Wednesday, June 13, 2007

YouTube - Gonzales: "I Don't Recall"

YouTube - Gonzales: "I Don't Recall"

Note Adam Kokesh starring with Gonzo in this segment from CNN. ;-)

Army Reservists Ordered for Screenings

Army Reservists Ordered for Screenings

Trying to nail down the IRR. I guess they don't want to be trying to deploy disabled and deceased reserve members anymore.

Cheney’s Iran-Arms-to-Taliban Gambit Rebuffed -

Cheney’s Iran-Arms-to-Taliban Gambit Rebuffed - "WASHINGTON - A media campaign portraying Iran as supplying arms to the Taliban guerrillas fighting U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, orchestrated by advocates of a more confrontational stance toward Iran in the George W. Bush administration, appears to have backfired last week when Defence Secretary Robert Gates and the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Dan McNeil, issued unusually strong denials."

War and Censorship at Wilton High -

War and Censorship at Wilton High -

As a teacher this brought me to tears. Is this Fascism yet?

"The production, “Voices in Conflict,” moved the audience to tears, ending with a standing ovation for the teenage actors, still reeling from a controversy that had propelled them onto the New York stage. Their high school principal had banned the play.

Bonnie Dickinson has been teaching theater at Wilton High School in Connecticut for 13 years. She and her students developed the idea of a play about Iraq, initially inspired by the Sept. 3, 2006, death of Wilton High graduate Nicholas Madaras from an IED (improvised explosive device) blast in Baqubah, Iraq. The play uses real testimonials from soldiers, from their letters, blogs and taped interviews, and Yvonne Latty’s book “In Conflict,” with the students acting the roles. The voices of Iraqis are also included.

In mid-March, after students spent months preparing the play, the school administration canceled it. Superintendent Gary Richards wrote: “The student performers directly acting the part of the soldiers … turns powerful material into a dramatic format that borders on being sensational and inappropriate. We would like to work with the students to complete a script that fully addresses our concerns.” (The students have modified the script; they perform Richards’ letter, its cold, condescending bureaucratese in stark relief with the play’s passionate eyewitness testimonials.)"

Monday, June 11, 2007

Time for change's Journal - The Five Pillars of George W. Bush’s Republican Party

Time for change's Journal - The Five Pillars of George W. Bush’s Republican Party:

This post on DU says it all about the threat to our republic and its values posed by the neoconservative movement cloaked in false christianity, using fear and racism to convince America to abandon the values of the founding fathers. Note the specific use of the bill of rights amendments here:

"Though the dangers that our nation faces today are clearly minor compared to those we faced during nearly half a century of the Cold War, George W. Bush has declared a state of permanent war in our country and virtually suspended the freedoms and rights guaranteed to us in our Constitution; he invaded and occupied a nation which posed no threat to us, spawning a war that shows no signs of abating after more than four years; he violated our Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches with his warrantless spying on hundreds of thousands or millions of American citizens; and in his abusive treatment and torture of thousands of prisoners of war, he has repeatedly violated international law specified in the Geneva Convention of 1949, as well as the due process clause of our Fifth Amendment, our Sixth Amendment right to a public trial, to face one’s accusers, to be represented by counsel and to be informed of the charges against one’s self, and our Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment. And our Republican Congress sat silently by while George Bush and Dick Cheney did all this."

A nice summary of how we are left with only 2 Amendments and the first one is threatened by intimidation and media control.

Here is a quote from Gore's new book that the article uses:

Rejecting the idea that Bush is either stupid or truly religious, Gore characterizes Bush in a nutshell like this:

"I’m convinced, however, that most of the president’s frequent departures from fact-based analysis have much more to do with his right-wing political and economic ideology than with the Bible…. Now, with the radical Right, we have a political faction disguised as a religious sect, and the president of the United States is heading it. The obvious irony is that Bush uses a religious blind faith to hide what is actually an extremist political philosophy with a disdain for social justice that is anything but pious by the standards of any respected faith tradition I know.

The truth about this particular brand of faith-based politics is that President Bush has stolen the symbolism and body language of religion and used it to disguise the most radical effort in American history to take what belongs to the American people and give as much of it as possible to the already wealthy and privileged…

Make no mistake: It is the president’s reactionary ideology, not his religious faith, that is the source of his troubling inflexibility. Whatever his religious views, President Bush has such an absolute certainty in the validity of his rigid right-wing ideology that he does not feel the same desire that many of us would in gathering facts relevant to the questions at hand."

