Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Taking a few days off


This isn't exactly where I am going, but I don't have any current photos of the exact area. I certainly will have when I return.

This picture is from Ocean City on the Washington coast. The month of March (when this picture was taken) is a great time to be at the beach. When it isn't raining, it isn't raining. Not much else to say about that except the wind is blowing no matter what.

I have knocked the dust off my cue stick and grabbed a couple new decks of cards. It will be nice to sit around the council fire in the evening with my friends. None of us can sing, so we drink and tell stories. (Did I tell you the one about when Dennis projectile vomited and put the fire out? I guess it was time for everyone to go to bed anyway.)

If I don't manage to post in the morning, I'll just say it now. Have a safe and sane Independence Day Week-end, and drive like you want to get where you are headed.

Not your Mother’s milk

Is this issue really less important to America’s children than the possibility of a flag being burned in protest, or the ability of someone in the family filing bankruptcy because they are suddenly subjected to emergency medical treatment that debilitates them financially?

rBGH

For over 10 years, bovine growth hormone, or rBGH, has been a staple in the dairy products consumed by Americans. Since these products are not labeled as containing rBGH, most consumers have no idea that a growth hormone intended to induce dairy cows to be more productive is in much of their milk, cheese, and yogurt.

After approving the use of rBGH in 1993, the Food and Drug Administration has turned a deaf ear to the pleas of consumers, food safety organizations and scientists to reverse its approval of the hormone, or to simply require labeling of foods containing rBGH. Even a legal challenge by CFS could not force FDA to reexamine the health threats of rBGH. The FDA's decision stood despite regulatory bodies in both Canada and Europe rejecting the hormone due to numerous animal and human health concerns.

In cows treated with rBGH, significant health problems often develop, including a 50 percent increase in the risk of lameness (leg and hoof problems), over a 25 percent increase in the frequency of udder infections (mastitis), and serious animal reproductive problems, i.e., infertility, cystic ovaries, fetal loss and birth defects.

Because rBGH use results in more cases of mastitis, dairy farmers tend to use more antibiotics to combat the infections, the residues of which also may end up in milk and dairy products. These residues can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals and contribute to the growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria, further undermining the efficacy of some antibiotics in fighting human infections.

Furthermore, recent research has shown conclusively that the levels of a hormone called "insulin-like growth factor-1" (IFG-1) are elevated in dairy products produced from cows treated with rBGH. Canadian and European regulators have found that the FDA completely failed to consider a study that showed how the increased IGF-1 in rBGH milk could survive digestion and make its way into the intestines and blood stream of consumers. These findings are significant because numerous studies now demonstrate that IGF-1 is an important factor in the growth of cancers of the breast, prostate and colon.

CFS seeks to force the FDA to remove rBGH from the market through all available legal means. In 1999, CFS, joined by a number of other organizations, filed a legal petition with the FDA requesting that it remove from the market Monsanto's rBGH (trade name Posilac). In late 2000, the FDA announced that it was denying that petition. CFS will continue applying legal pressure on this important food safety issue.

The marketplace will decide this issue

rBGH/Hormones

With little regard for the cows or the humans that eventually eat them, the beef industry pumps growth hormones into upwards of 80 percent of beef cattle raised in the U.S. each year. These hormones are intended to boost growth rates and increase body mass--think cows on steroids. Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture does not allow producers to treat chickens or pigs with hormones, the agency does permit the practice for cattle and sheep.

In addition to hormones used to increase milk production (see rBGH), there are six hormones approved for use in beef cattle. Two of these hormones, estradiol and zeranol, are likely to have negative human health effects, including cancer and impacts on child development, when their residues are present in meat. Concerns about these potential health impacts have left many scientists doubtful of the safety of hormone use in meat production.

The negative environmental impact of hormones entering waterways from livestock feedlots also is cause for alarm. Researchers have found that fish can exhibit significant effects from this pollution, e.g., females begin to exhibit male characteristics, and vice versa, in areas of high hormone concentrations.

The European Union has criticized the use of hormones in meat production since the 1980s due to strong concerns about their safety. The EU prohibited the use of hormones for non-therapeutic purposes in 1985, and banned the importation of U.S. beef in 1988 to avoid importing hormone-treated meat. Since then, there has been a heated dispute between the United States and the EU over the ban, and, in a 1999 ruling, the World Trade Organization (WTO) decided in favor of the US. However, in April of that year, the EU's Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures relating to Public Health (SCVPH) released a report indicating that the use of the six growth hormones posed a risk to consumers. The EU ban remains in place.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Ethics?...again?

