Sunday, April 30, 2006

Colbert Rips Bush a new one

Colbert Lampoons Bush at White House Correspondents Dinner-- President
Does Not Seem Amused

By E&P Staff

Published: April 29, 2006 11:40 PM ET
WASHINGTON A blistering comedy "tribute" to President Bush by Comedy
Central's faux talk show host Stephen Colbert at the White House
Correspondent Dinner Saturday night left George and Laura Bush unsmiling
at its close.

Earlier, the president had delivered his talk to the 2700 attendees,
including many celebrities and top officials, with the help of a Bush

Colbert, who spoke in the guise of his talk show character, who
ostensibly supports the president strongly, urged the Bush to ignore his
low approval ratings, saying they were based on reality, "and reality
has a well-known liberal bias."

He attacked those in the press who claim that the shake-up at the White
House was merely re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. "This
administration is soaring, not sinking," he said. "They are re-arranging
the deck chairs--on the Hindenburg."

Colbert told Bush he could end the problem of protests by retired
generals by refusing to let them retire. He compared Bush to Rocky
Balboa in the "Rocky" movies, always getting punched in the face--"and
Apollo Creed is everything else in the world."

Turning to the war, he declared, "I believe that the government that
governs best is a government that governs least, and by these standards
we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq."

He noted former Ambassador Joseph Wilson in the crowd, as well as "
Valerie Plame." Then, pretending to be worried that he had named her, he
corrected himself, as Bush aides might do, "Uh, I mean... Joseph
Wilson's wife." He asserted that it might be okay, as prosecutor Patrick
Fitzgerald was probably not there.

Colbert also made biting cracks about missing WMDs, "photo ops" on
aircraft carriers and at hurricane disasters, and Vice President Cheney
shooting people in the face.
Observing that Bush sticks to his principles, he said, "When the
president decides something on Monday, he still believes it on Wednesday
- no matter what happened Tuesday."

Also lampooning the press, Colbert complained that he was "surrounded by
the liberal media who are destroying this country, except for Fox News.
Fox believes in presenting both sides--the president's side and the vice
president's side." He also reflected on the good old days, when the
media was still swallowing the WMD story.

Addressing the reporters, he said, "You should spend more time with your
families, write that novel you've always wanted to write. You know, the
one about the fearless reporter who stands up to the administration. You
know-- fiction."

He claimed that the Secret Service name for Bush's new press secretary
is "Snow Job." Colbert closed his routine with a video fantasy where he
gets to be White House Press Secretary, complete with a special "Gannon"
button on his podium. By the end, he had to run from Helen Thomas and
her questions about why the U.S. really invaded Iraq and killed all
those people.

As Colbert walked from the podium, when it was over, the president and
First Lady gave him quick nods, unsmiling, and left immediately.

E&P's Joe Strupp, in the crowd, observed that quite a few sitting near
him looked a little uncomfortable at times, perhaps feeling the material
was a little too biting--or too much speaking "truthiness" to power.

Asked by E&P after it was over if he thought he'd been too harsh,
Colbert said, "Not at all." Was he trying to make a point politically or
just get laughs? "Just for laughs," he said. He said he did not pull any
material for being too strong, just for time reasons.

Helen Thomas told Strupp her segment with Colbert was "just for fun."

The president had talked to the crowd with a Bush impersonator
alongside, with the faux-Bush speaking precisely and the real Bush
deliberately mispronouncing words, such as the inevitable "nuclear." At
the close, Bush called the imposter "a fine talent. In fact, he did all
my debates with Senator Kerry."

Among attendees at the black tie event: Morgan Fairchild, quarterback
Ben Roethlisberger, Justice Antonin Scalia, George Clooney, and Jeff
"Skunk" Baxter of the Doobie Brothers--in a kilt.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Scientific explaination

Why some people hate science
Genus: Politiciae troglodyticus, common name “GOPpie”
Four distinct species, described below. The American genus is distributed widely throughout the continent, especially in the South and West Central regions. Extremely hardy and robust, populations occasionally increase to nuisance levels, degrading habitat and overwhelming other native Politiciae as well as Apoliticus apathiphilius. Although species differ markedly in many respects, all species and subspecies can be identified by the extremity of their distrust of any information that conflicts with a fantasy worldview specific to each species.

Politiciae troglodyticus species are all predatory, although specific prey differs. They tend to be opportunistic nesters, often settling in the territories or homes of other members of the order Politiciae, and displacing them to less desirable territory. They are also messy and destructive, fouling and/or accumulating waste in their nest sites. Upon exhausting the resources of a chosen site, or rendering it uninhabitable, they abandon the degraded sites and move on to new sites.

P. troglodyticus has no known beneficial interrelationships with other creatures and their sole ecological value appears to be as a check on overpopulation by other Politiciae. The genus currently dominates American politics to an unhealthy, even catastrophic degree.


P. troglodyticus, sp. “Robber Baron”
Although the least numerous species in the genus (estimated to be less than 2% of the total population,) “Robber Barons” are extraordinarily dominant in the genus as a whole due to their incredible ability to influence the nesting and predation patterns of other species. They are omnivorous, parasitic predators and scavengers with an unlimited appetite for both power and cash, requiring massive consumption of both to survive.

As parasites, they require hosting by other P. troglodyticus species, and thus must carefully nurture and control their hosts, in order to achieve access to other prey from whom they can accumulate power and cash. In the process, they facilitate host species’ survival and access to preferred prey, as long as it does not interfere with the Robber Baron’s acquisition of power and/or cash. However, if the host’s feeding or nesting habits interfere with the Robber Baron’s goals, they will deny access and eventually starve the host, and when other prey are scarce, Robber Barons will cannibalize other P. troglodyticus species.

The only known natural predator of the Robber Baron is other Robber Barons. Intraspecies competition can be fierce even when abundant resources are available, and when resources are scarce the Robber Baron can turn viciously even on its own mate and family. The only known control for this incredibly noxious nuisance species is to deny it sufficient hosts and/or prey to support the population in any numbers. Unfortunately, these controls were decimated during the P. liberalicus boom thirty years ago, and the superbly opportunistic Robber Barons have been increasing to catastrophic levels since.

Distribution: Relatively evenly distributed throughout the range, although individuals tend to maintain multiple nest sites in secluded clusters of other Robber Barons, and migrate freely between regions.

P. troglodyticus, sp. “Fundy Wackjob”
The Fundy Wackjob numbers have experienced a surge in the last few decades, as Robber Barons have found them extremely compliant and favorable hosts while access to their preferred food sources was facilitated. Fundy Wackjobs feed on several P. liberalicus species, including “Uppity Wimmin,” and “Secular Humanists.” Other prey include all species of Politiciae libertariensis, and even those members of the order Apoliticus apathiphilius whose range and nesting sites overlap with the Fundy Wackjobs.

The most social GOPie species, the Fundy Wackjob congregates geographically to reinforce its effectiveness. They claim territory by eliminating the civil liberties that support other species. Extremely prolific breeders, they are highly aggressive in claiming and defending territory and preventing access to others, even other P. troglodyticus species (except the Robber Barons.) This habit contributes to the boom-and-bust cyclical nature of the Fundy Wackjob population, which operates on a cycle that varies from thirty to fifty years.

Once the Fundy Wackjobs exhaust available prey species, they resort to cannibalism, splintering into ever smaller, more extreme, and vicious subgroups that hunt each other with increasing fervor until the population is exhausted and returns to more sustainable levels. However, the political landscape they leave behind— devoid of civil liberties and polluted with an abundance of toxic laws and regulations— rarely supports any substantial public life without extensive reclamation efforts.

