I've ran into Molly Ivins Habeas Corpus, R.I.P. several times. Must be this week's "progressive" spoonful of rant and fear.
Seems the fear is the recently passed bill will eliminate the right of habeas corpus for those detained as enemy combatants. Fear for a law that pertains to non-citizens? I suppose Big Daddy Government's long arm could label many of us Joe Regular folks as "enemy combatants" but I've other things to fear (American education system for example).
Many seem to forget Clinton smoothed the way with similar "keepin' us safe" bullshit with the Comprehensive Terrorism Protection Act of 1995. All the rightwing sites at the time were rabid with claims of how Clinton's provisions would "present cause for grave concern with even the best of Presidents in office." Rants on the Clinton administration's brazen lust for power, and its shameless exploitation of the Oklahoma tragedy for political gain. The incessant power grabs of the Clinton administration … on and on, on and on.
Clinton was accused by the "right" of battling terrorism with tyranny, now the "left" yells the same slogan. Might say, without evoking Hitler but staying domestic, it's the same shit, different asshole.
Remember the first Republican, Abe Lincoln, also suspended the writ of habeas corpus in 1860 or '61; to be reinstated in 1866. Woodrow Wilson's imprisonment of Eugene Debs. FDR's incarceration of Japanese Americans. Etc. etc. Infringement on the peoples rights is at the whim of the powers that be.
Habeas corpus doesn't worry me. Nor the Patriot Act, which can be rolled back if the people want to. We need honest elections, public accountability of the government, and an honest press. Elections are rigged, the press 99% propaganda, and government pardons itself.
If pols are held accountable, elections honest and open, and the media "fair and balanced" even a dictator could be done away with. In 2000 when SCOTUS appointed the pResident it indicated Americans and their "representatives" would accept nonsense as reason.
Since the assassination of JFK I've watched the entire system slowly distort - crisis after crisis, hoax after hoax - making the American public dumber, dependent, and more infantile.
Everywhere I look Americans are dependent on government handout, from a few dollars worth to a few million – whether welfare mom, disability, corporate subsidy, or federal xxx-based initiative. Everyone I know receives some form of dole, outside of myself and family (although my sons joke the military is just welfare with honor). Americans are not outraged in great numbers because most are getting a free lunch somewhere from the government. They won't bite the hand that feeds them.
The "war on terror" is the newest lucrative industry to lead the sheep, from minimum wage airport worker to billionaire defense contractors. The times remind me of the serenity prayer: grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
The majority of Americans, with no serenity or courage, don't seem to know the difference. The most manipulated population on the planet bleating over planned and planted news bytes of fear and propaganda. Distracted with vague fuzzy threats to civil liberty, framed by poetic pundits from the "left" or "right" - while the legal plunderers plunder on.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
I've ran into Molly Ivins Habeas Corpus, R.I.P. several times. Must be this week's "progressive" spoonful of rant and fear.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Here's an old favorite, oft heard talking point which pretentious white folks use to pander to the dumber among them :
"… only Congress can declare war: Congress did not do so with either Afghanistan or Iraq."
But war was not formally declared by Congress for Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, "Contra War," Panama, Somalia, the first Gulf War, and others … yet millions died as a result of those "conflicts" or peacekeeping missions or "police actions."
What part of "congressional or UN authorization" do pinheads not understand? The US has always been a phony democratic republic, rewriting the rules, adjusting the paperwork to suit the agenda; you might even say - cookin' the constitution.
Posted by Kate-A at 3:06 PM
"There is no question that many of our policies have inflamed our enemies' hatred toward the United States and allowed violence to flourish. But it is the mistakes we made in Iraq - the lack of planning, the mismanagement and the complete incompetence of our leadership - that has done the most damage to our security." - Jay Rockefeller.
"I don't think there's any question that there's an increase in rhetoric. (But) I think it's difficult to count the number of true jihadists that are willing to commit murder or kill themselves." - Frances Fragos Townsend, White House homeland security adviser.
"On Election Day, that morning, if there's still the carnage in the streets of Iraq, then it will be clear that they have concluded that this administration's policy has failed and there will be a political price for it." - Joseph Biden, Democratic senator.
"We did not invade Iraq to fight terrorism as the president would now have us believe, but we're less safe today because the war in Iraq has hindered our ability to make progress in combating terrorism." - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
"It is the consensus opinion of our intelligence services that because of the Iraq war, the danger from terrorism has risen during the Bush years and the world and our communities are less safe. It is the consensus opinion of our intelligence services that because of the Iraq War, the number of terrorists has increased during the Bush years." – Huffington Post.
"The overall estimate is bleak, with minor notes of optimism. It depicts a movement that is likely to grow more quickly than the West's ability to counter it over the next five years, as the Iraq war continues to breed "deep resentment" throughout the Muslim world, shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and cultivating new supporters for their ideology." - WaPo.
"New jihadist networks and cells, sometimes united by little more than their anti-Western agendas, are increasingly likely to emerge," said Gen. Michael V. Hayden, during a speech in San Antonio in April, the month that the new estimate was completed. "If this trend continues, threats to the U.S. at home and abroad will become more diverse and that could lead to increasing attacks worldwide," said the general in the NYT.
"The NIE points out that defeat of the jihadis in Iraq would stop the movement’s growth. It also points out that jihadi success in Iraq would inspire more to join the cause. In that sense, Bush’s words in March 2003 were wrong at the time, but correct now." Newsweek.
---- Curious, the Iraq War has "united" jihadists the world over, worsened the threat of attacks at home, and bred deep resentment of the West throughout the Muslim world – yet the Shia and Sunni can't come together with a little "anti-Western agenda" long enough to kick the US/UK out of Iraq?
The NIE report gives both political parties a leg to stand on, i.e. for the Democrats the Bush War has made us less safe and for Republicans it's if we don't win in Iraq the Muslim evildoers will metastasize and get us.
Democrats will make vague claims they can do better at keeping Americans safe and win back international respect - running on "redeployment" platforms or "anti-war positions" that are no more clear-cut or feasible than BushCo's strategy (or lack of) to "win the war."
Republicans will slap everyone around on the swiftboat and remind them the democrats are pussiepols who supported BushCo's war because they didn't have the spine to speak up when it would have made a difference.
None of the SOB's will admit the only "win" that matters to them is the next election.
Hmmmm. Be afraid, be very afraid when the oxymoronic National Intelligence, only weeks from election, stretches its mouth to blow both sides of the aisle.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:09 AM
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
7-Eleven dropping Citgo gasoline : Sep 27, 2006 — HOUSTON (Reuters) - 7-Eleven Inc. said on Wednesday the war of words between Venezuela's leftist government and the Bush administration had no part in its decision to drop gasoline supplier Citgo Petroleum Corp., which is owned by Venezuela's state oil company.
The contract expires on September 30, 7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris said and the decision was made long before Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called President Bush "the devil" last week.
"People are making it out to be more than it is," Chabris told Reuters.
Amen. But those are not people, those are spin spin spin trolls and liars blaming a long-done deal on Hugo and the devil. Mindless chatter over the backyard fence by iddie biddies.
7-11, a (Japanese owned) retailer will replace Chavez's oil with supplies from several distributors, including Tower Energy Group in Torrance, Calif., Sinclair Oil of Salt Lake City and Frontier Oil of Houston. (7andI Holdings also last month bought White Hen Pantry.)
Doesn't Frontier Oil sound like a name the Bush Family Robbingsons would own? Chauffeured cowboys in oiled snakeskin boots.
Citgo/ PdVSA has always had to buy-in third party suppliers for some of the stations under the Citgo sign, as it did not produce enough gasoline/diesel to supply all. Citgo claimed a business loss on this practice for the last 20 years. The Citgo/7-Eleven contract was up and Citgo has went on to bigger and better, and more profitable deals.
HOUSTON (Aug. 16, 2006) – Lyondell Chemical Company today announced that it has acquired CITGO's 41.25 percent ownership interest in Lyondell-Citgo Refining LP (LCR) in a transaction valued at approximately $2.1 billion, including CITGO's portion of the refinery's debt. Concurrently, Lyondell has negotiated a new five-year, 230,000-barrel-per-day crude oil contract with a subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA) for the refinery. The new contract is based on market prices, which in recent years have been lower than those under the previous crude supply agreement.
Lyondell refining and marketing PdVSA's heavy crude, minus 7-11s among other less profitables which PdVSA has recently done away with (2 smaller refineries) = good business. Venezuela reaping an oily windfall as Chavez plans to build refineries at home, pipelines, buy tankers, etc. And doing so in such a confident manner that one might believe the price of oil at $50+ a barrel is here to stay (in case anyone thought otherwise).
Posted by Kate-A at 9:13 PM
Another call to sign. Why The World Can't Wait – Drive Out the Bush Regime!
Ever wonder if the reams of webpage signatures for the last 5 years is just another way "they" can collect information? Making their list, checkin' it twice, gonna find out - which peasants with internet access are signing up to "stop them"?
