Sunday, August 27, 2006

Getting darker

Picks of the Week:

Harper's Weekly Review

America's corporate-controlled media: garbage disguised as news

"During the course of writing this article, I reached for my handy thesaurus to find appropriate synonyms to describe the profession of 'cable television news journalist.'

"There were three: 1). Pseudo-journalist, a.k.a. professional liar; 2). Bottom feeding scum sucker who regurgitates garbage; 3). A coward often known to hawk unjust and illegal wars from the safety of television studios while avoiding military service."

Are FOX news employees really "noncombatants"?

"It would be hard, if not impossible to draw a line of separation between the US military and FOX News. Their anchors may shun the camouflage fatigues and jack-boots, but that is where the difference ends. FOX is a fully-integrated cog in the corporate/state media apparatus; faithfully reiterating the official statements of Pentagon Big-wigs and administration powerbrokers. Their "'embedded' news team provides the splashy graphics and right wing chatter which energize their base and marshal public support for American aggression. They carefully create a narrative which makes deliberate acts of unprovoked warfare appear necessary and (even) humanitarian."

A new week: US media frenzy over JonBenet murder carries on

"Despite the serious doubts that have been raised regarding the involvement of John Mark Karr in the Christmas 1996 murder of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey in Boulder, Colorado, the US media frenzy provoked by his arrest and 'confession' continues unabated. If anything, it intensified Monday morning."

A friend told me many other children were murdered in the US in 1996. Name one.

Britain: questions remain over alleged terror plot

"Throughout the current terror scare the mass media has acted as the propaganda arm of the state, repeating every allegation, no matter how lurid, without making any effort to substantiate them, and quickly burying those that turned out to be bogus. And whereas in the first days of the arrests, the media was filled with supposed details of the alleged plot, the suspects involved and possible connections to Al Qaeda, 9/11 and the July 7, 2005 attacks in London, now there is virtual silence."

The liquid bomb hoax: The larger implications

"The arrests were followed by the search for evidence, as the August 12, 2006 Financial Times states: 'The police set about the mammoth task of gathering evidence of the alleged terrorist bomb plot yesterday.' (FT, August 12, 2006) In other words, the arrests and charges took place without sufficient evidence -- a peculiar method of operation -- which reverses normal investigatory procedures in which arrests follow the 'monumental task of gathering evidence.' If the arrests were made without prior accumulation of evidence, what were the bases of the arrests?"

To plant evidence?

An outlaw state: Israel breaks ceasefire, threatens to assassinate Hezbollah leader

"Both Lebanese and United Nations officials denounced the raid. Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora issued a press statement in Beirut calling the attack a 'flagrant violation' of the UN ceasefire resolution, while UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said he was 'deeply concerned about a violation by the Israeli side of the cessation of hostilities.'"

Israel is 'preparing for more fighting'

"Any chance of long-term peace between Lebanon and Israel all but vanished last night after Amir Peretz, the Israeli defence minister, said his country was preparing for another round of fighting.

"Mr Peretz spoke only hours after Israeli commandos mounted a raid deep inside Lebanon. Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary general, said it was a violation of the week-old UN ceasefire."
Israeli soldiers attacking Palestinian with Nasrallah screen savers on their mobile phones

"On Saturday morning Israeli soldiers attacked a group of young men and broke their mobile phones at the southern entrance of Jenin for having pictures of Hassan Nasrallah on them.

"The young man, Mahmoud Ibrahim, was among them, and reported to PNN that the soldiers imposed a barricade along the main road between Jenin and Nablus in the northern West Bank. The concern was not to check identification, but rather to check cell phones. Anyone with a Nasrallah photo was detained, and that meant a lot of cars lined up in the detention area."

Uncomfortable truths about Israel

"Having helped transform Hizbullah from a band of terrorists into the rock stars of the Muslim world, Israel persists with being stupid. Ehud Olmert either never learned or forgot the first rule of crisis management--i.e., when you're in a hole, stop digging. With the reputation of the Isreali Defense Force in tattters after the debacle in Lebanon, Israeli leaders apparently decided to go all out to secure their reputation as the supreme rogue state in the Middle East. How else to explain the following?"

