SADDAM CAUGHT..... WAR OVER..... LET'S GO HOME!
Note: Comments (sigh) working again...
Saturday, November 29, 2003
FICTITIOUS PRESIDENT MAKES A FICTITIOUS THANKSGIVING
Wag the Turkey
Surprise Thanksgiving Dinner at 6 AM?
By WAYNE MADSEN, COUNTERPUNCH
...Air Force One touched down at Baghdad International Airport, under cover of darkness, at 5:20 AM Baghdad time. Bush was on the ground for two and a half hours, his plane departing Baghdad at around 7:50 AM. Considering that it likely took some 30 minutes for Bush to disembark from Air Force One and travel by a heavily secured motorcade to the hangar where the troops were assembled, that means our military men and women were downing turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and non-alcoholic beer at a time when most people would be eating eggs, bacon, grits, home fries, and toast.
But there on national television, when most Americans were preparing to sit down to their own traditional Thanksgiving dinners, we saw a tape of President Bush serving mashed potatoes and corn to American troops at a "traditional" Thanksgiving meal in the early hours of the morning. What's more, when a clearly exhausted Bush strode around a curtain -- after a "What's My Line" mystery guest routine by Iraq proconsul L. Paul Bremer -- 600 American troops were said to be "shocked and awed" by Bush's surprise appearance. I would have thought most of the troops, many of whom are support personnel who work relatively normal working hours, would have been more surprised when they were ordered to get up before sunrise to eat Thanksgiving dinner between 6:00 and 7:30 A.M.... LINK
UPDATE: Seamole posts this critique of yours truly:
The so-called Cosmic Iguana is an even worse sucker, falling for Madsen's lie like, well, an easily brainwashed dumbass liberal, and brainwashing (so far) one of his commenters along with him. In the left-hand column of his blog, we see that the stargazing reptile only acknowledges 31 murders/year committed by Saddam Hussein. And we also find a link to "manis2society"'s [I have no] "intelligence" blog, whose reliable sources include Lyndon LaRouche, DebkaFILE and the KGB. Scarily, "the Spy Game" site also links to the CIA's employment page, perhaps in hopes of "manis"ing society with a new generation of "veteran intelligence professionals" who can't tell time? The moonsnake even has his own toll-free "tipline". How cute. Allegedly, the number is 877-461-1516.
-Yep, I fell for it, as far as reprinting it is concerned. I didn't watch TV that day so I wasn't able to do the math for myself. And of course BUSHCO contributes to the mistrust by their deceptions and publicity stunts.
Regarding trusting various sources, how many people fell for the Saddam had WMDs lies, as printed in the NY Times? (not to mention FOX).
As far as the discrepancy between my casualty count (from Amnesty International) and Paul Bremer's (variously stated as 300,000 or 1 million),I should note their stat was from 2001 and does not include WAR DEATHS from 1991, and the repression following it. The reason is that we were complicit in the Shi'ite and Kurd uprisings, so to be fair we should count the deaths we caused which may be in excess of 100,000 troops and civilians in 1991 (not counting Kurds and Shiites), and as many as another 20,000-50,000 this year (from Medact.)
So I'll wager that even including those deaths, Saddam was the lesser of the evils, and suggest the total killed by Saddam was substantially less than killed by Bush I and II, and probably between 20-50,000 total.
And as for peacetime deaths, the Amnesty International figures are confirmed deaths. Even if ten times that number are unconfirmed (and I doubt there are that many), remember there have been NO MASS GRAVES FOUND DATING AFTER 1991. And the argument was that Saddam was murdering his people NOW not 12 years ago.
So that was far, far less than the death toll of our invasion. And yet another Bush deception...
HASTE MAKES WASTE
U.S. Says Iraqi Police May Have Coordinated Attacks on G.I.s
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Filed at 9:55 a.m. ET
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- There is no evidence that al-Qaida terrorists have taken part in the long string of attacks on U.S. or Iraqi targets, but some U.S.-trained Iraqi police appear to have coordinated some of those assaults, the top U.S. military official in Iraq said Saturday.
U.S. military officials are concerned that some attacks on Americans have been coordinated by a few of the numerous Iraqi civilians hired by the U.S. military, who may glean intelligence on troop movements and travels of high-ranking officers, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez told reporters at the Baghdad Convention Center.... LINK
-That's why Iraqification isn't going to work in its new speeded up mode.
Friday, November 28, 2003
TERRORISTS HATE OUR FREEDOM
US moves to silence Iraq's most popular TV news channel
Posted Nov 28, 2003 07:42 AM PST
In another indication of the “freedom” and “democracy” that Washington is bringing to the people of Iraq, the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) shut down the Baghdad bureau of the country’s most watched television news channel on November 24. Without warning, more than 20 police and Interior Ministry officials arrived at the Al Arabiya facility, ordered its closure and seized its broadcasting equipment “until further notice”. -WRH LINK
-So doesn't that make US the terrorists?
"THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES"- A SPEECH BY SEN. ROBT. BYRD
"I cannot support the continuation of a policy that unwisely ties down 150,000 American troops for the foreseeable future, with no end in sight.
"I cannot support a president who refuses to authorize the reasonable change in course that would bring traditional allies to our side in Iraq.
"I cannot support the politics of zeal and 'might makes right' that created the new American arrogance and unilateralism which passes for foreign policy in this administration.
"I cannot support this foolish manifestation of the dangerous and destabilizing doctrine of pre-emption that changes the image of America into that of a reckless bully....
AFGHAN ARMY QUITTING IN DROVES
Losing Its Few Good Men
By Paul Watson, Times Staff Writer
...As often happens in Afghanistan, things haven't worked out quite as planned. Army recruits ... have quit by the hundreds, in many cases because they don't think the pay is worth the risk.
The large number of dropouts — and the griping soldiers who say they're going to follow them out the door — has slowed the effort to replace ethnically based militias with a cohesive force that answers to President Hamid Karzai.... LINK
SOCCER BALLS FOR FREEDOM
Japan kicks in soccer balls
By Bennett Richardson, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
TOKYO — The Japanese government won't send troops to help coalition forces in Iraq after all, but it will send 1,214 soccer balls.
In a ceremony last week, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Yukio Takeuchi accepted thousands of balls, spikes and uniforms donated from across Japan and undertook the task of shipping the equipment to Iraqi soccer authorities.
"It is important that the people of Iraq hold hope and can heighten their expectations for the future, and the donation from football fans all around Japan with their hearts provide a prop for them in this regard," Mr. Takeuchi said at the ceremony.
The government originally had planned to send up to 1,200 members of Japan's Self Defense Forces to help with noncombat tasks such as road building. But after a deadly attack on Italian forces in southern Iraq, the Japanese government decided to rescind its offer. The government said the attack shows that "circumstances" don't permit such a dispatch. LINK
-Maybe that's what WE should have done...
BUSH IN IRAQ: THE TURKEY HAS LANDED
Yes, another bold and audacious move in the war for good publicity. It certainly shows the Iraqis that our resolve is strong. Of course, as ABCNEWS is reporting it had to be kept secret for 3 weeks of planning so that a well-placed RPG or mortar couldn't puncture that resolve.
The Independent speculates the reason is for a new image to replace the "Mission Accomplished" in next fall's ads. The article also notes that neither Laura nor Dad knew of the trip and went out to Crawford expecting to see him. Apparently, not even family members can be trusted...
Meanwhile 2 more troops were killed within hours of his visit.
Thursday, November 27, 2003
ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR OUR PRESIDENT?
TIME magazine's cover story is "The Love Him, Hate Him President" an almost good look at how Bush has polarized the nation.
I say almost good, because like all journalistic attempts at objectivity it fails to capture the lies and the brazen exploitation that this administration uses that are causing the polarization.
It says things like, "what you feel about Bush, tells more about you than him," and "Bush is in a line of polarizing Presidents, from Reagan to Clinton," without mentioning that Clinton truly attempted to be unifying but the right would not let him.
Nowhere in the in article does it raise Bush's most popular campaign slogan, "I'm a uniter not a divider." Can that slogan have escaped the writer? Or does the mention of that slogan seem too "partisan" now that it has been exposed as an utter sham?
Bush's modus operandi from day one, has been to say one thing and to do another. No doubt it has been dictated by the political necessity of pleasing both independents and extremist conservatives. But like Yasir Arafat, who faced a similar situation, his strategy to solve the dilemma has been to please the extremists and lie to everyone else.
SK Bubba's recent article Bizzaro World shows Orwellian nature of the Bush Propaganda better than most.
It is sad that our media in its attempt at "fairness" has allowed itself to be victimized by a leader that seeks to exploit it at every turn.
If Bush succeeds in reelection next year, then this strategy will become the norm. If he fails, then we will have something to be thankful for.
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
A HAPPY MEDIA COINCIDENCE
SK BUBBA writes about the new media deregulation bill to pass Congress, after defeating the attempt to raise maximum ownership of the US market from 35% to 45% suddenly in committee, Congress agrees [in committee] to raise it to 39%:
Viacom Inc., which owns CBS and UPN, and News Corp., owner of Fox, exceed the current 35 percent limit because of mergers and acquisitions. But they would be covered by the new limit.
-Well ain't that a coinkydink? And 39% is SUCH a round number. The invisible hand of the market strikes again! Or as Bubba notes, when your pals are breaking the rules, just change the rules.
PS New Environmental Blog: Damage
PRESIDENTIAL REVISIONIST COMIX
From Ruben Bolling (too funny):
Click on image to see whole strip.