I remember the old days when word of mouth and printed flyers could have hundreds of thousands show up. No need to "sign up."
There's more than one name listed as endorsers to the "World Can't Wait/Drive Out Bush" who I would refuse driving anywhere with.
Besides, they want to "drive out the Bush regime" and I wanna drive all the sonsumbitches out, which includes more than a few democrats and various other fatcats. And get real folks – do you think you're going to "drive out" the Bush regime? By the time enough protestors haul their fat butts off a chair and protest, the next election will have come and gone, and it will be the republican netrooters' turn to call for an end to the Hill/Bill regime.
Stop looking for change via votes and puny gatherings of protestors. The time for massive protest was BEFORE. Anti-Bushians should have taken to the streets en masse in November, December 2000 when the "election" was obviously coup'ed, not that it would have made much difference in where we are today. We'd be looking at President Joe Lieberman (after Gore's convenient accident or assassination).
While there are good decent people calling for a general strike or school walk-outs for a day – a day won't even register on the political scale. Remember it took the Montgomery boycott 1 year and 16 days to make any social and political change. And the ruling class have a lot more at stake in war profits than they ever did in Alabama buses. You have to hit "them" in their wallets. Good and hard. Longer than a day. And oh yes, it will inconvenience the hell out of your lifestyle too.
Posted by Kate-A at 1:50 PM
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Set aside the rhetoric and gung-ho'ism (and ho' is a good term) of those voices praising Chavez as some sort of anti-BushCo leftist speaking for the little people, the reality of the situation is something quite different.
Some "investigative" journalists praise Chavez for suggesting oil prices should drop to a reasonable $50 or $60 barrel price. Crude oil, adjusting for inflation, throughout the last century averaged $18-23 a barrel, so yes indeedy, $50-60 is "reasonable."
Greg Palast: "When George W. ferried then-Crown Prince (now King) Abdullah of Saudi Arabia around the Crawford ranch in a golf cart it wasn't because America needs Arabian oil. The Saudis will always sell us their petroleum. What Bush needs is Saudi petro-dollars."
Hmm, so Chavez angers the BushCo regimen because Hugo interferes with the Saudi "petro-dollars" which are reinvested in US treasury bills, propping up BushCo's $2 trillion increase in national debt?
Fact is, China and Japan buy the bulk of US treasury bills. In simple terms, if the US dollar plummets, US consumers will stop buying, and the exporting/manufacturing economies of China, Japan, S. Korea, etc. would crumble. Woe to all those heavily invested predominantly Anglo shareholders. (Last year China replaced the US as Japan's #1 trade partner, US holding that spot since WWII).
Since taking office Chavez has threatened a few times to shut off supplying oil to the US. An empty silly threat as he needs the US market, at least until Venezuela has sufficiently tied its economy to China's.
Currently, China cannot process the "liquid asphalt" oil which Venezuela is rich with (which must have a barrel price above $30 to make it worth recovering), and shipping distance is another profit eater, i.e. shipping to Gulf Coast versus shipping to China. At the moment neither China nor Venezuela have the refineries to process the heavier oil (US refineries). So, while China and Venezuela are signing hefty business accords it will be a few years, perhaps a decade, before either see the economic benefits of investing, building, or buying new pipelines, tankers, and refineries.
Also usually unmentioned is the OPEC cartel was wobbly, very wobbly in 1999 when Chavez came to power in Venezuela and it is Chavez who led OPEC and advocated higher price oil within the cartel, in order for Venezuela's heavy crude to be profitable. OPEC didn't oblige Hugo, BushCo's war did; handing Venezuela/Chavez the economic opportunity of a lifetime.
China and Venezuela need oil priced at $30-50+/barrel to make their mutual business deals profitable. In January this year China and Saudi signed 5 business accords. Two years ago, 2004, China became the Saudi kingdom's largest oil customer. Only a fool would think China and Saudi sharing rides on a golf cart is unimaginable.
China, Saudi, and Venezuela. Who the shit do you think gave Hugo ascendancy within OPEC? The House of Saud maybe? You don't really think those Anglo elites in Caracas have ceded 400 years of power and wealth to Chavez's "Bolivarian revolution" do you? Puppet. The gains to the average Jose in Venezuela have been and will be minimal, but as with most revolutions Jose is buying hope.
Much the way America's deluded religious right buys into Bush bringing God and morality back. The way some buy into a democrat in 2008 bringing peace and prosperity back. Joe Clueless, oblivious to the fact that the US elite have never been Godly, moral, or peaceful, and prosperity has been for cronies, with nickel and dime social programs so Joe Mama's generation could produce a very docile ignorant underclass who pose no threat to the status quo.
Fact is, if Americans stopped their gluttonous pointless consumerism the global economy would be in deep trouble. Did you think Bush was kidding when he urged folks to go shopping? The corporatocracy doesn't want Americans to stop buying, not yet. However, we are headed toward the day when global fortunes depend little on the addiction of Joe Average squandering every dime he can get for junk he doesn't need. The day draws closer when Joe is replaced by billions of new consumers in other parts of the world. That's the drawback of capital = it must find new markets to exploit for more capital.
America's Joe Average is drawing his last breath, surrounded by television and the latest holiday plastic decorations, obsessed with the lives of celebrities and trying to float bad checks to buy lottery tickets. So dumbed down he thinks a foreign puppet's platitudes of "revolution for the poor" has meaning.
So dumb he'll buy it's "a clash of civilizations," that's the trendy term for the same old "threat" of an 'ism trying to get you Joe. It's bigger than "US hegemony" as all the global elite are in on this one. BushCo may be securing oil - but it's not for Joe Average's pointless spoiled existence.
So dumb he doesn't realize the enormous economic power he holds (for the moment), and if he does know he's too comfortable a coward to use it. Time running out and Joe Dummy trolls the net arguing over voting red, blue, or green.
It's simply and solely about the American elite abandoning Joe Stupid for new markets, where peons are ripe for consumer gluttony and false status of brand names, and all at much lower wages; willing to work longer for the same items on the shelf. It's the bottom line.
For several hundred years the global elite have moved in, used up, and moved out for greener pastures. Latin America, Africa, the North American continent. Leaving behind shitholes, landfills, ghettos, ghost towns, wastelands, and "tribal divisions" with a viable city or two for the pols and corporate headquarters as necessary. China's turn for massive "growth and development" is on the horizon. America's turn to be a "has been." Not a conspiracy per se – just business.
Think of it in business terms. There's been a corporate raid, a leveraged buyout. Joe Stupid was employed by America, Inc., which has been sold, and the new bosses don't need him, for anything.
To hell in a handbasket, but hey – good ol' boy Clinton gave the airheads and gasbags something new to fume on for a couple of days. Clinton telling it like it is – you know, how he came closer to killing OBL. That is if you believe OBL is/was alive and not a long-dead but useful name.
But do give Bush credit for capturing or killing OBL's #2 man, several times.
Did you notice some of the clips shown of Clinton, a striding, handsome, fit, trim, gracefully aging man with initiative who just wants to save the world, from AIDS? Dammit, they really are going to give us the Clintons again in the WH. I swear, the US smells more like a third world country every day; all this shit and sulfur and garbage in the halls of power. Must be why pols and pundits, journalists and anchorheads are wealthy – they're paid to spread that odor around.
Posted by Kate-A at 12:36 AM
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
BUZZ: "The rate of violent crime in America increased last year for the first time since 1991, according to a new FBI report. The increase coincides with dramatic cuts to state and local law enforcement funding by Republicans each year since President Bush took office. The $2.3 billion recently approved by the House amounts to nearly half of the $4.5 billion appropriated in 2001.
In addition to the jump in violent crime overall, the rates also increased last year for murder, robbery, and aggravated assault. The rates for every category dropped steadily under President Clinton and his massive funding boosts for law enforcement.
These findings indicating that Americans are less safe under the Bush Administration come as they continue to spend billions in Iraq while gutting domestic police support and underfunding vital Homeland Security projects."
--- Bu..bu..but I thought we were becoming a "police state" under Bush? Yes, Clinton did an excellent job of buffing up the prison industry. He funded million$ in the gun buy back program that took a few old and broken guns off the street. He created Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), a federal program from the 1994 Crime Bill "to increase community policing in local jurisdictions nationwide." What COPS accomplished is anyone's guess. It is said Clinton put 100,000 more cops on the street, yeharr Bubba. And, of course the ATF was kicking ass when Bill was boss.
If you look at FBI stats, such as this, you'll see in the 5 years after Clinton left office the US population has added another 15 million bodies. And that violent crime has dropped from 1,425,486 in 2000 to 1,390,695 in 2005. In fact, violent crime has dropped every year since 1994, according to DOJ.
And "underfunding vital Homeland … projects." Those terrarists gonna get us for sure.
A new Explosive Detection System (EDS) designed to scan checked baggage at airports is here. Thanks to Analogic Corporation, Peabody, Massachusetts.
