Thursday, November 17, 2005
The Freedom Rider isn't sure. I have other responsibilities that are taking up huge amounts of my time and mental energy.
I appreciate those of you who have asked about me and my blog, but I can only say that I will return. I just can't say when.
I'm still writing for Black Commentator. Please check us out every week.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Cheney Keeps Raking in the Cash
According to New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, Dick Cheney's Halliburton stock options have risen 3,281% in value in the past year.
Remember that figure the next time you hear that we must "stay the course." The only reason to stay the course is to make sure that Halliburton, Bechtel and the other merchants of death can keep making money.
Is being Governor of California less exciting than being a movie star? Perhaps the constitutional requirement that president's be American born is making it all a big drag. Well, whatever the reason, Arnie may be going back to the movies. There are reports that he may sign for roles in Terminator 4 and True Lies 2.
I have to admit that I liked the Terminator franchise. Of course, now that I know Arnold is a misogynistic, Hitler loving, racist, I am less inclined to fork over cash to watch him on the big screen.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
The World Health Organization has decided not to estimate how many victims might succumb in an avian flu pandemic. They finally admitted they can't give an estimate, but we should assume it would be a hell of a lot of people.
In case of a bird flu outbreak, President Bush says that he would have to call in the troops, here on U.S. soil, to keep us all safe. Somehow the thought doesn't make me feel any safer.
As I pointed out in a post on August 10, 2005, the Defense Department is coming up with a plan, CONPLAN, to be exact, that would take control from civilian authorities and give it to the military in case of a terror attack.
If you aren't scared you should be. Any proposal that gives the military further control over our lives ought to protested and vehemently opposed. The deafening silence you hear is the result of inertia, ignorance and post 9/11 propaganda. We have been told so often that we must choose between having civil liberties or being safe that most of us go along like sheep and accept atrocities like the Patriot Act. Our leaders did. Only one Senator, Russ Feingold, voted no.
Let's hope that a few others have gathered the courage they lacked after 9/11 and vociferously oppose the impositon of military control over our lives.
I try not to look at Bush too often. The sight of him is bad for my mental health. Perhaps I need to check him out from time to time and observe him more closely. He appears to have developed an odd twitch in his jaw. Is he sick? Is he medicated? Is he drunk? We will never know, but look for yourself here.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
The Red Cross expects to raise more than $2 billion before Hurricane Katrina-related giving subsides. If it takes care of 300,000 people, that's $7,000 per victim. I doubt each victim under Red Cross care will see more than a doughnut, an interview with a social worker and a short-term voucher for a cheap motel, with a few miscellaneous items such as clothes and cooking pots thrown in.
Richard Walden, Operation USA
Katrina victims still need help and they still aren't getting it from FEMA or from the Red Cross. As I said on September 3rd, the Red Cross is a bad choice for relief funds. Its pre-existing contracts with state and local governments provide enough money for the little that is does. When private donors give more it just ends up in the Red Cross coffers.
SOS After Katrina is a much better organization. It is community based 501c3. Your donations are tax deductible. SOS provided food and supplies when FEMA and the Red Cross were missing in action.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Boeing and Bell helicopter produced an ad showing U.S. troops rappelling from a helicopter on to the roof of a mosque. The photo is bad enough, but apparently they didn't think so. They added this text, ""It descends from the heavens. Ironically it unleashes hell. Consider it a gift from above."
Someone at Boeing had an attack of common sense and now says, "We consider the ad offensive, regret its publication and apologize to those who, like us, are dismayed with its contents." They also say that red flags were raised and it was published by mistake after being cancelled. Boeing also claims that the ad is made up of composite images and that there is no photo of soldiers attacking a mosque. Well, thank Allah for small favors.
Once again America proves that it is in fact the infidel nation. How else can the occupation of Iraq be explained? I don't know if there is or isn't a photo of a mosque being attacked but it doesn't really matter. The very fact that the U.S. occupied a Muslim nation is proof of contempt if not hatred for that religion.
It is easy to blame Boeing for this debacle, but like every other debacle this one begins at the top.The U.S. insists on killing Arabs and Muslims. That is the most salient fact. Hubbub about an ad shouldn't be a distraction from that point.
End the occupation. We won't have to worry about Bell, Boeing or ill conceived ads.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Bill Bennett, Bookie of Virtue
Thank you Bill Bennett. Thank you for confirming what I already knew. I knew that you, like moralizers everywhere, are a freak. I knew that you would eradicate black people if you could. Thank you for making the case for me.
Bill Bennett was Secretary of Education in the Reagan administration. He went on to make a living telling the rest of us that we were immoral, Bill Clinton especially. Things went a bit down hill for him after it was revealed that he has a very bad gambling habit. He then did us a favor and disappeared for a while, but not for long enough.
Bennett's hatred and slickness are obvious. First he says he is pro-life, that is to say against abortion. Then he says you could have a good outcome if you aborted a select group. Then he gives himself an out.
That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.
If it is impossible, ridiculous and reprehensible, why would the thought occur to him? Here is a list of worthwhile outcomes that would result if every white fetus was dispatched.
1. No nuclear weapons
2. No Enron, or Halliburton
3. No Bush family
4. No drug trade
5. No Paris Hilton
6. Black people would rule, white people would be at the bottom, and black pundits could advocate that the remaining white fetuses get the heave ho
7. No Bill Bennett
It is very important that the Bennetts of the world tell us what is on their minds. For those who hadn't figured it out already, we now know why there are so many black people in prison. It is because Bennett and most other white people want us there. If they can't accomplish that, they would get rid of us by some other means. It is difficult to live with that knowledge, but denial is deadly.
If you want to read and hear his comments in their entirety, go to Media Matters.
Instead of pressuring Israel to end the occupation of Palestine, instead of ending the killing of Irais, the Bush administration has sent Karen Hughes to tell the Arab world that Americans are really very nice. Needless to say, no one is buying it.
So much so, that an audience of well educated Saudi women claimed they don't really want the right to drive a care. One physician asserted, "I don't want to drive a car. I worked hard for my medical degree. Why do I need a driver's license?"
I have to say that I don't think that woman is telling the truth. I'm sure she would get a license in a heart beat if she were able to do so. The problem is saying that to someone who daily undertakes the humiliation of your people.
It is like criticizing relatives. You may do it yourself, but you get mad if an outsider says the same thing about your annoying sibling. Saudi women aren't going to tell a representative of the infidel state that they would like to see any changes in their country.
Karen should go home and tell her boss to end the occupation of Iraq. That would get him more applause in the Arab world than her little PR tour ever could.
Monday, September 26, 2005
I couldn't make it up. Recently ousted FEMA director Michael Brown has been hired as a consultant for that agency.
Over the weekend I participated in a panel discussion at Mount Holyoke college. Panelists from a variety of disciplines in the "Storms of Controversy" program addressed the political and historic issues that created the fiasco of the hurricane Katrina aftermath.
I said that everything occuring post-Katrina is the result of America being turned into a failed state. I also said that cronyism isn't surprising in a failed state, it is in fact a necessity. You can't have true public servants running FEMA when its goal is to hand out contracts to the well connected.