Sales of US arms hit record levels

"So far this year contracts worth $21.7 billion (£11.5 billion) have been passed to the US Congress for ratification, 76 per cent more than agreed during all of 2005, when America is believed to have lost market share in the global weapons trade to Europe."

Scientists suspect Israeli arms used in South contain radioactive matter

"Mohammad Ali Qobeissi, a member of the National Council for Scientific Research, said on Sunday that a crater caused by an Israeli munition in Khiam contained 'a high degree of unidentified radioactive materials.' Qobeissi, along with Ibrahim Rashidi from the Faculty of Sciences at the Lebanese University, have inspected the crater - which is 3 meters deep and has a diameter of 10 meters - in the Jlahiyyeh quarter in Khiam, with a Geiger-Muller radioactivity counter and nuclear material detector."

Israel and the US focused on the wrong issues

"The constant clashes between Israel and Lebanon since the late 1960s derived heavily from the unresolved Palestinian-Israeli conflict that started with the 1948 war. Since Iran's 1979 revolution Islamist revolutionary zeal has found effective expression in its close association with Hizbullah, which Iranian revolutionary guards were instrumental in establishing and training. Tehran's assistance to Hamas today follows a similar pattern. A non-Arab power such as Iran exploits the resentment against Israel and the US throughout the Arab world to make political inroads into Arab regions. If the Arab-Israeli conflict had been resolved decades ago, Iran would not have this opportunity."

US extends credit line to Israel

"Bush administration agrees to extend by three-year loan guarantees for Israel given to Israel in 2003; Israel has used USD 4.9 billion of a total USD 9 billion."

Loans, the "Cranston Amendment," and loan guarantees

"Currently, Israel owes the U.S. government almost $3 billion in economic and military loans. Direct government-to-government loans are included in the above numbers for total aid, because repayment of several loans has been “waived” by the U.S. Israeli officials are fond of saying that Israel has never defaulted on a loan from the U.S. Technically, this is true. The CRS report, however, notes that from FY 1994 through FY 1998 $29 billion in U.S. loans have been waived for Israel. Therefore, it is reasonable to consider all loans to Israel the same as grants."

So who is paying for this? We are, of course.

AIPAC. the religious right and American foreign policy

"Nobody can understand what's going on politically in the United States without being aware that a political coalition of major pro-Likud groups, pro-Israel neoconservative intellectuals and Christian Zionists is exerting a tremendously powerful influence on the American government and its policies. Over time, this large pro-Israel Lobby, spearheaded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), has extended its comprehensive grasp over large segments of the U.S. government, including the Vice President's office, the Pentagon and the State Department, besides controlling the legislative apparatus of Congress. It is being assisted in this task by powerful allies in the two main political parties, in major corporate media and by some richly financed so-called 'think-tanks', such as the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, or the Washington Institute for Near East Policy."

Blair 'feels betrayed by Bush on Lebanon'

"A senior Downing Street source said that, privately, Mr Blair broadly agrees with John Prescott, who said Mr Bush's record on the issue was 'crap'."

I believe Prescott said that "Bush was crap." More encompassing . . . and more accurate.

Lebanon's month-old oil slick sinks

"An oil slick caused by Israeli bombing has begun sinking to the floor of the Mediterranean, blanketing marine life with sludge, according to a Greenpeace video that shows dead fish along the sea bottom.

"The scuba diver's videotape, released Tuesday by Greenpeace, also shows the sunken slick sliding ominously toward a lone red sea urchin rooted in the sand, its tentacles waving in the current. The footage graphically details some of the environmental destruction a month after the oil spill began sinking, creating what has been called Lebanon's worst-ever environmental disaster."

Giving death a chance.

'Non-combatant" Lieberman won't back Democratic candidates

"Lieberman -- who after losing an Aug. 8 Democratic primary to Ned Lamont has launched a third-party bid to hold onto his seat in the Nov. 7 general election -- was asked whether he still endorses Diane Farrell, Joe Courtney and Chris Murphy, three Democrats looking to unseat endangered Republican incumbents Chris Shays, Rob Simmons and Nancy Johnson.

“'I’m a non-combatant,' Lieberman declared. 'I am not going to be involved in other campaigns. I think it’s better if I just focus on my own race.'"

His loyalties are to BushCo and AIPAC.

