David Ray Griffin:
9/11 and the American Empire, Scoop, May 10, 2005
Theologian Griffin goes into tinfoil-hat speculation
on occasion, but his recent CSPAN-broadcasted talk marks the first
time that a noted author has broken into the national mass-media with
some critiques of the official position. "If 'American empire' is
understood in different ways, the same is all the more true of the
term '9/11.' For those Americans who accept the official
interpretation, 9/11 was a surprise attack on the US government and
its people by Islamic terrorists. For some Americans, '9/11' has a
more complex meaning. This second group, while accepting the official
interpretation of the attacks, thinks of 9/11 primarily as an event
that was used opportunistically by the Bush administration to extend
the American empire. This interpretation is effectively presented by
writers such as Noam Chomsky, Rahul Mahajan, and Chalmers Johnson. For
a third group of Americans, the term '9/11' connotes an event with a
more sinister dimension. These citizens believe that the Bush
administration knew the attacks were coming and intentionally let them
happen. Although no national poll has been taken to ascertain how many
Americans hold this view, a Zogby poll surprisingly indicated that
almost half of the residents of New York City do. According to a
fourth view of 9/11, the attacks were not merely foreknown by the Bush
administration; they were orchestrated by it. Although thus far no
poll has tried to find out how many Americans hold this view, polls in
Canada and Germany some time back indicated that this view was then
held by 15 to 20 percent of their people." (5/17)
AND SO MUCH MORE AT 9-11 ATTACKS
September 11, 2001
"Mr. President, the second tower has been struck.
The staff and the Air Force are awaiting your orders."
"Not 'till I find out what happened to this kid's
The tears fall for those who have died for the lies that took us to war, this Memorial Day 2005
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
THE REAL ID or THE REAL IDIOCY
The heritage dictionary's definition of ...
idiocyn., pl. idiocies. 1. Extreme folly or stupidity.
2. A foolish or stupid utterance or deed.
3. Psychology. The state or condition of
being an idiot; profound mental retardation.
I do believe this state or condition is what this Bush-Neocon Government think we the people are inflicted with. And we are, Profoundly, Mentally Retarded (or PMR) and idiots if we allow them to easily get away with making such a horrible infringement on our liberties a LAW!
Any citizen with half a brain should be OUTRAGED to put it mildly. Please read some of the information I have gathered from the Internet and note, even Mark Morford with his usual witty way could not find much humorous dialog to describe this frightening madness the neocons are pumping out more and more these days. ONCE AGAIN GOD HELP US! ThinkingBlue
They Really Are Watching You Ready for your own all-new, sinister ID card, courtesy of Homeland Security? Shudder
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Well, now we've done it. Congress just passed it and Dubya has promised to sign it and the Homeland Security Department is giddier than Mel Gibson in a nail factory over it and marketers nationwide are salivating at the groin at the prospect of it, and the next big step toward America becoming an even more delightfully paranoid and draconian Big Brother wonderland has now officially been taken.
It's called Real ID. It is, in short, a new and genetically mutated type of driver's license for all Americans, replacing your current license and replacing your Social Security card and replacing your sense of well being and privacy and humanity and part of a new, uniform, deeply sinister, national uniform card system whereby every person living and breathing in these paranoid and tense times shall henceforth be much more traceable and watchable given how we will all soon be required by law to carry this super-deluxe computerized ID card with us at all times, packed as it will be with more personal, digitized info about you than even your mother knows.
Real ID is coming very soon.
The legislation was passed with little outcry and zero debate by both House and Senate just last week because lawmakers snuck it into a massive $82 billion military spending bill, and therefore no one was really paying much attention and this is the way you get thorny disturbing culturally demeaning bills to pass without resistance from smart people who should know better.
The new law will, according to the Wired News story linked above, require everyone to hand over not one, not two, but fully four types of documentation to renew their driver's license, such as a photo ID, a birth certificate, proof that their Social Security number is legit and something that validates their home address, like a phone bill. DMV employees will then have to verify the documents against giant teeming federal databases and store the documents and a digital photo of you in a database. Isn't that fun? Doesn't that sound gratifying?
What's more, the card's design plan includes multiple openings for the Homeland Security Department to add on whatever features they deem necessary, with or without your knowledge, consent or who the hell cares what you think because we do what we want now please shut the hell up and quit asking questions.
Computer (RFID) microchip? Likely. Digital fingerprint? Sure. Political affiliation? You bet. Web-site-visit log and religious affiliation and recent sperm count and arrest record and drug addictions and medical history and blood type and gender orientation and parent's/children's home address and number of personal blog posts calling Dr. Phil a "slug-licking ego-bitch charlatan" and your recent purchase history on shotathome.com? One guess.
Make no mistake: Real ID, in short, takes us one happy step closer to a total surveillance state, where everyone is stamped and everyone is watchable and everyone is traceable and unless you live way, way off the grid out in the increasingly nonexistent hinterlands, you cannot escape the spazzy and twitchy and paranoid eye of Homeland Security. (We all know what is next... forced to wear a badge to identify whether you are for Bush, against Bush or A FOREIGN, NONNATIVE OR SPACE ALIEN! Please Click Here TO READ HOW IT HAPPENED BEFORE ThinkingBlue)
Remember the scenes in that surprisingly not-awful Tom Cruise flick "Minority Report" with the ubiquitous eye scanners, installed all over the near-future city? And as poor Tommy ran around like a maniac, little scanner machines installed by the gummint would read the eye pattern of every citizen as they walked around and the system could track anyone at any time no matter where they might wander and all the info was dumped into a huge database that was studied and cross-checked and manipulated by the CIA and FBI and Banana Republic?
Real ID feels much like that, only not nearly as cool.
Real ID is, as you might expect, giving civil liberties groups and immigrant-support groups the hives. State governors across the nation are none too happy, either, as implementation of the new law will cost each state hundreds of millions of dollars, but, of course, the bill provides zero federal funds to help. Such is the BushCo way. This is the funny thing. This is the sad thing. This is the terrifying thing. We have suffered one major debilitating act of terrorism in this nation and we have recoiled so violently, so rabidly, so desperately that we are still more than willing to give up whatever freedoms necessary in a vain and silly attempt to control chaos and plug every hole, when of course the nation is basically one giant hole to begin with.