Distribution: A naturally rural creature, they concentrate most heavily in the South and Central regions. The species recently peaked at about 35% of the total GOPpie population, but some GOPpie biologists believe that the “bust” process is already beginning. Although Fundy Wackjobs have been accommodating hosts for Robber Barons, their voraciousness for civil liberties has recently begun to threaten the Robber Barons’ rapacious capitalistic acquisitiveness. Based on past population cycles, the opportunistic Robber Barons are more likely to turn to scavenging these hosts than attempt to preserve them.

P. troglodyticus, sp. “Asshole”
Unlike the other, more social species of P. troglodyticus, the Asshole tends to be a solitary predator whose fear-based aggressiveness can make it extremely dangerous. A small but significant part of the total GOPpie population, it is difficult to estimate total numbers, as the Asshole frequently takes on the appearance of the less aggressive “Woolhat” variety of P. troglodyticus "Neanderthal" or even an odd mimicry of P. libertariensis. However, as individuals they are highly recognizable by the volume, stridency, and random coherence of their vocalizations.

Robber Barons trick the Asshole into playing host by pretending to make initiatory gestures of sharing power and cash, convincing the Asshole that acquiescence to the Robber Baron will lead to a sharing of such resources, and even, eventually, being accepted into Robber Baron communities. This is generally effective, although on rare occasions Robber Barons have been savaged by hosts who finally realize no benefits will ever be forthcoming. However, the minimal cognitive capabilities of the species generally makes them amenable to Robber Baron predation.

The Asshole itself is an undiscriminating predator/scavenger, feeding upon any creature that threatens its territory or excites its extremely sensitive fear-based aggression circuits. Always insecure in its ability to attract mates, hold territory, or achieve dominance, the Asshole constantly resorts to elaborate public displays of hyperaggression, which frequently serve to drive competition away in sheer boredom and/or disgust. The resulting scarcity of food often makes scavenging as common a survival mechanism as predation for the Asshole. As such, they are tough survivors and almost impossible to eradicate successfully.

Distribution: Assholes can be found in all parts of the GOPpie range, but tend to gravitate toward areas where there is plenty of cover— extreme rural fastnesses and urban undergrounds. They can also, by their talent for mimicry, take refuge in communities of Politiciae libertariensis, where they can be difficult to differentiate. However, the Asshole can be flushed from this cover by proposing certain types of legislation, especially criminalization of flag-burning, tort “reform,” etc., which will provoke wild “support display” behaviors.

P. troglodyticus, sp. “Neanderthal”
The most numerous GOPpie species, the Neanderthal is also the most varied in habits, feeding patterns, and nesting behaviors. This variation has sparked debate over whether there are, in fact, several distinct subspecies of Neanderthal. All have in common a deep suspicion of change, a strong aversion to the unfamiliar or “different,” and an unshakeable certainty that at some time in the past, things were “better” than they are today. Most common prey among all varieties includes creatures weaker and/or poorer than themselves, along with any they suspect are smarter than themselves.

The less noxious varieties of Neanderthal tend to be modest feeders who essentially scavenge the kills of other GOPpies, some are quite light feeders. While their nesting calls can be occasionally irritating, they are rarely dangerous unless provoked. They stake our relatively small territories; these, however, they will defend tenaciously. They make good hosts for the Robber Barons, as they are rarely able to detect the parasites’ presence. If the parasites become too demanding, however, or if the habits of other species too obviously threaten their survival resources, the milder varieties of Neanderthal will occasionally turn on their fellow-GOPpies. This is believed to be the original proto-GOPpie, from which all species differentiated over the last two centuries. They still make up a substantial (estimated 25-35%) share of the total population, but their more retiring habit makes them seem rare.

The balance of the Neanderthal species tends to be more toxic. This is believed due to extensive cross-breeding and influence of other species. For instance, there is a fairly numerous strain of Neanderthals that are almost as voracious for cash as the Robber Barons, and although rarely permitted access to any meaningful form of power, they exist in a kind of aspirational symbiosis with the parasitic Überspecies, exercising trivial amounts of power with obsessive ferocity. These “RB Wannabes” are easily distinguished by their obliviousness to their larger habitat and the cluttered nature of their gadget-filled nests. Other subgroups include the semi-torpid “Woolhat” subgroup, distinguishable by its lack of coloration, which shares a good many Asshole characteristics, and tends to prey preferentially on creatures with brown shades of coloration, and the “Bluenose” variation, which lacks the virulence of the Fundy Wackjob but spends most of its existence identifying and preying on anything that provides enjoyment.

Distribution: Politiciae troglodyticus “Neanderthal” is common and abundant throughout its entire range, reaching nuisance levels in many areas where it has displaced less robust breeders.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Fighting mediocre faces and anti-Semitism to save America

The "fasces" from which "Fascism" draws its name are
by definition weak reeds that can not resist pressure
and snap. They are defined as weak and mediocre when
standing alone. But, the theory goes, if you tie the
mediocre fasces tightly together, they form a strong
entity that cannot be broken. My opposition to the
Bush Administration-- after supporting Bush's campaign
for the Presidency in 2000, heart and soul-- came,
particularly at the spectacle of the 2004 Republican
Presidential Convention (just compare it with the
"diversity" Convention in 2000, when I realized that
the weak and mediocre Fasces-- most of whom played GI
Joe, but like Cheney, but when came time to answer the
nation's call, put on a uniform and fight, chose the
deferment path because they "had other priorities"--
had been tightly twined together into what might
solidify even in America into Fascism, ie., the rule
of the tightly disciplined mediocres. The other Nazi
like trait, besides big lies and pre-emption, that I
noticed was corruption and war profiteering. We are
now awash in all of this. The only element yet to
appear is scapegoating of the Jews. And with full
frustration of our Mideast polices, I worry that-- as
the Roman Catholic moralists break away from the
Fundamentalist Christian Right (aroused by their
humanitarian instinct and sense of Christian
charity)-- the fundamentalist "Christian" shysters
will not be able to resist the easy explanation for
why their imaginary self-made prophecies came to
naught-- the Jews betrayed us!

There's lots of hallucinogenic gris for their mill.
After all, a very few of Jewish origin who recently
suffered a sudden surge of testosterone (no other
surepticious plot involved), making them insanely
aggressive, and the assumption that "my ticket came
in"-- as they weal and deal all sorts of political
corruption in Wash DC-- have made themselves
conspicuous claiming to speak for all but
"self-hating" Jews through the Conservative media
organs they bought for 5c on the dollar when the Cold
War ended and corporate funding of anti-Communism
dried up. The media eclipsed the fact that these
"neocons" speak for a very tinny proportion of the
American Jews, 85% of whom voted for Kerry in 2004.

But some, not all, neocons seem to want this
scapegoating in order to force most Jews to immigrate
to Israel in fear of anti-Semitism in America; most
Jews but not themselves, that is-- they buying up
villas, as Richard Perle did, in southern France, the
nation they denounce as the most "anti-Semitic" in the

As American confidence in Bush declines because he
lacks the wherewithal to rid himself of Cheney and
Rumsfeld, as he did with the neocons (Bolten is Jewish
but no way a neocon), the masters of the cultish
Christian Yahoos will find blaming the Jews
irresistible in order to protect their tax-free cash
fiefdoms. Well, it's a free country, and if
Fundamentalist Christians choose to put 10% of their
earnings into crooked operations like those by now
notorious, I can't say anything. But as one who was
literally raised by Jews and owe them much of my
education-- indeed, they have been the keepers of our
Western culture-- I will not stand idle and let the
Fasces become a fascist regime threatening them. Nor
will I allow the neocons in their crazy
alliance-of-convenience to bring about any danger to
America's Jews.

