Monday, June 30, 2008

Quotes from Information Clearing House

Photo: another injured child in Iraq. See the Faces of Grief blog for info on this picture and for more pictures of what is happening to Iraqis.

Below are some quotes I got from the daily email from Information Clearing House. The guy who runs this site no only has a great website, he also does daily emails that will definitely keep you informed on what is happening in the world. Plus, you get some great quotes:


"We know that dictators are quick to choose aggression, while free nations strive to resolve differences in peace." George W. Bush UN Speech Sept 2004
=
Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so, whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose -- and you allow him to make war at pleasure. If today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada, to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, 'I see no probability of the British invading us' but he will say to you, 'Be silent; I see it, if you don't.'" : Abraham Lincoln.
=
"So let us regard this as settled: what is morally wrong can never be advantageous, even when it enables you to make some gain that you believe to be to your advantage. The mere act of believing that some wrongful course of action constitutes an advantage is pernicious." Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A hideous US bill in Congress

There are updated events and actions on the WNC Peace Coalition blog, but I wanted to call everyone's attention to this bit of legislative news..... apparently, our US Congressman and Congresswomen are thinking that a blockade on Iran would be a good idea.


I bet the Congress critters in the late 1930's thought it was a good idea against Japan too. And it lead to an attack on our country.

Now, I don't think Iran will attack our country. I think they will keep their cool and not attack anyone. They will be busy thinking of other ways they can undermine the USA. But that is not the point - the point is that this action is AN ACT OF WAR. So we must do what we can to stop this hideous piece of legislation.

From United for Peace & Justice:

The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a new resolution that could effectively demand a blockade against Iran -- an act that would be widely seen as an act of war and could invite Iranian retaliation, possibly leading us into a shooting war.

Over the last three weeks, 77 House Democrats and 92 Republicans have agreed to cosponsor this resolution, but we think many do not realize its dangerous implications.

This resolution (H. Con. Res. 362) was introduced by Representative Gary Ackerman. The most alarming provision "demands that the President initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, inter alia, prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran's nuclear program."

Such a blockade imposed without United Nations authority (which the resolution does not call for) would be seen as an act of war. Congressional sources say the bill might first go to committee, which gives us a little more time to pressure our representatives. But whether or not it goes first to committee, or directly to the floor of the House, action on H. Con. Res. 362 is needed now.


We urge you to ask your representative not to support this dangerous step toward war with Iran.

Also – CALL SHULER – He is a cosponsor of this hideous bill. 828-252-1651

The ordinary face of evil

Photo: Susan Walsh / Associated Press

Critics of the Bush administration's interrogation policies have said Addington spearheaded legal changes that allowed for tougher interrogations.

I heard a clip of this guy on Democracy Now! program on Friday. He is clearly the embodiment of evil. Amazing how such evil people look so ordinary. He treated the US Congress and their session as something beneath his contempt, while at the same time he proposes that EVIL IS GOING TO GET US – in the form of “al Qaeda” terrorists.

I can tell you what will ‘get’ us – having US citizens trained to act like barbarians and then hired into public employment.

Here is a clip from an article about this evil man:

And he lectured the committee on the continuing nature of the terrorist threat. "No American should think we're free, the war is over, Al Qaeda is not coming and they're not interested in getting us," Addington told the Constitution, civil rights and civil liberties subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. "Because that's wrong."

Yet when Democrats tried to pin him down on the moral and legal issues they considered crucial, Addington brushed them aside with barely concealed disdain.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who later characterized Addington's attitude as "smug," asked whether, if the interrogation program was found to be illegal, he would bear any responsibility.

"Is that a moral question or a legal question?" Addington asked, then said he bore no responsibility, legal or moral.

At one point, he would not even say if it was okay for bush to bury someone alive in order to “keep us safe”. These abuses of executive power are not going to go away, but you can bet this same evil man, and his buddies, will be screaming about it when Obama abuses executive powers. They will have a fit.

Boy, these people make me sick.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Take Action with Voters for Peace

They have set up a letter that can be sent to (nearly) all elected officials and candidates for federal, state, and local offices. This letter directs the candidates to fill out a questionnaire about their positions on the environment, peace, liberty, health care, democracy and other issues. Go to this website to sign and send the letter.

There is more information on the survey at this website.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Scott Ritter speaks out

This time, he is speaking about the US media. Our so-called “TV news” is one god-awful mess, as anyone who can still think, already knows. But, apparently, our news media is not capable of critical thought. So, even after Scott McClellan’s book, they are still denying, denying, denying, that they have any responsibility in bringing our nation into a war of aggression.

They will never be seen as journalists in my eyes as long as they deny the obvious.

Here is a clip from Scott Ritter’s article called “Why Are Corporate Journalists So Afraid of Questioning Authority?”

The media were not interested in reporting the facts, but rather furthering a fiction. Time after time, I backed my opposition to the Bush administration's "case" for war on Iraq with hard facts, citing evidence that could be readily checked by these erstwhile journalists had they been so inclined. Instead, my integrity and character were impugned by these simple recorders of "fact", further enabling the fiction pushed by the administration into the mainstream, unchallenged and unquestioned, to be digested by the American public as truth.

