Natural Light

The Electronic Journal of Questions, Observations, Solutions, Art, & Images.
Founded July 24th, 2004

Title page engraving of the Sun; "De thermis Andreae Baccii Elpidiani, civis Romani ..." by Andrea Bacci, published 1622. (Photo Credit: NOAA Central Library).

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Garrison Kellior Tells It Like It Is

"When the people fear the government you have tyranny; when the government fears the people you have liberty."
--Thomas Jefferson

"This country...belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it."
--Abraham Lincoln

Congress' Shameful Retreat from American Values
Garrison Keillor Published October 4, 2006

I would not send my college kid off for a semester
abroad if I were you.

Last week, we suspended human rights in America, and
what goes around comes around. Ixnay habeas corpus.

The U.S. Senate, in all its splendor and majesty,
decided that an "enemy combatant" is any non-citizen
whom the president says is an enemy combatant,including
your Korean greengrocer or your Swedish grandmother or
your Czech au pair, and can be arrested and held for as
long as authorities wish without any right of appeal to
a court of law to examine the matter. If your college
kid were to be arrested in Bangkok or Cairo, suspected
of "crimes against the state" and held in prison, you'd
assume that an American foreign service officer would be
able to speak to your kid and arrange for a lawyer,but
this may not be true anymore. Be forewarned.

The Senate also decided it's up to the president to
decide whether it's OK to make these enemies stand
naked in cold rooms for a couple of days in blinding
light and be beaten by interrogators. This is now
purely a bureaucratic matter: The plenipotentiary
stamps the file "enemy combatants" and throws the poor
schnooks into prison and at his leisure he tries them
by any sort of kangaroo court he wishes to assemble
and they have no right to see the evidence against them,
and there is no appeal. This was passed by 65 senators
and will now be signed by President Bush, put into effect,
and in due course be thrown out by the courts.

It's good that Barry Goldwater is dead because this would
have killed him. Go back to the Senate of 1964 -- Goldwater,
Dirksen,Russell, McCarthy, Javits, Morse, Fulbright--and
you won't find more than 10 votes for it.

None of the men and women who voted for this bill
has any right to speak in public about the rule of law
anymore, or to take a high moral view of the Third
Reich, or to wax poetic about the American Ideal. Mark
their names.

Any institution of higher learning that grants
honorary degrees to these people forfeits its honor.
Alexander, Allard, Allen,Bennett, Bond, Brownback,
Bunning, Burns, Burr, Carper, Chambliss,Coburn,
Cochran, Coleman, Collins, Cornyn, Craig, Crapo,
DeMint,DeWine, Dole, Domenici, Ensign, Enzi, Frist,
Graham, Grassley, Gregg, Hagel, Hatch, Hutchison,
Inhofe, Isakson, Johnson, Kyl, Landrieu, Lautenberg,
Lieberman, Lott, Lugar,Martinez, McCain, McConnell,
Menendez, Murkowski,Nelson of Florida, Nelson
of Nebraska, Pryor, Roberts, Rockefeller, Salazar,
Santorum, Sessions, Shelby, Smith, Specter, Stabenow,
Stevens, Sununu,Talent, Thomas, Thune, Vitter,
Voinovich, Warner.

To paraphrase Sir Walter Scott: Mark their names and
mark them well. For them, no minstrel raptures swell.
High though their titles, proud their name, boundless
their wealth as wish can claim,these wretched figures
shall go down to the vile dust from whence they
sprung, unwept, unhonored and unsung.

Three Republican senators made a show of opposing the
bill and after they'd collected all the praise they
could get, they quickly folded. Why be a hero when you
can be fairly sure that the court will dispose of this
piece of garbage.

If, however, the court does not, then our country
has taken a step toward totalitarianism. If the
government can round up someone and never be required
to explain why, then it's no longer the United States
as you and I always understood it. Our enemies have
succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They have made
us become like them.

I got some insight last week into who supports
torture when I went down to Dallas to speak at
Highland Park Methodist Church. It was spooky. I
walked in, was met by two burly security men with
walkie-talkies, and within 10 minutes was told by
three people that this was the Bushes' church and that
it would be better if I didn't talk about politics.
I was there on a book tour for "Homegrown Democrat,"
but they thought it better if I didn't mention it. So
I tried to make light of it: I told the audience, "I
don't need to talk politics. I have no need even to be
interested in politics -- I'm a citizen, I have plenty
of money and my grandsons are at least 12 years
away from being eligible for military service." And
the audience applauded!

Those were their sentiments exactly. We've got ours,
and who cares?

The Methodists of Dallas can be fairly sure that
none of them will be snatched off the streets, flown
to Guantanamo Bay, stripped naked, forced to stand for
48 hours in a freezing room with deafening noise. So
why should they worry? It's only the Jews who are in
danger, and the homosexuals and gypsies. The Christians
are doing fine. If you can't trust a Methodist with
absolute power to arrest people and not have to say
why, then whom can you trust?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Family Values



OLBERMANN: This all seems to require, not merely, venality
or immorality but a kind of amorality where morals don't
enter into it at all. "We're right. So anything we do to
preserve our process, our power -- even if it by itself
is wrong -- it's right in the greater sense." It's that
wonderful rationalization that everybody uses in small
doses throughout their lives. But, is this idea, this
sort of psychological sort of review of the whole thing,
does it apply to Dick Cheney? Does it apply to George Bush?
Does it apply to Bill Frist? Who are the names on these
authoritarian figures?

DEAN: You just named three that I discuss at some length in the book. I focused in the book, not on the Bush Administration and Cheney and The President because they had really been there done that, but what I wanted to understand is what they have done. They are authoritarian personalities. Cheney much more so than Bush. They have taken it way past where anybody's ever taken it in the United States.

OLBERMANN: Our society's best defense against that is what? Do we have to hope, as you suggested, the people that follow, wise up and break away from this sort of lockstep salute to, "of course, they're right, of course there are WMDs, of course there are terrorists, of course there is al Qaeda, of course everything is the way the president says it." Or do we rely on the hope that these are fanatics and fanatics always screw up because they would rather believe in their own cause than double-check their own math.

DEAN: The lead researcher in this field told me, he said, "I look at the numbers of the United States and I see about 23% of the population who are pure right-wing authoritarian followers." They're not going to change. They're going to march over the cliff. The best thing to deal with them -- and they're growing, and they have a tremendous influence on Republican politics -- The best defense is understanding them, to realize what they are doing, how they're doing it and how they operate. Then it can be kept in perspective and they can be seen for what they are.

"When The People Fear The Government You Have Tyranny,
When The Government Fear The People You Have Liberty."
Thomas Jefferson

The U.S. government has an array of programs, both already running and in the pipeline, to gather vast amounts of data on virtually everyone, store that data for who knows how long, and do who knows what with it. One thing they’re doing is data mining, looking for “suspicious” patterns in the data trying to find potential threats. Not only does data mining not work, there’s a chance it could identify you, even if you aren’t doing anything wrong.

International travelers whose names even vaguely resemble those on a terrorist watch list have to undergo hours of grueling interrogation when they return to the U.S. But even after being cleared, the next time they leave and return, it’s yet another round of interrogation, because although customs officials could determine they’ve previously cleared the person, they don't have the authority to do so, according to an inspector general’s report.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is slowly developing an intelligence capability,
or trying to. The holdup, according to the House intelligence oversight subcommittee, seems to be in the paperwork They haven’t been able to write down exactly how to develop their intelligence capabilities. But “exceptional individuals overcoming organization and planning shortfalls” give us a “relatively successful” counterterrorism capability.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been stuffing people evacuated from Hurricane Katrina into travel trailers, from where they aren’t allowed to talk to the press. Even if they don’t want to move in, and have somewhere else to live. And despite having many people who, inexplicably, do want to move in to these trailers, hundreds of them sit empty, and the people who want to move in can’t.

The brief memoirs of a former airline security screener tell of how it was in the days before the Department of Homeland Security. From his description of management
preferring bureaucracy to security, it would appear the only thing that’s changed is
who signs the paychecks.

The U.S. State Department is already issuing passports containing an electronic Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip containing data about the passport holder, and not only do the chips provide no national security benefit whatsoever, they are also easy to forge.

RFID expert Lukas Grunwald, a security consultant with DN-Systems in Germany,
is demonstrating at the Black Hat Briefings in Las Vegas Thursday how he was able
to download the data from RFID chips in German passports and make an exact
copy of the RFID chip. This is a required step in forging such an e-passport.

“Either this guy is incredible or this technology is unbelievably stupid,” says Gus Hosein, a visiting fellow in information systems at the London School of Economics and Political Science and senior fellow at Privacy International, a U.K.-based group that opposes the use of RFID chips in passports.

“I think it’s a combination of the two,” Hosein says. “Is this what the best and the brightest of the world could come up with? Or is this what happens when you do policy laundering and you get a bunch of bureaucrats making decisions about technologies they don’t understand?”

Grunwald says it took him only two weeks to figure out how to clone the passport chip. Most of that time he spent reading the standards for e-passports that are posted on a website for the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations body that developed the standard. He tested the attack on a new European Union German passport, but the method would work on any country’s e-passport, since all of them will be adhering to the same ICAO standard.