Know what's really odd? Analogic's "war on terror" deal netted the company $200 million in revenue in fiscal 2003, thanks to the need for "war on terror" products, yet last week "Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Senator John F. Kerry, and Congressman John F. Tierney announced that Analogic Corporation of Peabody will receive a grant for $199,000 from the Department of Homeland Security. Analogic will use the funds to improve baggage screening and implement new airport security technology."
Does that seem like chump change or what? Oh, nevermind, it's a grant (comes back as campaign contributions).
Posted by Kate-A at 10:50 PM
Eva Cassidy singing "People Get Ready" (Curtis Mayfield, written in the heat of the civil rights movement)
Simply Red singing Harold Melvin's "If You Don't Know Me By Now"
Rappin 4 Tay – "I'll Be Around" (The Spinners)
Illapu (prounounced eeyapu), was formed in 1971, in Antofagasta, in northern Chile, by the brothers José Miguel, Jaime, Andrés and Roberto Márquez Bugueno. A later addition to the group was Osvaldo Torres. Illapu comes from the Quechua word meaning "Lightning Bolt". Their music was Folklore Andino. In 1981, because of the repression under the Pinochet regime, they were forced into exile - going first to France and later Mexico City. In 1988, due to the improved political climate, they returned to Chile. Their 1993 album (En Estos Días), which contained the hit single "Lejos del Amor", won 7 platinum records.
Posted by Kate-A at 3:58 PM
Thursday, September 21, 2006
CDC Backs HIV Test for All Between 13-64 to prevent spread.
ATLANTA Sep 21, 2006 (AP)— All Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 should be routinely tested for HIV to help catch infections earlier and stop the spread of the deadly virus, federal health recommendations announced Thursday say. (Say? fire that proofreader.)
"I think it's an incredible advance. I think it's courageous on the part of the CDC," said A. David Paltiel, a health policy expert at the Yale University School of Medicine.
CDC lists the new and improved rapid HIV tests. Bernard Branson, Associate Director for CDC Diagnostics and HIV/AIDS Prevention. "New Strategies for a Changing Epidemic."
Hmmm. Sounds like the same old strategies of "we're here to help you with a phony epidemic" ; please approve expenditures in the billions to the pharmaceutical companies. CDC, guardians of disease control, promote the sale of rapid diagnostic HIV tests, tests which the FDA has been approving "rapidly" the last couple of years.
(I read last week the CDC, with St. Jude's, has developed a bird flu vaccine. Hopefully, the money makers will be content with money made from the research and not need a real epidemic.)
And while we're giving away money, and Big Daddy Federal will give away money, lets not forget Africa needs testing. Close to 98 percent of the deaths in Africa attributed to AIDS is done so without an autopsy or lab work - simply the Anglo do-gooders and local folks listing cause of death as AIDS because it keeps the money coming. Of the 38 million worldwide with HIV/AIDS 34 million live in Africa and Asia. You think poverty, lack of food and access to water have anything to do with wasting away and dying?
Deadly virus, or the most successful corporate snake oil scam in history.
Posted by Kate-A at 1:35 PM
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Rise Up Against the Empire. Chavez speech to the UN.
CHAVEZ: "First of all, I would like to invite you, very respectfully, to those who have not read this book, to read it. Noam Chomsky, one of the most prestigious American and world intellectuals, Noam Chomsky, and this is one of his most recent books, 'Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United States.'" [Holds up book, waves it in front of General Assembly.] "It's an excellent book to help us understand what has been happening in the world throughout the 20th century, and what's happening now, and the greatest threat looming over our planet."
CHAVEZ: "It reads easily, it is a very good book, I'm sure Madame [President] you are familiar with it. It appears in English, in Russian, in Arabic, in German. I think that the first people who should read this book are our brothers and sisters in the United States, because their threat is right in their own house.
The devil is right at home. The devil, the devil himself, is right in the house.
"And the devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil came here. Right here." [crosses himself] "And it smells of sulfur still today."
--- I thought I was reading the Onion at first, Hugo beginning his speech with a plug for one of Chomsky's recent books. Then I too began to smell something, but it wasn't sulfur.
Synopsis from Google of Noam's book: "For over half a century, the United States has been pursuing a "grand imperial strategy" with the aim of staking out the globe. Its leaders have shown themselves willing to follow the dream of dominance right up to the edge of extinction. Chomsky investigates how we came to this moment."
How you came to this moment? Umm, your European ancestors put a bounty on native scalps, kidnapped, enslaved, murdered, maimed, fleeced, supported dictators, and thieved anything and everything of any value? And how many times do I have to tell you Noam, it – is – not – just – US leaders. Think global, hon. There's a lot of folks in on this, not just Bush and the Queen's thug.
Hugo, obviously aware of the average reading level of Americans, assures would-be intellectuals that Hegemony or Survival "reads easily." Hugo could have suggested the writings of men who experienced Anglo imperialism/oppression up close and personal, i.e. Che or Steve Biko or Malcolm. But no, Hugo recommends reading of the tweedy jacket w/elbow patches type.
Another specious section of Hugo's speech: "I don't think anybody in this room could defend the system. Let's accept -- let's be honest. The U.N. system, born after the Second World War, collapsed. It's worthless. Oh, yes, it's good to bring us together once a year, see each other, make statements and prepare all kinds of long documents, and listen to good speeches, like Abel's yesterday, or President Mullah's . Yes, it's good for that. … But we, the assembly, have been turned into a merely deliberative organ. We have no power, no power to make any impact on the terrible situation in the world. And that is why Venezuela once again proposes, here, today, 20 September, that we re-establish the United Nations."
--- Re-establish the United Nations? You mean give power to that nasty bunch of old men involved in pedophilia for food, oil for food, sex, bribery, and have never enforced resolutions against Israel? How much power would they like? Enough to have stopped the Korean War, Vietnam, Central American wars, Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iraq? How many Iraqi children died under UN approved sanctions? How many died in apartheid for decades while the UN "adopted" resolutions? God please don't let the UN adopt me.
Chavez offers suggestions for the UN. One is "strengthen the role and the powers of the secretary general of the United Nations." Cue bono? I'm sure the global elite would like nothing better. All the world reps in one purse agreeing to renew "peacekeeping" missions. Intervention by vote. Why not change the title to United President, we pledge allegiance to one monolith, with liberty and conformity for all.
Chavez, in his iconic "leftist" presidency, launched a public-education campaign in Venezuela to teach the people that it's their duty to pay taxes. If you think that's justice you need to research the incomes and lifestyles of 80 percent of Venezuelan citizens. Hugo halted privatizing the aluminum industry (leftists cheered); in the meantime he removed restrictions to foreign investment in oil, gas, mining, tourism, petrochemicals. (Backdoor to privatization, wink wink.) He passed a natural gas investment law providing favorable conditions for foreign investors.
Unfortunately, there has not been a rush to invest by investor nations, aside from Russia, Iran, and China. All of whom in the long-term will likely prove as imperialistic as the US for the average Venezuelan.
Still there are those who put their faith in the "era of 21st-century socialism" brought about by putting forward a "capitalist path of state development." But I warn you – anyone who says 'capitalist' and 'socialism' are working together is using code for wealthyfare/serfdom.
Or in Chavez own words: "We need to bring the invisible hand of the market and the visible hand of the state together in an economic system where there is as much of the market as possible and as much of the state as necessary."
Oh how those market possibles and state necessarys get tangled and reversed in the process of joining invisible and visible hands, but it all sounds so darn good.
For the short-term, fortunately for Chavez, the Iraq War strengthened Venezuela's oil based economy, big time, as the country was another Argentina meltdown waiting to happen. Chavez's political life and national coffers have been and are two of the biggest beneficiaries of US imperialist aggression in the Middle East. Is that invisible too?
Posted by Kate-A at 7:38 PM
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Penis Transplant Removed After Two Weeks
Sep 19, 2006 (AP)— Chinese doctors say they successfully transplanted a penis on a man who lost his own in an accident, but had to remove it two weeks later because of psychological problems experienced by the man and his wife.
It says only that "an unfortunate traumatic accident" left him with a small stump, unable to urinate or have sex normally.
The penis came from a 22-year-old brain-dead man whose parents agreed to donate his organ.
Fourteen days after the penis transplant, the recipient and his wife requested that the organ be removed "because of the wife's psychological rejection as well as the swollen shape of the transplanted penis," the surgeons report in the journal.
Lab examination showed no sign of rejection, the doctors report.
-- If I were a guy I don't think I'd give up my new penis to pee with because the wife didn't like its swollen shape.
Posted by Kate-A at 4:04 PM
After Tip From Ally, U.S. Sent Muslim to Syria for Questioning.
TORONTO, Sept. 18 -- Canadian intelligence officials passed false warnings and bad information to American agents about a Muslim Canadian citizen, after which U.S. authorities secretly whisked him to Syria, where he was tortured, a judicial report found Monday.
