10.30.2006

Slithering Toward a Non-Election

Yesterday I designed two banners. They are both red-white-blue and exactly the same except for the text. On the left is Old Glory rotated to the "distressed" position. On the right, white text on a blue background - either "DON'T BLAME ME I DIDN'T VOTE" or "DON'T BLAME ME I VOTED THIRD PARTY".

I'll put them on my sidebar next weekend. Y'all can rip'em, post'em, change'em, whatever. I don't need attribution or a link, but it's OK if you wanna do that.

Throw eggs and rotten tomatoes if you wish, but the first of the two banners applies to me. Neither of my two Republican senators are up and my congressman is a lockstep Clinton neoliberal who doesn't even get outta bed without calling the DLC first.

Their isn't a third party candidate within a hundred miles.

The only vote I'm gonna cast is right here, where it might not be a waste of time.

Joshua's got a great post at BrickBurner today, "Snake Oil and the Midterm Elections". Excerpts (make sure you read the whole thing):
So we are in the trenches of another election season, and if you peer closely you can see the explosions on the horizon. I’m yet to be convinced the Democrats have the capacity to take back Congress, and to tell you the truth I don’t really care if they do. Not only do they not have the ability to lead, they also do not possess the moral impetus to change the direction of this country if they are lucky enough to regain control. Indeed they are just as responsible for the ruin in Iraq and back home as the Bushites.

The Democrats have assisted the Republicans at virtually every turn over the past six years. From the bloody invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, to the passing of CAFTA, to the confirmations of Samuel Alito and John Roberts, to the support of the PATRIOT Act, to the dismantling of Habeas Corpus, to the championing of Bush’s ravaging forest plan, to backing Israel’s brutal assault on Lebanon -- the Democratic Party has long played the role of enabler. And now they want your vote . . .

The whole plan: "take back Congress and then pull the Democrats left down the road”. When has that ever worked? And why would the corporate Democrats give its progressive wing any credence? If the Democratic Party continues to receive progressive votes regardless of their rightwing positions, there is absolutely no reason for them to change . . .

In the upcoming November 13 issue, on shelves this week, The Nation editors warn, “If Democrats fail to recapture at least a working share of Congressional power, they and their party will rightly be cast into disrepute, too, and distressed citizens may reasonably begin looking for other options.”

What would be so wrong with that? Progressives should have been looking for other options long ago. However, The Nation, like Cohen and the PDA, does not support independent politics or the emergence of a legitimate progressive third party. And that’s why they have not lived up to their promise of truly opposing pro-war Democrats by endorsing any of their antiwar challengers . . .
As usual, Mr. Frank and I share the same small canoe, so all I can say is "hear, hear!"

Third party? Puh-leeze! The self-same Joshua the other day pointed out that Connecticut's 4th district Green Party challenger bailed out of his campaign and deferred to the Democrat. Shit. I left a comment on that post.

From Friday's NYT . . .
In Key House Races, Democrats Run to the Right


By SHAILA DEWAN and ANNE E. KORNBLUT
Published: October 30, 2006

ASHEVILLE, N.C., Oct. 28 — In their push to win back control of the House, Democrats have turned to conservative and moderate candidates who fit the profiles of their districts more closely than the profile of the national party.

One such candidate, Heath Shuler, was courted by Republicans to run for office in 2001. Mr. Shuler, 34, is a retired National Football League quarterback who is running in the 11th Congressional District in North Carolina. He is an evangelical Christian and holds fast to many conservative social views, like opposition to abortion rights.

“My guess is that if Democrats are in the majority, it’s going to be because of these New Democrat, Blue Dog candidates out there winning in these competitive swing districts,” Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin, co-chairman of a caucus of centrist House Democrats, said in an interview.

But if candidates like Mr. Shuler do help the Democrats gain majority control of Congress, it could come at a political price, which may include tensions in the party between its new centrists and its more liberal political base.

While Democratic leaders have gone to great lengths to promote the views of these candidates, some, like Mr. Shuler, have views on issues like gun control and abortion that are far out of step with the prevailing views of the Democrats who control the party. On some issues, they may even be expected to side with Republicans and the Bush White House . . .
Wonder what my friends at Scrutiny Hooligans, who pretty much withdrew from national-issue blogging to concentrate on local politics up there in the beautiful Appalachians, have to say about that?

OK, look! I. Told. You. So. I'm glad my "put my fist through the wall" days are long over . . . I couldn't blog with casts on my hands.

If you want one of those banners before the election, leave a comment or email me.

UPDATE: Kewl! The guys at Stop Me Before I Vote Again beat me to it and posted my banners already. I'm honored. Have at it!! Remember to respect bandwidth limitations - copy and paste; don't link directly. I'm gonna wait until the weekend to post them here.

10.29.2006

The Passing of a True Super Hero: A Tribute

The best way to forget ones self is to look at the world with attention and love. -- Red Auerbach

When I was a kid in Boston in the '60s, I hung out with a bunch of kids from several different high schools who were addicts. Yep . . . if the Celtics weren't playing, we went into withdrawal. A Celtic win would produce euphoria; a loss, anguish.

For awhile in the early- and mid-60s you could get one of the 13,909 seats at Boston Garden to watch a Celtic home game. The place smelled of must, smoke, beer, urine, and North Station next door. The parquet floor had more dead spots than the Southeast Expressway had pot holes. The place was a cathedral, more cherished and better attended than the "official" Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End.

Walter Brown owned the Celtics. The Pistons were in Fort Wayne, not Detroit; the 76ers were in Syracuse and were called the Nationals. The Hawks were in St. Louis. There were the Rochester, then the Cincinnati, Royals.

My fanatic friends and I made every home game we could. If we weren't there, or the guys were on the road, we were listening to the cigarette-smoke-ravaged frog-voice of Johnny Most, even when the game was being played against the Warriors at the Cow Palace. My favorite games were those against the Nationals in Syracuse, when "Jungle" Jim Loscutoff would tangle with Dolph Schayes, a match-up that usually ended in a bloody draw when one or both fouled out half-way through the fourth quarter.

Each of us had an Celt alter-ego. I was Larry Siegfried, a guard who went to Ohio State with John Havlicek. These were the breathless and imperial days of Bill Russell, the Jones brothers, Willie Naulls, Tom Sanders, Tom Heinsohn, Jim Loscutoff, Frank Ramsey, and Clyde Lovellette. Bob Cousy was semi-active. Bill Sharman, Gene Conley (who also pitched for the Red Sox in the "other" season), and Frank "The Kentuckey Colonel" Ramsey had retired.

These were also the days of Bob Pettit, Oscar "The Big O" Robertson, Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain, Bailey Howell, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Hal Greer, Dolph Schayes . . .

And Arnold "Red" Auerbach.

Red and the game of basketball were interchangeable. He wasn't just a coach,. he was a visionary, a dynamo, a force. Most of the superlatives, like "icon" and "legend", are inadequate to describe him and his impact on the game of roundball. He was, until yesterday, the genius de facto soul of the game. He did at least as much for basketball as Casey Stengel did for baseball

With Bob Cousy, Auerbach invented the fast break and the running game, in contrast to the plodding, flat-footed passing, set-shot game of, say George Mikan and the Minneapolis Lakers (the original NBA dynasty. He excited the game. With Russell and Sanders, he invented the defensive game as it is today. Before that, the medium-range set-shot and jump shot went virtually unchallenged.

His two most important contributions were (1) developing the dynamic teamwork of several star players, rather than depending on one franchise player supported by the rest of the team and (2) integrating the game, which had few non-white players. He was the first coach in the game to send four black player to the floor at the same time: guards Sam and K.C. Jones, forwards Tom Heinsohn (white) and Tom Sanders, and, of course, Bill Russell. And Red did this in probably the most racist city in the North (maybe in the whole country) at the time. Russell hated the city, wouldn't sign autographs for white folks, and probably would have left for another team if not for Red's total devotion to Bill and the other black players. Now, 80% of NBA players are black.

Auerbach was the players' coach; he saw his job as as being part of the team, not its boss. One of his best "plays", when the Celtics were trailing, was to throw a tantrum at the referee (usually his arch-enemy Sid Borgia) and get thrown out. This would energize the team, and more often than not, the Celtics would come back and win the game. Red was motivation personified.

Auerbach was born and raised in Brooklyn, went to college at George Washington University in D.C. His first job after graduation was as an Assistant Coach at Duke. From 1947 to 1949, he was Head Coach of the Washington Capitols in the Basketball Association of America (BBA), the precursor of the NBA, which was born in 1950. The Caps had all winning seasons there. In 1950, he went to the Tri Cities Hawks (now, finally in Atlanta). They finished one game under .500 that year.

In '51, he went to work for Walter Brown - and, boy, did he go to work. He coached the Celtics for 17 years, until 1966. He never had a losing season and made the playoffs 17 times. He systematically built one dynasty (Russell/Havlicek) as a coach, then another (Larry Bird, et. al.) as General Manager. Byrd was an Auerbach player; the superstar who thought of the team first, running, passing off, and playing hard defense, working as hard as, or harder than, anyone on the floor.

Even when he retired from coaching and worked in the front office, Auerbach was still on the floor. He would spot a potential star in some high school or college and hands-on develop him into an eventual Celtic. He was incredible at finding NBA "has-beens", like Bailey Howell and Clyde Lovellette, trading for them, then rejuvenating them as key players for the Celts.

Word has it that the cocaine death of Len Bias in 1986, two hours after he was drafted, one of his proteges, a college phenom, broke Red's heart. But he hung in there with a loyalty rarely equaled. He was a Celtic 'til the end. A true super hero.

Red died yesterday. Eerily enough, totally out of the blue, I had a lengthy conversation on Friday night, with a guy I had never met before, about Red's greatness, which he passed on to so many folks who knew him.

I won't, I can't, say goodbye, Red. I just want to say thank you, for everything. I'll light a cigar for you today . . . you're the absolute winner.

