Thursday, September 27, 2007

Very interesting

Mr. Pitt points out a fascinating development: Dan Rather, in his old age, getting PISSED OFF. Really pissed off! It is a wonder to behold. I wish we had more like him--insiders who want to vomit at what journalism has become, and what our government has become, and who at last stand up to be counted.

It must have been crushing to Rather--the sting that was perpetrated against him: one of the Bush/AWOL papers, among many, re-typed on a later model machine, a paper which the original secretary of the document vouched was true as to its contents (just typed differently), and CBS (whom I have little doubt was in on the sting*) caves, the Rovian sting succeeds and Bush's AWOL is buried in the controversy about the re-typed paper, and Rather, the linchpin of CBS News for many decades, loses his job--and Bush doesn't lose his.

Rather could have understandably retired, and written a couple of books, and had a nice peaceful old age. But no, he takes Dan Rather Reports to, where he fries the election theft corporations with the most important investigative news report in our history ("The Trouble With Touchscreens"), and goes on to sue the fuckers who fired him for injustice, malfeasance, kissing the butt of a fascist government and lying.


Thank you, William Rivers Pitt, for highlighting this remarkable story!

There is one thing to be said for the Bush Junta--it DOES create heroes, inadvertently to be sure, but never have there been so many opportunities to rise above comfort and career, to defy prudence and ass-covering, and to display real moral courage, as have arisen over the last seven years, and never have we seen this MANY heroes rise to the challenge, from officers like Lt. Ehren Mejia who refused to return to the immoral and unlawful Iraq War at the price of military imprisonment and loss of career, to military jag lawyers who have fought against Guantanamo Bay and torture, and been demoted, to FBI/DoJ insiders like Sibel Edmonds and James Comey, who have blown the whistle on widespread criminality, to the very courageous young man (can't recall his name) who took the Abu Ghraib torture photos to the military police, to Joseph Wilson, Valerie Plame and David Kelly, who blew the whistle on the prewar lies about WMDs, to leftist bloggers who have taken up journalism to fill the black hole in the news media--real truthtellers like Will Pitt and Brad Friedman--to people like TIA who have sacrificed their time and health to get the word out on stolen elections and our fraudulent election system, to thousands of ordinary people who risk abuse, hardship and prison to protest the war, or devote time they don't have to passionate anti-war and election reform many. I've barely grazed the top of this mountain. There are many more.

To this stellar group of real heroes and patriots we now add Dan Rather, a man who "got mad as hell and couldn't take it anymore."

You want real journalism? Check out the Dan Rather Reports at . You won't be disappointed.


A couple of points in the article:

*My suspicious about CBS. The reason that I easily suspect them of actually being in collusion on the sting is that they were in collusion with the other corporate news monopolies when their consortium exit pollster, Edison-Mitofsky DOCTORED the exit polls (Kerry won) late in the day on 11/2/04, to FORCE them to FIT the results of Diebold/ES&S's "trade secret" vote counting formulae (Bush won). If they would do THAT, they would do anything. I don't believe that American voters were swayed by Karl Rove's bullshit--whether his sting to bury Bush's AWOL, or his "gay marriage" tripe, or his Kerry "flip-flopping" tripe, or the "Swiftboaters"' lies, or the numerous "terra alerts" that everybody was laughing about, by the time of the election, or any of it. I believe it was all a pre-written narrative for Stolen Election II. People were flocking to the Democratic party in record numbers to oust Bush. The Democratic grass roots blew the Bushites away in new voter registration, nearly 60/40, in 2004! Where did all those votes go? There is simply overwhelming evidence that the vote was fiddled. So what all these fascist corporatists were doing was pushing a PLAUSIBLE narrative of how Bush/Cheney COULD HAVE won, not how they did win. And burying the AWOL story--which was in fact a TRUE story--was just one element of keeping that narrative believable enough to prevent a revolution.