The report, released in Ottawa, was the result of a 2 1/2-year inquiry that represented one of the first public investigations into mistakes made as part of the United States' "extraordinary rendition" program, which has secretly spirited suspects to foreign countries for interrogation by often brutal methods.
The inquiry, which focused on the Canadian intelligence services, found that agents who were under pressure to find terrorists after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, falsely labeled an Ottawa computer consultant, Maher Arar, as a dangerous radical. They asked U.S. authorities to put him and his wife, a university economist, on the al-Qaeda "watchlist," without justification, the report said.
Arar was also listed as "an Islamic extremist individual" who was in the Washington area on Sept. 11. The report concluded that he had no involvement in Islamic extremism and was on business in San Diego that day, said the head of the inquiry commission, Ontario Justice Dennis O'Connor.
Arar, now 36, was detained by U.S. authorities as he changed planes in New York on Sept. 26, 2002. He was held for questioning for 12 days, then flown by jet to Jordan and driven to Syria. He was beaten, forced to confess to having trained in Afghanistan -- where he never has been -- and then kept in a coffin-size dungeon for 10 months before he was released, the Canadian inquiry commission found.
O'Connor concluded that "categorically there is no evidence" that Arar did anything wrong or was a security threat.
Although the report centered on Canadian actions, the counsel for the commission, Paul Cavalluzzo, said the results show that the U.S. practice of renditions "ought to be reviewed."
"This is really the first report in the Western world that has had access to all of the government documents we wanted and saw the practice of extraordinary rendition in full color," he said in an interview from Ottawa. "The ramifications were that an innocent Canadian was tortured, his life was put upside down, and it set him back years and years."
--- Let me see, Canadian intel felt pressured to find an enemy. So they ran their fingers through the white pages and stopped on the first Arabic sounding name, Arar. Canada then passed bad information and false warnings to the US on Arar, who just happened to have been in DC on 9/11/01. A year later, the US detain Arar, fly him to Jordan, and drive him to Syria to be tortured.
At about 6:00 p.m. he is taken into a building which he later finds out is the "Far Falestin" or the Palestine Branch of the Syrian military intelligence.
I was taken into a building, where some guards went through my bags and took some chocolates I bought in Zurich. I asked one of the people where I was and he told me I was in the Palestine branch of the Syrian military intelligence. It was now about 6 in the evening on October 9.
Arar is called from his cell and told to collect his things. He is blindfolded, put in a van, and driven back to the Palestine Branch. He is put in one of the interrogation waiting rooms and kept there for seven days. The entire time he is there he hears prisoners being tortured and screaming. Arar is devastated and does not know what is happening to him."
Wow. Syria, with Palestine intel, operating "black sites" for the CIA. Now what's a nice country like Canada doing framing a guy like this?
Today Bush assailed Iran and Syria at the UN: "Bush said Syria's leaders had made their country "a crossroads for terrorism" and told Syrians: "In your midst, Hamas and Hizbollah are working to destabilize the region, and your government is turning your country into a tool of Iran."
I guess Syria and Palestine intel won't be torturing for the CIA anymore.
Posted by Kate-A at 2:57 PM
Monday, September 18, 2006
One, obvious one, they believe the slop thrown to them by the "progressive" elites. I could cite hundreds of specifics but pretty much anything found on CommonerDreams, TruthOut, AntiWar, DissidentVoice, Online Journal, DailyKos and other liberal lounges, etc.
Icons everywhere - Palast, Moore, Chomsky, Fisk, Blum, Leopold, Madsen, Huffington. They're like friends you enjoy conversations with but wouldn't want watching your back in a real fight. They would, as a friend should, shriek "watch out!" as the knife is driven between your shoulder blades; not willing to get into the fray and muss up their hair or nails. All the favorite progressives telling us to "wake up" are themselves part of the scam, or are nodding off much of the time, waking long enough to sell a new book on the evils of the incumbents.
Watch closely as more than a few sites/icons change sides when the oval office changes party. All changes of heart are attributed to the search for truth and justice of course, not because antagonism markets better. Many of them "open their eyes," sometimes every 4 to 8 political years.
Ninety-eight percent of the time reading a "liberal" site is like reading Freepers, in reverse. Progressive "movements" ? Where ? You mean the Camp Demo thingy at Washington Mall? Yes, impeachment, yes! Impeachment stopped Billy Jeff Clinton from getting anymore blowjobs in the WH. What did they say it would stop this time?
Secondly, progressive leadership wastes political energy on issues that are either a.) unwise in the long-term, such as supporting immigration in a nation already short on jobs, healthcare, fair social programs, quality education, etc. or b.) focus on staged scandals that change nothing, i.e. Plamegate, Monicagate, Torturegate, WMDgate; the leaking and outcome was planned long ago for these gaters. Hell, everyone with half a brain knew SH didn't have WMD and "they" knew you knew and planned for it.
Remember the benefits of Watergate, Billygate (Carter), Contragate, etc. Today's "gate-keepers" think the gates are much more serious today, it's not your grandfather or father's "gate"; sort of the way every generation of teens think their generation is the first to discover really, really serious hot sex.
Everyone will be given enough feel-good foddergate to claim their side won a point. It's all political carnival via talking heads cacophony mixed with sneering and jeering, while 75 percent of Americans on the street with Letterman wouldn't know who or what is a Plamegate. Shit, they still think Saddam had WMD and in on 9/11.
Thirdly, white progressives pretty much dismiss Black America aside from the handful of figureheads who are part and parcel of the status quo. Many Blacks feel "progressives" are more concerned with Middle East victims, Abu Ghraib, Hispanic immigration victims, and Gitmo prisoners; more than they are with Tyrone forced to toss prison salad for the guys in C block. Progressives do fall for "the system is just so he must be guilty" syndrome and therefore let us not dwell on American prisons. Especially, if employed or benefiting from the industry. Put out a documentary and they'll come back to the issue when foreign problems are calmed down and they need an interim cause.
Katrina could have been an opportunity to ignite and mobilize angry Black America but leading progressives spent their energy lambasting BushCo on logistic failures and corruption during and after the storm. Neither the "left" or "right" in this country want to see an angry Black America again. Mission accomplished. Put out a documentary. Domestic issues, please go to the rear of the bus.
Fourth, progressives shill about voting rights for Blacks (and whites). As if voting has made a difference in anyone's lifetime. Lets vote a few dollars more so Taqueta's momma can sit in the projects getting government nickels and dimes to raise Taqueta's crack babies. So momma can watch her cable all week and every other Sunday fry up some chicken to take to Tyrone at DOC (department of corrections). And you can change those names to momma, Peggy, and Darrell for millions of other "voters." Yessiree, millions of mommas and Taquetas and Tyrones and Peggys and Darrells – all worried about their right to vote a Democrat into the WH.
All are supposed to worry about "voting rights" when elections are rigged, parties corrupt, in a system that has always been based on elite white privileged hegemony? Progressives slash left slash liberal slash democrats – blind in one eye and can barely see out of the other. But, as with the "right" their "core base" is who they're playing to. A base as dumb and gullible as the right's.
Progressive leaders dismiss Black power as quickly as the "right" does, but will trot out McKinney and Maxine as needed. Middle and lower class white and Black love 'em. These occasions are the system's way of occasionally allowing lower classes integration. But generally best to keep the poor and middling focused on separate race-gender-income-industry specific issues, while shilling these "together" events as some sort of unity, a collectivism of the masses.
Name 'em security moms, soccor moms, Nascar dads, Gay uncles, Black vote, laptop moms, youth vote, the Latino vote, southern vote. So many voters, so little power. Votes, whether counted or not, are the game cards that say - you win democracy, go directly to Same Old Avenue.
Fifth, progressives consistently demand no one "feel their pain." When you feel no pain you feel no responsibility or motivation to change anything. Pain at the gas pump because no one wants to car pool or ride a bike? Pain at a few dollars more co-pay on Ritalin for Johnny Sit Still or Daddy Badback's Vicodin? Pain because Stacy and Bill cannot pay this month's credit card bill and can't include them in bankruptcy for the third time because of new bankruptcy laws?
Americans do not know pain, and neither the "left" nor "right" will allow too much pain. Besides, free counselors and prescriptions await you as the ground water grows more contaminated with Prozac. Pain can be a lifesaver and the ruling elite will not have you suffer past a certain controlled point of misery. Your level on the social ladder determines how much misery (zero at the upper rungs). Case in point, when Black America reached a level of unbearable suffering the Civil Rights movement was born, forcing change, although Detroit and other cities had to burn and good people had to die. Today's progressives won't sacrifice more than 3 weeks on the mall, and even then it's reasonably certain the National Guard and dogs won't be there.
Sadly, too many Black Americans threw away the social gain in exchange for a lifestyle of do-nothing, blame others; make babies and get high without responsibility; also the lifestyle of choice of a much larger group - poor and middling whites who lost their special spot in the social hierarchy for simply being white.