Ethics watchdog files complaint against Senate Majority Leader
RawStory

(Excerpt)

In June 2000, Senator Frist took $1 million of the money that had been contributed to his 2000 Senate campaign and invested it in the stock market, where it promptly began losing money. In November 2000, Senator Frist sought to collect $1.2 million he had lent his 1994 Senate campaign committee. As a result of the stock market losses, however, Frist 2000, Inc. did not have enough money to repay the loan. Senator Frist solved this problem by having the 1994 and the 2000 campaign committees jointly take out a $1.44 million bank loan at a cost of $10,000 a month interest. Frist 2000, Inc. did not report this debt on its FEC disclosure forms.

The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) requires full disclosure of any loans taken out by campaign committees. Yet only the 1994 campaign committee, which had been largely dormant, disclosed the loan. The loan papers, which are attached to CREW’s complaint, are signed by Senator Frist personally on behalf of each of the campaign committees.

Melanie Sloan, CREW’s executive director, said “it appears that Senator Frist deliberately broke the law by failing to disclose the $1.44 million loan in Frist 2000, Inc.’s FEC filings. Senator Frist was clearly trying to hide the fact that his 2000 campaign was over a million dollars in debt. Given the large sum of money involved and the fact that the violation appears to have been knowing and willful, the FEC should refer this matter to the Department of Justice for possible criminal prosecution.”

Monday, June 27, 2005

Thoughts on Iraq from Swerve Left

Karlo has gathered some thoughts and comments about the situation in Iraq into an excellent post that demands attention. Part of it touches on the corruption that is agonizing to an ever growing number of honest workers caught up in the reality that something is terribly wrong.

Treason from within the Republic

It has been increasingly difficult to post the past couple weeks. By the time I have made my way through the horror story of the day, I am completely out of emotional steam. I have been forcing myself to spend some time focusing on other interests and things that need to be done around the house.

I sat down this afternoon and watched a replay of the hearing into fraud, waste, and abuse being perpetrated by Halliburton’s KBR in Iraq. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this situation is being aided and abetted by the entire Republican structure from Bush and Cheney to the very least of the corrupt Congressional Republicans in both the House and Senate. The actions consistently taken to protect KBR from the consequences of their egregious business practices against the American taxpayer and , especially, against our men and women in uniform had to be taken at the direction of someone very high up in the Bush Administration. (
Cut to the Chase link)

Providing poor quality food to our troops (that could easily contribute to their inability to maintain a fighting edge while attempting to carry out their duties) is, in my mind, a treasonous act and should be dealt with accordingly. There were enough allegations presented at this hearing to demand an immediate full-scale investigation and public hearings that are attended by the leadership of both parties.

The Republican power brokers in this Administration and this Congress have shown time and again that their primary interest is retaining and increasing their power at any cost. They have methodically infused every institution of Government with corruption and politicization to ensure their grip on policy making, decision making, and information disclosure will not be easily loosened by their political adversaries. The public, whose interests they are charged to protect, have become inconsequential to this party of supposed moral values.

As we think about the hard work ahead to rid ourselves of this corrupt Republican influence that permeates our political system, it would be wise to focus on the only thing that could possibly return ANY of these political vermin to a public office.
There will be an election in 2006 that will serve as the vehicle to begin the healing process for this politically violated Nation ONLY if the election is controlled by honest brokers and no longer by corrupt Republicans.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

RE: The Artful (draft) Dodger

How Cheney Fooled Himself

By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005; Page A21

Host Tim Russert asked whether "we would have to have several hundred thousand troops there" in Iraq "for several years in order to maintain stability." Cheney replied: "I disagree." He wouldn't say how many troops were needed, but he added that "to suggest that we need several hundred thousand troops there after military operations cease, after the conflict ends, I don't think is accurate. I think that's an overstatement."

Russert asked: "If your analysis is not correct, and we're not treated as liberators but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?"

Cheney would have none of it. "Well, I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. I've talked with a lot of Iraqis in the last several months myself, had them to the White House. . . . The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but what they want [is to] get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that."

Russert: "And you are convinced the Kurds, the Sunnis, the Shiites will come together in a democracy?"

Cheney: "They have so far." And the vice president concluded: "I think the prospects of being able to achieve this kind of success, if you will, from a political standpoint, are probably better than they would be for virtually any other country and under similar circumstances in that part of the world."

Was Cheney disguising the war's costs for political purposes? It's more likely that he believed every word he said. That suggests that the administration was not misleading the American people nearly so much as it was misleading itself.

Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska says in the current issue of U.S. News & World Report that "the White House is completely disconnected from reality" and that "it's like they're just making it up as they go along." Unfortunately, the evidence of the past suggests that Hagel's acerbic formulation may be exactly right. Those who still see the invasion of Iraq as a noble mission don't need to protect the policy from the war's critics. They need to rescue it from its architects.

More Fact...Less Opinion?