10.28.2006

Name That 'Toon: Why There's No Still No Vital Third Party

Oh how I've agonized and remonstrated, wailed and gnashed, shook my poor, tired rhetorical finger in your faceless mugs. If I were to lay awake at night obsessorating (sorry, George) about something, that something would be the dreaded "third party" monster lurking behind the closet door or under the futon.

I actually don't toss and turn about it, but Pliva, Astze, and Wyeth are responsible for that, rather than any left-handed, enlightened political leaders. Um, so maybe they should be our third party? Well, since they and their pharma phriends already own a sizable stable of both elephants and donkies, that ho won't stroll. Sigh.

I'm not, of course, a learned political analyst, 'though I do play one here, so I'm not going to forward a complex and formidable theory as to why we remain stuck, at least at the presidential and congressional level, with just the Dumbocrats and Repugnantcans. Nor will I even mention the argument that these are not really two, but actually only one entity. God forbid. There are really only two factors: stupidity and laziness. How else to explain the Left's reliance on "reforming" the Blue Party through Howard "The Scream" Dean? If you look in the dictionary for the definition of "boondoggle" you get a pic of "Wowie" Howie hiding under a desk with the Illuminati symbol on it. 'Course, this is what the Dumbs have always done best . . . identify and espouse the least effective option, then shoot absolutely everyone involved with it. But I digress. Or do I?

OK. I'm not gonna put myself in the "stupid" category. After all, I toedja that course was a no show. I am, however, including myself in the "lazy" section. The next few paragraphs are based on a direct lift (can you say "plagiarism"?) from Wikipedia's "List of political parties in the United States". Almost everything in their article has links, so go there and use them, 'cuz I'm just too lazy to reproduce them there. I'm also not going to blockquote this stuff - just assume it's theirs . . .

The Wickos break it down into several categories, the first three of which delineate the present status this way: (1) current major parties: Democrats and Republicans; (2) current third parties: Constitution, Green, and Libertarian; and "current minor and regional parties that have endorsed candidates":

* Alaskan Independence Party
* Aloha Aina Party
* America First Party (2002 - Present)
* American Party (1969 - Present)
* American Independent Party (1968 - Present)
* American Heritage Party
* American Nazi Party
* American Patriot Party
* American Reform Party
* Charter Party of Cincinnati, Ohio
* Christian Freedom Party (2004 - Present)
* Communist League (US)
* Communist Party USA
* Connecticut for Lieberman Party (2006 - Present)
* Conservative Party of New York
* Covenant Party (Northern Mariana Islands)
* Independence Party of Minnesota
* Independence Party of New York
* Independent American Party
* Independent Citizens Movement (US Virgin Islands)
* Labor Party (1995 - Present)
* Liberal Party of Minnesota
* Liberal Party of New York
* Liberty Union Party (Vermont) (1970 - Present)
* Marijuana Party
* Marijuana Reform Party (New York)
* Moderate Party
* Mountain Party (West Virginia)
* New Party
* New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico
* New Union Party
* New York State Right to Life Party
* Peace and Freedom Party (1967 - Present)
* Personal Choice Party (1997 - Present)
* Pirate Party
* Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico
* Populist Party of Maryland (Nader 2004-affiliated, unrelated to earlier so-named parties)
* Populist Party of America
* Prohibition Party (1867 - Present)
* Puerto Rican Independence Party
* Reform Party of the United States of America (1995 - Present)
* Republican Moderate Party of Alaska
* Socialist Action (1983 - Present)
* Socialist Alternative (1986 - Present)
* Socialist Equality Party (1953 - Present)
* Socialist Labor Party (1876 - Present)
* Socialist Party USA (1972 - Present)
* Socialist Workers Party (1938 - Present)
* Southern Party
* Southern Independence Party
* United Citizens Party
* Vermont Progressive Party
* Voter Rights Party
* Workers World Party (1959 - Present)
* Working Families Party
* Workers Party, USA


Wouch!

Note, please, that the Wixards admit that this is an "incomplete" list. That's pretty scary. Then they go on to list, by chronology, most, if not all of the political parties that have existed since the beginning of American time, no matter how obscure, short-lived, narrow-minded single-issue-limited, or down right ridiculous. Names, names, names . . . er . . . NAMES!! Ho! That's IT!!! The fatal problem is that we can't figure out what to name the (truly) damned thing. What name can we come up with that would attract a seething, purposeful critical mass of the disinterested, disenfranchised, disappointed, disillusioned, distracted, disembodied, and disgusted?

OK, before I got serious about this and tried to concentrate, I almost settled on The Dissed Party. Clever, eh? Actually, I think it has some promise; let's hold it in cage-rattling reserve.

If it ever has, reality (rather than realpolitik) no longer works in 21st Amerikca. It is the age of the meme.

Meme-er-meme-er-meemmmmmmmm-er.

Let's start by ruling out some non-starters:

Forget about anything that begins with Neo (or New for that matter). Ever since Neo-Nazi, "neo" has had nothing but evil connotations. Think about it . . . Neo-Liberal, Neo-Conservative. See what I mean?
Democrat and Republican or any derivation or combination are out, out, out.
Likewise, Progressive. The Saint Peter-like, cowardly Liberals/Neo-liberals crushed that one, but good.
Run, do not crawl away from American [...] Party. Look at the list. Anyway, we know it's an American party, fer god's sake . . . we don't want to insult the collective intelligence too much.
Unfortunately, Social makes the rejected list, too. Way too scary for too many people.
Populist won't fly, either. The sentiment is attractive, but (1) there's already a Populist Party and (2) below the surface, its politics are dicey. At the surface, they advocate direct popular involvement in the democratic process. But they also say . . .
In reading through this website, it will hopefully become apparent that the Populist Party of America is neither left nor right; and is inclusive of, and open to, all social persuasions.Also, its hard to tell the difference between them and the Libertarians. Furthermore, in the 1980s, right-wing extremists ruled the party, fielding candidates like David Duke and Bo Gritz. More recently, however, Ralph Nader has been their hero, and in some states they have sought an alliance with the Greens and Libertarians.
For obvious reasons Worker and Labor are dead forever. A shame.
I never could figure out "Independent". Isn't "Independent Party" a contradiction in terms?
Not Anti-[anything], especially Anti-War. My question is always, "Are you anti-all-war, or just this one?" I really like the Antiwar.com website; but I'm also aware that righties like Pat Buchanan abound there.
Unity would be terrible. Too much bi-partisan connotation. We're not about unity, reconciliation, and compromise right now. (Well, we are about trying to unify the Left, so maybe some combination of buzz words: Social Unity, for example).
Finally, I'd add Liberty, Justice, National, Coalition, Patriot(ic), and Front, although maybe some combination of those with other more palatable terms is possible.
Finally, it's too bad Radical won't work.
Not much left, is there? If we look at other countries for possibilities, we often see combinations of names on our losers" list: Social Democrats, Christian Democrats, Labour Unity, etc.

The Greens have opened up the possibility of finding a color, but you can see the drawbacks. Reds, Blues, Whites, Blacks, Browns, Yellows , Oranges . . . oof. Purple would force us to run Prince.

Maybe animals . . . nah, professional sports got that puppy tied up, and I don't think we could revive the Bull-Moose Party.

Speaking of sports, how about The NASCAR Party, with the slogan Drive Fast, Turn Left! The national convention, held at Talledega in July, would be loads of fun. It'd give Richard Petty another chance, after getting trounced in a run for North Carolina governor a few years ago. Everybody'd get a free pack of Goody's Powder to counteract all the Budweiser.

OK, I don't have a bunch of good ideas. With the box so big, it's hard to think outside of it. What we need is a name that could unite folks on the Left under a common and common sense banner. One that would promote clarity of purpose and discourage the tiresome nit-picking and circular firing squads that so often disable us.

I can think of only one new one and one existing party. The new one would be The Jeffersonian Party. The Jeffersonian tradition has been trampled and wounded, but might be infused with new life.

The existing party is The Peace and Freedom Party. (The Wiki info is here) The name, I think, is perfect, but their history might deter self-inclusion by not-so-hard-left folks. Wouldn't it be more exciting and productive, though, to try to "re-form" the PFP than the Democratic Party?

Other than The Dissed Party, mentioned above, I have only one other suggestion . . . The P!arty.

I can see it now . . . thousands of folks, young and old, so many different skin colors, walking around in bright red T-shirts with a big, fat, white P! on the front and "An Asylum for Broken Rabble" on the back. No, I'm not running; it's not even tempting.

If you've got ideas, have your say.

Categories: meme, political+parties, third+party, elections, politics

.........................
Before you leave, please visit the P! Amazon Store and vote in the lastest P!oll

10.26.2006

Gulag Ameripelago, Pt. 4 (New Fall Fashions)

[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

Diversion and deceit may not be the primary reasons that The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang keeps us in Iraq, but clearly the war is great cover. If you read Part 3 of this series you learned, I hope, that the smog of war does veil the continuing neocon march toward its real goal: the destruction of the United States.

In this light, we can see that 9/11's effect was not primarily to allow The Gang to invade Iraq, although it certainly did that. Once there, however, they have benefited from the war's ability to mass-capture the attention and energy of those who might otherwise effectively organize against militant globalization.

Leave it not to the Left, but the jingoist, ultra-paranoid militia-types like The Minutemen to see the point. Yesterday Ron Brynaert at RINF published "Minutemen ‘expose’ Bush’s ’shadow government’". Clip:
A major anti-immigration group is accusing the Bush Administration of creating a “shadow government,” by “engaging in collaborative relations with Mexico and Canada outside the U.S. Constitution,” RAW STORY has learned.

The Minuteman Project sent out a press release late Tuesday evening hyping their Web site, which is showcasing 1,000 documents allegedly obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request to the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) by World Net Daily columnist Jerome Corsi. Most widely known for his longtime attacks on Democratic Senator John Kerry’s military record, Corsi also co-authored a book about the Minuteman “battle” to secure America’s borders.