Shocking election-theft testimony

"If you can watch this entire video, and still use an electronic voting machine, you deserve the government you get. If your state or district has decided to use electronic voting machines this November demand an absentee ballot today. Watch this video. Then join those of us who have decided that since paper was good enough for our constitution, it's good enough for our vote too."

Fourth defeat seals Bush's war legacy

"But when one examines the record of the self-professed "war leader", the results are pretty dismal. As of now, President Bush is in the process of losing all four wars that he started."

Is the US planning a coup in Iraq?

"The New York Times article, which had all the hallmarks of a planted story, did not of course speak openly of a coup against Maliki. Nevertheless it constituted an unmistakable threat to the Baghdad regime that its days were numbered if it did not toe the US line. Prior to his trip to Washington last month, Maliki publicly condemned the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. While his comments were just a pale reflection of popular sentiment in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, they soured the Bush administration’s plans to use the visit as a much-needed boost prior to mid-term US elections."

Putting the Iraq war on trial

"When he refused to deploy to Iraq in June, Army Lt. Ehren Watada said he was following his conscience and upholding his duty not to obey illegal orders. But that didn't impress military officials, who promptly charged him with violating Army rules and sent him on a path toward a likely court-martial.

"In doing so, they set up an unusual collision between a man who is believed to be the first officer to refuse duty in Iraq and a military justice system that is now effectively being asked to rule on the war's legality."

The best war ever

"Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber have a new book, which is always a good thing; but this one is especially good. It's called 'The Best War Ever: Lies, Damned Lies, and the Mess in Iraq.' It's 206 pages, and you'll read it in one sitting, because it's more entertaining than the corporate media whose infotainment is the book's focus. While this book is every bit as well researched as Congressman John Conyers's 350-page report, 'The Constitution in Crisis,' it's written as a compelling narrative rather than a list of evidence or a draft indictment. I recommend reading these two works together."

Bush press conference on Iraq: "We're not leaving so long as I'm president."

"So great has been the turn in public opinion against the war that Bush himself was compelled to admit the extent of the mass opposition. He made several comments on this theme, clearly rehearsed ahead of time, acknowledging the opposition while declaring it mistaken:"

Baghdad day after PMs unity call

"A bomb blew apart a minibus in central Baghdad on Sunday, killing nine people, the day after Prime Minister [Green Zone] Nuri al-Maliki again called on ethnically and religiously divided Iraqis to reconcile to end the bloodshed."

Manhood and moral waivers

"When news surfaced that GIs allegedly stalked, terrorized, gang-raped, and killed an Iraqi woman, the U.S. tried minimizing this latest atrocity by our troops—claiming the victim was age 25 or even 50, implying a rape-murder is less horrific if the victim is an older woman. Now, Article 32 hearings—the military equivalent of a grand jury—have ended at Camp Liberty, a U.S. base in Iraq (U.S. troops are exempt from Iraqi prosecution). In September, a general will rule whether the accused should be court-martialed. The defense already pleads post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): in four months preceding the crime, 17 of the accused GIs’ battalion were killed; their company, Bravo, suffered eight combat deaths.

"But as the U.S. spun the victim’s identity, investigators knew her name: Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi.

"Abeer means 'fragrance of flowers.' She was 14 years old."

War is a character builder. The Army should run an enlistment ad on TV that might go like this:

"Son, you've changed somehow."

"Yes, Dad, I'm heading overseas to rape young teenage girls."

Bush now says what he wouldn't say before war: Iraq had 'nothing' to do with 9/11

"President Bush was in the midst of explaining how the attacks of 9/11 inspired his 'freedom agenda' and the attacks on Iraq until a reporter, Ken Herman of Cox News, interrupted to ask what Iraq had to do with 9/11. 'Nothing,' Bush defiantly answered."

How to look like a failure: By linking Iraq with the war on terror, Bush has created a dynamic that threatens to destroy him

"Bush is trapped in a self-generated dynamic that eerily recalls the centrifugal forces that spun apart his father's presidency. It was not until the Gulf war that the public became convinced that the elder Bush was a strong leader and not the 'wimp' stereotypically depicted. Then came a recession. Bush's feeble response was not seen as merely an expression of typical Republican policy, but as a profound character flaw. If Bush was strong, why didn't he solve the problem?"

The evil scions of the Bush crime family share defective genes.