Of course, any good conspiracy theorist worth his secret underground bootleg Area 51 videos will tell you this sort of citizen-surveillance thing has been going on for years, decades, from spy satellites to GPS to all manner of phone tracking and e-mail snooping and behavior watching and this Real ID thing only takes it a little more public, national, makes it part of the cultural lexicon because we have finally weakened so much we just don't seem to give a damn what they do to us anymore.
Don't think it's all that bad? Think BushCo's flying monkeys in the CIA and FBI and Homeland Security really have your best interests at heart and are genuinely trying to protect you from scary swarthy furriners who want to sneak into our country and poison our Cheerios and paint our flag orange and cover our wimmin in burlap? Have at it. The GOP would love to have you. Oh, and while you're at it, enjoy that tiny grain-of-rice-size bar-coded implant RFID microchip the FDA just approved, which they can permanently slip under your skin in about 20 seconds, with nary a peep.
This is what's happening now. With Real ID (and who knows what else), the government is cracking down and creating a new and improved and far more devious and exploitable system to monitor its citizens because, well, because we let them. Because millions of us have been pummeled so successfully by the fear-mongering Right. Because we have never been so lax, so blinded by warmongering and dread, so numbed to what might become of us.
Ah, but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe this is just rampant paranoia talking and it's just a silly piece of harmless legislation and Real ID is overall a genuinely good and useful idea that will ultimately make us safer and more secure. You think?
Because hasn't BushCo proven to be reliable and honest and just reeking with integrity about privacy and security issues so far? Hasn't the USA Patriot Act been just a wondrous boon to police and CIA and our sense that we are trusted and cared for by our government? Aren't we all feeling just so much safer with this most secretive, least accountable administration at the helm?
After all, why not trust the government on this? Why not put our faith in the goodly Homeland Security Department? Maybe Real ID really is patriotic and constructive and it will be a smooth and secure and completely inviolable system, one that protects citizens while giving them a new sense of freedom to move about the country with carefree flag-waving ease, safe in the knowledge that their big, snarling gummint is watching over them like a protective mother bear -- as opposed to, say, a female praying mantis, who greedily screws her lover, and then, of course, eats him alive.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
THIS IS SCARIER THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE ... READ ON... FROM THIS
Expecting heavy resistance in the Senate, the Real ID bill was instead attached to an
appropriations bill which will fund our troops in Iraq and send aid to tsunami victims. Needless to say, it passed the House on Thursday and is expected to pass the Senate next week. Does it need mentioning that Bush has signed every bill to cross his desk?
The Dept of Homeland Security (DHS) has been pushing for the Real ID bill since the beginning of 2005. The House approved a version of the bill in mid-February, however there was not enough support in the Senate to get the bill through Congress. So, what else can be done when a bill doesn't have enough support? Tack it to the end of a bill which is loaded with public stigma, perhaps one which funds troops and victims of natural disasters.
I've written about the Real ID bill previously, but I think it bears repeating.
1) The Real ID bill (attached to H.R.1268 and its counterpart in the Senate) gives the DHS sole power to approve and regulate standards regarding state-issued ID
2) For states to receive federal funding, they must link their information databases into a national one. Thereby giving away records containing your vehicle information, driving records, police records,etc.
3) Federally accepted ID cards must be 'machine readable', and the DHS will get to determine what this means exactly. It may be magnetic stripes or bar codes, or it may be something more intrusive like RFID tags, which can be used without
physical access to the card. (With a barcode or magnetic stripe, you must allow someone to scan your card physically, but with RFID, if you have your ID in your pocket, and you walk past an RFID scanner, you've been identified.)
If you think that the DHS isn't just itching to use this technology, think again. They're planning to test a system of RFID-containing IDs on
foreign visitors starting July 31, 2005. The DHS will keep biometric data along with information such as date of entry and country of origin linked to their RFID-numbers. How long before this isn't just a test anymore, and it's being rolled out to all law-abiding native US citizens?
4) Your card will store information about you with this 'machine readable' technology. It will, at the very least, contain your name, address, gender, ID number and a digital photograph. (thus, when walking past an RFID scanner, it can retreive your ID number and a photograph, making it easy for authorities to pick you out of the crowd if your ID triggers an alarm.)
5) The DHS is allowed to change its regulations whenever they see fit. This allows for them to pass the bill now, and later on, require that your ID contain digital record of your fingerprints (to be retrieved by an RFID scanner) or retinal scan, maybe your political/religious affiliation, personal income information, you name it.
However, that extra information wouldn't even necessarily have to be stored on the card, once they have your SSN from your ID card through an RFID scanner, the linking of information databases could easily bring up your voter registration, tax information, criminal record, etc.
Finally, I want to commend Howard Coble of North Carolina, John Duncan of Tennessee, and Ron Paul of Texas, the only three republicans in the House to vote against this bill. The complete voting record is here.
Call your Senators TODAY, and urge them to vote against H.R.1268, "EMERGENCY SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT FOR DEFENSE, THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR, AND TSUNAMI RELIEF, 2005".Posted by
Andrew Parker at May 6, 2005 11:01 AM
anything to do with making America more secure.
For one thing, the country got along without government ID cards for many years. Social Security cards used to say, "Not to be used for purposes of identification." As for driver's licenses, our neighboring state of Wyoming didn't even bother with them until 1948 - and America somehow got through World Wars I and II.
For another, consider that last month, we commemorated the 10th anniversary of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. One of the perpetrators was Timothy McVeigh, a decorated Army veteran with an honorable discharge. Before the bombing, would he have had any trouble getting a Real IDs? Of course not. The Real ID could not have prevented one of the most destructive acts of terrorism in American history.
And there are other possibilities that reduce public safety. The more paperwork it takes to get a driver's license, the more unlicensed, and presumably uninsured, drivers on the highway. That can't be good for public safety or security.