But "progressives" came to rescue with substance abuse programs and information that the CIA flooded LA with crack cocaine. However true it may be the truth changed nothing, but hey, folks can keep frying their brains and go to the clinic every felon charge or go to prison, and it's the CIA/government's fault. Oh, and lets open those borders and make it easier on the CIA as I hear Mexico makes meth now. Think how many trailers it will save if Darrell doesn't have to cook that shit.
"Progressivism" has simply been another can of whupass for the average American who describes himself as liberal, left, progressive, green, democrat, etc. Same chain, same masters, just standing on the auction block thinking he's the buyer while he's being sold every 4 years.
American "progressives" rankle my rancor much more than the "right" ever could because I have always known the "right" to be liars and a$$holes, but expected more from so-called "progressives" - disappointment is a bitch.
Posted by Kate-A at 3:32 PM
CAIRO, Egypt Sep 18, 2006 (AP)— Al-Qaida in Iraq and its allies warned Pope Benedict XVI on Monday that he and the West were "doomed" and proclaimed that the holy war would continue until Islam dominates the world.
The Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of Sunni Arab extremist groups that includes al-Qaida in Iraq, issued a statement on a Web forum about the pope's remarks last week on Islam. The authenticity of the statement could not be immediately independently verified.
"You infidels and despotic, we will continue our jihad (holy war) and never stop until God avails us to chop your necks and raise the fluttering banner of monotheism when God's rule is established governing all people and nations," the statement said.
The group said Muslims will be victorious and addressed the pope as "the worshipper of the cross" saying "you and the West are doomed as you can see from the defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere … We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose head tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (killed by) the sword."
--- Herr Pope Benadick doing his part for the "clash of civilizations" and scaring believers with Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Conveniently nothing is ever "immediately independently" verifiable but Bubba has heard the threat of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and is a believer, he "gets it". Even if Bush is a liar about WMD, Al-Qaeda in Iraq is real and someone has to protect his way of life – his right to discuss propaganda … er news, down at the diner over biscuits and gravy.
Sunni. Ain't that the same tribe Saddam was from Earl? And damn them ragheads Bubba, they have a problem with worshipping Jesus on a Cross? even if the Pope ain't a Baptist he's a Christian. Yea Bubba, we're gonna have to nuke them sonzabitches if al-kaydie in Iraq think they can beat us.
Stay tuned for beheadings, to add emphasis to the warning from Al-Qaeda in Iraq. One thing the world will never agree on - how to spell al-Qaida (in Iraq), which by the way means "the base" and also is jihad slang for "the toilet", the category the PTB throw most of the world into.
Posted by Kate-A at 9:42 AM
No he doesn't.
"The information that the Central Intelligence Agency has obtained by questioning men like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has provided valuable information and has helped disrupt terrorist plots, including strikes within the United States.
For example, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed described the design of planned attacks of buildings inside the U.S. and how operatives were directed to carry them out. That is valuable information for those of us who have the responsibility to protect the American people. He told us the operatives had been instructed to ensure that the explosives went off at a high -- a point that was high enough to prevent people trapped above from escaping."
- Someone flunked reading comp 101. Stop reading "abovetopsecret" goofy or you'll never wake up.
Posted by Kate-A at 7:18 AM
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Ex-presidents usually become statesmen, lecturers, authors, civilian diplomats, sit as board directors, etc. etc. But, as George the Boy has zero ability for success on his own and even less inclination toward altruism, what will he do after the WH?
Authoring? From the man who boasted he never reads a newspaper. His years in the WH would be ghost written fiction.
Lecturing - out of the question as he's lingually challenged.
Diplomat/statesman? – maybe if negotiating with Satan himself on how hot the fire.
Board of directors – nah, now that the boy has served his purpose, no one will provide George the Incompetent a 6-7 figure income simply for favor with Poppy and Babs.
Georgie will be months away from his 62nd birthday when he leaves office in 2008. An age when many people are still mentally fit, capable, active, and eager to keep going. But George is neither fit nor capable and in 6 years I have yet to see the boy "eager" unless you count the night he decided to launch war in Iraq when he struck his fist against a palm and said "feels good!" From a perverse little boy to a perverse little man, Bush the Sadist. He's not the first ruling thug to have a woody from power over life and death but definitely the most stupid.
Boy George has nothing going for him. No charm, no charisma, no speaking ability, no creative intellect. Not a Nobel peacemaker.
Unlike past presidents, there will be little use for the fool come January 2008, if not before.
The recent movie in Toronto D.O.A.P. (Death Of A President) which depicts the assassination of George W. has "infuriated Bush supporters" although few have seen the film. I admit, it's the first movie in years I've wanted to see.
GW would be more useful to the elite "doap-ed" than running his mouth in drunken rampages around Crawford, and the little hypocrite will revert back to old habits.
As art is sometimes prescient, maybe D.O.A.P. actually stands for "description of a project."
Posted by Kate-A at 1:38 AM
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Dog Chapman & Wife.
other thugs and skanks
PORTLAND, Ore. — When Susan Kuhnhausen returned home from work one day earlier this month, she encountered an intruder wielding a claw hammer. After a struggle, the 51-year-old nurse fended off her attacker by strangling him with her bare hands. – You go girl.
GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (AP) -- Two 17-year-olds suspected of plotting a shooting spree at their high school were obsessed with the mass killings at Columbine High School and had homemade bombs and weapons at their homes, investigators said Friday. Police found nine rifles and shotguns, a handgun, about 20 "crudely made" bombs, camouflage clothing, gas masks, two-way radios and hundreds of rounds of ammunition at Cornell's house, Police Capt. Lisa Sterr said. She said Cornell had made several bombs about two months ago. – William and Shawn, poster boys for a generation of poorly parented & nuture-starved offspring raised on junk food and boobtube.
Muslims Demand Pope Benedict Apology. Benedict cited an obscure Medieval text that characterizes some of the teachings of Islam's founder as "evil and inhuman" — comments some experts took as a signal that the Vatican was staking a more demanding stance for its dealings with the Muslim world. - Elderly Nazi hairshirt dissing the opposition party.
Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Arnold Schwarzenegger sits on a folding chair next to a low stage set up on Venice Beach in Los Angeles. On the stage, Jerome Ferguson is wearing a purple velour G-string, combat boots and nothing else. His heavily muscled, oiled body glistens in the sun. After Ferguson strikes a few classic bodybuilding poses, the hit song ``Who Let The Dogs Out?'' comes pounding through the loudspeakers, and he begins dancing around the stage, throwing his fist into the air. The Republican governor of California rises, pumps his own fist in the air, and leaps onto the stage. Ferguson turns toward him. "I love you, Arnold," he says. Schwarzenegger strides to the nearly naked bodybuilder and clasps Ferguson's hand in his own. The crowd roars its approval. Welcome to politics in California. Schwarzenegger, 59, is more than a governor. He is a cultural phenomenon. He came to California from Austria at age 20 with only "dreams and a gym bag," as he likes to say. He became a world-famous bodybuilder, a movie star, a real-estate mogul and chief executive of the most-populous state in the U.S. - California politics, pump and grind, meet the "right" friends, no brains necessary (who you know and blow phenomenon).
Posted by Kate-A at 7:50 AM
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
"Ramadi has become a base of operations for Al Qaeda. Ware says, "Al Qaeda is almost untouched in its area of operations, and in the city of Ramadi itself, al Qaeda fighters are constantly attacking U.S. troops. Brigades sent to Ramadi are losing, on average, 100 American soldiers and Marines every year. And we don't see that abating. So, here's the heart of Al Qaeda in Iraq, and there's simply not enough troops and no strategy to combat it."
Al Qaeda leadership enjoys near free reign in an area north of the Euphrates which is the size of New Hampshire. The U.S. can only deploy a few hundred troops to this area. Ware laments, "They can do nothing to hamper al Qaeda's leadership in that area."
CNN Michael Ware: Al Qaeda dominates all the other groups so effectively that it is in charge. So, this is where American Marines and soldiers go face to face every day with the very organization that attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and yet it seems that they're being forced to do so under-resourced and with one arm tied behind -- behind their back.
--- See Bubba. Bush was telling the truth, finally. Al Qaeda dominates a large part of Iraq. Al Qaeda enjoys free reign and troops can do nothing to hamper Al Qaeda leadership. It's the heart of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Keep repeating "al Qaeda in Iraq, al Qaeda in Iraq, al Qaeda dominates in Iraq, al Qaeda in charge in Iraq" – it's their area of operation - the very al Qaeda organization that attacked WTC on 9/11. Just like Dubya said Bubba, al Qaeda in Iraq.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:28 PM
PMC's, a booming business.
"ENABLING OUR CLIENTS TO OPERATE IN A GLOBAL HOSTILE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT"
AMA Associates Limited
Combat Support Associates
CSC (purchased DynCorp)
Global Risk International
International Charter Inc. of Oregon
International Security & Defence
Group 4 Securicor
The Steele Foundation
Vinnell Corporation (purchased by Northrup Grumman)
Corporations that offer private military solutions as part of diversified catalogues of services : Bechtel, Booz Allen Hamilton, Carlyle Group, Titan Corporation, Thales Group, Veritas Capital.