Four US servicemen killed in Iraq

"Two Marines and a sailor were killed on Sunday in the western province of Anbar, where Sunni Arab insurgents are active, the military said in a statement."

Marines to recall troops on involuntary basis for Iraq, Afghanistan

"Up to 2,500 Marines will be brought back at any one time, but there is no cap on the total number of Marines who may be forced back into service in the coming years as the military battles the war on terror. The call-ups will begin in the next several months.
"This is the first time the Marines have had to use the involuntary recall since the early days of the Iraq combat. The Army has ordered back about 14,000 soldiers since the start of the war."

Marine call-up greeted with anger. suspicion

"Della Vecchia says her son is stuck, with three years left on an eight-year military contract. She's also a bit suspicious -- wondering about the military's claims that it's meeting recruitment goals.

"She's also concerned that maybe something's really brewing elsewhere in the world -- perhaps with North Korea. She says people 'never know the whole story until it hits us front and center.'
"There's suspicion of another kind from the group Vote-Vets-dot-org, whose chairman calls this 'the last thing that happens before the draft.'"

Rumsfeld: Troops' families have no reason to be mad

"Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld praised the work Saturday of members of an Army brigade whose one-year tour in Iraq was extended just as they prepared to return home, and said he saw no reason for the soldiers or their families to be angry with him."

Modest proposal: Waterboard Congress

"Because many in the administration and Congress feel strongly that coerced confessions constitute the 'best practice' to get truth from people suspected of bad things, then, under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, American citizens should be permitted to use the same method to pry the truth out of their elected representatives."

I'd pay to see that.

Poll: Opposition to Iraq war at all-time high

"Just 35 percent of 1,033 adults polled say they favor the war in Iraq; 61 percent say they oppose it -- the highest opposition noted in any CNN poll since the conflict began more than three years ago."

NATO pilots accused of killing Afghan children

"Witnesses and relatives of the dead, who were interviewed by The Independent at the town of Lashkargar, claim that on 31 July a family of 13 was attempting to flee the fighting in a rented pickup truck with three other men when an aircraft appeared overhead."

Christian coalition losing chapters

"'It's a very sad day for our people, but a liberating day,' said John Giles, president of the coalition's Alabama chapter, which announced Wednesday that it was renaming itself and splitting from the national organization. The Iowa and Ohio chapters took similar steps this year."

7 facts you might not know about the Iraq war (Scroll down)

"2. There Is No Iraqi Army"

Return to Kandahar: The Taliban threat

"Mohammad Hikmat and his younger brother bought land here - £27,000 for 400 sq m - to build a home. Over the past five years they made good money working with foreign reporters and aid agencies. But six months ago it all came to an end. The Taliban were coming back. All construction stopped. Fear spread like a fire. Then came a series of suicide attacks and printed decrees, often hung on the walls of local mosques, ordering the people to stop supporting the government."

Losing Afghanistan

"Nearly five years after American military forces help topple a Taliban government that provided sanctuary and training camps to Osama bin Laden, there is no victory in the war for Afghanistan, due in significant measure to the Bush administration’s reckless haste to move on to Iraq and shortsighted stinting on economic reconstruction."

Iran replaces US as Middle East power

"It [report] says: 'There is little doubt that Iran has been the chief beneficiary of the war on terror in the Middle East.'

"'The United States, with Coalition support, has eliminated two of Iran's regional rival governments - the Taleban in Afghanistan in November 2001 and Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq in April 2003 - but has failed to replace either with coherent and stable political structures.'"

BushCo, you're doin' a heckuva job.

US made an offer Iran can only refuse

"The history of the international proposal shows that the Bush administration was determined from the beginning that it would fail, so that it could bring to a halt a multilateral diplomacy on Iran's nuclear program that the hardliners in the administration had always found a hindrance to their policy."

Iran sanctions could fracture coalition

"Now the question is whether Ms. Rice, who returned from vacation this week and was studying Iran’s response, can keep the coalition together to take out their sticks against Iran.

"That will not be easy, in part because the entire United Nations Security Council is supposed to vote on the sanctions package. While only the permanent members can veto, the rising fear, particularly among European diplomats, is that smaller countries on the Council are so angry over how the United States, and now France, have handled the Lebanon crisis that they will give Russia and China political cover to balk against imposing tough sanctions."

