shows are too plod-along for a nation of hyperactive attention deficit adults. Local stations can remove programming not to their taste which limits what's available in small town and rural areas. Viewership figures vary depending on location and programming but the average is 3 hours per week per household, and that's the high-end households in cosmopolitan areas. Public broadcasting is for a narrow audience, limited in scope, and overall the majority of America watches little of it. The news programs may be informative, but the internet is better.

The leftwing has adopted the Buster episode, "Postcards from Buster" featuring a cartoon rabbit (Buster) who travels to Vermont to learn about maple sugar farming. While there, he visits two lesbian couples who also happen to be parents. Of course the Christian right is going to raise a stink. What fool doing CPB programming thought the right wouldn't? The left takes an offended posture that the CPB board is infiltrated with rightwingers, which it is, and that the conservative agenda is out to destroy or control, which it is. That's the political beast and nothing new, but rubbing lesbians under their nose isn't going to draw even moderate conservative support.

But what's really going on is the "grant" scam. CPB grants are offered to anyone who thinks they can slurp slop at the trough. Grants are a legal way of obtaining money for a purpose that you've outlined, inflating your proposal costs as much as possible because once you have the funds, your own nest will have new feathers. I.e. while there may be a very livable ceiling amount for administrative salaries in your proposal (usually family and friends), cell phones, SUVs, office cost (with another business you operate), and a laundry list of "perks" are covered. Another public kitchen where ordinary grant recipients cook the books and add a little more meat to their own pot.

Aside from the hanky-panky of grants, funding, and scammers who live on same, no one needs Barney, Big Bird, or a rabbit to teach tolerance and diversity. Like religion, such values should be taught at home. A boob tube to teach children about sex, right/wrong, tolerance or diversity is a very limited tool, and I don't see a need for such snob-appeal social engineering from those who would claim to be televising and teaching moral values, assuming diversity and tolerance are values.

We've had 40 years of televised "diversity and tolerance" and from where I sit, it has made little change in racism, homophobia, and ethnocentricity. You and I can legally drink from the same fountain, but we may not want to, and funding a cartoon or news show to tell us we should want to isn't going to make it so. Dedicated repetitive broadcasting of an idea is brainwashing but bureaucratic funding noise, gay cartoons, or other "tolerance" programs aren't going to convince anyone to embrace diversity and tolerance if those ideas aren't supported and experienced at home. Turn the television off and live your values. PBU24.

Friday, June 10, 2005

21st Century Minstrel Show

Barack Obama, who impressed so many, myself included, with his speech at the Democratic convention has criticized Howard Dean (DNC chair) for recent remarks. Dean said on Monday that the Republican Party was "pretty much a white, Christian party." As much as I dislike Dean he got that one right. Offended the vilest, most corrupt political party in our time? Whoop dee do.

Obama said: "As somebody who is a Christian myself, I don't like it when people use religion to divide, whether that is Republican or Democrat," "I think in terms of his role as party spokesman, [Dean] probably needs to be a little more careful and I suspect that is a message he is going to be getting from a number of us," Obama explained. Obama's version of "can't we all just get along."

Now how was Dean's truthful comment on the republican party used to "divide?" How was it even a divisive religious comment? I've been pissy with other democrats who spout warnings of be "more careful" with what you say, so now Obama, who I had hoped might have a pair, has instead his hat in hand, gazing at the floor, ready to sing and dance for the rightwing.

I should have stayed with my first impression last year when Obama was running for senate. When the republicans sent Alan Keyes to run as opponent I thought, what the hell is going on? they might as well call Obama the winner now. If the republicans wanted to guarantee an Obama win in IL they couldn't have made a better choice than to send the Republican party's Stepin Fetchit Keyes.

Obama could be tearing a new anus for Ken Mehlman (RNC chairman) for stating on Meet The Press that the Downing Street Memo claims "have been totally discredited by everyone who's looked at it," including the 9-11 Commission and the Senate, when in fact neither the Commission or the Senate looked at Bush's use of pre-war intel.

But instead Barack chastises the head of his own party over an honest narrow ass partisan comment. I have to figure Obama, intelligent and charismatic as he is, will play the Republican's Sambo, a docile Black who accepts the Republican's white Christian party etiquette.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

9/11 Bush Plot

TV show depicts 9/11 as Bush plot.