One of those people who impugned Ritter’s character was Aaron Brown. He brought Ritter on his “news” show to discuss whether Iraq had WMDs, but instead he questioned Ritter about an old arrest record that was dismissed and sealed. Not one question or lick of research on WHY those records were UNsealed: it sure wasn’t Ritter who broke that Judge’s orders. Instead, it was all innuendo and nonsense on the Aaron Brown show that night. And the information that Ritter had about WMDs was kept from the American fools who watch CNN for “news”. This was exactly what the corporate powers wanted – they did not give a rat’s ass who got hurt or killed (much like Brown himself), all they cared about was making money. And war makes a lot of money for those folks who own the cable channels on the idiot box.

Brown also did a horrible job covering the Powell speech at the UN. It seems he is not capable of critical thinking, or maybe of thinking at all.

My advice: throw away that TV and read on the internet….. you will be much, much better informed.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"The Corporation"

The whole movie can be watched on You Tube. Or you can buy the film here. This film goes a long, long way to explain what is going on in our country. Another movie that goes a long way to explain things is Why We Fight.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Response from Canada

I sent off a series of letters to various officials in Canada urging them to let war resisters stay in Canada. Here is my email:

I am writing today to ask you to work to see that US war resisters are resettled and allowed to stay in Canada. These are people of high moral values, and their resistance to an illegal and immoral war of occupation is to be commended. I am an American and Canadian citizen - I am very upset over what the current American government is doing, and I hope the Canadian government never does such evil things as the American government does. I want Canada to stay morally and ethically strong..... and these war resisters can help Canada do that.
Thank you.
I got a response (by email) from the leader of the Liberal Party in Canada. Here it is:
Thank you for your recent letter expressing support for having American war resisters recognized as refugees in Canada.

Five years ago, the pervious Liberal government made a principled decision not to participate in the Iraq War, a war that was not sanctioned by the United Nations (UN). We should not now punish individuals and their families for making the same decision based on their personal principles.

On June 3, 2008, the House of Commons passed a motion supporting the report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration which calls on the government to allow conscientious objectors, and their immediate family members, who have refused or left military service related to a war not sanctioned by the UN and who do not have a criminal record to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada. The motion also stipulates that the government should not proceed with any action against any war resister who currently faces deportation.

The Conservatives have a choice: they are not compelled to force these people to go back to a country where they may face prosecution under military law, or may be permanently branded for making a principled decision.

Stephen Harper has indicated that, had he been Prime Minister in 2003, Canada would have participated in the Iraq war. The Hon. Stephane Dion hopes that the fact that Mr. Harper got it wrong will not prevent him from showing compassion for those who made the right decision.

Thank you for taking the time to share your views on this important issue.

Sincerely,

The Office of the Honourable St├ęphane Dion, P.C., M.P.
Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada

Friday, June 20, 2008

Torture by the USA

Photo:

Former Abu Ghraib detainee Ali Shallal al-Qaisi points to his photo during his 6 month detention in Abu Ghraib Prison, at his office in Amman, Jordan, Wednesday, June 18, 2008. Al-Qaisi accused his American captors of 'traumatizing and humiliating' him and hundreds of other Iraqi prisoners. Physicians for Human Rights is releasing a report saying former detainees in American military jails in Iraq and Guantanamo are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and lingering injuries that can be traced to their imprisonment.

(AP Photo/Nader Daoud)

There has been lots of evidence presented this week about the US policies of torture. I wish I had more time to write about it, but I am pressed for time. Today I am leaving for the NC Democratic Party state convention in New Bern, NC. I find the idea of going to this rather depressing - I don't think many people 'get it' and frankly, the Democrats are looking like less and less like a solution of any kind. They are just as criminal as the Republicans.

Here's a quote on torture:

[torture] "presupposes, it requires, it craves the abrogation of our capacity to imagine others' suffering, dehumanizing them so much that their pain is not our pain. It demands this of the torturer, placing the victim outside and beyond any form of compassion or empathy, but also demands of everyone else the same distancing, the same numbness…" - Ariel Dorfman [from his book "Torture: A Collection"]

Protests in London

Protests in London this week - they know how to greet our hideous president.

Stop The War Coalition protesters gather outside Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, Sunday, June 15, 2008. Heading into two days of talks, U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown plan to swap strategies on how to reduce their military forces in Iraq and halt Iran's nuclear ambitions.

(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

This has been a depressing day in our nation - the FISA bill is being pushed through, they voted for more war, and we have tons of evidence around the torture that the bush administration authorized. I have been forwarding their articles to the Asheville Citizen Times - who would not publish my letter to the editor condemning bush for promoting policies of torture, rape, kidnapping, wars of aggression, ruinous occupations, and extrajudicial killings.

And I probably left several things out.