Of course, the purpose of said contracts is not to really do anything they are legally obligated to do. If that were the case then Iraq would be truly reconstructed by now. Instead billions of dollars have been doled out to Halliburton and its ilk while Baghdad may or may not have running water or electricity on any given day.
So of course Brownie is back. The system demands it.
Friday, September 23, 2005
Evacuees Burn to Death and President Hallucinates
Sorry to be so blunt, but there is no way to sugar coat it. Hurrican evacuees from a Texas nursing home burned to death when their bus caught fire and ignited their oxygen tanks. Twenty-four people are dead.
Buses, buses, buses. That is all we heard from the White House crowd post-Katrina. New Orleans Mayor Nagin had hundreds, some said thousands of buses that he didn't use to evacuate his city. There were approximately 300 school buses in New Orleans, but the drivers were getting the hell out of Dodge like everyone else.
What will they say about Texas, Dubya's home? Will we hear the endless refrain about "failures at all levels of government?" Even after Katrina, not even one month after Katrina, Texas officials had no clue about evacuating residents. Traffic jams 100 miles long were filled with cars that had broken down or run out of gas.
The Bushies can't suddenly change horses in mid-stream and use government for the benefit of the public. They haven't done it because they aren't interested. In their world view the purpose of government is to make war and to help the haves have more. They can't save us from natural disasters or anything else.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Ben Marble, M.D. is a man who spoke for millions of Americans when he told Dick Cheney where to go and how to get there. Of course he paid the price. He was briefly detained by Secret Service after he spoke truth to power. Marble had reason to be annoyed. He lost his home in the hurricane. Read his story here.
Friday, September 09, 2005
David Letterman, Top Ten Bush Solutions for Global Warming
The federal government was slow in responding to hurricane victims, but quick to give Halliburton a reconstruction contract.
Cheney was in hiding for the last two weeks because he had very important business to take care of. He had to give Halliburton the hook up one more time. You just can't have a catastrophe without Bush cronies walking away with some dough.
Let's see. Joe Allbaugh was the former FEMA director. He had no qualifications for the job. He was Bush's campaign director.
He left to make money in the financial rape of Iraq. Before he left FEMA he did us the great favor of putting Michael Brown in charge there. Thank you Mr. Allbaugh. Now Allbaugh is a Halliburton consultant. It all smells worse than the water in New Orleans.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Dick is still alive, but perhaps he shoulda stood in bed. A disgruntled Gulf Coast resident cursed him out, just the way Cheney cursed out Senator Pat Leahy on the floor of the Senate. The footage is here.
It is nice to see the profane Mr. Cheney being greeted with profanity, but I have a few questions. One, who is the "John" he is referring to? Why did reporters find Dick amusing? Will they ask who he was talking about? Was he AWOL because he had to get Halliburton more of our money than they already have received? Stay tuned but don't hold your breath.
Just when you think it couldn't get any worse, it does. FEMA director Michael Brown graduated from a non-accredited law school and hadn't practiced law for years when he became general counsel for that federal agency.
It's bad enough when attorneys are named to government jobs for which their careers, no matter how distinguished, don't qualify them. But Brown wasn't a distinguished lawyer: He was hardly a lawyer at all. When he left the IAHA, he was a 47-year-old with a very thin resumé and no job. Yet he was also what's known in the Mafia as a "connected guy." That such a person could end up in one of the federal government's most important positions tells you all you need to know about how the Bush administration works--or, rather, doesn't.
New Republic Online (registration required)
Your man is no good. He treats you like crap, lies to you, abuses you, bullies you, exploits you, takes your money. As a friend I want to tell you that you deserve better. You deserve a person that treats you with respect, cares about your welfare, and your children’s welfare, but that’s not George and it never will be.
The next time the mainstream media or anyone criticizes New Orleans' and Louisiana's evacuation plans as inadequate, and they were, woefully so, ask the person doing the complaining about Mississippi and Alabama's evacuation efforts, particularly for the car-less and poor.
Petrelis Files, September 8, 2005
FEMA has rejected journalists' requests to accompany search and rescue boats. They say they want to give the dead some dignity.
It isn't hard to blur a face, assuming any of the bodies are still recognizable. This is another step on the road to white wash but it will only take place if the media allow it.
Reporters should get their own boats and by hook or crook get photos, however gruesome, of the dead. The party that claims to value a "culture of life" doesn't. If they did, there would be a lot fewer of the dead to photograph.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Arianna Huffington tells us why the finger pointing must begin immediately. Anyone who advocates waiting, that means you Bill Clinton, is aiding and abetting the crime that was committed against the people of the Gulf Coast.
Already the ass covering has begun. Republicans want to investigate themselves and are already preparing for a white wash. They want FEMA and Homeland Security officials to be exempt from testifying before Congress. These investigators want to pass on questionning the suspects.
Thanks to Talking Points Memo for this important piece of news. National Hurricane Center director Dr. Max Mayfield held a video conference call with the President on Sunday, August 28 and gave him the scoop on Katrina's severity and potential for destruction. Why did Mayfield call the President? "I just wanted to be able to go to sleep that night knowing that I did all I could do." I wonder if the President can sleep at night. If he is awake he is worrying about political fall out, not about the lives lost.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
"Many are concerned that federal disaster assistance may have evolved into both an oversized entitlement program and a disincentive to effective state and local risk management. Expectations of when the government should be involved and the degree of involvement may have ballooned beyond what is an appropriate level."
Joe Allbaugh, former FEMA director, May 15, 2001
That explains everything. Republicans hate entitlement programs, like social security. They do love entitlements for rich people and corporations but the rest of us aren't entitled to jack. Or to put it more succinctly:
The Republican agenda is to turn the United States into a third-world shithole.
Monday, September 05, 2005
"Sometimes I don't think Cheney is awake enough to know what's going on. He's a sick man, you know. He's got heart disease but the disease is not restricted to that part of his body. He grunts a lot so you never really know what he's thinking."
Congressman Charles Rangel
Back in June, Dick Cheney secretly visited the cardiac unit of a hospital in Vail, Colorado. When the Huffington Post and others asked questions about this secret visit we were told that he was just stopping by to say hello to his favorite orthopedic surgeon. Yet he did so under an assumed name and had an EKG just for the hell of it.
Now that the White House is in full damage control mode over hurricane Katrina, one would think that old Dick would be seen somewhere on the Gulf Coast. On the contrary, Cheney has been the invisible man.
Where is Dick? Is he in the hospital? Is he on his death bed? Will the media ask when we are told that he is in surgery or that he has passed away?
If he dies who will succeed him? Hopefully not a horse show lawyer.
As always, Black Commentator was ahead of the curve. Why is the head of FEMA a political crony instead of an emergency management expert? Why were the levees neglected? Why did the federal government ignore years of warnings about the need to provide an evacuation plan? Why are we in need of aid from the rest of the world?
All of these questions have the same answer. The U.S is now officially a "failed state."
" . . . the Pirates at the helm of the GOP relentlessly pursue their larger agenda: to destroy every structure of government that has usefulness to the public – especially, Black people – in order to clear the way for corporate governance."