Which brings me to Will's discussion of the impact of these war profiteering corporate news monopolies on the American people. We can plainly see what their intentions are--to create a brainwashed, stupified, powerless, demoralized populace, all the better to rob them blind and destroy American democracy forevermore, as a potential force against global corporate predators. But have they succeeded? Look at the polls! They have convinced the American people of NOTHING. SEVENTY PERCENT of the American people now oppose their goddamned war--a truly amazing and epochal antiwar majority, up from the significant majority--56%!--who opposed it from the beginning (in Feb. '03). When you look at the issues polls over the last several years (since before the 2004 election), you find huge opposition among the American people to every Bush policy, foreign and domestic, way up in the 60% to 90% range. Their propaganda has FAILED. That is, in fact, WHY they had to devise an election system run on TRADE SECRET, PROPRIETARY programming code, owned and controlled by rightwing Bushite corporations, with virtually no audit/recount controls--and had to fast-track it into place, between 2002 and 2004, under the radar of the American people--with an "Iron Curtain" over all news about this system and its egregious vulnerability to insider rigging.

The American people can be faulted for their lack of vigilance over their election system, but, really, they didn't have a chance against it. Why? Because our own goddamned collusive, corrupt or very frightened DEMOCRATIC Party leaders not only didn't warn people about it, they all voted FOR it, supported it, and FORBADE any talk about is fraudulent results.

But now that the American people ARE finding out about it, mostly by word of mouth (and the internet), an awesome grass roots movement is on the rise to fight it. Very difficult battles are being fought against it all over the country. You don't hear much about them--unless you visit the DU Election Forum--but these activists are among the greatest heroes of our age. Ordinary people, who never thought they would have to do this--devote two or three years of their lives, 24/7, and possibly the rest of their lives, to retrieving our right to vote.

People KNOW something is wrong. They DON'T BELIEVE the crap they see/hear in all the media. Some are mystified as to why our democracy is not working--why it is not correcting itself, why they vote and nothing happens, why, with 70% of the people against the war, a supposed 'Democratic' Congress ESCALATES the war--but more and more, people are realizing that the problem is the riggable machines. Of course it is not the only problem. But it is the one thing we MUST reverse, in order to BEGIN reforming and saving this country.

So I just wanted to speak up for the American people. Will Pitt paints a pretty grim picture of what the corporate news monopolies INTEND. He doesn't stress enough how they have failed. WE are the majority--the peace-minded, justice-minded Americans. It has never been otherwise. It is the only propaganda victory of these fascists, that they have been able to convince so many people that this great, peace-minded, justice-minded, progressive American majority is the minority. It is not true. And they have switched and disappeared our votes--and filled our public airwaves with rightwing assholes--to make it SEEM true.

Dan Rather NAILS the election theft story in "The Trouble with Touchscreens." He reveals things that even I didn't know, and I'm well-versed on the election system. He does not speak to the purpose for which this election theft system was put into place, but what he reveals is the vast corruption of the election theft corporations, going back to the 2000 election, when they DELIBERATELY printed the punchcard ballots for Democratic areas of Florida on inferior paper, so as to PRODUCE "hanging chads." He interviews the employees who were ordered to destroy the evidence. He questions the "trade secret" code. And he shows where ES&S election theft machines are manufactured--in miserable sweatshops in the Philippines, with no quality controls. He exposes this filthy, democracy-killing business for what it is: predatory capitalism gone mad.

Dan Rather, transformed. Kudos and laurel wreaths to him! Whatever he was before, he is not that now. He is a REAL journalist now! And, boy, is he pissed!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

They lied

The following is a combination of conversations had with various individuals, put together in one account.

On a crisp September afternoon I sat on bench near a local park.  A man, close to my age, sat near me and took in the sights of the cool day.  We happened into conversation about life, family, and politics.  I made the mistake of allowing a stray comment from my lips regarding the war in Iraq.  The man turned to me with a sharp look in his eyes. 

"Why don't you support the troops?  Why do you hate our military?  Why can't you just support the President's decisions?"

At that moment, something inside me snapped.  My body began to shake and my vision blurred.  I had heard these questions before, several times, doing my best to forget the ignorance from which they came.  I turned the other cheek when people asked me "Why do you hate America?" or "If it's so bad here, why don't you move somewhere else?"  I let them question my patriotism, call me a traitor, because every one is entitled to their opinion.  I allowed myself to be marginalized and called a left-wing wacko, though I knew the truth.  In the greatest democracy the world has ever known, I let them tell me that if I hadn't killed for my country, then I had no right to speak.  But not anymore.

Meeting the man's gaze, I narrowed mine. 