The Mountain Express did publish that letter without any corrections.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Antony and the Johnstons - If it be your will



Here is the words to the song:

If it be your will
That I speak no more
And my voice be still
As it was before
I will speak no more
I shall abide until
I am spoken for
If it be your will
If it be your will
That a voice be true
From this broken hill
I will sing to you
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing

If it be your will
If there is a choice
Let the rivers fill
Let the hills rejoice
Let your mercy spill
On all these burning hearts in hell
If it be your will
To make us well

And draw us near
And bind us tight
All your children here
In their rags of light
In our rags of light
All dressed to kill
And end this night
If it be your will

If it be your will.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

June is Torture Awareness Month

Photo: Demonstrators with Witness Against Torture in orange jumpsuits and black hoods prepare to march from the US Supreme Court to the DC Superior Court in Washington, DC, on May 27, 2008 protesting that the rights and humanity of Guantanamo Bay detainees be respected. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Today was an Anti-Torture Lobby Day in North Carolina. This was held at the North Carolina General Assembly, in Raleigh. I could not be there in person, but I was with them in thought. They are asking our NC legislators to support NC No Place for Torture bill. Their goal is to stop torture flights out of North Carolina, and to stop companies like Blackwater from privatizing torture.

This week, McClatchy newspaper is running a series on what has happened to people picked up and thrown in Guantanamo or other off-shore US prisons. The people locked up by the US were tortured – and denied due process under the rule of law. Here are a few clips from the article:

"Because President Bush loosened or eliminated the rules governing the treatment of so-called enemy combatants, however, few U.S. troops have been disciplined under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and no serious punishments have been administered, even in the cases of two detainees who died after American guards beat them."

...snip.....

"Adel al Zamel, a Kuwaiti, said guards frequently waved sticks at him and threatened to rape him at Bagram during the spring of 2002. During an interview in Kuwait City, Zamel shook his head and said he remembered hearing detainees being beaten and "the cries from the interrogation room" at Bagram. He wasn't the only person to report sexual humiliation. Sgt. Selena Salcedo, a U.S. military intelligence officer, said that sometime between August 2002 and February 2003 she saw another interrogator, Pfc. Damien Corsetti, pull down the pants of a detainee and leave his genitals exposed. In a 2005 sworn statement in the court-martial of Corsetti, she said she'd left the room and that when she'd returned the detainee was bent over a table and Corsetti was waving a plastic bottle near his buttocks. She said she didn't know whether the detainee had been raped."

...snip ......

"At Bagram, however, the rules didn't apply. In February 2002, President Bush issued an order denying suspected Taliban and al Qaida detainees prisoner-of-war status. He also denied them basic Geneva protections known as Common Article Three, which sets a minimum standard for humane treatment."

Full article link.

Remember a couple of weeks back, when the staff at the Asheville Citizen Times said I was out to lunch by claiming that bush supported a policy of rape? Well, it looks from the above clips that he did support a policy of THREATENING rape, at least, if not rape itself. Of course, rape always comes along with war and torture and other evils. (Thank god we have some real journalists in this country – MCCLATCHY. I am very sorry to hear that they will be cutting their staff.)

Recently, I ordered a banner to be used by the Asheville Friends Meeting to show our opposition to torture. It said:

HONOR THE IMAGE OF GOD:

STOP TORTURE NOW!

I went to the meeting house on Thursday afternoon, and a friend and I tied up the 3 foot by 8 foot banner to the front porch. The people at the meeting wanted us to hang it from the upper windows, on the roof – but I could not figure out how to attach the banner without putting some eyehooks into the window frames, and I didn’t want to do that. My intention was to hang the banner for a couple of weeks and then have another local church hang up the banner for a couple of weeks, and keep rotating it throughout the area.

Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of the banner. It has gone missing, and was noted to be missing on Saturday morning. It is looking like someone came unto the property and just took it. I hope this turns out to be wrong, but so far, it seems like the most likely thing that has happened.

Over this past weekend, a lot of my fellow Friends were at a retreat. They passed this statement against torture:

From the local Religious Society of Friends:

The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) believes there is “that of God in every person.” This divine light, a universal principle of goodness and love, exists in all people, regardless of religion or geography.

Torture – in wars, in prisons, and in homes – diminishes this divine light in the victim and the perpetrator, and those who have knowledge of it. In situations where torture is used, one individual has power and the other is powerless. The misuse of this power against a defenseless person to cause pain, humiliation, fear and suffering is the ultimate denial of our common humanity, degrading and dehumanizing both the tortured and the torturer.

We Quakers of the Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association join with our fellow citizens who are taking action to bring the practice of torture to an end. Our condemnation of torture is not based on any political opinion or on the laws or treaties of any nations, but on the Golden Rule, the standard for moral behavior established by religious and secular communities across history and around the world.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Conference at Bil’in

There was a conference recently on non-violent resistance to the Israeli takeover of Palestinian lands. About 300 people attended, including members of the European Parliament. Maried Maguire said this at the conference: "Thanks to the media here for telling the truth. Bring this truth to whatever country you come from. Non-violence will solve the problems here in Israel and Palestine. Often, the world sees only violence. But Palestinians are a good people, working towards non-violence. This Wall must fall! It is an insult to the human family and to the world– that we are building Apartheid Walls in the 21st Century! More than forty years of Occupation and Land Appropriation."