So let me declare openly, that I am determined to go
down with the democratic ship, if need be. I will
fight the Fasces tooth and nail and will defend our
Jewish brethren with whatever it takes. To blame then
for our Mideast fiasco is utterly a repeat of the 20th
Century's biggest Big Lie. The evolving crisis in
America was brought about by mediocre Fasces bound
together to impose mediocrity on an American public
suffering from the "ain't my kid going to Iraq"
syndrome of disconnect. The loudest voices against
them and their war were Jewish, if you bother to look.
These Jews sought to teach us the evils of pre-emption
much as they taught us the evils of racism in the
1950s and 60s, the neocons not withstanding.

So let us all say a loud "NO" to anyone threatening
our nation's single greatest asset: our Jewish
teachers, doctors, lawyers and businessmen who
contributed far beyond their numbers to making America
great. Let us remind our fellow Americans that the
Jewish roots are our roots, part of our common tree of
civilization, making our fruits their fruits. We must
together preserve and protect the great American Tree
of Life.

Daniel E. Teodoru

peace is at hand?

It seems to me most interesting that binLaden should
reappear in the narrow confines of our attention in
order to remind us that he is after us-- RIGHT AT
HOME-- and not after our soldiers in Iraq. Suddenly
after him, Zarqawi comes forward and tells us that we
are defeated and that he is pressing on to annihilate
the Shi'ia regime heading Iraq. Most noteworthy is
that never before did Zarqawi deem it important to
exhibit himself in carne instead of maintaining his
spirit status and to do so upon the heels of a
binLaden address to us. Let us recall that binLaden
made it abundantly clear that his goals never changed:
America; similarly, Zarqawi reiterated his target: the
Shi'ia regime heading as a unity government.

I feel great optimism in what looks like a fundamental
Jihad split over targets-- the essence of both
operations. This bespeaks the urgency of getting Iraq
to form a unity government that will not allow the
Kurds to break free (if they do that the Sunnis will
break out of the coalition; already Sadr's militia are
moving into Kirkuk on behalf of the Arab nation) so
that we can start pulling out our troops and allow an
integrated Sunni-Shi'ia-Kurd army to go after Zarqawi
while sealing the borders with American help.
Nevertheless, Rice and Rumsfeld were sent to do a
political photo-op for Bush in Baghdad, another
reckless maneuver by a totally political
administration. Does it not occur to them that the
more Baghdad seems to be ours, the weaker the union
amongst our friends and the stronger the rage of our
enemies? We must BEGIN to withdraw so ALL sides will
know we are serious. To quote my old hero, Kissinger:
peace is at hand!

Daniel E. Teodoru

Party in Search of a Notion

Get educated, read this.

For What it's Worth

Watch and listen
Really powerful. Stuff like this was played on stations across the country before the robber barons usurped the airways with the help of compliant legislators.
A couple of books that delve into the gap between the rich and poor and the struggles of the working class are DosPassos
USA, The Big Money   and The Terrible Twos by Ishmeal Reed. Both require some background information and school kids would be mostly in the dark.  But they should be listening to this song

Monday, April 24, 2006

Vets time to fight

And all because Paris Hilton needs a tax cut



This is the latest VA Watchdog article for and

Article here...

Article below:


April 24, 2006

Push to cut Benefits for Vets who get VA and Social Security Compensation

SHORT HEAD: Push to cut VA Benefits

by Larry Scott

Vets' Commission Chair, General Terry Scott wants to study if vets
should get VA compensation and Social Security disability at the same
time with the aim of reducing benefits. In an unconstitutional move, he
asks Congress to interpret its own law so he would have the power to
launch study.

The next step in dismantling veterans' benefits could be a payment
reduction, known as an offset, for veterans receiving disability
compensation and Social Security.

The Veterans' Disability Benefits Commission (VDBC) was established by
Public Law 108-136 and signed into being by President Bush in November
2003. The VDBC's charter states they are to study "whether a veteran's
disability or death should be compensated" and at what level if any.

Since the VDBC was first established it was obvious to veterans and
veterans' service organizations (VSOs) that the Commission had one thing
in mind and that was cutting veterans' benefits. The VDBC is made up of
13 political appointees. Four were appointed by Democratic Members of
Congress, four more by Republican Members and the other five by
President Bush. The VDBC is truly a 9-4 politically-stacked deck even
though they like to refer to themselves as bipartisan. The legality of
the VDBC has been questioned by some VSOs.

As the VDBC's meetings progressed, veterans began to notice a
"secretive" quality to the workings of the Commission. Last fall the
VDBC issued a list of questions they would study. They asked for input
and gave veterans just a few days, over a Holiday weekend, to respond.
The questions signaled the direction of the VDBC. One question was:
"Does the disability benefit provided affect a veteran's incentive to work?"

Now, "secretive" has taken on a new meaning. In a recent editorial
written by Arthur H. Wilson, National Adjutant for the Disabled American
Veterans (DAV) we find: "Optimism was in short supply at the
Commission's March 16-17 meeting as some of its members maneuvered to
authorize collecting data about Social Security Disability Insurance
(SSDI) benefits paid to veterans who also receive VA disability
compensation. That was done with a view toward an offset [reduction] of
disability insurance if the veteran receives disability compensation
from the VA."

Wilson continues: "A move to sidestep proper procedures and hold a
secret ballot on the matter was postponed, but the issue is expected to
resurface at the commission's meeting in May. If so, it could lay the
groundwork for cutting or eliminating veterans' benefits as a way of
saving the government money. The idea that disability compensation is
some kind of income security or welfare program cheapens the service and
sacrifice of disabled veterans. That kind of thinking might also open
the door to cutting off VA compensation when a disabled veteran becomes
eligible for Social Security retirement benefits. Veterans' benefits
are separate and distinct from Social Security, so receiving payments
under both programs is not dual compensation for the same disability, as
some have tried to argue."

It appears the VDBC is about evenly split on the idea of studying the
SSDI issue. But the Chairman, retired Army Lt. General Terry Scott, is
adamant about getting this on the agenda and wants the power to move
forward. And, he wants the help of Congress to push his agenda. Scott
has taken the liberty of writing to Congress asking them to interpret
their own law that established the VDBC.

This presents a problem. It is unconstitutional for Congress to
interpret its own laws. Congress passes laws and the courts interpret
them. But, this hasn't stopped General Scott.

In an email to the House and Senate Armed Services and Veterans' Affairs
Committees, General Scott writes: "Some Commissioners believe that this
charge [the VDBC's charter] should be interpreted broadly to mean all
related benefits received by disabled veterans under the laws of the
United States to include...SSDI payments...the Chairman would appreciate
clarification of the intent of Congress in writing or in person during
the next Commission public meeting May 19, 2006"

General Scott's unconstitutional request has raised major concerns among
the VSOs. Christopher J. Clay, General Counsel for the DAV, has written
to the four Chairmen involved. In part, Clay's letter states:
"...[General Scott's] request, if honored...would violate one of the
fundamental principles which have guided the government of the United
States for more than 200 years. That principle is the separation of
powers...Congress exercises the sole power to enact laws while the
Judicial and Executive Branches have the power to say what those laws
mean...neither a committee of either the House or Senate nor the full
Congress may interpret a statute after it is enacted, without passing a
new law...The DAV is unaware of any precedent for the congressional
interpretations requested by the Commission Chairman. If the Committee
responds to the Chairman's inquiry, it will set a precedent that the
courts are no longer the sole arbiters of disputes over our laws."

Now, veterans play the waiting game. Will any of the four Congressional
Committees respond to General Scott's request and interpret their own
law? Will General Scott get enough votes from VDBC members to push
ahead with his idea to study a Social Security offset (reduction) for
veterans' disability compensation? We will know by May 19.

But, what we don't have to wait for is the fact that General Terry Scott
and other members of the VDBC want to cut veterans' benefits and will
try to hold secret votes and try to get Congress to, unconstitutionally,
interpret its own laws.