SPP was launched in March of 2005 as a trilateral effort by the United States, Canada and Mexico to increase the security and improve the quality of life of North Americans through greater cooperation and information sharing. Many conservative critics view the trilateral initiative as a threat to U.S. sovereignty.

“The documents give clear evidence that the Bush administration has created a ’shadow government,’” Corsi said in the press release.

Corsi claims to have “hundreds of pages of e-mails from U.S. executive branch administrators who are copying the e-mail to somewhere between 25 to 100 people, a third of whom are in the U.S. bureaucracy, a third of whom are in the Mexican bureaucracy and a third of whom are in the Canadian bureaucracy.”

“They are sharing their laws and regulations so we can ‘harmonize’ and ‘integrate’ our laws into a North American structure, not a USA structure,” Corsi said . . .
Also yesterday the same source published a piece by Sorcha Faal (whose English is a bit dicey in spots - I'm not going put "[sic]s" in here), "Army Announces Readiness for Total Military Takeover of America". Excerpts:
Russian Intelligence Analysts are reporting today that final steps towards a full Military Dictatorship of the United States have been taken with the US Army announcing USANORTH has now reached ‘full operational capacity’ and is now ready to: “Execute homeland defense and defense support of civil authorities missions”, and “Conduct the Army-to-Army portion of the theater cooperation mission with Canada and Mexico”.

According to these reports, the first of the USANORTH plans for the total military takeover of the United States, from its few remaining civilian overseers, rest with a new series of draconian laws recently enacted by their top Military Leaders and which, among other things, suspends the right of habeas corpus for Americans, and which the American Military Leaders have ordered their courts to disallow, and as we can read as reported by the Washington Post News Service in their article titled “Court Told It Lacks Power in Detainee Cases”, and which says: “Moving quickly to implement the bill signed by President Bush this week that authorizes military trials of enemy combatants, the administration has formally notified the U.S. District Court here that it no longer has jurisdiction to consider hundreds of habeas corpus petitions filed by inmates at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

Beyond those already imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere, the law applies to all non-U.S. citizens, including permanent U.S. residents. Habeas corpus, a Latin term meaning “you have the body,” is one of the oldest principles of English and American law. It requires the government to show a legal basis for holding a prisoner.”

Not being fully explained to the American people, however, are that these new draconian laws do in fact have a direct impact upon each of them, and as explained by an American dissident group called The Future of Freedom Foundation, and which in their article titled “Jose Padilla and the Military Commissions Act”, states:

“Anyone who hoped that U.S. military detention of Americans accused of Terrorism expired with the transfer of American citizen Jose Padilla from military custody to Justice Department custody have seen their hopes dashed by the Military Commissions Act that the president signed into law yesterday. Although the act limits to foreign citizens the use of military tribunals and the denial of habeas corpus, any person, including American citizens, can still be labeled and treated as an “unlawful enemy combatant” in the war on Terrorism. What does that mean for the American people? It means the same thing it did for Jose Padilla. You’ll recall that Padilla was arrested in Chicago for Terrorism and transferred to military custody, where, according to Padilla, he was tortured and involuntarily injected with drugs.

The government’s position is that since the entire world is a battlefield in which the war on Terrorism is being waged, U.S. officials now have the power to arrest any American suspected of Terrorism, place him in military custody, and subject him to the same “unlawful enemy combatant” treatment that Padilla received, until the war on Terrorism has finally been won, no matter how long that takes.”

More ominously for the American people is their future culpability in these actions being done in their name by their Military Leaders, and as articulated by one of the United States most celebrated reporters, Helen Thomas, and who has said about these horrific new laws: “President Bush on Tuesday signed the law that legalizes the administration’s shameful treatment of detainees suspected of Terrorism. The same measure also empowers the president to define torture. It’s a sad legacy for America and its already-tarnished world image . . .

Helen Thomas’ reference to American Military Leaders standing in the ‘dock’, which means standing trial for war Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, rings ever truer with the decision of the International Committee of the Red Cross issuing only its second ever in history “concern” regarding the actions of a warring Nation [the first “concern” issued by the ICRC was in 1944 over the Nazi German treatment of concentration camp detainees], and which we can read as reported by the SwissInfo News Service in their article titled “ICRC “concerned” over US anti-Terrorism law”, and which says: “The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) expressed concern on Thursday at the United States’ tough new anti-Terrorism law. The president of Swiss-run humanitarian body, Jakob Kellenberger, said that there were questions over its compliance with the Geneva Conventions on the conduct of war.”

To the second part of the USANORTH plan for the unsuspecting American people, Conduct the Army-to-Army portion of the theater cooperation mission with Canada and Mexico”, we can read from the Council on Foreign Relations report that first outlined the merger of the independent Nations of the United States, Canada and Mexico into a North American Union, and which says: “Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations in association with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales.

North America is vulnerable on several fronts: the region faces terrorist and criminal security threats, increased economic competition from abroad, and uneven economic development at home. In response to these challenges, a trinational, Independent Task Force on the Future of North America has developed a roadmap to promote North American security and advance the well-being of citizens of all three countries.

When the leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States met in Texas recently they underscored the deep ties and shared principles of the three countries. The Council-sponsored Task Force applauds the announced “Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America,” but proposes a more ambitious vision of a new community by 2010 and specific recommendations on how to achieve it.”

Also not being understood by the American people are how their young children are currently being trained to be administrators of this North American Union, and as we can read as reported by the World Net Daily News Service in their article titled “N[orth] American students trained for ‘merger’, and which says: “In another example of the way the three nations of North America are being drawn into a federation, or “merger,” students from 10 universities in the U.S., Mexico and Canada are participating annually in a simulated “model Parliament.” . . .[italics mine]The organization referred to there is the North American Forum on Integration. On the surface, this doesn't seem all that threatening, right. Heh. Here's a statement from their website . . .
Its first conference entitled “Beyond Free Trade: Strengthening North America” was held on March 27 and 28 2003 in Montreal, and brought together 280 persons from the political, business and trade union sectors as well as academics, from the three NAFTA countries. For two days, the participants have discussed many issues related to North American integration. A main focus was brought upon the creation of a North American Investment Fund.

For its second annual conference entitled “Forging North American Energy Security”, the issues related to oil, gas and electricity in our region will be at the center of the discussions. The event will take place on April 1st and 2nd 2004 in Monterrey, with the collaboration of the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey.In a paper entitled "Energy Security: a North-American Approach", they say . . .
The oil crisis of 1998-2000, brought into question the concept of energy security. For the first time, two North-American partners found themselves at the center of the debate. The sense of urgency heightened as an electricity crisis hit California and tensions between the U.S. and the Middle East increased. Early in their Administrations, Presidents Bush and Fox found similar answers: NAFTA partners should be North-American energy partners. This shared idea, however, came rapidly into question: it was viewed as if the U.S. wanted to ensure its supply of oil, gas and electricity at the expense of Canada’s and Mexico’s own needs.

For the United States, energy security is a priority of its trade and foreign policy; for Canada, it is a matter that directly concerns its Provinces; for Mexico, it is a sovereignty issue. After September 11th, for the three countries the concept has become broader, encompassing not only supply but also the integrity of critical infrastructure . . . [italics again mine] . . . OK, so we got the kids involved. What, you ask, is the depth of their involvement? Try this. A post on the (right-wing) Friends of Liberty site, "FEMA Disaster Drill Set For Election Day" . . .
On Tuesday, September 28th, a new federally-funded, FEMA-directed citizen training program began in my town called CERT. CERT stands for "Community Emergency Response Team.”

A quick internet search reveals that my town isn't the only one participating. Nearly every town in America has its own CERT program, it would appear.

My neighbor's teenage son attended CERT’s initial orientation meeting and later showed me the equipment and materials he was given.

He received free of charge a backpack containing hundreds of dollars worth of gear, including a hard hat, reflective garb for checkpoint/traffic-control duty, a high beam flashlight, eye guards, etc.

In the near future, he said, he’ll also be given (again, free of charge) a special radio over which he can tap into the county's emergency communications net.

Then, he showed me his 300 page CERT training manual along with his training schedule for upcoming weeks.

The CERT training program is intensive. It’s scheduled to last for only a little over a month . . .

But what really caught my eye were the last two items on CERT's training schedule:

On Tuesday, October 25th, CERT trainees will receive training on "Terrorism and CERT.”

Then, exactly one week later, CERT’s training program will conclude with a "Disaster Simulation & Examination".

This final day for the CERT training program, the day when CERT will climax with a "disaster simulation," is none other than Election Day!

Is this mere coincidence? I can't believe that it is. CERT is a nationwide FEMA-sponsored citizen training program, after all. I assume, in every town and hamlet, fledgling CERT teams are following this exact same training schedule. And that means a nationwide "disaster simulation" is scheduled for all of them come Election Day!

As 9-11 demonstrated, federal drills and simulations can sometimes be used to provide cover for preparations for what are, in fact, premeditated events timed to coincide exactly with the drills and simulations.

Does the timetable for the CERT program portend something like a second 9-11 come Election Day?

Will the same spooks who staged the 9-11 faux-terror event perpetrate another faux-terror event come November 2nd?

The CERT training timetable parallels exactly the training timetable for the Texas State Guard leaked by a brave guardsman to talk radio host Alex Jones. He told Alex that elite units of the Texas State Guard were being intensively trained to be ready for martial-law-style deployments come the first week of November . . .I wonder if this is all just in preparation for something more "benign" - maybe a the nationwide debut of the new fall fashions . . . brownshirts. I wonder also whether there're training modules called "Herding Cats in a Disaster Situation" and "Building a Chain Link Fence with Forest Resources"?