There is more information on that conference, and the aftermath, at this website. There is also some links to You Tube videos of the conference and the non-violent protests at the wall in Bal’in. The people of Bil’in have already won a legal victory against the taking of their land, but it seems it is being ignored. Israel is still trying to build a wall like the one in the picture. This picture came from a website that is working to help poverty-stricken Palestinians.

There is also a video shot by a Palestinian as part of the “shooting back” project. “Shooting back” in this case refers to filming (shooting) what the Israeli settlers are doing. Well, in this video, the settlers are acting like brutes without any morals. And the Palestinian women who was attacked said this: "They don't want us to stay on our land. But we won't leave. We'll die here. It's ours."

This project (of shooting back) was started by an Israeli human rights group. It is projects like this, and the wonderful peace teachings of the Jewish faith, that give me hope.

And I was alerted to a lot of this information from Information Clearing House. I recommend getting their daily news updates. Here's a You Tube of the protests in Bil'in:


Friday, June 13, 2008

A People's History of American Empire

This is an adaptation of the new book by Howard Zinn.

Watch "Empire or Humanity? What the Classroom Didn't Teach Me about the American Empire," an animated video, based on Howard Zinn's new cartoon book, A People's History of American Empire, with voiceover by Viggo Mortensen, adapted from a Zinn essay posted at Tomdispatch.com. (To read the unabridged essay "Empire or Humanity?" go to Tomdispatch.com.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

War Crimes in Iraq in 2004

Iraqi soldiers commit war crimes too

While the US troops watch. And do nothing, except laugh. This happened in late 2006. Towards the end are some clips of US war crimes in Fallujah in November 2004.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kucinich reads 35 articles of impeachment

And here they are, thanks to the News Dissector:

Congressman Kucinich has laid out an extensive indictment of the President. Here is the index of article titles:

Article I
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq

Article II
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of
Aggression

Article III
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War

Article IV
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States

Article V
Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression

Article VI
Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114

Article VII
Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.

Article VIII
Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter

Article IX
Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor

Article X
Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes

Article XI
Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq

Article XII
Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation's Natural Resources

Article XIIII
Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries

Article XIV
Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency

Article XV
Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq

Article XVI
Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors

Article XVII
Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives

Article XVIII
Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy

Article XIX
Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to "Black Sites" Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture

Article XX
Imprisoning Children

Article XXI
Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government

Article XXII
Creating Secret Laws

Article XXIII
Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act

Article XXIV
Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment

Article XXV
Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens

Article XXVI
Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements

Article XXVII
Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply

Article XXVIII
Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice

Article XXIX
Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Article XXX
Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare

Article XXXI
Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency

Article XXXII
Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change

Article XXXIII
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.

Article XXXIV
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001

Article XXXV
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders


CALL TODAY


I don't know if calling will do a lick of good with our idiot politicians, but call we must - and tell them to start a dialog with Iran, instead of marching down the road to war. I personally do not think the US military will be bombing Iran in the next couple of years. I do think that this is the long-term goal, however - or rather, the long-term goal is to control Iran and it's oil, any way they can. And these idiots who go to the Bilderberg Group meetings think war is an okay kind of thing (since they will make a ton of money and not suffer at all) and they control our idiot corporate media which goes right along with all this war-making nonsense.

Now - as to what Israel might do - well, they just might go and bomb some part of Iran. And it is possible that Iran will respond very violently (unlike Syria). This could have some serious repercussions on US troops that are occupying Iraq and Afghanistan.

And meanwhile, the US authorities will continue to provoke Iran. But the main reason that I do not think they will attack Iran is because they are bullies - and bullies pick on countries or people who are much weaker than them. Iran is not that weak.

ALSO - Kucinich read out the impeachment charges against bush. It took him HOURS to summarize all the crimes that bush has committed. I think this is FABULOUS! All day today, the song "The Revolution Starts Now" has been going through my head. Maybe something will start with the impeachment resolution.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The War, The Truth and the New York Times

A fellow blogger rips into a NYT editorial this past week:

So finally the truth is acknowledged by the mother of all main stream media, the New York Times.

The June 6 editorial, ‘The Truth About the War’ of the media giant begins with these words, “It took just a few months after the United States’ invasion of Iraq for the world to find out that Saddam Hussein had long abandoned his nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs. He was not training terrorists or colluding with Al Qaeda. The only real threat he posed was to his own countrymen.” That it took more than five years for the leading light of a servile American media to finally find it out, is a fact glossed over most shamelessly.

Truth told late is worse than a murderous lie, is all that one can say to the NYT. It is a dishonest admission coming rather late for a million plus human beings. The icing on this deceitful piece of reporting is the ending of the Op-Ed. It says, “We cannot say with certainty whether Mr. Bush lied about Iraq. But when the president withholds vital information from the public - or leads them to believe things that he knows are not true - to justify the invasion of another country, that is bad enough.”

