Saturday, September 29, 2007
In the Democratic debates that were recently on MSNBC, Senator Mike Gravel, Rep. Kucinich, as well as Senator Edwards called out those that voted in favor of the amendment against Iran. I think Edwards may have said it best when he offered that he learned a very different lesson about giving this administration any wiggle-room whatsoever for war - that they can't be trusted. The way Hillary laughed when Senator Gravel said she should be ashamed of her vote (video below), and it should have made it very clear to everybody exactly why she is the darling of Israel and has the support of the largest lobbyist in the US, AIPAC (also an Israeli entity). Her excuse for allowing the administration a crack to squeeze through and attack Iran? So that we can sanction them. Must I really point out that we have already sanctioned Iran TWICE in the last eight months, without ever passing any such resolution? Sanctions before diplomacy huh? Am I the only one that hasn't forgotten that the sanctions placed on Iraq killed over 1.5 million Iraqis, and that half a million of those were children, due to lack of clean drinking water? Even though the sanctions clearly "worked" to keep Saddam from obtaining WMD, that didn't stop us from initiating a war with them and occupying Iraq in the end - so what's the purpose of the sanctions again?!?!?
Hillary's assertion that Iran is responsible for US troops deaths is also absurd. All NIE and other Intel reports indicate that whether it be by weapons support or insurgent, Iranian involvement accounts for less than 5% of US troop deaths. The same reports indicate that the threats coming from outside Iraq, the ones that are MOST responsible for US troop deaths, are the Saudi Arabians. But hey, if we're going to look the other way when we knew their citizens were 90% of those responsible for 9/11, then why would we come after them now? The other country that is reported to be enabling terrorism and largely contributing to US troop deaths in the Middle East, is our other ally, Pakistan!
Must every day be "Opposite Day" with this administration at the helm? For Bush, the friend of our enemy, is also our friend! The enemy of our enemy is again, our friend; and if they are a signatory of the non-proliferation act, that may disqualify them from being an ally too (i.e. India & Israel: get lots of weaponry, and are not signatories). And if a country isn't a dictatorship, a theocracy, nor refuses to suppress a nation of peoples...then they are most likely NOT our friends (i.e. France). So why get your feathers ruffled-up when one of our largest military contractors (Halliburton), relocates their headquarters to Dubai, of the United Arab Emirates? Just because they were the ones that allowed all the funding for 9/11 to be transfered through their government owned banks and into the hands of the terrorists in the US, then refused to allow us to follow the money...and just because they are the ONLY country in the region that allows flights from Afghanistan to land, which enables the Taliban to travel...well, those things shouldn't be any cause for alarm - right? Hell no, those things suggest friendship to our president; because war is quite profitable, and business is GOOD! "Money trumps peace...sometimes" - right Shrub? I think he could have left the "sometimes" out, in an effort for him to be truly honest...
However, without the ability to throw the terrorist label around so liberally, there wouldn't be any good targets for the Military Industrial Complex, and business wouldn't be so good. The word terrorist has been used so often and inappropriately so many times, that I seriously doubt anybody knows what the true meaning of the word is anymore. That's why I was especially pleased to see one of our finest, a marine in the al Anbar province, author this article about this very issue. Apparently, our troops are concerned about our understanding of what a terrorist actually is, and suspect that there are political aims behind such sloppy use of the word as well. I was compelled to write him and thank him for doing this, since there really is no better authority on the matter and he aptly points out that we should be careful when applying this term to people because, "Words still mean things."
Even if Bush can't annunciate or spell them, I think he also knows that words mean something. Which is why I feel compelled to remind you all that he has essentially given himself the absolute authority to label anybody a terrorist, or label almost any event (domestic or international) a threat to national security or an act of terrorism; and then lock whomever he deems responsible away indefinitely, without ever giving them their day in court - even Americans. However, this directive (NSPD 51 or HSPD 20) basically castrates congressional powers and will allow Bush to attack Iran anyway, no matter what our Congress does or doesn't vote for.
Let's pretend for a moment, that Bush won't attack Iran before he leaves office: With Hillary admitting that she doesn't want to guarantee that our troops will be out of Iraq by 2013, and her recent vote in favor of labeling Iran's military a terrorist group; what makes you think that if she becomes president that she wouldn't use that directive to attack Iran herself?
Monday, September 24, 2007
Those of you that have been reading me know that I have been on a mission to shut-down private contractors for some time now. Those of you that are new readers, I invite you to take a look at some of my prior entries here on the subject, which includes some very telling videos as well. perhaps the best known and well done film on the subject is called, "Iraq for Sale" and you can find a link to the full length film viewable online in my links-list, just to your right--->
Prior blogs here include; Privatized War and To the "Victor" Goes the Spoils....
I've also touched on the topic in the following articles (as well as many others) within my column on "Who is Isabella?": Profits Trump Rights (half way down this page), and in my very first article there in August 2005, "Heroes Treated Badly".