Identity theft should get simpler with state information repositories that are required to be accessible nationally. Besides, has there ever been a document that couldn't be forged?
In other words, Real ID just sets up more bureaucratic paperwork. It won't make us an iota safer, but it will take us another step toward the internal passports of totalitarian regimes.
But to be fair and balanced here, I should note that President Bush said that "This legislation will help America continue to promote freedom and democracy."
I guess there's a difference between promoting freedom and practicing it.
Ed Quillen of Salida (firstname.lastname@example.org)
is a former newspaper editor whose column appears Tuesday and Sunday.
- Real ID Under Fire
- Real ID' Act Could Help ID Thieves
- An Unrealistic 'Real ID' In a more rational world, Congress would have started thinking hard about identity cards right after Sept. 11. By now, the nation's lawmakers could have had a long and serious discussion about how to create a sensible national ID that would provide identification and security while protecting privacy. This is, after all, a critical issue
in terms of both safety and civil liberties.
Too bad. What Congress is doing instead is to ram through a bill that turns state-issued driver's licenses into a kind of phony national identity card through the mislabeled "Real ID" provision. And in order to make absolutely sure there's no genuine debate, the sponsors have tied it to a crucial bill providing funds for American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Attaching a bad bill to a vital one is a sneaky business, making it nearly impossible for thoughtful members of Congress to vote against it. In this case, in order to provide financial support to American troops doing dangerous service abroad, lawmakers are stuck also supporting a plan that eliminates the chance of doing anything serious about identity security. It also puts a new burden on the states and potentially subverts the real purpose of driver's licenses: safe drivers. READ MORE HERE
- Take Action Papers, Please!
National ID Legislation PassesTuesday May 10th 2005 is the day that future historians will note as The Day America Changed. On this date, the Senate of the United States of America passed legislation that will bring about a national ID card. President G. W. Bush is expected to sign the bill on May 12th 2005. The national ID card scheme will take three years to implement.
A National ID Card.In the United States of America.
The question is whether May 10th 2005 will be known as the day the American people simply rolled over and accepted this, or as the beginning of a struggle to restore our birthright?
Will the individual States resist federal encroachment on their rights under the US Constitution? Will those responsible for this unconstitutional atrocity be booted out of office in the 2006 mid-term elections? Will those who believe that a national ID number is truly the Mark of the Beast make their voices heard? Will those who fear a surveillance state work to expel totalitarians from power? >> Sign up for updates... Stay tuned. This is not over. God bless (HELP) these United States of America.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
My friend Judy wrote: last year Scott Lee Jr., Wal-Mart's chief executive, was paid $17.5 million. That is, every two weeks Mr. Lee was paid $725,000, about as much as his average employee will earn in a lifetime. From this excellent, tell it like it is, Paul Krugman article Always Low Wages. Always
My response: Outrageous and obscene... I am beginning to despise capitalism but the alternatives don't seem to work either... They just raised the minimum wage here in Florida to $6.15 an hour... it took them years and years to get this piddling amount for the working poor and it still is not a living wage??? The inequalities and money disparities between the classes are so disgusting in a modern world...why isn't there a fairer way to share the wealth??? THE BIGGEST CAPITALIST THIS SIDE OF EDEN, Bush is soooooooooo worried about the social security system (I think it is one of the best ways there has been so far to distribute the wealth but the rich are even protected from giving their fair share on this program by capping their share of contributions on their enormous incomes at an insubstantial 90,000 dollars) THIS MAKES ME SO CONFUSED, you would think the rich would want to contribute more since they have so much more??? I just Googled capitalism and came up with this site on the very subject... quite interesting. ThinkingBlue
PS: I found this site which sums it up so eloquently... http://www.unknownnews.org/050510n.html
On the foolishness of American capitalism by Atomicktom, March 3, 2005
I’ve been meaning to point out how enjoyable your cyber couch has become lately. It seems that each day, I spot a new visitor, adding compelling discussion to a riveting virtual neighborhood (do you have any idea how many people are visiting Unknown News these days?). [We get a fairly steady 3,000 or so visitors daily. ] Although reticent of late, rest assured that I’ve bee curled up in the corner the whole time, keeping an ear tuned to the latest rants while sipping my coffee and reading my book.
Now that Mr. Nietzsche has steered the conversation towards Capitalism, though, I want to raise my hand. I have no axe to grind with Mr. Nietzsche’s conception of capitalism, as I have no great love for this particular pillar of Americana and the numerous wars it has spawned (for any who might suggest that war isn’t fought for money, I might remind them that the Cold War was a battle against a particular economic idea, communism, instead of a particular form of government, like totalitarianism).
Nor do I have any great desire for a communist/socialist model, though. While I have great sympathy for Karl Marx’s observations about the depravity of the industrial movement’s burgeoning capitalist system, I think history has demonstrated the impracticality of his proposed solutions.
Indeed, I have little tolerance for dated labels, in general, since they are rarely relevant in our modern, dynamic society. As has been ably noted by our Canadian friend, the individual results of economic theorizing tends to be unique in each particular circumstance. In Canada (while progressive minded Americans can only dream of better days), that application includes some integration of state involvement in universal concerns like health. In America, obviously, the system operates according to different dictates.
America is hardly laissez faire, though. Although we are generally taught to believe that the US capitalist system empowers individuality (having some shit to do with “bootstraps”, which I don’t believe have been worn in a century), the facts are far different. As Noam Chomsky has pointed out repeatedly, in America we socialize the risk and privatize the reward. It’s a system with its own socialist functions, but they accrue to very particularized interests. To cite one memorable example, hundreds of millions of dollars were apportioned to the struggling airlines following the events of 11 September 2001 (I detest referring to it as 9/11, as if to give any event, no matter how traumatic, some reverential label to act as a shield against honest analysis), but I heard of no particularized concern for all of the hourly wage workers laid off due to the closing of the Ronald Reagan National Airport. To cite another ongoing, egregious example, a political policy of “war on terror” (a.k.a. World War IV) exists as a perpetual subsidy for the private war machine gorging on the teat of federal welfare.