In June, the Department of Homeland Security Privacy Advisory Committee published
a draft showing that the use of RFID tags for identification posed risks to personal privacy and security but offered no national security benefits or performance benefits. Thanks to a late-night vote in the Senate Thursday night, the U.S. can now spy on your Internet activity at the request of a foreign government - even if you are only doing things completely legal. Late Thursday night the Senate ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime.

“While balancing civil liberty and privacy concerns, this treaty encourages the sharing of critical electronic evidence among foreign countries so that law enforcement can more effectively investigate and combat these crimes,” said Bill Frist, R-Tenn. Alberto Gonzales said “The Convention is in full accord with all U.S. constitutional protections, such as free speech and other civil liberties, and will require no change to U.S. laws.”

Perhaps Frist spoke too soon, or failed to read the treaty. And who knows what
Gonzales is smoking, but it couldn’t be legal. Finalized in 2001 but only signed late last year, this treaty also gives governments very wide latitude in requesting information from each other in the course of an investigation, and does not provide proper dual criminality provisions for many of the information requests which could be made. Dual criminality requires that for one government to assist another with an investigation, the act being investigated must be a crime in both countries.

The treaty requires the U.S. to turn over data stored by Internet Service Providers,
and provide real-time interception of your Internet traffic, at the request of a foreign government, whether the offense the foreign government is investigating is a crime in the U.S. or not.

“That means that countries that have laws limiting free speech on the Net could
oblige the F.B.I. to uncover the identities of anonymous U.S. critics, or monitor
their communications on behalf of foreign governments,” Electronic Frontier
Foundation activist coordinator Danny O’Brien. “American ISPs would be
obliged to obey other jurisdictions’ requests to log their users’ behavior
without due process, or compensation.”

“And it applies not just to ‘cyber’ crimes but to digital evidence of any crime, so
foreign governments now may begin using U.S. law enforcement to help them gather
evidence in all kinds of cases,” wrote Cato Institute Director of Information Policy
Studies Jim Harper.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation wants to expand wiretapping law to cover
your Internet connection and force ISPs and other providers to build in back
door wiretapping capability into their networks.

The FBI intends to have a bill submitted in Congress which will expand the
Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act to require router manufacturers
to build in wiretapping capability, require ISPs to maintain hardware for, and provide on demand, logs of any of your activities, all the way down to instant messaging, and eliminate a reporting requirement under which the Department of Justice must say how many wiretaps it conducts and how much capacity it expects to need.

Under the new proposal, it appears that ISPs will have to pay for as much capacity
as the FBI wants. “The complexity and variety of communications technologies have dramatically increased in recent years, and the lawful intercept capabilities of the federal, state and local law enforcement community have been under continual stress, and in many cases have decreased or become impossible,” according to a summary
accompanying the draft bill. That’s right, the Feds are having trouble spying
on you, and want the ISPs not only to help, but to be forced by law to provide
wiretaps and to pay for them.

Last year the Federal Communications Commission ruled that Voice over
IP providers and broadband ISPs are covered under CALEA and must
provide wiretap-friendly access to their networks to law enforcement
personnel. An appeals court upheld the ruling in June, and the case
may go to the Supreme Court.

While the National Security Agency has collected a massive database of
domestic telephone calls, BellSouth and Verizon do not appear to have
participated in the program, according to a new USA TODAY report Friday.

The newspaper reported on May 11 that the NSA had collected a database
of telephone calls originating and terminating within the U.S. from major
telephone companies, including AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth. While AT&T
refused to confirm or deny participation in the program, citing national
security concerns, Verizon and BellSouth both denied participating, and
Bell South had demanded a retraction from USA TODAY.

The records collected under the program include the telephone number
placing the call, the telephone number receiving the call, the time
the call was placed, and the duration of the call.

On Friday, USA TODAY reported that it could not confirm that either Verizon or BellSouth contracted with NSA to provide telephone call records to the agency. However, it said that 19 lawmakers confirmed the existence of the program, and several of those confirmed the participation of AT&T in the program.

AT&T, asked to comment, issued a written statement Thursday. “The U.S. Department of Justice has stated that AT&T may neither confirm nor deny AT&T’s participation in the alleged NSA program because doing so would cause ‘exceptionally grave harm to national security’ and would violate both civil and criminal statutes,” it said. “Under these circumstances, AT&T is not able to respond to such allegations.”

“As we have stated numerous times, the NSA never contacted BellSouth, and we never supplied customer calling records to the NSA,” said BellSouth spokesman Jeff Batcher. “In addition, we do not and have never had a contract with the NSA.”

Lawmakers confirmed that in the program, but that MCI, which was purchased by Verizon earlier this year, did participate. Verizon's denial of participation did not extend to MCI.

“President Bush’s electronic surveillance program as been a festering sore on our body politic since it was publicly disclosed last December,” Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.). His solution? Sweep the whole mess under the rug of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and out of the public eye.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is considering which would allow - not require - the President to submit the terrorist surveillance program, or future programs, for review by the Court and explicitly make parts of the program legal.

The bill would also allow the National Security Agency to conduct surveillance, without a warrant, of communications between two countries which pass through the U.S., such as a telephone call between Pakistan and Canada, from within the U.S. Currently such communications must be intercepted from outside the U.S.

[NSA director Lt. Gen. Keith] Alexander testified that because no U.S. court order is needed to acquire communications of foreign intelligence targets overseas, even when they call to the United States, “it ought not to matter whether we do so from the United States or elsewhere.”

But it goes much farther: It would force all existing lawsuits related to the programs out of the open courts and into the secret courts. Specter, however, said that the bill would not provide as much judicial oversight as he would like.

“If any legislative action is required,” wrote Electronic Frontier Foundation activist Derek Slater, “we humbly suggest that Congress clarify that all cases dealing with purportedly secret surveillance can be litigated in the regular district courts pursuant to established security procedures for handling sensitive evidence, as in our case against AT&T.”

“I could not in good conscience acquiesce in such a sweeping signing away of Americans’ liberties,” said Vermont Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, the committee’s senior Democrat. He said the bill would permit “vast new amounts of warrantless surveillance” by eliminating a requirement that all such surveillance be carried out under a warrant from the secret court.

No one has a problem, in general, with NSA capturing foreign communications that pass through the U.S. on their way to some other country. Americans do have a problem with any attempt to eliminate the Fourth Amendment through back door measures. Never mind that it’s been done many times before, and little remains of the Fourth Amendment or the rest of the Constitution.

Americans also have a big problem with any attempt to shut down an apparently valid court case through the government’s abuse of the so-called state secrets privilege. The open courts already know how to handle secrets and there’s no reason to think they can’t continue to do so.

KEITH OLBERMANN: What did you find? -- In less than the 200 pages that the book goes into.

JOHN DEAN: I ran into a massive study that has been going on 50 years now by academics. They've never really shared this with the general public. It's a remarkable analysis of the authoritarian personality. Both those who are inclined to follow leaders and those who jump in front and want to be the leaders. It was not the opinion of social scientists. It was information they drew by questioning large numbers of people -- hundreds of thousands of people -- in anonymous testing where [the subjects] conceded their innermost feelings and reactions to things. And it came out that most of these people were pre-qualified to be conservatives and this, did indeed, fit with the authoritarian personality.

OLBERMANN: There is an extraordinary amount of academic work that you quote in the book. A lot of it is very unsettling. It deals with psychological principles that are frightening and may have faced other nations at other times. In German and Italy in the 30's, come into mind in particular. But, how does it apply now?

DEAN: These people -- the followers -- a few of them will change their ways when they realize that they are doing -- not even aware of what they are doing. I think we need to understand it. We need to realize that when you take a certain step of vote a certain way, heading in a certain direction, where this can end up. So, it's sort of a cautionary note. It's a warning as to where this can go. Other countries have gone there.

OLBERMANN: And the idea of leaders and followers going down this path or perhaps taking a country down this path requires -- this whole edifice requires and enemy. Communism, al Qaeda, Democrats, whoever for the two-minutes hate. Is that the gist of it?

DEAN: It is one of the things, believe it or not, that still holds conservatism together.

-- There are many factions in conservatism and their dislike of those they betray as liberal, who will basically be anybody who disagrees with them, is one of the cohesive factors.--

There are a few others but that's certainly one of the basics. There's no question that, particularly the followers, they're very aggressive in their effort to pursue and help their authority figure out or authority beliefs out. They will blindly follow. They stay loyal too long and this is the frightening part of it.

OLBERMANN: Let me read something from the book. Let me read this one quote then I have a question about it. "Many people believe that neoconservatives and many Republicans appreciate that they are more likely to maintain influence and control of the presidency if the nation remains under ever-increasing threats of terrorism, so they have no hesitation in pursuing policies that can provoke the potential terrorists throughout the world." That's ominous, not just in the sense that authoritarians involved in conservatism and now Republicanism would politicize counter-terror here which we've already argued that point on many occasions. Are you actually saying that they would set up -- encourage terrorism from other countries to set them up as a boogey man to have, again, that group to hate here -- more importantly, afraid of?