By Tom Goeller
THE WASHINGTON TIMES


A fictional crime drama based on the premise that the Bush administration ordered the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Washington aired this week on German state television, prompting the Green Party chairman to call for an investigation.

According to the plot, which was seen by approximately 7 million Germans, the dead man had been trained to be one of the September 11 pilots but was left behind, only to be tracked down and killed by CIA or FBI assassins.

The woman, who says in the program that the September 11 attacks were instigated by the Bush family for oil and power, then is targeted, presumably to silence her. The drama concludes with the German detectives accepting the truth of her story as she eludes the U.S. government hit men and escapes to safety in an unnamed Arab country.

As ludicrous as it may sound to most Americans, the tale has resonance in Germany, where fantastic conspiracy theories often are taken as fact.

"Any claim or suggestion that the United States government was behind the 9/11 disaster is absolutely absurd and not worthy of further comment," said Robert A. Wood, spokesman for the embassy.

A German diplomat in Washington said no one in Germany took the plot seriously because it was "pure fiction."

"It was so out of line with what people really think," the diplomat said, adding that the episode does not deserve further comment.

Pipelineistan

Pepe Escobar

History may judge it as one of the capital moves of the 21st century's New Great Game: May 25, the day high-quality Caspian light crude started flowing through the Caucasus toward the Mediterranean in Turkey. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC) - conceived by the US as the ultimate Western escape route from dependence on oil from the Persian Gulf - is finally in business.

This is what Pipelineistan is all about: a supreme law unto itself - untouchable by national sovereignty, serious environmental concerns (expressed both in the Caucasus and in Europe), labor legislation, protests against the World Bank, not to mention mountains 2,700 meters high and 1,500 small rivers. BTC took 10 years of hard work and at least US$4 billion - $3 billion of which is in bank loans. BTC is not merely a pipeline: it is a sovereign state.

This BTC state slices Azerbaijan in half from east to west, then slices Georgia in half almost from east to west, before taking a dip south, bypassing secessionist Ajaria and slicing Turkish Anatolia diagonally from the northeast toward the south. The founding stone is at British Petroleum's (BP's) gleaming terminal at Sangachal, half an hour along the Caspian south of Baku. The state is 44 meters wide, snaking 1,767 kilometers across three countries, two of those (Azerbaijan and Georgia) extremely volatile, and the other (Turkey) faces potential trouble from dispossessed Kurds.

Game not over
In terms of no-holds-barred power politics and oil geopolitics, BTC is the real deal - a key component in the US's overall strategy of wrestling the Caucasus and Central Asia away from Russia - and bypassing Iranian oil and gas routes. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, for instance, has just announced that Kazakh crude will also flow through the BTC before 2010. He even proposed to add Aktau - the Kazakh Caspian oil Mecca - to a new acronym (ABTC?). It's interesting to remember that BP always denied that it needs Kazakh oil to fill its pipeline.

Everything related to BTC spells tremendous ambition. It will take a few months to fill the pipeline - and for the supertankers at Ceyhan to be loaded with Caspian crude, thus bypassing the highly congested Bosphorus. BTC is projected to reach 1 million barrels a day - roughly 1.2% of global production. Compare it with the 500,000 barrels of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, which moves crude from Baku to the Russian port of Novorossiysk.

BTC makes little sense in economic terms. Oil experts know that the most cost-effective routes from the Caspian would be south through Iran or north through Russia. But BTC is a designer masterpiece of power politics - from the point of view of Washington and its corporate allies. US Vice President Dick Cheney, already in his previous incarnation as Halliburton chief, has always been a huge cheerleader for the "strategically significant" BTC. The verdict is open on whether this massive investment will be worth it. Instead of the dreams of a new Kuwait, the Caspian may hold only 32 billion barrels of oil - not much more than the reserves of Qatar, a small Gulf producer. The Caspian in fact may hold less than 10% of the total, known Middle East reserves.

Anyway, what really matters is positioning in the New Great Game. The Caucasus, the Caspian and Central Asia are up for grabs. European customers for Azeri (and Kazakh) oil and gas might rely on BTC for some of their supply. But the Russian counterpunch will come: President Vladimir Putin will not cease to seduce the European Union with loads of Russian, Caspian oil - plus strong protection - in return for loads of European Union investment. Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets.