APPARENTLY BORN AGAINS CAN'T DO MATH
According to most studies around 40% of the population is Born-agains, and a similar percent believe the Bible is "literally true".
Yet La Biblia states that only 144,000 are "of the elect" (Revelation 7:4)
Doesn't that mean there will be alot of pissed off Christians on Judgement Day? Apparently, there WILL be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
YOU WON'T BE GETTING THIS CHRISTMAS CARD THIS CHRISTMAS
-This heartwarming depiction of the former furnace room of the White House is going out to 1.5 million BUSHCO investors, I mean supporters. But its not too late, send in your contributions NOW!
-thnx to Maru at WTF
WELLSTONE CRASH COVERUP?
OPINION: Evidence indicates that Wellstone crash was no accident
JIM FETZER, DULUTH NEWS TRIBUNE
...For nearly a year now, evidence has been accumulating about the event that ended the life of... [Senator Wellstone]. Whatever caused the crash was not the plane, the pilots or the weather. In spite of what you may have heard, the plane was exceptional, the pilots well-qualified and the weather posed no significant problems. Even the National Transportation Safety Board's own simulations of the plane, the pilots and the weather were unable to bring the plane down...
...An abrupt cessation of communication between the plane and the tower took place at about 10:18 a.m., the same time an odd cell phone phenomenon occurred with a driver in the immediate vicinity....
..."According to Rick Wahlberg, then St. Louis County sheriff, a team of FBI agents was quickly on the crash site about noon, less than an hour after (assistant manager Gary) Ulman and the (fire) chief had first located the site and found a way to access the wreck. This FBI team had come from the distant Twin Cities in record time!"...
...The FAA has told me that its records of private aircraft arriving in Duluth that morning have been destroyed, even though they might verify the FBI's early arrival.
And the NTSB has canceled sessions where it would ordinarily take input from the public.... LINK
IMPORTANT INTERNET POLL ON INTERNET POLLING
As you know Internet polling is becoming more and more ubiquitous [sp?],
therefore we must add to the problem by polling you on it...
BTW, WE FORGOT TO TELL YOU...
...the full details of our little Medicare scam: (details from Uggabugga):
....the $250 annual deductible at the start of the program in 2006 is projected to rise to $445 by 2013.
[In the first year of the program] after [$2,250 in drug costs], there would be no further coverage until beneficiaries' drug bills for the year reached $5,100, leaving a gap of $2,850 that they would have to pay out of their own pockets.
But after just one year, the Congressional Budget Office projects that seniors would see their $250 deductible and the $2,850 gap for which there is no coverage both jump 10 percent.
By 2013, the eighth year of the program, the deductible and the coverage gap are both projected to grow by 78 percent.
In other words, seniors would pay a $445 deductible and those with the largest drug bills would be entirely responsible for more than $5,000 in drug costs. ...
-What a deal! The problem is that the bill ties fees to drug cost inflation. Not overall inflation, just drug costs. If you remember that Medicare is prevented by this bill from negotiating drug prices, you see what a scam this is.
Drug companies can raise their prices as much as they want and Medicare payees will subsidize them! What a deal!
KARL ROVE, HERE'S A JUNIOR SPIN-MEISTER WORTHY OF YOU
Interviewed at former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter's speech at Northwestern:
"If the majority of Americans agree with Scott Ritter's idea of what is justified warfare, he would be 100 percent right," said Medill freshman Guy Benson. "Fortunately, the vast majority of Americans understand our nation's reasons, and accusations of lies on behalf of the Bush administration will not fool the American people who are most concerned about their security." link
-Spoken like a pro. "Americans understand our reasons - whatever ones haven't been proven false, that is.... if any..."
I tremble for my country when I think about what it will be like when people who have lived under this doublespeak grow up. Maybe we will devolve back into monkeys.
"THE TERRORISTS ARE GETTING DESPARATE..."
Daily life in Baghdad worse since fall of Saddam: Spanish FM
Monday, 24-Nov-2003 10:10AM, by Agence France-Presse
MADRID, Nov 24 (AFP) - Life for the residents of Baghdad is worse now than during Saddam Hussein's regime because of the lack of security in the Iraqi capital, Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio said Monday. LINK
STILL MORE RATS DESERT SINKING IRAQI SHIP
Bulgaria Pulls out Iraq Staff over Safety Concerns
Politics: 25 November 2003, Tuesday.
Bulgaria withdraws its diplomatic staff out of the capital Baghdad amid security concerns, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lyubomir Todorov announced.
He insisted, however, that the move was temporary.
The two Bulgarian diplomatic representatives in Iraq, who arrived from Baghdad in Amman nearly a month ago, are already in Bulgaria.