… "rest assured that these PMCs are working hard to bring tactical safety to the world, enhance security, justice and well-being, defeat the threat of violence where ever that leads them, more powerful than a consortium, faster than a wire transfer, able to leap bankers in a single bound, look, it's supermercs."
P.S. You, Joe Workingpoor and John V(anishing) Middleclass, are not their "client." You are a potentially "hostile environment."
Posted by Kate-A at 8:11 PM
Monday, September 11, 2006
A young man in a small row boat is singing "Row, row, row, your boat, gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream."
God watches the man and wonders, "What would happen if I removed ¼ of his brain?" So God does. The man continues to sing, although somewhat slower "… row … row … row … your … boat … gently … down ... the … stream … merrily ... merrily … merrily …"
God wonders "What would happen if I removed ½ his brain?" So he does, and still the man rows and sings "……. row ……… row ……… row …….. your ……. boat ……. gently …….. down ……. the ……. stream ……. merrily ……. merrily ....... merrily ......."
God wonders "What if I removed all his brain?" So he does and the man sings - "Beeee all that you can beeee, join the Aaaaaarmy."
Posted by Kate-A at 11:58 PM
Situation Called Dire in West Iraq
Anbar Is Lost Politically, Marine Analyst Says
By Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 11, 2006; Page A01
The chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq recently filed an unusual secret report concluding that the prospects for securing that country's western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there, said several military officers and intelligence officials familiar with its contents.
The officials described Col. Pete Devlin's classified assessment of the dire state of Anbar as the first time that a senior U.S. military officer has filed so negative a report from Iraq.
One Army officer summarized it as arguing that in Anbar province, "We haven't been defeated militarily but we have been defeated politically -- and that's where wars are won and lost."
The "very pessimistic" statement, as one Marine officer called it, was dated Aug. 16 and sent to Washington shortly after that, and has been discussed across the Pentagon and elsewhere in national security circles. "I don't know if it is a shock wave, but it's made people uncomfortable," said a Defense Department official who has read the report. Like others interviewed about the report, he spoke on the condition that he not be identified by name because of the document's sensitivity.
Devlin reports that there are no functioning Iraqi government institutions in Anbar, leaving a vacuum that has been filled by the insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq, which has become the province's most significant political force, said the Army officer, who has read the report. Another person familiar with the report said it describes Anbar as beyond repair; a third said it concludes that the United States has lost in Anbar.
Devlin offers a series of reasons for the situation, including a lack of U.S. and Iraqi troops, a problem that has dogged commanders since the fall of Baghdad more than three years ago, said people who have read it. These people said he reported that not only are military operations facing a stalemate, unable to extend and sustain security beyond the perimeters of their bases, but also local governments in the province have collapsed and the weak central government has almost no presence.
Those conclusions are striking because, even after four years of fighting an unexpectedly difficult war in Iraq, the U.S. military has tended to maintain an optimistic view: that its mission is difficult, but that progress is being made. Although CIA station chiefs in Baghdad have filed negative classified reports over the past several years, military intelligence officials have consistently been more positive, both in public statements and in internal reports.
Devlin, as part of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) headquarters in Iraq, has been stationed there since February, so his report isn't being dismissed as the stunned assessment of a newly arrived officer. In addition, he has the reputation of being one of the Marine Corps' best intelligence officers, with a tendency to be careful and straightforward, said another Marine intelligence officer. Hence, the report is being taken seriously as it is examined inside the military establishment and also by some CIA officials.
WaPo staff writer Sources :
1. Chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq (or assistant chief?), Col. Peter Devlin's classified report – is Devlin aware his report is leaking like a sieve?
2. Several military officers and intelligence officials who are "familiar" with the report.
3. One Army officer.
4. One Marine officer.
5. A Defense Department official.
6. Another person.
7. A third said.
8. Said people.
9. These people said.
Damn Sam, I could make up shit from "these people said" sources. And take it just as seriously.
Sgt. Major gives the usual report from Anbar, but who can ya believe.
(#3 son in Anbar)
Posted by Kate-A at 10:43 PM
Bush personally signed off on Khatami visit. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush personally signed off on a visa allowing former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami to visit the United States because he wanted hear his views, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
Cindy Sheehan mission accomplished. Lying here in my motel room recovering from my fourth trip to the emergency room in a little over two weeks, I found out from a Trib news story that I have become “irrelevant” to the anti-war movement.
Coke Cola opens plant in Afghanistan. "This is another step forward for economic growth, self-sufficiency and better living standards for Afghanistan," Karzai said in a speech inside the plant, where 350 people had new jobs.
Chicago bellies up to designer beef. Today, diners at a handful of restaurants can select a steak that in its cow days ate nothing but sweet, tall grass. They can sit down in a restaurant where every steak comes from cattle that shared the same father. Or they can enjoy a piece of beef that is exactly like one designer Ralph Lauren dines on at his Colorado ranch.
FDA fines American Red Cross $4.2M. The violations include failing to reject donors who had traveled to malarial areas and allowing blood and related products to be distributed without proper testing, said Margaret Glavin, the Food and Drug Administration's associate commissioner for regulatory affairs.
Posted by Kate-A at 7:46 AM
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Reports are that Bush acknowledged last Wednesday the existence of secret CIA prisons. I have read the transcript from said speech and I'm not getting quite the same admission of "CIA torture camps" that many writers are running with.
Bush admits that … "it has been necessary to move these individuals to an environment where they can be held secretly [sic], questioned by experts, ….
How that tallies up to 14 secret CIA prison camps in Europe is beyond my math and logic. Why so many prisons for the few "terrorists" captured by the US?
"Held secretly" could be right here in the USA. Claims of 14 top suspects having been relocated to Gitmo - does that mean each detainee had their own country of torture? Bush stated there are currently no prisoners in this CIA program. Can we expect dozens, if not hundreds, of former CIA prisoners to write a detailed exposé of torture?
Bush admits nothing in regard to torture and in fact reaffirms that the US does not torture. He states " … the CIA used an alternative set of procedures. These procedures were designed to be safe, to comply with our laws, our Constitution, and our treaty obligations. The Department of Justice reviewed the authorized methods extensively and determined them to be lawful."
Yep, Bubba, them lawful, so says Bush and DOJ.
All prisoners in this secret CIA program have been transferred to Gitmo, but as more terrorists are captured the program will " … be crucial to getting life-saving information."
In this speech Bush reassures Republicans the program protects America, saves lives, and gives ample talking points to his supporters, while giving the "left" a bumper sticker - "Bush Tortures." He assures us congress is busy with a "good bill" he's sent them … "For the sake of our security, Congress needs to act, and update our laws to meet the threats of this new era. And I know they will."
Of course they will GW, congress is obligated to the new orderly world contract too.
Given that the "war on terror" is as bogus as the "war on drugs" and the "war on poverty" what makes anyone think Wednesday's speech was truth? If the CIA is running a torture program, and they have and do, the CIA and other international intel agencies are not giving pols and we the peons the details. They're going to do what they're going to do and we're not in on it.
Now "gatekeepers" get busy and spend a few months arguing over this latest "revelation" of program and procedures. Argue as if you really have a voice in the process of governments and their intel operations.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:56 AM
Saturday, September 09, 2006
For US students, Defense Department’s National Security Education Program, will be infusing more than $750 million during the 2007 to 2011 fiscal years to groom skilled personnel in languages deemed critical."
"[T]his program is a part of a strategic goal, and that is to protect this country in the short term and protect it in the long term by spreading freedom,” said Bush. "We’re facing an ideological struggle, and we're going to win."
"That’s what people in this country expect of our government," said Bush. "They expect us to be wise about how we use our resources, and a good use of resources is to promote this language initiative in K through 12, in our universities."
The president did not discuss with the college presidents the much larger language initiative, which is coming through the Defense Department.
Additionally, $27 million would go toward creating continuous language study programs, beginning in kindergarten and going through graduate school, through the Defense Department’s National Security Education Program. That initiative will require a commitment to work in a government job for at least two years. Officials did not have exact details about the continuous programs, but they said that kindergartners would not be in danger of committing to government labor.
--- Although I've always supported the idea of teaching foreign languages in kindergarten, it wasn't through DoD. Some critics suggest moving the program to the Department of Education - sure, then we can go back to sleep as the DOE is trustworthy.
My vote says this is more federal departmental pork than education; hog heaven, grooming a few faithful piglets for future service.
Posted by Kate-A at 9:03 AM
Friday, September 08, 2006
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the steroidus teenieweenie supremie, has apologized for his remarks on Cubans and Puerto Ricans being "naturally feisty and temperamental because of their combination of "black blood" and "Latino blood."
He said the tape-recorded comments "made me cringe" when he read them in Friday's Los Angeles Times.
Gratefully, not caught on tape, was Arnold stating all Blacks can sing and dance, and Black men have huge penises (a stereotype most Black men believe too) because, of course, their African blood.