With the latest Blackwater scandal, I take small comfort in that a little light was shed on this LONG TIME problem. The only thing that I find disturbing is that Americans are not more outraged. How could America forget so quickly about the private contractors that were hung from the bridge in Iraq? Are we really stupid enough to think that was without provocation?!?!? How is it that people here seem to have little to no understanding whatsoever that these kinds of lawless and immoral activities that private contractors are engaged in are endangering our troops? The Iraqis can't tell the difference between the contractors and our troops; and even if they can, they see them as part of the same force. When they do bad things, they do them in the name of the US. For our "leaders" not to have reacted to this incident immediately and properly, is an extremely bad reflection on the US as well. Removing Blackwater from Iraq is a minimal move, that should be followed by the removal of ALL private contractors in Iraq.
Last year there was a privately contracted security member that decided to kill a security guard for an Iraqi official, mainly because he was drunk while having an argument with the guy - but also just because he could! He even announced he was going out to kill somebody to his drinking buddies, just before he did it. What happened to him? Nothing; he was sent home, and faced no punishment whatsoever for committing that senseless murder. It's no wonder that after this latest episode of killing at least 11 Iraqi civilians - without provocation - that the Iraqi officials want these guys removed from their country. If we won't hold these guys accountable for such deplorable actions, and the Iraqis are unable to do it, then we should expect this evil crap to continue. The fact that the Iraqi parliament is trying to ban Blackwater and revoke their license, by utilizing their newly formed democracy, and our administration is basically telling them to "stick it" is vile! "HERE! Have a democracy, US style...just don't USE it!!!" Bush says we're there to give them the power and freedom that a democracy affords; but when they use it for what they consider to be best in their best interests, Bush practically laughs in their face by sending Blackwater right back in to work, against their will. I guess if Bush allowed their democracy to function and get the results they're entitled to, then it would expose our democracy for the SHAM it's been over the last several years - and we can't have THAT, now can we?
Since Congress can't even mange to vote in favor of our troops having proper recuperation time in between multiple tours in the Middle East, then I think the least we can do is encourage volunteers to enlist in the service - instead of signing up with the contractors. The contractors pay multitudes more for the very same jobs, and are taking away from our reenlistment potential as well. Not only are they better paid, but it's our volunteer army that is put into the most dangerous positions, without proper armaments, nor end in sight for their service. I just don't understand how those that say they support the troops are OK with all this preference given to contractors! After all, BOTH contractors and the military are paid for by our tax dollars. Which would you rather be paying for? Neither I'm sure and I don't want to be paying for an occupation either, but since we haven't the choice to end it (yet), I'd rather our money didn't go to the immoral, indiscriminate, unaccountable, completely lawless, murderers - especially not when it's at such a great cost to our troops! They are literally getting our military killed.
Thanks to a friend of a friend on My Space, Jesus †J for putting this together!!!
Top ten war profiteers (annotated)
4. BKSH & ASSOCIATES
5. CACI AND TITAN
6. CUSTER BATTLES
8. LOCKHEED MARTIN
9. LORAL SATELLITE
Here lies 33 days of research. Here you have every location, all executives, lobbyists and profiles of the top ten war profiteers. We must shut them down, let them know they are not welcome in our country, state, county, city or town.
We will discuss all legal tactics for doing this elsewhere. This is strictly a directory containing links to all applicable information that I deemed necessary in shutting them down and taking our country and army back from these corporations.
Notice: profit incline exactly the same as soldier's deaths!
Figures are much higher now
Friday, September 21, 2007
A vote came up to restore Habeas Corpus, but that didn't pass - forget about treating human beings with such dignity. Our representatives apparently think that imprisoning people without them knowing why, for indefinite periods of time without ever telling them why, nor giving them a chance to refute it, that's plenty OK by them. What's in a name? Well, if the name is "terrorist," what's in it is; guilty without an opportunity to prove innocence.
A vote came up for our troops to have equal time at home as they serve overseas, but that didn't pass either. Congress thinks that redeploying our troops for multiple tours in the Middle East, one after the other, without a recuperative break, that's perfectly fine by them. They don't care if it undermines the effectiveness of their work, nor if it means a continuation of the highest rates of divorce and suicide our military has ever seen. They don't care if repetitive tours dramatically increases their chances of being killed. What's apparently far more important to Congress is that they can keep the bodies there like Bush wants - far beyond his presidency. Congress wants Bush to have his occupation at all costs; no matter that the mission isn't defined, regardless of the fact that there is absolutely NO PLAN for them to ever leave, and even though it spits in the face of the newly formed democracy in Iraq (they have voted against continued presence, and in favor of US troops withdrawal). We don't really have a democracy anymore, so why should Iraqis enjoy one?
