3.31.2005

Neocons and Oilygarchy Planned Iraq Invasion Long Before 9/11

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George W. Bush and the neocon counselors he takes orders from planned the Iraq invasion long before 9/11. Further, he planned the total privatization of Iraq's oil fields. But Big Oil had plans of their own.

Read the whole thing. It's an excellent piece of journalism from the BBC. All emphasis mine.

Greg Palast:
"The Bush administration made plans for war and for Iraq's oil before the 9/11 attacks sparking a policy battle between neo-cons and Big Oil, BBC's Newsnight has revealed.

Two years ago today - when President George Bush announced US, British and Allied forces would begin to bomb Baghdad - protestors claimed the US had a secret plan for Iraq's oil once Saddam had been conquered.

In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of "Big Oil" executives and US State Department "pragmatists."

"Big Oil" appears to have won. The latest plan, obtained by Newsnight from the US State Department was, we learned, drafted with the help of American oil industry consultants.

Insiders told Newsnight that planning began "within weeks" of Bush's first taking office in 2001, long before the September 11th attack on the US.

An Iraqi-born oil industry consultant Falah Aljibury says he took part in the secret meetings in California, Washington and the Middle East. He described a State Department plan for a forced coup d'etat.

Mr Aljibury himself told Newsnight that he interviewed potential successors to Saddam Hussein on behalf of the Bush administration.

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Secret sell-off plan

The industry-favored plan was pushed aside by yet another secret plan, drafted just before the invasion in 2003, which called for the sell-off of all of Iraq's oil fields. The new plan, crafted by neo-conservatives intent on using Iraq's oil to destroy the Opec cartel through massive increases in production above Opec quotas.

The sell-off was given the green light in a secret meeting in London headed by Ahmed Chalabi shortly after the US entered Baghdad, according to Robert Ebel. Mr. Ebel, a former Energy and CIA oil analyst, now a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, flew to the London meeting, he told Newsnight, at the request of the State Department.
[...]
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Privatization blocked by industry

Philip Carroll, the former CEO of Shell Oil USA who took control of Iraq's oil production for the US Government a month after the invasion, stalled the sell-off scheme.

Mr Carroll told us he made it clear to Paul Bremer, the US occupation chief who arrived in Iraq in May 2003, that: "There was to be no privatization of Iraqi oil resources or facilities while I was involved."

The chosen successor to Mr Carroll, a Conoco Oil executive, ordered up a new plan for a state oil company preferred by the industry."
[...]
New plans, obtained from the State Department by Newsnight and Harper's Magazine under the US Freedom of Information Act, called for creation of a state-owned oil company favored by the US oil industry. It was completed in January 2004, Harper's discovered, under the guidance of Amy Jaffe of the James Baker Institute in Texas. Former US Secretary of State Baker is now an attorney. His law firm, Baker Botts, is representing ExxonMobil and the Saudi Arabian government.

View segments of Iraq oil plans at
www.GregPalast.com/opeconthemarch.html."

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3.28.2005

Should Pharmacists' Religious Beliefs Obstruct Access to Medication?

WaPo fronts an article by Rob Stein, "Pharmacists' Rights at Front of New Debate: Because of Beliefs, Some Refuse To Fill Birth Control Prescriptions." Apparently, across the country some pharmacists have decided that their personal religious beliefs have declared birth control a form of abortion, and therefore refuse to dispense it. Some even refuse to transfer the prescription to a pharmacy that will fulfill its obligations.

Here's the thing: I don't go to a faith healer for my medical problems. I expect my medical services to be delivered by people who leave their personal beliefs at the door when they serve me. That's why I dislike going to religious hospitals and why its difficult for me to be unbiased about this issue. As a woman, I abhor the notion that anyone has the right to deny me my reproductive rights.

I experienced the need for the morning after pill when I was unemployed and uninsured. Thankfully, I was living in LA at the time and was able to find a pharmacist in my area who would give me a prescription (thanks to the more women-friendly laws of California, you can get the morning after pill there without a prescription). The pharmacist provided me with plenty of information on the drug. I couldn't imagine needing that medication and being denied by a judgmental pharmacist.

Furthermore, denying birth control is a slap in the face to all women. I can't tell you how amazing it is to have less severe menstrual cramps and less bleeding - two amazing aspects of being on birth control. Those effects have nothing to do with whether or not I'm sexually active. I can't believe people believe they have the right to place their moral judgments on my body and my access to legal medication.

I am saddened by the state of this country. The US Government is not only denying access to reproductive care around the world, we're being denied basic access within our country.

cross-posted from Chicken Foot Stew

3.25.2005

Is there a word for the Religious Reich?

This post will be a bit of me talking out loud, trying to work these ideas for myself. There's an answer here somewhere - maybe we can find it together.

First, we need to rethink the term "progressive". The Liberals who don't want to be called liberals are ruining that word. Why a person wouldn't want to be a Liberal is beyond me. I always think of a line from Jane Austen's Mansfield Park -"All the benefits of an expensive and liberal education." LIberality was supposed to be one of the goals of American culture. We were intended from the beginning to take the framework they had set up and to push toward true democracy and real freedom for everyone - black, white, native, male, female. At this point, though, we've let the evil elements of the Right convince people that it's a dirty word. Once that frame is in the popular consciousness, using it in any context invokes the entire association they've created. We need a new word. I think "populist" is more accurate. Of the people, by the people, for the people...

So that's the label for the Left. Populists. Don't let them scare you away from it with phantoms of communism and socialism. There's never been a crew more venal, self-serving, and dishonest than we are confronting right now. Stalin pales in comparison to the Bush Administration.

I'm trying to find a label (other than wingnut – hee) for the people we are opposing, because at this point, I think that is most of congress. I can't believe some of the votes lately. The Democrats have just rolled over and played dead too many times not to count them as part of the opposition. I can count on one hand the numbers of them I might trust with the most basic issues - Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Boxer, Ted Kennedy, maybe Charles Rangel, but not necessarily. One of my main issues is freedom of religion, and I think even these people would be shaky in that arena. Hillary is not on that list because she is a Southern Democrat, which means she's really no Democrat at all. She's part of the DLC thugs that have hijacked the Democratic Party. She's also far too Christian and has shown no indication that she cares about civil rights where alternative religions are concerned. She was front and center in that disgrace where all of Congress went out on the front steps and shouted "under God" in the midst of the Pledge of Allegiance when the first ruling from the 9th Circuit Court correctly proclaimed the phrase unconstitutional.

We need a word that incorporates the right mix of religious zeal, corporate and cultural elitism, corruption, racism and class warfare. If I can't come up with something better, I'll have to go with RWP. (Rich White People) Any ideas? The only other labels I can think of are Fascist, which is accurate, but I can't get Liberals to warm up to the phrase; Elitist, or Corporate Elite addresses the rich white part, but it doesn't capture the zealous and even cultish attitudes of the Right. NeoCons refers only to the small, bizarre cabal that runs the Pentagon and the White House, but I hesitate to use that label more widely. Christo-fascist may be the most accurate term of all, but that's really going to scare the limp will of the Left.