"Of what use is a congressional or state Black political caucus, or Black mayors and city councils, if the state is so enfeebled that it cannot deliver the goods? "
"The Bush regime has summoned the failed state chicken home to roost, with a vengeance, as it attempts to strip away every social obligation of the state to the people. However, the legitimacy of American governments at all levels has long been eroding, as defined by their capacity to provide political goods to the citizenry."
We cannot allow this process to continue. The New Orleans disaster is the direct result of the policy of deliberate failure. This city must be rebuilt and all of its inhabitants must be given the right to return to the homes they inhabited before Katrina struck.
The rest of us can never forget that every effort to destroy social security, or keep us indebted to credit card companies, are steps on the road to state failure.
Well, well, well. In a previous post I mentioned that FEMA director Michael Brown couldn't keep his job lawyering for the International Arabian Horse Association. He was forced out. At the time I didn't know his connection with the Bushies. Well, I know now and I almost wish I didn't.
Brown is the former college room mate of Joe Albaugh, the previous FEMA director. Talking Points Memo has the details.
By the way, I'm not necessarily opposed to political patronage, but FEMA? Certain jobs should be patronage proof, FEMA should top that list.
"The Lord is going to come on time — if we just wait."
Remind me never to set foot in Pilgrim Rest AME Zion church in Mobile, Alabama. The pastor of said church, Malone Smith, Jr., is a little weak on the teachings of Jesus. How else can anyone explain that he would allow a blood thirsty killer to speak from his pulpit.
Condi got herself some 'ligion and had the nerve to speak as if she knew anything about God. She is responsible for the deaths of many thousands.
She ought to quit her job, attend church 24-7 and repent of her sins, but until she does she should not go anywhere near a pulpit.
A flood came and a man had to climb onto the roof of his house. As the waters rose a neighbor in a rowboat appeared, and told him to get in. "No," replied the man on the roof, "the Lord will save me." Then a firefighter appeared in a speedboat. "Climb in!" shouted the firefighter. "No," replied the man on the roof, "The Lord will save me." A helicopter appeared and the pilot shouted that he would lower a rope to the man on the roof. "No," replied the man on the roof, "the Lord will save me." Eventually the man drowned and went to heaven, where he asked God why He hadn't helped him. "I sent a neighbor, a firefighter, and helicopter," said God. "What more do you want?"
Sunday, September 04, 2005
"Despite the city’s multiple points of entry, our nation’s bureaucrats spent days after last week’s hurricane wringing their hands, lamenting the fact that they could neither rescue the city’s stranded victims nor bring them food, water and medical supplies.
Meanwhile there were journalists, including some who work for The Times-Picayune, going in and out of the city via the Crescent City Connection. On Thursday morning, that crew saw a caravan of 13 Wal-Mart tractor trailers headed into town to bring food, water and supplies to a dying city.
Television reporters were doing live reports from downtown New Orleans streets. Harry Connick Jr. brought in some aid Thursday, and his efforts were the focus of a "Today" show story Friday morning.
Yet, the people trained to protect our nation, the people whose job it is to quickly bring in aid were absent. Those who should have been deploying troops were singing a sad song about how our city was impossible to reach."
The New Orleans Times Picayune pulled no punches when they were finally able to print. They demanded that President Bush fire FEMA director Michael Brown and his entire staff, citing their "bald faced lies." Read the editorial here.
Don't the refugees have enough problems? Apparently not, because CNN sent Dr. Phil to the Astrodome. I hope he doesn't tell them to "get real."
A gentleman named Ernest Brooks anxiously sought information about his relatives. Phil began to channel Jesse Jackson and told him to "keep hope alive" and be patient for news.
Mr. Brooks quite rightly ignored the loud mouth quack and began to give contact phone numbers and the names of his missing relatives. Poor Mr. Brooks. His family is missing and he had to talk to Dr. Phil.
No human being should have to experience trauma on top of trauma.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
"This skewed giving to Red Cross would be fine if the Red Cross were paying for the cost of the 80,000 people they are expertly sheltering in 240 designated shelter sites; but FEMA and the 4 affected state governments (including Texas which will shelter up to 75,000 people) are reimbursing the Red Cross under pre-existing contracts for emergency shelter and other related services. The existence of these contracts is no secret to anyone but the donating public."
You read correctly. The Red Cross does not need any of your hard earned cash to provide for hurricane victims. They already have money from government contracts.
Friday, September 02, 2005
If airhead Paula Zahn gets righteous you know there is a very big problem. FEMA director Michael Brown admitted that he knew nothing about thousands of desperate people stranded at the New Orleans Convention Center without food or water for five days.
BROWN: And so, this -- this catastrophic disaster continues to grow. I will tell you this, though. Every person in that Convention Center, we just learned about that today. And so, I have directed that we have all available resources to get to that Convention Center to make certain that they have the food and water, the medical care that they need...
ZAHN: Sir, you aren't telling me...
BROWN: ... and that we take care of those bodies that are there. (CROSSTALK)
ZAHN: Sir, you aren't just telling me you just learned that the folks at the Convention Center didn't have food and water until today, are you? You had no idea they were completely cut off? (CROSSTALK)
BROWN: Paula, the federal government did not even know about the Convention Center people until today.
CNN has the transcript.
No doubt you have been wondering who the hell is Michael Brown and how in the world did he become director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
I don't know his connections to Bush, but it turns out that he is a lawyer forced to resign from the International Arabian Horse Association. The IAHA no longer exists in part of because of Brown's incompetence.
His separation agreement is here, and Daily Kos, who gave the original scoop has the background here.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
"For the last 4 days I've been seeing dead bodies in the streets here in Mississippi. To listen to politicians thanking each other and complimenting each other, uh, you know I got to tell you there are a lot of people here who are very upset and very angry and very frustrated and when they hear politicians thanking one another it kind of cuts them the wrong way right now. Cause literally there was a body on the streets of this town yesterday being eaten by rats because thsi woman had been laying in the streets for 48 hours. Do you get the anger that is out here?"
Anderson Cooper, CNN
CNN has become a big joke in recent years. The quality of reporting has significantly diminished and it has joined the rest of the corporate media in its subservience to Bush. But a funny thing happened after Katrina. Maybe they had it in them all along, maybe reporters are disgusted with themselves, and maybe seeing dead bodies and desperate refugees is truly the last straw.
Today Anderson Cooper and his colleague Jack Cafferty went off. Cooper was visibly shaken when Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu thanked, yes thanked, Bush for all the help he has given to the Gulf. Cooper interrrupted her useless remarks and reminded her that absolutely nothing has been done for victims.
Jack Cafferty described the hurricane aftermath this way.
". . . one of the most atrocious and embarrassing and far-reaching and calamitous things that has come along in this country in my lifetime. I’m 62, I remember the riots in Watts, I have never, ever, seen anything as badly bungled and poorly handled as this situation in New Orleans."
I won't hold my breath, but I think that the sight of American babies dying of dehydration because of political incompetence is too much for anyone to bear, even the corporate media.
White people are presumed innocent, and black people are presumed guilty. In New Orleans white looters don't exist, even if they take items from empty stores and don't leave money behind. Associated Press editors are blatantly calling black looters looters and white looters lucky people who happen upon unattended items.