"Folks. we're being set up again!"

"I repeat what I have said before, which is that John Bolton is just an ill-tempered lawyer who has no special expertise in nuclear issues or in Iran, and aside from an ability to scare the bejesus out of young gofers who bring him coffee and to thunderously denounce on cue any world leader on whom he is sicced, he has no particular qualifications for his job.

"Nor do the Republican congressmen know anything special about Iran's nuclear energy program. They certainly know much less than the CIA agents who work on it full time, some of whom know Persian and have actually done . . . intelligence work.

"We are beset by instant experts on contemporary Iran, like the medievalist Bernard Lewis, who wrongly predicted that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would attack Israel on August 22, based on Lewis's weird interpretation of his alleged millenarian beliefs. Once the Neoconservatives went so far as actually to make fun of reality in the hearing of a reporter, their game was up."

Israel may 'go it alone' against Iran

"Israel is carefully watching the world's reaction to Iran's continued refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, with some high-level officials arguing it is now clear that when it comes to stopping Iran, Israel 'may have to go it alone,' The Jerusalem Post has learned."

With US funding and arms.

The new axis of intervention

"There is a new force in foreign policy: the 'axis of intervention'. Two allies are official members: the United States and Israel. With its recent invasion of Somalia, Ethiopia has joined the grouping. A fourth nation, Japan, is petitioning for membership."

Is Bush a clear and present danger?

"The disaster in Iraq put a crimp in the neoconservative timetable. Instead of quick follow-up victories over Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon, then regime change in Iran and a thoroughly intimidated Muslim world bowing at Bush’s feet, the administration faced mounting opposition and growing radicalism throughout the region.

"Meanwhile, Bush emerged as a despised figure not only in the Middle East but around the world. The hatred of Bush also dragged down America’s image and diminished the U.S. value to Israel as an “honest broker” capable of defusing tensions with its Arab neighbors."

NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls

"'It’s the largest database ever assembled in the world,' said one person, who, like the others who agreed to talk about the NSA’s activities, declined to be identified by name or affiliation. The agency’s goal is 'to create a database of every call ever made' within the nation’s borders, this person added.

"For the customers of these companies, it means that the government has detailed records of calls they made — across town or across the country — to family members, co-workers, business contacts and others."

A damning admission: New York Times concealed NSA spying until after 2004 election

"A column by New York Times public editor Byron Calame August 13 reveals that the newspaper withheld a story about the Bush administration’s program of illegal domestic spying until after the 2004 election, and then lied about it."

US sues Maine officials for probe on Verizon, NSA

"The U.S. government sued Maine officials on Tuesday to block their demand that Verizon disclose whether it gave the government's spying program access to its customer data, documents showed."

Where Bush's arrogance has taken us

"During his gubernatorial days in Texas, George W let slip a one-sentence thought that unintentionally gave us a peek into his political soul. In hindsight, it should've been loudly broadcast all across our land so people could've absorbed it, contemplated its portent?and roundly rejected the guy's bid for the presidency. On May 21, 1999, reacting to some satirical criticism of him, Bush snapped: 'There ought to be limits to freedom.'

"Gosh, so many freedoms to limit, so little time! But in five short years, the BushCheneyRummy regime has made remarkable strides toward dismembering the genius of the Founders, going at our Constitution and Bill of Rights like famished alligators chasing a couple of poodles."

Bush and Saddam should both stand trial, says Nuremberg prosecutor

"A chief prosecutor of Nazi war crimes at Nuremberg has said George W. Bush should be tried for war crimes along with Saddam Hussein. Benjamin Ferencz, who secured convictions for 22 Nazi officers for their work in orchestrating the death squads that killed more than 1 million people, told OneWorld both Bush and Saddam should be tried for starting 'aggressive' wars--Saddam for his 1990 attack on Kuwait and Bush for his 2003 invasion of Iraq."


Protection racket: Judicial cover for crony contractors by Chris Floyd

"They say that America's increasingly right-wing courts are bent on halting the forward march of civil rights, but that's a typical liberal canard. Why, just last week, a federal judge - appointed by Ronald Reagan, no less - issued a bold ruling that offers shield and succor to a small, despised minority on the fringes of American society.

"War profiteers."