DEAN: What I'm saying is that there has been fear mongering, the likes of which we have not seen in a long time in this country. It happened early in the cold war. We got accustomed to it. We learned to live with it. We learned to understand what it was about and get it in proportion. We haven't done that yet with terrorism. And this administration is really capitalizing on it and using it for its' political advantage. No question, the academic testing shows -- the empirical evidence shows --when people are frightened, they tend to go to these authority figures.






























Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Air America Radio

Air America

Monday, November 01, 2004


Thursday, October 28, 2004


Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Excerpted from Paul Krugman editorial in the New York Times - Posted here with Thanks to Shaw Kenawe:

Aides to John Kerry say that if he wins, he'll replace Porter Goss as head of the C.I.A.

Let's hope so: Mr. Goss has already confirmed the fears of those who worried about his appointment by placing Republican staff members from Capitol Hill in key positions and raising fears about a partisan purge.

But the flap over Mr. Goss is only a symptom of a much broader issue: whether the Bush administration will be able to maintain its culture of cover-ups. That culture affects every branch of policy, but it's strongest when it comes to the "war on terror."

Although President Bush's campaign is based almost entirely on his self-proclaimed leadership in that war, his officials have thrown a shroud of secrecy over any information that might let voters assess his performance. Yesterday we got two peeks under that shroud.

One was The Times's report about what the International Atomic Energy Agency calls "the greatest explosives bonanza in history." Ignoring the agency's warnings, administration officials failed to secure the weapons site, Al Qaqaa, in Iraq, allowing 377 tons of deadly high explosives to be looted, presumably by insurgents.

The administration is trying to play down the importance of this loss, arguing that because Iraq was awash in munitions, a few hundred more tons don't make much difference. But aside from their potential use in nuclear weapons - the reason they were under seal before the war - these particular explosives, unlike standard munitions, are exactly what a terrorist needs.

Informed sources quoted by the influential Nelson Report say explosives from Al Qaqaa are the "primary source" of the roadside and car bombs that have killed and wounded so many U.S. soldiers. And thanks to the huge amount looted - "in a highly organized operation using heavy equipment" - the insurgents and whoever else have access to the Qaqaa material have enough explosives for tens of thousands of future bombs.

If the administration had had its way, the public would never have heard anything about this.

Administration officials have known about the looting of Al Qaqaa for at least six months, and probably much longer. But they didn't let the I.A.E.A. inspect the site after the war, and pressured the Iraqis not to inform the agency about the loss. They now say that they didn't want our enemies - that is, the people who stole the stuff - to know it was missing.

The real reason, obviously, was that they wanted the news kept under wraps until after Nov. 2.

The story of the looted explosives has overshadowed another report that Bush officials tried to suppress - this one about how the Bush administration let Abu Musab al-Zarqawi get away. An article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal confirmed and expanded on an "NBC Nightly News" report from March that asserted that before the Iraq war, administration officials called off a planned attack that might have killed Mr. Zarqawi, the terrorist now blamed for much of the mayhem in that country, in his camp. Citing "military officials," the original NBC report explained that the failure to go after Mr. Zarqawi was based on domestic politics: "the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq" - a part of Iraq not controlled by Saddam Hussein - "could undermine its case for war against Saddam."

The Journal doesn't comment on this explanation, but it does say that when NBC reported, correctly, that Mr. Zarqawi had been targeted before the war, administration officials denied it. What other mistakes did the administration make? If partisan appointees like Mr. Goss continue to control the intelligence agencies, we may never know. This isn't speculation: Mr. Goss is already involved in a new cover-up. Last week Robert Scheer of The Los Angeles Times revealed the existence of a devastating but suppressed report by the C.I.A.'s inspector general on 9/11 intelligence failures. Newsweek has now confirmed the gist of Mr. Scheer's column.

The report, the magazine says, "identifies a host of current and former officials who could be candidates for possible disciplinary procedures." But although the report was completed in June, Mr. Goss has refused to release it to Congress. "Everyone feels it will be better if this hits the fan after the election," an official told the magazine. Better for whom? What really happened on 9/11, or in Iraq? Next week's election may determine whether we ever find out.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Reality Check

In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'"

--Ron Suskind, "Without a Doubt", New York Times Magazine

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

We Have A Winner

"Being Lectured by the president on Fiscal
Responsibility is a little bit like Tony Soprano
talking to me about Law and Order."

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Nuance-Free Zone

Our American soldiers should not be in harms way
in Iraq in the first place. The decision that placed our
Troops there was opposed at the highest levels.

Kerry Receives Three-Star Support

That sage advice was ignored by an unelected president.
Now that they are there, our Troops are proving every day
that the Men and Women of the US Armed Forces are the very
Best and Bravest soldiers in the World.

"I am an LCPL in the US Marine Corps and veteran of Operation
Iraqi Freedom...please keep pounding away at Bush. I'm not some
(coward) when it comes to war. However, the position we were put indescribably horrible.

...(Bush's) silence and refusal to speak under oath to the 9/11
Commission further mocks our country. The Patriot Act violates
every principle we fight and die for. And all of this has been
during his first term. Can you imagine his policies when he
doesn't have to worry about re-election? We can't allow that
to happen, and there are so many like me in the military who
feel this way. We were lied to and used. And there aren't words
to describe the sense of betrayal I feel as a result."

"...These roadside bombs nearly destroyed one of our Hummers
and riddled my friends with shrapnel, almost killing them.
They would not have had a scratch if they had the "Up Armour"
kits on them. So where was W on that one? .....A Blackwater
contractor makes $15,000 [£8,400] a month for doing the same
job as my pals and me. I make about $4,000 [£2,240] a month
over here. What's up with that?...Man, there is a huge......
scam going on here! There are civilian contractors crawling
all over this country. Blackwater, Kellogg Brown & Root,
Halliburton, on and on. These contractors are doing
everything you can think of from security to catering lunch!
We are spending money out the....for this..., and very few of
the projects are going to the Iraqi people. Someone's back
is getting scratched here, and it ain't the Iraqis! My life
is left to chance at this point. I just hope I come home alive."

"...I am a truck driver right now in Iraq. Let me give you this
one small fact because I am right here at the heart of it: since
I started this job several months ago, 100% (that's right, not 99%)
of the workers I am aware of are inflating the hours they claim on
their time sheets. There is so much more I could tell you. But the
fact is that MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of dollars are being raped
from both the American taxpayers and the Iraqi people because
of the unbelievable amount of greed and abuse over here."

We who oppose this war have a solemn obligation
to provide everything we possibly can in the way of Supplies,
Encouragement, and Moral Support for our Troops themselves.

At the same time, we have an equally important and Sacred obligation to do everything we possibly can to get our Troops out of harm's way and Home immediately.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Of the People, By the People, For the People

"I don't care if Kerry speaks better than Bush.
You don't debate with terrorists."

- Comment posted by Mike at Eschaton.

Osama Bin Laden and the fundamentalist terrorists
are deranged madmen who ought to have been thwarted
after the 1993 attempt on the WTC, but they were not.

Despite 8 years of intelligence gathered on every aspect
of their activities, Al-Qaeda was allowed to take down
the world Trade Center. Government officials were warned
not to fly just prior to the "surprise" attacks, and after
9/11 our efforts to kill Bin Laden were abandoned to his
former allies in order to persue Saddam Hussein on pretexts
which have proven to be false.

--------------------- WHY? --------------------------

It is time to unmask the terrorists behind the terrorists.

The bottom line is that Bushco supported Saddam Hussein for
years, Bushco dealt with Bin Laden for years, and Bushco has
consistently hijacked the CIA and the Armed Services to do
whatever Bushco thinks is profitable for Bushco.

When Bushco decides their former henchmen have outlived
their usefulness, Bushco manipulates our Armed Services
to suit their agenda, killing thousands, maiming countless
others, and destroying everyones lives in the process.

This has been going on for over 40 years now, and is just
one insidious aspect of a worldwide criminal network that
makes its living by killing you, killing your loved ones,
and killing our Planet. The peace and environmental
movements of the 60's were deliberately and effectively
made to seem trivial and "funny" for a specific purpose.

Ask yourself something: If people all over the Globe
succeeded in the aims of peace, justice, and environmental
responsibility, who, exactly, would lose?

The arms merchants, the death-dealing corporations that
have produced the proliferation of nuclear and toxic
pollution which continues to ravage our Planet, and the
politicians and press that literally make a "killing" by
spreading ignorance, division, hatred, violence, and death
would lose, that's who. These "people" either cannot see or
do not care what happens to their own world, and they are
more than willing to "profit" from death.

By subverting and suppressing any real adoption of safe,
sane, sustainable, renewable and clean energy, the global
cabal of greed-driven facist power-mongers have steadily
driven our entire world to the brink of a hellish nuclear
and oil-based nightmare that our grandchildren will be
paying for if the Human Race does manage to survive.

It's way past time for everyone to wake up. You are not
going to get the facts from the media; the media are
complicit in this agenda to reduce the world to a sick
nazi dream haven of a tiny rich elite served by a massive
permanent underclass. This is why we hear the New York
Times stating clearly that it is not their job to remove
Bush. This statement is actually very true.