General Scott must be reminded that veterans' disability compensation is
not welfare. It is not to be confused with welfare. It is not to be
confused with any other sort of compensation. Veterans receive
disability compensation because they earned it. Many earned it on the
field of battle. They don't deserve to lose it in a Commission hearing.

© 2006 Larry Scott / VA Watchdog dot Org


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Sunday, April 23, 2006

wasted mind

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: (no subject)
Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2006 23:03:55 -0400 (EDT)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Saturday rant

Rubber Stamp Republicans
Without them, Bush's failed policies would only be a hair brained agenda.
Hang this albatross around their necks and make them inhale the stink of
the rotting carcass that was once a great nation. Our treasury has been
looted and the contents have found their way to off shore tax shelters
where that money will never circulate. Left unfettered, the free market
becomes a totalitarian fixed market that benefits only Bush's base, "the
haves and the have mores." Our economy has been sacked for the benefit
of Bush's major campaign contributors.
The widening gap between the rich and poor is at the cost of the
shrinking middle class. The poor don't have the means to fight a corrupt
theocratic oligarchy and are subject to be permanent wage slaves. All
the good jobs are outsourced, and we will be fighting for the crumbs
that "trickle down."
This dangerous inbreeding of business and government is fascism, and we
the people are making the rope they will use to hang us, either together
or one at a time.
The daily erosion of Constitutional guarantees and protections is an
indication that elections are meaningless because of the
Republican/Diebold cartel. Stalin reminded everyone it's not who votes,
but who counts the votes that matters. Like Stalin, Hitler and a rouges
gallery of brutal dictators, Bushigula has donned military garb.
The impotent punks passing themselves off as our protectors are nothing
short of organized crime on a scale never before seen.
It's time for a nation wide strike where everyone bites the bullet and
stays home from work for a day and refuses to drive a car.
One work day a week means the government's tax coffers are 20% short as
is the oil cartel's profits.
It's always about the money, or in the mind of the Republican archetype,
stealing other people's money and minding other people's business.
With pain comes awareness. Let's hope the pain of making the choice of
eating or burgeoning energy costs awakens enough people to cause the
Bush junta to sink into the quagmire it has created.
The road to empire is paved with failed republics.
Thank you for reading my Saturday morning rant.

Friday, April 21, 2006

This is funny

I'm The Decider
Koo Koo Ka choo
play it loud

strange coincidence?

W. is the third President we've had named George, his father and
Washington being the other two. Thus we have our own
George III. The first George III who was run out of America was known
for his madness. Is this just a strange coincidence?
Our president is a nut.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Lower living standards

The next time you fill up the tank and feel like you're getting ass
raped, think about the retirement package Exxon's CEO just got, four
hundred million dollars, as in $400,000,000. Does anyone really think
this money will find its way into our economy? Is a retired executive
going to give jobs to people as the trickle downers propound, or will
that money find its way to a Cayman Islands or Swiss tax dodge? As
long as the Bush cartel continues looting the treasury and his corporate
cronies continue to loot the economy, we, the working class, will foot
the bill. Our president is a nut.

McCain, Scumbag

By appealing to the ignorant and intolerant, John McCain has reserved himself a place in the ninth circle.
John McCain: The sell-out express

By Cenk Uygar
The Huffington Post
April 2, 2006

JOHN McCAIN spent over five years in a prisoner-of-war camp in Vietnam. He was given the choice to leave when the Vietnamese found out his dad was a senior admiral in the U.S. Navy. He declined to leave his men behind and stayed for many more years in the Hanoi Hilton, where he was regularly tortured.

He is a genuine American hero.

The Senator from Arizona has also spent a majority of his political life defying partisan politics. He has tried to clean up campaign financing. He has often worked with the other party to find middle ground. And lately he insisted on banning torture by the United States in defiance of the administration.

I voted for John McCain in the 2000 Republican primaries. I thought he would have made an excellent president. I was proud to support this American hero and rare courageous politician.

Pandering for Election?

So, it is with profound disappointment that I say that we have lost John McCain. He has become what he warned us against. He has turned into a pandering politician who will stop at nothing to get elected.

John McCain will be speaking at the commencement ceremonies of Liberty University in May. The founder of Liberty University is Jerry Falwell. McCain is going to Liberty to kiss the ring of Falwell (to put it politely).

Here's what Senator McCain had to say about the idea of pandering to Falwell in 2000:

"Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell on the right."

How the mighty have fallen. Where have you gone John McCain? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you. The Straight Talk Express has left and gone away. You promised back then that you wouldn't pander to these guys. You lied. You broke our trust.

Dirty Politics

McCain lost the infamous South Carolina Republican primary in 2000. In that primary Bush supporters called voters to ask them whether it would change their vote if they knew John McCain had an illegitimate black child (McCain has an adopted child from Bangladesh). He lost to the zealots and he lost to them in the meanest, dirtiest way possible.

Instead of fighting back on his own terms, unfortunately, Senator McCain has apparently learned the terrible lesson: If you can't beat them, join them. He has sold out what little there was of his remaining principles. To pander to Falwell of all people -- it is not only terribly disappointing, but also, nakedly, awkwardly obvious. It is bowing your head to the agents of intolerance.

McCain had a chance after 2000 to say that he was going to do it his way, the right way -- even if it meant he would never be elected president. He should have kept the faith. Now that Bush's numbers are tanking, he would have seemed a natural alternative in 2008.

Instead he chose to embrace the people who tore him down and who have torn this country down. He hugged Bush during the 2004 election. He backed this disastrous war in Iraq. He didn't complain when the administration shamelessly linked the war to 9/11. He didn't complain when they demagouged the country with their fear tactics. He didn't complain when they hid behind the troops to justify their political decisions. He bowed his head and complied.

George Bush and Torture

But worse than all of this is his reaction to what George Bush did to his torture amendment. He fought the administration on torture -- and gave us hope again that there were men of character left in politics. He won. His amendment called for the U.S. to stop any and all torture of detainees.

George Bush pretended to go along when it was obvious he had lost the political fight. Then afterward he signed a signing statement that gutted the amendment. In essence, his signing statement attached to the bill said that he would not follow the law. Torture would continue.

And what did McCain do in response? Absolutely nothing.

Here's the difference between the average Republican voter and John McCain -- John McCain knows. The average voter can claim that he had no idea what Bush was up to, or in this case, what a signing statement means. Senator McCain can't make this claim. He knows exactly what they are up to. He knows exactly what that signing statement means. And he bows his head.

McCain has gone so far off the deep edge now that he suggests we teach intelligent design along with evolution. You might be able to convince me that Rick Santorum or George Allen is ignorant enough to doubt evolution, but McCain knows. He is not that dumb -- and that's why his pandering is all the more inexcusable.

What's next? Will he call voters and ask them if they know about his opponent's black children? How low can he go? Where does the Sell-Out Express stop next?

Karl Rove as Advisor?

Since he's already kissed up to Jerry Falwell, will he suck up to Pat Robertson next? Should Hugo Chavez be worried? Or worse yet, will he try to hire Karl Rove as his political advisor?

Apparently, McCain believes that Bush was right -- politically. That the way to win in the Republican Party is to appeal to the intolerant and the ignorant. That doesn't turn him off. Instead of fighting against that, he now embraces it. He is a shell of his former self. It's a sad spectacle.

Politics has corrupted the last good man. It is complete. The Vietnamese couldn't break him, but eventually his own ambition did. It is a sad, cautionary tale. It will be brought to its natural conclusion when he loses again this time, ironically, because he embraced Bush and the agents of intolerance too much.

Al Gore should have asked for a recount of the whole state of Florida. If he had, he would have won. Instead, he asked to recount only the counties he thought leaned toward him, and he lost. McCain should have stuck to principle; instead he sold out. Now, he will lose because the country has had enough of these charlatans.