Schwarzenegger aides routinely tape his speechwriting sessions so the writers can keep a record of his thoughts and speaking patterns. – Huh? Will his thoughts be monumentally important some day?
Arnie Arnie what were you thinking? And then, apologizing for innocent remarks – makes you sound so "girlie man."
Posted by Kate-A at 2:50 PM
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Rice likens Iraq and Civil War critics. "Asked if she still thought the decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 was right, considering the cost in lives and treasure, Rice said, "Absolutely."
Rice claims both Iraq and the Civil War had their critics and both wars were justified. "… it was the right decision to fight and see the wars through."
Rice: "I'm sure that there were people who said, "why don't we get out of this now, take a peace with the South, but leave the South with slaves." No proof anyone said such a thing, but Condi is sure there were people who said it.
With all her education Ms. Rice parrots the public elementary school textbook's chapter on the Civil War : the war was fought to bring freedom to slaves. (Good ol' boy Abe Lincoln, father of the Republican party, used "liberation" spreading freedom as the war mantra.)
For Rice, dropping bombs on Middle East children is likened to the "war against slavery". For all her illustrious credentials and education Rice fails to see Afghanistan or Iraqis as fighting against Anglo slavery/occupation.
Secretary of State Rice advises a stay the course, no slave left behind policy. She must believe her own rhetoric, now that she has finally gotten her 40 acres and a mule.
Then again, maybe that permanently embedded threatening scowl she wears is not from being the "most powerful woman in the world" but from distaste for a life spent carrying shitpots as chambermaid on the BushCo plantation.
Posted by Kate-A at 3:35 PM
Ex-Attorney General Helps Firms Get Homeland Security Deals.
Not long after leaving government Ashcroft finds his "niche." Founder of Ashcroft Group LLC, a "lucrative consulting company helping security and other firms find business with federal agencies. Federal spending on homeland security is expected to reach nearly $60 billion in fiscal 2007, according to the Office of Management and Budget."
Ashcroft's firm has 30 clients, many of which make products or technology aimed at homeland security, and about a third of which the firm has not disclosed, to protect client confidentiality. The firm also has equity stakes in eight client companies, a trend the company plans to continue as it gradually turns its focus toward venture capital.
Clients include : Nanodetex Corp. in New Mexico, which offers technology that can detect airborne pathogens such as anthrax or liquid explosives such as the type authorities say a group of terror suspects planned to use to blow up passenger jets between Britain and the United States. Nano was formerly MCL Technologies Corporation, a "homeland security technology company".
Exegy Inc., a Missouri firm that does high-speed data mining. Exegy was originally Data Search Systems Inc.
Innova Holdings Inc., a Florida company, makes software that can remotely command robots and drones, or unmanned vehicles, the sort that police borders or fly above the mountains and valleys of Pakistan and Afghanistan searching for al-Qaeda cells.
Dulles Research LLC, a small Northern Virginia firm that claims its technology can detect illicit networks like the group of men who went on to hijack four planes on Sept. 11, 2001. The firm says its technology detects the threat of terrorist behavior by analyzing people's actions -- not their identities, an effort to safeguard individuals' privacy. (Behavorial analysis, acting right.) Ashcroft also sits on the advisory board of Dulles Research.
ChoicePoint Inc., a data marketer that gathers public records and sells access to them. ChoicePoint, another Florida racket that has been in the news more than once.
Ashcroft, a Republican and former U.S. senator and Missouri governor, said there are "real reasons" why the government should not be in the business of warehousing information. "The private sector does a better job of maintaining and developing information," he said. So says Ashy who lost his senatorial bid in 2000 to a dead man, Mel Carnahan.
So you see folks, the government is creating jobs in the "private sector" – for their friends and friends of friends … 60 billion dollars worth. Let the dollars soar …. Like they never have before ….
Posted by Kate-A at 10:47 AM
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
It begins, At long last … Camp Democracy (formerly Camp Casey) moves from Crawford Gulch to the National Mall in DC for a 17 day fun-filled event.
On initial reading of Camp Demo's site I thought finally the push is on to DC. After further reading I sadly report the whole affair is simply more of the same managed, staged, packaged, fake-assed "opposition."
PoliticsTV has a video link of Camp Democracy, a "coalition" of various activist groups, holding a kick off press conference at the National Press Club, announcing plans for protest and workshops on the Washington Maul in September.
The announcer, and one of many members "putting together Camp Democracy," is David Swanson. He mentions that "constitutional crisis" we have on a regular basis. And how opposed the majority of Americans are to "this administration" not the system that breeds so many crooks and liars.
Also announced on the video is that Cindy Sheehan, due to health reasons, has cancelled all participation in coming events for September. Sheehan has served her purpose and is being retired ? or are there some ego issues going on among the opposition leaders?
Swanson promises Camp Demo will empower you, give you new skills to save the republic. Show you how to organize, mobilize, lobby, sing, dance, teach, and learn at workshops, films, performances, and training. A carnival of family fun, campily restoring democracy.
There is a link to the schedule of what's happening each day. "Tents will provide activist activities, trainings, workshops, and entertainment on these themes: End War: Peace, nonviolence, accountability, and impeachment | Human Rights: Civil Rights, Immigrants Rights, Workers Rights, Women's Rights, Voting Rights, Katrina | End Corporate Welfare, Meet Human Needs: Healthcare/ Energy/ Education/ Environment | Communications and Creativity: Hands-on Media and Arts Training."
In other words, the theme is educating you on the US government's goodness - until this administration. Oh yea. The world can't wait, learn how to drive out the Bush regime.
Hands-on training on how to talk talk talk talk while bent over being reamed with the flagpole. And talk is something the first speaker could use some training in. Swanson introduces Malik Rahim, described as a former Black Panther, current Green party member, and a housing and prison activist.
Malik (nee Donald Guyton) "returned" to being an activist after serving 5 years for armed robbery in Los Angeles in the 1980s. Listening to Rahim's slow speech, the use of 'dat and 'dose for that and those, I can only conclude Camp Demo organizers feel a crack-fried Black ex-con wid 'dem kindah talkin' skills has broad appeal to average Black America. No sir folks, no MX or MLK these days. Malik is our best "militant" representative.
I'd rather join up with the Honorable Louis Farrakhan than heed Rahim, a diluted and damaged version of Black activism put on display by the fake opposition movement. Hey, can ya embarrass us some more brother.
Sponsers were listed as: Democrats.com. Code Pink, code for white women activists living well on organizations they founded. Immigrant Solidarity Network, all humans are legal and sneaking into the US is a way of networking. The ever awful NOW, or women without a cause.
Also attending are musicians I've never heard of and authors I can't stop hearing about, Ray McGovern, Scott Ritter, etc. The standard bearers of "opposition" are scheduled to be there, i.e. Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, and maybe congressman Jim McDermott.
Camp Democracy. Be careful my little progressive pretty, or they'll get you and your little dog too.
P.S. Although the National Mall is not a mall per se but a complex of museums, etc. there are nifty gift and souvenir shops galore so – don't forget to go shopping.
Posted by Kate-A at 2:47 PM
Japan holds its breath ahead of royal birth.
Japan is gripped by expectation that the looming crisis over succession to the Chrysanthemum throne could end today if the baby to be delivered by caesarean section to Princess Kiko turns out to be a boy.
The wife of the second in line to the throne is due to give birth at a private hospital in Tokyo after doctors decided several weeks ago to plan a caesarean after spotting a minor complication.
The dearth of male heirs in a royal lineage that some claim stretches back 2,600 years has taken Japan to the brink of a constitutional crisis. Under the 1947 succession law, only males descended from an emperor can inherit the throne.
The stock market, meanwhile, has already responded to baby fever. Manufacturers of baby goods have seen their shares jump in recent days, with those in Combi, which specialises in prams, hitting an all-time high on the Tokyo stock exchange on Monday.
Kiko's pregnancy has given the country's conservatives hope that they can resolve the succession crisis - at least for the time being - without resorting to legal changes that would allow females to become sovereigns.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:17 AM
NEW YORK — "Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami said Monday that U.S. forces should remain in Iraq until that country's fragile government can assume greater control.
In an interview here during his first trip to the United States since leaving office a year ago, Khatami said, "We can't leave this newly formed government at the mercy of terrorists and insurgents."
Khatami is a moderate Islamic cleric who was president from 1997 to 2005. By law, he could not seek a third consecutive term. He was succeeded by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a hard-line fundamentalist.
Khatami said Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, didn't provide weapons to Iraqi Shiites while he was in power. He said he doubts that the current leadership is doing so, as has been charged by U.S. officials including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "No one will benefit as much as Iran from peace and stability in Iraq," he said."
Khatami, 62, now heads a recently formed group called the International Center for Dialogue Among Civilizations, based in Tehran and Geneva. He said he was devoting his time to trying to increase understanding among nationalities, religious and ethnic groups.