When telling the truth suits their purposes, they are
perfectly willing to do so. What was not stated is that
their job IS to see to it that well-intentioned people
like Mike are completely hoodwinked into believing a
massive, despicable, bald-faced LIE.

I am not a raving conspiracy theorist. Because the facts
support my arguments, you are responsible for proving
me wrong, if you can, but you cannot.

Continue to believe the media, or wake up and start
finding out the truth for yourself. Most people are
actually sleepwalking; living in a trance deliberately
created by the media for the specific purpose of blinding
people to reality in order to further this sick, inhuman,
and unconscionable agenda. You will wake up by doing
your own comparative research on the internet.

Kerry and Edwards are not perfect, but compared with
Bush and Cheney they are orders of magnitude better
for our country, our children, and our world. Anyone
who is actually awake clearly understands that Kerry
and Edwards are the only rational choice, and that
making the correct choice is now critical.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Dawn Breaks At Last

"And tonight, we have an important message for those who question the Patriotism of Americans who offer a better direction for our country. Before wrapping themselves in the flag and shutting their eyes and ears to the truth, they should remember what America is really all about. They should remember the great idea of freedom for which so many have given their lives. Our purpose now is to reclaim democracy itself. We are here to affirm that when Americans stand up and speak their minds and say America can do better, that is not a challenge to Patriotism, that is the heart and soul of Patriotism."

Who Loves You

Reprint Permission Courtesy of Danziger

Courtesans of the press, take a glance
At the man you chose to enhance.
You decided to pick
A freaking goldbrick
To escort to the nuclear dance.

-Adapted from a Lime Rickey comment at Eschaton

As usual, Rick's poetry is right on the money.
This one really gives me the chills though.

It's got legs, unlike thousands of U.S.
Soldiers & Civilians from this and wars
past; Men, Women, and Children in the
Middle-East, in the Third World, and
now even here at Home on our own soil,
who have fallen into senseless and amoral
plans laid by international criminals that
poison our precious Planet with hatred,
pollution, terror, war, and death.

When these So-Called "Americans" start in
with their utterly indefensible and cynical
"Giving aid and comfort to the Enemy"
routine, it's time for ALL of us to stand up
and ask One Simple Question:

Who is the Enemy? Who is responsible for the bloodiest,
greediest, most amoral century in Human History?

The Arms Merchants, the
Death-Pushing Corporations,
the Unelected Junta in Washington, and the Terrorist
Fanatics bent on Global Suicide are all Equal-Opportunity
Dividers and Destroyers.

If you have a shred of Human Decency,
If you have a sliver of Soul, listen to me:

They couldn't care less what Nationality, Race, Creed,
or Color you are, or what happens in or to OUR World.
They are deluded liars and thieves who actually hate
themselves, and who would drown and destroy us all.
They understand one thing and one thing only: In the
case of the Corporations it's their own "Profits", and in
the case of the Terrorists it's their own "Beliefs".

There has been alot of talk about "Civility" recently.

Iraq is so old it is known as the "Cradle Of Civilization".
It's where Humanity began, where we all got our start.

The looting of ancient artifacts from the Museums in
Iraq as a direct result of this Illegal war is a disgraceful
International Disaster and a Tragic loss for all Humanity.
Those artifacts hold secrets and keys to understanding
vitally important Truths about Ourselves, our Origins,
and our Destiny that may now be lost forever.

How can we even begin to put a price on this?

What sort of "Belief" can justify snuffing out 3000 Lives?
What kind of "Profit" can justify the Atrocitys in Iraq?

From somewhere deep in the depths
of my
Liberal, "Anti-Family Values", "Anti-Personal
Responsibility" Conscience, I seem to hear
the words & music to a sad but very beautiful
song from the Vietnam Years in this country:

"Where have all the flowers gone
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone
Gone to graveyards every one
When will they ever learn
When will they ever learn?

"They" is US, my friends.
We Can Learn, and
We Must Learn NOW.

"Representative Porter Goss (Republican-Florida)
also has legislation in the hopper. His bill,
H.R. 4584, would significantly empower the
director of central intelligence, but, in doing
so, would also strip away the historic prohibition
on domestic activities by the CIA. With a few words,
the bill would allow a president, by public or secret
Executive Order, to exercise police, subpoena and
law enforcement powers inside the United States.
Reminiscent of totalitarian and authoritarian states
of old, the war on terrorism does not require that
we dispense with our tested principles of limited
and separated governmental powers".

The quote above was NOT written by some crazy
Left-wing, bleeding-heart, wild-eyed fringe lunatic
"conspiracy nut" living in a commune eating beans.

It was written by an American with 30 Years Service
to his country in the Central Intelligence Agency.


THIS Election isn't just about the USA.

My Fellow Americans; Republicans, Democrats,
Independents, Men, Women, Black, White, Jew,
Gentile, Hispanic, Arabic, Asian, Straight, Gay,
Believers, Atheists, Conservatives, Liberals:
YOUR VOTE is not ONLY about Freedom,
and Decency, and Honor, YOUR VOTE
WILL DECIDE the Direction of our WORLD.

You Know It, I Know It, We All Know It:

This time, We MUST make the CORRECT Choice.


How They LIE To You: The Media Machine.

Bush & Bin Laden Make BILLIONS in the "War on Terror".

Bush, 9/11, and Deep Threat; The Patriot "ACT".

Enron-Cheney-Taliban-Who They REALLY Are.

The PLAN: Bush-Rove-Schwarzenegger Nazi Nexus.

How President Kerry Will WIN The War On Terror.

"Personal Responsibility": Holding Them Accountable.

When In The Course Of Human Events

"...a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

The American Way

Here is an excersise I just did, and
you can do too, right where you are:

Just go to Google , and start typing
in pairs, trios, triplets, quartets, or
quintets of terms such as "Bush Nazi"
or "Cheney Enron" or "Bush Binladen CIA"
or "Bush Supported Saddam Hussein" or
"Bush CIA Oil And Terrorism" or
"Dick Cheney Draft Dodger".

The results are truly astounding.

You will find so much information
linking our Government, Dick Cheney,
and the Bush Clan to International
Oil Scandals, Militarism, Covert
Operations, and Terrorism that you
could probably fill the Library Of
Congress to the ceiling with all the
material if it were printed out.

Here's just a tiny sampling
of what is out there:

Bush/Bin Laden Complicity-Still Wondering WHY He Has Not Been Caught?

Latest on Bush/Nazi Connections

Secretary Of State Donald Rumsfeld Shaking Hands With Saddam Hussein in 1963

CIA/Taliban Connections

More on Bush/Bin Laden Connections

The above took me ONE minute to find.
There are MILLIONS of stories available
on these topics.

It just goes on and on and on and on and on.

Is ALL of it just "Left-Wing Propaganda"???

Is ALL of it just "Foreigners out to Get Us"?

But wait a second, doesn't the Republican
Right have a huge advantage when it comes
to money? Yes, that's right, they do.

So if that's the case then why, with all that
power and money and advantage can't they control
the Millions and Millions of pages of documentation
on these type of activities over the past 75 years?

The answer is that the rich and powerful elite
are only 5% of the total population, and as hard
as they try, and as fast as they spin, they simply
cannot compete with the overwhelming number of
Citizens and Press now using the Internet.

There is simply not enough time, effort, money,
or human energy available, even to the elite,
to supress this BLIZZARD of information and
evidence regarding their illegal, immoral,
and unethical activities while supposedly
"leading" our country.

They are losing at their own game of "Spin",
and they are losing to the Truth. They are
losing because of what they have DONE.

The Truth is now here to stay, because in
the words of our Great Republican President
Abraham Lincoln, "You can fool some of the
people some of the time, but you cannot fool
all of the people all of the time".

The Internet is an exponential multiplier of
Lincoln's rule.

I guess a great many of the "Unpatriotic
Liberal" Americans speaking out about our
Foreign and Energy Policys and encouraging
Energy Alternatives and Conservation and
working for Environmental Protection for
the past 35 Years may have actually been
"Good Patriotic Conservatives".

And that many supposedly "Patriotic
Conservatives" may in fact be exposed
as "Dangerous and Unpatriotic Loose
Cannons" who have actually been
"Harming America" more than anyone
ever thought possible.

The media spin encouraged by the elite;
that Environmentalists, and people who
advocate and work for Peace, and people
who believe that the real purpose of any
government is to effectively, efficiently,
and respectfully respond to the actual
Human needs of it's Citizens; that all
these people who actually do care about
the real interests of this country are
somehow "Unpatriotic" or "Unamerican";
well, that spin must have something to
do with the fact that the Media who are
reporting this line are all owned by the
Corporations, and that those Corporations
feel no sense of obligation whatsoever
to anything other than their own profits.

What ever happened to the concept of a
Public Interest that the Media itself
had a responsibility to? The Corporations
that own the Media have now decided that
concept is outmoded and unprofitable, so
they have dispensed with it altogether.

I wonder where the "Patriotic Republican Right"
gets all that MONEY? Is it because they are
"Personally Responsible" and have worked so
hard for it, or is it because they were so
"Busy" selling out our precious American
lives to the highest Domestic, Foreign,
Multi-National and International bidders?

