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On the lighter side of life... 

#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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Trump & The Mob

http-//www.politico.com#13C5A6C

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"Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss'd to me

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."

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Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 


Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

 

    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness & hunger in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

     In Washington County, Oregon's "economic engine," the divide between the affluent and the working poor continues.  We have a 19,000 unit gap in affordable low income rental housing.  County political and business leaders are indifferent to this crisis...   


A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways. The point is, however, to change it. 

- Karl Marx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

See my FACEBOOK for additional

fodder @ Russ

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Case-for-Trump-over-Clinton-is-a-loser

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SB 1533 passes!  

http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=10863

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Housing Needs in Oregon 

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#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941

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Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms

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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!

"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild

Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  

Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   

     Why do Intel employees who are house hunting in Hillsboro, Aloha or Beaverton refer to an area within a 5 mile radius of Intel plants as "the dead zone?"  

      Do they know something we don't?  QuestionIntel.com  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001


    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 


"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

 

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

 

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

 

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' 

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"  

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921) 



"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."  

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11 



 

"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”   

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."  

- Abraham Lincoln 

  

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society  

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

  

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..."  

- Edmund Burke  

  

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”  

- Jonathan Swift 

  

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."  

- Garrison Keillor 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Tuesday
Aug282007

SOCIALISM FOR HAVES OR HAVE NOTS?

    Syndicated columnist Paul Krugman argues that if we can accept the concept that the education of the younger generation is a social obligation we all share through our tax support of public schools, whether our kids attend them or not or whether we have kids or not, then why doesn't the same argument apply to universal health insurance for kids?  Good point, Paul! 
    As Krugman points out, the neo-cons will argue this is a back door argument for "socialized" medicine.  Well, so what?  If education is a de facto human right, then why not health care too?  And once we can make that transition, then hopefully with the right folks in the West Wing and Congress we'll be able to create a universal health care system for ALL Americans, not just kids.
    John Kenneth Galbraith in a highly regarded PBS series on economics argued that community based programs like education, transportation and public safety are inherently "socialist" enterprises in the sense that the wider community is the best and most likely vehicle of financial support and service delivery.  What he could have added is that such a "communitarian" principle is at the heart of traditional Republican ideology from Lincoln to Ike.
    President Eisenhower presided over the creation of two landmark "socialist" programs in the 1950s - the National Defence Education Act and the creation of the federal interstate highway system.  It's too bad the neo-cons don't know their own party history having taken their talking points from Ronald Wilson Reagan, the most historically illiterate President until Dubya came along! 
    The current leaders of the GOP also need to be reminded that "Mr. Republican" in the 1950s, US Senator Robert H. Taft (R, Ohio) was a co-sponsor along with Senator Robert Wagner (D, NY) of our public housing program now under the auspices of HUD.  So fiscally conservative but socially moderate Republicans have seen the wisdom of creating public infrastructure which the marketplace cannot build.
    What this nation needs is less "socialism" for the rich and well connected and more "socialism" for the working poor and middle class.  Education, health care and housing should be centerpieces of such a strategy.  That would be real "compassionate" conservatism at work.  It should also be the basis for creating bi-partisan coalitions to do the right thing for our kids, the 46 million adults without health care and for the 10% of Americans on the edge of homelessness. 

 