FIVE POINTERS FOR A LEFT MEDIA
By Robert Parry
June 21, 2005

(Excerpt)

Back in the 1970s, the situation was quite different. Then, the Left had a clear advantage in media, especially from the so-called “underground press” of the Vietnam War-era. These newspapers and magazines were read by legions of young people.

Many Americans got news, too, from independent investigative sources, such as Seymour Hersh’s Dispatch News which broke the My Lai massacre story. Progressives also produced video documentaries and presented anti-war news on rock music radio stations.

To avoid losing credibility with these young audiences, the mainstream press felt compelled toward more skeptical journalism. That dynamic created openings for major newspapers to challenge serious government wrongdoing, as in the Watergate scandal, or to disclose government lies, as in the Pentagon Papers history of the Vietnam War.

But Left funders made a number of fateful decisions at this turning point, essentially forsaking the national media advantage for a strategy of “grassroots organizing” or direct action, such as buying up endangered wetlands or feeding the hungry.

Simultaneously, the Right’s funders began investing heavily in media, launching what conservatives called the “war of ideas,” which was actually a struggle to control the flow of information to the American people.

The Vietnam-era dynamic was reversed. Progressive media shriveled into near irrelevance, while the conservative media expanded rapidly, with well-financed outlets in magazines, newspapers, radio, books, television and eventually the Internet. [For details on this process, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq.]

More Consortium News

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Ethics

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/

ETHICS -- SECRET CONTRIBUTIONS TO DELAY WERE RE-ROUTED AND UNDISCLOSED: "A casino-rich tribe wrote checks for at least $55,000 to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's political groups, but the donations were never publicly disclosed and the tribe was directed to divert the money to other groups that helped Republicans, tribal documents show." Mega-lobbyist Jack Abramoff told the Coushetta Indian tribe to reroute the money to conservative groups who helped pass the Medicare prescription drug legislation and Christian voter outreach. A DeLay aide had expressed concern that the tribe's donations should not appear on the contribution reports of DeLay's political groups. It was reported earlier that DeLay took a trip to Europe that was underwritten by contributions from Indian tribes. DeLay claims he was never told the tribes bankrolled his trip.

Corruption

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/

CORRUPTION -- LOBBYING: AMERICA'S NEW GROWTH INDUSTRY: Finally, President Bush can point to a sector of the economy that's actually improved under his watch. "The number of registered lobbyists in Washington has more than doubled since 2000 to more than 34,750 while the amount that lobbyists charge their new clients has increased by as much as 100 percent," the Washington Post reports. "Only a few other businesses have enjoyed greater prosperity in an otherwise fitful economy." The Post notes that a new study from Public Citizen will show that nearly half of all lawmakers who return to the private sector when they leave Congress become lobbyists. For their part, corporations certainly get their money's worth, since Washington conservatives "aren't just pro-business, they are also pro- government. Federal outlays increased nearly 30 percent from 2000 to 2004, to $2.29 trillion."

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

They hate us because...

U.S. DESPERATELY SEEKING TO DISMISS AIDS ORIGIN LAWSUIT

San Diego, CA. - Federal Judge Sabraw has ordered an open court oral argument for Friday, June 24, 2005 at 1:30p.m.to hear arguments by the United States to support a motion to dismiss the AIDS ORIGIN lawsuit of Dr. Boyd Ed Graves. Dr. Graves AIDS ORIGIN research and his nearly eight years of continuous legal action against the United States for the creation, production and proliferation of HIV/AIDS has been receiving critical acclaim from scientists and medical doctors from all over the world.

[Snip]

Now to the article....

Shameful disconnect from truth

Deception's damning documents
By Paul Rogat Loeb June 21, 2005


(Excerpt from Boston Globe online)

I follow Iraq pretty closely, but was taken aback when Charlie Clements, now head of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, described driving in Iraq months before the war ''and a building would just explode, hit by a missile from 30,000 feet." ''What is that building?" Clements would ask. ''Oh, that's a telephone exchange." Later, at a conference at Nevada's Nellis Air Force Base, Clements heard a US general boast ''that he began taking out assets that could help in resisting an invasion at least six months before war was declared."

Earlier this month, Jeremy Scahill wrote a powerful piece on the website of The Nation, describing a huge air assault in September 2002. ''Approximately 100 US and British planes flew from Kuwait into Iraqi airspace," Scahill writes. ''At least seven types of aircraft were part of this massive operation, including US F-15 Strike Eagles and Royal Air Force Tornado ground-attack planes. They dropped precision-guided munitions on Saddam Hussein's major western air-defense facility, clearing the path for Special Forces helicopters that lay in wait in Jordan. Earlier attacks had been carried out against Iraqi command and control centers, radar detection systems, Revolutionary Guard units, communication centers, and mobile air-defense systems. The Pentagon's goal was clear: Destroy Iraq's ability to resist."