I suspect we are going to find the answers
to those questions shortly, and I believe
many Americans are going to be very upset
indeed when they find out the Truth.

However, we will take that anger out at the
Voting Booth on November 2nd, because unlike
the crooks who stole our last Election, the
Average Citizen is Law-Abiding, does Play
Fair, and does believe in the American Way.

I guess there were good reasons we have been
demanding Fairness, and Truthfulness, and
Honesty, and Representation, and Transparency
in our Government all this time.

I guess there was a reason we didn't think
we should be sending our Brave young Men and
Women off to die on orders to topple governments
left and right all over the Globe whenever our
leaders felt like it without having serious,
thorough, and open debate in order to explore
every possible better option FIRST.

I guess there was a REASON we have been advocating
for sane, sustainable, independent energy policy for
almost 40 YEARS. I guess it all starts to make sense
now when we hear Mr. Cheney saying he got six (6)
deferments from Military Service because he had
"Other Priorities".

I guess it's because as a member of the Inside
Elite, he knew very well that the chances were
quite high that in the "game" of war, he would
probably end up as CANNON FODDER.

But John Kerry was Elite and Privileged too.
Wasn't he?

At least, that's what the Corporate-owned TV and
Newspapers keep screaming over and over 24/7/365.

But even though he may have been born with
privileges, John Kerry served this Country,
and was wounded, and he was Decorated, right?
What's that? All those stories are just lies?

No, my Friends, No. Those stories about John
Kerry's Bravery and Service to his Country
are not lies. They are well-documented Truth.

It is not John Kerry who has been lying
to the American People all this time

George Butler has recently made a documentary film entitled GOING UPRIVER: THE LONG WAR OF JOHN KERRY. Following are excerpts from a review of the film by Harry at

"The Vietnam part of the documentary is frankly pretty brutal. It lays out what the mission of the Swift Boats in Vietnam were. There’s testimony by those that recommended Kerry for medals at the time he earned them. Men, who claim he saved their lives, including one while Kerry was in fact wounded. Whether or not these events happened exactly as these men claimed they happened is surely up for debate these days… but it sure seems that people who would probably know best what John Kerry did on his swift boat in Vietnam…. would be the men that were actually on his swift boat… or the man he pulled out of the river while he himself was wounded.......John’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is incredibly powerful. I’ve seen blurry photos of John testifying used in Anti-Kerry ads, but muted of course. As if to lump him in with the foul mouth protests of them there hippies. Instead, his testimony is one of the most eloquent and dignified statements I’ve seen from a Senate testimony. Throughout his time shown at this period of his life, he is shown to be the moderate steady hand that lead the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). He wasn’t speaking out against the soldiers, but in fact FOR THE SOLDIERS. To put an end to the war. His statement about Nixon not wanting to be the first U.S. President to lose a war, in comparison to having to ask how one can ask a soldier to be the last man to die for a mistake… well, that’s powerful..........Seeing the Republican Senator praising his statements and offering to help put an end to this war showed his ability to reach across partisan lines and to eloquently and intelligently make a bridge between what was seen as a ‘counter-culture’ movement and the very foundations of leadership in this country. Kerry remained clean shaven and well kept through this period as to not alienate those whom he felt needed to hear the message of those trying to end a terrible period of American history. In fact his statement before that Senate Foreign Relations Committee was so good, that when Nixon asked Haldeman about it, Haldeman said that Kerry reminded him of a Kennedy, that he looked like and spoke like a Kennedy… and frankly, I would agree. I never thought I would ever agree with a Haldeman assessment, but there it is......The parts of this documentary where fellow Vietnam Vet protesters discuss how angry they were and how calming Kerry was, how he felt it was incredibly important to remain peaceful in their protests, even if provoked, as to not discredit the messages they were trying to give to the nation and its leaders. It was quite comforting to see a leader of restraint..... a man that not only knows the meaning and cost of those serving this country, but to also understand what it means to protest a war that continues to put those you served with in danger. That he didn’t just go back to the states and leave everything he experienced behind, but that he held on to it, and used it to try to put an end to the danger his fellow soldiers were continuing to endure, by lobbying and exercising his rights to speak and protest.......that’s a leader that deserves serious consideration."

It's really not hard to see the Truth.
All you have to do is grab a cup of
coffee and spend a day finding out the
Truth for yourself.

The Truth you will find for yourself
on the Internet is alot more interesting
than the complete web of deliberate and
convenient lies you'll find on the
Corporate-owned TV, or in the
Corporate-owned Press, or on the
Corporate-owned Radio.

All you need is an open mind, and a day
or two. Investing that time away from
the Corporate-owned media will change
Your life, the lives of your Loved Ones,
the lives of your Fellow American Citizens

for the better, Forever.

Before you go to Google and start typing in keywords
relating to the subject of the activities of the figures in
this administration, and the figures with whom they
are associated, prepare yourself to be Disturbed, Upset,
Shocked, and Outraged at what you will find, because
the Truth about what George Bush and Dick Cheney have
done to your country is not a pretty or pleasant story.

It's nasty, it's dark, and it is completely
Unamerican. Corruption is nothing new,
and we learned something about secret
corruption in our own Government
during the Watergate era, but what is
new is the Internet, and there is now going
to be a much more rapid exposition of
this administrations malfeasance than
there ever was in the Watergate era.

I am an American, and I do not want,
or like to see my President questioned.
However, to be perfectly honest, this
President was never properly Elected,
and furthermore, from the research I
have done and from everything I have
witnessed over the past 4 years, I must
say I believe this unelected presidents
actions make the Watergate break-in
look like childs-play by comparison.

Our country has been through bad times before.
Now it is time to Elect a new President, and we
will invest our Faith in him, and he will lead us
to a recovery of much of what has been lost
in our great Nation.

9/11 was a devastating and defining event
in our history, a low and terrible point,
but it is time now to move on. This is
what we as individuals do, this is what we
as Americans do together as a Nation;
we Persevere, we Overcome, and we Succeed.

Discovering that you have been lied to by those
you trusted is always sad and discouraging.
But, as we learned from Watergate, finding out the
Truth is always far better than blindly living a lie.


Saturday, September 18, 2004

Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition

Hesiod Is Back And He's Badder Than Ever:

"I think President Bush is addicted to his own spin.
And on November the 2nd, the American people are going
to stage an intervention. Because, how can you fix a
problem if you don't even admit that one exists?"

This Is How They Do It Baby

"But the campaign hasn’t illuminated
what Bush or Kerry will do in Iraq"

- Headline on Googlenews

"But, but, but...." The whining is palpable, even
in the planted headlines. Facts on the ground are
so bad the neocons have nothing left and they know it.

Interesting about that "illuminated". If I were a
conspiracy theorist...oh, nevermind.

The Republicans have been spin-controling the media
for decades, and by now it is abundantly clear that
whatever "freedom" and "independence" the press may have
once enjoyed has been completely eviscerated, along with
our environment, our economy, our "educational" system,
our social "services", our Constitutional Rights, etc.

This is the wonderful "Legacy" the American people have
inherited from Nixon, Regan, King George, and Boy King
George; this is the glorious final result of the neo-fascist
programme of greed and hate that has been allowed to operate
with impunity for 25 years within the borders of our "Democracy".

In the midst of the most important election of
modern times, with so much at stake at home and
so much going on in the world, AOL has nothing,
zilch, nada, on its opening page about anything
more germaine than how women can use their blouses
to hide those embarrasing tummy bulges. Oh yes,
and some picturesque shots of the hurricane damage.

Todays AOL startpage has a picture of the terrible destruction
wrought by Ivan on a crumpled soggy sagging wrecked building,
and IMMEDIATELY under that picture, so close it could easily be
mistaken for a photo caption, "At least 23 people killed" then
"Bush lead gone in new poll".

It is very important to keep in mind that people are only
looking at this for a few seconds at the most before clicking
away to wherever. THAT is why this stuff is so powerful.
The Neocon Wurlitzer is contacting and manipulating ALL
americans on a very deep, subliminal, profound emotional
level because they know that as a SPECIES this is where
the action truly is. We Humans are extremely complex
thinking machines, and yes, we are more than that, but
it is a fact that we are hardwired with certain predictable
responses through eons of evolutionary development.

Let's go back to our Marshal McLuhan here;
this IS the way they do it:

The Wurlitzer is pushing the psychological impression
that the devastating hurricane has also swept away Boy
King George's "lead" in the whirlwind, and that that is a
"DISASTER, Folks!". The Wurlitzer is very practiced at what
they do. They can put anything they want exactly where they
want it in order to create the psychological effects they want,
in this case cynically exploiting the human tragedy embodied
by the photo of the hurricane-blasted building to imply on a
subconscious level to the American voter that it would be a
"disaster" to vote for Kerry; that this latest photo represents
the destruction one would see by voting for Kerry.

The most insidious aspect is that it LOOKS at first glance
as if they are just being "evenhanded" but they most certainly
are not. There are designers and specialists who do nothing
other than engineer impressions. Carl Rove is one of them,
and there are a whole lot more where he came from.

This is not conspiracy theory, this is what they ARE in
fact doing, and this is why we as Democrats have such a
persistently difficult time reaching out to our fellow
Republican citizens. We simply don't operate this way,
most of us anyway. We believe in being above-board,
open, honest, and non-manipulative. Republican
citizens do too. Most Americans do. But not all of them.