It shouldn't be surprising. This entire country was stolen, but we aren't supposed to say so. Read this piece in Salon.
"It was calculated," said Second Lt. Peter Fluker, Company C's second platoon leader. "It was done with crowbars and heavy equipment and some sharp, blunt objects that were used to smash open big doors and jewelry cases. They were rescue workers of some sort."
Human disasters always bring out looters. Some are desperate as is the case in New Orleans. Some are just greedy, like 9/11 law enforcement and firefighters. Let's not forget the missing rolex watches from an area of the WTC accessible only to "hero" cops and firefighters. Story is here, free registration required.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
"The hurricane that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name is global warming.
When the year began with a two-foot snowfall in Los Angeles, the cause was global warming.
When 124-mile-an-hour winds shut down nuclear plants in Scandinavia and cut power to hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland and the United Kingdom, the driver was global warming."
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
"He derided the idea of regulating CO2 as 'eco-extremism' "
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has been all over television the last two days. He is fighting back tears and wringing his hands over the hurricane devastation wrought upon his state.
The next time you watch the now suffering Governor, keep two things in mind. First, global warming is intensifying the of severity of hurricanes. Second, Haley Barbour made sure the Bush administration stayed on point with the fossil fuel industry and gave the back of its hand to any effort to increase use of alternative energy sources.
Barbour served as the Republican National Committee Chairman and then as a lobbyist. In that role he made certain that no one in Washington spent a millisecond thinking about the environmental impact of increased oil and gas production.
No one can say that the lack of U.S. participation in the Kyoto Treaty caused this particular hurricane. But we do know that warmer ocean currents are responsible for an intense tropical storm season that is only half over.
So Haley, stop crying and get with the program. Demand that the U.S. government do everything in its power to slow the pace of global warming.
Monday, August 29, 2005
Sunday, August 28, 2005
New Orleans Refugees Treated Like Criminals
Guardsmen made able-bodied people clasp their hands behind their backs while they patted them down, feeling the seams and hems of clothing, then ran metal detectors over them. The backpacks, suitcases and plastic grocery bags that held their belongings were searched.
Every man, woman, old lady and infant fleeing to the Superdome is being patted down and checked for weapons. That is why they have been on line for hours.
It is bad enough that Mayor Nagin acted like the Mayor in Jaws and withheld an evacuation order that ended up trapping thousands of tourists in the city, tourists that he wanted to appease.
Imagine being told you have a few hours to gather belongings, enough for up to five days, and make your way to a stadium with your kids, grandma and significant other.
I hope that the Mayor and the leadership of New Orleans are called to account for this outrage.
Fox reporter Shepard Smith to New Orleans resident: "Why are you still here, I'm just curious?"
Man on the Street: "It's none of your f_ _king business."
Now I'm happy. Fox News got cursed out. Video is here. Thanks to Crooks and Liars for the footage.
Evacuation back log at the New Orleans Superdome
Mario Tama/Getty Images
I flunked meteorology in college, but I am fascinated by weather phenomenon nonetheless. I have been glued to the tube all weekend watching the progress of hurricane Katrina.
Apparently I am on the same wave length with Jim Cantore, a Weather Channel meteorologist. Cantore expressed concern that evacuation in Mississippi was moving so slowly.
On Friday I was alarmed when tropical storm Katrina became a hurricane. I was even more alarmed when Floridians, who should be experienced in these matters, were blase because it was just a Category 1 storm.
Newsflash. There are no minor hurricanes. Tropical storms kill people, itty bitty Category 1 hurricanes kill too. Katrina killed 7 in Florida.
To get to my point quickly, I think it is going to prove catastrophic that the city of New Orleans didn't issue an evacuation order until today. The storm track all weekend pointed to a Gulf Coast land fall. If the Mayor was squeamish about evacuating before today he should have warned his city yesterday that there might be an evacuation order issued today.
The announcement didn't take place until 11 a.m. central time today. This time lag is unconscionable. I hope it doesn't prove tragic as well.
As the photo above shows, there are thousands of New Orleans residents who were unable to leave town. Most of them are poor people lugging bedding, pampers and non-perishable food only to find a human traffic jam when they arrive at the Superdome to access shelter. I can only imagine taking my septugenarian parents, neither of whom walks very well, into a crowd of humanity where they have to stand for hours.
I live in New York and I knew that New Orleans lies beneath sea level. What have they been doing? How could they have been so unprepared?
Those who have cars are stuck in traffic jams along the coast. What happens when they run out of gas? There is already no gasoline to be had. At what point should motorists look for an elevated building if they can't find elevated ground?
I hope that they are doing a better job of answering these questions in Louisiana and Mississippi. After all the post 9/11 talk about disaster planning I expected better from public officials.
Friday, August 26, 2005
America's addiction to war has just received another fix. The Bush administration and its cohorts don't care if this war is won or lost.
Chopra has harsh words, but not just for the Bushmen. He has a broader criticism of the antiwar movement that he feels does not work hard enough to end militarism altogether.
"It's time to get out."
At least one Democrat is ignoring the DLC's nonsensical advice. Former Congressman and NAACP President Kweisi Mfume is a candidate for retiring Maryland Senator Paul Sarbanes' seat. Mfume is calling for the U.S. to leave Iraq.
It is imperative for Democrats around the country to do what they know to be right ethically and right politically. Democrats will be toast in Congressional and national elections if they parrot the pro-war stance.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
The United States mission in Iraq is doomed. But the outcome will be very dangerous to the world, its economy, and to American citizens, as well. That’s because the War Party in charge in Washington will not accept defeat, and will, instead, escalate, in an attempt to erase its initial failures. When they do, they will vastly accelerate the process of their own demise.
Can Black Commentator and Pat Buchanan both be right? In a radio commentary last month Black Commentator exposed the Bushmen plot to attack Iran. Buchanan's magazine, American Conservative, also reports that Cheney is the point man in plotting a "tactical" nuclear strike on Iran should there be another 9/11 type attack. Do they know something the rest of us do not?
If that isn't scary enough, there are ominous hints that the Bushmen will declare martial law in the U.S., if there is another terror attack. Have you ever heard of CONPLAN?
But the new plans provide for what several senior officers acknowledged is the likelihood that the military will have to take charge in some situations, especially when dealing with mass-casualty attacks that could quickly overwhelm civilian resources.
How convenient. I guess we will all be enemy combatants.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
"Credit the Democrats for not trying to pour more gasoline on the fire, even if they're not particularly unified in their message," said Michael McCurry, a former Clinton White House press secretary. "Democrats could jump all over them and try to pin Bush down on it, but I'm not sure it would do anything but make things worse. The smartest thing for Democrats to do is be supportive."
Mike McCurry (registration required)
Let's see if I understand correctly. Bush's poll numbers are worse than Nixon's were during Watergate, but the opposition should not oppose on the issue that has killed his approval ratings. Did I read correctly?
The Democrats are so pathetic that they don't even know how to by cynical. If they were cynical, something political parties usually know how to be without any prompting, they would just blame Bush. That's all. We voted yes because we believed the President. We weren't the ones who said Saddam had mobile WMD facilities. We didn't say anything about mushroom clouds. We went along with you, you figure it out.