Please remember that FEMA is now part of DHS. The contract awarded to Halliburton/KBR to built detention camps is administered by FEMA. I did some more research on this and came up with more stuff. Here are some sites and articles you might find interesting (some with excerpts):

AFPN: "AMERICAN CONCENTRATION CAMPS"

Infowars: "Halliburton Detention Camps For Political Subversives" and "FOREIGN TROOPS OPERATING SECRET DETENTION CENTERS"

Mindfully.org: "FEMA Concentration Camps: Locations and Executive Orders" . . .
There over 800 prison camps in the United States, all fully operational and ready to receive prisoners. They are all staffed and even surrounded by full-time guards, but they are all empty. These camps are to be operated by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) should Martial Law need to be implemented in the United States and all it would take is a presidential signature on a proclamation and the attorney general's signature on a warrant to which a list of names is attached. Ask yourself if you really want to be on Ashcroft's list. The Rex 84 Program was established on the reasoning that if a "mass exodus" of illegal aliens crossed the Mexican/US border, they would be quickly rounded up and detained in detention centers by FEMA. Rex 84 allowed many military bases to be closed down and to be turned into prisons.

Operation Cable Splicer and Garden Plot are the two sub programs which will be implemented once the Rex 84 program is initiated for its proper purpose. Garden Plot is the program to control the population. Cable Splicer is the program for an orderly takeover of the state and local governments by the federal government. FEMA is the executive arm of the coming police state and thus will head up all operations. The Presidential Executive Orders already listed on the Federal Register also are part of the legal framework for this operation . . .Rense: "State-By-State Index Of Potential US Concentration Camps"

Global Research has "Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps" . . .
For those who follow covert government operations abroad and at home, the contract evoked ominous memories of Oliver North's controversial Rex-84 "readiness exercise" in 1984. This called for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to round up and detain 400,000 imaginary "refugees," in the context of "uncontrolled population movements" over the Mexican border into the United States. North's activities raised civil liberties concerns in both Congress and the Justice Department. The concerns persist.

"Almost certainly this is preparation for a roundup after the next 9/11 for Mid-Easterners, Muslims and possibly dissenters," says Daniel Ellsberg, a former military analyst who in 1971 released the Pentagon Papers, the U.S. military's account of its activities in Vietnam. "They've already done this on a smaller scale, with the 'special registration' detentions of immigrant men from Muslim countries, and with Guantanamo."

Plans for detention facilities or camps have a long history, going back to fears in the 1970s of a national uprising by black militants. As Alonzo Chardy reported in the Miami Herald on July 5, 1987, an executive order for continuity of government (COG) had been drafted in 1982 by FEMA head Louis Giuffrida. The order called for "suspension of the Constitution" and "declaration of martial law." The martial law portions of the plan were outlined in a memo by Giuffrida's deputy, John Brinkerhoff.Greater Things: "U.S. MILITARY CIVIL DISTURBANCE PLANNING: THE WAR AT HOME":
Ominously, many assume that the training of military and police forces to suppress "outlawed" behavior of citizens, along with the creation of extensive and sophisticated "emergency" social response networks set to spring into action in the event of "civil unrest", is prudent and acceptable in a democracy. And yet, does not this assumption beg the question as to what civil unrest is? One could argue for example, that civil disturbance is nothing less than democracy in action, a message to the powers-that-be that the people want change. In this instance "disturbing behavior" may actually be the exercising of ones' right to resist oppression. Unfortunately, the American corporate/military directorship, which has the power to enforce its' definition of "disorder", sees democracy as a threat and permanent counter-revolution as a "national security" requirement . . .Quite possibly, stylish orange jumpsuits and ankle chains may be added to the fall fashion list.

Categories: detention, concentration+camps, Halliburton, KBR, FEMA, Brownshirts

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10.22.2006

The Gulag Ameripelago, Pt. 3 (The NAU)

(Read Part 1 and Part 2)

Some excerpts from "The American Police State: End Game for 9/11 and Bush's Subsequent Power Grabs" by Dan Merica at OpEd News:
"Catastrophic Empowering Events"

Throughout history, various politicos have utilized "Catastrophic Empowering Events" to incite their citizenry and coerce them into accepting undesirable agendas. Hitler torched the German Reichstag and blamed his opponents in a plot to eliminate them. FDR allowed the Japanese to bomb Pearl Harbor to thrust America into WWII. Then, there was George W. Bush and 9/11.

Back in 1998, Dick Cheney's group dubbed as the "Project for a New American Century" (Neo-Cons), which included Jeb Bush and subsequent major players in George W. Bush's administration, lobbied President Clinton and Congress to attack an already weakened Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein and build permanent U.S. bases in the oil-rich Middle East. As soon as Bush obtained the presidency in 2001, their quest for the long-sought-after Iraq War was on. But, Secretary of Defense Rumsfield bemoaned the fact that the American people probably wouldn't go for the illegal war without a "Catastrophic Empowering Event" to push it through. Then, with 'phenomenal luck', one of those events actually did happened just in the nick of time. It was as if government insiders were complicit with the 9/11 attacks so say the 'disputers' of the official story . . .

Bush's "Reform Movement" Exploiting Terrorism

Even before his 9/11 "Empowering Event" occurred, Bush started his "reform movement" (as Republicans call it) to increase his powers and turn America's free, open society with equality for all into a corporate, fascist dictatorship with a rich ruling class and an oppressed, poor working class. His first move was to start building a 'big brother' style system of severe surveillance upon Americans. As soon as he obtained the presidency in January 2001, Bush ordered the National Security Agency in the Pentagon to launch an illegal domestic spy program. But, after his 9/11 "Empowering Event" and with the benefit of terrorism as an excuse he was able to make huge strides in grabbing power, creating his imperial presidency and destroying the federal government's system of checks and balances established by the founding fathers . . .The Department of Homeland Security is now opening private mail and forcing Internet providers to overhaul their computer networks to make it easier for monitoring E-mail. Also, it has pressured Yahoo, Google and the like to turn over their databases in order to see what websites citizens are visiting.
The Department of Homeland Security has hired General Yevgeni Primakov, Ex-head of the Soviet Secret Service (KGB) and Markus Wolfe, ex-boss of the East German State Security Police (STASI).
The 2004 Intelligence Reform Act was passed by Congress while being denied access to some sections classified "top Secret" in the 3,000 page bill. The act created the Department of National Intelligence as a clearing-house for all 15 U.S. intelligence agencies. It mandated a counter-terrorism center, spy satellite network to monitor private communications and standardizing state drivers licenses and birth certificates creating a national ID system. There is talk of eventually implanting signal-sending ID chips under the skin of all Americans to be tracked by satellite.
In June 2005, the National Security Service, a secret police unit to be operated by the White House with no Congressional oversight was created by George W. Bush by placing a portion of the FBI under his personal control.
In October 2005, the National Clandestine Service a new department in the CIA was created by a Bush executive order to engage in covert operations within the United States.
The Military Commissions Act of 2006 (dubbed the torture act) does away with habeas corpus. Anyone specified by the executive branch alone, could be arrested and held indefinitely without trial, access to the courts, and hope of appeal. Anyone could be declared an "enemy combatant" and then permanently detained and tortured, as defined by the Geneva Conventions, solely on the word of the president. It allows civilians to be tried by military tribunals instead of civilian courts and permits the use of evidence against them extracted under cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment. All legal residents of the U.S. and foreign citizens living in their own countries could be subject to this law. Also, it provides for a "stealth pardon" for war crimes committed by those who allow the torture and abuse of detainees, such as in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison . . .

Martial Law

To where is all the above leading? It would appear that the Bush administration is preparing for martial law. Bush has signed executive orders giving himself sole authority to impose martial law and suspend habeas corpus with no checks and balances during a national emergency. The Pentagon has ordered U.S. Northern Command at Peterson Air Force Base to prepare a series of secret strategies for rapid military takeover of the U.S. upon Bush's orders. General Tommy Franks said in 2003 that after a major casualty-producing event in the Western world, Americans would "question our own Constitution" and consent to militarization of the United States for security. Homeland Security gave Halliburton a $385 million dollar contract to construct detention facilities around the country supposedly for a national emergency. Remember, Bush's predilection for interment camps was demonstrated during the 2004 Republican Convention when 1,806 protestors were rounded up, imprisoned without charges and kept in filthy conditions for 24 hours or more.

"North American Union"

Bush isn't content with just turning the United States alone into a dictatorship. In March 2005, He emerged from a meeting at Baylor University with Mexican President Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Martin and announced that the North American continent was in the process of being transformed from three sovereign nations into one super regional political and economic entity dubbed the "North American Union". As early as 2010, boundaries will be redefined so immigration control will be around the three countries and not between them and legitimate traffic can be streamlined across their borders. Soon, a non-elected governance board for the "North American Union" will be formed along with a tribunal with supremacy over the U.S. Supreme Court and a customs and immigration service with authority over U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement within the 'DHS'. Public discourse as well as a vote within each nation as to the will of the people has been disallowed. The formation of the "North American Union" has been under wraps with 'mums' the word from the mainstream media. Thus, very few Americans know about it. Even Congressional requests for information have been denied. The driving forces are military and corporate (Eisenhower's military-industrial complex) and their goal is to create an enormous despotic police state not for the benefit of the people but their self-serving pursuit of extreme greed and power. They will use anti-terrorism as the ruse and strip civil liberties from citizens to squash dissent . . .In "The Police State Is Closer Than You Think" at Antiwar.com Paul Craig Roberts writes:
Habeas corpus is the greatest protection Americans have against a police state. Habeas corpus ensures that Americans can only be detained by law. They must be charged with offenses, given access to attorneys, and brought to trial. Habeas corpus prevents the despotic practice of picking up a person and holding him indefinitely.

President Bush claims the power to set aside habeas corpus and to dispense with warrants for arrest and with procedures that guarantee court appearance and trial without undue delay. Today in the US, the executive branch claims the power to arrest a citizen on its own initiative and hold the citizen indefinitely. Thus, Americans are no longer protected from arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention . . .Also at Antiwar.com ex-spook Ray McGovern, in "Bowing to the Police State", points out:
Like the proverbial frog in slowly boiling water, we have become inured to what goes on in the name of national security. Recent disclosures about increased government surveillance and illegal activities would be shocking, were it not for the prevailing outrage-fatigue brought on by a long train of abuses. But the heads of the civilian, democratically elected institutions that are supposed to be our bulwark against an encroaching police state, the ones who stand to lose their own power as well as their rights and the rights of all citizens, aren't interested in reining in the power of the intelligence establishment. To the contrary, Rep. Hoekstra and his counterpart in the Senate, Pat Roberts, R-Kan., are running the risk of whiplash as they pivot to look the other way.