Attention: Condi

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Golpe

Coup d’etat against George W. Bush seriously contemplated in Washington.

INTERNATIONAL FORECASTER editor Bob Chapman writes: Rumors have been circulating in Washington for the last year that a coup d’etat against George W. Bush and the neocons is being seriously contemplated in certain circles.

Within the military, because of the non-traditional use of the military and among high-level businessmen who see Bush as a disaster for American business ... especially in foreign trade.

The world is forced to fuel America’s profligacy and if they do not, they go into the pit with us.

US elitists have sucked everyone into the game ... the Ponzi scheme has not only entrapped the foreigners but it has entrapped Americans in debt, from which they will never be able to extricate themselves.

Wars will increase, we will have a draft and the use of mercenaries from every country will expand.

(It's been contemplated and rumors circulating for longer than the last year.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

What's Going On

The quarterly blogohype news is concentrating on the Downing Street Memo, the Qu'ran abuse, cover-up of Tillman death, Saddam's upcoming trial, the resurrected life and leg of al-Zarqawi, the Washington governorship, the standard: Iraq like Vietnam. At least the mostly phonied up weekly polls and pollsters are quiet, until those burning presidential election issues are revived (abortion, gays, education, gun rights and god).

Having lived through a few "police actions" and US wars, each guaranteed to make us healthy, wealthy, and safer than the last, I've noticed a thing or two. Those folks who do best all around, emotionally and physically, are oblivious to the War On Whatever We're Fighting This Time. The truth is for most people, it's much easier in every way to let "leaders" take care of war business and let Joe 6-Pak worry about his mundane life of car payments, little league, the boss on his ass, the wife on his back.

People might be surprised that most of America skipped Vietnam simply because it did not affect them personally. But for those who didn't there were forces not in play today. First of all it was a movement. But today's liberal leaders remind us we shouldn't use words like "movement" because the word has a negative connotation for the conservatives, who by some absurd reasoning liberals think they can lure from the republican base. The 1960s anti-war "movement" had media backing and exposure. It had a higher body count. It had high profile celebrities who kept the issue up front. It had cross-cultural unity and support. It had the spirit of Americans willing to risk life and limb at home to end a war. There is no "it" (movement) today. There's blogomania, a semi-regular "leak" on something/someone, online petitions, but no "it" taking to the street. It's a nerdy esoteric "it" that the majority is not interested in and the political body not worried about.

There are millions of town and country Americans who don't look often or at all at Iraq war, corruption, lies, treason. Not on their radar. These are the people, good, bad, and indifferent, who live unaffected by political machinations, other than a few cents more for gasoline and groceries. They may or may not vote, more than half of eligible voters don't, but politics are not important, other than a blip now and then if they catch a headline. They are the folks who can ignore war as the government machine churns out murder far away.

We pretend the public is more politically aware than it is because it justifies all that killing for the "freedom" Joe 6-Pak likes to prove he has (on the cheap) with flags, ribbons, a song. We pretend the masses are involved in the running of government because it floats the hope that as a nation we really are those "thousand points of light"…spread like stars throughout the nation, doing good….or around the world, when we are forced, our "offered hand" becomes a reluctant fist. We love our copy ad image to death. When absolutely necessary a resignation or two will satisfy the angry villagers while the monster machine keeps breathing.

The pathetic Bush Clan, scraping the bottom of the family barrel, had only a drunken little twerp to put up as front man to execute a plan that's been in the making for two decades. Come on folks, Bush II had to be chosen in 2000. Three thousand Americans were murdered on 9/11 as a means to an end. Rule by a fail-safe daisy chain known as BushCo, in bed with Zionists, the Saudi, Christian wingnuts, and Europe's loyal royals. Congress was not deceived into war, or the American people; it's just more tolerable not to know, or pretend not to know, what's going on.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Dear Phyllis

I remember Phyllis Schlafly's emergence into the public forum. I thought her a fool then and still do. She was the rightwing response to Friedan's Feminine Mystique and Steinem's Ms. I was living in Chicago at the time Ms. Phyllis began foraging for a career. A 1950ish version of Ann Coulter in a string of pearls wearing an apron. A two-time loser for a congressional seat (1952 and 1970) she vented her wrath on the "liberal" public in other ways.