Khatami visited New York three times as president but was never allowed to go outside New York. Asked his impressions of the country so far, Khatami said he was happy to have the chance to travel with fewer restrictions but that to see America fully would require "much more time."
---- The ex-evil-doer leader of the "axis of evil" can now traipse around Bush Land giving speeches. I hear Jimmah Carter wants to meet with Khatami, and Khatami – please note above - supports US forces remaining in Iraq, you know, until the Iraqi can "assume greater control" (not total control mind you, just "greater"). US forces cannot leave Iraq at the mercy of "terrorists and insurgents." Khatami is Iran's version of a neocon.
Out of work pols – Global good ol' boys.
Posted by Kate-A at 12:16 AM
Monday, September 04, 2006
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Adam Yahiye Gadahn.
Gadahn also goes by the names Adam Pearlman and Abu Suhayb Al-Amriki. Believed to have been trained by terrorists in Afghanistan or Pakistan, depending on the year and reporter and/or newspaper.
"Born Adam Pearlman, the grandson of a prominent Jewish doctor, he was raised on a Riverside goat farm by free-spirited parents. After a brief infatuation with death metal music, he allegedly was recruited by al Qaeda through an Islamic mosque in Orange County."
In October 2004, ABC News broadcast portions of a 75-minute videotape of a man believed to be Gadahn but identifying himself as "Azzam the American." Azzam at that time declared, "Allah willing, the streets of America will run red with blood." The tape, produced by the As-Sahab Production Committee. (Is that in Burbank or Langley?) As-Sahab embosses their logo on it's productions so it must be real.
I await the As-Sahab filmster, in the vein of Michael Moore, to make an independent jihadist docudrama, Osama and Me.
Apparently there's a shitload of multimedia productions from jihadists. With a subscription to The Site Institute you can obtain real-time information on terrorist activity to aid you in tracking the terrorist threat. Their services include :
Timely translations of terrorist propaganda, training manuals, and communiques.
Relevant indictments, search warrants, and court documents.
Immediate access to terrorism-related media posted to the Internet.
Complete translations and transcriptions of messages from terrorist leaders.
Terrorism Headlines of the Week.
Developing Trends in Terrorist Strategy, Tactics, Targeting, and Propaganda.
Look folks, this is not your David Koresh or Warren Jeffs diddling kids and preaching in privately owned compounds. These are Jim Jonesers with weapons and studios. These jihadi want your blood running red in the streets of America.
The Ministry of News has warned you Joe American. You have been told since at least 9/11/01 that dark-skin and/or swarthy could be a threat; you've known Blacks convert to Islam in prison therefore always potentially a terrorist threat. You've known since Jose Padilla and John Walker Lindh there are homegrown threats. (Remember, those with three names are the most dangerous.)
But more importantly – Adam is a dark-haired Jewish white guy, homeschooled, raised as a Christian on a goat farm. Surely a recipe for a fruitcake so be vigilant.
For safety, limit your circle only to blue-eyed blondes, but use caution with McVeigh type blondes who hang around with darker folks; and beware folks raised by "free-spirited" parents, those who were/are homeschooled, and those who listen to the wrong kind of music. Get the picture?
Posted by Kate-A at 9:55 AM
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Bush recently blinked and putzed through yet another speech, comparing today's terrorists with last century's fascists and communists - coming to get you if you don't kill them over there. He was speaking to American Legion and VFW, which tends to be an old crowd who relate to the terminology of dangerous commies and fighting the hordes over there to keep them from invading here.
It is official folks. WWIII has begun, according to Bush and Osama bin Laden "who proclaimed that the 'third world war is raging' in Iraq."
Dubya and Osama have the same script writer.
Then there was this : Pentagon Releases Grim Report on Iraq.
NYT : "In a grim 63-page report, the Pentagon chronicled bad news on a variety of fronts … Death squads and terrorists are locked in mutually reinforcing cycles of sectarian strife … increasing fears that Iraq is sliding into civil war … rising violence … bad news on a variety of fronts … Al Qaeda is active despite the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, because of the group’s "cellular structure," that the Sunni insurgency is strong and that militias are undiminished."
However, the Pentagon's pdf also reports the Iraqi people place a great deal of confidence in the ISF ((Iraqi Security Forces). Despite the recent increase in violence the people's confidence in the Iraqi Army increased from 69% to 78%.
The Iraqi "hotline" also demonstrates a willingness to report suspicious activity. "Tips" have increased since March 2006.
The current ISF status lists 115,000 trained and equipped military personnel with another 162,000 trained and equipped Police and MOI forces (Ministry of Interior). The National Police are 90 percent trained and equipped and expected to be at 100 percent next quarter. But there seems to be glitched delays in both Army and Police training due to corruption, insufficient training, absenteeism of 1-8%, oversight, accountability, and "sectarianism" (the US version of "diversity" where one group accuses another of getting too many crumbs from the table of Big Daddy government).
In the pdf there are the usual pie charts and graphs. The worst insurgent hot zone maps directly across the center of Iraq. A 3 slice pie-state is the solution some would suggest. This tri-state territory could be directed from the world's largest and most luxurious US embassy in Baghdad. An option on the table.
Nation building isn't easy.
When polled with the question "How would you rate economic conditions in Iraq today? the Iraqi responded:
Excellent – 1%
Good - 10%
Fair - 26%
Poor - 59%
Likely the same response could be found in many African and Latin nations, or many neighborhoods in the US.
I have been comparing WWII, Europe, the East and West, and the old blue-blooded global money bags and wondering, are we near the beginning of the end to the elite's latest murder for money venture?
(I think I lost my original point here. Something I seem to do more of these days, from pure aggravation with what is considered news and information.)
To get a bigger war-on the ruling elite needs an enemy bigger than the "insurgents" of Iraq; an "October surprise" so horrendous the war goes global. But considering the money that has been made by the Beasts of Empire, they may be sated for a while.
For sure there will be no war crime trials for what has been done to Iraq/Afghanistan or the American sheeple. Although some would like to see US "war criminals" on trial a la Nuremberg. I wonder how many Americans would be able to name even 1 of the 10 Nazis who kicked and twisted at the end of a noose after "the greatest and most relevant trial in historical annals." Can grandpa of the greatest generation name one?
Who would the New 10 be? Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, Ashcroft … or would these puppets pull a Pinochet … live in exile isles until they're 90 and too old to bother with. Bush in Brazil with Condi. Ashcroft in Bangkok. Cheney in Argentina. Disgraced on their estates with occasional quiet visits from corporate/political friends.
Maybe lower ranking heads would hang. Generals and colonels. Military men the average American has never heard of but the trial would illuminate and document their mountains of incubator babies and heads used as soccer balls, plastic grinders and rape rooms; lampshades and soap. They become household names that embody vile acts. But, nah … any brass that is punished would likely go the way of Janis Abu Ghraib; home with a pension.
Maybe we could get a few corporate heads, of the IG Farben type, who served 2 or 3 years prison time for "collaborating" with the Nazis.
(I say we plant two or three rocks on all these guys, arrest them for possession with intent, and supply a public defender. That'll keep them jailed longer than charges of war crimes.)
If the Pentagon pdf numbers above are accurate, and with hundreds of Halliburton and similar corporatocracy exercising stock options at $35 and immediately reselling at market of $70-80 - maybe some see the caboose of the current gravy wartrain, say in 18 months or so. Just before Election 2008.
There goes Hillary's chance to move back into the white House. Well, maybe not. She's been a good little supporter of the war and may get her Operation Just ReWARd. We need a woman to show the world the US is progressive, and who better than a woman to take the blame for the fall (of empire). I can hear the First Mother jokes now.
The Iraq "insurgents" have no major outside backers. There is no genuine civil war in Iraq. It took a century for Anglos to "contain" the ME but they may have finally succeeded. All the sheiks and princes and their puppet ministers years ago drank a toast to their Anglo/West counterparts in Paris, London, Berlin, Prague, Brussels, Vienna, Zug, Riyahd, Dubai, D.C. It's called statecraft. Isn't that a neat word ... state-craft? Craft of the state; executing crafty plans of the Global State.
Once the "coalition" has Iraq securely hog-tied, and Anglo leaders discover Mahmoud Ahmadinejad isn't really evil for building power plants, the bulk of US troops will suddenly, and it will seem suddenly, get to come home. Fox and CNN claim themselves correct about all things. Victory headlines are printed for round 1 in the war on terror, or will SAVE be the term used? Everybody wins, well everybody but the serfs, in the Struggle Against Violent Extremists.
US Troops will rotate to Baghdad just as they have for years to Okinawa, Ramstein, Seoul, Kosovo. A few 'support the troops' decals will be seen on old SUVs, sun fried to the paint. al-Qaeda leaders will be resurrected with every election and for porking the defense budget; remember the war on terror will last forever. Excuse me, S.A.V.E.
But, there's always N. Korea to rain fire and brimstone from a nuclear sky and bring on Armageddon. Afterall, true believers and chosen people are constituents too. Repent! Duck and cover, buy duct tape.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:57 AM