The science-fiction film The Matrix was on one level
a brilliant metaphore for these exact mechanisms.
All this arrant, highly arranged, bought and paid for
nonsense is in fact being pumped directly into
everyones visual cortex and nervous systems
24/7/365 Via TV, Internet, Magazines, Advertising,
and Radio. This creates an insidious "multiplier effect";
once a person "buys into" the basic premises of this
schema, one effectively becomes a repeater of false
and destructive memes engineered for no other
purpose than to decieve people into believing
fear-based myths, half-truths, and outright lies.

All this adds up to a malicious and felonious
violation of the prime tenet from which all
Civil Rights worthy of the name derive their
fundamental Charter:

The most Sacred and inviolable Right
Human Beings have, or which can be
bestowed upon them by any Government
is the singular, basic, Inalienable Right
to be left alone.

There is alot of talk on the "Conservative Right"
about our "freedoms", but in fact it is all just talk
and nothing more than talk.

Authentic Freedom itself consists of, and
demands, that people everywhere be given
the ultimate right to make up their own minds
with respect to any particular issue or stance,
entirely free from undue influence or pressure.

Anything less is not actually Freedom.
Anything less is in fact an effort to create

At any given time we are literally being bombarded
with thousands of impressions, and more and more
of those impressions are being engineeered to create
specific effects: to produce carefully calculated
responses from us.

Your vote is the most important response
in this schema, followed by your purchasing.

And so we find ourselves in the world they are creating.
But this is not science fiction, this is actually happening,
and if we really want change we are going to have to face
down those who actually ARE controlling OUR media.

Don't believe it? Read The Mighty Wurlitzer. It was written by
someone who was very well paid to do it for a long time, but
who's conscience prevailed upon him to expose the Truth.

People do not want to believe these things; in school
we are taught to trust, and so we do. It is very painful to
find out that you have been betrayed by those you trusted,
but if we are to grow, if we are to survive, we have to find
the Truth, there is no other way. If you allow others to do
your thinking for you, sooner or later you will be mislead.
That goes for everything I am telling you here. I am not
asking you to believe me. I am asking you to check it out
for yourself.

As outrageous as Viet Nam was, as outrageous
as the two Bush wars in the Middle East have been,
we MUST understand this EQUAL and even greater
outrage; the complete takeover of OUR media that
gives the perpetrators of this agenda so much power
to conduct their insidious programs.

After losing 3000 lives in the Towers, and 1000 in Iraq,
and our Credibility abroad, and our economy at home,
the latest spin is to show Boy King George as a regular
guy handing out dripping bags of ice to hurricane victims,
except this regular guy also happens to have a 2 billion
dollar relief check on him 40 days before the election.

Of course it's VITALLY important to help out disaster
victims, now more than ever, and we must do everything
we possibly can do for them, but what about the millions
of victims of the 4-year National Disaster that IS this
unelected "administration"? Marie Antoinette handing
out slices of cake comes to mind.

The unelected administration has reached a dead end
newswise, the Democrats and some in their own party
have them in a corner with incontravertible evidence
of lying, malfeasance, and utter corruption and
incompetence at the highest levels, but so what?

They simply clam up and wait for it all to blow over
by completely switching subjects, or cutting to a
commercial or dropping the debate all together, or
using one of a thousand other nasty, dark, cynical
and extremely effective Psychological Operations
Wurlitzer plays, counting on our miniscule attention
span for facts, and huge appetite for emotionally
appealing fluff that they have so conveniently
engineered into the populace do the rest.

Pretty basic stuff, really. The Neocons love to talk about
"Values"; but what kind of values does this sort of massive
manipulation for political gain really represent?

It represents the values of Fascism, of Nazism, of cynical
powerhungry Wolves in Sheeps clothing who will say and
do anything to control OUR Hearts, Minds, Money and Lives.

Shall we let this continue for another 50 years, leading
to the complete erosion of our actual values and the
complete dissolution of our Democracy? Or shall we
register every possible voter and take back OUR Nation
for ALL of US, in order to rebuild and protect Her from
Within and from Without?

It's your Future. YOU decide.

You Call That Winning

I find this latest tabloid sex scandal amusing
for about 10 seconds as sauce for the gander, but
I do not want our Democratic party to exchange it's
genuine strength and values for a win-at-any-cost
mentality. That mentality is at the core of decisions
which have led our Country and our world into an
extremely difficult yet otherwise avoidable pass.
I want us to offer better and more original options.

I think we are seeing the win-at-any-cost mentality
starting to backfire in a big way; imploding of its
own accord as people everywhere awaken to inescapable
conclusions that ever-increasing access to data on all
sides of every issue virtually force upon them. The truth
really does want to be free, and that's a very good thing.

As Barak Obama so succinctly put it in his address
to the DNC, the question that confronts us is this:
Are we going to engage in the politics of Cynicism,
or participate in the politics of Hope?

As Democrats, the freeing of information and the
awakening that results gives us a golden opportunity
to both avoid the wholesale adoption of the politics
of derision, and to learn the lessons its implosion
has to teach us. We can find out what turns people on
about being positive, and we can study what turns people
off about appeals to the lesser angels of our nature.

So far, though, it seems we have seen an overwhelming
degree of the latter, interspersed with some small bit
of the former.

The dynamics of the politics of Cynicism are roughly
this: to engage in ad-hominem attacks and arguments
that may or may not have anything to do with the actual
facts or questions at hand in an effort to summarily
discredit the object of those attacks, for the ultimate
purpose of avoiding, obscuring, and ultimately
circumventing any rational debate of the actual
questions at issue.

These politics do not serve our real interests,
and do nothing to address our real concerns.
These politics merely serve to futher divide us,
and to drive the level of discourse ever downwards,
ultimately to the gutter level of a shrill and keening
brawl between callow insecure adolescents, in which
invective and cowardly attempts at the moral equivalent
of kicking one's opponent while they lay prone and not
even facing you are leeringly held up as examples of
supreme cunning and rapacious virtue.

It is a fact that the ethics of our politics have
very real consequences; their tone sets the tone
for the overall level of discourse in our daily
lives and throughout our society.

The politics of hatred and arrogance prevent any
real progress or debate, they ultimately lead to
such things as lynch mobs, vigilantism, racial unrest,
invasions of privacy, contraventions of our Constitutional
rights, and all the other fear-based smear tactics of
willful arrogance, and cynical appeals to emotionalism
that we all know so well, are so weary of, and which
have grown so stale, so sorry, so tired, and so old.

Smirky winks and knowing nods, chuckling asides and
poking ribs are all poor, unworthy substitutes for
learned, earnest, sincere debate and deliberation
over grave and serious issues, the outcome of which
will determine our collective future and fate.

Here, the practitioners of these techniques would
tell you that we share no common destiny, that we
are all seperate and autonomous; that freedom of
speech means the right to say whatever one wishes,
however one wishes, and so it does.

However, as Justice Holmes famously observed,
"freedom of speech does not convey the right to
shout fire in a crowded theatre", and vile pollution
spewed from smokestacks is borne on the wind throughout
our skies, eventually distorting and blocking everyones
view; filthy sewage dumped in our oceans eventually
spreads throughout our waters, choking marine life
everywhere and leading to the stagnation and death of
our Oceans; toxic mercury dumped in our oceans winds
up in everyone's fish; and, just so; vitriolic,
irrational, bitter, baseless and arrogant posturing
spreads throughout our political environment,
eventually choking off and completely poisoning
any constructive discourse.

This is exactly the cynical, debilitating, low,
meanspirited, cold, and slimy intent behind all
of these techniques in the first place. They are
calculated to stifle debate and rational inquiry
and are therefore unworthy of us all. Traditionally,
we Americans uphold a higher standard, and adhere
to a more generous view of our neighbors rights.

Satire is an honored, respected, often entertaining,
and sometimes illuminating tactic, but satire and
mocking ad-hominem attacks are like salt or pepper;
fine when sprinkled with a quick dash over the real
meat and potatos of rational, logical, polite,
considered and considerate debate, but entirely
sickmaking and poisonous as a wholesale substitute
for the meal itself. Satire is one thing, but
indescriminate ruthless mockery without any other
justification than the necessity to defend one's
own indefensible position is quite another.
Basically, it is one ugly lie constructed to
cover another.

I do not buy the notion that our posturing led
to the collapse of the former Soviet Union; while
it may have accelerated it, I think that collapse
was already guaranteed by the corruption that we
now know already existed at the core of that
country's political system. Was sooner better? Yes.
Was the social shift in this country towards the
right worth it? I believe the answer is no, and
today we see exactly why it was not. Our entire
society was built on the premise of inclusion,
not exclusion, and when we betray that principle
we betray our central, most profound and defining
characteristic as a nation: we betray our cherished
diversity. Tolerance for a diversity of opinion is
the bedrock of our free society. Without it, we
might as well be Bolshevik Russia, Fascist Italy,
or Nazi Germany.