That is it. That is all. Blame Republicans for the debacle and call for troops to leave. No harm. No foul. Piece of cake. In fact a cake walk, as the neocons would say.
Believe it or not there is good news here. We know that the people who run the Democratic party will find a way to lose in 2006 Congressional races and in the 2008 presidential race. That means we are liberated. We should do whatever the hell we want. The lesser of two evils argument can be a sound one, but only if both evils have a chance to win. If one evil is once again headed to Loserville, it can and should be abandoned.
Every cloud does have a silver lining.
"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him [Hugo Chavez], I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson said. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."
Rev. Pat Robertson
I realized long ago that Pat Robertson was no Christian. I'm not surprised that he has publicly called for the killing of Venezulean President Hugo Chavez. Robertson also advocated that the U.S. State Department should be blown up, with a nuclear weapon no less. He is a very dangerous man, a fascist. He is one of many like minded creatures who were empowered by the theft of the presidency in 2000.
It is time for Christians to forthrightly denounce him and his ilk, instead of beating up on Muslims and making them take the heat for the actions of some of their coreligionists. It is time for Christians to denounce Christian terror.
In fact, George W. Bush’s mood swings have become so drastic that White House emails often contain “weather reports” to warn of the President’s demeanor. “Calm seas” means Bush is calm while “tornado alert” is a warning that he is pissed at the world.
Capital Hill Blue
Bush has his annual physical every August but he didn't last year. Was he afraid that we would find out he was taking anti-depressants? He didn't have to worry. As usual the corporate media covered for him.
Friday, August 19, 2005
U.S. Department of Homeland Security documents obtained by The Norman Transcript newspaper indicate federal agents who searched Dreyling's residence found gunpowder, carbon dioxide cartridges and wires as well as a computer with a video of detonation of a device similar to the one transported into the airport.
A guy who tried to board a plane with a bomb is learning to be a pilot. His name is Charles Dreyling. He is the red blooded, white, all-American, Oklahoman who thought he could get through airport security while carrying a bomb.
Dreyling is now out of jail, thanks to his landlord, former Oklahoma City mayor Kirk Humphreys. Humphreys posted $10,000 bail for Dreyling. I guess he wants to make sure the rent gets paid. If anyone ought to remember that white Americans blow up buildings it ought to be an Oklahoman.
But wait, there is more. Dreyling has a commercial pilot license and can resume his studies at the University of Oklahoma. What is his major? Why it is aviation management of course.
The Transportation Security Agency is recommending that the FAA revoke Dreyling's license. Duh. While Brazilian electricians are being shot to death in cold blood by London cops, white people caught with bombs have licenses to fly planes.
It really is amazing. Cindy Sheehan has galvanized dissatisfaction with Bush, but Hillary Clinton won't take advantage and mention her name. Bush's poll numbers are tanking because of Iraq but Dem leaders (Clinton, Biden, Kerry, Reid, et al) are too chicken and too stupid to act like an opposition. They also never lose their desire to be a part of the permanent government.
I'm truly sick and tired of being told that we must follow them or lose. The choice is a phony one. We are already losing and we are losing because of them. Ari Berman explains how the insanity of the Democratic establishment stays firmly in place.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
"Leaked documents, believed to be from the IPCC inquiry suggest Mr de Menezes was sitting calmly in the Tube carriage, surrounded by surveillance officers, moments before police stormed in and fired eight bullets into him.
According to the documents, an officer grabbed Mr de Menezes, pinned his arms down, and pushed him back on a seat before he was shot."
Scotland Yard tried to squelch an investigation into the shooting of de Menezes the very day that they killed him. Thank God for whomever leaked these documents. We are now getting the real story from London. Read about it here.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
"He died for oil. He died to make your friends richer. He died to expand American imperialism in the Middle East. We're not freer here, thanks to your PATRIOT Act. Iraq is not free. You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism."
Even a blue eyed white woman can't get a fair hearing if she criticizes Israel. Oh well. Cindy is dog meat now. Supporters of Israel have publicly stated that Iraq should be occupied for Israel's benefit, but if the rest of us quote them we are villified. So long Cindy.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
He wasn't wearing a heavy jacket. He used his card to get into the station. He didn't vault the barrier. And now police say there are no CCTV pictures to reveal the truth.
As I predicted a few weeks back, everything we were told about the police killing of Jean Charles de Menezes was a lie. If he had been wearing a bulky jacket, they would have showed it to us. If he had jumped the turnstile, they would have the video and we would have seen it a million times.
So much for the argument that racial profiling is a good thing. Then again, the ones who advocate it are never the ones who are profiled.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
The German people knew that the German government managed the news. They could take it or leave it. But the U.S. corporate media is pervasive, it is everywhere, with hundreds of channels of propaganda, virtually all of them repeating the same government lies, while claiming to be independent of the government. The corporate media are engaged in a monstrous scam. They are the megaphones of war, just as guilty as the warmongers in Washington. If there are ever war crimes trials in the future, the corporate media should also be under the harshest indictment.
Black Commentator, Radio BC
I hadn't intended to post until my mini-vacation ended on Tuesday, but Glen Ford, my friend and mentor at Black Commentator, has provided us with a searing and brilliant radio commentary that must be made known to as many people as possible.
That’s a standard tactic of the U.S. news media, which is really not about news, at all. Just smiling faces with quips and jokes, making fun of the rest of the world on television, and snide, self-satisfied state propagandists holding down newspaper jobs, sneering at anyone who is not hooked up in the power grid.
If the role of journalists is to make power accountable, then there is virtually no journalism going on in the United States. That is, no journalism that reaches the masses of the people. Americans are left deaf, blind and dumb to the world around them. This would be sad, if it only affected the population of the United States. But the U.S. is the sole remaining super-power, and the disappearance of journalism means that the criminals in power in Washington can convince the public that up is down, day is night, and hot is cold.
Television and the newspapers will not challenge them, and as a consequence, the Bush men are free to wage war against whoever they choose, under any pretense they can conjure up. They can lie at will. Citizens who point out the lies are ignored, or made to look insane, or worse.
Read or listen to Glen's commentary and then pass it on to as many people as possible.
Friday, August 12, 2005
As I embark on a long weekend trip, I leave you with these sobering words.
A whopping 84 % of respondents approved the President’s job handling immediately post 9/11/2001, with only 11 % disapproving. If the President’s job handling approval ratings have to go back up to that level, a similar event must take place.
Hopefully nothing will happen before I return to New York on Tuesday.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
I mean, isn't there something nightmarish about our misleader swooping down on a steaming pit of testosterone and sweat and whipping a throng of brown-shirted youths into a nationalistic frenzy?
The Boy Scouts certainly need to change the color of their uniforms.
And so president Bush came marching in, to make a long story short, came marching in to the room, got right in my face, eyeball-to-eyeball, nose-to-nose this close, toe-to-toe and he said, "I'm George Bush, President of the United States, and I understand you have something to say to me privately.' And I said, 'Yes, I do respect the office of the presidency of the United States, but I want to tell you how it feels to lose your only child in a cause that you don't believe in, in an unnecessary war.