Are they imperial or imperious? Magisterial? Canonical? Autocratic? Tyrannical, despotic, domineering, czarist, dictatorial, absolutist? Well, yeah. None of those quite does it, though. It's hard to find one word that shows a few rich people with complete disdain for the poor, who are militaristic in the extreme and also extremely, so they claim, religious. This combo of greed and zeal hasn't existed since the Crusades. Hmm. The wealthy Landholders went on the Crusades to liberate the Holy Lands from the Muslims. That does sound awfully familiar. And they were SO pious in their beliefs that they would cut open women and children in case they had swallowed jewels to conceal them from the invaders Holy Warriors. What was the saying? "God, King and Country"? The divine right of Kings? Our King George most certainly thinks he's God's chosen leader. He's certainly as greedy, entitled and bloodthirsty as any feudal lord. And he has slipped and used the word a few times in situations where the word was tantamount to throwing gasoline on a fire. Crusaders is close, but still not clicking. I'll keep working on it. If you have any preferences, leave them in the comments.





3.18.2005

Your tax dollars, and thousands of lives, down the drain

A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies details the financial and human costs of the misbegotten Iraq war. Here's their summary:


(click for full size image)

3.17.2005

We're not so thrilled around here either

In a story headlined "Nomination Shocks, Worries Europeans", today's Washington Post reports on the astonishing news that Europeans are not over the moon about the prospect of neo-con ghoul Paul Wolfowitz at the helm of the World Bank. The story quotes Guillaume Parmentier, head of the French Center on the United States, whose comment sums up the European reaction:
'There are two interpretations. ... One is the optimistic one -- that this is going to take him away from U.S. policy. . . . The pessimistic interpretation is that this administration has to give sop to the far right. There was Bolton and now Wolfowitz -- where does it stop?'
Others, like Mark Leonard, director of foreign policy of the Center for European Reform, appear more sanguine:
'Let's face it, in this administration we're not going to get . . . Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama,' he said. 'Given that, there are a lot of people who'd be a hell of a lot worse than Wolfowitz.'
Actually, I personally think Mother Teresa would have been worse. But she's dead anyway, so it's a moot point.

New frontiers in global capitalism

Eric Lee reports on "virtual sweatshops" that employ people for pennies an hour to play on-line role-playing games and then sell the accumulated gaming value for huge profits to more upscale gamers who can't be bothered to engage in the dreary tasks required to earn the virtual currency for themselves.

3.15.2005

Freedom is on the March

Marriage is a human right. Unless you are prepared to say that some people are not human, then you must allow their basic human rights. - paraphrased Al Sharpton

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe court decision in California pointing out the obvious, "the denial of marriage to same-sex couples appears impermissibly arbitrary", means that we're in for a real media circus. Big Media will give equal time to raving homophobes and poorly prepped California crusaders for homosexual rights. Every sitting politican in the country will run screaming from the debate, and many of them will run directly to the Constitution to get their amendment on. The reality-based blogs will get behind the good guys, and the faith-based blogs will either get behind the crazies or ignore the matter altogether.

"...celebrations erupted at City Hall, as same-sex couples crowded into a news conference held by Newsom and other city officials. Marches and rallies were announced in at least a dozen other cities across the state."

Millions of Americans can, for the first time in history, see the possibility of equal treatment under the law and the recognition of their inalienable right to pursue happiness. Freedom is on the march, and it's rolling through California right now.

But while we're watching events unfold in California, it's important to remember that our many don't share our patriotic love of diversity,

"RIYADH - A gay couple was beaded in a public execution Sunday in Saudi Arabia after being convicted of killing a blackmailer. If they had been exposed as gay they could have been executed anyway.

Homosexuality is punishable by flogging, lengthy prison terms or death under Sharia Islamic law."

If you're going to take up the banner of human rights, get ready to run with it. Here in America, homosexuals are forced by the ruling culture to hide their sexuality or move to specific areas where a limited tolerance and isolated acceptance is practiced. This status quo is in danger of changing, and the armies of newly empowered evangelical kulturkops are righteously pissed. It's shocking to those who are pushing to eliminate evolution from serious scholarship that America might actually protect the rights of faggoty faggots. It's going to get ugly. The people who oppose Americans' right to marry are cousins to those who would lop off their heads. Freedom is going to lose a lot of battles as states pass man/woman marriage laws and dare the ACLU's legal team to bring it on. It's the mother of all wedge issues and may drive more people into the republican party as they dip their toes into the reality of the situation - they're surrounded by homos. Homosexuals cut their hair, do their taxes, sell their cars, lead their churches. This information is enough to make some peoples' heads explode.

Meanwhile, globally, the effort to establish basic human rights is barely off the ground. Our nation habitually overlooks sheer inhumanity for murderous political expedience. Slavery is still rampant in Africa. The global trade in children is on the rise. Nations torture prisoners who never receive a trial. But defending the basic human rights of our fellow free Americans is a great place to get started if you're new to this, and a great place to continue if you've been down since day one.

3.14.2005

Note from the Christian Right: Liberalism Will Die

WaPo fronts "Battle on Teaching Evolution Sharpens," by Peter Slevin with contributions by Kari Lydersen.

Turns out, the Christian Right has created a multi-pronged attack on teaching evolution in public schools. They want teachers to question evolution, and if possible, include reference to "intelligent design" (the new wording they've come up with for Creationism). Organizations that have been set up to support this cause include Discovery Institute, Center for Science and Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the Maclellan Foundation, and the Intelligent Design Network Inc.

Minister Terry Fox, pastor of the largest Southern Baptist church in the Midwest said:
"The strategy this time is not to go for the whole enchilada. We're trying to be a little more subtle," he said.

To fundamentalist Christians, Fox said, the fight to teach God's role in creation is becoming the essential front in America's culture war. The issue is on the agenda at every meeting of pastors he attends. If evolution's boosters can be forced to back down, he said, the Christian right's agenda will advance.

"If you believe God created that baby, it makes it a whole lot harder to get rid of that baby," Fox said. "If you can cause enough doubt on evolution, liberalism will die."
There you have it folks. The debate on including religious beliefs in the study of evolution is the cornerstone of the far right's quest to create a theocracy and deny women reproductive freedom.

I'm not sure how coordinated the scientific community's response to this attack on valid scientific learning is. The article mentions the National Center for Science Education, which defends the teaching of evolution. If you're interested in the subject, you should bookmark their website since they link to news on their front page. I think left leaning people, need to take these attacks more seriously and I welcome ideas on how we can act individually and collectively against this abhorrent encroachment on the separation of church and state.