"Who told you this?" I began. "Who told you supporting our troops meant supporting endless war; that disagreeing with our administration's policies meant turning my back on my country?  Who told you that I have to follow our President into the pits of a hell of our own making, never questioning the course though my heart and head scream for sanity?  As for our fighting men and women, who told you I've no compassion for their sacrifice or respect for their service?  As I beg my elected representatives to bring them home, so they might be safe until the day a war of choice becomes a war of necessity - who told you that makes me a traitor?  

Who told you after September 11th, that the best thing to do was go shopping; to live our lives as if nothing had changed, only to raise the specter of that gruesome day to evoke fear whenever it was politically convenient?  Who told you that the greatest way to honor those who perished was the dismantling of our liberties in the name of security?  When I mourn the loss of 3000 of my kinsman, why am I any less a patriot when I question the poverty, oppression, and genocide supported by our own foreign policy?  Who told you that the United States was the first nation to ever experience such sorrow, giving us the mandate to tell the world "you're either with us, or with the terrorists?"  

The man was briefly taken aback, but then leaned forward to speak.

"Don't you know we have to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here?  Al Qaeda is in Iraq!  What do you want to do, just coddle our enemies?"

"Who told you this?" I responded.  "As the U.S. prepared for war, who told you that Saddam Hussein gave aid and comfort to those who attacked us on September 11th.  Who told you he had weapons of mass destruction, aimed at Israel and packaged just right for an attack on the U.S.?  When no WMD were found, who told you that the imposition of democracy upon a sovereign nation was the best way to promote peace?  As the death toll rose, who told you that human life is only as valuable as its geography; that nearly 80,000 killed in the Iraqi desert in a bungled war isn't as important as 1 life in an American city.  Who told you war would be easy; that the mission would be accomplished before it truly began; that we'd be greeted with flowers in the streets, as liberators; that massive corporations should profit from death, and armed, mercenary groups - like Blackwater - should have the authority to fire upon the free citizens of another country? 

Who told you that upholding ignorance over understanding, and dismissing our enemies as "crazed killers" is effective foreign policy?  When the United States refuses to meet with Syria, Iran, or any nation willing to talk, who told you that this tactic strengthens our credibility; that refusal to learn the language, culture, and folkways of would-be terrorist nations makes us better prepared to confront them?" 

"But they're terrorists!" he said.  "There's only one way to fight this evil."

"Who told you that the only way to fight evil is to embrace evil; by stripping away inalienable freedoms that have been guaranteed for nearly 800 years; casting aside the right of Habeas Corpus -suspended only once - since King John signed the Magna Carta on the fields of Runnymede in 1215?  Who told you the best way to deal with our enemies is through torture and coercion; forcing confessions with Soviet style precision; that "alternative" means of interrogation stops short of violating the Geneva Convention, allowing us to be the "good guys" once again?  Who told you that ignoring our Bill of Rights, showing utter disdain of liberty for all the world to see, would make us safer?

Who told you that our elected leaders should betray their supporters by lying down in the face of opposition; that our basic Constitutional rights aren't worth fighting for; that 51 votes doesn't matter because no one wants to stand up to a filibuster; that there would be no outrage?  When American citizens clamor for public funding of elections, to put democracy back in the hands of the citizenry, who told you it would only create a new level of bureaucratic mismanagement; that we couldn't trust our tax dollars at work?  Who told you that "business as usual" is the name of the game; that politicians should engorge their coffers on the coin of special interests?  When you watched your government being put up for sale, who told you that little green pieces of paper are more valuable than the voices of your own people."

The man's eyes grew wide and he opened his mouth to speak again.

"But you liberals are all the same.  You don't believe in anything.  You oppress Christians while supporting religions that have nothing to do with America.  And no one's ever wrong.  You just want people to do whatever the hell they want, as long as it "feels good".

"Just because I support the separation of church and state," I responded, "who told you that I hate Christians; or that I would hold Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Eckists, Wiccans, or Atheists above followers of any other religion?  Who told you that believing people have the freedom to find truth through their own faith and experience means I have no faith of my own?  When you sat in your church, free to worship your god, who told you that the Constitution established Christianity, or any other faith, as the state religion; that without prayer in schools, somehow our children would never learn right from wrong, peace from war?  Who told you that God would actually bless America over every other nation in Its creation?   