Blackwater shot down in federal court

"In a major blow to one of the most infamous war profiteers operating in Iraq, Afghanistan and New Orleans, a federal appeals court has ruled that a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the mercenary firm Blackwater USA can proceed in North Carolina's state courts. The suit was brought by the families of the four Blackwater contractors ambushed and killed in Falluja, Iraq on March 31, 2004. Blackwater had tried to have the same case dismissed or moved to federal court."

Win a few, lose a few.

Venezuela's Chavez in China

"He said agreements would be signed Thursday with China National Petroleum Corp. and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp.

"Chavez said Venezuela's growing relations with China are part of his government's efforts to create a 'multipolar' world to counter U.S. hegemony. He accuses Washington of bullying countries like Venezuela to keep them from developing military technology."

The Evil Moron, acting independently in an interdependent world, has doomed the US.

CIA's secret UK bank trawl may be illegal

"A covert programme under which confidential information about British banking transactions is passed to the CIA with the full knowledge of the government may breach both British and European law, the Guardian has learned."

Federal appeals court: Driving with money is a crime

"A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that if a motorist is carrying large sums of money, it is automatically subject to confiscation. In the case entitled, 'United States of America v. $124,700 in U.S. Currency,' the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit took that amount of cash away from Emiliano Gomez Gonzolez, a man with a 'lack of significant criminal history' neither accused nor convicted of any crime."

Senator Hagel says GOP has lost its way

"'Hagel asked: ''Where is the fiscal responsibility of the party I joined in '68? Where is the international engagement of the party I joined -- fair, free trade, individual responsibility, not building a bigger government, but building a smaller government?'"

Cold war missiles target of blackout: Documents altered to conceal data

"The Bush administration has begun designating as secret some information that the government long provided even to its enemy the former Soviet Union: the numbers of strategic weapons in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during the Cold War."

S**t for brains is probably selling them to Iran.

Lower fertility: A Wise investment -- Plans that encourage voluntary, steep reductions in the fertility rates of poor nations pay dividends in sustainability for everyone

"Even if the world's population were to stabilize at today's level of 6.5 billion people, the pressures of rising per capita resource use would continue to mount, as today's poor and middle-income societies increase their resource use to live like the rich countries, while today's rich countries continue their seemingly insatiable quest for still greater consumption levels. With the rich countries living at roughly $30,000 per person and the world's average income at around $10,000 per person, simply having the poor catch up with the incomes levels of the rich would triple global economic throughput, with all of the attendant environmental consequences."

This should be the number one priority of sane nations.

Health care: It's what ails us

"An estimated 50 million Americans lack medical insurance, and a similar and rapidly growing number are underinsured. The uninsured are excluded from services, charged more for services, and die when medical care could save them—an estimated 18,000 die each year because they lack medical coverage.

"But it’s not only the uninsured who suffer. Of the more than 1.5 million bankruptcies filed in the U.S. each year, about half are a result of medical bills; of those, three-quarters of filers had health insurance."

Come to think of it, other countries might be thinking that a higher mortality in the nation that uses most of the world's resource per capita and pollutes most per capita may not be all bad.

Michael Moore documentary rattles health care giants

"The health-care industry is worried sick over 'Sicko.'

"Few details have emerged about the 2007 documentary from Michael Moore, the filmmaker who ripped apart Detroit automakers with 'Roger and Me' and now has his sights set on the $1.5 trillion pharmaceutical and health-care industry. But it's still enough to mobilize health-care trade groups who are trying to discredit the film."

Scientists call for radical action to ease water scarcity

"Scientists on Monday called for radical action to improve global water management, saying one-third of the world's population faces water scarcity."

Change can be managed vis a vis thinking, or cataclysmically vis a vis not thinking.

Cuba's pathbreaking energy policies

"Cuba switched 'the nation's agriculture from high input, fossil fuel-dependent farming, to low input, self-reliant used new environmental technologies offered as the result of scientific development--technologies such as biopesticides and biofertilizers. Biopesticides developed the use of microbes and natural enemies to combat pests, along with resistant plant varieties, crop rotation, and cover cropping to suppress weeds. Biofertilizers were developed using earthworms, compost, natural rock phosphate, animal manure and green manures, and the integration of grazing animals. To replace tractors, there was a return to animal traction.'"