BAD ENOUGH! Did I read it right? That’s it? BAD ENOUGH! Would you believe it? A million murdered Iraqis, 4000 dead US soldiers, obliterated Iraqi cities, DU shot-up environment, countless crippled and maimed human beings, innumerable shattered lives and how does the NYT express its outrage; by calling it ‘bad enough’? “Sorry mommy, I just killed a million people.” “That’s bad. Don’t do that again, now eat your spinach” eh? Bad enough!? Someone hand me the sick bag please.

Every canon of the United Nations and the 1945 Nuremberg Charters, the International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Conventions has been shot to doll rags by this criminal cabal in its willful, premeditated genocide of an innocent people and what does the American media leviathan call it? Bad enough!?

I recommend reading the whole thing. This past weekend was the Media Reform Conference, and I heard a inspiring speech from Bill Moyers - except it did not inspire me. It is very clear that the American people need to be well-informed to make good decisions about their government and what it does in the world - but it also seems to me that they want to stay UNINFORMED. Seems to me that only a great deal of pain will wake them up, and the $5/gallon gas will only be the start of it.

Meanwhile, the BILDERBERG group met this past weekend, and our complicit media dutifully ignored it completely. They most likely picked the vice-presidential candidates. (If they picked Clinton, I will vote for Cynthia McKinney.) If you don't know about this meeting, please go read this article.

And take a look at who was there.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sexism in the US media

I found this You Tube and article on Alternet. Since I don't watch the so-called "news" in this country, I really had no idea that there was so much sexism being played on the corporate "news" channels. But here it is – and please go and sign the petition. Also, I have never supported Clinton for President, and would not vote for her if she was on the ticket - my vote is based on who I think will bring peace to the world instead of war, and that is why I will not vote for her.



Saturday, June 07, 2008

A new blog!

I want to direct you to a new blog: The WNC Peace Coalition Blog. This is where upcoming events related to peace and social justice (along with some environmental issues) will be posted. We will also have short articles on actions or events that promote peace in the world - along with reports of anti-war or anti-torture actions in our area. So, if you are tired of hearing me complain, then this new blog is the place to go!

Iraqi MPs Against US bases

they lied, and they still lie....

Photo: bush Speaks At Groundbreaking Ceremony for U.S. Institute of Peace's Headquarters WASHINGTON - JUNE 5: pelosi (D-CA) (2nd L) shake hands with bush during the groundbreaking ceremony for the U.S. Institute of Peace's new headquarters and Public Education Center June 5, 2008 in Washington, DC. A Senate Intelligence Committee report released today found that the bush administration misused intelligence in the build up to the Iraq war. (Photo by Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images)

Well, every now and then someone pipes up that bush did not lie – he just had bad intelligence and was duped. Frankly, I don’t think he was that stupid, but obviously, a lot of Americans and most of our so-called “press” was that stupid. They swallowed the lies hook, line and sinker, and boy-oh-boy was it a stinker. This is a short review to show that BUSH AND HIS CRONIES LIED.

Bush in 2002: “And surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons.”

Funny that he could not tell the UN weapons inspectors where those facilities are.

Rumsfeld seemed to know: “We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.” ~ Donald Rumsfeld March 30, 2003

And then Cheney expressed no doubts: “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.” ~ Dick Cheney August 26, 2002

Of course, if Iraq actually did have WMDs there is no way these bullies would have sent our military in there.

And, every now and then, someone points out that Clinton said much of the same things as bush – and this was true for other Democrats as well. This is accurate – THEY LIED TOO.

So, these people are either fools or tools – I vote for TOOLS.

Here’s hoping some of the really gullible people read this blog. You are probably not one of them.

A story came out today – saying Bush misused Iraq intelligence.

The report shows an administration that "led the nation to war on false premises," said the committee's Democratic Chairman, Sen. John Rockefeller of West Virginia. Several Republicans on the committee protested its findings as a "partisan exercise."

The committee studied major speeches by Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other officials in advance of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, and compared key assertions with intelligence available at the time.

Statements that Iraq had a partnership with al Qaeda were wrong and unsupported by intelligence, the report said.

It said that Bush's and Cheney's assertions that Saddam was prepared to arm terrorist groups with weapons of mass destruction for attacks on the United States contradicted available intelligence.

Above is a photo of another tool holding the hands of our FOOL-IN-CHIEF. It is easy to see that she is quite okay with all that has gone on in DC and in the world, even on the day when the US Senate Intelligence report was issued saying that bush “misused” intelligence in his build-up to murdering over one million Iraqis.

Just think of that – OVER ONE MILLION PEOPLE and NO END IN SIGHT.

Who would have believed that Americans would have allowed this to happen AGAIN and not impeach these criminals? There is no flag big enough to cover our shame.

HOW IRONIC that these two criminals are at the groundbreaking ceremony for the US Institute of Peace! Of course, in the true Orwellian spirit of this administration and congress, this likely means they are building a headquarters to promote more war and conquest around the planet…. Like bush once said, “when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace”.

liars

Thursday, June 05, 2008

By their fruits you shall know them....