Dolores Kesterson, Gold Star Mother
Here we have another story of a grieving mother who lost a child in Iraq who was later creeped out after meeting the president. He is a frightening, terrifying, megalomaniac and we will all pay dearly before the constitution forces him to go back to Texas in January 2009.
Now we know that he can't even pretend to have any empathy for the mothers of soldiers he sent to die. Mrs. Kesterson also had this to say.
But my personal feeling is that he really doesn't have a conscience about all this death and destruction. That was the essence I took away after looking him in the eyes and meeting with him—there's just no conscience there.
After the London bombings we were told that racial profiling is not only OK, but it is necessary. No point in screening white grandmas when we know that bombers are all brown skinned Muslim men.
Well, not so fast. A very white man was caught trying to bring a bomb on board a plane in Oklahoma City. The FBI says that Charles Alfred Dreyling, Jr. has no known connection to any terrorist organization. That remains to be seen. Lest we forget, there are white supremacy terror groups operating openly in the U.S. and they have bombs.
How can we forget Timothy McVeigh? What about William Krar? Never heard of Krar? Thanks to the corporate media, the story of Krar's possession of over 100 cyanide bombs has been largely unreported.
So let's keep screening everyone. A lot of red blooded white Americans are walking around with bombs.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
A few months ago I wrote a Black Commentator column entitled, "Fascism: Are We There Yet?" Well, it seems there is no longer a need for rhetorical questions. The answer is a definite yes. The U.S. military has devised plans, CONPLAN 2002 and CONPLAN 0500, (sound like movie titles), that will allow them to take control in the event of terror attacks.
If this news doesn't give you the creeps then you aren't thinking clearly. Check out this less than comforting piece of information.
But the new plans provide for what several senior officers acknowledged is the likelihood that the military will have to take charge in some situations, especially when dealing with mass-casualty attacks that could quickly overwhelm civilian resources.
I for one don't trust Donald Rumsfeld to call out the troops to "help" me. This week we were told that the 9/11 Commission hasn't received any of the documents it requested from the White House and that some of the hijackers were known to military intelligence but were allowed to roam freely.
What a neat trick. You allow a terror attack to take place and then use it to justify invading other countries and putting the American people under military control.
Fascism is here.
Monday, August 08, 2005
"I gather that Doug Jehl, who is a dogged and respected reporter, has been assigned to do an in-house investigative report for the Times and that he is already cutting pretty close to the bone. Several editors he has spoken to are now asking themselves why there wasn't more questioning of whether Miller's silence reflects a fear of incriminating herself rather than betraying a source. I predict this will start to unravel in the next couple of weeks -- if only because the Times is afraid of getting scooped again by outside rivals."
Hmm. You can tell the truth for the sake of telling the truth or you can tell the truth because you don't want someone else to tell it first. I suppose we should take our victories wherever we can get them.
It will all come out. In all probability Judith Miller is not in jail to protect a source. She is in jail to protect herself from incrimination. Arrianna Huffington keeps getting the goods on Miller and on the Times too.
We cannot base our military strategy on the assumption that Saddam is weak and at the same time justify pre-emptive action on the claim that he is a threat.
Well, if that isn't good old fashioned common sense I don't know what is. Those were some of the late Robin Cook's words as he resigned from Tony Blair's government in 2003.
Robin Cook served as Britain's Foreign Minister until his boss, Tony Blair, formed an unholy alliance with George W. Bush and occupied Iraq. Cook resigned his position in protest. He died suddenly on Saturday but his courage should not be forgotten.
Friday, August 05, 2005
Many Japanese historians have long judged the Soviet declaration of war to have been the straw that broke the camels back - mainly because the Japanese military feared the Red Army more than the loss of another city by aerial bombardment.
For the past 60 years Americans have been told that vaporizing men, women and children in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the only way to end the war with Japan. What a convenient justification for a war crime.
Well, maybe the Soviets should get credit for ending the war. The endless discussions of whether or not the bomb had to be dropped might be useless after all. Common Dreams has a great article on the subject.
And no fewer than four sources have either e-mailed, called, or, in one case, run up to me on the street to tell me that what I termed Miller's "especially close relationship" with Chief Warrant Officer Richard Gonzales, the leader of the WMD-hunting unit Miller was embedded with during the war, might have been, well, very close indeed.
We already know that Judith Miller is a corrupt journalist who used compromised sources to help the administration in its campaign of lies that led to the deaths of thousands. She may also have been the source who outed CIA agent Valerie Plame. Now it turns out that she may have taken the term "embedded" rather literally. Was she making a little whoopie with the troops in Iraq? Thanks to Arianna Huffington for the heads up.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
CNN should have suspended Robert Novak long ago. He did out a CIA agent after all. At any rate it took a childish melt down on the air to get CNN to do its job. Novak had a hissy fit and walked off the set during a segment of Inside Politics. Crooks and Liars gives you a peek.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Another embarassment for America. Our new UN Ambassador, John Bolton, was booed as he walked in the door. Why was he booed? Perhaps because he made statements like these.
"There is no United Nations. There is an international community that occassionally can be led by the only real power left in the work, and that is the United States, when it suits our interest, and when we can get others to go along."
"The secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If you lost 10 stories today it wouldn't make a bit of difference."
"The United States makes the United Nations work when it wants it to work, and that is exactly the way it should be because the only question for the United States is what is in our national interest."
See the video here.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
No turnstile jumping, no bulky jacket. The London cops lied about killing this man. They had to lie. They knew they killed an innocent person almost immediately and they had to lie to insulate themselves from criticism. I wonder if they even yelled at him to stop? We will find out that every public statement made after the shooting was a lie.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
So where are the Christian leaders when it comes to violent actions by our Western leaders? Where are the televangelists, who every Sunday take over the airwaves to trumpet the message of Jesus, when it comes to taking on bunker busting bombs and mass carnage?
Good questions from Calvin White at the Common Dreams web site.
And that's when we get to the real problem with the DLC -- its policies are BOTH morally bankrupt, and politically disastrous. The rise of the DLC within the Democratic Party has coincided almost perfectly with the decline of the Democratic Party's power in American politics -- a decline that took Democrats from seemingly permanent majority status to permanent minority status.
Don't believe the hype about blacks becoming Republicans. The GOP loves to use black people for photo ops to make themselves look like "compassionate conservatives." In Maryland they had to bribe a black person to run for office. Lt. Governor Michael Steele was paid to be a Republican "consultant" when he ran for office. Yes, they had to pay him to get him to run.
Monday, July 25, 2005
Bush's approval ratings are at an all time low, in large part because the public has turned against the occupation of Iraq. What does the Democratic Leadership Conference do in response to their opponent being on the ropes? They say we need to send more troops to Iraq.
Progressives should not be intimidated into supporting them. They are losers. The lesser of two evils argument doesn't work because this "evil" side is incapable of winning. So don't worry about them. Don't back the next Kerryesque empty suit. They will lose. Go ahead and say what you want and do what you want. Forget the DLC.
"The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror it's going to come out."