It's almost enough to give a man hope. There might be no good men left, but at least there is some justice in the world. And in 2008, McCain will feel the wrath of that justice.

Copyright 2006 ©, LLC

Monday, April 17, 2006

Mutiny: The military soultion

What We Have Going on Amidst the Generals -- Present and Former -- is a Mutiny. It's Not An Armed One, Not Yet.

April 16, 2006


What we have going on amidst the generals, present and former, is a mutiny. It's not an armed one, not yet.

When most Americans think of a mutiny, they think of armed crew members seizing the captain and taking over command of a ship, as in the famed "Mutiny on the Bounty."

But, what we are seeing in the United States is a public rebuke of the commander-in-chief, his vice president and his secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, without an active military revolt as of yet -- although that can't be ruled out.

As Richard Holbrooke, a former ambassador to the United Nations, points out in a Washington Post commentary, "it is also clear that the target is not just Rumsfeld. Newbold hints at this; others are more explicit in private. But the only two people in the government higher than the secretary of defense are the president and vice president. They cannot be fired, of course, and the unspoken military code normally precludes direct public attacks on the commander in chief when troops are under fire."

In short, Rumsfeld is the civilian with command oversight who is responsible for the abysmal failures in the Middle East, but he serves at the pleasure of the president -- he reminds us -- and the vice president. They are three peas in a pod.

That the mutiny will expand appears likely. As BuzzFlash has asserted since John Murtha -- the blunt Democratic "hawk" -- first made his emphatic denouncement of the management of the Iraq War, Murtha is speaking for the active career brass whom he knows well. They are silenced by the military code that requires public loyalty to the commander-in-chief, but Murtha, it is clear, is the spokesperson of many top Pentagon staff given the military gag order. Remember, he is a diehard Pentagon Democrat.

So, the revolt of the retired generals is likely just the tip of the iceberg.

What is occurring, on such a massive scale -- as BuzzFlash has said -- is without precedent. It is a vote of no confidence in the civilian military leadership by the military itself. It is a cry from those who have been career soldiers that the Bush Administration, through Rumsfeld, are ruining the armed forces and leading us into defeat into the Middle East. It is a stunning development -- and the significance of the call for Rumsfeld's resignation and change of course going unheeded cannot be underestimated.

In short, if Bush continues to refuse to fire Rumsfeld and personally change course, including asking Cheney to step down, then our military will continue to decline, our soldiers will continue to be killed, and our nation's national security will continue to be at risk. On top of that, Bush would have to bring in a top-notch national security cabinet with professional skills -- instead of loyalist flunkies -- and let them run the show. Because Bush is at the epicenter of the problem himself. (He is after-all the commander-in-chief.)

In the short term, as Holbrooke notes, Bush will continue to back Rumsfeld.

BuzzFlash attributes this to a number of things: Bush prefers incompetent loyalists over intelligent self-starters; Bush thinks that he is inspired by God, accountable only to himself, and that no one's else's opinion counts; Bush will never admit that he's made a mistake and chronically mistakes failure for success; Bush has no idea what to do without Rumsfeld, even if Rumsfeld is doing destructive things; Bush, a man who was never in combat, thinks that he knows better than the military leaders; Bush won't cut Rumsfeld loose at a time that they already have begun secret support of guerilla combat activities against the Iranian government; and, among other reasons, Bush is always afraid that if he fires an inept loyalist, the loyalist may become disgruntled and write a "tell all" book that will reveal the dirt on Bush's personal complicity and illegal behavior.

So, in the short term, the White House will issue Karl Rove-written statements of support for Rumsfeld.

But meanwhile our military is deteriorating, our national security is at continued risk, and the Middle East is a tinderbox -- as no end appears in sight for the quagmire created by Rumsfeld and the White House.

The former and current generals -- through John Murtha -- are signaling to the American people that our nation's military and our national security are endangered by the continued presence of Donald Rumsfeld in the Pentagon and the current military/foreign policy of the White House.

Can we afford to remain silent?

The lives of our soldiers and are our lives are at stake.

Will we abandon our generals who are trying to save the American military and us?


I was thinking

*The Dangers Of Thinking*

It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and
then -- just to loosen up.

Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than
just a social thinker.

I began to think alone--"to relax," I told myself--but I knew it wasn't
true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was
thinking all the time.

That was when things began to sour at home. One evening, I had turned
off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that
night at her mother's.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't
mix, but I couldn't stop myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and
Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What
is it exactly we are doing here?"

One day the boss called me in. He said, "Listen, I like you, and it
hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If
you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job."

This gave me a lot to think about. I came home early after my
conversation with the boss. "Honey," I confess, "I've been thinking..."

"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"

"But Honey, surely it's not that serious."

"It is serious," she said, lower lip a quiver. "You think as much as
college professors, and college professors don't make any money, so if
you keep on thinking, we won't have any money!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently. She exploded in tears
of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional
drama. "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche. I roared into
the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass
doors.... They didn't open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that
night. Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a
poster caught my eye, "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it

You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinkers
Anonymous poster. Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering

I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational
video; last week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how
we avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just
seemed...easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.

I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.

Today I made the final step, I registered to vote as a Republican!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Real Americans

NanceRants – and she is one pissed-off Citizen!

By Nancy Greggs

Like many of us, I am in a perpetual state of anger these days. Between
the mess in Iraq, the saber-rattling with Iran, the lobbyist scandals,
the deficit, the outsourcing of jobs, the price of gas, and a buffoon of
a president who thinks breaking the law is job one, it’s hard not to be
pissed-off on a minute-to-minute basis.

Hey, there’s probably stuff going on that would really set me off, if I
even knew about it. But these days, with new revelations about the
criminality of this Administration coming at us on a daily basis, it’s
hard to keep up without a Goddamned scorecard.

But then there’s always that one little thing that gets on your last
nerve, and this week my personal rocket’s red glare was set off by a
remark made by Antonin Scalia when he was asked about the Bush v Gore
decision, the stolen 2000 election. His response: “Get over it!”

I have heard that phrase once too often, and it sticks in my craw like
the “Love it or leave it” bullsh*t I heard in the ‘sixties, a virtual
dismissive wave of the hand that says I have no voice, no power, no say.
Well, you’ve picked on the wrong citizen if you think I will shut my
mouth, or be relegated to talking to that arrogant hand.

I am an American. That may not mean much to people like Scalia, but it
means something to me. And when someone tampers with my country’s voting
process, or anything else that impinges on the democracy of MY COUNTRY,
I am not going to GET OVER IT, now or ever.

I am an American. I will not be dismissed, minimalized or marginalized,
especially by hypocrites like Scalia et al, who persist in throwing
rocks at my patriotism from inside their glass houses.

I will not be preached to by warmongering pseudo-Christians; I will not
be reminded of the importance of family values by people who have no
values at all. I will not be lied to, stolen from, manipulated. I will
not be assuaged by meaningless rhetoric; I will not be lectured on the
topic of honesty by people who wouldn’t recognize the truth if it walked
up to them on the street and bit them in the ass.

I will not be condescended to by people who are as immoral as they are
greedy and self-serving. I will not be shooed away from the adult dinner
table like an ignorant child, while the alleged grown-ups plot the
destruction of my own nation, or the nations of others. I will not be
told to remain silent in the face of wrongdoing. I will not relinquish a
single freedom that is my birthright as an American.


When my fellow citizens are suffering, I will speak out for them, and
stand with them. When disaster strikes, I will not GET OVER IT by going
shopping, or attending a birthday party, or catching a ballgame. REAL
AMERICANS don’t do things like that – and besides, it seems pretty
obvious that those jobs are already taken.

REAL AMERICANS do not need to be told how to act, or how to react. We
know what needs to be done, and we do it every time. Within minutes of
the 9/11 attack, firefighters, police officers, and emergency workers
were on the scene. They risked their lives to save others without
hesitation. Not one of them walked away in an attempt to GET OVER IT.
And dare I say it? Not one of them found it necessary to stop and read
The Pet Goat in its entirety before springing into action.