Why aren't we talking about this? As Scahill points out, this was a month before the congressional vote, and two months before the UN resolution. Supposedly part of enforcing ''no fly zones," the bombings were actually systematic assaults on Iraq's capacity to defend itself. The United States had never declared war. Bush had no authorization, not even a fig leaf. He was simply attacking another nation because he'd decided to do so. This preemptive war preempted our own Congress, as well as international law.

Most Americans don't know these prewar attacks ever happened. There was little coverage at the time, and there's been little since. The bombings that destroyed Iraq's air defenses were under the radar for both the American media and American citizens.

If coverage of the Downing Street memo continues to increase, I suspect the administration will try to dismiss it as mere diplomatic talk, just inside baseball. But they weren't just manipulating intelligence so they could attack no matter how Saddam Hussein responded. They weren't only bribing would-be allies into participation. They were fighting a war they'd planned long before. They just didn't bother to tell the American public.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

An excellent comment

From Firedog Lake:

A heartwarming, humorous, and sobering comment on ENERGY, and where the Bush Administration stands up and falls down.

In the best interest of our Nation?

Utterly discredited? You've got the job.

OK, now we've seen everything. Philip A. Cooney, the White House staffer who last week got busted for "revising" government scientific reports to minimize the link between human activity and global warming, is going to work for ... ExxonMobil!

(My Comments)

Perhaps ExxonMobil is just displaying their entrepreneurial spirit in an attempt to create a better market for bottled oxygen.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Ahoy, the winds of change

Bush pressed to answer `Downing Street Memo' questions

Antiwar Group Says Leaked British Memo Shows Bush Misled Public on His War Plans

(Excerpt)
The Downing Street memo, so named because the meeting was at the prime minister's London residence, was published in The Sunday Times of London on May 1.

It is one of seven prewar documents leaked since September to Michael Smith, a reporter for The Daily Telegraph before he began working for The Sunday Times. One, written in preparation for the July 23 meeting and published Sunday by The Sunday Times, warned that "a postwar occupation of Iraq could lead to a protracted and costly nation-building exercise" in which "Washington could look to us to share a disproportionate share of the burden."
Activists have accused mainstream news organizations of playing down the document's significance, even as antiwar bloggers have seized upon it as evidence.

David Swanson, a Democratic activist and one of the founders of After Downing Street, criticized those defenders of President Bush and journalists who have called the memo "old news" because the president's war preparations were widely reported by mid-2002.
"It's not old news to most Americans," Mr. Swanson said.

(MY Comments)
Jim Vandehei, a reporter from the Washington Post, appeared on MSNBC’s Countdown (with Alex Witt filling in for Keith Obermann) last night to give his expert opinion about the Forum held By John Conyers.
Keep in mind that Vandehei was not asked if he had attended the hearing…or spoken to or listened to any of the witnesses before or after their testimony.


Jim, good evening. Nice to have you with us on COUNTDOWN.

JIM VANDEHEI, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: Good to be here, Alex.

WITT: Before we talk about the Downing Street memos, let me begin by asking you about what‘s going on in Iraq. I mean, specifically, Jim, is it getting more difficult for the president to keep on painting a rosy picture? Is this problem he can no longer ignore?

VANDEHEI: It‘s definitely something he can‘t ignore any more, and he acknowledges that. The White House is planning to shift its strategy in the next couple of weeks to focus more attention on Iraq, and probably at the expense of Social Security and some other issues.
The president is looking at the same poll numbers that we are, and he believes he has to reengage with the American people, explain the mission, and explain his plan for victory.


WITT: OK. Let‘s turn now to the Downing Street memos. Is anything in the documents, or anything that we‘ve heard today, as damning as the Democrats on the Hill or liberal bloggers might wish there to be?

VANDEHEI: Well, not really, and the reason would be that the two allegations that are in the memo are basically that the president was planning to go to war long before he was publicly acknowledging it, and determined to use highly disputed weapons of mass destruction information to justify an invasion. Both of those charges, I think, have largely been true—proved by the media, and by administration officials who were there during the war planning sessions.
So what you do have for the first time is, you have it in writing, you have this memo from the British, saying that this is our interpretation of what the United States is thinking. And that‘s what Democrats are seizing on.


WITT: Jim, how seriously was today‘s unofficial hearing being taken
by those on Capitol Hill who were not participating in it?


VANDEHEI: Probably not very seriously. I mean, what you had here were antiwar liberals holding a mock hearing, where they had critics of the administration only testifying. Basically, Republicans control all the levers power in Washington. Democrats have very little that they can do to raise issues or to raise investigations.
So what they did is, they held this mock hearing. And I think it generated some media attention, hence we‘re sitting here talking about it tonight.


WITT: Yes. There has been criticism, though, that the major media outlets have not been paying enough attention to the Downing Street memos. I mean, do you think that‘s starting to change? Do you think this story is really gathering steam, notwithstanding that we‘re talking about it tonight?