It is important to realize that this is not the same exact capitalist system that existed at the beginning of the 20th century, just as it will be different 50 years from now. Like any artificial concept (economics is, after all, just an idea of how to distribute resources), capitalism faces the inescapable test of time. The meaning of 'capitalist' must continue to evolve in order to accommodate the demands of those people subsisting within its rubric, lest it by replaced by something more useful. The applicable label, be it capitalist, socialist, or progressivism (how’s that for our newest economic mantra?) is immaterial; our time is far better spent conforming the new definition to our needs. It is not for us to argue whether change is likely, for change is as inevitable as the passage of time. Instead, let’s anticipate where those changes will go and seek to refine that direction.
Those who crafted the American government did so with the clear intention of steering their economic system towards their own self interests. Despite rhetoric to the contrary, the founders’ motives were hardly altruistic (just ask their slaves), but instead designed to provide legal enforcement for preservation of their wealth and privilege (just ask their slaves).
From this beginning, law and its processes have served as one source of social mediation (along with the church, school, television, and other forms of mainstream indoctrination) designed to resolve the struggle between these elitist interests (who have always sought to control the means of production) and the rest of us (who are the means of production). Sometimes, society concedes to pressure from the masses (by emancipating slaves or granting weekends away from work, for example) simply to avoid revolt, but it almost always responds with retribution, both formal and informal (such as Jim Crow laws and the consistent pressure to spend Sundays worshiping false idols, be they football players or martyrs) in order to maintain the exclusivity of its hierarchical distribution.
Like many classic ideals, this mentality has long been demonstrated to be disastrous. There are millions of casualties that lie in the wake of American excess, and the responsibility of that destruction can be laid at the door of a society whose institutions have long been designed to rape and pillage the world for immediate consumption and exclusive hegemony. While the means of conquest may have changed to take advantage of human innovation, we remain fixed in a pattern of perverted, self defeating logic that has lasted at least as long as the legacy of the good ole’ US of A.
What is so perplexing about the typical allegiance to this system is its level of inefficiency. I have often noted how little intellectual development came from the antebellum South (which was tying its brains into logical knots trying to justify the ownership of fellow humans), and the rash of abusers, addicts, and assholes roaming American streets almost certainly has some correlation to the violence we routinely pursue as official government policy. Meanwhile, our standing of living, although clearly better then it was centuries ago, slows its appreciation to a perpetual crawl. Jobs are outsourced, health issues predominate, and the rumbling of riot or reform once again agitates the gross inequities within our society.
I have no reason to doubt Mr. Nietzsche’s characterization of the American capitalist system as one of rampant consumption, to the detriment of any resource in its way. While this seems true (and, indeed, I believe Karl Marx predicts that capitalism eventually leads to monopoly), it also seems counterproductive. I was always under the impression that the virtuous “invisible hand” that turns individual effort into collective merit was Competition. When a business runs all of its competition out of town, haven’t we suddenly lost that essential element to this fundamental capitalist principle, threatening the business’
Perhaps these notions have already been resolved by minds far more cultivated then my own, but my rudimentary understanding of capitalism is this: Society is bettered by individual businesses pursuing their own success. Individual profit motive guides a business. Profit is generated by a balance of revenue and expenses. Maximize revenue, minimize expenses, and you have successfully generated profit. Revenue is generated by demand for your products or services. Demand is generated by innovation (which occurs by creating new products or services or improving the quality of old products or services), but it wanes over time as new innovations become common accouterments available everywhere. Innovation is the result of competition between different businesses seeking to acquire the same demand by coming up with new ideas or improvements on old ideas.
If we lose that competition, we lose the innovations that drive demand (and, as a result, revenue). Instead, a business is left to generate demand artificially (through a coercive pop culture infusing certain useless “wants” into society, for example) or suffer a stagnation in revenue. Stagnating revenue has a deleterious effect, since it jeopardizes the profit motive, the lifeblood of the business. Without increased revenue, profit must be manufactured through fraudulent reporting (WorldCom or Enron, et al) or a reduction in expenses (every other company that relies on outsourcing and other wage slave practices).
In other words, Wal Mart was a great corporation when it was an upstart, relying on the ingenious ideas of Sam Walton to expand across America. It represented a fruitful example of a burgeoning capitalist enterprise. Similarly, Oil Companies are fine as long as oil is one of many different sources of energy being marketed to the consumer. But when Wal Mart comes into a town, closes down the competition, employs the residents at poverty wages, and sells a bunch of shit nobody really needs, it’s a cancer on the community. And when Oil companies provide the incentive to literally destroy the world (which is literally what I meant,
Hyper :), we are all slated for an untimely demise.
Competition, then, is at the crux of a properly working economy. Competition, though, is but one component of the much broader concept of cooperation, for competition is a form of cooperation. Does that sound counter-intuitive? Perhaps not, if you consider this example. The hyper-“competitive” world of pro sports relies on an agreed upon set of rules, as adjudicated by neutral officials, with conditions that are equivalent for both sides, in order to determine a winner. If you take away these elements (either by bribing officials or giving one team ineffective equipment), the competition becomes a sham and the integrity of the winner is compromised.
The same factors hold true throughout society, and especially at its basic economic level. The problem, though, is that the American system is rigged. Some people get ready for competition in the same room as the officials, while others can’t even get on the playing field. I have no lobbyist in Washington talking to the “officials”, and I’m almost certain that my Florida absentee ballot (wasted, sadly, on a shitty vote) was never counted in the last presidential tally. Any pretense of a competitive balance is manufactured to create the plausible belief of legitimacy, while the results have already been decided among the elite, colluding among
I don’t mean to sound conspiratorial, as I have no specific knowledge of any back room dealing. But I do think it takes just a little observation to see the extent of how which way our society has been skewed. Be it George W. Bush or Ashlee Simpson, our most ubiquitous influences are routinely pre-screened for their applicability. Behind their prefabricated persona is a status quo smugly ensconced in its inequities and far removed from any ideology devoted to free market
Sadly, this formula has disastrous consequences. Stagnation and innovation, along with dollars and cents, may get easily lost amidst the rhetoric as mere theoretical conjecture. But it does have very real consequences. Ultimately, individual profit motive is about expanding the collective wealth. And wealth is not just a financial calculation. It is also a real indicator of our life span, our health, our comfort, and our potential for future invention.