She gained notice by preaching the manifesto of woman as subservient. She is credited with the defeat of the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) if you remember that one. She claimed passage of the ERA would require unisex bathrooms, taxpayer-funded abortions, same-sex marriage, the drafting of women into the military, an end to automatic maternal child custody in the case of divorce. Well good god Phyllis we've pretty much got most of those things going on anyway. All that noise and building your wall of fame didn't make womanhood any better.

The Stormfront White Nationalist Community praised Mrs. Schlafly "as a great example of a brilliant, strong Woman who is also a dynamic, dedicated mother and a submissive, righteous wife." Nevermind that she missed a few bake sales and recitals as she scrambled and shook to construct a lucrative career, built on the premise of convincing all the other little women to stay at home and submit to their men. Looking at divorce rates and women in the work force it appears that advice wasn't taken seriously. But as the Stormfront morphs it, you can be all things: Brilliant, strong, dynamic, and submissive. I guess that kind of genius goes over my head.

Schlafly, unable to win an election herself did the next best thing: Support and contort the ideas that allow politicians to waste time and tax money on frivolous issues while securing their luxurious mini-empires within the state. Mischief passed off as compassionate politics. Using the benefits provided by the feminist movement she built a career bitching about the evils of the feminist movement.

And of course she can be found with the sexually deprived, good 'n greedy super patriot Townhall hypocrites. President of Eagle Forum where she lists her favorite Bills to stop, pass, or support. All to do with renegade judges, pledge allegiance, marriage protection, illegal Mexicans, etc.

Schlafly's Eagle Forum produced a video that portrayed the feminist movement, multiculturalism, reproductive rights, gay rights, environmental concerns, global cooperation, and even chemical weapons treaties as part of a secret conspiracy to promote a socialist One World Government and New World Order.

The video, Global Governance: The Quiet War Against American Independence, claims that President Clinton is part of a conspiracy involving a small elite group of international power brokers who are close to government and "equally devoted to secrecy and the secret use of financial influence in political life." No shit girlfriend. You mean multinational corporations and politicians in bed together?

Phyllis is like most on the right. She spent a lifetime devising a liberal evil conspiracy theory, placed the burden of all social ills on democrats, the poor, the foreign, diversity, gays, feminists, but she still doesn't see how her own avarice has been used to further an agenda that knows neither right nor left, but uses both. She has to notice, after 50+ years of pounding an ideology, that most of what she has been against has come to pass.

Her rhetoric worked so well for so long but of late some stances don't blend into the rightwing seamlessly as they once did. It's dissonance dear. And that's what occasionally gives these hard-liners a quizzical appearance. More and more they're puzzled by their own lifelong, adamantly held, self-deluded bullshit.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Big Fish

Ever wonder how much flubbery gets by unnoticed? Interchangeable Pols

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Dean and Schundler used the same marketing-communications firm, Big Fish. Big Fish, said a junior staffer was responsible for the retouched photo, and Schundler had no knowledge of it.

Schundler is running for governor of NJ.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Fruit

Lol. Can't help myself. According to NYT For Fruit Flies, Gene Shift Tilts Sex Orientation . A genetically altered fly was released into an observation chamber and began the foreplay that fruit flies do when given a virgin female fly. Problem was it was 2 female fruit flies. One with an altered gene. Some think it may be the scientific poof necessary to end gay bashing. Sure, and proving melanin is a pigment will end racism.

It is not clear (at the moment) if there is a single sexual master gene for humans but from this finding on fruit flies: "The results are so clean and compelling, the whole field of the genetic roots of behavior is moved forward tremendously by this work," said Dr. Michael Weiss, (who is gay).

At the same time the article states that "The researchers cautioned that any of these wired behaviors set by master genes will probably be modified by experience." I'm surprised we don't have a much larger gay population if experience can modify wired behaviors set by master genes. Or does this mean experience will make some gays flame and some not? Simply activating the dormant male portion of the gene in a female fly caused a genetic female to display the elaborate foreplay of a male fruit fly. I want to know if there was evidence that other male fruit flies wanted to watch.

Past breakthroughs have shown similar genetic behaviors between human and primate. Aggressiveness, social structure. Both man and chimp will throw feces when caged. Dominant male chimps will delay sharing food with females who are not sexually disposed, i.e. the dinner date.