Adapting to survive. The US, on the other hand, will stay the course. Several times a year I reflect on the phrase about the meek inheriting the earth.

Big ag, oil and tobacco will kill you for a profit

"Big ag, big tobacco, big war, big oil, and their enablers on Wall Street always congratulate themselves on "wealth creation". This is what the 'free market' does -- it takes something that was supposedly worthless, like mountaintops in West Virginia or corn varieties in Mexico or oil deposits in Alaska, and gives them 'value'.

"But this is a fiction. The model here is big water. The earth abounds in rivers and lakes. Wealthy water companies (the water rights in my river are owned by a company in England that is now in trouble for mismanaging their own Thames) go to other countries and buy or take the water rights of those people and then sell them back to those very people at a price they can hardly afford."

Whistleblowers say State Farm cheated Katrina victims

"State Farm Insurance supervisors systematically demanded that Hurricane Katrina damage reports be buried or replaced or changed so that the company would not have to pay policyholders' claims in Mississippi, two State Farm insiders tell ABC News."

Since State Farm is a major BushCo contributor, this is a leak that will be plugged.

New Orleans awaits billions in federal aid

"First came the floodwaters, then the paperwork. Billions of promised federal dollars to fix New Orleans' crumbling infrastructure have gone largely untapped a year after Hurricane Katrina. City officials complain that a snarl of red tape, restrictions and unexpectedly high costs have kept hundreds of public buildings in disrepair, streets pocked with potholes and most parks too dirty for children to play."

Democrats cite no-bid Katrina contracts

"The government awarded 70 percent of its contracts for Hurricane Katrina work without full competition, wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in the process, says a House study released Thursday by Democrats."

Recession will be nasty and deep, economist says: Housing is in free fall, pulling the economy down with it

"Writing on his blog Wednesday, Roubini repeated his call that the U.S. would be in recession in 2007, arguing that the collapse of housing would bring down the rest of the economy. Read more."

Central Bank: Russia dumps dollar for Ruble in 1st half

"Russians abandoned the dollar at an unprecedented rate in the first half of this year, the news agency RIA Novosti reported Central Bank deputy chairman Alexei Ulyukayev as saying Friday.

"Ulyukayev told a press conference - to which foreign press weren't invited - that dollar assets held by the population had fallen by $5.1 billion in the first half of this year - three times the rate seen in the corresponding period in 2005."

George H.W. Bush Executive Order 12803 ordering the selling off US infrastructure to private parties

"b) 'infrastructure asset' means any asset financed in whole or in part by the Federal Government and needed for the functioning of the economy. Examples of such assets include, but are not limited to: roads, tunnels, bridges, electricity supply facilities. mass transit, rail transportation, airports, ports. waterways, water supply facilities, recycling and wastewater treatment facilities, solid waste disposal facilities, housing, schools, prisons, and hospitals."

Experts warn US is coming apart at the seams

"'When I see events like these, I become concerned that we've lost focus on the core operational functionality of the nation's infrastructure and are becoming a fragile nation, which is just as bad — if not worse — as being an insecure nation,' said Christian Beckner, a Washington analyst who runs the respected Web site Homeland Security Watch (

"The American Society of Civil Engineers last year graded the nation 'D' for its overall infrastructure conditions, estimating that it would take $1.6 trillion over five years to fix the problem."

Where there's a will, there's a way. Conversely, where there's no will, there's no way. Is this country going to survive? No way. Corporate greed is choking the nation to death.

By the light of a burning bridge: A permanent goodbye to the United States

"Now it seems the American people won’t even risk their credit ratings, student loans, the next piece of ass, or a sideways glance from people who look at them like AIDS patients for daring to deviate from the corporate, media-instilled norm. We have come a long way backward. Rodney King’s 'Can’t we all just get along' has become the modern day theme song for the surrender of America’s character, and the L.A. Rebellion of 1992 was probably the last flame of will to fight injustice in American history."