But wealth is also a relative term, and anyone who is smugly content with their level of wealth within our callous world should be aware of this. Would you rather be the richest man in Europe in AD 1500 or a middle class American in AD 2005? Wealth is not always about cash in the bank, you see, and also includes the technology that lets people live into their 80s, take hot baths in the morning, communicate instantly with friends on the other side of the planet, and otherwise take advantage of the innovations that came before them to enhance the world that they will inhabit
When we are talking about economics, we are potentially talking about a way to integrate all people together in order to make everyone’s lives better. A system that wants to monopolize the world is not just harsh and brutal, it is also contrary to the goal of expanding the wealth, so that people live even longer, at a better standard, everywhere. It is so sad when I hear about wars and famine where untapped geniuses, capable of curing our most perplexing diseases and advancing our most innovative ideas, are struggling to merely survive. Any idea dedicated to perpetuating this process is clearly foolish, and, indeed, may be fatal.
We need to remember that cooperation is worthwhile, and for purely selfish reasons like improving your own life. Nor is competition anathema to a cooperative society, when that competition operates according to fairly crafted rules that apply equally to all sides, implemented for the betterment of all participants. Competition is what forces horse carriage manufacturers to start building cars and competition is what invents technology that lets us all sit together in this virtual world despite our geographic proximity, and it is competition that should force music companies to find new ways to generate revenue (besides selling the music) and allow natural solutions (like hemp) to challenge artificially crafted products (like petroleum based plastics) for a share of the market.
Competition is not the problem with our society; rather, it is the lack of a true, meritorious forum where all citizens can participate which threatens our existence. Similarly, cooperation around the world will not cripple America’s stance as a land of opportunity. When each part of the world can realize its own competitive advantage by contributing its maximized resources (including, most importantly, the brain power of its residents) to a worldwide marketplace, every country can benefit. And when direct self interests are represented, no part of the world is going to waste its own assets so some distant potentate can enjoy fleeting prosperity. The problems we face are not due to capitalist theorizing, but rather to monopolistic practices.
America is no more capitalist then it is democratic (even our pledge is to a “republic”), and has long squelched the notion of freedom through the careful creation and application of rules and procedures that were always intended to ensure biased privilege. I don’t offer this as a sad prediction of what will be, but rather as a comprehensive reminder of what already is, so that we can craft a more profitable future. Much Love,
P.S. I am sympathetic to the argument that water is likely to become as coveted a resource at the end of the century as oil is now. But don’t hydrogen fuel cells produce water vapor as an emission? If we could fully harness that technology, it seems we could generate more water while also overcoming the death grip that oil companies have on our government policies. Innovation is always just around the corner, and things are always impossible before we do them.
From this site...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Vote for me in
Thursday, May 12, 2005
On Mother's Day, I turned on the news and all the so called "pundits" were theorizing this and that and every-which-way but loose on Bush's policies...(lies) as I turned the channels listening to the editors, politicians, and your average, everyday, know it alls... I noticed not once did they mention the PEOPLE... finally, I think it was some magazine writer or editor or whatever, mentioned that Bush had gone down in the polls (maybe, I'm mistaken but I think the polls mean "we-the-people") over his Social Security plans,(Lies) and believe me, this mention was one little blip and then they went on to discuss MORE IMPORTANT BUSH DECISIONS (LIES) ... I started to wonder if there were any "we-the-people..." Maybe "we-the-people" just don't exist. To snap myself out of this delusion, I turned on Freedom Of Speech TV and sure enough there was a show on what big industry did and is still doing to crush the farmers of the world... "WE-THE-PEOPLE" DO EXIST and are fighting back whenever we can. HOLY COW, THESE PUNDITS THINK "WE" DON'T MATTER OR FIGURE INTO ANY OF THE HAPPENINGS CONCERNING US AND OUR TAX DOLLARS!!! I felt like yelling into the TV "HEY YOU BIG JERKS LOOK AROUND... if it weren't for us "WE-THE-PEOPLE", you wouldn't be on TV or some soapbox feeling your narcissistic oats...!!" I hope something big happens (like a smoking gun that will surely take down the neocons and thier lies) to show these FOOLS that we are not just pawns for them to play with ... "WE" are the country they live and grow rich in... OFF THE BACKS OF "WE THE PEOPLE"!
Bush's Troubling FDR 'Apology'
By Robert Parry
May 12, 2005
Bush, who almost never admits his own presidential
mistakes, apologized for Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s supposed acceptance
of a divided Europe at Yalta and taunted Vladimir Putin to apologize for
Soviet abuses during the Cold War. Bush also tossed out a few more U.S.
historical apologies, such as regretting slavery, to put Putin on the
But Bush’s V-E Day speech on May 7 contained a
dangerous and deceitful subtext that nearly everyone in
the ever-clueless U.S. news media missed as they fell
over themselves to praise the president’s performance on his European
Bush’s troubling message was that the only real U.S.
mistake in the Cold War was not to aggressively challenge the Soviet
Union right after the defeat of Germany, even if that meant vastly more
bloodshed. Bush also expressed no regret for some of the most egregious
U.S. actions in the Cold War, such as complicity in genocide in
Guatemala, state terrorism in Chile or the fearsome death toll in the
By his silence on those points, Bush suggested that
he saw nothing wrong in the Cold War’s most brutal anticommunist
strategies, except that they weren’t ruthless enough. If Bush
could go back in time, he would have been an ally of Gen. Curtis LeMay
and other hard-line anticommunists who favored crushing the Soviet Union
at all costs, including the risk of nuclear war.