James Bamford, one of the best observers of the inner workings of U.S. intelligence, warned recently that Congress has lost control of the intelligence community. "You can't get any oversight or checks and balances," he said. "Congress is protecting the White House, and the White House can do whatever it wants." . . .
Let's look at the "National Amercan Union" in more depth . . .

First, "Abolishing the USA" from The New American / Stop the FTAA.org by William Jasper:
The United States of America is being abolished. Piecemeal. Before our very eyes. By our own elected officials — under the guidance and direction of unelected elites. Incredible? Certainly. But, unfortunately, true nonetheless.

For decades, federal officials have ignored the pleas of American citizens to secure our borders against an immense, ongoing migration invasion that includes not only millions of “common variety” illegal aliens, but also drug traffickers, terrorists, and other violent criminals. Now, under the pretense of providing security, the Bush administration is adopting an outrageous policy that, in effect, does away with our borders with Mexico and Canada altogether. Regular readers of THE NEW AMERICAN know that this magazine has been warning that this direct assault on our nationhood was coming, that it is part and parcel of the NAFTA-CAFTA-FTAA process.

However, almost a million Americans received their first notice of this fast-looming threat from a startling special report on CNN. On June 9, CNN anchorman Lou Dobbs began his evening broadcast with this provocative announcement: “Good evening, everybody. Tonight, an astonishing proposal to expand our borders to incorporate Mexico and Canada and simultaneously further diminish U.S. sovereignty. Have our political elites gone mad?”

Mr. Dobbs, who has been virtually the lone voice in the Establishment media cartel opposing the bipartisan immigration and trade policies that are destroying our borders and national sovereignty, then noted:
Border security is arguably the critical issue in this country’s fight against radical Islamist terrorism. But our borders remain porous. So porous that three million illegal aliens entered this country last year, nearly all of them from Mexico. Now, incredibly, a panel sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations wants the United States to focus not on the defense of our own borders, but rather create what effectively would be a common border that includes Mexico and Canada.
Dobbs then switched to CNN correspondent Christine Romans in Washington, D.C., who reported: “On Capitol Hill, testimony calling for Americans to start thinking like citizens of North America and treat the U.S., Mexico and Canada like one big country.” Romans then showed brief excerpts of congressional testimony by Professor Robert Pastor, one of the six co-chairmen of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Task Force on North America. “The best way to secure the United States today is not at our two borders with Mexico and Canada but at the borders of North America as a whole,” Pastor told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “What we hope to accomplish by 2010,” Pastor continued, “is a common external tariff which will mean that goods can move easily across the border. We want a common security perimeter around all of North America, so as to ease the travel of people within North America.” . . .Then there's "CFR/Bilderberg Plan To Erase US Borders Finally Gets Attention" by Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones at Prison Planet:
The open plan to merge the US with Mexico and Canada and create a Pan American Union networked by a NAFTA Super Highway has long been a Globalist brainchild but its very real and prescient implementation on behalf of the Council on Foreign Relations has finally been reported on by mainstream news outlets.

After nearly ten years of reporting by Alex Jones and the rest of the Patriot Movement, the establishment press is finally covering serious reports on the plan for a Pan-American Union, based on recent articles by Human Events columnist Jerome Corsi.

World Net Daily reports,

"The White House has established working groups, under the North American Free Trade Agreement office in the Department of Commerce, to implement the Security and Prosperity Partnership, or SPP, signed by President Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox and then-Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin in Waco, Texas, March 23, 2005."

The article even carries the admission that the Council on Foreign Relations, often the bane of sophomoric stereotypical caricatures of paranoid conspiracy theorists, played a fundamental role in crafting the policy for the homogenization of the US, Canada and Mexico.

"Many SPP working groups appear to be working toward achieving specific objectives as defined by a May 2005 Council on Foreign Relations task force report, which presented a blueprint for expanding the SPP agreement into a North American union that would merge the U.S., Canada and Mexico into a new governmental form."

This admission is as historical as it is concerning - the CFR moulds the foundational policy for the elimination of American sovereignty and it is passed as executive law within weeks. It is once again evident that the true vestiges of power lie within the ranks of the CFR and the Trilateral Commission who act on policy decided upon by the big brother of multinational semi-secret steering societies, the Bilderberg Group.

Up until five or six years ago the CFR largely operated in the shadows, only publishing its mouthpiece Foreign Affairs, and any inference that the group held sway in US politics or even existed was met by heckles of incredulity from the establishment media. Now the Associated Press openly reports their guiding hand in the drives towards global government . . .We can be pretty sure that when we turn the klieg lights on the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderbergs, we're illuminating the Illuminati.

Frank Miele, a columnist for the Daily Inter Lake in northwestern Montana, is a pretty thoughtful, fair, and balanced editorialist. Here are some clips from a July 2, 2006 piece, "More on ‘merger’: Three nations under God?":
. . . in recent weeks . . . I wrote several columns on the topic of illegal immigration. In one of those columns I referred to the McCain-Kennedy-Bush “reform” plan as a proposed “merger” with Mexico, and lamented that the “shareholders” of the United States had not been consulted about the merger.

I chose the language intentionally to dramatize the point that U.S. sovereignty was on the verge of being given away, but I thought the idea of a merger was a colorful exaggeration that would be useful to make my point. Now I find out, thanks to the help of several readers, that it was no exaggeration at all, and that the McCain-Kennedy reform plan is not the starting point for the merger, but just one more steppingstone in a path being built for several years.

It has the sound of a global thriller, right? People in high places plotting to advance their own self-interest while the little people go about their business oblivious to the great forces at work all around them. But of course that is not just the stuff of Tom Clancy novels; it’s the way the world really works.

In this case, we have the presidents of the United States and Mexico and the former prime minister of Canada meeting at the president’s ranch at Crawford, Texas, on March 23, 2005. On that day, President Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and Mexican President Vicente Fox announced the establishment of the “Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.”

It has all the makings of a treaty. It is in fact an agreement between three countries to regulate trade, health care, emergency management and the environment. Yet it has not been presented to the Senate for ratification, nor have the people of the Unites States been consulted. Instead, the “partnership” was born full-grown out of that Texas summit like Athena springing from the head of Zeus in battle gear.

The name itself, Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, sounds suspiciously like the announcement of a merger, doesn’t it? But you don’t have to take my word for it. You can visit the official Web site at www.spp.gov or read about it by doing a Google search for “North American Union.”

You won’t find any explicit acknowledgment that the ultimate goal is to combine these three nations into a sort of North American version of the European Union, but the signs are all there. And if you need any proof that the U.S. government would be willing to cede part of its powers to a foreign government, you just need to look closely at the Senate/Bush amnesty plan for illegal immigrants, which is basically a federally funded bailout plan for the Mexican economy . . .

Such growth toward globalization may be a healthy instinct in some respects. If it works, it could lessen the chance of war and increase cooperation among all peoples. But the downside is that it results in a hybridization and flattening of all human experience. Eventually it could lead to a world where there is no room left for freedom such as the world of “1984.” If the American experiment in liberty is considered expendable in the interests of helping to feed hungry mouths elsewhere in the world, then we are all in trouble.

No one can prove such a plan exists, but there is plenty of evidence that there is a government-sponsored effort under way to change forever the relationship between Mexico, the United States and Canada. It is spelled out in detail on the federal government’s own Web sites. In addition, there is the 2005 report of the quasi-private Council on Foreign Relations, which proposes “the creation by 2010 of a North American community to enhance security, prosperity, and opportunity.” (Download it at www.cfr.org/publication/8102/building_a_north_american_community.html)

To me, that idea of a “North American community” sounds like a European Union for North America. In fact, it sounds like a new country. As the Council on Foreign Relations task force wrote: “Its boundaries will be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter within which the movement of people, products, and capital will be legal, orderly, and safe.”

Forget about amnesty for illegal immigrants. That is the least of our problems. This plan calls for the legal and orderly “movement of people” across our former borders as a matter of economic necessity. It says that by 2010 the three nations should “lay the groundwork for the freer flow of people within North America.”

If and when that happens, it will be hard to recognize where the United States ends and Mexico begins, but one thing is sure: It will be the beginning of the end for the United States of America as we know it.Wal, sheeIT, man! Jist sounds lack wunna them thar corn-speer-see theeries tuh me. Innywaze, the Cowboys is on. I gotta go git me a cupla Lone Stars!

[Go right to Part 4]

Categories: New+World+Order, North+American+Union, NAFTA, FTAA, globilization, intelligence, Trilateral+Commission, Bilderberg+Group, end+of+America

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10.21.2006

The Coming Democrat Victory: No Win for Us, Pt. 2

(Part 1 is here)

I was looking for this last week when I wrote Part 1:
"How Rahm Emanuel Has Rigged a Pro-War Congress
Election 2006: The Fix is Already In" by John Walsh at Antiwar.com. Clips:
In contrast to voters' sentiment, 64% of the Democratic candidates in the 45 closely contested House Congressional races oppose a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Note carefully: not only do these Democrat worthies oppose the Murtha or McGovern bills for rapid withdrawal or defunding the war; they oppose so much as a timetable. (The number of Dem candidates supporting the Murtha or McGovern proposals is vanishingly small.) The position of these Dem candidates is indistinguishable from that of George W. Bush. How did this betrayal of the Democratic rank and file come about? Who chose these Democratic candidates that oppose rank and file Dems on the number one question on voters' minds, the war on Iraq? How could such candidates get elected in the primaries? Two primary campaigns, now largely forgotten, give us the answer. They are near perfect case studies, and they deserve some reflection although the Dem establishment would dearly like us to forget them . . .