Monday
Aug272007

TERRORISM'S HEART OF DARKNESS

    By George Evans, Professor Emeritus, Department of English, Pacific University
    David Relin’s probing article in Sunday’s Oregonian shines a laser beam of light on the darkness that Iraq has become in the last four years.
    We have, as he specifically demonstrates, squandered both blood and treasure in the invasion and occupation of the country, and we have, as the Pakistani general incredulously says, united “a billion Muslims against America for the next 200 years.”
    In Relin’s view, we must commit ourselves to changing that profoundly negative attitude about America. Our job, as he sees it, is to attack the “root causes of terrorism: poverty and ignorance.”  Our job, in short, is to give those deprived men and women “something to live for.”
    His view of the root causes of terrorism is familiar and one that most of us in western liberal democracies hold. Bring education and reason to the masses, and terrorists will wither away, deprived of the arid soil in which they flourish.                                                                                                                                                                                       Unfortunately, study after study has shown this view to be wishful thinking, a product, ironically, of our liberal, rational view of the world. It is difficult, almost impossible, for us to realize that in the terrorists we are confronted with a radically different world view.
    The terrorists, these studies have shown, are neither ignorant or poor. In the various countries studied, the terrorists turn out to be more educated than the general population, coming from middle or upper economic and social classes, and often married with children.
    Remember how unbelieving we were reading a few months ago about the half dozen physicians in Britain planning car bomb attacks. These men were not exceptions. Ayman al Zawahiri, the leading al Qaeda theoretician, is an Egyptian-trained physician. Osama is a wealthy, trained civil engineer.
    The problem we face with the terrorists is immense and easily misunderstood. But the research so far suggests that providing would-be terrorists with education and money doesn’t begin to address the problem. Neither does giving them something to live for.
    They already have something to live for, and it’s not enough. What they have—and what for us is so hard to understand—is something to die for. And what they’re willing to die for very much relates to us. They want us gone—our soldiers and lethal weapons, our western values, our culture—from their lands.
    That, of course, deeply offends and baffles us. How could they not want what we have to offer?
    To achieve our removal from their countries, men—and now an increasing number of women—become jihadists, heroes in their country, worthy of emulation. Their children are taught, not just in the madrassas and secular schools, but at home that the cause is just and noble.
    Separated by an ocean and a veritable universe of values, we can only shake our heads and label these men and women terrorists. One culture’s terrorist, however, is another culture’s courageous martyr.
    So, as Mr. Relin suggests, we should create more schools with moderate curriculums for both sexes. The Taliban rightly see education and schools as their enemy and will continue to violently shut down the schools and terrorize both teachers and students. Some education is always better than no education.
    But we should be under no illusion. Ignorance and poverty are not the real enemy, though they are indeed enemies. We are the real enemy, and those who oppose us will not be happy until we have withdrawn entirely from their lives and lands. And that is the very thing our culture with its sense of superiority will not allow us to do.
    It’s going to be a long two centuries as we struggle to learn what the Pakistani general has already seen: we’ve united a billion Muslims against us.
    Editor's Note:   My good friend and colleague George Evans has hit a nerve ending.  One of the biggest myths in American society is the belief that education is the panacea for all types of social ills - poverty, drugs, violence et al.  Of course none of this is true.  If it were, then millions of Americans who are high school or college grads would not be caught in the middle of a global economy where their jobs are being outsourced.
    The most enduring agent of positive change is the creation of a stable middle class.  Here at home the middle class is very much in jeopardy as the rich get richer, the poor get on the dole and the rest of us must fend for ourselves.  But it's no different, just more desperate in much of Asia, Africa and Latin America - as well as in the "liberated" states of the old Soviet empire.
    Education per se is not the key.  Family wage jobs are.  Iraq was a very highly educated society before we occupied it and destroyed it.  It had a vibrant professional class.  Yes, it was not a democracy.  But it's a very inconvenient fact that the lives of most of its people were better then than they are today under the auspices of American hegemony.
    Economic development is the key to undercutting the jihadists and their ilk.  But it can't happen under the banner of the American flag.  The evidence of our economic development efforts in Iraq show we are failing across the board in delivering the goods. Such goodies must be delivered by more neutral forces, such as the UN or regional efforts.
    Until two myths are dispelled - the myth of education and the myth of democracy - the US will continue to create a billion enemies by trying to enforce our values. Our first move must be to disengage from Iraq; but as we do we must turn over the keys to those who can do the job better.  And that job is not military occupation but the winning of hearts and minds, one at a time.
    Ironically, our obsession with geo-political hegemony trumps our own capitalistic ethic!  George Bush loves to embrace the word "liberty" but he clearly doesn't understand its roots in American history.  Liberty according to the Founding Father's was rooted in our ability to pursue life, liberty and property - read John Locke, not Jefferson!
    Liberty does not come from the barrel of a gun, but from the creation of civil society!  President Bush turns out to be a stupid Maoist, not a smart capitalist.  But then again, he never ran a successful business did he!  And he still hasn't.  He's just good at living on other people's money and spending it rashly.
   When people have a viable economic stake in their own society and futures they will have something to live for, not merely something to die for.  But they have to earn it the hard way - building a civil society brick by brick.  The government in the Green Zone has no such will and we cannot impose it.
    After all it took us 200 years of mucking around in the wilderness of the New World, a Revolutionary War and a Civil War to get it right and we're still a work in progress! 