REAL AMERICANS don’t condone torture, secret prisons, or rendition. REAL
AMERICANS don’t look at photographs from Abu Ghraib and GET OVER IT.
REAL AMERICANS don’t watch footage of dead Iraqi children on the nightly
news and GET OVER IT. REAL AMERICANS don’t read about their soldiers
being wounded and killed in an ill-disguised attempt to put MONEY into
the pockets of the rich and the powerful and GET OVER IT.

This Administration, and the elected officials who support it, have
brazenly picked a fight with myself and my fellow citizens. Wrong move,
wrong crowd. They obviously don’t know who they’re up against. You see,
real Americans don’t GET OVER IT when it’s their own country under
siege. They don’t kneel, they don’t bow, they don’t yield.

The American people are now standing knee-deep in a foul-smelling
liquid. They know what it looks like, what it smells like; they KNOW
what it is. So stop telling us it’s raining. Stop trotting yourselves
out into the public square with your half-truths and your spin. We all
know the emperor has no clothes; don’t insult our intelligence with
grandiose descriptions of his wardrobe.

I know this Administration and its party just LOVE throwing those
bumper-sticker slogans around. Well, here’s one for them to chew on:
“Eventually, everything comes out in the wash.” And I’ll be damned if
I’m going to watch all of that dirty Republican laundry get hung on the
line, and be told to GET OVER IT.

There will be a backlash to the corruption and incompetence of this
regime, of that I have no doubt. Poll numbers for the current crop of
Republicans are plummeting faster than the average American’s savings
account. I guess all of those angry citizens who have been keeping tabs
on where their country is being led just aren’t GETTING OVER IT either.

So to the people in power who have turned my country into something to
be scorned rather than admired, to be feared rather than respected, to
be a harbinger of hate, violence and death the world over, I say this:
You are going down. Your support is dwindling, your lies are being
exposed, and your failures are as glaringly visible as a fireworks
display on the 4th of July.

And if you find that upsetting, well, hey … GET OVER IT!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Letter to Star-Ledger

Now we have the all important Barry Bonds perjury investigation on the
horizon. It took long enough. The question remains: When will Condoleeza
Rice be investigated for perjury for telling fantastic stories to the
9-11 Commission while under oath? Condi needn't worry as her boss, our
dear leader, will pardon her and the rest of the cabal for any and all
crimes against the American people. It's the rule of law. A lie is a
lie. What will we tell the children? Oh, there's no stained blue dress?
Never mind, move along; there's nothing to see here. Thank Zeus I'm a

Will "the Jews made us do it" be US excuse for Mideast fiasco?

I really don't know at which point is it permissible
in academic-speak to use the term "imbecilic." But it
seems clear to me that America has set itself on a
past-practice clause of allowing itself to take out
its manufactured political anxieties on nations that
it could find precedence or neo-reasons for deeming
complicit in the generation of the anxiety.

Our Iran policy is a case in point. The recent article
by Seymour Hersh-- a journalist I loved to hate but
came to hate to love but can't help it because he's
been so good-- wrote in NEWYORKER an article, the
second, that intimates prospects for US attack of

Before commenting on the above article, let me recall
a previous article in NEWYORKER in which Hersh was
used by the Pentagon to scare Tehran: he predicted an
attack, based on "inside" sources, but it never
happened. In both articles Hersh-- whom I hated since
Vietnam War days but came to totally respect, even
love, since 9/11-- is a leftist who became Wash. DC's
most respected journalist. Keep in mind that a Hersh
journalist is like an FBI agent: all he can do is ask
and ask and ask.... But Hersh had this way of coming
back at you, of double checking and then returning,
etc-- he was not just a detective but an intelligence
genius. And, he had a feel for what American democracy
is all about (something we East Euros obsessed with
Commies kept forgetting about). Sure he was a scoop
hound, very competitive, but he had a mission and
TRUTH was to be his weapon for the press, for America,
for the world and for freedom.

Now he despairs over how the press has capitulated in
fear of "access" cut-off since the 2004 re-election of
Mr. Bush. And so, he has widened his net inevitably
sacrificing the depth through revisiting and
double-checking of sources that made him so famous.
Now he is a known entity and people who talk to him
talk to him more deliberately to transmit a message
and/or work a cause. Also, Hersh cannot believe that
the larceny of this regime is as shallow and
"imbecilic" as it really is. So here he is putting
together dozens of one-pad interviews into a cogent
picture. So to him it looks like we have to go after
Iran but he misses what's driving us there.

Anyone who knew Cheney and Rumsfeld over the last
several decades knew that they thought leadership
depended more on what you seem to have below the
umbilicus more than what you seem to have above it
(ie. balls matter more than brains!). And so, many
deemed them both the Fix-it Keystone Cops of
Republican Administrations in that they took total
control and totally screwed up. Just look *carefully*
at their accomplishments. As for the presidency, I can
only avoid being bleeped by quoting EJ Dionne who
expressed it better than anyone: this Administration
is on a long holiday from complexity. What has this

First of all, it has made real admission of error
impossible since the errors have been so massive and
so devoid of any rationale that no one can admit to
them for fear of the consequences. Bush was honest at
least when he said that he always follows his gut. As
a result, we are up against foreign policy by
speechwriters trying to make gut-reaction seem cogent.
So Bush is stuck with the speechwriters' words; it is
reminiscent of how the Soviet speechwriters, editors
at Pravda all, described the "Brezhnev Doctrine":
What's this "doctrine," with my name on it comrades?--
asked Brezhnev. Well, O.K., comrades, since you wrote
it, I hope it goes over well because I just don't
understand it. And so, when next faced with a
decision, Brezhnev was stuck with the "Brezhnev
Doctrine" because, after all, he himself enunciated

The Bush doctrine is much the same. But rather than
explain and debate it with newsmen, as is expected in
a democracy, Bush protects himself by expressing
himself as only acting from his gut. And, the only
explanation his gut can offer is an odoriferous thing
most would rather skip.

Hersh's problem is that he got exclusive access to a
lot of bureaucratic ladder "climbers" or off the
ladder retired "fallers." They are Pentagon
practitioners of the art of sycophancy who are being
rewarded by Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld (Mr. Cheney only
appears as the "terminator" to those who fail to
comply) or victims of mis-steps who had been visited
by what Bush calls the "Vice," hence recently retired.
Then, Hersh tries to give all these little vignettes a
cogent string of beads arty necklace-like unity,
spiced by the "juicy" quotes in order to make it
appealing to the editor of NEWYORKER.

In truth, there is no Iran policy, just a "Bush
Doctrine" derivative that insists on: when in doubt
hit and hit and hit again. It's called "preemption";
but most miss the second part of its definition: "from
the gut." This means that a careful reading of Bush's
last 20 speeches will give you a clear picture of what
the precedent created by the words-smiths will cause
him to do (as he said). However, don't forget that
there's also Rove who speaks for what's "politically"
good for the Republican Party and Cheneny who tries to
force on Bush the promises he made to the Israeli
lobby, AIPAC.