VANDEHEI: Right. Well, it‘s interesting, I mean, my e-mailbox has been filled with e-mails from several Democrats who are just angry that the media‘s not doing enough on the issue. And I think if you look at some of the television programs and the major newspapers over the last couple of days, there‘s been a lot of stories now about the memo. But a lot of them are about the process, about Democrats being angry that we‘re not talking about the memo.
Now, our newspaper did have a front-page story in the last week that talked about the specifics of what‘s in that memo and what is significant about it. But for the most part, I haven‘t seen a ton of coverage in the United States of the content.


WITT: And what‘s it going to take to get these memos on the front page of the newspapers? And do you think it should be there in that placement?

VANDEHEI: Right, I mean, I think that‘s usually an editor‘s judgment. I think that there‘s nothing else that‘s going to come that‘s from that memo. We‘ve seen the memo, we know the contents. So I don‘t think you‘re going to see a lot more coverage of it, other than Democrats saying that there should be more focus on why we went to war, more focus on the fact that the president was relying on faulty weapons of mass destruction information.
But I think a lot of that stuff was really hashed out in the elections. A lot of people know that.
And what they‘re focused on now is the disconnect between what the president is saying is happening on the ground in Iraq, and what they‘re seeing on television, with mounting casualties and the insurgency appearing to look stronger rather than weaker. And I think that‘s where a lot of the focus is. And I know that‘s a lot of -- where a lot of the focus of our newspaper is right now.


WITT: How about historical context for these memos? Do you think—what do you think that‘s going to play out to be?

VANDEHEI: Right. I mean, I think the historical context is that it‘s the first time we really have something in writing that proves what I think a lot of people already knew. I mean, we had—our reporters have talked to several officials that have said exactly what‘s in those memos. But now you have a paper trail. So I think that would be the historical significance of it.

WITT: All right, Jim VandeHei of “The Washington Post,” thanks so much for your time here on COUNTDOWN. We appreciate it.

As an antiwar liberal (person with some maturity) and liberal leaning independent blogger, I am beginning to understand the concept of “tipping point”. The Bush Administration and their enablers have been hiding important facts about plans and activities to such a degree that the sheer weight of the hidden information is about to tip the container and spill out all over the awareness of the American people.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Should USDA officials be appointed, elected, or imprisoned?

The following are from rense.com:

The Great US Mad Cow Coverup Begins To Unravel
By John Stauber
CounterPunch.org
6-15-5

Mad Cows, Mad Wildlife & The Rise Of Alzheimer's Disease In North America
Thirteen Things You Should Know Alzheimer's Disease
By Colm Kelleher PhD
6-12-5

Cluster Of Three BSE Cows Found On Farm In Wales
By James Meikle
Health Correspondent
The Guardian - UK
5-29-5

US Man To Be Retested For Human Mad Cow
By Steve Mitchell
ScienceDaily.com
5-19-5

The rense.com archives on CJD – CWD - BSE

Authorities state BSE not unexpected

(Excerpt) Read More

The United States Department of Agriculture has announced that a bovine brain sample that had previously tested inconclusive using two rapid tests for BSE, then tested negative on an IHC test, was recently tested again using the Western Blot test with a presumptive positive result.

The sample is now being flown to the BSE World Reference Laboratory in Weybridge, England for further testing.

In a news conference the USDA stated the animal was an aged beef cow and there was no indication it had been imported.

Both Canadian and U.S. authorities have stated it would not be unexpected to find a few additional cases of BSE on either side of the border. Regulations related to food safety, animal feed and international trade in both countries have been designed with this possibility in mind.

(My Comments)

Everyone I know of taking enough interest in this topic to do a minimum amount of their own research has made an informed decision to exclude beef and dairy from their grocery lists. The only exceptions (myself included) are those with the ability to purchase from local sources that can be validated as organic and humane.

It is becoming more apparent that the amount of testing done on beef cattle in this country is woefully inadequate.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

From the mouths of self-serving Bastards

(Excerpt from By The Times) Found at What Really Happened

Rather than seek honest intelligence with a desire to protect the nation from actual enemies, the Administration leaned on the intelligence community to get the ''facts'' they wanted. They even went so far as to create a ''special'' intelligence unit, composed of long time war advocates, charged to dig up anything, however doubtful or discredited, to tout as ''evidence.''