Does tolerance for a diversity of opinion include
tolerance for political speech that tends toward
the scandalous, the base, towards indescriminate
ruthless mockery without justification, towards
the lowest common denominator? Yes, in a truly
free society it most definitely does, but having
said that, we then have a certain obligation to
at least try to check those tendencies wherever
we find them, in our own politics or in the
politics of others, for the greater good and
ostensible aim of politics itself, which as I
understand it is progress, legitimate governance,
and social equity, not merely the aquisition and
accumulation of power, advantages, priviledges,
preferments, material wealth, and social status.

We all lose when our politics and speech degenerates
into one continuous round of "gotcha". I think the
Media has capitulated to this tendency, has abdicated
it's responsibility to the Public Interest, and needs
to redevelop its original role as an impartial conduit,
and not as an authoritative arbiter or originator of
public opinion.

There have always been terrorists; and their principles
automatically gain a key victory if we ourselves restrict
or repress our own freedoms, our own rights, and our own
privacy just because they exist. Although extremism in
defense of Liberty is no vice, simply shouting "the
terrorists are out there", violently waving the flag,
and telling people that they should therefore "shut up",
does not constitute a justifiable or rational basis for
lying, or for efforts to paint those with differing
viewpoints as unpatriotic or unworthy, or for the
supression of traditional and fundamental rights such
as the right of Dissent, the right to question, the
right to peaceably assemble, the right to petition for
a redress of grievances, etc etc.

There now seems to be alot of talk about civility,
but mere politeness is not civility. My position is
that actually supporting our troops means doing
everything we can to see to it that they stay alive.
Once they have been commited to a decidedly flawed
mission, supporting them means doing everything we
can to responsibly see to it that the mission itself
is withdrawn.

None of this in the least way indicates anything
other than complete support on our part for our
fighting Men and Women themselves, and questioning
the Patriotism of those who share this view is in
itself unpatriotic, unfair, and Unamerican. We all
have a right to our own opinion, we all deserve to
have that right respected, and we all have an obligation
to extend that right to others.

That is the essence of true civility.

I think there are plenty of fine Republicans, but I
think the greater part of them have essentially been
betrayed by their leaders, whom, it seems to me, have
encouraged and appealed to the lesser rather than the
better angels of their nature. In the end I would hope
that we all do what we genuinely believe is right, not
just what we think is convenient or expedient or in our
narrowest definition of self-interest.

I love and support my country, and I believe
there are many remarkable and wonderful things
about it, yet I also believe we do need to take
a very serious look at how certain of our actions
as a nation profoundly and sometimes very negatively
effect the rest of the world. Again, I do not think
that is an unpatriotic view, but quite the contrary;
it means I care about how my country is percieved
and respected in the broader world.

It's not an original observation, but I think it
bears repeating that the world has basically gone...
well, you know, and therefore it seems to me that
the best use of our time is to debate the actual
issues that face all of us. One example of bad
policy on our part is not encouraging, or not
encouraging rapidly enough, the development of
alternative sources other than Oil & Nuclear to
slake our national thirst for energy.

I believe National and International Peace,
Prosperity, Cooperation, and Environmental
Responsibility are all extremely important
and worthy aims. If all of the above makes
me a wild-eyed bleeding-heart left-wing liberal
Democrat pacifist hippy, I think that is still
preferable to being an Anarchist, or a Nazi,
or a Fascist, or a Corporate Greedhead with
no social conscience whatsoever.

Thank you for considering my opinion, and

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Time To Kick Out The Jams

I'm going to do the speech now, and I want to let
you all know how much I love you. If you are a
Republican, I love you too. Seriously. We all have
our faults, and we all make mistakes. The problem
comes when we don't admit the error of our ways.

Dick Cheney's unamerican little remark was of
course upside-down and inside-out. I'll answer
him with this: Dick, I do not want our World to
expire because we failed to do the right thing
by taking back our Country and our Democracy
from you, the crook who stole it from us in 2000.

I'm not fooling around here folks, in your heart
of hearts you know exactly how bad the past 4 years
have been. I grew up in New York, I watched them
build the Towers floor by floor until it was done.
It was one of the Wonders Of The World; the Towers
inspired everyone young and old to dream and to marvel.
I thank the Good Lord every day that my friends and my
loved ones escaped with their lives, but thousands of
my fellow New Yorkers were not so lucky.

To their Families, I say we will never, ever forget,
and we will always remember, love, and keep those who
perished on 9/11 alive in our hearts, and in our souls.
After that awful day, it sometimes seems like we will
never dream again, never marvel with that pure innocence
and joy we shared before this tragedy.

My fellow Americans, we looked to our Leader then,
and we were prepared to follow him.

But he failed all of us. Instead of coordinating a
deliberate, concentrated, determined, and concerted
International effort to hunt down and destroy Osama
Bin Laden and his followers, George Bush sent our
utterly selfless, incredibly Brave, Valiant, and
Heroic Men and Women of the United States Armed
Forces down a reckless, ill-concieved, and ultimately
destructive path that will only bring about the
dissolution and disruption of peaceful Friendship
and productive mutual Respect that was hard-won by
those who so selflessly served this country at home
and abroad from the Revolution in 1776 right until
this very day.

Let us imagine that Osama Bin Laden is somehow
suddenly and surprisingly found between now and
Election day. At what price will he have been
captured or killed?

The fact will remain unchanged that instead of
stepping up to the real challenge at hand
after 9/11, George Bush let us down by initiating
a war in Iraq that has already claimed well over
1000 brave young American Men and Women, which now
rages out of control, and which threatens to inflame
the entire Middle East, a region that was already
unstable, which remains highly volatile, and which
the entire World cannot afford nor allow to further
disintegrate into complete chaos.

We are told by this administration that we must
"stay the course", but only a fool persists in
his folly. Any sailor will tell you that when it
becomes obvious that certain disaster lies ahead,
the sensible thing to do, the right thing to do,
and the prudent thing to do is in fact to change
course in order to gain some distance on the situation,
so that the seas ahead can be navigated properly, and
the ship along with her crew and cargo can be brought
home safely to port.

My fellow Americans, and to all my Friends in every
nation and in every Country throughout this great Globe,
we have so much at stake, so much to accomplish, so many
mouths to feed, wounds to heal, hearts and minds to lift
up here at home everywhere on this precious and wonderful,
yet deeply endangered, fragile, beautiful, mysterious,
and sacred blue planet we call home, our Earth.

George Bush promised to Unite us, so let us judge him by
his own standards: even now he is spreading a poisonous
message of division and contempt in his campaign, inciting
the Good People of the Great State of Michigan to jeer at
the Good People of the Great State of Massachusetts,
simply because that is John Kerry's Home State.

My fellow Americans, I ask you a question: are W's the
words of a Uniter, or are they the low, unworthy, cynical,
self-serving and shortsighted ploys of a Divider?

Where exactly does George "Wrong" Bush hail from, anyway?
Is it The Great State of Connecticut, The Great State of
Maine, or the Great State of Texas? Wherever it is, he sure
does get around. Perhaps he's from Mars, since he wants to
go there so badly, but after turning our 1 Trillion-Dollar
Surplus into our 2.5 Trillion-Dollar Deficit in just4 years,
I wonder how he plans to pay for that trip? Maybey he thinks
he can just write another check with our red ink.

Space Exploration is indeed an inspiring and very
important part of our National Scientific agenda,
but now I understand NASA is also suffering severe
budget cuts in order to pay for the costs of the
misguided and still escalating war in Iraq, while
at home, Millions more Americans are now suffering
without any Health Care for the same reason.

You see, my friends, John Kerry was absolutely
correct when he said that the War On Terror is
being prosecuted in the Wrong way, and that it
is draining our Nation of her capital, and that
the prudent way to go about this dangerous situation
is not to just jump on our horses and go it alone,
but to strengthen our International Alliances in
order to increase the total resources available
for the fight by sharing the burden among all
Nations, in order to reduce the costs in lives
and money for our own country.

Some people think speaking French is somehow
Unamerican, but I say it takes brains to understand
another language. Quite frankly, I can't understand
what W is trying to say half the time anyway. Maybey
he's speaking Martian, who knows? What I do know is
that John Forbes Kerry did not spend 20 years on the
Senate Foreign Relations Commitee for nothing. When
he opens his mouth, he knows what he's talking about.

By now, everyone can see that George Bush and Dick
Cheney have taken an utterly awful situation from
insanely bad to completely unbearable. At this point,
our whole Planet hangs in the balance. But in this
dark and fearful climate, God in his Mercy has given
us Hope. He is shining a ray of Light down on us
through the darkness.

My fellow Americans, Brothers and Sisters, we will Dream
again, we will Marvel again, and we will live in Peace
and Security with our fellow Human Beings all around
this infinitely precious God-Given Earth again.

We will travel to the stars, we will find miracle
cures for AIDS, Cancer, and the other epidemics,
we will meet the challenge to reduce and eliminate
the deadly Nuclear and Toxic Wastes that threaten
our health, safety, and ecosystem, and we will develop
clean, reliable, renewable, and sustainable sources to
provide the United States Of America with real Energy
Independence once and for all.

We will raise the standard of living and education,
and make the same quality health care that your
government representatives enjoy available to every
Citizen, so that no one at all is left behind,
and so that every single American gets an opportunity
to make the most of themselves, and the opportunity
to contribute the very best that they have to give.