3.11.2005

BUSHFLASH -GO NOW!

BUSHFLASH

Click on that link NOW. It's short, it's powerful and everyone needs to really get this.

Blah! Blah! Blah!

Mokhiber & Weissman, yesterday on Common Dreams, advocate "A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action". Excerpt:
. . . we have access to every news outlet and web site in the world. We can communicate instantaneously with anyone we wish. There is a flood of quality information and informed criticism, more than we can use.

We can't keep up with it.

You can't keep up with it.

We are drowning.

You are drowning. We know this may sound strange coming from two writers who spend most of their time researching and writing and contributing to the flood.

But someone has to come up for air and scream: It's not making any difference!

Or as Hersh put it -- "It doesn't matter what we write. . Other presidents feel the heat, this one doesn't." To which we would add -- other politicians feel the heat, these don't.

As a citizenry outraged by this war in Iraq, and the possibility of wars against Syria and Iran, we must ask ourselves: will the flood of information break the dam? Or are we deluding ourselves into thinking that information matters? Shouldn't we be spending less time writing and more time organizing?

We can't predict. But we suspect this: We are at a tipping point. Bush can be pushed over. And we know for sure that Elvis wasn't talking about politics.

But his advice holds true for the here and now:

A little less conversation.

A little more action.
All I can really add is "ditto". Every day I'm more convinced that the problems we face are about a gazillian times bigger than any of us imagine; that the world isn't gonna end anytime real soon, but the next few years are gonna make the last 31/2 look like pleasant dim sum. American leftists can't seem to grasp the enormity of what's happening. We also can't seem to grasp the implications of an essential part of the problem: American leftists are, well . . . AMERICAN. Somehow, we want to keep and enjoy all the goodies we have while blaming the rich . . . and . . . we want "the bad guys" to change while refusing to look at our own laziness and complicity. We wanna go in big groups to "demonstrate" on March 19, then go back to our nice, warm homes to trash-talk about the lousy cops over a few beers. Yeah, we're screwed - but not just because of what "they" are doing and planning.

A Crash Course in the Christian Supremacist Movement

Reprint from The-Goddess, Oct. 04
Cross-posted

I'm bumping this up in response to seeing Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Real Time with Bill Maher this week. He actually spoke about the Dominion Theology movement and the fact that the head of the Dept. of the Interior is a member of what he called a group of "Christian Heretics". He cited an "unholy alliance" between polluters like the Coors family trading money for political clout for these Right Wing Extremists. This is not some crack pot conspiracy theory, This is a very real movement that is affecting your quality of life right now and endangering our future.

A Crash course in the Christian Supremacist Movement


I've been doing research on the "Religious Right" this week and at the risk that you think I'm being overly dramatic, I honestly tell you that I'm scared shitless. I think the liberal intelligentsia has failed to grasp what's happening in America. Make note of these words:

  • Dominion Theology, Dominionism, Dominionist

  • Kingdom Now theology

  • the Reconstructionist movement, Christian Reconstructionism

  • Tribulation, pretribulationism, midtribulationism, posttribulationism

  • the Vineyard movement

  • Coalition on Revival (COR)

  • Charismatic

  • Evangelical

  • the Fellowship or the Foundation

  • Promise Keepers

  • The Family - described as "an invisible association", who's members include:1

      Senators
    • Don Nickles (R., Okla.)
    • Charles Grassley (R., Iowa)
    • Pete Domenici (R., N.Mex.)
    • John Ensign (R., Nev.)
    • James Inhofe (R., Okla.)
    • Bill Nelson (D., Fla.)
    • Conrad Burns (R., Mont.)

    • Representatives
    • Jim DeMint (R., S.C.)
    • Frank Wolf (R., Va.)
    • Joseph Pitts (R., Pa.)
    • Zach Wamp (R., Tenn.)
    • Bart Stupak (D., Mich.)
    .


I'm sure the names Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy, the late Francis Schaeffer and Billy Graham are familiar. The movement began with them. For a complete background, please read Katherine Yurica's beautifully researched article The Despoiling of America. There are numerous sources on the internet, so I'm just going to distill the main points here.

They want to establish an American Theocracy. Their goal is to remove the checks and balances in the Constitution, and consider George W. Bush to be their leader, installed in his office by none other than "God" himself.

" "Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. He's in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this." - Lt Gen William "Jerry" Boykin

"Gen. Boykin has repeatedly told Christian groups and prayer meetings that President George W Bush was chosen by God to lead the global fight against Satan."2


Boykin and Bush are both fond of thinking of the war in Iraq as a "Crusade".

They favor the death penalty in many cases, including things like heresy, adultery, abortion and homosexuality. (BE VERY AFRAID of the fact that Ashcroft is after women's medical records!)

They have been systematically working to gain control of all three branches of government, and have made great inroads thanks to Bush's appointment of these Christian extremists to the judiciary, where they can attack Roe V. Wade and separation of church and state issues, and to key cabinet positions, where they are systematically supressing scientific findings that contradict their ideological goals. They've inplemented a global "gag rule" and are actively campaigning against any organization that promotes condom use or abortion. John Ashcroft's Dept. of Justice won't prosecute hate crimes against minority religions, and they are using the Patriot Act for drug crimes. They refuse to prosecute Christian extremists in this country - even when they blow up clinics - as terrorists. They've been running the Pentagon through the Office of Special Plans.3

They promote the homeschooling of children, so they push for vouchers as a way to destroy the public school system; and they have their own Universities like Liberty U. and Patrick Henry, which are the source of many of the current administration's interns.

They see poverty as God's way of punishing the undisciplined, and they believe that things like lying and cheating are fine as long as it's done to further the return of Jesus. Bush's consultations with Apocalyptic Christian groups concerning his policies on Israel are well documented.

But when he starts invoking church doctrine in a holy war against "evildoers," well, that's enough. If, like me, you happened to have seen the Frontline documentary The Jesus Factor, then you saw the president speak in coded language to his evangelical followers. You saw the president say that the Bible is the "guidebook" for federal social policy. You realized that Bush really does believe he's God's right-hand guy. When you were through shivering with fear in your bedroom closet, you knew for certain that President Bush is a fanatic who will get us all killed if he isn't stopped.
Neal Pollack, Church and State


It's all about the Apocalypse. There's the popular "Left Behind" series of 12 books describing the Second Coming. There's a sort of kid's guide to the end of the world, a "Left Behind" graphic Novel and special Military and Political versions as well. ArmageddonBooks dot com offers the Apocalypse series and End Time novels with names like "666," "Nephilim" and my personal favorite "Jesus, the Computer and New York City." These sell in the millions and they're all about how Jesus will take them to heaven and leave us heretics here to burn.