Editor and Publisher
A federal judge ordered the Defense Department to reveal all of the photos and video footage of the Abu Ghraib abuse, torture and rape. Secretary Rumsfeld has refused to do so, for obvious reasons.
What will Americans say when scenes of sodomy of children are revealed? Will Christians apologize to Muslims? We need should. George W. Bush has received millions of votes because he calls himself a Christian. Christians must condemn him and beg the Muslim world for forgiveness.
I'm sure that most people aren't ready to do this, but that is just too bad. It is the only right thing to do after our Christian president kills and tortures thousands of Muslims.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
If you are stopped by the police, stay calm and in control. Remember, anything you say or do can be used against you. You might be arrested for provoking or bad-mouthing police, resisting physically, or running away. Use your judgment; the police might arrest you even if they are not legally justified in doing so.
New York Civil Liberties Union website
Jean Charles de Menezes was a Brazilian living in London. He is now dead. London police shot him five times in the head and torso as he ran to catch the subway.
The itchy trigger fingered were looking for would be bombers. As always happens they killed an innocent person. Now we in New York can look forward to police searches of our belongings in the subway. That is bad news for anybody colored.
When black people need police protection we are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. I am terrified of a bombing taking place in the New York subway system that I use every day. I am also terrified because our encounters with cops usually don't end well, to put it mildly. There will obviously be increases in brutality, or in disrespectful and humiliating treatment.
The New York Civil Liberties Union believes that the searches violate the fourth amendment, which protects us against unreasonable searches and seizures. They have also asked for commuters to contact the NYCLU about their experience with police subway searches. It is essential that we keep the police honest. We don't want to end up like Mr. de Menezes, may he rest in peace.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Charles Evers is the worst of the worst. He is a black conservative who uses the name of his dead brother, Medgar Evers, to further the right wing cause. Today he used Alternet, asserting that he is a Republican because he wants to work for change from the inside.
Evers has a long history of supporting Republican racists, like Trent Lott and judge Charles Pickering. He may have also been an informant for the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, America's own version of the KGB and Stasi. The Commission spied on over 87,000 Mississippians who threatened that state's "way of life," that is to say segregation and terror. Here are the chilling words from Evers own mouth.
"I wascooperating with the Sovereignty Commission from the point of negotiation,"Evers said. "It wasn't that I was going to tell on somebody. It was, 'We'regoing to march at eleven o'clock tomorrow, governor, and I want someone there toprotect my people.'" He added, "I guess they're trying to say that I was playingboth sides. Well, I'll play three sides if necessary.... Whatever it took, Iwould do that. I had enough of my people lynched; I had enough of themistreatment; I had enough of 'em beaten and denied the right just to go andvote or get a damn drink of water. Whatever I could do on my part, if it meantkissin' ass, I'd kiss ass."
According to the Commission's own documents he was "in the palm of our hands." Evers claims of innocence are hard to swallow and so are his claims of working to change the Republican party. He is either an opportunist or a true believer in the right wing cause. Either way he is not to be believed now.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
According to the group Iraq Body Count, nearly 25,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq since the occupation began. Lo and behold, the U.S. military is the biggest killer, responsible for 37% of victims. The so-called insurgents have killed 9% of the total. It is funny that we never see the grieving relatives of America's victims.
Whether we see them or not they are there, they are angry and they hate us.
Monday, July 18, 2005
You didn't see it on CNN, and you didn't read it in the New York Times. Yours truly fell down on the job. You heard about G8 and Live 8, but you probably didn't know that an international jury of conscience met in Istanbul to document the crimes perpetrated on the people of Iraq.
Here is an excerpt from the Preliminary Declaration.
"The World Tribunal on Iraq met in Istanbul from 24-26th of June 2005. The principal objective of the WTI is to tell the truth about the Iraq war as clearly as possible, and to draw conclusions that underscore the accountability of those responsible and underline the significance of justice for the Iraqi people. "
The World Tribunal took testimony such as this from independent journalist Dahr Jamail.
In November, shortly after leveling Nazzal Emergency Hospital, US forces entered Fallujah General Hospital, the city’s only healthcare facility for trauma victims, detaining employees and patients alike. According to medics on the scene, water and electricity were “cut off,” ambulances targeted or confiscated by the US military, and surgeons, without exception, kept out of the besieged city.
They don't hate our "way of life." They hate what our government has done.
Friday, July 15, 2005
Why do "they" hate us? Is it our way of life, our freedoms perhaps? Neither answer is correct. As I point out in this week's Black Commentator, they hate our government because it kills so many people. An Iraqi humanitarian organization estimates that more than 128,000 Iraqis have been killed by the U.S. occupation of their country.
Speaking of Black Commentator, check out co-publisher Glen Ford's Radio BC commentary on the same subject. You can read the text or listen here.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Anti-Semites OK, Must Have Juice
As I wrote in Black Commentator, ADL President Abraham Foxman doesn't have a problem with anti-Semites, as long as the anti-Semites in question have political juice and back the Israeli government without question. Fred Malek is a Washington mover and shaker, one of those responsible for bringing major league baseball back to the nation's capital.
When Malek worked for Richard Nixon he searched for Jews at the Department of Labor Statistics. Nixon was in paranoia free fall and decided that Jews at that agency were trying to make him look bad. Malek undertook the search via surname. I'm not sure how he did it. Goldstein? Yes. Green? Maybe.
Most of the press corps has added Malek's past to the long list of issues they refuse to touch. Slate has stepped up and dubbed Foxman and friends Jews for Malek.
The next time Foxman opines on Farrakhan, I hope that someone reminds him of his selective amnesia.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Exxon never paid full compensation for the 1989 oil spill created by its tanker the Valdez. Exxon pays for junk science to deny the existence of global warming. Exxon is the only major oil company trying to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. You get the picture. Check out Exxpose Exxon.
Monday, July 11, 2005
"Our military is confronting the terrorists, along with our allies, in Iraq and Afghanistan so that innocent civilians will not have to confront terrorist violence in Washington or London or anywhere else in the world."
Dick Cheney, September 17, 2003
So much for that theory. Then again, this is the same man who predicted the U.S. would be greeted as a liberator in Iraq.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
CNN correspondent Cristiane Amanpour was interrupted during an on the street interview by a passerby who did what most of us want to do. Actually I often want to throw something through the television when I am watching CNN. At any rate this gentleman told us why none of us are safe. Watch the video for yourself.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Halliburton is getting more tax payer cash, $5 billion to be exact. Never mind that the reconstruction of Iraq is a sham and Halliburton is under investigation for fraud. Now all we can do is keep watching those stupid Halliburton commercials. At any rate, New Jersey senator Frank Lautenberg hit the nail on the head.
"At this point, why don't we just hand Halliburton the keys to the U.S. Treasury and tell them to turn off the lights when they are done?"
Friday, July 08, 2005
They don't hate our freedoms, or our way of life. They hate our governments. Too bad the average American will never get that information.