Who told you I didn't believe in the rule of law just because I don't support state sanctioned homicide; that because I cherish life, I want to see murderers and rapists roaming the streets; that I don't believe in punishing the guilty.  Who told you that I believe in the victim mentality; that I have no concept of personal responsibility.  With over 12 million children living below the poverty level, and 38 million people in American households dealing with hunger, who told you that everyone on welfare is a free-loading bum; that health care for EVERY child isn't necessary; that boys and girls should suffer the consequences of their parents' decisions?" 

The man frowned and shook his head, searching his mind for some response.  But I would not relent.

"Tell me, sir, who told you that the marketplace would create well paying jobs, a robust middle class, and end the scourge of poverty; that it would solve the problems of a fragile environment, value labor over capital by supporting workers' rights, and create a level playing field for all regardless of wealth or position?  Who told you that the U.S. doesn't need a safety net; that the market will separate the wheat from the chaff, and we'll all be better for it.  Who told you that unregulated capitalism would be tempered by wisdom, supported by a progressive tax system, address our damaged immigration policy, and create a new world order of mutual trade and cooperation?

With 2.5 billion tons of CO2 forced into our atmosphere by manufacturing plants every year, who told you that we couldn't possibly have an impact on the environment; that global climate change was a myth; that 300 million people burning 20.7 million barrels of oil per day, was insignificant to the health of this planet?

Please sir, who told you that we aren't one world; that it will always be "us and against them"; that the truths we hold as "self evident" reach only as far as our borders; that all men are not created equal; that we are the arbiters of justice, the executioner's blade, and the shining example of democracy that will glow, unblemished, for the next 1000 years."

Who told you these things?

Because, they lied.  

Sunday, September 23, 2007


He's from Texas
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first name Daniel
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He went to Vietnam.
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He has won several major awards for work in his field.

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He'd Rather be doing something else.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Veteran & Peace activist passes

Edited on Sun Sep-16-07 09:30 AM by unhappycamper

Dave Cline, Vietnam veteran, GI organizer, and anti-war leader, passed away last night, September 14. Dave will be deeply missed, and was a great inspiration and leader for those of us currently fighting to end the war in Iraq. IVAW wouldn’t be as powerful as we are today if it had not been for Dave’s dedication and mentorship. There couldn’t be a better friend and ally than him when it came to building a GI and veteran movement to end the Iraq war. Dave was a Vietnam veteran, an infantry soldier who was wounded three times and became a key leader in the GI resistance to the Vietnam war. Dave was an active member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and worked in the Oleo Strut, a GI coffeehouse outside of Ft. Hood, TX, where he helped organize active-duty soldiers to end the war.

Many of us at IVAW remember Dave as the president of Veterans For Peace, and got to know him during different marches, rallies, and VFP conventions. Dave stood beside us the day IVAW was founded, and we are sad that he’ll no longer be at our side as we continue in our fight to end the war. He was always there; ready to help his fellow veterans and peace activists. From the very beginning of Iraq Veterans Against the War’s formation, Dave helped us build our organization and never hesitated to give us whatever guidance we needed. He was an integral part of IVAW, and served on our interim board of directors.

Once, when asked about why he became an anti-war organizer, Dave said, "When you just went through an experience of that nature, and you find out that it's all lies and that they're just lying to the American people and your silence means you're a part of keeping that lie going—I couldn't stop. I mean I couldn't be silent." Dave wasn’t silent, and his voice has been an inspiration and motivation for all of us. We’ll keep the fight going and help to honor his life by ending this war and occupation. Long live Dave Cline!

At the time of his passing Dave was living in Jersey City. I first encountered him at an anti-war seminar at Rutgers, Newark. Dave was dedicated to making the world a better place for all and especially working people who get called upon to fight wars that provide nothing other than great profits and benefits to those who promote them.
I will miss Dave, as will the rest of civil society, even though they may have never heard of him. RIP brother Dave

uhc comment: RIP, Brother Dave.

Friday, September 07, 2007

tomorrow's headline - We Know

By Nancy Greggs
 Every morning, I turn on my computer and peruse the various websites I’ve come to rely on for the news – the real news that is, the items the MSM will never discuss, the stories that our country’s newspapers will never print, the details that inevitably wind up being spun into oblivion or relegated to the back pages in hopes that no one will notice them.