  

Monday
Aug272007

THE BAIRD FACTOR

    Today's Oregonian has an above the fold front page story on Southwest Washington Congressman Brian Baird's latest "zigzag" on the war in Iraq.  Staff writers Jeff Kosseff and Jeff Mapes begin the article by suggesting that "...Rep. Brian Baird's star is rising rapidly in the Republican Party. Unfortunately for Baird, he's a Democrat..." 
    Baird returning from a trip to the Mideast this month "...has been touting the progress he observed in Iraq. Breaking with nearly all other Democratic members of Congress, he says the United States should not immediately withdraw troops from Iraq, vowing to oppose a binding timetable even though he voted for one just last month..." 
    Kosseff and Mapes say that "...Republicans, including House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, tout Baird's statements as a reason to keep troops in Iraq. Baird's position is valuable to them because he was one of 133 House members to vote against authorizing the war in 2002..." 
     Quoting Baird, Kosseff and Mapes explain the change of view: "...The invasion itself and the post-invasion decisions are among the greatest policy mistakes in the history of this country. But once we are there, we have a moral obligation to help the Iraqi people rebuild their nation. We have a strategic interest in making sure the instability doesn't spread..."
    Now to say the least Baird has incurred the ire of the local anti-war crowd in his district and separated himself from every other Democratic member of Congress from both Oregon and Washington.   "...By reversing himself and breaking with his party, Baird may alienate many who voted for him..." 
    As the article says - "He's going to catch hell Monday night," says Linda Wiener, a Vancouver resident active in several anti-war groups and in providing aid to Iraqi refugees. Members of the Vancouver peace community are "very upset, and it's going to be a tough meeting."
    But Baird represents a district which is a marginally Democratic district and once was a strong GOP district.  And his iconoclastic views on the war are not the only time Baird has switched sides.  Last year he teamed up with Oregon's GOP Congressman Greg Walden to support the Bush policy in favor of salvage logging.
    A fellow political scientist and friend from WSU-Vancouver Carolyn Long suggests that Baird's change on Iraq could be a problem in more urban and heavily Democratic districts such as Portland or Seattle. "Here, I think, there are enough moderates in the district that it won't have that great of an impact."
    And getting an anti-war candidate to challenge Baird could be a problem.  So Baird may believe he has a free ride given the district.  But Baird's change of mind reminds RAD of Michigan's Governor George Romney's famous visit to Vietnam after which he came back resolved to stay the course, but as a presidential candidate decided he'd been brain washed. 
    Aside from suggesting Baird suffers from "post traumatic brainwashing" PTBW - his assumption that we have a moral obligation to make the mess we created in Iraq right is a morally defensible position.  The trouble is that we can't do it and the historical facts on the ground prove it daily.
    Now as far as the strategic interests of the US in the region, allow me to pass on some wisdom via my Canadian Connection from an article in the New Yorker by David Remnick commenting on an upcoming book entitled The Lobby by Stephen M. Walt and John J. Mearsheimer
    NewYorker:  Last year, two distinguished  political scientists, John J  Mearsheimer, University of  Chicago, and Stephen M. Walt, John F. Kennedy School of  Government, at Harvard, published an online article entitled “The Israel Lobby  and U.S. Foreign Policy."  
     The two political scientists argue that "Israel...has become a “strategic liability” for the United States but retains its strong support because of a wealthy, well-organized, and bewitching lobby that has a “stranglehold” on Congress and American élites. Moreover, Israel and its lobby bear outsized responsibility for persuading the Bush Administration to invade Iraq and, perhaps one day soon, to attack the nuclear facilities of Iran.
    Mearsheimer and Walt are “realists.” In their view, diplomatic decisions should be made on the basis of national interest. They argue that in the post-Cold War era, in the absence of a superpower struggle in the Middle East, the United States no longer has any need for an indulgent patronage of the state of Israel.
    Three billion dollars in annual foreign aid, the easy sale of advanced weaponry, thirty-four vetoes of U.N. Security Council resolutions critical of Israel since 1982—such support, Mearsheimer and Walt maintain, is not in the national interest.
    “There is a strong moral case for supporting Israel’s existence,” they write, but they deny that Israel is of critical strategic value to the United States. The disappearance of Israel, in their view, would jeopardize neither America’s geopolitical interests nor its core values. Such is their “realism.”
    RAD:  Perhaps the Oregonian needs to check out who Baird's out of state financial backers are.  Perhaps like many members of Congress, especially Democrats, Baird has been bought off rather than suffers from a sudden streak of conscience for what evil we've done to Iraq.
    But the bottom line, staying the course in Iraq will not remove the blood from our hands, nor will it reclaim those who have died in vain for a failed policy and nothing will force the puppet government in the Green Zone to do the right thing to reach the necessary political deals to make our sacrifice seem worth the cost.
    Finally, continuing this ruinous policy will not be good for Israel either.  It simply plays into the hands of the jihadists and Israel haters all over the Middle East and beyond.  Getting out of Iraq is the only logical policy and then using diplomacy to force the nations of the region to pony up to their "moral" and strategic interests is the next step.
    In the short run Israel has proved time and time again it can take care of itself.  But in the long run, if we and the Israelis continue to create a wasteland on the West Bank, Gaza and now Iraq for the jihadists, both nation's long term interests in having a stable, not necessarily democratic Middle East, will be jeopardized.
    Is it "moral" or "realistic" to allow US hegemony, with Israel's complicit support, to be asserted in the region?  Conditions on the ground suggest otherwise.  The sins of the fathers will be visited upon the sons.  It's time for a change of course and occupants in the West Wing and maybe Southwest Washington! 