Well, the guy handling the LTE in the Asheville Citizen Times decided not to cite the references to support the letter that got published. No surprises there.

And, he claimed that he thought the letter that was published was ‘rubbish’ but the editors wanted to publish it – and even claimed that he had my letter up there, but the editors pulled it.

Don’t you just love how nearly EVERYONE in this country evades responsibility for their actions? It is always SOMEONE ELSE’S FAULT. Lately, a large number of Americans want to blame everything on bush – as if that dumb cookie could ever achieve anything by himself.

I do believe that the letter writer of the nationalistic garbage should have his letter published. But mine should be published too. My letter addressed the truth of the situation here in the USA, and the impact of US policy from the bush administration on the US and the world.

But the corporate owners of the corporate media don't want to hear that - it might cut into their profits if they say something unpopular.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Our priceless, priceless media - again

Here's the letter that the Asheville Citizen Times (ACT) would not publish:

UPDATE: I am taking the letter off the blog and submitting it to another newspaper.... will update later!

06/22/08 UPDATE: The Mountain Express did publish the letter, and here is the link. It got lots of comments, although it seems it is from a small group of people who like to argue with one another.

No flag big enough

On the very same day as the earthquake in China, the president of that country was on the ground telling people who were trapped: “Hold on, the army is coming to rescue you.” The army was on the scene the same day also, and they were working on rescue operations. Now compare that to our president’s response to Katrina. I am sure that all Americans got the message from Katrina: You are on your own in a disaster, and your government will not help you.

But it is not the inept response to disasters that makes me think that Bush and Cheney need to be impeached. It is not even the erosion of our civil liberties that makes me think that way. It is their support of kidnapping, illegal detention without charges, rape, torture, extrajudicial murder, wars of aggression and ruinous occupations of other countries. It is all these things that cause me to feel that impeachment is the only moral choice. It is all these things that cause me to feel that there is no flag big enough to cover our shame.

As Ashcroft once said, “History will not judge this kindly.”
— Susan Oehler
Asheville

Earlier this year, a friend could not get an op-ed published in the Asheville Citizen Times. (I did put it on this blog.) He was told that ‘there is really no interest in impeachment’. Well, I sent off this bit of information to the Asheville Citizen Times [and added some more info for this blog in brackets]:

Did you know that another impeachment resolution passed at the Democratic Party 11th Congressional District last month? It will pass at the state convention on June 21st in New Bern too. And did you know who wrote and presented this impeachment petition? Max Haner, former chair of the Buncombe County Democratic Party. So much for the idea that "there's really no interest in impeachment".

That's just a line from the corporate media - rather like this one: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/11/06/1068013331454.html [FYI: This article says: The Los Angeles Times has ordered its journalists to stop describing anti-American forces in Iraq as resistance fighters, saying the term romanticises them and evokes World War II-era heroism. An email circulated this week asked staff to instead use the terms insurgents or guerillas. An assistant managing editor, Melissa McCoy, said on Wednesday that the memo followed a discussion among top editors at the paper and was not sparked by reader complaints. McCoy said she considered the term resistance fighters an accurate description of Iraqis battling US troops, but said it also evoked World War II - specifically the French Resistance or Jews who fought against Nazis in the Warsaw ghetto. She was confident that Times reporters who used the term had no intention to romanticise the Iraqis who have killed more than 100 US soldiers since Washington declared the war all but over in May. The paper's Baghdad bureau had no objection to the change.]

That link is from 2003 - when the LA Times was told not to call the resistance in Iraq by it's true name. I imagine you were told the same thing.

Do you think doing what your corporate masters want will protect you from the now-present "lawless police state"? well, not so much: http://rawstory.com/rawreplay/?p=1162 Of course, citizen journalists are treated the same way, and it is very wrong, even if most of the corporate media is pretty darn useless.

Here's a story the corporate media missed, but the non-traditional media DID read the book and report on it [FYI: Bush was talking to Sanchez about how he wanted to KILL in Fallujah in 2004, and the link to the live webcast is titled “True Crimes – The Untold Story Behind the Devastation of Iraq”.]:
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174938/kill_them_we_are_going_to_wipe_them_out_

In that review, Lt. Gen Sanchez tells us what bush was really saying. Now, we won't want that in the newspapers!!! but hey, it is becoming more and more irrelevant anyway, thanks to the intertubies..... look what will be broadcast live on the internet tomorrow night: http://ccrjustice.org/live-webcast-true-crimes You can bet I will watch that over the fake stuff on WLOS. And remember - TEH GOOGLE transcends time and space and never ever forgets anything!! Let's hear it for TEH GOOGLE!