Enter Rahm Emanuel, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who dug up a pro-war candidate, Tammy Duckworth. Although she had both her legs blown off in Iraq, she has remained committed to "staying the course" in Iraq (2). Duckworth had no political experience and did not live in the 6th District, but Rahm Emanuel raised a million dollars for her and brought in Dem heavyweights Joe Lieberman, Barak Obama, John Kerry, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton to support her. Despite all this help and with the Cegelis campaign virtually penniless, Duckworth barely managed to eke out a victory by a measly four percentage points. According to a recent Cook Report, Duckworth is not the smashing success that Rahm Emanuel had dreamed of; she remains tied at 41% of the vote with her rookie Republican Rival, Peter Roskam, the same percentage that Cegelis had against the entrenched Hyde in 2004! Recently (9/30), Duckworth was pushed onto the national scene to help her campaign, providing the "rebuttal" to Bush's weekly Saturday radio address. AP, in its story on the exchange where Duckworth was supposed to differ with W on Iraq, concluded thus: "She offered no proposal for an immediate withdrawal or a timetable for withdrawal." . . .

Rahm Emanuel's Stable.

To win the House, the Dems must win 15 seats from the Republicans. Here are the 22 candidates hand picked by Emanuel to run in open districts or districts with Republican incumbents, according to The Hill (4/27/06): Darcy Burner (WA), Phyllis Busansky (FL), Francine Busby (CA), Joe Courtney (CT), John Cranley (OH), Jill Derby (NV), Tammy Duckworth (IL), Brad Ellsworth (IN), Diane Farrell (CT), Steve Filson (CA) ­ defeated in primary by Jerry McNirney (see above), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Tessa Hafen (NV), Baron Hill (IN), Mary Jo Kilroy (OH), Ron Klein (FL), Ken Lucas (KY), Patsy Madrid (NM), Harry Mitchell (AZ), Chris Murphy (CT), Lois Murphy (PA), Heath Shuler (NC), Peter Welch (VT).

If we group these 22 candidates by their positions, it is much worse than one might have imagined. Here it is:

U.S, must "win" in Iraq (9): John Cranely(OH); Jill Derby (NV); Tammy Duckworth (IL); Brad Ellsworth (IN): Teresa Hafen (NV); Baron Hill (IN);Ken Lucas (KY); Lois Murphy (PA); Heath Schuler (NC).

More troops should be deployed in Iraq. (1): Diane Farrell (CT);

Bush (or Congress or Bush and Congress or someone other than the candidate) must develop a plan or timetable for exit. This means that the candidate does not offer a timetable or other withdrawal plan and amounts only to a partisan criticism of Bush without a plan offered by the candidate. (6): Francine Busby (CA); Joe Courtney (CT); Kirsten Gillibrand (NY); Mary Jo Kilroy (OH); Patricia Madrid (NM); Harry Mitchell (AZ).

Biden's 3-state solution. (1): Phyllis Busansky (FL).

No position. (1): Chris Murphy (CT).

Not for immediate withdrawal (3): Steve Filson (CA) (He lost Dem primary. See above.); Ron Klein (FL); Harry Mitchell (AZ);

Withdrawal in 2006. (1): Peter Welch (VT). (In VT, you could probably not get elected dog catcher without calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Still it is a bit mysterious why Rahm is backing Welch who for that reason probably deserves a bit of scrutiny. Perhaps something "worse" like a Green is waiting in the wings.)

So only one of Rahm's candidates is for prompt withdrawal from Iraq. And it is notweworthy that Rahm found prowar candidates in both red states and blue, like CT and CA. Check out these candidates for yourself. If you live in their districts, pressure them to change their positions and do so publicly with letters to the editor, withholding of funds and most importantly support for third party antiwar candidates where they are to be found ­ no matter how slight the establishment media regards their prospects. Ask what UFPJ, The Nation and other branches of the peace and justice complex are doing to expose Emanuel's candidates . . .The italics there are mine.

I hope you don't think that because I've been trashing the Democratic Party for the past five years that I think we should elect Republicans. Don't be ridiculous. I don't think that either party will give us what we need, but we on the Left/Hard Left have failed to effectively act on an opportunity to build a third party and become a legitimate and effective opposition. It might be productive to review some history . . .

JFK was elected for two reasons. One, his cover story was that he was a WWII hero. So was his predecessor, but Kennedy was cuter. Second, he and his dad were rich enough to buy a state and steal the election from Nixon, who was definitely not cute. Kennedy abandoned the invasion of Cuba (unfortunately, in the middle of the invasion), but got himself talked into Viet Nam by The Company (and, probably, by his brother Bobby, a rabid anti-communist).

When the mob whacked Kennedy, we got Johnson. I believe to this day that LBJ didn't want Viet Nam, but he was forced to swallow it by Westmoreland, McNamara, Rusk, and others, who were feeding him intelligence lies. Sound familiar? What LBJ wanted more than anything was The Great Society. He had both a vision and the power over Congress to make it happen, except for the interference of Viet Nam. He bailed out in sorrow and guilt and died not long after.

Nixon beat Humphrey. I will not rehash the 60s. Period. It was during Nixon's administration that we got out of Viet Nam, albeit after bombing the shit out of Cambodia and Laos. Then Nixon shot himself in the balls.

We got Ford. I was pretty screwed up from 1973 through mid-1974, when I first got sober, but I think we stayed out of any serious military shit.

We got Carter. 'Nuff said, except to mention that we got ourselves into the war against Islam that had its first nadir twenty five years later in September of 2001.

Reagan presided actively in our proxy wars in Central and South America. And it provides no solace that we lost very few American lives on his watch. We were responsible for the loss of thousands of human lives, nonetheless. There was also, uh, Granada. He pretty much restrained from retaliating for the 1983 bombing of the Beirut US Marine Corps barracks. During his reign, the Soviet Union/Empire crumbled under its own weight; Reagan had little to do with it.

Bush the First reluctantly committed us to Gulf the First and got us the hell out pronto. He also invaded Panama to nab Manuel Noriega, but got the hell out pronto.

Then there was Clinton. He was the Anti-George Washington, in that he chopped down a whole bunch of cherry trees and lied about them all. He bombed Yugoslavia into shards and in turn suffered the first World Trade Center bombing, and the USS Cole bombing without committing troops to war. Then, of course, there was Somalia. Whew!

Here's what William Blum ("Don't Look Back: Who Said Clinton Didn't Kill AnyBody?") at CounterPunch has to say about Bill (clip):
The cartoon awfulness of the Bush crime syndicate's foreign policy is enough to make Americans nostalgic for almost anything that came before. And as Bill Clinton parades around the country and the world associating himself with "good" causes, it's enough to evoke yearnings in many people on the left who should know better. So here's a little reminder of what Clinton's foreign policy was composed of. Hold on to it in case Lady Macbeth runs in 2008 and tries to capitalize on lover boy's record . . .Along with the wars I mentioned above, Blum adds Eduador, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Iraq (devastating sanctions), and Cuba (sanctions).

I may not have gotten all the above quite right, but I'd say the Democrats and the Republicans are about even, with the body count somewhat higher under the Democrats. So I ask you who are so excited about the Democrats now and in '08, what are you THINKING? This not another case of "the lesser of two evils". At best it is "the lesser of one evil.

One more shot. This from AWOT, "Mid-Term Democrats" (excerpts):
. . . 'Are the Democrats an Alternative?' We would like to make two basic arguments against voting for the Democrats: their vigorous avoidance of long-term political thinking, and their condescension to the voter.

On Thursday, Barack Obama spoke at the Barnes and Noble in Union Square, New York. He spoke to one of the most committed, liberal audiences he could have asked for. And the pep talk he gave them was, well, not particularly peppy. "The Democratic Party is not an ideological party, it is a party of common sense," he said. "It is a party that knows how to put aside differences, and get things done."* This is a surprisingly deflating thing to say to a liberal audience entranced by their next great hope. Yet it is no accident. Obama spoke the truth about the Democratic Party: it is purely pragmatic. When people complain the Democrats 'have no vision', they speak as if the Democrats once had one. But that is something of a mistake. The essential feature of the Democrats, throughout the twentieth century, has been that they have been a party that aggressively avoids strong ideological stances, and committed ideological positions. It has, instead, always been one that has acquired its reputation for being 'left-wing' more from being not as conservative as the Republicans, than for a coherent set of ideas that it stands for. Indeed, its hey-day, under FDR, was famously non-ideological; FDR and his New Deal was often criticized for its unplanned, experimental, and pragmatic character.

What makes this relevant to the current debate about the mid-terms and voting is that it sheds light on the 'Anybody but Bush' character of the Democrats' campaign. There is a myth that underwrites this campaign, which goes something like the following: if we throw-out Bush, and bring in the Democrats, that will create breathing room, which we can then use to develop some interesting ideas about politics. Obama's words belie that claim. Anybody But Bush is simply the most recent iteration of a long-standing Democratic strategy in their electoral war of position. They constantly seek that Archimedian point, just far enough from the Republicans to win an election, never too far to sound extreme and unelectable. This time, they may very well succeed in latching onto popular discontent with Bush and the Republicans, but they are not leveraging a short-term opening to bring in a long-term agenda . . .

. . . Democrats have a great deal of difficulty answering for their own political failures. They blame diabolical Republican machinations, corrupt voting machines, apathetic voters, unpredictable world events, and anyone else but themselves for their own failures to convince, persuade, inspire and, in short, conduct themselves like a truly democratic party. All the talk of holding the Republicans to account if the Democrats win this election is just another smokescreen for their failure to exercise political backbone during their numerous opportunities over the past five years. They have done, and will do little, to be worthy of a vote in this election. They are not an alternative worth considering . . .
Categories: war, Democratic+war, elections
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A Little Help from My Friends

In the past coupla weeks, two friends have helped me with this blog: Jason Miller of Tom Paine's Corner and Pip Wilson of Wilson's Blogmanac.

The latter is one of the most prolific writers I've encountered. I often wonder when (or if) the bloke ever sleeps.