Gore also uses Roosevelts term "Economic Royalists" to describe Neoconservative attitudes towards poverty:

He describes the economic royalists as those

"who are primarily interested in eliminating as much of their own taxation as possible and removing all inconvenient regulatory obstacles. Their ideology – which they and
Bush believe with almost religious fervor – is based on several key elements:

First, there is no such thing as “the public interest”; that phrase represents a dangerous fiction created as an excuse to impose unfair burdens on the wealthy and powerful.

Second, laws and regulations are also bad – except when they can be used on behalf of this group, which turns out to be often. It follows, therefore, that whenever laws must be enforced and regulations administered, it is important to assign those responsibilities to individuals who… reliably serve the narrow and specific interests of this small group…

What members of this coalition seem to spend much of their time and energy worrying about is the impact of government policy on the behavior of poor people. They are deeply concerned, for example, that government programs to provide health care, housing, social insurance, and other financial support will adversely affect work incentives"

Finally Gore's quote on the Neoconservative philsophy versus the consitution;

"The unifying theme now being pushed by this coalition is actually an American heresy, a highly developed political philosophy that is fundamentally at odds with the founding principles of the United States of America… In America, we believe that God endowed individuals with unalienable rights; we do not believe that God has endowed George Bush – or any political leader – with a divine right to exercise power."

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Cuba's health care system is helping the world's poor by Sarah van Gelder

Cuba's health care system is helping the world's poor by Sarah van Gelder: "Solidarity” has real-world implications. Before Cuba sent doctors to Pakistan, relations between the two countries were not great, Ceballos says. But now the relationship is “magnificent.” The same is true of Guatemala and El Salvador. “Although they are conservative governments, they have become more flexible in their relationship with Cuba,” he says.

Those investments in health care missions “are resources that prevent confrontation with other nations,” Ceballos explains. “The solidarity with Cuba has restrained aggressions of all kinds.” And in a statement that acknowledges Cuba’s vulnerabilities on the global stage, Ceballos puts it this way: “It’s infinitely better to invest in peace than to invest in war.”

Imagine, then, that this idea took hold. Even more revolutionary than the right to health care for all is the idea that an investment in health—or in clean water, adequate food or housing—could be more powerful, more effective at building security than bombers and aircraft carriers."

Maverick Mike Gravel - - Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

Maverick Mike Gravel - - Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

Saturday, June 9, 2007

THOMAS PAINE’S CORNER |• » Beyond PTSD: the Moral Casualties of War

THOMAS PAINE’S CORNER |• » Beyond PTSD: the Moral Casualties of War: "Acknowledging the existence of moral casualties in war by no means diminishes the importance or prevalence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Rather, it enhances our understanding of the war experience and its devastating effects, expands our area of concern beyond trauma and PTSD, and allows us to more adequately meet the needs of our returning servicemen and women."

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

What If Our Mercenaries Turn On Us? - - Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

What If Our Mercenaries Turn On Us? - - Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community: "Armed units from the private security firm Blackwater USA opened fire in Baghdad streets twice in two days last week. It triggered a standoff between the security contractors and Iraqi forces, a reminder that the war in Iraq may be remembered mostly in our history books for empowering and building America’s first modern mercenary army.There are an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 armed security contractors working in Iraq, although there are no official figures and some estimates run much higher. Security contractors are not counted as part of the coalition forces. When the number of private mercenary fighters is added to other civilian military “contractors” who carry out logistical support activities such as food preparation, the number rises to about 126,000."

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Crooks and Liars » Jon Soltz On Bush, The Troops & Cheap Sunglasses

Crooks and Liars » Jon Soltz On Bush, The Troops & Cheap Sunglasses

Soltz: "And now you have Joe Lieberman who spent his Viet Nam War years in law school and claims that he's some sort of arbiter of patriotism going to Iraq wearing his fake Oakley sunglasses. And, uh, it's hard for me to know that he actually gets to see the troops because those soldiers, they wanted to talk to Joe Lieberman and they want to tell them the truth. They want to tell him what they saw which was that they're driving around and they're getting shot and they want to know when they're going home."