In Bush’s FDR apology, he also revived an old
right-wing canard about the Yalta conference where Roosevelt, Winston
Churchill and Josef Stalin reached agreement about principles to govern
the post-war world.
Contrary to the right-wing myth that the
Yalta agreement simply ceded control of Eastern Europe to the
Soviets, it actually foresaw a transitional period during which the
Allies would help “the liberated peoples to destroy the last vestiges of
Nazism and Fascism and to create democratic institutions of their own
The 40-year division of Europe developed in the
following years as Cold War tensions worsened. The United States focused
on preventing a communist victory in Greece and on assuring electoral
victories for anticommunist parties in Western Europe, while the Soviet
Union clamped down on political freedoms in Eastern Europe. [See Jacob
Heilbrunn’s “Once Again, the Big Yalta Lie,” Los Angeles Times, May 10, 2005.]
In his May 7 speech, Bush extrapolated from
his distorted historical analysis of Yalta to justify his invasion of
Iraq and other potential actions in his pursuit of a new world order.
“We will not repeat the mistakes of other
generations, appeasing or excusing tyranny, and sacrificing freedom in
the vain pursuit of stability,” Bush said about the Yalta agreement. “We
have learned our lesson; no one’s liberty is expendable. …And so, with
confidence and resolve, we will stand for freedom across the broader
In other words, the bloody chaos in Iraq –
including more than 1,600 dead U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of
dead Iraqis – has not shaken Bush’s faith in the neoconservative
strategy of worldwide “democratic” revolution, whatever the cost.
The U.S. press corps also continues it unwillingness
to question the sincerity of Bush’s supposed commitment to “democracy,”
even though Bush himself gained power after losing the popular vote in
Election 2000 and stopping a recount in Florida. He then joked,
“If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier
– so long as I’m the dictator.” [For more, see Consortiumnews.com’s
“Bush & Democracy Hypocrisy.”]
What’s also left out is that the neoconservative
definition of democracy bears little resemblance to the word’s
traditional meaning, that of an informed electorate freely debating and
deciding policies in the public interest.
To the neocons, the term “democracy” means a
government that accepts “free market” economics and has some democratic
trappings, even if information is systematically manipulated or
repression exists behind the scenes.
Though the U.S. press corps often presents Bush’s
“democracy” strategy as a radical break from the “real-politik”
past, the Bush Doctrine actually fits well with the traditions
of the Cold War when Washington reacted hostilely to the popular will
when it threatened U.S. interests.
So, despite flowery rhetoric about “liberty,” Bush
and the neocons – just like their predecessors in the Cold War – are
disdainful of “democracy” when the people elect “irresponsible”
populists like Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti or Hugo Chavez in
Venezuela. In 2002, the Bush administration welcomed a short-lived coup
against Chavez. In 2004, Washington backed a coup that forced Aristide
Similarly, during the Cold War, U.S. administrations
worked to overthrow democratically elected governments in a number of
countries, including Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), the Congo (1961) and
Chile (1973). Sometimes elected leaders were killed, like Patrice
Lumumba in the Congo and Salvador Allende in Chile.
In nearly all these cases, the putsches
followed their coups with brutal dictatorial regimes that kept the
population in line through torture, imprisonment and murder. During
these depredations, the U.S. government helped the dictators or looked
the other way. (This is the real frightening part...Bush&Co would do that here if they could and probably
hope someday to succeed... Carolyn)
If George W. Bush truly wanted to make democracy more
than a rhetorical device, he would have given a very different speech at
the V-E Day anniversary in the Netherlands. He would have twinned his
call for Moscow’s apologies with admissions of Washington’s
anti-democratic excesses of the Cold War.
Bush would have apologized to the people of Iran for
the CIA’s sponsorship of the 1953 coup; he would have begged forgiveness
from Guatemala’s population for a quarter-century of repression that
included genocide against Mayan tribes in the highlands; he would have
expressed remorse over the tens of thousands of murdered, tortured and
disappeared in Central America, South America and Africa; he would have
voiced regret for the millions who perished in the Philippines,
Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. [For more details, see Robert
Parry’s Lost History.]
If Bush had given that speech, he might have achieved
enough moral high ground to squeeze an apology out of Putin for Soviet
repression in Eastern Europe, especially the invasions of Hungary in
1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.
But Bush didn’t apologize for U.S. excesses in the
Cold War and the reason appears obvious: he doesn’t consider them to be
That also may explain why Bush has shown no
inclination to hunt down and arrest anti-Castro Cuban terrorist Luis
Posada Carriles, who reportedly has been hiding in South Florida for the
past six weeks. Posada, who has been linked to terrorist attacks over
three decades, is wanted in Venezuela for allegedly masterminding the
1976 in-air bombing of a Cubana airliner, killing 73 people.
Although U.S. inaction on the 77-year-old Posada
muddies up the “moral clarity” of the War on Terror, Bush won’t crack
down on Posada or other anticommunist Cold War terrorists. Bush
apparently accepts the right-wing view that terrorism directed against
Fidel Castro’s Cuba doesn’t deserve the same moral condemnation as other
So even as Bush demands that countries around the
world arrest and extradite terrorists regardless of political concerns,
he is unwilling to live by the same rules in the United States. [See
Posada & Terrorism Hypocrisy.”]
One could argue, too, that if Bush really
believed in “democracy,” he never would have dispatched thugs to Florida
in November 2000 to intimidate vote counters or have sent his lawyers to
the U.S. Supreme in December 2000 to stop a state-court-ordered recount
of votes. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Bush’s Conspiracy to Riot” and “So
Bush Did Steal the White House.”]
On the contrary, Bush would have joined Al Gore in
insisting on a full-and-fair recount so the American people and the
world would see a true commitment to the principles of democracy, where
the people’s will is more important than who wins.
In 2002-03, a leader who truly cherished the
principles of democracy would have told his supporters to respect
dissidents who questioned the justification for the Iraq War. He would
have resisted any temptation to win an important policy debate by
impugning the patriotism of Americans who disagreed with him. [See
Consortiumnews.com’s “Politics of Preemption.”]