And in the War On Terror, we will immediately and
decisively navigate the correct course by working
in concert with our Allies, The EU, NATO, the UN,
INTERPOL, the Armed Services of every nation, and
many other organizations, to share the latest anti-
terrorist technology and intelligence in a fully
coordinated, properly planned and executed full-scale
worldwide crackdown on all terrorist activity whenever
and wherever it exists, to fully insure that every
terrorist is hunted down and either killed, or
captured and brought to Justice.

While still respecting law-abiding citizens
traditional and fundamental rights, freedoms,
and privacy, will work tirelessly in order to
insure that every state that harbors or tolerates
terrorists, terrorism, or actual terrorist-related
activity is swiftly and effectively brought to it's
knees, neutralized, and fairly tried under the rule
of Law openly and in full view of the entire world.

We will win the War On Terror, and finally, we will
secure the Peace, Freedom, Safety, and Security of
The United States of America and her Allies throughout
the World for this generation, and for the generations
to come. Lastly, and most importantly, we will work to
address the root causes of terrorism, so that this
scourge will never again be allowed to devastate
the men, women, and children of our planet.

Poverty, inequity, injustice, intolerance, greed,
and blind hatred, these my fellow Citizens, are the
actual root causes of terrorism, and these very
serious problems are what we must all address,
and what we will all address together. That is
how we will truly be United, and never Divided.

The first step is always the hardest, but we have
each other to help us through, and when we work
together there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.
That is how our country began, that is how our Fathers
and Mothers defeated the Nazis and the Fascists, that
is how we put an American on the Moon, and that is how
we will restore our Democracy and regain our place of
Honor among the great Human community of nations as
respected, admired, trusted, and trustworthy leaders
of the Free world.

All we have to do is follow the ray of Light that God
is shining down on us through the darkness. That ray
of Light will take us off of the Wrong track we are
on now, and lead us directly onto the bright, wide
open and sunny road ahead.

Big John Kerry is that ray of Light, and he has proven
time and time again, in the Jungles of Viet Nam, in the
Statehouse of Massachussetts, and in the Senate of our
Nation's Capitol, that he will not only fight in the
right way, but also that he will not rest until he wins
that fight for each and every one of us.

John Edwards has also shown his dedication and resolve
to stand up and fight for the rights of all of us, not
just the few powerful and wealthy special interests.
As a trial lawyer from the Heartland, he will be a
strong Advocate for every American Citizen, representing
the real Values, actual Integrity, and true Interests
that we all share.

We have had enough of the profiteering corporations
and the secretive special interests; after all this
time it's easy to see what their plan is, and that it
is they, not you or I, who benefits from it. Now, it
is our turn to step up and show the people of
the world what We The People of The United States of
America truly stand for, what we are really made of,
and what we actually represent.

Make no mistake, my fellow Americans, the stakes
in this election are much bigger than partisan
distinctions, Republicans or Democrats, this thing
is bigger than all of us. This election will not
only determine the quality of our lives and the
extent of our personal freedoms for the next 50
years, it will in fact determine the social,
political, economic, and environmental destiny
of our entire planet.

It is that important: We are at a defining
moment in History, as crucial to our collective
well-being and survival as the final days of World
War II. Now is the time to stand up, now is the time
to make your voices heard, now is the time to Register,
get ALL of your Friends and Family to Register and to

This is how our country works, Registering & Voting
IS the Patriotic American thing to do. Oh, sure, there's
no LAW saying you HAVE to vote, but when you do that,
it means you are letting everyone ELSE decide FOR you.
And that means that if you DON'T Vote, then you really
have NO legitimate right to complain or even speak up
about whoever does win the Presidency, because YOU,
my friend, didn't VOTE.

Luckily, you can still legally speak up even if
you didn't Vote, (so far, anyway) but Voting is like
holding the door for the other person, or helping
someone carry a heavy load that was getting to be
too much for them. It is the RIGHT thing to do, it
makes you feel GOOD about yourself and our God-Given
American way of Life, where we are FREE to CHANGE
things if we dont LIKE them (so far, anyway).

Now Is The Time To Come To The Aid Of Our Nation


If we get this wrong, you can forget about
anything else, because the unelected so-called
"leaders" currently occupying our White House
have proven for four long and heartbreaking years
that they will not stop their illegal, immoral, and
entirely unacceptable rampage until they have completely
shredded our Constitution, our Bill Of Rights, our
Economy, our Alliances, and our precious God-Given
Environment itself, nor will they stop until they
have despoiled and plundered everything and anything
else they can get their greedy hands on here at home
and around the world, in our fragile Arctic, on our
beautiful Protected Lands, even in space itself.

But this is YOUR country, remember? This is OUR
country, NOT theirs. My fellow Americans, are We
The People going to let them do that? NO, we are
certainly NOT going to let them do that.

In the name of everything Good, everything Decent,
and everything Honorable, the People of The United
States of America most assuredly will NEVER, EVER,
allow that to happen.

While they say their strategy is to appeal to
people's emotions, Big John Kerry says "The Truth
has a force all it's own", so his strategy is to get
out there and tell the truth. The way things are right
now, with corporate control of the mass media, and
corporate lobbyists telling our representatives how
to vote, and the general supression of traditional
standards of freedoms we Americans have always taken
for granted, such as the right to assemble peaceably,
and the right to speak our minds in public, and the
right to criticize our government, and the right to
attend appearances of our President and Vice-President
without being required to sign Loyalty Oaths, Big John
Kerry's plainspoken approach might seem a bit naieve
or unsophisticated, or not that exciting or glamorous.

But the truth has an unmistakable ring to it,
and if you listen you can hear that sound in
John Kerry's voice. I hear it. In fact, almost
everyone I talk to these days seems to hear it.

Do you hear that sound in W's voice? I don't.
I hear a very diferent sound in W's voice,
and I don't like the sound of what I hear.

You know, making people sign Loyalty Oaths
and that sort of thing? That's the kind of
stuff that only happens in a Free country
when the person making you sign didn't really
win their office fair and square in the first
place, isn't it?

Well, my fellow Citizens, John Kerry's strategy
seems to be working just fine, because getting
out there and telling the truth is the right way
to win in this Great Nation. That is what makes
us great. That is how Honest Abe Lincoln won.
That is how Franklin Delano Roosevelt won four
Landslides in a row. That is how Harry Truman won.

By the way, remember "Give 'em Hell" Harry Truman?
Funny thing about him. The newspapers kept telling
everyone how the other fellow Dewey won. The only
thing was, when they counted up all the votes, it
turned out that old Harry had actually beat Tom
Dewey fair and square. And that is the American way.
Boy, were those newspapers ever embarrassed.

That's the same way John Fitzgerald Kennedy won too.
It was a squeaker, but JFK got out there and told
the truth to the people, and he won the Presidency
of the United States of America fair and square.
Later on the guy he beat became President too,
only he didn't tell the truth to the American
people, and he got Impeached, then had to resign
before his time was up. Fellow by the name of Nixon.
It just doesn't pay not to tell the truth to the
American people. Now we have another JFK running
for President, and that makes me smile.
It's funny how things go around.

I devoutly pray that the great American Consumer
Advocate Ralph Nader, who has done so much for all
of us, will come to his senses and throw his support
to the Kerry/Edwards ticket. Please get together with
any Nader supporters you know and talk to them about
the seriousness of winning this time, tell them they
can vote for Ralph in the next election for gosh sakes;
he's been running since 1968!

Ralphies, my Brothers and Sisters, I know you want
to see things change. Ralph has been working for
change for well over 40 years now, and we all love,
admire, and respect him alot, but, as John Kerry said,
"The March Is Not Over". If you really want to do some
good, if you really want to make a difference, if you
really care, then please, my fellow Americans in every
Party, I implore you first to look deep into your
Childrens and Loved One's eyes, and then deep down
into your own Hearts and Souls on November 2nd,
then cast your Ballot to elect John Forbes Kerry
President of United States of America.

This one is for keeps; this one is for our Children,
and their Children, and for their Children's Children
after them.

WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE, and we will NOT lose.
But we need to WATCH every single Local polling
place with the same Vigilance that an Eagle guards
her nest, we need to immediately report any activity
whatsoever that does not measure up to our Long-
Established, Cherished, and World-Respected
Traditions of Fairness, Privacy, Tolerance,
and Freedom for every single American.

This is OUR Democracy, and it is
up to ALL of US to defend it.

This means YOU.

We need to Organize Rides to the Polls,
we need to Register every person we possibly
can, we need to plaster the horizon and all
of our own cars with Kerry/Edwards Stickers
and Signs, but always Respectfully, and always
Responsibly, and always with Love for Mother
Nature, and most importantly we need to REACH
OUT in the spirit of Love, Compassion,
Understanding, Positivity and Hope to ALL
of our Fellow Citizens in EVERY State
throughout this Great Nation.

We must do all of this NON-STOP
from right now up until Nov 3.

Then we can Celebrate, then we can rest
a little while, but not until then.

Together, we CAN WIN. If we STAY
together, NOTHING can stop us.