"When President Bush adds God to their formulation and says God's purpose or intention is somehow linked with American military preeminence, that's a very dangerous thing. [After September 11,] President Bush and the White House basically choreographed a liturgy at the National Cathedral. President Bush was a chief homilist. In the pulpit of the National Cathedral, he made a war speech. He called the nation to arms in the pulpit of the National Cathedral, and he claimed a divine mission for our nation to rid the world of evil. That is not only bad foreign policy or presumptuous foreign policy--I would say it's idolatrous foreign policy to claim God's purpose for that mission. And in the language that Mr. Bush has used, he does this again and again and again. Our role, and his role as president, this is acclaiming a righteous [decree] that Pax Americana is God's foreign policy. This is a very unsettling thing." quoted in Church and State


It's getting hard to tell our Saviors apart, though. I've already linked to the story where the Pope thinks W. may be the Anti-Christ. Then we hear that a coronation was held in a SENATE (!) building with congress people carrying the crowns on pillows as Sun Myung Moon declared himself "sent to Earth . . . to save the world's six billion people. . . . Emperors, kings and presidents . . . have declared to all Heaven and Earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent."4 He's a big time campaign contributor, so the pols in D.C. tolerate him. Or maybe they needed a false prophet? Or maybe George is the false prophet and Sun is the real deal? Maybe they're all fakes? This is making the triple sixes on my scalp itch.

I'm kidding about the 6's, as far as I know, but this is not a joke. The Left is treating these people as a joke, but it's far from funny. We are looking at a new strain of Christian Supremacists and they think they're playing for their very salvation. I live in the South, where these people don't have to resort to the stealth methods that they do in Washington. Most church-going Christians are good people trying to do the right thing. The problem is that good people are easily lead into bad things when their leaders know how to manipulate their fears, prey on the limits of their experience or education, and tell them what they want to hear while they do as they damn well please. These leaders are deeply entrenched in the oil and aerospace industry and many of them are in positions of power. That's a lot of money, a lot of connections, a lot of influence. Enough to send our troops to war for NO reason. Enough to loot our Treasury. Enough to destroy our global alliances and damage our credibility. Call me paranoid if you must, but remember that there were probably Germans who saw what was happening with their crazy little savior, too. I wonder if anyone listened to them?

3.09.2005

Bolton a revoltin' choice for U.N. post

Imagine the furor on the right if Jacques Chirac nominated, as France's ambassador to the U.S., someone who had made even one of the following statements:
Imagine further that, in response to criticism from the U.S., French intellectuals defended Chirac's choice on the grounds that a tough-talking critic is just the person to help bring about badly-needed reform in the U.S. government, which is rife with cronyism, inefficiency, and lack of transparency.

That scenario may be imaginary. But the statements are not. Each one came from the mouth or pen of John Bolton. The target of Bolton's contempt, of course, was not the U.S., but the U.N., where, if George W. Bush gets his way, Bolton will soon be serving as U.S. Ambassador. Thus does the Holy American Emperor remind the rest of the world that he doesn't give a rat's ass about what they think.

3.07.2005

Equality Hell, How about Reparations?!

Cross-Posted

NOTE: This was originally written for Women's Equality Day in August of 2003. Women's wages have gone down since then.
***

I found the following statistics on The Feminist Majority Foundation site today

On this planet, right now:



1,500 women die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth every day

A woman's risk of dying in childbirth: 1 in 25 to 40 in developing countries,
1 in 3,000 in developed countries.

Source: 1994 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development


75% of refugees and displaced persons are women and children.

Source: Wistat, 1994 & UNHCR

Out of 1.3 billion people living in absolute poverty, 70% are women.

More than one million babies die each year from malnutrition, neglect and abuse who would not have died if they had not been born girls

Source: Education Working Group, UNICEF


In America today:



One woman is physically abused every eight seconds
One woman is raped every six minutes .

Source: National Center on Women and Family Law, USA, 1988/New York Times, 19 October 1994

Domestic violence is the number one cause of serious injury to women ages 18-49.

At the current rate of progress, it would take 475 years for women to reach equality with men as senior managers.

Source: 1994 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development, United Nations 1995

US Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Women constitute almost 47 percent of this country’s labor force,
There are only six Fortune 500 women CEOs

According to statistics released by the US Census Bureau on September 25, 2001

For every 1 Dollar earned by White men:

White women working full-time earn only 73 cents
African-American women earn only 65 cents
Latina women earn only 53 cents


So on today, Women's Equality Day, I'd like to make a modest proposal. Since our society can't protect us - 1 in 3 women will be victims of sexual abuse in their lives; and won't promote us; and most of all isn't paying us for the work we do, why not cut to the chase. Instead of proclamations and pats on the head and the kind of placating that Bill Maher calls "making women nod", how about one simple concrete solution. I want reparations.

Now, the African-American community has talked about reparations for a while. The problem with paying reparations for slavery is that the people who were enslaved are no longer alive, so even if we all agree that reparations are in order, there's a very real difficulty in figuring out how much to pay and to whom. Not so with Gender Gap Reparations.

I propose a two step plan. First, take all of the Social Security records for every living woman in the United States and get her total lifetime earnings. If she's white, add 27%; Black, 35%, Hispanic, 47% and for those of us who don't fit into any of those categories - Native Americans, Asians, etc - we'll take the Latina rate of 47%.
Take the money out of the bloated, bullshit defense budget, and pay us . I mean send my check right now. I've worked with defense contracts, and believe me, there's more fat than fight in that budget. You could do twice the work for half the money with a bit of common sense and some basic good business practices. Tighten your belts, boys - we've been doing it for years.

Ok, so Step One is done and no one is the poorer for it. Step Two is going to be a little harder. Well, not really harder - just unpopular. Step Two is simply give every woman currently employed a raise in the percentage already discussed for each group. Business is not going to like this idea, so let's put it into perspective:

If the minimum wage had risen at the same level pace as executive pay since 1990, it would be $25.50 an hour, not $5.15.
http://www.raisethefloor.org/press_bostonglobe.html


So you can pay our girls the $6.67, 6.96, and 7.58 (based on $5.15 minimum wage) and yes, for Goddess' sake round up or you can pay us all the 25.50 an hour we'd be making if you corporate raiders weren't skimming off the top. We're willing to be reasonable, and frankly, it's more than you deserve.

March 6, 2005: A Sad and Shameful Day for Men

I don't think I'll get any argument from any of our editors if I say that we of P! decry and condemn in the strongest terms the violence perpetrated against the demonstrators in Istanbul by police thugs. Such insane rage. Such criminal acts. I feel shame - it makes me nauseous. Turkey's relationship with and standing in the world community must sink immeasurably unless each and every idiot with a stick and a riot shield on the street that day is identified, apprehended, fired forever from "law enforcement", and given the punishment he deserves. What the hell is wrong with these people?

That demonstration was in anticipation of International Women's Day, which starts in a few hours. It would be fitting if these criminals were brought to justice and held fully accountable on that day.