The ACT journalist wrote back and said that he gets called all kinds of things when he does not publish something – but he gets too many op-eds to include them all. But they generally do publish all the LTEs they get – some on the webpage, if the paper gets too full. He also said I have an axe to grind, and have a lot in common with the Baptist preachers. Here’s my answer:

oh, you are so right I have an ax to grind.... as soon as I realized my country was thinking about starting up an illegal war of aggression, which could lead to a huge nasty war and millions of people dead, I picked up that ax and started to work. I also have an interest in keeping the US, with the US Constitution, intact too - but less so than stopping the entire Middle East from going up in flames from US aggression. But I didn't know that Baptist preachers were working to stop wars of aggression by the US or re-instating our US Constitution. They sure are quiet about that!

so, you didn't publish Kim' s commentary because of "lack of interest" from the general public, but because it is politically not likely to happen.

Well, the "name" that I would call you then is..... not representing the publics interests and concerns. oh well, at least we have our blogs.

And you are censoring my letter because ---- you think I am misrepresenting bush's handling of Katrina, and because I lumped "rape" in with all the other things that the wars our country started brought to Iraq. Can't say it was "lack of space" because you generally have enough space for all letters, right?

I wish you would inform people when you are rejecting their stuff.

Well, recently, I also emailed Aaron Brown. He is no longer with CNN, but now teaching “journalism”. Well, his idea of what journalism is anyway. He had mentioned (in an interview by Glenn Greenwald) that he wished he could call a ‘mulligan’ on some of his pre-Iraq war reporting. I sent him this:

Do you think any of those dead Iraqis would like to call a "mulligan"?

Everything McClelland said about our corporate media was true, and is still true. I see them as accessories to murder.

Well, I spelled ole Scottie’s name wrong. Big deal. Today, I sent him an article about depleted uranium and titled it “part of your legacy” and he remarked that he has discussed the mistakes he made in the run-up to the war, but he stated that my list of his mistakes is surely longer. He’s no doubt right about that. Here is my response:

I'm sure my list is quite a lot longer too.... but I bet the Iraqi people could come up with even more than I ever could. But the real question is - could we have started this exercise in mass murder and torture without our corporate media duping the American people? and why are the American people so easily duped anyway? How come they, like our corporate media, are so lacking in critical thinking skills? A good example of this lack of critical thinking skills was all over the US corporate media after Powell's speech at the UN in 03.

It was amazing to watch - TV "news" journalist after journalist unable to form or articulate any critical response to a big pile of horse shit. And this went on for YEARS - still going on, actually. No end in sight to the killing, torture, kidnapping, extra-judicial killings.... oh dear god, the list goes on and on........ with no end in sight. And a corporate media that is almost totally useless (with a few minor exceptions), and with our Pentagon Propaganda Program still going ahead full steam ahead. Well, I no longer am confused as to how Hitler did it.

Our so-called “media” in the USA is damn pitiful.

A MILLION DEAD, MAYBE MORE, NO END IN SIGHT. Oh, and all the injured ones, all the homeless ones, all the mentally tormented ones...... dear god, it is beyond belief.

More from the ACT

I decided today to go look at the Asheville Citizen Times website and read the letter to the editors there. I wanted to see if there were any letters that did not reflect FACTS as we know them. Well, I struck pure gold (or maybe I should say, pure horse shit) on the very first letter! I emailed the following to the Asheville Citizen Times to see if they could give me a source for the claims in this letter. I put the letter-writers words in quotes – my responses below them in italics.

“Americans are the best example of the superb warriors that are only found among free men and women.”

Let’s have a reputable source for that claim.

“Let us add another attribute —decency — to bravery and valor.”

Yeah, Abu Ghraib really established that claim….not.

“Decency is perhaps the single quality that is unique to military Americans.”

Which is why some US military tried to burn the body of that rape victim, maybe?

“The British, French, German, Japanese, Italians, Koreans, Chinese, Vietnamese, Afghanis, Iranians, Syrians and Iraqis that the American military has had to bring the fight to, all attest to American military decency.”

ALL? They ALL do? Every last one of them? Even the ones who were innocent and imprisoned in Guantanamo? Funny, but that’s not what the Tipton Three had to say.

“Sometimes they attest in strange ways, such as when they choose to fabricate stories and events specifically meant to discredit the decency of the American military.”

Yeah, like that story about the bullet holes in the Koran, or the pictures from Abu Ghraib…. I am sure that they were all fabricated. And those stories from Guantanamo, and those silly civilians who had the gall to get underneath American bombs and get hurt or even dead, and then they fabricated stories. Well, it was the relatives of the dead ones, I’m sure.

“Politicians in all countries, including our own, have had to fabricate events because witnesses of actual events attest to the food, shelter, clothing and kindness received from the American military before, during and after hostilities.”

Let’s have a reputable source for that claim. How do you provide food, shelter, clothing and kindness DURING HOSTILITIES, anyway?

“General Petraeus’ recent magic relies heavily on his faith in the decency of the American military.”

Recent magic? Let’s fact check that claim….. from a reputable source, of course!

“When Americans moved into Iraqis’ neighborhoods, they fought and destroyed terrorist rape gangs, rebuilt clinics and just did what Americans have always done — be the most decent and dangerous warriors in history.”

Oh, they are decent and dangerous…… rather a strange combination, no?