Taking up a question Todorov pointed out that the decision for the diplomats' withdrawal has been made after as assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of their presence in Baghdad. Recent attacks against Baghdad hotels where foreign envoys were accommodated were pointed out as one of the reasons for Bulgaria's decision. LINK
M.P.s ACCUSED OF BEATING IRAQI PRISONERS
U.S. soldier accused of beating Iraqi prisoners says, 'It is war'
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — One of four American MPs charged with beating prisoners of war at a detention camp in Iraq said Tuesday: "We were doing our jobs. ... It is war. It is not back home where everybody is safe." ...
...Fellow soldiers testified that the four Pennsylvania reservists punched and kicked prisoners who were being brought to an American camp in southern Iraq on May 12. One prisoner suffered a broken nose.
One soldier said that during the attack, a beaten prisoner was "screaming for his life." Another testified that Edmondson told her that the attack was to "teach the prisoner a lesson on how to treat women." ...
... But, speaking by telephone from her parents' home in Clarks Summit, about 110 miles north of Philadelphia, she said conditions in the camp were frightening and unsafe. Sometimes as few as 100 MPs were guarding 8,000 prisoners, she said. LINK
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
BIG NEW CHARGES FOR THE GITMO CHAPLAIN
...The new charges include making a false statement, storing pornography on a government computer and having sexual relations outside marriage, which violates military law....
-Dang.... String up that lecherous traitor! (link)
BUSHCO PREPARES TO BUY UP BIG MEDIA
Carlyle Group ready to buy stakes in major newspapers
A powerful banking group with close links to the Pentagon, which has also invested money on behalf of the Bin Laden family, is in talks to bail out beleaguered Daily Telegraph owner Conrad Black....
...The Carlyle Group, known as the Ex-Presidents Club because of the number of former world leaders it employs, is considering taking a stake in Hollinger International, which owns the Telegraph titles, the Jerusalem Post and the Chicago Sun-Times, according to those close to the firm... LINK
Dem Vets has this excerpt from the WPOST:
...a rising tide of GOP spending on home-district projects is making those Democrats of yesteryear look like mere pikers of pork, according to a 15-page study just released by the minority staff of the House Appropriations Committee.
The study finds that the number of home-state projects earmarked in various bills has skyrocketed under the GOP, despite the party's rhetorical commitment to reining in a profligate federal government.
Moreover, it contends, Republicans "have opened up broad new areas of government to the practice of earmarking that were previously not subject to earmarks." LINK
He follows up with this quote from John McCain on the Medicare bill (but applies it in general):
"Republicans had better hope that the Democrats never regain the majority,"
- That's right. Comes the revolution, these guys will be hog-tied, drawn and quartered and then shot and used for punching bags and then... well, you get the picture...
THE MILITARY'S NEW DOMESTIC ROLE and THE TWO HUNDRED YEAR LIMIT TO DEMOCRACY
An interesting article by Military Analyst William Arkin:
Mission Creep Hits Home
American armed forces are assuming major new domestic policing and surveillance roles.
...Given the absence of terrorist attacks inside the United States since 9/11, it may seem surprising that Northern Command is already working under the far-reaching authority that goes with "extraordinary operations." But it is....
...Another ambitious domestic project is being undertaken by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which is gathering "geospatial information" about 133 cities, the borders and seaports. This "urban data inventory" combines unclassified and classified data (including such things as the location of emergency services, communications, transportation and food supplies) with a high-resolution satellite map of the United States. When the mapping efforts are completed, a national "spatial data infrastructure" will be created down to the house level. Intelligence analysts speak of one day being able to identify individual occupants, as well as their national background and political affiliations. Though the military is just getting its systems in place, there can be no other conclusion: Domestic surveillance is back.... LINK
- Hmm. It makes me think of this:
An observation by the Scottish Historian Professor Alexander Tyler, circa 1787, on the decline and fall of the Athenian Republic.
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."
"The average age of the world's greatest civilization has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence. From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance, from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back into bondage." - From James Hogan via Lew Rockwell's blog
PLEASE DON'T EAT THE GRASSHOPPERS
They have lead in them...
FDA issues chapuline warning
By JULIET V. CASEY, Tuesday, November 25, 2003, Las Vegas Review-Journal
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers, particularly pregnant women and children, to avoid eating chapulines, or grasshoppers, imported from Oaxaca, Mexico, because they could be contaminated with lead.... link
- Hell, just order UNLEADED!
BUSH REMOVES CRITIC MAX CLELAND FROM 9-11 PANEL
New job takes Cleland off 9/11 panel
WASHINGTON, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Former Sen. Max Cleland, a Democrat, has been nominated by President Bush to serve on the board of the Export-Import Bank.
As a result he will have to leave the commission investigating the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
The statutes governing the panel, formally known as The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, bar anyone who holds a federal job like being on the Ex-Im Board.
Cleland has been one of the more outspoken members of the commission, accusing the administration of delaying access to vital documents in an effort to run out the clock on its investigation... LINK
-Last week, Cleland lauched a powerful attack against Bush. This week he is gone.