This, in its entirety, is the text of the IWD web statement about the day:
International Women's Day

International Women's Day (8 March) is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.


International Women's Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men. In ancient Greece, Lysistrata initiated a sexual strike against men in order to end war; during the French Revolution, Parisian women calling for "liberty, equality, fraternity" marched on Versailles to demand women's suffrage.


The idea of an International Women's Day first arose at the turn of the century, which in the industrialized world was a period of expansion and turbulence, booming population growth and radical ideologies. Following is a brief chronology of the most important events:


1909

In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman's Day was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate it on the last Sunday of that month through 1913.


1910

The Socialist International, meeting in Copenhagen, established a Women's Day, international in character, to honour the movement for women's rights and to assist in achieving universal suffrage for women. The proposal was greeted with unanimous approval by the conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, which included the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament. No fixed date was selected for the observance.


1911

As a result of the decision taken at Copenhagen the previous year, International Women's Day was marked for the first time (19 March) in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, where more than one million women and men attended rallies. In addition to the right to vote and to hold public office, they demanded the right to work, to vocational training and to an end to discrimination on the job.


Less than a week later, on 25 March, the tragic Triangle Fire in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working girls, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This event had a significant impact on labour legislation in the United States, and the working conditions leading up to the disaster were invoked during subsequent observances of International Women's Day.


1913-1914

As part of the peace movement brewing on the eve of World War I, Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. Elsewhere in Europe, on or around 8 March of the following year, women held rallies either to protest the war or to express solidarity with their sisters.


1917

With 2 million Russian soldiers dead in the war, Russian women again chose the last Sunday in February to strike for "bread and peace". Political leaders opposed the timing of the strike, but the women went on anyway. The rest is history: Four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. That historic Sunday fell on 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia, but on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere.


Since those early years, International Women's Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women's movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women's conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point for coordinated efforts to demand women's rights and participation in the political and economic process. Increasingly, International Women's Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of women's rights.

The Role of the United Nations

Few causes promoted by the United Nations have generated more intense and widespread support than the campaign to promote and protect the equal rights of women. The Charter of the United Nations, signed in San Francisco in 1945, was the first international agreement to proclaim gender equality as a fundamental human right. Since then, the Organization has helped create a historic legacy of internationally agreed strategies, standards, programmes and goals to advance the status of women worldwide.

Over the years, United Nations action for the advancement of women has taken four clear directions: promotion of legal measures; mobilization of public opinion and international action; training and research, including the compilation of gender desegregated statistics; and direct assistance to disadvantaged groups. Today a central organizing principle of the work of the United Nations is that no enduring solution to society's most threatening social, economic and political problems can be found without the full participation, and the full empowerment, of the world's women.
Also . . .

3.02.2005

P! Vision, Principles, Purpose

The following statement about who we are is a product of a consensus reached by the P! Editorial Team, with contributions by several readers. Please join us in making it happen. Thank you to all who continue to support us - we hope we may support you and your efforts as well . . .

About P!

Our vision:

We envision an enlightened, expanding, and sustainable movement of peoples, guided by progressive, populist values and principles, which acts cooperatively and consistently to create conditions in which all on our planet may achieve justice, peace, and community.

Our mission:

We wish to identify and empower collective, constructive actions which exemplify our values and principles and which intend to make our vision a reality. We acknowledge and celebrate the power of emerging technologies and forms of communication and intend for our efforts to fully utilize them.


Our values and principles:

* all peoples have the inalienable right to self-determination and self-government, except when action to that purpose interferes with universal freedom, justice, peace, and community. Individual and shared rights are always informed by and subject to individual and shared responsibility for universal rights

* non-violent action is the most desired means of conflict resolution. Universal freedom, peace, justice, and community are best achieved through consensus, cooperation, and communication

* all wealth and power should be dispersed to benefit all peoples, with our maximum participation in all decisions pertaining to the use of that wealth, rather than accumulated and concentrated in and by the few

* self-restraint, tolerance, compassion, patience, and humility are most valued and practiced in the pursuit of freedom, peace, and community

We embrace and work for:

* equal access for all peoples to safety, security, sustenance, health and healthcare, autonomy, freedom, and justice

* individual and popular movements against all forms of oppression, exploitation, and aggression

* the abolition of oppression and discrimination based on gender identity; sexual orientation or preference; ethnicity; ability; appearance; age; political affiliation; social, marital, or economic status; and religious or spiritual beliefs and affiliations

* equal inclusion of all people in decision-making processes, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation/preference; ethnicity, ability, age, political affiliation, social, marital, or economic status, and religious or spiritual beliefs and affiliations. This includes, but is not limited to, business transactions, governmental processes, and community leadership

* We assert that all individuals have a right to sexual autonomy and freedom. Every individual must have access reproductive and sexual healthcare, including accurate and complete information regarding birth control. We encourage the continued development, legalization, and dissemination of alternatives to pregnancy and abortion. We acknowledge the inherent and inalienable right of all women to self-determination in reproductive choice, including access to safe and legal means to terminate pregnancy. We oppose the practice of female genital mutilation. We acknowledge the historical forces in many societies of patriarchal oppression, and seek to overcome, through education and collective action, the ignorance that fosters that oppression

* community responsibility in providing and caring for children

* the right and means of all individuals and peoples to protect and defend themselves from aggression of any and every kind

* the right of all individuals and peoples to express themselves in ways of their own determination without fear of reprisal

* the right of all individuals to fair and sufficient compensation for the product of their labor; the right of all individuals who desire employment to have equal access to and opportunity for safe, meaningful, and productive work; the right and necessity of all persons in the employ of others to the means of unionization and collective bargaining

* the abolition of the exploitation of children through forced labor, military service, slavery, arranged marriage, and military service

* the right of all individuals to a free, high quality, secular education

* the identification and development of economic, political, and social systems which eliminate exploitation and enhance universal prosperity

* any and all efforts to restore ecological/environmental balance and harmony, reducing and/or eliminating the negative effects of humanity's presence on our planet and other impacted systems, certainly including the general welfare of all peoples

* the insurance of enlightened involvement in self-government through the elimination of secrecy in government and other conventions which separate governments from the governed

* individual and popular movements to rescind fascism/corporatism and corporate personhood while generating corporate responsibility to the peoples and ecological well-being

* individual and popular movements to eliminate militarism and the development, production, and distribution of weapons and weapons systems

* the increased development and open distribution of technologies and systems which contribute to universal peace, security, justice, and well-being; considered restraint in the development and implementation of technologies and systems which may cause ecological imbalance and/or physiological imbalance in the population

ACTION ALERT: Lawless Dictatorship

Thanks to Irregular Times for shining a light on this. The emphasis is mine.

SEC. 102. WAIVER OF LAWS NECESSARY FOR IMPROVEMENT OF BARRIERS AT BORDERS.