Numerous speeches, ''news'' show interviews, and the ''State of the Union'' speech to Congress were used to push the deceptive claims. Here are a few of those statements, with the remaining 228 also available at the websites above:

''Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.''--State of the Union Address, 1/28/2003

''U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents.''--State of the Union Address, 1/28/2003

''We have also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas.''--State of the Union Address, 1/28/2003

''Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaeda.''--State of the Union Address, 1/28/2003

''Our intelligence sources tell us that he (Saddam) has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production.''--State of the Union Address, 1/28/2003

''Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at [past nuclear] sites.''--Bush speech to the nation, 10/7/2002

''The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.''--State of the Union Address, 1/28/2003

''We know he's been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.''--VP Dick Cheney, ''Meet the Press'' 3/16/2003

''We gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in.''--Bush Press Conference, 7/14/2003

(Read More)

The LIE of the Century

First...read the article.

Then........

SO HERE IS WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO

The Bush administration and their friends in the media want this story to go away. More than want it to go away, they are in a panic, and will do everything they can to stop it. They will use every dirty trick, every paid shill, every presstitute that they can. Already there is a report that the Michael Jackson jury is "expected" to reach a verdict just before the Conyers hearings.
So, I want YOU to copy this article off, post it everywhere. This article is placed in the public domain. Mail it to your friends. Then send it to your local media and your Congresscritters and have everyone you know do the same. Get on the phones. Flood their offices.

The term is "Viral Marketing" where you get the people who need a product to market it for you. Well, this nation NEEDS this "product". It needs to know that this war was started with lies. INTENTIONAL lies. And they need to know there is something they can do about it, and that is to start pounding on the doors of power.

Because when a flood of such messages reaches the Congress and the media, what they will hear is that there is no more time. Either they will deal with these lies and the liars, in full, or they will lose all credibility as a government and as media.

A government that lies to the people cannot be the legal government of this land. Make sure that they understand that YOU understand that the Constitution does not allow the government to lie to the people. Calling themselves the government does not make it so if they act unconstitutionally and illegally. The Constitution is the original "Contract with America" and a government that lies stands in clear breach of that contract.

MORE MEDIA CONTACTS MORE CONGRESSIONAL CONTACTS

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
-- "The Declaration of Independence"

Monday, June 13, 2005

White Christian Party...says who?

This short video uses images and words to make a point.

This article just uses words.

Share the Love

Like a lot of my friends and neighbors, I am not currently a member of any organized church. I don't consider myself religious, but I am very spiritual, and I subscribe to the qualities in people that elevate the interests of others.
There are many religious organizations and politicians in the spotlight these days speaking loudly and often about a values based society and nation. I would suggest each of them be exposed to the information at the following link:

http://LiberalsLikeChrist.Org/DemocraticParty

Perhaps you would be willing to send this link to all your upstanding local and national politicians. I am sure they will appreciate your sentiment.

Economy hinges on corrupt myth

Dollar hits 9-mth highs on rate outlook

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar hit a nine-month high against the euro and an eight-month peak versus the yen on Monday, extending gains after last week's U.S. trade data and comments from Fed chief Alan Greenspan' name=c1>SEARCHNews News Photos Images Web' name=c3>Alan Greenspan reinforced views of more interest rate hikes.

(Read More)

(My Comments)

I watched parts of a Senate hearing on pension plans over the week-end (on CSPAN) which brought me to a level of quiet outrage I had never before reached. One of the expert witnesses made a comment that insinuated it would be wiser for workers to invest more of their retirement money in a 401K plan than a retirement fund because they would then be in control of what happened to their money.
I find it ironic that the people coming up with these programs and spending millions of dollars to convince workers to participate always seem to find a way to insinuate that not keeping their promise to pay is a result of something the workers did, didn’t do, should have done, or could have done.
When a company takes the money you invest in retirement every payday, and they invest it in the stock market, they should have no excuse to default on your retirement when the stock market tanks.
If I know that the stock market is a scam, why doesn’t everyone know? It is because the Congress is complicit in the scam, and they write whatever laws are necessary, when they are necessary, to excuse the corporate scam artists for ending up with all the money when retirees end up with the empty paper promises that comprise the stock market.
Damn them anyway!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Are you the owner...or the ownee?

From The Illuminati Conspiracy Archives

The Origins of the Overclass

(Excerpt)

But the World Grows Wise…

It was only a matter of time before other nations caught on to these fronts. They learned that when the CIA comes to their countries to commit their crimes and atrocities, they come disguised as American journalists, businessmen, missionaries and charity volunteers.
Unfortunately, foreigners are now targeting these professions as hostile. In Lebanon, terrorists held U.S. journalist Terry Anderson hostage for nearly seven years, on the not unreasonable assumption that he was a spy. Whether or not this was true is beside the point. The CIA has put all Americans abroad at risk, whether they are CIA agents or not. In hearings before the Senate in 1996, many organizations urged Congress to stop using their professions as CIA cover. Don Argue of the National Association of Evangelicals testified: "Such use of missionary agents for covert activities by the CIA would be unethical and immoral." 13

[Snip]