DESPITE POPULAR OUTCRY WHITE HOUSE SUCCESSFULLY LEANS ON CONGRESS TO EXPAND MEDIA MONOPOLIZATION
Lawmakers agree on TV ownership
Provision calls for higher limit
By Alan Fram, Associated Press, Published November 25, 2003
WASHINGTON -- Congressional bargainers bowed to White House pressure Monday and agreed to let networks own larger numbers of television stations as lawmakers put finishing touches on a year-end $390 billion spending package.
Facing a veto threat, top lawmakers decided to include a provision letting companies own stations watched by up to 39 percent of the nation's viewers, congressional aides said. Last week, lawmakers said they would use the bill to kill the Bush administration's proposal for a 45 percent threshold--up from the current 35 percent.... LINK
US TO WEAKEN KOREAN DEFENSES TO SHORE UP IRAQ
US to move troops from South Korea to Iraq, Afghanistan: report
Mon Nov 24, 9:39 PM ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States plans to relocate troops from South Korea to duty in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of a wide reorganization of its 37,000 strong garrison in the country, a report quoting military officials said...
... Rumsfeld insisted any pullback would not weaken the US stance against the Stalinist state.
"We understand weakness can be provocative, that weakness can invite people to do things that they otherwise would not be inclined to consider," Rumsfeld said.... LINK
-But our weakness won't be provocative, because we say it won't...
MILITARY SUICIDE RATE JUMPS TO THREE TIMES NORMAL
Update to yesterdays posting:
Suicide - the GI's embedded enemy
By Oliver Poole in Los Angeles, SIDNEY MORNING HERALD, October 15, 2003
Suicides among United States servicemen in Iraq are running at up to three times the usual rate, the US Army has revealed.
Since the start of the war 11 have been confirmed and a dozen more deaths are thought to be suicides. If all are confirmed it would mean an annual rate of 34 per 100,000 servicemen.
Most have happened after May 1, when President George Bush declared that "major combat operations" were over. Since then troops have had to cope with increasing paramilitary attacks....
... The usual army suicide rate is 10 to 13 per 100,000 - the figure for the same age group in the general population.... LINK
-Note that this story is dated a month EARLIER than the Associated Press item I posted. That, apparently, is an indicator of how much worse our media is than the rest of the world's...
OZONE LAYER SACRIFICED FOR FLORIDA VOTES
Ozone layer 'sacrificed' to lift re-election prospects
By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor, THE INDEPENDENT, 23 November 2003
President George Bush has brought the international treaty aimed at repairing the Earth's vital ozone layer close to breakdown, risking millions of cancers, to benefit strawberry and tomato growers in the electorally critical state of Florida, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.
His administration is insisting on a sharp increase in spraying of the most dangerous ozone-destroying chemical still in use, the pesticide methyl bromide, even though it is due to be phased out under the Montreal Protocol in little more than a year. And it has threatened that the United States could withdraw from the treaty's provisions altogether if its demand is not met.
Talks on the unprecedented demand broke down without agreement at the conference in Nairobi this month as US delegates refused to consider any compromise. They even rejected a European Union proposal that would have allowed farmers to use the same amount of the pesticide as at present, even though this, itself, would violate the spirit of the protocol... LINK
WHY BUSH FINALLY MET WITH U.S. FAMILIES OF THE SLAIN
Meetings in Britain apparently got through to him..
FROM THE INDEPENDENT:
Mrs Seymour had steeled herself for the meeting and took several breaths before she began talking. She told the President: "I have a three-year-old little boy who I have to bring up completely on my own now and the papers and the press are constantly reporting that there are no weapons of mass destruction. You and Mr Blair are constantly trying to reaffirm the fact that this isn't all in vain. I have to see that every day, on top of grieving for my husband." At this point, she said, "Beck chirped up and told him his 'daddy was in heaven', and Mr Bush's face just like fell, and he said, 'Oh, I'm so sorry'....
"It's really hard, I don't like to say this, but I actually think he was quite genuine. He seemed genuinely quite upset and quite emotional. His wife didn't say anything to me. I don't think I heard her speak once, and to be honest, she looked the disengaged one..." LINK
-On the other hand, Karl Rove might've just thought it looked bad to meet with Brit families and not American ones...
Monday, November 24, 2003
LA TIMES STARTING 3-PART SERIES ON WALMART
An Empire Built on Bargains Remakes the Working World
Wal-Mart is so powerful that it moves the economies of entire countries, bringing profit and pain. The prices can't be beat, but the wages can....
...By squeezing suppliers to cut wholesale costs, the company has hastened the flight of U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas. By scouring the globe for the cheapest goods, it has driven factory jobs from one poor nation to another.
Wal-Mart's penny-pinching extends to its own 1.2 million U.S. employees, none of them unionized. By the company's own admission, a full-time worker might not be able to support a family on a Wal-Mart paycheck.