Section 102(c) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1103 note) is amended to read as follows:

`(c) Waiver-

`(1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section.

`(2) NO JUDICIAL REVIEW- Notwithstanding any other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), no court, administrative agency, or other entity shall have jurisdiction--

`(A) to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to paragraph (1); or

`(B) to order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision.'.
This bill, HR 418, has passed the House and is in Senate Judiciary Committee. Get a message to them showing your displeasure, please.

I hate to say I told you so:

But I did:

Stop the Draft before it starts:

http://www.NoDraftNoWay.org

On March 31, the Selective Service System will report to
President Bush that it is ready to implement a draft
within 75 days.
We have to organize now to stop the draft
before it starts.

( Read more at http://the-goddess.org/blog/ or http://whatshesaid.the-goddess.org/ )

5) Sign the No Draft Petition.
http://nodraftnoway.org/petition.shtml


http://www.NoDraftNoWay.org


March 19
Troops Out Now!
March on Central Park in NYC!
Regional Demonstrations Across the U.S. & Worldwide

3.01.2005

Beijing +10 Disgraces Us All

PeaceWomen, a web portal created and maintained by Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, has a complete list of all activities occurring around Beijing +10, both governmental and nongovernmental.

Here is the draft Declaration of the 49th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, released on February 22. (pdf file)

Here are the changes proposed by the United States Government. (pdf file)

It's there in black and white, folks: the Shrub administration believes women do not have the right to an abortion and that the USG does not support reproductive freedom. The USG, the Vatican, and some extremely religious nations are the only places in the world holding back on women's rights. The United States is a disgrace for leading the pack of reactionary men determined to legislate women's wombs.

If You Watch the Michael Jackson Trial, Then the Terrorists Have Won

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI just saw on my local affiliate that it's Day One of the Michael Jackson trial, and I had such a shudder of OJPTSD that I rushed to find a way to contact as many Big Media sources as possible to register my revulsion with their programming choices.

This is the site that gives you the contact info - including email addresses - for any media you'd like to talk to. You could even tell them that you think Michael Jackson is the biggest damned affront to the popular sensibilities since his sister's titty. Whatever. I don't care. Just make it stop.

Here's what I wrote:

Dear Sirs,

While our fighting men and women risk their lives daily, while great injustices are perpetrated by governments and economic entities, while ordinary citizens are doing extraordinary things every day - your news organization is devoting and preparing to devote an absurd amount of time and energy in covering the trial of a former pop star.

I urge you to offer news that will help us to grow as a nation. Act as if you were offering a public service. We'll watch. If you wallow in sleaze, you'll be ridiculed and less relevant in the serious debate about America's future.

Thanks for your attention,

Gordon Smith
http://newpropop.blogspot.com


Write one. It's fun. Then cut and paste a mess of email addresses, and voila! You've written letters to all your local/preferred media. Go get 'em.

{cross posted at ScruHoo}

Yes, it can!
Why I won't Apologize for Calling Bush a Fascist
not that anyone has asked me to...

NOTE: I'm posting this in honor of my birthday, 3/3- ms


If you haven't read Fascism Anyone? by Laurence W. Britt, follow that link and do it now. You need to know this information in this election. I'm going to take the 14 points delineated by Britt and put them in perspective here. Remember, these are his points. The commentary is mine.

If there were one point here that didn't apply to this administration, I'd back down. Now check this out:

1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.

Since the attacks of the world trade center, there has been an attempt to control any form of dissent, or criticism of the Administration. Expressions of pride in being an American have taken on an almost militant form, expressed in pervasive displays of flags and pro-American themes in popular music and television.

"The Bush administration's objective of establishing U.S. domination over any potential adversary led to the hubristic, tragic miscalculation of the Iraq war, a painful adventure marked by one disaster after another based on one mistaken assumption after another." Al Gore



2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.

There ought to be limits to freedom.
-- George W. Bush

"People have to watch what they say and watch what they do." - Ari Fleisher, White House spokesman 9/26/01*


Since 9/11, people who are suspected of having ties to terrorism have been held indefinitely without access to counsel, courts, and are considered by the Administration to be exempt from the protections of the Geneva Convention. In spite of a recent court decision finding that the detainees do have rights of Habeus Corpus, the Administration has expressed that it has no intention of complying with the order of the court.

The Patriot Act has effectively suspended several protections guaranteed by the Constitution. Authorities may search anyone, at any time without probable cause. They can enter and search your home without notifying you. Communications can be monitored in unprecedented ways without a warrant.

No longer a leader in the fight for human rights around the world, America has been shown committing war crimes in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Grahib, and other locations throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. Photographic and video evidence has been withheld and suppressed by the media and the government. Items leaked through the press show prisoners being sexually violated and there is a number of unexplained deaths. Sy Hersch, the reporter fro the New Yorker who broke the story, has stated that there is video of boys being sodomized. Over 100 children are currently imprisoned at Abu Grahib. The Red Cross has been denied access to prisoners, and the Administration is now known to be keeping undocumented prisoners. Reports are that most of the people being held at Abu Grahib were detained in error. The abuses have been dismissed by Right Wing media personalities as nothing more than "fraternity pranks". A few low level soldiers are being court martialed in an attempt to portray the abuses as the work of a few poorly trained recruits. Documentation exists showing White House attorneys attempted to create a legal argument to justify the torturing of suspected terrorists well before the incidents at Abu Grahib, with full knowledge of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the White House.

Protest is now allowed only in established "Free Speech Zones." Those wishing to attend political rallies with the President or Vice President are required to sign a pledge to support their ticket in the upcoming election, and provide contact information and identification. The campaign reportedly asked a reporter's race before agreeing to issue credentials to cover one event. People have been removed from events for wearing or carrying t-shirts bearing pro-choice and other messages deemed "unsupportive" by the campaign.

3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.


" Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." - G.W. Bush President Declares "Freedom at War with Fear"

"They are all "enemies of civilization," [Bush] said, and they share "a fanatical political ideology.1"

Frequent, nondescript terror warnings are common, usually timed to benefit the Bush Administration's polling numbers, or deflect attention from positive news of his opponent, Senator John Kerry. Former Governor Howard Dean has recently called public attention to the pattern.

4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.

"I'm a war president." -- G.W. Bush

The US invaded iraq in spite pleas from the UN Inspectors who wanted to continue inspections, which found no evidence of WMD's.
George Tenet of the CIA stated that there was no reason to suspect Iraq had WMD's. Bush told the American public that Saddam Hussein was an immanent threat, in spite of information to the contrary. An historical, world-wide peace march of 10 million people protesting the US invasion of iraq was dismissed by Bush as a "focus group".