Scaife's CIA roots are typical of those who head the new conservative foundations. By 1994 the most active were:
Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
Carthage Foundation
Earhart Foundation
Charles G. Koch
David H. Koch
Claude R. Lambe
Philip M. McKenna
J.M. Foundation
John M. Olin Foundation
Henry Salvatori Foundation
Sarah Scaife Foundation
Smith Richardson Foundation
Between 1992 and 1994, these foundations gave $210 million to conservative causes. Here is the breakdown of their donations:
$88.9 million for conservative scholarships;
$79.2 million to enhance a national infrastructure of think tanks and advocacy groups;
$16.3 million for alternative media outlets and watchdog groups;
$10.5 million for conservative pro-market law firms;
$9.3 million for regional and state think tanks and advocacy groups;
$5.4 million to "organizations working to transform the nations social views and giving practices of the nation's religious and philanthropic leaders." 19

The political machine they built is broad and comprehensive, covering every aspect of the political fight. It includes right-wing departments and chairs in the nation’s top universities, think tanks, public relations firms, media companies, fake grassroots organizations that pressure Congress (irreverently known as "Astroturf" movements), "Roll-out-the-vote" machines, pollsters, fax networks, lobbyist organizations, economic seminars for the nation’s judges, and more. And because corporations are the richest sector of society, their greater financing overwhelms similar efforts by Democrats.

Besides creating foundations, the CIA helped organize the business community. There have always been special interest groups representing business, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, and the CIA has long been involved with them. However, after 1973, a spate of powerful new groups would come into existence, like the Business Roundtable and the Trilateral Commission. These organizations quickly became powerhouses in promoting the business agenda.

Their efforts clearly succeeded. With the 1975 SUN-PAC decision, corporations persuaded government to legalize corporate Political Action Committees (the lobbyist organizations that bribe our government). By 1992, corporations formed 67 percent of all PACs, and they donated 79 percent of all campaign contributions to political parties. 20

In two landmark elections — 1980 and 1994 — corporations gave heavily and one-sidedly to Republicans, turning one or both houses of Congress over to the GOP. Democratic incumbents were shocked by the threat of being rolled completely out of power, so they quietly shifted to the right on economic issues, even though they continued a public fa├žade of liberalism.

Corporations went ahead and donated to Democratic incumbents in all other elections, but only as long as they abandoned the interests of workers, consumers, minorities and the poor. As expected, the new pro-corporate Congress passed laws favoring the rich: between 1975 and 1992, the amount of national household wealth owned by the richest 1 percent soared from 22 to 42 percent. 21

The CIA also helped create the conservative think tank movement. Prior to the 70s, think tanks spanned the political spectrum, with moderate think tanks receiving three times as much funding as conservative ones. At these early think tanks, scholars typically brainstormed for creative solutions to policy problems. This would all change after the rise of conservative foundations in the early 70s.
The Heritage Foundation opened its doors in 1973, the recipient of $250,000 in seed money from the Coors Foundation. A flood of conservative think tanks followed shortly thereafter, and by 1980 they overwhelmed the scene.
The new think tanks turned out to be little more than propaganda mills, rigging studies to "prove" that their corporate sponsors needed tax breaks, deregulation and other favors from government.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

What a bunch of SH..

(This is where Kate links to Crooks &Liars)

Sean Hannity asked Rosie:

Do you DENY the Iraqi people and the world are better off with Saddam out of power?

My answer:

I fervently believe the Iraqi people AND the world are much worse off with Saddam out of power unless you define the Iraqi people as those currently in power and you define the world as multi-national contractors with a mandate to reconstruct Iraq or provide a private army of bodyguards to those able to afford the cost.

Sean Hannity continues to refer to the mass graves and 400,000 bodies he saw pulled from them after Saddam fell, but that image will eventually pale next to the number of innocent Iraqis butchered, burned and savaged from the beginning of “shock and awe” through the scandal and corruption that Congress refuses to talk about or investigate.

Saddam could have been removed from power in a manner that would have avoided plunging the country into an illegal war that has served to highlight the ignorance, arrogance and ineptitude of our current Administration. And the Iraqi people and the world would have been better off for it.

Is it defamation of character to say I would pay to watch someone take Hannity’s temperature with a Volkswagon bus?

Monday, June 06, 2005

What's cooking?...and in what?

(Where this came from)

Generally speaking, it's the nickel in stainless steel that concerns people. Nickel is a well known toxin and some people are even allergic to skin contact with metals that contain nickel. The rule of thumb is that magnetic stainless steel is ok because it does not contain nickel, and non-magnetic stainless steel should be avoided because it contains nickel. (See this thread from WAPF Chapter Leaders for an example.)More detailed information can be found on the Stainless Steel Information Center's faq which explains that: "The 300 series (which contains nickel) is NOT magnetic. The 400 series (which just contains chromium and no nickel) ARE magnetic." (But 300 series steel can be made magnetic according to this page.)