In 2004, such a leader would have vigorously objected
when his political allies besmirched the war record of his political
opponent. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Reality
on the Ballot.”] A real pro-democracy leader would demand that his
opponents get a fair shot at winning national elections and would fire
political aides who muse about establishing a de facto one-party
state. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Bush’s ‘Transformational’ Democracy.”]
He would order his party’s apparatchiks to bend over
backward to avoid electoral dirty tricks. He would want to ensure that
all votes are counted, especially those of African-Americans who
suffered from centuries of racial prejudice, as Bush noted in his V-E
Day speech. He would want America’s democracy to be the gold standard
for the world.
If Bush were that true champion of democracy, he
would insist, too, that his supporters do nothing to intimidate the
nation’s news media. For instance, he would not have appointed a
conservative ideologue, like Ken Tomlinson, to oversee public
broadcasting with the goal of discouraging tough journalism in the name
Bush also would not have sat by silently as his
supporters pressed for the dismissals of CBS journalists who had
correctly reported on Bush’s shirking of his National Guard duty as a
Even though the journalists did fall short in
verifying the authorship of a memo that accurately summarized Bush’s
actions, a leader truly committed to democracy would have admitted that
the facts were true and warned against the chilling effect from firing
journalists in that sort of dispute. Four “60 Minutes” producers did
lose their jobs and Dan Rather was pushed out as evening news anchor
over the memo.
For some Americans, one of the most painful moments
of the V-E Day events came when Russian leader Putin was interviewed on
CBS’ “60 Minutes” and launched into a lecture that included genuine
criticisms of the U.S. democratic process.
Russia’s authoritarian leader cited how Bush’s allies
on the U.S. Supreme Court had appointed him president over the electoral
will of the American people and how American journalists had lost jobs
for criticizing the U.S. president.
A visibly perturbed CBS interviewer, Mike Wallace,
challenged Putin on his last claim by getting Putin to admit that he was
referring to Dan Rather. “On our TV screens, we saw him resigning,”
Putin said. “We understood that he was forced to resign by his
bosses at CBS. This is a problem of your democracy, not ours.”
Defensively, Wallace pounced on Putin’s reference to
Rather. “He still works for CBS News,” Wallace said. “He continues to
work as a matter of fact on ’60 Minutes.’”
Wallace’s comment, however, was disingenuous. Putin
was far closer to the mark in noting that Rather was forced into early
retirement from his powerful CBS anchor slot and that four CBS producers
were ousted amid a clamor for their heads from Bush’s defenders.
In dozens of cases over the past five years, when
Bush could have stood up for democratic principles inside the United
States, he didn’t. Instead, he has approached all political issues with
scorched-earth strategies that enlist angry supporters who never grow
tired of acting the part of the victim while shouting down weaker
Nevertheless, when Bush steps onto the world
stage and professes his love of democracy, U.S. journalists know that
they can’t afford to show any skepticism. If they did, they would face
denunciations from Bush’s minions as unpatriotic, un-American or
“liberal.” Jobs would be lost; careers would be ruined.
So, the United States marches forward into a Brave New World where Washington’s international policies are virtually beyond criticism at home, where George W. Bush is the wise and idealistic leader, where history can be changed or ignored to suit his purposes, and where “democracy” becomes the justification for doing pretty much whatever the leader wants.
Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the
Associated Press and Newsweek. His new book, Secrecy & Privilege:
Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at
secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at
Amazon.com, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine,
the Press & 'Project Truth.'
The Republicans impeached Bill Clinton over his cigar and Monica's affections. And the US media could print nothing else. Now, we have the stone, cold evidence of bending intelligence to sell us on death by the thousands, and neither a Republican Congress nor
what is laughably called US journalism thought it worth a second look.
My friend Daniel Ellsberg once said that what's good about the American people is that you have to lie to them. What's bad about Americans is that it's so easy to do. --Greg Palast--
The difference between the way CNN and Al Jazeera
cover the war is that CNN shows the missiles launching and
Al Jazeera shows where they land,”
--Amy Goodman, host of Pacifica Radio’s “Democracy
GOODBYE US DEMOCRACY, HELLO US THEOCRACY
MONDAY MORNING HANGOVER FROM "JUSTICE SUNDAY"
Justice Sunday's Derision of Faith
What War Really Looks Like ... From Bushflash
100 Bush Days (seems more like 100 years)
Mother's Day Proclamation
Bush Lies Democracy Dies
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Listen up, we are fast becoming a Theocracy, so we should study up on how we must act according to the new laws that will be enacted once this form of government has totally taken over our United States Republic. Please read and learn for you may wind up in prison (or worse) if you break any of these theocratic laws. Below is a letter I found in my FREE THOUGHT TODAY newsletter, read it carefully and you will learn the basic rules to becoming a theocrat. Whoops, I forgot to mention, you must first divorce yourself from any rational, reasoning notions you may have picked up during your lifetime of freedom to think and speak as a levelheaded common sense type human being. ThinkingBlue
UNITED STATES NATIONAL RELIGION or U.S. THEOCRACY
The rightwing variety of Christianity is now the national religion, with church/state separation fading fast. Here is the religion we are supposed to adopt as we happily pour our tax dollars into the churches to support faith-based initiatives.
This rightwing conservative religion takes the bible literally, that is to say...There is a man-creature (God created man in his own image.) This God sitting up in the sky somewhere, beyond cloud-nine is a creature who has absolute control of everything on Earth
and the rest of the universe. But wait, God is not responsible for evil. Evil is the job for the devil, a creature down in the ground somewhere beyond the earthworms.
Jesus was born of a virgin, impregnated by God via, in vitro fertilization . Jesus was a man, a god and something else; actually, we got three for the price of one. He performed dozens of miracles, including bringing the dead to life. He died, arose from the dead, and went to heaven about 2,000 years ago. He will return to Earth any day now and take to heaven all the gullible folks who believe all this nonsense and he will throw all us rational people into hell.