My fear is that when the Republicans are swept from
power in Congress this Fall 2006, the Christian Right
will look for someone to blame. Because of the
neocons' obsession with their geriatric surge of
testosterone through their incestuous "think-tank" and
publication outlets, "the Jews" will be a very
convenient outlet for blame. After all, didn't they
crucify Jesus? Sounds dumb, but be ready to hear it a

Don't ask for too much reason or realism in this
reaction. It is only a cover-up by the leaders to
cover their incompetence. After all, the Bush
phenomenon is a phenomenal lowering of the bar for
smarts. This is what is reminiscent of Germany circa
1930s: "Triumph of the Will" and the 2004 Scripted
Republican Convention are similar cases of showmanship
(purple band-aids and all that) showcasing homogeneity
for the Fatherland under attack-- substituting, not
light, but glitz and blinding glare for brains. Since
then, our government has known little serious debate,
just the "imbecility" of polarized screeching. But
with an AIPAC front supporting an anti-Arab blare from
Congress, the neocons managed to make Likudnik and
Republican seem synonymous, according to the JERUSALEM
POST. In fact, the MASS MAJORITY of Jews are as
frightened of this phenomenon as any one else in
America. But they kept quiet for fear of making things
worse, according to the FORWARD, the Jewish newspaper
I always read for its sheer genius and prescience. For
insight, I offer the following Meirsheimer and Wald
academic paper on the AIPAC LOBBY:

For those not so much into academic reading with
endnotes, I offer the shorter version from the LONDON

Below is an attempted retort from David Gergen, a
White House aide for several presidents:

The Likud perspective goes so far as to shadow US
polices with a suggestion that America adopt Israeli
ones. In that way, how can the US complain about
Israel doing the same thing that America is doing?

I offer two examples:

(1) Daniel Byman's collaborative argumentation with
ex-Mossad (Israeli Secret Service) Chief, Dichter, on

(2)The Center for Immigration Studies argued in a
Congressional "hearing" it set up that the problems in
Paris are attributable to Islamic "false loyalty" to
West as immigrants:

As Anne Norton in her study of the Neocons suggests,
there is an "anti-Semitic" campaign by A FEW Jews--
the neocons-- directed at Arabs and their access to
political influence in the US for fear that they might
balance off AIPAC. Somehow it is "kosher" to make that
an issue but not to discuss Zionist-right influence.

In the end, the mix of "imbecility" at the top and
censorship at the bottom suggests a possible repeat of
the worst-- anti-Semitism-- of the 20th Century as
backlash to the testosterone surge of a few
irresponsible advocates of "WW IV." That all this is a
testosterone geriatrics (prostatitis, if you will) of
a few old guys who, contrary to their claim, speak
only for their belated hormonal surge has been more
that documented by the famous words quoted in the
media from a leading neocon, Norman Podhoretz, upon
the start of the Iraq War: Now I no longer feel like
the scrawny Jewish kid in the schoolyard always beat
up by the black kids. Whatever he may feel, he speaks
only for himself, not as the Jewish leader he pretends
to be; but as a self-avowed leader he has the
obligation to responsibly consider the backlash from
the Fundamentalist Christians when they lose power and
the Mideast goes from bad to worse for the US thanks
to neocon influence through Cheney and Rumsfeld on
Bush. The so-called "Christian Zionist Coalition"
should have been seen for what it is: a momentary tool
of political convenience that could easily backfire on
the innocent Jewish population in America, all at the
hands of the Christian Right leadership looking for a
scapegoat for their bad predictions.

Daniel E. Teodoru

Friday, April 14, 2006


"History will judge the GOP's abdication of power to the NeoCons as the
single worst tactical blunder since the Taliban gave safe harbor to
Osama bin Laden"

Thursday, April 13, 2006

White House Attacks Press for Reporting Truth

Administration about to collapse on itself.
It's Bizarro World, and we're all bozos on this ship.
Our President is a nut.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

thanks Halliburton

April 7, 2006, 11:59PM
Doctor alleges water linked to infections
Halliburton contends it met Army standards

WASHINGTON - A U.S. Army doctor serving in Iraq has linked a small outbreak of bacterial infections among U.S. troops to allegedly contaminated water supplied by Houston-based Halliburton Co.

In the latest broadside against Halliburton and its performance in Iraq, Senate Democrats produced an e-mail Friday from Capt. A. Michelle Callahan, a family physician serving at Qayyarah Airfield West, recounting how she treated six infections over a two-week period in January, at the same time she was noticing the water in base showers was cloudy and foul-smelling.

Follow-up testing of the water soldiers were using to bathe, shave and even brush their teeth revealed evidence of coliform and E. coli bacteria, Callahan wrote in an e-mail to a staffer for the Democratic Policy Committee, led by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.

Halliburton subsidiary KBR was responsible for treating water at that base, under a contract to provide logistical support to U.S. troops.

Halliburton spokeswoman Cathy Mann said the company provided water at the base "consistent with the Army's standards and used the same process the Army itself had been using before KBR took over the water operations there."

Daniel Carlson, a spokesman for the Army Field Support Command in Rock Island, Ill., said military officials are aware of the issues being raised.

"Our personnel in Iraq are diligently working to assure a proper water supply," he said.

Chlorine added

Once Callahan raised the alarm, Halliburton chlorinated the water in the area where the infections had occurred.

But the water was still cloudy, Callahan said. Further investigation revealed that the water the troops were using was actually wastewater from a purification unit, she wrote.

In response to the issues Callahan identified, KBR installed an additional water purification unit.

Halliburton spokeswoman Mann noted that "despite the fact that KBR believed it was meeting the Army's own requirements, the Army requested and KBR immediately changed the treatment process and is still handling water treatment there."

Concerns about possible water contamination first arose in March 2005, when a KBR employee at Camp Ar Ramadi reported spotting what looked like larvae in a toilet.

Wil Granger, then KBR's water quality manager, and colleague Steve Outain conducted what they called a "cursory investigation."

But the report they issued two months later was explosive, warning that troops could have been exposed to "potentially harmful water for an undetermined amount of time."

Halliburton officials have distanced themselves from Granger's report. Indeed, they told Dorgan that Granger's findings, titled KBR Report of Findings & Root Cause Water Mission B4 Ar Ramadi, constituted Granger's "personal conclusions."

Noted Dorgan: "That is almost unbelievable to me."

Going public

Dorgan's panel learned about the water quality issue and went public with Granger's concerns in January.

Then in February, Jerry Allen, KBR's senior manager/practice leader for the Environmental/Water Resources Department, issued a "final report" disputing many of Granger and Outain's findings.

When they were conducting their probe, Granger and Health Safety and Environment Manager Kevin Pope "received inaccurate information," Allen wrote in the report.

"We have been unable to conclusively determine whether the 'larvae' was actually a microorganism or an optical illusion caused by a leak in the toilet fixture," the report said.

Who was purifying water?

And in March 2005 when the purported larvae sighting occurred, the Army — not KBR — was purifying water at Ar Ramadi "due to difficulties in obtaining and installing the necessary equipment," Allen said.

Allen conceded the water for showers was not chlorinated, but said military regulations required water for such uses to be chlorinated only "if prescribed by the command surgeon."

Jeffrey Griffiths, a professor of public health and medicine at the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, scoffed at that assertion.

"You don't shower with water that's not chlorinated — at least," Griffiths said. "It's called common sense."

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Sir No Sir!


06 - Preview Screening, Oakland, CA, Grand Lake Theater.

(510) 452-3556
Click here for more details


(415) 668-3994


(510) 452-3556

17 - Preview Screening New York, NY, IFC Center

327 6TH AVE.
(212) 924-7771

Click here for more details


327 6TH AVE.
(212) 924-7771


(303) 893-3456


(608) 255-0605



(310) 394-9741


(626) 844-6500


(949) 854-8818


846 S.W. PARK AVE.
(503) 225-5555


(615) 383-9140


(678) 495-1424


(202) 452-7672


(512) 231-9742


512 6th STREET



2828 N. CLARK ST.
(773) 509-4949


(860) 232-1006



17 - 26 - Green Mountain Film Festival, Montpelier, VT

31 - New Jersey Film Festival, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ ((732) 932-1935)

March 30 - April 12 - Philadelphia Film Festival

March 31 - April 1 - Wisconsin Film Festival, Madison, WI


6 - 9 - Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Durham, NC

7 - 10 - Ashland Independent Film Festival, Ashland, Oregon

27 - Reel Work Film Festival, Santa Cruz, CA

Thursday April 6th at 7:00pm, Oakland Preview Screening - Grand Lake Theater, 3200 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA.