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Optical scan system hacked

This posting forum at Black Box Voting (dot org) is knocking down the arguments against the possibility of election fraud.

Regardless of the political party you prefer, chances are some of your folks have cheated, lied and stolen election results in the past.

Now is the time to return honor to the system. If we do that, we might be able to return honor to our Nation.

Bolton: Shameful rampage as corrupt foot soldier for Bush

AP Probe on Bolton Finds Disturbing Links to Iraq War

(Excerpt)

A former Bolton deputy says the U.S. undersecretary of state felt Jose Bustani "had to go," particularly because the Brazilian was trying to send chemical weapons inspectors to Baghdad. That might have helped defuse the crisis over alleged Iraqi weapons and undermined a U.S. rationale for war.
Bustani, who says he got a "menacing" phone call from Bolton at one point, was removed by a vote of just one-third of member nations at an unusual special session of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), at which the United States cited alleged mismanagement in calling for his ouster.
The United Nations' highest administrative tribunal later condemned the action as an "unacceptable violation" of principles protecting international civil servants. The OPCW session's Swiss chairman now calls it an "unfortunate precedent" and Bustani a "man with merit."
"Many believed the U.S. delegation didn't want meddling from outside in the Iraq business," said the retired Swiss diplomat, Heinrich Reimann. "That could be the case.
"The Iraq connection to the OPCW affair comes as fresh evidence, known as the "Downing Street Memo," surfaces that the Bush administration was intent from early on to pursue military and not diplomatic action against Saddam Hussein's regime.
Bolton's handling of the multilateral showdown takes on added significance now as he looks for U.S. Senate confirmation as early as this week as U.N. ambassador, a key role on the international stage, and as more details have emerged in Associated Press interviews about what happened in 2002.
A spokeswoman told AP Bolton, keeping a low profile during his confirmation process, would have no comment for this article.

Liberals Like Christ

Go say hello to Ray over at Liberals Like Christ. Whatever your belief system, you will enjoy the visit.

Friday, June 03, 2005

The alpha level of mind

How many times have you purchased a new household item or electronic gadget that is a little too complicated for your basic abilities so you pull out the huge instruction manual…only to discover that the technical writer was severely lacking in an understanding of the English language? How does it make you feel about all the money the manufacturer saved by outsourcing the task of Technical Writing to an overseas company? Does it make you feel better to know that technical assistance is available over the phone at a nominal cost per minute? How about when you discover the person on the other end of the line has difficulty understanding your problem, and you have difficulty understanding what that person is saying?

It is undeniable that a language disconnect can be the most frustrating situation imaginable…especially when one party is in dire need and the other party professes the ability to solve the problem but is handcuffed by a lack of clear understanding about what the problem actually is.

Can you imagine a situation where this disconnect is intentionally contrived? If not, you probably haven’t spent enough time watching the cable news media regarding historical political events, the latest being the revealing of the identity of “Deep Throat”.
Each event seems to be addressed by producing the same faces spewing the same rhetorical explanation that were used to address the preceding event, and will undoubtedly be used to address any future events. The result of this process is to cultivate a culture of confusion, boredom and ultimate ignorance regarding these events and the truth about them. It is intentionally contrived, and it works.

Confusion is an invitation to the rational mind to take a short break, and escape into the area know as the alpha level of mind (daydream time). This is a natural level of mind that occurs many times during the normal day, most frequently during times of boredom or stress. It is at this level of mind that we remove natural inhibitions to healing and learning. During this level of mind, we are most susceptible to the impact of visual media…images accompanied by concepts.
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a study, an explanation, and an application of techniques designed to utilize confusion to permanently alter patterns of behavior that are less than beneficial. Much has been written about NLP, but this Thom Hartmann review of a book and DVD by George Lakoff will bring you a long way toward understanding why ignorance is the only legal tender used by the Republican elite and their lackeys.

Moving Forward

It has been difficult for me to get past the whirlwind of memories that Memorial Day conjured up for me. On one hand they were intense and somewhat painful, while on the other hand they brought the realization that I am never as alone as I sometimes think I am.
Knowing that, I can jump back into the mainstream dumpster for more quality reads about food safety, education opportunities for our kids, continuing economic progress for America’s middle class, and how dishonorable it was for “Deep Throat” to have spilled the beans on a bunch of dishonest political criminals (comments conveniently provided by said dishonest political criminals and their stable of enablers). I find it ironic that even Robert Novak (the criminal outer of a CIA undercover operative) has something to say about dishonor in this instance.
So I am moving forward once again. Back to the comfort of Kate, Karlo, my friend out on the LB Peninsula, the General for my daily chuckle, and a host of other bloggers who offer those wonderful sudden turns for my thought process. I hope you all realize that you give much more than you could possibly hope to receive in this continual exchange of ideas…thank you.