-- Wayne from Kentucky—
"Christianity and Democracy are inevitably enemies."
From a blogspot .... Thursday, February 26, 2004
Ever had one of those days where everything seems to be going well – the sort where your professional life is going so well that you want to climb on top of your desk and shout, "I'm the king of the world!" and dance a jig? I was having a day like that earlier this week. Things were going really well. In fact, I went through my day working hard to make sure my students understood why the Truman Doctrine was so important to American foreign policy in the nuclear age (notice: not nuculer, but that's a whole other chestnut) and trying to get 14 year olds to understand what Romeo and Juliet is saying, if not why we still read it. Then I got home and discovered something about myself I didn't know…I'm a member of a terrorist organization. I KNOW! I was shocked too! I had no idea I was a WILLING a part of terrorist organization! And I pay dues to these people!
At least that is what the head of education in the United States would have you believe. Rod Paige's comment was shocking and an affront to every teaching professional. Even as a joke, which Paige claims it was, it does not diminish the idea behind his comments:
teacher's unions are evil and any respectable teacher should be ashamed of being a part of such an organization. Even as the audience of governors and other government officials laughed, it drove home the unspoken suggestion: teachers and those that represent them clearly cannot possibly have any legitimate say in forming the policy that affects them every day. And even as Rod Paige only moments later praised teachers for their fine work with a wink and a yuk-yuk-just-kiddin'-ya smile, it does not weaken the clear contempt that the Bush administration has for teachers. While Paige calls the joke "an inappropriate choice of words" any human being living in the world today would know that such an utterance is more than inappropriate.
Why be angry, even after a few days have past? Doesn't every person have a right to disagree? Doesn't every person have the capacity to disagree with an organization while still being supportive of the people in that organization? Absolutely. I have been doing that for quite some time. As an American citizen, it is my right, if not my duty, to question Bush on our involvement in Iraq, if only to gain a better understanding. Yet I remain unwaveringly and overwhelmingly supportive of our fine military. As a Christian, I question how the Catholic Church handled the recent sex scandals, but support the rank and file priests and nuns who do so much for humanity. And yes, as a member of a teacher's union, I question some policies that the MEA and NEA hold, and work to change them while supporting my colleagues who work so hard to create an educated society.
But I am not Rod Paige. I am not the head educator in the United States. Rod Paige is. I do not speak for the President of the United States and the government of the United States on matters of education. Rod Paige does. I am not responsible for formulating policy that affects every teacher, school and district in the United States. Rod Paige is. So when Rod Paige calls those teachers that he is charged with representing members of a terrorist organization, yes, it is a big deal. It requires more than platitudes and insincere apologies. I am a teacher and I take it personally. I consider it irresponsible, reprehensible and repugnant. I consider it slanderous. And it makes me question exactly how this man, who has spent time (distant as it may be) as a teacher, administrator and superintendent can possibly stand in front of educators now and ask us to follow his lead. But then again, I'm just a teacher.
The tears fall each time young soldiers, die.
For a lie…
The tears fall as last breaths whisper, goodbye.
For a lie…
The tears fall, as exploding bombs, fill the sky.
For a lie…
The tears fall, filled with hate, questioning why?
FOR A LIE!
CAROLYNCONNETION - I've got a mind and I'm going to use it!
Saturday, May 07, 2005
The American Heritage Dictionary's meaning of the word Mother is:
A woman who conceives, gives birth to, or raises and nurtures a child. But a Mother is so much more. When you experience love from a Mother's perspective, you experience the true essence of love, that deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward another human being. A Mother's emotional love transcends that of understanding, it's a love that extends not only to her own birth children but to all children.
in the late 60s or early 70s -- while pondering
FOR THE CHILDREN
Oh my children, I cry for you when I see your sweet faces
full of trust.
Babes-o-mine, I pain for you when I see what time will do
to you - to you - to you.
This warring world will change your faces. Smiles will be on
Smiles will hide what hurts inside... Smiles in inappropriate
Oh my children, I bleed for you when I kiss your eyes at
Lovable tots, swaggering youth,
Will you make it through this plight?
will you? will you? will you?
What will become of the little ones who depend on us? How
will the little ones grow?
While we're fightin', rackin' each other up… How will the
little ones know?
That it's basically just a game, basically just the same,
basically a repeat, a repeat,
That history goes on and on and on in foolish repeat of past.
Same mistakes made.
Will we "big people" learn so the little ones can grow?
Vomiting up the past again and WATCH OUR LITTLE
27 May 1819 to 17 October 1910.
Mother's Day Proclamation - 1870
Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of fears!
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.
As we approach Mother's Day this Sunday, we take a look at the woman behind Mother's Day, Julia Ward Howe. Yes, she is the author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic but after seeing some of the devastating effects of the Civil War- death, disease, famine and poverty - she began advocating for a mother's day for peace in 1870. (Amy Goodman DEMOCRACY NOW)
Julia Ward, the daughter of a wealthy banker, was born on 27th May, 1819. She developed
radical political opinions and was active in the American Anti-Slavery Society. In 1843 Julia married Samuel Gridley Howe, a fellow campaigner against slavery. The couple were both members of the Free-Soil Party and between 1851 and 1853 Julia and her husband edited the anti-slavery journal Commonwealth. She also published several volumes of poetry
including Passion Flowers (1854) and Words for the Hour (1857). In 1862 the
Atlantic Monthly published her Battle Hymn of the Republic.
In 1868 Howe founded the New England Women's Suffrage Association. The following year
Howe and Lucy Stone formed the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA). Between 1870 and 1890 Howe and Stone edited the organization's magazine, the Woman's Journal.
Julia Ward Howe, who in 1898 became the first woman to be elected to the
American Academy of Arts, died in 1910.
Save PBS from partisan operatives
The tears fall each time young soldiers, die.
For a lie…
The tears fall as last breaths whisper, goodbye.
For a lie…
The tears fall, as exploding bombs, fill the sky.
For a lie…
The tears fall, filled with hate, questioning why?
FOR A LIE!