Then there are casualties like Kelly Gray. As Wal-Mart expands rapidly into groceries, it is causing upheaval in yet another corner of the economy. When a Supercenter moves into town, competitors often are wiped out, taking high-paying union jobs with them.... LINK
-You could also check out how WalMart got Vlasic in a pickle by getting them to sell a gallon of pickles for under $3, skyrocketing their sales but wiping out most of their profits.
WHY ARE SO MANY SOLDIERS IN IRAQ COMMITTING SUICIDE?
Army seeks answers in soldier suicides
RANDALL RICHARD THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
...Since April, the military says, at least 17 Americans -- 15 Army soldiers and two Marines -- have taken their own lives in Iraq. The true number is almost certainly higher. At least two dozen noncombat deaths, some of them possible suicides, are under investigation according to an AP review of Army casualty reports.
No one in the military is saying for the record that the suicide rate among forces in Iraq is alarming. But Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the top American military commander in Iraq, was concerned enough, according to the Army Surgeon General's office, to have ordered a 12-person mental health assessment team to Iraq to see what more can be done... LINK
-Just a guess, maybe being constant targets and/or doing horrible things in a meaningless and unnecessary war could be causing a little stress, what do YOU think?
SK BUBBA FINALLY FIGURES OUT THE BUSH SYSTEM
Voter's guide to GOP Bizarro World politics
People are having trouble understanding why anyone would be opposed to expanding Medicare to include a prescription drug benefit for seniors. That would be a good thing, right? And uncharacteristic of standard GOP principles, right?
Not really. Not if you put the proposal in GOP Bizarro World context. See, in GOP Bizarro World, up is down, black is white, and wrong is right...
He gives numerous examples, such as the Clean Air Initiative, Healthy Forests, Mission Accomplished, etc... LINK
-In a way, its reassuring... I used to think the Bush Regime was simply the most brazenly corrupt in the nation's history... now I know I'm just trapped in BIZARRO WORLD!!!!
BUSH FINALLY HAS TO MEET WITH MILITARY FAMILIES, BUT THEY DON'T SHOW IT
Under Fire, Bush Meets Families of Iraq War Dead
By Adam Entous, 30 minutes ago
FORT CARSON, Colo. (Reuters) - At a base hard hit by Iraq war losses, President Bush met on Monday with the families of 26 of the dead and vowed to answer attacks on U.S. troops with more force as he defended the invasion and his response to mounting casualties.
"We're sending a clear message: Anyone who seeks to harm our soldiers can know that our great soldiers are hunting for them," Bush told Fort Carson troops and families before starting an extended vacation at his Crawford, Texas, ranch.
"Terrorists have chosen to make a stand and test our resolve. Our resolve will not be shaken," he said.
It was Bush's second meeting in less than a week with families of soldiers killed in action. The rising death toll has become a political liability for the Republican president, who is running for reelection next year.
Some of Bush's rivals have criticized him for not attending any funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, and barring television coverage of the return home of flag-draped coffins.... link
Hmm. They say he met with the families, but they still didn't show it. Also doesn't mention the other families he met with were BRITISH.
The clear message I'm receiving is that those seeking to harm our troops are SUCCEEDING. And I'm still waiting to see any flag -draped coffins...
TWO YEARS LATER MOST ANTI-TERRORISM MONEY MISSPENT OR NOT SPENT AT ALL
Anti-Terrorism Funds Buy Wide Array of Pet Projects
Some of Region's Unused Millions Could Be Lost
By Jo Becker, Sarah Cohen and Spencer S. Hsu, Washington Post, Sunday, November 23, 2003; Page A01
Two years after Congress approved a massive infusion of cash to help gird the Washington area against terrorism, much of the $324 million remains unspent or is funding projects with questionable connections to homeland security....Left to interpret needs on their own -- and with little regional coordination -- cash-strapped local and state officials plugged budget holes, spent millions on pet projects and steered contracts to political allies....
...Some police officers are still waiting for basic protective gear. Public health labs swamped by the anthrax attacks of 2001 have no additional capacity today. Most local governments have no efficient way to give instructions to residents shut off from radio and television, such as a "reverse 911" system that automatically telephones people at home. There is no comprehensive plan to unite families separated in a disaster... LINK
RESERVIST SHORTFALL - WILL A DRAFT BE NEEDED?
Army Reserve battling an exodus
War is seen as drain on ranks
By Robert Schlesinger, Globe Staff, 11/23/2003
WASHINGTON -- The US Army Reserve fell short of its reenlistment goals this fiscal year, underscoring Pentagon fears that the protracted conflict in Iraq could cause a crippling exodus from the armed services.
The Army Reserve has missed its retention goal by 6.7 percent, the second shortfall since fiscal 1997. It was largely the result of a larger than expected exodus of career reservists, a loss of valuable skills because such staff members are responsible for training junior officers and operating complex weapons systems.... LINK
- Obviously, it may explain why draft boards are being reactivated.