But hey, eugenetically speaking, someday these "scientists" can modify the sex gene to make us all "normal." On the other hand, you could go in bitching and come out switching, or is that swishing.

Gentility

The media formulated idea that Blacks disrespect education. White and Black pundits, celebrities, spokespersons, either paid or gullible enough, declare to the public that Blacks disdain education, have little input into the educational lives of their children, or in other words just plain ole' deserve that low slot in life as they fuck themselves with their own attitude. Well, folks, it's lies and more lies. Propaganda.

Is there a segment of the Black population that neglects their children's education, teaches them that books are for white people? Could be, but I put forth that it has less to do with color, and more of a caste thang. Where you're assigned on the totem pole. Which came first, the continuous media attempt to ugly-nize and dehumanize American Blacks or the overall shoddiness of the public education system? Our school system does what it's geared to do. Discourage, label, divide, and train the general population to accept their lot in life - following orders. The fact that so many today (of all races) choose ignorance over readin', writin', and regimenting makes the point that many children have decided to stay behind.

The Black inner city or lower class child may socially disdain education as a "white thing" but whites around the same rung of the social ladder disrespect education, judging by the fact that so many take so little advantage of it. Perhaps no white kid has been heard to say books are for "white people" but since the White Boy can't or won't do little better socioeconomically than his Black counterpart, it would point to a white lack of respect for education. Lets not forget the lower class neighborhood schools with the leaking roof, crumbling floors, and insufficient textbooks that contribute to the child's concept of what adults think of education. The same adults who prepare the school forms used for stats in the studies claiming Blacks disrespect education. Black or white lower class, whether they graduate high school or not, will have little to no training in critical thinking, none of the emotional or intellectual skills required for the adult world, little hope, and scant respect for society. (Plenty of those traits in the upper classes but they hide it or pass it off as eccentric.) But aside from the fact there's little respect for our educational system overall, why does the media focus on and proclaim lack of respect for education is a choice only Blacks are making?

It wouldn't matter if every Black in American earned a Bachelor or Masters and came from 2 parent homes the ruling class would still need an excuse to explain why Blacks cannot assimilate in larger numbers in American society. Likely the pundits would return to the theory that whites have bigger brains, oh wait, the Bell Curve did that a few years ago. A book funded and written for the rightwing agenda passed off as science, which as NYT columnist Bob Herbert said of the book it's "just a genteel way of calling somebody a nigger." Spreading the propaganda that Blacks have no respect for education is the same shit, packaged differently. It's a racist thang.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Big Itch

Years after his death in 1994, Nixon's "anti-semitic" tapes were released. The usual offended yakety yak from the Jewish community ensued. Many were especially pissed concerning the comments of Rev. Billy Graham. Graham told Nixon he believed Jews "controlled the American media, and called for the “stranglehold to be broken or the country’s going down the drain."

Graham: “A lot of Jews are great friends of mine. They swarm around me and are friendly to me because they know that I am friendly to Israel and so forth. But they don’t know how I really feel about what they’re doing to this country, and I have no power and no way to handle them.”

Nixon replies: “You must not let them know.”

Now Mark Felt, Jewish man at the F-B-I, not that he remembers much of it, boasts of bringing down Nixon via the media. Excellent example of a "bloodless coup." But better than a triangulated head shot in the plaza heh? Dumped Dicky and paid off Ford for the Warren Report. Nixon was allowed to live well, pardoned and undisturbed, for a good 20 years after his resignation. He must have had more tapes in a safe place that we will never hear; his social security and old age pension reels.

What I find surprising about Graham's opinion is not that he's a bigot or racist, but his idea that "Zionists are the good Jews." Egads!! Is that similar to the redneck logic that "there are Black folks and then there are niggers?" I've never understood the principle behind that backwoods maxim but it's said often in the heartland so it must make sense here in a Deliverance sort of way.

And I suppose in my lifetime I'll never hear the end of the standard excuse "Dr. Graham grew up at a different time and all of us have been affected by the generation with which we grew up.” Yes, I've heard that excuse for the founding fathers and their mulatto & quadroon babies. Heard that about the white folks who sent one another postcards of Black lynchings signed "wish you could've been here for this one." I continue to hear that "generation" excuse made for someone's mamaw or papaw here in the heartland who blurt a Black "sho' is purty to be a ni____ " and stop short but seldom embarrassed because they think you're probably not smart enough to finish the sentence for them anyway.