 

     

Monday
Aug272007

SAVING THE NASTINESS OF WAR FOR YOU

    By Jim Hightower, Commentary, August 27, 2007: 
    "Butch Hancock is a wonderful singer-songwriter who was raised in the Lubbock area, out in West Texas. Butch once told me about growing up in the sometimes confusing fundamentalist Christian ethic of that bastion of the Bible belt. He said that, as hormone-charged teenagers, they were instructed that sex is the nastiest, filthiest thing in the world... and they should save it for someone they love.
    Well, just down the road from Lubbock is where George W spent his early years. Apparently, he took this same convoluted, fundamentalist logic to heart, for we now see it playing out in his Iraq policy. It goes something like this: Since we've sent more than 3,100 Americans to their deaths in the nasty horrors of Iraq, we should save that horror – even expand it – for other soldiers to enjoy.
    Never mind that a big majority of Americans voted last November against such madness, and that some three-fourths of our people now oppose Bush's escalation of this misbegotten war. Never mind that three-fourths of the Iraqi people themselves believe that our presence there provokes more violence than it prevents, and that they would feel safer if our troops were withdrawn.
    Never mind that only 35 percent of our own troops there approve of Bush's handling of the war, and that 71 percent of them want our military to be withdrawn and sent home this year. Never mind that Bush's so-called "coalition" of allies in Iraq are already withdrawing the small number of troops that they had sent into that nasty horror. Never mind the realities – Bush is pushing his war like it's something to love... and save... and keep forever.
    Of course, George has none of his loved ones in the war, nor does Cheney, nor the executives of Halliburton, nor the other fiercest warmongers. It's your loved ones for whom they're saving this hellacious nastiness."
    Editor's Note:  Now that US Senator John Warner (R, Va), the ranking minority member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has called for a beginning withdrawal of 5,000 US troops by Christmas, the gig is up for Bush and his war mongering minions, or what's left of them in the sinking ship of state.   
    But if you are not convinced there is something smelly coming out of Denmark aka the West Wing read on...  the McClatchy Washington Bureau had this cheery news today:  Iraqi insurgents taking cut of U.S. rebuilding money
    "BAGHDAD — Iraq's deadly insurgent groups have financed their war against U.S. troops in part with hundreds of thousands of dollars in U.S. rebuilding funds that they've extorted from Iraqi contractors in Anbar province.
    The payments, in return for the insurgents' allowing supplies to move and construction work to begin, have taken place since the earliest projects in 2003, Iraqi contractors, politicians and interpreters involved with reconstruction efforts said.
    A fresh round of rebuilding spurred by the U.S. military's recent alliance with some Anbar tribes — 200 new projects are scheduled — provides another opportunity for militant groups such as al Qaeda in Iraq to siphon off more U.S. money, contractors and politicians warn..." 
    RAD:  Yep the surge is working for the insurgents, the jihadists and the corrupt pols of Iraq!  Good work Dubya...   

Monday
Aug272007

GOING, GOING, GONE

20070827_gonzales_2.jpg   Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will leave his post September 17, 2007.  This is very good news.  However, the next important question is who replaces him?  Former US Senator John Danforth (R, Missouri), Senator Orin Hatch (R, Utah) et al?
    But the most important thing is to not stop the investigation of Gonzales and other rats exiting Dubya's sinking ship of state aka the West Wing - Karl Rove, Tony Snow et al. 
    As John Nichols writing for today's Nation online says in Gonzales Goes But Investigation Must Continue -
    "...The investigation into [the administration's political] machinations has hit the administration hard -- so hard that the president is now jettisoning his oldest and closest aides in order to prevent the inquiry from evolving into a serious examination of his own lawlessness. Today's exit by Gonzales comes just days after Rove announced he would leave at the end of August.  The key thing now is to make sure that the administration does not succeed in using high-profile departures to shut down -- or, at the least, suck the life out of -- those inquiries..."
    It up to the Democratic led Judiciary Committee under Senator Patrick Leahy (D, Vt) to keep the pressure on.  It's also good election year politics!  It's another opportunity to not just get mad, but to get even!