++++++++++++++

Well, if you want to check the original, here’s the link. If you read the message board there, you will see that I put up some names of dead Iraqis and how they died. I figured they needed some FACTS on that website.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Active Denial System

Totally safe, they say ---- IF USED PROPERLY. This is from a report on 60 minutes last night, and of course, we have lots of evidence of US troops on foreign soil who do not act properly. (And prior to this report on 60 minutes, there was a report on Chicago police who “crossed the line” and even had an officer who was proposing killing off other officers who were telling the truth about their behavior. And this was on US soil!)

In this 60 minutes report on the Active Denial System, they had “fake” protesters with signs saying “Love for All” and “Peace Now” while throwing rocks at the US soldiers. These protesters looked like regular peace protesters in the US – except for the rock-throwing part. Well, I guess the provocateurs would be doing that. They demonstrated the weapon on these people, and they retreated. Then they went on to say how this weapon could be used against the Iranian speed boats that torment the US ships….. another way of presenting reality that is totally false. These corporate “news” types love war and violence.

They even had some military guy talk about “controlling” the people who are protesting, and brought up the fact that they had Iraqi protesters in Fallujah in April 2003 who wanted the US troops out of their local school. There is no evidence that they were armed, but the US troops claimed they were fired on by the Iraqis and then they ended up killing a couple dozen Iraqis or so…. And using this weapon would have saved lives!! Well, I guess…. Except they would have had to use it A LOT to get the Iraqi people to let up on wanting foreign troops out of their country. And rather than put up with all that pain, I bet they would have taken up suicide bombing or firing rockets or something.

The problem with this system, just like the tazer weapons, is that we cannot depend on the police or our military not to use them to control people or just to inflict some pain on them.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Let’s hear it for common sense!

Photo is from the protest on May 31, 2008 at Furman University. The current White House resident was there to give a speech, and I was there with my Honk to Impeach sign. I liked these signs though. The news report said that 20 people were there – well, there were 11 from North Carolina, and about 50 from South Carolina. It was a pitiful showing, anyway, in light of all the crimes and murders that bush has enabled. Along the highway leading to Furman, there were supporters with signs. (I found it depressing that there are so many Americans that still approve of bush.) However, when John and I stood by the entrance ramp (to Poinsett Hwy) on Old Buncombe Hwy, we were told we were not allowed to hold signs there. There were police and other security forces (SS? DHS? I don’t know!) all over the place. This creeped me out. I guess the kool-aid drinkers were actually creepier though.

Anyway, I want to tell you about McClatchy Newspapers, formerly Knight-Ridder. I have been reading them for years – they are one of the best on US soil. Recently, they did a response of Scott McClelland’s expose on all the bush lies and how he claimed the media was complicit. I recommend reading it all!

McClatchy pretty much summed up what they uncovered about the upcoming war and occupation of Iraq. I added this comment:

The work you did - in 2001, 2002, and 2003, was extremely valuable to those of us who wanted to stay informed. But there were a few events that I took note of during that time frame: both Rice and Powell claimed in early 2001 that Saddam was contained and not a threat. Another one in 2002 and early 2003: UN Weapons inspectors were in Iraq, the bushies claimed they knew where the WMDs in Iraq were - yet they could not/would not tell the UN weapons inspectors. That one did not pass any kind of common sense test.

Third, there was never any expressed plan for rebuilding Iraq and getting out of there, prior to the invasion (or since). This told me that they did not give a rip about the Iraqi people. They still don't.

Fourth, Powell's speech was full of circumstantial evidence. This did not pass the common sense test either.... and while this speech was torn apart by the foreign press, our domestic press was simply lapdogs.

Fifth - all Americans and the US military was being "trained" to be racist against Muslims and Arabs.... which Iraq is mainly both. This did not bode well for the final outcome of an invasion and occupation.

Sixth, Iraq had not attacked or invaded anyone since 1991, and except for Kuwait and Israel, no neighboring countries expressed any fear of Iraq. Therefore going into Iraq in 2003 was clearly a war of aggression.... a war crime.

And we cannot "win" a war crime.

Later in the comments section, someone called c-RED posted this:

Hurray for socialism.....

Ok, put it like this. Let's say your state governor is killing your whole town, your family and limiting hardly any freedom to anybody. He claims to have WMD's and won't let anyone come in for inspection. Terrorism around your region is escalating. This kinda sounds like this Saddam Hussein guy I've heard about. What do you do?

I guess we shouldn't do anything according to all you people.

I answered with this:

Well, Warren (of McClatchy) addressed all the lies and inaccuracies in this little post - so I thought I would speculate as to what bush & company would do to "help" this theoretical "town":

They would raze it to the ground and kill all the inhabitants and then say "Mission Accomplished" before they even caught the governor.

I would like to know how and why Americans can stay so dumb for so long, and is there anything that can break through this ignorance?

Some easy-to-do action on this issue of media failure HERE.

Upcoming Events in the area this week


I have started a new blog where I will post upcoming events for the week - and other items relating to the WNC Peace Coalition. Anyway, you can find the blog HERE.

The photo came from AOL website - it is a night tornado, along with a lightening strike - pretty amazing.