Anyway, he's just published a novel, Faces in the Street. Go get it. It has to be good!

Categories: novels, Faces+in+the+Street, Australia, Pip+Wilson, Wilson's+Blogmanac

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10.20.2006

The River Flows

People disagreeing on all just about everything, yeah,
Makes you stop and all wonder why.
Why only yesterday I saw somebody on the street
Who just couldn't help but cry.
Oh, this ol' river keeps on rollin', though,
No matter what gets in the way and which way the wind does blow,
And as long as it does I'll just sit here
And watch the river flow.
- Bob Dylan

When it comes to true love, there may be no blogger who more personifies it more than Riverbend. There may be no one on the web who gets more attention and adulation per post than she. She loves her city, her country, her people, and, I think, us. And we love her.

During June of this year, she posted only twice. During July, twice. Then in August, only once. The, through most of August, all of September, and the first half of October, nothing.

"Oh, shit." thought many of us. The silence became unbearable.

Joe at American Leftist doesn't permalink his indivisual posts, so you'll have to scroll to find it, but on October 16th he posted "RiverBend's Summer of Goodbyes", noting that she had said,
I’ve said goodbye this last month to more people than I can count. Some of the ‘goodbyes’ were hurried and furtive -- the sort you say at night to the neighbor who got a death threat and is leaving at the break of dawn, quietly.

Some of the ‘goodbyes’ were emotional and long-drawn, to the relatives and friends who can no longer bear to live in a country coming apart at the seams.

Many of the ‘goodbyes’ were said stoically -- almost casually -- with a fake smile plastered on the face and the words, “See you soon”… Only to walk out the door and want to collapse with the burden of parting with yet another loved one.

During times like these I remember a speech Bush made in 2003: One of the big achievements he claimed was the return of jubilant ‘exiled’ Iraqis to their country after the fall of Saddam. I’d like to see some numbers about the Iraqis currently outside of the country you are occupying… Not to mention internally displaced Iraqis abandoning their homes and cities.

I sometimes wonder if we’ll ever know just how many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis left the country this bleak summer. I wonder how many of them will actually return. Where will they go? What will they do with themselves? Is it time to follow? Is it time to wash our hands of the country and try to find a stable life somewhere else? I know she was crying as she wrote. And I cried as I read. For her, for her city and country . . . and for my country. I posted a comment here. I have exactly the same feelings and questions about my home. I do want to leave. Where would I go?

Then, Wednesday, there she was . . . "The Lancet Study..." Clip:
This has been the longest time I have been away from blogging. There were several reasons for my disappearance the major one being the fact that every time I felt the urge to write about Iraq, about the situation, I'd be filled with a certain hopelessness that can't be put into words and that I suspect other Iraqis feel also.

It's very difficult at this point to connect to the internet and try to read the articles written by so-called specialists and analysts and politicians. They write about and discuss Iraq as I might write about the Ivory Coast or Cambodia- with a detachment and lack of sentiment that- I suppose- is meant to be impartial. Hearing American politicians is even worse. They fall between idiots like Bush- constantly and totally in denial, and opportunists who want to use the war and ensuing chaos to promote themselves.

The latest horror is the study published in the Lancet Journal concluding that over 600,000 Iraqis have been killed since the war. Reading about it left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it sounded like a reasonable figure. It wasn't at all surprising. On the other hand, I so wanted it to be wrong. But... who to believe? Who to believe....? American politicians... or highly reputable scientists using a reliable scientific survey technique?

The responses were typical- war supporters said the number was nonsense because, of course, who would want to admit that an action they so heartily supported led to the deaths of 600,000 people (even if they were just crazy Iraqis…)? Admitting a number like that would be the equivalent of admitting they had endorsed, say, a tsunami, or an earthquake with a magnitude of 9 on the Richter scale, or the occupation of a developing country by a ruthless superpower… oh wait- that one actually happened. Is the number really that preposterous? Thousands of Iraqis are dying every month- that is undeniable. And yes, they are dying as a direct result of the war and occupation (very few of them are actually dying of bliss, as war-supporters and Puppets would have you believe).

For American politicians and military personnel, playing dumb and talking about numbers of bodies in morgues and official statistics, etc, seems to be the latest tactic. But as any Iraqi knows, not every death is being reported. As for getting reliable numbers from the Ministry of Health or any other official Iraqi institution, that's about as probable as getting a coherent, grammatically correct sentence from George Bush- especially after the ministry was banned from giving out correct mortality numbers. So far, the only Iraqis I know pretending this number is outrageous are either out-of-touch Iraqis abroad who supported the war, or Iraqis inside of the country who are directly benefiting from the occupation ($) and likely living in the Green Zone . . .A collective sigh of relief, I'm sure.

And for me, more tears.

Oh, River, Thank you. For being.

Categories: Riverbend, Baghdad+Burning, Baghdad, Iraq, Iraq+War, love

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10.17.2006

US 0 - Iraq 0. It's Over. No Winners, Only Losers.

I really don't think the real history of the United States warrants our claim that in the past we have stood for freedom and democracy. But a lot of folks, both here and abroad, have swallowed the PR. The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang's invasion and destruction of Iraq has destroyed that image. And an image is all it was.

The neocons wanted three things out of the invasion: control of Iraq's oil; destruction of Iraq's infrastructure, economy, and society; and the creation of a free-market/freetrade, no holds barred laboratory. They got one of the three. The country has devolved into a chaotic killing field, a civil war, with the peoples fleeing and the society imploding. The US military is emasculated, hunkered down, waiting for "withdrawal and redeployment."

The war in Iraq is not over. But the US war against Iraq is. Thousands killed, more wounded, still more with their hearts and souls destroyed. Now it's Shi'ites against Sunnis against Christians against private military enterprises and "security forces" against Al Qaida against peace and decency and sense. Never has the phrase "Holy Shit" been so perfect. "Crimes Against Humanity" doesn't even come close to describing what has happened. If there is History after this, may this era be described as "Hell on Earth." The American people must take full responsibility for this, just as the German people had to accept responsibility and attone for the Nazis and the Holocaust.

It defies all logic that either our military or our corporations should stay there. But whichever political party "wins" the mid-term elections next month, the folly and inhumanity will continue. Why? Because we allow it. Because we allow it. Because we allow it.

We can delude ourselves and blame Bush and be convinced the Democratic Party will change things. And we can take our laptops to the nearest Starbucks and play the bull market and watch Jennifer Anniston and Oprah Winfrey and Law and Order and kick-boxing and, as a people, keep commiting crimes against not only humanity, but against the whole planet and its very existance. We can in America concentrate on gay marriage, pedophilia, bread and circus "elections", Windows Vista, the NCLS and the World Series, and tatoos and piercings.

To tell you the truth, if this is who we are, I hope there's a cot reserved for me at The Halliburton/KBR Hotel. I want no part of this evil. I'm a peace-loving, compassionate man. There's a song sung by my old friend Chris Smither, that goes:
Looked down the road,
Fur's my eyes could see,
Hey, hey, hey,
Fur's my eyes could see.
Didn't see nothin'
Looked like mine to me.Let's get real. We did not win WWI. We did not win WWII. We have not won, nor will we win, The Korean War. We got our asses royally kicked in Viet Nam. We have not won in Afghanistan. We have not won in Iraq. We will not win in Iran. We will not win in Venezuela. We will not win against Al Qaida, Hamas, not Hezbollah. Unless we as a country and as a people change ontologically, we will only be losers and create losers.

Here are some other perspectives on the war being over:

"The War in Iraq is Over!" at A Stitch in Haste

"Someone Tell the President the War Is Over" at NYT

"The war in Iraq is over..." at PhillyBlog

Three years ago, in October, 2003, in my old blog ddjangoWIrE, I published an essay entitled "In Search of a Nation's Soul". I've stopped looking.

Categories: war, Iraq


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10.16.2006

The Coming Democrat Victory: No Win for Us

Many words these days about Doubleduh and denial. But what about the Left's denial?

We've now wasted two+ years and not a whisper of a viable third party. The Greens? Fuggedaboudit. Libertarian? I don't think so.

In this vacuum, there seems to be no choice left to the Left but to to cheer the possibility that the Democratic Party will regain a congressional majority in a few weeks. Speaker Pelosi? Just sends shivers up my spine.

May I recommend "America's 'other' War Party" by Mike Whitney at Information Clearing House. Excerpt:
The giddiness among Democrats about their prospects for a sweep in both Houses of Representatives has reached a level of absolute euphoria. But what exactly are the voters are hoping for?

A speedy exit from Iraq?

Forgetta-bout-it!

John Walsh posted a great article on counterpunch.org; “Election 2006: The Fix is already In”, which outlines the grim facts about “candidate selection” in the Democratic Party. The Democratic leadership has no intention of extracting us from the bloody mess in Babylon and they have methodically rooted-out the bothersome antiwar-types from their pool of potential candidates. As Walsh points out, nearly 8 out of every 10 Democrats (78%) want an immediate or partial withdrawal of troops from Iraq. That, of course, makes no difference to the DLC-powerbrokers who have thrown their bucks behind candidates who are completely divorced from the convictions of the party faithful.

As Walsh says:

“64% of the Democratic candidates in the 45 closely contested House Congressional races OPPOSE a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Note carefully: not only do these Democratic worthies oppose the Murtha or McGovern bills for rapid withdrawal or defunding the war; they oppose as much as a timetable….The position of these Dem candidates is indistinguishable from that of George W. Bush”.

Amen.

Prediction: The Democrats will never get us out of Iraq nor will they repeal the Patriot Act or the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (which allows Bush to imprison American citizens without charges and torture them according to his own discretion)

The party has been co-opted by a pro-business, liberty-slashing, war-mongering clique of free traders who simply feel they can put a better face on imperial politics.

No argument there; but for anyone with a trace of a conscience, the prospect of voting for a party that may slaughter another half-million or so Iraqis presents some basic ethical problems. Is it too sanctimonious to suggest that the war in Iraq is MORALLY EVIL, and that any policy or party that supports the conflict must be flatly rejected?