Were Nixon and Graham correct on the Jewish stranglehold? The media has rerun Holocaust footage and survivor testimonies to a degree not seen since Goebbel's playbook of repetition and repetition. What will Jews do when the last survivor dies? Every slight is anti-semitism. Jews are portrayed as a tiny group, hounded in a world where they are abused, criticized, and ridiculed, while the same media portrays racism against Blacks nigh unheard of because we have Condi, Colin, and Denzel. When was the last time a Jew was dragged to death behind a pick-up truck? Or taken into the Everglades and set fire to alive? Or shot by the police in his doorway pulling out his wallet? How many millions died in America's slave trade? Yea, let's compare media causts and what's been played the last 25 years.

Note too a lot of repetition in the media these days. Over and over "terror, war, moral clarity, appeasement, good and evil, free and open society." Is Natan Sharansky writing for Bush? Pardon, I digress.

Jews had to deal with the Truman diaries about the same time the Nixon tapes hit the fan. "I think we're all upset to hear it because it's so much easier to hold the view of him as the great defender" of Jews and of Israel, said Deborah Dwork, director of the Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. "It was comforting to hold that view, and now that view is challenged."

Before the diary comments were released, Truman was best known in Jewish circles for making the United States the first country to recognize Israel after the Jewish state was declared in 1948 -- and for passing refugee acts that allowed many Jews languishing in displaced persons camps to immigrate to the United States.

But the diary entries reveal another side to the buck-stops-here Truman, who succeeded Franklin Roosevelt as president in 1945 and served in the White House until 1952.

"The Jews, I find, are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as" displaced persons, "as long as the Jews get special treatment," Truman wrote in 1947.

At this point you're expected to believe that the words and thinking of past presidents was unknown but to intimate associates and diaries. Shock, surprise, no gossip in DC circles about who says what and the "other (unknown) side" of these men challenge the comfort level. If we didn't believe everything we're told I bet there's more unknown history to make us squirm.

Also during Truman's time the Republicans pulled out the "soft on communism" when Harry S. fired the hawk General MacArthur. The General had called for an attack on China unless Communist forces laid down their arms in Korea. Truman feared it would lead to a third world war. Had Republicans been successful in their attempt to nominate Mac in 1952 and he won the presidency we might have gotten that third WW.

Then under Dwight Eisenhower we had the Suez Crisis and the Berlin crisis with all the major players huffing. But, here again China, Russia, and the US ended their standoffs and after Khrushchev's visit to the US in 1959 Khrushchev and Eisenhower issued a joint statement that the most important thing on the agenda was disarmament and that the problem of Berlin and "all outstanding international questions should be settled, not by the application of force, but by peaceful means through negotiations." Damn, another potentially big one averted by Eisenhower and Khrushchev, appeasers.

And the unforgettable warning from Ike:

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

After Ike, JFK was eliminated, Johnson pleased the machinery with Vietnam, which he called his "bitch mistress" but his incompetence forced him to stand down a second term, and then Nixon was assassinated politically as he couldn't outsmart his enemies. Carter came in briefly so we'd think there's actually a 2 party system. Reagan and Bush definitely an improper meshing as the citizenry became increasingly dulled, doped, and dumber. Thank the gods Hinckley was a poor shot. Reagan did overt weekend wars, covert freedom fighters, but even the Beirut Bombing didn't piss him off enough for a big one. Daddy Bush gave us the Panama Kingpins War; he won. There's been a big itch for a big war for a long time, we're overdue.

Then came Clinton. Were there ethical quirks on his watch that prevented the US from getting a big one on? Anthrax mailers not ready? OKC not blamed on the right patsies? Kosovo didn't spill over? I have to grudgingly give Bill some credit, although he is systemically part of the problem, while in office he held off the character assassins for nearly 8 years, and got head while doing it.

Lastly, we have Bush the Boy, a wet brain with a big ego, a life spent mimicking emotions most of us actually feel, determined to scratch a big killer itch, pumping his fist in "feels good" style, smirking as we circle the drain.

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