EYE IN THE SKY - OR GLOBAL "BIG BROTHER"?
Persistent ISR Would Allow U.S. Military to Function as Strike Force
By MEGAN SCULLY, DEFENSE NEWS
The U.S. military must cast an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance net over the world to keep a watchful eye on the current threat — a smart and patient enemy with access to commercial technology, a senior Army official said Nov. 17.
“We have to put a globe, if you will, a sphere, over the world from an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability standpoint,” said Edward Bair, Army program executive officer for intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors. “We must be able to see, be able to hear, be able to smell, be able to feel what’s going on anytime, anyplace in the world.” ... LINK
IS THIS LEGAL?
Iraq appoints US citizen as its American envoy
By David Rennie in Washington, (Filed: 24/11/2003)
The Iraqi Governing Council has appointed an Iraqi-American woman and human rights lobbyist its first ambassador to the United States.
Rend Rahim Francke is little known in Iraq. As a young girl she was sent for an education at boarding school in England, followed by Cambridge and the Sorbonne. She left Iraq for good in the 1970s and has been a US citizen since 1987..... LINK
I mean how can someone be an ambassador TO a country they are now FROM? I guess BUSHCO is so used to conflicts of interest, they didn't notice...
Three big ones:
1- the incident in Mosul (the so-called "safe area") - Witnesses to the Mosul attack said gunmen shot two soldiers driving through the city center, sending their vehicle crashing into a wall. The 101st Airborne Division said the soldiers were driving to another garrison. About a dozen swarming teenagers dragged the soldiers' bodies out of the wreckage and beat them with concrete blocks, the witnesses said.
2- Salaam Pax- (the Baghdad blogger)-Dear George, I hate to wake you up from that dream you are having, the one in which you are a superhero bringing democracy and freedom to underdeveloped, oppressed countries. But you really need to check things out in one of the countries you have recently bombed to freedom. Georgie, I am kind of worried that things are going a bit bad in Iraq and you don't seem to care that much...
3- The Wacky Iraqi- Not to make light of the subject, but this guy started making fun of Saddam, now he's satirizing Bush- Though jobs in most other U.S. manufacturing sectors continue to stagnate, new positions such as Body Bag Assembly Specialist, Assistant Body Bag Inspector, and Body Bag Zipper Alignment Engineer are growing exponentially, and Bush Administration economic advisors are all smiles....
Church Signs I'd like to see -
-From the Church Sign Generator
Sunday, November 23, 2003
LBJ ROLE IN JFK ASSASSINATION IS A CANARD
The History Channel's version of the JFK assassination plot which lays the blame on Lyndon Johnson is an attempt to distract people from the person that most insiders believe had some role or knowledge of the event, Richard Nixon. It is believed that many of the "plumbers", Nixon's secret team of mostly Cubans and other rightwingers that were involved in the Watergate breakin in 1972, were the principals of that plot.
Last years release of 900 hours of Nixon's tapes added fuel to that speculation. see link
PHOTOS PROOF MIAMI PROTESTORS SHOT WHILE FLEEING
COSMIC IGUANA RATED only 22% EVIL!
According to the Gerimatriculator Our Beloved Cosmic Iguana might NOT be as evil as pResident Bush says. Here is an excerpt of the result of their "numerological" analysis, which apparently compares a website to the Bible (or something):
The text you sent is
22% evil, 78% good
detailed analysis below.
Points of interest
Amount of consonants 6216 6216=7x888
Amount of different words beginning with vowel 224 224=7x32
Amount of words beginning with vowel 662 6+6+2=14=7x2
Amount of words beginning with consonant 1498 1498=7x214
Value of all words 822738 822738=7x117534
"RESSENTIMENT" AND WHY CNN FOUND THAT
SHORT MEN ARE MORE LIKELY TO VOTE REPUBLICAN
KEATING HOLLAND, CNN POLLING DIRECTOR: I looked and saw that Gallup was asking height. And I thought to myself, hmm, I wonder if tall men are different than short men.
WOODRUFF: And guess what? They are. At least in one respect.
Our polls show men 5'10" and under are more likely to be Republican than their taller counterparts. Keating, who is 6'1", can't explain it.
HOLLAND: I think it is probably related to some third factor....
-- Maybe their parents didn't feed them well enough when they were kids?
Actually, I doubt there's a third factor. A poll a few months ago showed that Rush Limbaugh fans were more likely to resent women. I think this goes back to the classical theory of ressentiment coined by Nietzche and developed by Max Scheler in the 1920's explain the fusion of racism and nationalism among those who harbor "a generalized feeling of resentment and often hostility... especially chronically and with no means of direct expression."
(Am. Heritage Dictionary).