A Benefit for Iraq Vets Against the War


For More Information click here

Monday April 17 at 7:45 PM and 9:55 PM, New York Preview Screenings - IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue, at West Third Street, New York City, NY.

With Jane Fonda and Vietnam GI Resisters From the Film, A Benefit for Iraq Vets Against the War


For More Information click here

“Sir! No Sir! ... is the "must-see" documentary of 2005. The film tells the story of the GI resistance movement during the Vietnam war. ... In summary, this is an important documentary, whether or not you agree that the GI resistance movement was the correct and proper response to the war in Vietnam. See it and decide for yourself!” (IMDB )

posted by NJVetCaucus @ 3:33 PM   7 comments

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Stop veteran abuse

VA NEWS FLASH from Larry Scott at VA Watchdog dot Org
<> -- 04-04-2006 #6




I want you to think about this quote from the story: "...expected to
lay the foundation of a modern health care system for the country,
putting quality medical care within reach of all Iraqis."

What about quality medical care with the reach of all veterans?

Another absurdity!

It is truly saddening to think that we are trying to give to other
countries that which we don't have ourselves.

This must change.

Story here...

Story below:


U.S. Plan to Build Iraq Clinics Falters

Contractor Will Try to Finish 20 of 142 Sites

By Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, April 3, 2006; Page A01

BAGHDAD -- A reconstruction contract for the building of 142 primary
health centers across Iraq is running out of money, after two years and
roughly $200 million, with no more than 20 clinics now expected to be
completed, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says.

The contract, awarded to U.S. construction giant Parsons Inc. in the
flush, early days of reconstruction in Iraq, was expected to lay the
foundation of a modern health care system for the country, putting
quality medical care within reach of all Iraqis.

Parsons, according to the Corps, will walk away from more than 120
clinics that on average are two-thirds finished. Auditors say the
project serves as a warning for other U.S. reconstruction efforts due to
be completed this year.

Brig. Gen. William McCoy, the Army Corps commander overseeing
reconstruction in Iraq, said he still hoped to complete all 142 clinics
as promised and was seeking emergency funds from the U.S. military and
foreign donors. "I'm fairly confident," McCoy said.

Coming with little public warning, the 86 percent shortfall of
completions dismayed the World Health Organization's representative for
Iraq. "That's not good. That's shocking," Naeema al-Gasseer said by
telephone from Cairo. "We're not sending the right message here. That's
affecting people's expectations and people's trust, I must say."

By the end of 2006, the $18.4 billion that Washington has allocated for
Iraq's reconstruction runs out. All remaining projects in the U.S.
reconstruction program, including electricity, water, sewer, health care
and the justice system, are due for completion. As a result, the next
nine months are crunchtime for the easy-term contracts that were awarded
to American contractors early on, before surging violence drove up
security costs and idled workers.

Stuart Bowen, the top U.S. auditor for reconstruction, warned in a
telephone interview from Washington that other reconstruction efforts
may fall short like that of Parsons. "I've been consumed for a year with
the fear we would run out of money to finish projects," said Bowen, the
inspector general for reconstruction in Iraq.

The reconstruction campaign in Iraq is the largest such American
undertaking since World War II. The rebuilding efforts have remained a
point of pride for American troops and leaders as they struggle with an
insurgency and now Shiite Muslim militias and escalating sectarian conflict.

The Corps of Engineers says the campaign so far has renovated or built
3,000 schools, upgraded 13 hospitals and created hundreds of border
forts and police stations. Major projects this summer, the Corps says,
should noticeably improve electricity and other basic services, which
have fallen below prewar levels despite the billions of dollars that the
United States already has expended toward reconstruction here.

Violence for which the United States failed to plan has consumed up to
half the $18.4 billion through higher costs to guard project sites and
workers and through direct shifts of billions of dollars to build Iraq's
police and military.

In January, Bowen's office calculated the American reconstruction effort
would be able to finish only 300 of 425 promised electricity projects
and 49 of 136 water and sanitation projects.

U.S. authorities say they made a special effort to preserve the more
than $700 million of work for Iraq's health care system, which had
fallen into decay after two decades of war and international sanctions.

Doctors in Baghdad's hospitals still cite dirty water as one of the
major killers of infants. The city's hospitals place medically troubled
newborns two to an incubator, when incubators work at all.

Early in the occupation, U.S. officials mapped out the construction of
300 primary-care clinics, said Gasseer, the WHO official. In addition to
spreading basic health care beyond the major cities into small towns,
the clinics were meant to provide training for Iraq's medical
professionals. "Overall, they were considered vital," she said.

In April 2004, the project was awarded to Parsons Inc. of Pasadena,
Calif., a leading construction firm in domestic and international
markets. McCoy, the Corps of Engineers commander, said Parsons has been
awarded about $1 billion in reconstruction projects in Iraq.

Like much U.S. government work in 2003 and 2004, the contract was
awarded on terms known as "cost-plus," Parsons said, meaning that the
company could bill the government for its actual cost, rather than a
cost agreed to at the start, and add a profit margin. The deal was also
classified as "design-build," in which the contractor oversees the
project from design to completion.

These terms, among the most generous possible for contractors, were
meant to encourage companies to undertake projects in a dangerous
environment and complete them quickly.

McCoy said Parsons subcontracted the clinics to four main Iraqi
companies, which often hired local firms to do the actual construction,
creating several tiers of overhead costs.

Starting in 2004, the need for security sent costs soaring. Insurgent
attacks forced companies to organize mini-militias to guard employees
and sites; work often was idled when sites were judged to be too
dangerous. Western contractors often were reduced to monitoring work
sites by photographs, Parsons officials said.

"Security degenerated from the beginning. The expectations on the part
of Parsons and the U.S. government was we would have a very benign
construction environment, like building a clinic in Falls Church," said
Earnest Robbins, senior vice president for the international division of
Parsons in Fairfax, Va. Difficulty choosing sites for the clinics also
delayed work, Robbins said.

Faced with a growing insurgency, U.S. authorities in 2004 took funding
away from many projects to put it into building up Iraqi security forces.

"During that period, very little actual project work, dirt-turning, was
being done," Bowen said. At the same time, "we were paying large
overhead for contractors to remain in-country." Overhead has consumed 40
percent to 50 percent of the clinic project's budget, McCoy said.

In 2005, plans were scaled back to build 142 primary clinics by December
of that year, an extended deadline. By December, however, only four had
been completed, reconstruction officials said. Two more were finished
weeks later. With the money almost all gone, the Corps of Engineers and
Parsons reached what both sides described as a negotiated settlement
under which Parsons would try to finish 14 more clinics by early April
and then leave the project.

The agreement stipulated that the contract was terminated by consensus,
not for cause, the Corps and Parsons said.

Both said the Corps had wanted to cancel the contract outright, and
McCoy rejected the reasons that Parsons put forward for the slow progress.

"In the time they completed 45 projects, I completed 500 projects," he
said. Parsons has a number of other contracts in Baghdad, from
oil-facility upgrades to border forts to prisons. "The fact is it is
hard, but there are companies over here that are doing it."

Bowen called the outcome "a worst-case scenario. I think it's an
anomaly." He said, however, that U.S. reconstruction overseers
overwhelmingly have neglected to keep running track of the remaining
costs of each project, leaving it unclear until the end whether the
costs are equal to the budget.

"I can't say this isn't going to happen again, because we really haven't
gotten a grasp" of the cost of finishing the many pending projects,
Bowen said.


Larry Scott

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posted by NJVetCaucus @ 9:21 AM   6 comments