Despite mounting evidence that Bush never completed his obligation to the National Guard, Bush is fond of appearing in front of military audiences. He donned a flight suit when he stood in front of a banner reading "Mission Accomplished" on the USS Lincoln and announced success in the Iraqi invasion. As of right now, 930 American soldiers have died since that announcement.

Click here to see figures on Federal Spending. and Global Military Spending. Graphics included with the permission of True Majority.org

5. Rampant sexism.

Bush has been stacking the courts with reactionary judges known to believe that women should be subservient and abortion is murder. When blocked by Congress, Bush has gone so far as to appoint an extreme Right Wing Judge by executive order when congress had recessed.

The Right Wing's hatred of competent women is evident in their treatment of Hillary Clinton, Martha Stewart and Teresa Heinz Kerry.

Britt's words:
Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses.


Bush's support for an amendment to prohibit same sex marriages instigated the first Senate debates on an amendment that would formally limit the "full faith and credit" protections of 10 per cent of American citizens. Several extreme presentations by Senators likened homosexuality to bestiality, and literally prognosticated the end of civilization as we know it if gays were permitted to marry.

6. A controlled mass media.

Fox News, anyone? By the way, you can buy OutFoxed for under 10 Dollars from Amazon.com.
"Gore said media who challenge Bush and Cheney's claims of a link are intimidated by the administration.

"The administration works closely with a network of rapid-response digital Brown Shirts who work to pressure reporters and their editors for undermining support for our troops," Gore said. The term "Brown Shirts" refers to Nazi supporters in the 1930s and '40s." Al Gore


October 25, 2003—US Senator Robert Byrd, on the floor of Congress, on October 17, has explicitly compared the Bush media operation to that run by Herman Goering, mastermind of the Nazi putsch against the German people.





Why does the Bush administration lie so much? It is mainly because Bush's Svengali-like political adviser, Karl Rove, has taken to heart the advice of Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." When Lying Pays Off: The Fabrications of the Neo-Cons


7. Obsession with national security.


After 9/11, the government was reorganized around a new Department of Homeland Security, which has so far only served to provide vague warnings of terrorist plots when Bush's poll numbers drop. Bush constantly sates that he has made us safer, but that we are not safe.

8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.


Britt's words:
Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.


Bush's words:

"I've heard the call. I believe God wants me to run for president.2"

"God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East.3"

"And this is my solemn pledge: I will work to build a single nation of justice and opportunity. I know this is in our reach because we are guided by a power larger than ourselves who creates us equal in His image.4"

"Our job as leaders--Republicans, Democrats, nonaffiliateds--is to rally that compassion of America, is to call upon the love that exists not because of government, that exists because of a gracious and loving God."
AP story in LA Times, Aug 4, 2000 5"

"I also have this belief, strong belief, that freedom is not this country's gift to the world; freedom is the Almighty's gift to every man and woman in this world. And as the greatest power on the face of the Earth, we have an obligation to help the spread of freedom.6"

“I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.7"


Bush appealed to the Pope for help in getting American Bishops to support his agenda. The Bush/Cheney campaign has solicited churches to provide their member directories to the campaign. it is widely believed that there is a movement of Christian extremists who believe Bush was installed in office by none other than the Almighty.

"Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. He's in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this."

"I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real god and his was an idol,"

"the principalities of darkness. . . a demonic presence in that city that God revealed to me as the enemy".

"Our enemy is a spiritual enemy because we are a nation of believers. . . His name is Satan." - Lt Gen William "Jerry" Boykin, the newly promoted Deputy Undersecretary of State of Defense for Intelligence. God put Bush in charge, says the General hunting bin Laden


9. Power of corporations protected.

Halliburton. Media Consolidation. Gutted environmental protections. Rolling back regulations on media consolidation. Creating a Health Care benefit that only benefits the drug companies. Record tax breaks for the wealthy.
Secret Energy Policy meetings and a complete refusal to open the records on it.

10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.


Education Secretary Paige calls national teachers union a 'terrorist organization'
Administration Refuses Workers’ Overtime Pay Guarantee

from Bush's Anti-union Record by Joel Wendland

While Bush's economic policies have targeted the wages and security of working people, his union-busting efforts have tried to undermine the one tool we have available to protect ourselves - our unions.

Bush used rhetoric of "national security" to pursue the anti-union agenda he supported prior to the events of September 11th. In fact, Bush claimed that workers who wanted to preserve their collective bargaining right were opposed to national security and might be supporting terrorist efforts.


11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.


"There were many beautiful books, but as they contained nothing but superstitions and falsehoods of the Devil, we burnt them." - Diego de LANDA, Bishop of Yucatan

"Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings." - Heinrich HEINE, German poet (1797-1856) Used as inscription on memorial at Dachau concentration camp.



  • Disney was afraid to distribute Fahrenheit 9/11; Michael Eisner said he feared Disney would lose tax breaks for its amusement park in Florida, where the President's brother, Jeb Bush, is Governor.

  • Linda Ronstadt was ejected from the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas for dedicating a song to Michael Moore;

  • The Dixie Chicks saw their recordings burned(!) after apologizing for Bush at a concert in England; American radio stations kow towed to a boycott of their music pushed by Right Wing activists.

  • The publisher for Michael Moore's book Stupid White Men delayed its publication and wanted to shred existing copies the book for its criticism of Bush- it was saved only when American Librarians heard of the plan and mounted an internet campaign in its defense.

  • An Art dealer in California was driven out of business for displaying a painting that depicted the torture at Abu Grahib.

  • Media giantClear Channel fired shock-jock Howard Stern for obscenity, though Stern maintains it was because he criticized the Bush Administration.

  • Whoopi Goldberg was fired from her job promoting SlimFast after a Right Wing uproar resulted from a joke she made about Bush's surname at a Democratic Fundraiser.

  • The FCC lost its mind when Janet Jackson's nipple was accidentally exposed during half-time at the Super Bowl and sprang into action with attempts to intensify network censorship.


from 4000 Scientists Confront Bush Administration by Chris Mooney at TomPaine.com
the Union of Concerned Scientists... has announced that more than four thousand scientists have now signed their February statement on scientific integrity--including 48 Nobel Laureates. The group also just released anew report showing that the Bush administration has blithely continued to do what it was originally accused of: Egregiously politicizing science.


Attorney General John Ashcroft recently attempted to have government manuals containing information on forfeiture procedures removed from public access.

12. Obsession with crime and punishment.

Death In Texas: Bush's Pride In Executions Is Grotesque

Texas Executions: GW Bush Has Defined Himself, Unforgettably, As Shallow And Callous


A complete list of his 152 executions can be found at BushKills.com



I wanted to show the totals for civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq - neither of whom had any history of aggression against America, and who's ruling regimes at the time of our invasion - the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, respectively- had previously been installed and funded by the United States. Subsequent investigations have shown that their was no connection between Iraq and 9/11. Afghanistan has now become a breeding ground for al Quaeda terrorism, and the Taliban is mounting attacks against women who register to vote. Apparently, few statistics are kept on civilian casualties and they are so highly disputed that most agencies don't want to release them.