And every morning, I anticipate that BIG story finally hitting the airwaves: "Oh, my God, they KNOW! – the they being we, the People; the know being our awareness of the facts that this administration, and the complicit mainstream media, try so desperately to keep hidden from sight.

Perhaps it’s simply the age of people like Cheney, who still think a contradictory statement can be explained away by blaming Jimmy Olsen, an overly-eager cub reporter who simply got it wrong – not realizing that their every word is recorded for posterity through a series of tubes(!), where they can be accessed, compared, and analyzed within seconds.

Or perhaps it is simply wishful thinking on the part of an administration that has placed too much hope in hype, too much sell in spin, too much misplaced belief in their ability to portray the unbelievable as reality.

The surge is working, the soldiers are committed and content, the economy is booming, the nation’s infrastructure will last a million years, the outsourcing of American jobs is a giant leap in the right direction, the national debt is of no consequence, the War on Terror is being won, God is in his heaven and all is right with the world – or so we are told by a so-called president, confirmed by a more-than-pliable media controlled by corporations who are more than aware of which side of their bread is the buttered side.

But the truth is out there, and it’s a truth no one scarfing down that buttered bread wants to acknowledge, no less accept. The truth is: WE KNOW.

WE KNOW that the Surge is just a new label for Stay the Course, and that establishing democracy in the Middle East is a cover story for grab the oil.

WE KNOW that when our soldiers come back from Iraq in caskets that can’t be photographed, it’s not a matter of family privacy, but a matter of don’t think about the price you’re paying for what a handful of idiotic neocons foresaw as money in the bank – their own bank.

WE KNOW that soldiers – exhausted, over-extended and underpaid – sent into combat without proper equipment does not equate to Supporting the Troops.

WE KNOW that no matter how many times the so-called news programs trot out the likes of Billy Kristol to get his take on what our next military move should be, he hasn’t gotten one thing right since day one - and yet his advice is still sought and relied upon.

WE KNOW that the latest Osama Bin Laden film production will always make its media debut when support for the war in Iraq has dropped another few percentage points in the latest poll.

WE KNOW that the Republicans will throw one of their own under an oncoming bus if it serves as a distraction from something even more nefarious than a man in a public restroom hopeful of a sexual tryst.

WE KNOW that Saddam had no WMDs and that this administration was fully aware of the fact – along with totally debunked facts about yellowcake from Niger, chemical-laden drones that could strike within the US, and links between Iraq and al Qeada.

WE KNOW that the official account of what happened on 9/11 doesn’t hold water, and that this administration did everything in its power to avoid any serious inquiry into the events of that day.

WE KNOW that executive privilege is just another way of saying we’ve got plenty to hide.

WE KNOW that Valerie Plame wasn’t outted by accident, that Jessica Lynch didn’t go down fightin’ only to be rescued by the guns-a-blazin’ US Cavalry, that Pat Tillman didn’t die as the all-American poster-boy for war this administration hoped he would be.

WE KNOW about the Downing Street memo, the Abramoff emails, the Jeff Gannon sleepovers, the sanction of torture, the renditions, the Black Sites, the swiftboating of the truth-tellers, the marginalization of the truth-seekers, the redactions, the contradictions, the unofficial corrections of the official record, the last-minute remembrances of the official liars, the suddenly found Jesus exuberance of those caught-in-the-act, the suddenly remembered non-memory of those caught in the web of their own non-truths; the sex, lies and videotape that expose the fallacies of an entire administration and the party that supports it.



When are we going to stop playing this game of pretending that no one KNOWS the truth; this charade of Fearless Leader, Contented Troops, Happy-Go-Lucky Public and Destined-for-Glory World Power?

When are we going to end this look-the-other-way, pretend-it-never-happened, swallow-the-talking-points, don’t-ask-don’t-tell-the-truth, act-like-it’s-all-okay coverage of events that only happened in the minds of those who have an agenda to follow, and a few million tons of snake-oil to sell?


And once you get that fact embedded into your buy-our-crap, support-our-sponsors, spend-your-money, ignore-the-facts-in-front-of-you, all-but-empty talking heads, we might – might – be on our way to putting a once-great country back together again, before it’s too late.