Quotes from

"Rumsfeld served up our great military a huge bowl of chicken shit, and ever since then, our military and our country have been trying to turn this bowl into chicken salad." --Ret. General John Batiste, former Army commander in Iraq Link

"High rates of legal immigration provide cheap, nonunion labor for big business, a steady stream of domestic servants for the overclass, and lower wages for American workers. So why do so many liberals support them? -- Mike Lind, asking some good questions, Link

"I didn't vote for you, but you are my President. And you're not serving me. You yourself have said you had erroneous information going into this. As a Christian man, you realize that when you've made a mistake it's your responsibility to end this. As President, you're here to serve the people. And the people are not being served with this war." -- Hildi Halley, to the Giggling Murderer in a private meeting, Link

"There's no point 'discussing the pros and cons of the war'" -- Bush's response to Hildi Halley, Link

"No matter what we do with screening passengers, we're not having safe flights until we screen the cargo. The cargo isn't being screened at all. " -- Bush water carrier Tony Blankley Link

"Iraqis are excited and enjoying their freedom" -- Sen. James Inhofe (R-Insane), Link

"Word is, he likes to gas a couple, and then bring the aide in and see what the kid's face looks like." --U.S. News & Whore Report's Paul Bedard saying when Dubya meets a new aide he raises one leg and farts to watch for the kid's reaction, Link We have 2600 dead soldiers in his World war, a ruined economy and trillions in debt because this ignorant nine seven year old is running the world? Remember the promise of "dignity" he was going to bring to the Oval Office?
"When you have the likes of Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, a conservative Republican, and he says he has seen the changes in his lifetime in the Arctic, there is just no doubt that something has to happen." -- Betsy Moler, a VP at Exelon Corp. of Chicago, an energy firm Link

"I just wish the President could have another term in office." --Katrina victim Rockey Vaccarella, who says Bush has done a heckuva job, Link

"Bush says he does not care about Iran's nuclear program, as long as they're not developing a nuke-u-lar program." -- David Letterman

"Bush is such a bad president, we've lost Pluto."

Pluto has lost its status as a planet. But it says it will run as an independent." --David Letterman

"What's happened in Iraq is nothing short of a miracle." -- Jungle Jim Inhofe, (R-Pissquik) Link

"Two and a half years more years in Iraq? That sound you hear is another round of cigars lighting up in the Halliburton boardroom." --American Family Voices, Link

"I think the day is coming. I think eventually we're going to have a very powerful hurricane in a major metropolitan area worse than what we saw in Katrina and it's going to be a mega-disaster. With lots of lost lives." -- Max Mayfield, director of the U.S. National Hurricane Center, Link
"War is not a time of joy." -- The most crooked president in history Link But it is a time of massive profits.

"I allowed Lamont to distort my position on Iraq. He made me into a cheerleader for George Bush on everything that's happened." -- Joe "Kiss me, George" Lieberman, Bush's top cheerleader, Link

"Iraqi insurgents killed 20 people and injured 300 over the weekend. But in a sign of how routine the bloodshed has become, the military reported 'relatively little violence.'" --Think Progress, Link

"George Bush's mental weakness is damaging America's credibility at home and abroad. -- Joe Scarborough, Link

"I just want to be hot. I just want to be buff. I want to be fit. Do you think I'll lose a couple of pounds in boot camp?" -- idiot teen girl, joining the Marines to lose weight Link Great idea, Honey. Sign right up. If you leave your legs in Iraq, you'll come back weighing 77 pounds.

"Bush goes in the back way the same way as the banana republic dictators." --Charles Lane, comparing Bush to Nicaragua's Somoza, who was so loathed he had to sneak in all public places through back entrances, Link

"I think he's very consistent with his cowardice. He never sees us, so he thinks everyone supports him." --Todd Baxter, on Bush hiding from the public, Link

"There are no hereditary kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution." -- Judge Anne Diggs Taylor, slapping Der Monkey for his illegal power grab because the Democrats wouldn't Link


Blogger DTW 06 said...

Interesting, I just posted Crazy Extremists

These Islamic extremists have some serious anti-social issues. It is unfortunate that too many people in this world are willing adherents to rigid dogma.

It is disturbing how many willingly sacrifice their lives for someone else's objectives, all in the name of religion. Or could it be something else?

Could it be for the state and a sense of patriotism?

Could it be over land and/or other resources?

Or could the objective be to settle an old score? After all if it is always about and "eye for an eye" we will have constant war. Yes, there sure are lots of ways adherence to rigid dogma and unquestioning loyalty lead to bloodshed.

Please check out OhioDem1's How to Sell a War for more on this topic.

QuestionItNow Blogs

10:13 PM  
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