"Terrorism may be abominable, but it is rarely irrational. The terrorists do indeed have a rationale: it’s just that we often don’t want to hear it. Years before 9/11, Al Qaeda openly declared jihad against America, not because they “hate our freedoms”, but because we stationed large numbers of our decidedly non-Muslim troops on Saudi soil, which is, according to the Wahabist school of extreme Islam, a sin, and refused to leave. Yes we were in Saudi Arabia at the invitation of the Saudis, but Osama and company hate the Saudi rulers as much as they hate us for that very reason. But how many Americans knew what Osama’s original beef with us was all about? Or even know today?"
I'll say it again. Bidil stinks, badly. This alleged wonder drug was the first to be approved for use in one ethnic group, African Americans. Bidil is in fact just a combination of two generics. It will also be very expensive.
Bidil is priced at $1.80 per pill. Depending on dosage it will cost patients between $5.40 and $10.80 per day. Nitromed, Bidil's manufacturer, has a charity program to defray costs for uninsured patients. How very nice of them.
Once again we see an example of an unnecessary drug raising health care costs for everyone. Insured patients may be able to get the drug, if it is included in their insurance company formulary. It is still bad news for us all. Drug company chicanery continues to drive up health care costs.
The New York Times has the story. Registration is required but it is free.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
"We extend our condolences to those who have lost their lives today and our heartfelt sympathy to all those who have been injured by the bombs in London.
No one can condone acts of violence aimed at working people going about their daily lives. They have not been a party to, nor are they responsible for, the decisions of their government. They are entirely innocent and we condemn those who have killed or injured them.
The loss of innocent lives, whether in this country or Iraq, is precisely the result of a world that has become a less safe and peaceful place in recent years.
We have worked without rest to remove the causes of such violence from our world. We argued, as did the Security Services in this country, that the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq would increase the threat of terrorist attack in Britain. Tragically Londoners have now paid the price of the government ignoring such warnings.
We urge the government to remove people in this country from harms way, as the Spanish government acted to remove its people from harm, by ending the occupation of Iraq and by turning its full attention to the development of a real solution to the wider conflicts in the Middle East.
Only then will the innocents here and abroad be able to enjoy a life free of the threat of needless violence."
George Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow
I shouldn't even think of him, but a terror attack not only means loss of life, it means we have to hear from Rudy Giuliani again. He will be dusted off and ushered around to every network. We will have to hear his awful opinions. That guy is like the bad penny you can't get rid of.
"My name is on a list of real and suspected enemies of the state and I can't find out what I'm accused of or why, let alone defend myself. And I'm guilty, says my government, not just until proven innocent or a victim of mistaken identity--but forever."
We are going to be inundated with stale exhortations to support the war on terror. The first response should be that the war on terror doesn't stop anyone from putting a bomb on a bus or a train. The London bombings are proof that this war is a phony one.
John Graham is a former State Department employee with the highest level security clearance. He found out that he is on the TSA "no fly" list and can't get an explanation about why he is on the list and has been told he will be on it forever. The list is clearly a joke that doesn't keep us any safer. If Mr. Graham is like other watch list victims he need only use his middle name or initial and voila, he will be deemed safe to fly. We are no safer and our freedoms are being taken away little by little.
The story about the frog in boiling water is an old one, but Graham is quite right to repeat it.
And don't forget that frog. You know that frog. Dropped into a pot of boiling water, he jumps out to safety. But put him into a pot of cold water over a steady flame, he won't realize the danger until it's too late to jump.
So how hot does the water have to get? When the feds can rifle through your library reading list? When they can intimidate journalists? When a government agency can keep you off airplanes without giving you a reason? When there's not even a pretense of due process? We're not talking about prisoners at Guantanamo; this is you and me. Well, after last week, it sure as hell is me and it could be you, next.
Only luck has spared New York's transit system from the bombings that have occurred in Madrid and in London. After 9/11 we were told that the city was ready, prepared, able to prevent another terror attack. I can tell you that is just not true.
In August 2003 a black out struck New York, and as I joined thousands of other walking throught the streets it became clear to me. The city isn't prepared for anything. As if that isn't bad enough, the Transit Authority is planning to remove some staff from the L subway line that goes through 14th Street in Manhattan into Brooklyn and Queens. Instead of a motorman and conductor there will only be motormen.
This is insanity. Last fall heavy rains took the subway system out of service twice within a two week period of time. If we can't prepare for weather, how can we prepare for terrorism?
The terror alerts since 9/11 were in all probability phony, used to give Bush support at key moments. I have always said that I was willing to give up money, convenience or time in order to be safer, but all I have given up are civil liberties.
Let's hope New York's luck doesn't run out.
"It was Miller, more than any other reporter, who helped the White House sell its WMD-in-Iraq hokum to the American public. Relying on the repeatedly discredited Ahmad Chalabi and her carefully cultivated administration contacts, Miller wrote story after story on the supposedly imminent threat posed by Saddam Hussein."
There is a little justice in the world after all. Judith Miller is going to jail. She is the New York Times reporter who helped make the occupation of Iraq a reality. She and her newspaper committed a great crime that resulted in the deaths of thousands of people.
Miller is going to the gray bar hotel because she helped in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame after Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, revealed the Bush administration lies about Iraq's nuclear capability. Wilson had this to say about Miller.
"The real victims of this cover-up, which may have turned criminal, are the Congress, the Constitution and, most tragically, the Americans and Iraqis who have paid the ultimate price for Bush’s folly."
Have fun Judy.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
"His mouth kept moving, but there was nothing in his eyes or anything else about him that showed me he really cared or had any real compassion at all. This is a human being totally disconnected from humanity and reality. His eyes were empty, hollow shells and he was acting like I should be proud to just be in his presence when it was my son who died for his illegal war! It was one of the most disgusting experiences I ever had and it took me almost a year to even talk about it."
I don't need any encouragement to think of Bush as scary, but eyes like "hollow shells?"
As if Sheehan's description isn't enough to induct the creeps, Bush looked like an unhinged pathologically liar when he blinked non-stop and cackled like some strange bird of prey during an interview on British television.
He said he never had any doubts about invading Iraq and wouldn't allow his will to be shaken. How many icky phrases can one come up with? Read a partial transcript here.
Prince Albert of Monaco, the Baby's Daddy
He can have the cash, but not the throne. Monaco's Prince Albert acknowledged fathering a son with Nicole Coste, a flight attendant from the African nation Togo. His son, Alexandre, can inherit his estate, but can't use the Grimaldi name, and will never be a prince, being illegitimate and all that.
This is definitely a new rule for the principality. Albert's grandmother, Charlotte, was the illegitimate child of a prince and a cabaret singer. Her father adopted her and a subsequent law gave adopted heirs succession rights. Go ahead Albert. Adopt your own kid.
What is the problem? His sisters have been pregnant when they got married, or had babies without being married. Alexandre should join his not so highly born cousins and have the right to inherit his dad's throne. His mother should go ahead and give him the name Grimaldi. The other Grimaldis are in no position to be snobbish on this subject.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
The Asociacion Mexico Negro isn't accepting the notion that the Memin Pinguin commemorative stamps are harmless.
"Memin Pinguin rewards, celebrates, typifies and cements the distorted, mocking, stereotypical and limited vision of black people in general."
Afro Netizen was more succinct.
"C'mon, now, Presidente Vicente. Don't make a brutha have to sell his timeshare!"