Ahhh yes; time to don the body-armor and protective headgear that one needs whenever they make disparaging remarks about the Democratic Party. It’s never healthy to take aim at the emasculated phonies who run America’s “other” war party.

Regrettably, the Democratic Party is only slightly different from the GOP. That’s not pessimism; it’s realism. We need to be clear about the magnitude of the task in front of us if we expect to have any hope of restoring our personal liberties and ending the butchery in Iraq.

Despite the dramatic shift-away from the Republican Party, Bush and Co. must have something up their sleeves for the mid-terms. After all, the Eisenhower carrier group is steaming towards the Gulf for a possible confrontation with Iran; so the fur could fly at any minute.

It seems improbable that Bush would allow a takeover in the House and Senate knowing that unpleasant investigations into 9-11, war crimes, and executive abuses of power could quickly follow.

So, what’s he up to?

Who knows? But we do know that the present occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. are high-stakes gamblers who are bound to roll-the-dice to keep their chestnuts out of the bonfire.

Something is bound to snap, and fairly soon, too. Bush and Cheney didn’t assemble all the levers of tyrannical rule (including the repeal of habeas corpus, due process, and the laws banning cruel and unusual punishment) just to transfer that authority to Democratic leaders in the congress. That simply won’t happen.

The Democrats are headed into the elections fairly confident that they can regain a place at the political table and have their voices heard on the conduct of the war. They have no intention of leaving Iraq. They simply want to change directions and minimize the damage to America’s long-term interests. Their strategy is probably similar to the (forthcoming) recommendations of James Baker’s “Iraq Study Group”. In fact, I’d be surprised if leaders on both sides of the aisle haven’t already collaborated on the details to make it more palatable to Bush . . .Look, uh, lemme give yuh a clue, OK? What blog/web site is most representative of the neoliberal/neoprogressive "community"? Well, dKos, right? Read this, from Kos's FAQ . . .
Diary deletion

There are some times when you will want to delete a diary. To do so, click on the 'Edit Diary' link next to the diary title. Down at the bottom of the edit screen, there are a set of buttons and a checkbox labelled 'Confirm Deletion'. Select the checkbox, and then click the 'Delete' button. If you don't select the checkbox, the 'Delete' button won't work; this is to protect against accidental deletion.

When should diaries be deleted? If there are two (or more) near-identical diaries on the same subject, people will request that all but one be deleted. This often happens when a news story breaks, and several diaries are posted consisting of a link to the story and a few quotes from the AP wire. Please consider deletion if your diary isn't the first diary to break the news. Front-page posters will sometimes delete diaries if there are too many covering exactly the same content. Additionally, sometimes diary authors just have second thoughts about posting a particular diary. Don't delete a diary just because a discussion in the comments has gone off in some direction you don't like.

Controversial Diary Topics

Diaries on certain topics are likely to generate angry responses. Most of these topics fall under the general heading of "conspiracy theories", i.e. "JFK was killed by Martians". The rule for posting such diaries is "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". The more extreme the claim, the higher the burden of proof that commenters will demand. If you can't provide evidence to back up your claim, it is best not to post the diary. This guideline also applies to recommending extraordinary-claims diaries. If a diary makes an extreme claim with little or no evidence to back up that claim, it shouldn't be recommended, no matter what that claim is.

Addendum

Some people have been confused by the above discussion. Let me make it perfectly plain. Diaries advancing 'Conspiracy Theories' are subject to ridicule and derision from the community at the very least. Repeat offenders can and will be banned.
Here is what kos has to say-

The conspiracists by kos

Fri Jul 08, 2005

Today I did something I've never done before (not even during the Fraudster mess), and wish I'd never had to do.

I made a mass banning of people perpetuating a series of bizarre, off-the-wall, unsupported and frankly embarassing conspiracy theories.

I have a high tolerance level for material I deem appropriate for this site, but one thing I REFUSE to allow is bullshit conspiracy theories. You know the ones -- Bush and Blair conspired to bomb London in order to take the heat off their respective political problems. I can't imagine what fucking world these people live in, but it sure ain't the Reality Based Community.

So I banned these people, and those that have been recommending diaries like it. And I will continue to do so until the purge is complete, and make no mistake -- this is a purge.

This is a reality-based community. Those who wish to live outside it should find a new home. This isn't it.

Update: I've been reinstating some of the banned accounts as they email me. Some people wondered why there wasn't any warning. There have been warnings from others -- repeated pleadings for people to ground themselves in reality.

It's telling that I have NEVER done something like this before. Because this has been an extreme situation. This isn't about disagreeing with what people are saying. If that was the case, everyone would've been banned by now. The myth of the "echo chamber" is just that. A myth.

But as for warnings, well, this has been my warning. I wanted it clear that I was serious, and I think that has come through. I am reinstating those who ask to be reinstated. But the message has been sent.

But, what about Freedom of Speech?

Doesn't the First Amendment give me the right to talk about whatever I want here?

No. Daily Kos is owned by kos. The servers are his. He pays the bandwidth charges. He makes the rules; we are here as his guests. If he decides tomorrow that anyone not posting in iambic pentameter will be banned, your options are either to brush up on your poetry skills or find/start another forum.

Controversial 9/11 Diaries

DailyKos accepts that the 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by agents of Al-Qaeda. It is forbidden to write diaries that:

1. refer to claims that American, British, Israeli, or any government assisted in the attacks
2. refer to claims that the airplanes that crashed into the WTC and Pentagon were not the cause of the damage to those buildings or their subsequent collapse

Authoring or recommending these diaries may result in banning from Daily Kos.I remember Ronnie Reagan asserting, "I paid for this microphone", and I see no difference between this and Kos's tone and The Doublefuh-Cheney Gang giving us the perpetual finger, do you?

[Go right to Part 2]

Categories: elections, Democrats, betrayal, Iraq, fascism

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10.15.2006

So What Did You Expect . . . Transubtantiation?



Can't tell you how many times I've written here that the neocons' and The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang's relationship with the Christian Right would be abandoned as soon as they were no longer useful; that it is a cynical Rovian strategy.

First, in the Nixon years, there was the "Silent Majority".

Then in the late 1970s, the "Moral Majority" came along, led by folks like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell came along. Here's what Wikipedia has to say:
Moral Majority got its start out of a bitter battle for control of Christian Voice in 1978. After a news conference by Christian Voice's Robert Grant during which he claimed that the Religious Right was a "sham... controlled by three Catholics and a Jew," Paul Weyrich, Terry Dolan, and Richard Viguerie (the Catholics) and Howard Phillips left Christian Voice and recruited televangelist Jerry Falwell to found Moral Majority which, by 1982, surpassed Christian Voice in size and influence. Started in 1979, Moral Majority was an organization made up of conservative Christian political action committees, which campaigned on issues it believed central to upholding its Christian conception of the moral law, a perception it believed represented the majority of people's opinions (hence the movement's name). Falwell was the organization's public face throughout the 1980's. The organization dissolved officially in 1989 but lives on in the Christian Coalition network initiated by Pat Robertson. With a membership of millions (which would only constitute a small, single-digit percentage of the general population) the Moral Majority was one of the largest conservative lobby groups in the United States . . .

The Moral Majority had adherents in the two major United States political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, though it exercised far more influence on the former.

In 1981, a series of exposés (later nominated for the Pulitzer Prize) by Memphis reporter Mike Clark led to some condemning the interactions between the Moral Majority and the Republican Party. Despite the group's name, opinion polls as well as election and referendum outcomes suggest that it was less representative of public opinion than its name might have suggested.

Falwell has recently revived the name for another similar organization that he founded after the 2004 election, called The Moral Majority Coalition . . . an organization designed to continue the “evangelical revolution” to help conservative politicians get elected. Referring to the Coalition as a “21st century resurrection of the Moral Majority,” Falwell, the father of the modern “religious right” political movement, commits to leading the organization for four years.
I'm sure that the number of words written by the Left about the Christan Right in the last six years are surpassed only by the number written about the "War on Terror" and attack on the Constitution.

Before the 2000 election, continuing through the 2004 election, the religious right has been lock-step loyal to Bush. Many members of Congress claim affiliation with the movement. During the last two years, however, there has been an increasing friction between Evangelical Christians and the Bush Administration, much of it a result of the failure of the White House to fully commit to "faith-based initiatives" and other items on the Christian Right's agenda, so the relationship has been unravelling.

Now comes David Kuo with Tempting Faith: an Inside Story of Political Seduction.

From truthout/The Guardian:
Aide Says White House Mocked Evangelicals by Julian Borger, The Guardian UK

Saturday 14 October 2006

Administration accused of cynical ploy to win votes. Bush adviser denies he called supporters "nuts."

Washington - A former senior presidential aide has accused the Bush administration of using evangelical Christians to win votes but then privately ridiculing them once in office. The allegations by David Kuo, the former deputy director of the White House office of faith-based initiatives, come at a devastating time, when the administration is counting on born-again Christians to vote in sufficient numbers to save the Republicans' hold on Congress in the November elections.

In a book entitled Tempting Faith: an Inside Story of Political Seduction, to be published on Monday, Mr Kuo portrays the Bush White House's commitment to evangelical causes as little more than a cynical facade designed to win votes.

"National Christian leaders received hugs and smiles in person and then were dismissed behind their backs and described as ridiculous, out of control, and just plain goofy," Mr Kuo wrote, according to MSNBC television, which obtained an early copy of the book. In particular, he quotes Karl Rove, the president's long-serving political adviser and mentor, as describing evangelical Christians as "nuts."

President George Bush launched the office of faith-based initiatives soon after taking office in 2001, depicting it as the embodiment of his philosophy of "compassionate conservatism". However, Mr Kuo alleges that between 2002 and 2004 it used taxpayers' money to organise religious conferences in 20 districts where embattled Republican candidates were trying to mobilise Christian supporters. Efforts were made to disguise the political nature of the conferences . . .
I love it!

Categories: , , ,

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