13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.
Halliburton. Kenny-boy Lay and Enron. 'Nuff said.

Then, of course, their are the family ties to consider:

For 60 years it has been a matter of public record that Prescott Bush helped finance Hitler's rise to power and world war. Later a US Senator from Connecticut, Prescott was father to President George H.W. Bushand grandfather to George W. Bush. Because legal action was taken, Bush's deeds have been a matter of public record since 1942. They were widely covered in newspapers and electronic media at the time. The history is readily accessible8


After the seizures in late 1942 of five U.S. enterprises he managed on behalf of Nazi industrialist Fritz Thyssen, Prescott Bush, the grandfather of President George W. Bush, failed to divest himself of more than a dozen "enemy national" relationships that continued until as late as 1951, newly-discovered U.S. government documents reveal.

Furthermore, the records show that Bush and his colleagues routinely attempted to conceal their activities from government investigators.9



Similar denials have surrounded Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is a matter of public record that his father volunteered for the Austrian Nazi Party and the infamous SA, which engaged in brutal mass murder. Arnold himself has attempted to distance himself from his family's Nazi past. He has made large donations to the Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, which has tracked Nazi fugitives. His backers now claim he attended an anti-Nazi rally at an early age.

On the other hand, he has been linked to statements admiring Hitler for his speaking ability and his ability to gain a huge following. A past indicating a strong authoritarian nature has also been cause for alarm. In 1975, Schwarzenegger yearned for his own Nazi-style rally, "like Hitler in the Nuremberg stadium. And have all those people scream at you and just being [in] total agreement whatever you say."
***
-[Karl]Rove is quoted in Bob Woodward's best-selling BUSH AT WAR as comparing the reaction of a New York Yankee crowd to an appearance by Bush as being "like a nazi rally."8


There have been rumors about Rove's family having built Birchenau, and information that Cheney, Wolfowitz and others in the Pentagon have ties to a particular brand of French fascism, but I can't find what I consider to be a reliable source for those. If it's out there, I'm confident someone will find it. For now, I have enough documentation of its roots, and we have all seen the pattern of consistent abuses of power.

14. Fraudulent elections.
Do you really want me to get started on that coup d'etat in 2000? As of right now, Black Box Voting.org says that up to 30% of the votes in the upcoming presidential elections are not verifiable and cannot be recounted if the machines fail or are subject to tampering.

The head of a company vying to sell voting machines in Ohio told Republicans in a recent fund-raising letter that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."10



 “In a way that occurred before but is rare in the United States…somebody came to power as a result of the illegitimate acts of a legitimate institution that had the right to put somebody in power.That is what the Supreme Court did in Bush versus Gore. It put somebody in power,” said Guido Calabresi, a judge on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which sits in Manhattan.

 “The king of Italy had the right to put Mussolini in, though he had not won an election, and make him prime minister. That is what happened when Hindenburg put Hitler in. I am not suggesting for a moment that Bush is Hitler. I want to be clear on that, but it is a situation which is extremely unusual,” the judge said.

 “When somebody has come in that way, they sometimes have tried not to exercise much power. In this case, like Mussolini, [Bush] has exercised extraordinary power. He has exercised power, claimed power for himself; that has not occurred since Franklin Roosevelt who, after all, was elected big and who did some of the same things with respect to assertions of power in times of crisis that this president is doing,” he said. 11


That's 14 out of 14. If it looks like a duck.... I know that the Anti-Defamation League has been consistent in asking that images of Hitler not be used in political campaign because they feel that to do so does not honor the victims of the holocaust. Under normal circumstances, I would agree that such imagery should be off limits. Having watched the consistent assault on American values perpetrated by this Administration, however, I am paying particular attention to anything that seems to extend the pattern. Michelle Malkin's new book, In Defense of Internment: The Case for "Racial Profiling" in World War II and the War on Terror, has alarm bells going off.

In Defense of Internment provides a radical departure from the predominant literature of civil liberties absolutism. It offers a defense of the most reviled wartime policies in American history: the evacuation, relocation, and internment of people of Japanese descent during World War II (three separate actions which are commonly lumped under the umbrella term “internment”). My book is also a defense of racial, ethnic, religious, and nationality profiling (widely differing measures that are commonly lumped under the umbrella term “racial profiling”) now being taken or contemplated during today’s War on Terror.

I was compelled to write this book after watching ethnic activists, historians, and politicians repeatedly play the World War II internment card after the September 11 attacks. The Bush Administration’s critics have equated every reasonable measure to interrogate, track, detain, and deport potential terrorists with the “racist” and “unjustified” World War II internment policies of President Roosevelt. To make amends for this “shameful blot” on our history, both Japanese-American and Arab/Muslim-American activists argue against any and all uses of race, ethnicity, nationality, and religion in shaping current homeland security policies. Misguided guilt about the past continues to hamper our ability to prevent future terrorist attacks. - -Michelle Malkin


How kind of Ms. Malkin to offer herself up as a "token torturer".(If the "oppressor" can get members of the oppressed group to do the wet work, they resent the "torturer", and thus themselves, rather than the original author of the oppression.) She's a very attractive advocate for Racism, uh, I mean, Racial Profiling. How can we criticize a "reasonable" action by the Bush administration to protect the country from the ever-present threat of terrorism when such a lovely woman says it's a good thing? Calling it Bigotry, or Xenophobia would be downright unAmerican. From there, it's a short step to locking up certain people of color - beginning with Muslims, of course- for their own protection. What the hell- we already have 2 Million people in prison for mostly non-violent crimes. Nobody that matters will miss a few followers of Islam, now will they?

It hasn't happened yet. Just remember - it DID happen before, and it happened HERE. It happened in Germany to the Jews, some of whom live right here, right now. If we truly want to honor them, we need to recognize the signs when we see them. 14 out of 14 is 14 too many for an American Presidency.



1 http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0418/perlstein.php
2, 3, http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/bush.htm
4 http://www.beliefnet.com/story/33/story_3345.html
5 http://atheism.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.progressive.org/webex04/wx0413a04.html
6 http://atheism.about.com/b/a/099745.htm
7 http://politicalwire.com/archives/2004/07/16/quote_of_the_day.html
8 http://www.onlinejournal.com/Special_Reports/102503Wasserman-Fitrakis/102503wasserman-fitrakis.html
9 http://www.nhgazette.com/cgi-bin/NHGstore.cgi?user_action=detail&catalogno=NN_Bush_Nazi_2
10 http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0828-08.htm
11 http://daily.nysun.com/Repository/getmailfiles.asp?Style=OliveXLib:ArticleToMail&Type=text/html&Path=NYS/2004/06/21&ID=Ar00101