To me that's the classic Republican or in Howard Dean's words "guy with a confederate flag on the pickup truck". In Limbaugh fans its ressentiment against women, in Southerners, ressentiment against blacks, and in short men... well you figure it out.
BTW, obviously many short men have transcended that limitation and vote Democratic.
Next, I'd really like to find out why some women vote Republican
FOLLOWUP ON INTEL ANALYST JOHN KOKAL'S "SUICIDE"
I've posted on The Spy Game updates to the mysterious suicide of intelligence analyst John Kokal, found shoeless and jacketless in subfreezing weather on Nov 7 in Washington DC:
Mystery surrounds death of State Dept. Official
Kokal's INR bureau was at the forefront of confronting claims that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction link
I originally posted about this Nov 9.
"POLICE RIOT" IN N.Y.C
NYPD ATTACKS PEACEFUL GATHERING AT BROOKLYN COMMUNITY SPACE
8 People Arrested at Benefit for Activist People of Color
INDY MEDIA, NOV 16
Brooklyn, NY – People attending a fundraising event in Brooklyn were
shocked early this morning by unprovoked and violent assault at the hands of the NYPD. Up to 100 people attending a fundraiser for activists of
color were indiscriminately sprayed with chemical agents, beaten with
nightsticks, and harassed by a throng of police officers. Witnesses say
there was no cause for the assaults and the subsequent arrests following
Approximately 21 marked police vehicles arrived at The Critical Resistance
office 968 Atlantic Avenue, the location of the fundraising event, at
around 2AM, to investigate an officer’s report of someone standing outside
the party allegedly holding an “open container.” Within minutes, the
police unleashed their wave of violence onto the crowd, provoking
onlookers and beating down attendees who were not resisting their orders.
Over 20 people were experiencing effects of the pepper spray that was
erratically sprayed into the air by the officers. The officers were also
attempting to take the event sign-in sheet.
All tenants of the private, residential building were present at the
event, did not request police assistance, and no one in the building
placed a complaint with the precinct or the emergency response system.
Witnesses report that no warrant was presented upon police entrance....
CORRABORATION by firstname.lastname@example.org: I witnessed up to 25 police vehicles and up to a hundred police officers swarm a perfectly peaceful and fun gathering at the Anarchist People of Color fundraiser. Someone got arrested for nothing and when everybody went out to witness and stand by their friend, the cops got more upset. More cops showed up and the party goers started chanting "shame" over and over.
The police got really aggressive and I was afraid that Nazi PD would shoot somebody as they are prone to. What they did do, was beat people and pepper spray them indiscriminately.
There is no doubt in my mind that this completely peaceful gathering was targeted (a few days before FTAA) because it was promoted as an anarchist event. The FBI defines "anarchists" as terrorists basically, especially after 9.11....
Hungarian volunteer shot dead by US soldiers in Iraq
AFP reports that a Hungarian humanitarian volunteer was shot dead at a checkpoint, after he reportedly drove up at a high rate of speed and failed to respond to signals to slow down. I'll note that there are a lot of these type of deaths and usually the cause is misunderstanding the troops' hand signals. The "high rate of speed" is something they throw in so you'll know that it "wasn't our fault".
ANOTHER BRILLIANT STUNT BY VICEROY BREMER
Analysis: Iraqi CPA fires 28,000
Date: Friday, November 21, 2003 6:40:58 PM EST By RICHARD SALE, UPI Intelligence Correspondent
American's top man in Baghdad, L. Paul Bremer, last week fired 28,000 Iraqi teachers as political punishment for their former membership in the Saddam Hussein-dominated Baath Party, fueling anti-U.S. resistance on the ground, administration officials have told United Press International.
A Central Command spokesman, speaking to UPI from Baghdad, acknowledged that the firings had taken place but said the figure of 28,000 "is too high."
He was unable, however, after two days, to supply UPI with a lower, revised total.
The Central Command spokesman attributed the firings to "tough, new anti-Baath Party measures" recently passed by the U.S.-created Iraqi Governing Council, dominated by Ahmed Chalabi, a favorite of administration hawks in the White House and Pentagon.
"It's a piece of real stupidity on the part of the neocons to try and equate the Baath Party with the Nazis," said former CIA official Larry Johnson. "You have to make a choice: Either you are going to deal with Iraqis who are capable of rebuilding and running the country or you're going to turn Iraq over to those who can't."
Facing a spreading insurgency, this was "not the time to turn out into the street more recruits for the anti-U.S. insurgency," Johnson said.
"It's an incredible error," said former senior CIA official and Middle East expert Graham Fuller. "In Germany, after World War II, the de-nazification program was applied with almost surgical precision in order not to antagonize German public opinion. In the case of Iraq, ideologues don't seem to grasp the seriousness of their acts."... LINK
First, we fired their military and they took their weapons home to use against us, now we are firing the teachers, so they're pissed off to and can borrow the weapons from their relatives to shoot at us too...