What DID pass a congressional vote this week? Condemnation of Free Speech! Yes sir, Congress doesn't think that the three million Americans (including many vets & their loved ones) have the right to express their concerns about our military leadership in the New York Times. Countless smear campaigns for Democrats and those that want an end to the occupation, that's perfectly fine; just don't share your disagreement with Bush and his cabal, or you will cause Congress to spend their time & efforts condemning you (in a "time of war" nonetheless). If this isn't clear evidence that dissent and freedom of speech has become illegal in the US, then I don't know what is!
To say that I'm dismayed at our current session of Congress' inability to do the people's will, and honor the very reason why they were put into office in the first place (to end the war), is a severely gross understatement. I hope America will join me in a campaign to flush-out our halls of Congress and rid ourselves of these anti-patriotic, inhumane, spineless losers in the next election! In the meantime, call your representatives to ask them things like, "Did you vote FOR or AGAINST freedom of speech?" Or, "Why do you think detainees should be locked away indefinitely, assumed guilty, and without explanation?" And, "Why don't you want our troops to be able to hold their marriages together, nor be capable of effectively doing their job in the Middle East?"
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
"An illegal arrest is an assault and battery. The person so attempted to be restrained of his liberty has the same right to use force in defending himself as he would in repelling any other assault and battery." State v. Robinson, 145 ME. 77, 72 ATL. 260
"Citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an arresting officer's life if necessary." Plummer v. State, 136 Ind. 306."
Being obnoxious is not a crime, and over zealousness is not legally punishable by brute-force or law. Therefore, I post again the quote from Albert Einstein that I think is most pertinent to this matter:
"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
My man told me that if he'd been there, he'd most likely have been keeping that guy company in jail that night. Neither one of us could live with ourselves, allowing that to happen right in front of us and I certainly would've ended up in jail with them both. We are by no stretch of the imagination violent people, but when it comes to police brutality that violates constitutional rights - forget about it, we hate bullies! It's seriously shameful and even frightening how the people there not only allowed, but actually cheered this fascist reaction right before their eyes. No matter what "side" you're on politically, this should have been seen as a total affront to our freedom of speech. The Constitution and our First Amendment right is far from a partisan issue! If we don't defend everybody's right, then soon enough we'll find that NOBODY will be able to exorcise it. You can't support the right to be extended ONLY to those you agree with - that's 100% anti-patriotic. Whatever happened to "Sticks & stones..." people?
Remember, "First they came for the Jews..." and I seriously doubt that any American wants to find themselves with nobody left to speak out for them, when they want to express themselves - WAKE UP SHEEPLE!
So here are a few examples of how our rights to peacefully assemble and speak our minds are being violated by our system and it's officials:
Last year posted on You Tube, another student being Tasered inside the UCLA library. The main difference between what happened a few days ago and this episode from last year is that the students witnessing this atrocity were vigilant citizens. They asked for badge numbers and tried to ask why this was happening. How did we go from that to now? Is it really just a matter of it happening in California as opposed to happening in Florida? Or is it a result of another year since, of desensitization and growing acceptance of such treatment of Americans?
In an effort to lawfully post notice of the march protesting the occupation, set for September 15th, police came to arrest and harass the people from the ANSWER coalition. Say what you will about the organization itself; I've worked with them and they are extremely careful to obey all laws and regulations. Watch the video, there was no violence or even civil disobedience going on. Of the 192 people arrested at the occupation protest on the 15th, only five or so still remain in jail (in correlation to prior charges). Can anybody tell me why they needed to be arrested in the first place? Crossing the police lines was the official explanation, but that obviously didn't hold water or I'd think they would've remained in jail or been released on bail until trial - but no, they were simply released. Eerily this echoes of the thousands of "terror suspects" released without any explanation from Guantanamo, doesn't it? Even more disturbing was that a few people were sprayed with chemicals, and that detail is barely visible or rarely reported in the news.
During the Petraeus hearing, a Reverend was jumped on and forced to the ground by at least five officers and thrown to the ground so hard that his f'in leg was broken! Come on, you can't tell me that a clergyman was so out of line, or doing something so offensive in the halls of Congress that it warranted arrest and putting him in the hospital. This is completely obscene. Here is the Reverend Yearwood telling his side of that story.
Almost a year ago one of Code Pink's members was banned from DC for an entire year, or she faced six months jail time. This is just another ludicrous absurdity! At least the incident with the student a couple days ago got one of the co-founders of Code Pink into the mainstream!
If you are unaware of the abuses and incredible acts of brutality perpetrated on the victims of Katrina, then you need only Google it to get thousands of results for that as well.
There is a great book that was released last spring that chronicles the rights violations that have occurred to ordinary people since 9/11, some for the most benign acts. It's called, "You Have No Rights; Stories of America in an Age of Repression" by Mathew Rothschild.
So where does this end, and how?
I say it ends in fascism if we don't act to prevent it from continuing, and that it can only be cured by exorcising the rights afforded us by our beloved Constitution. The ability to exorcise our civil rights is literally the foundation that our democracy depends upon for its very existence.
Now being that almost all Iraqi oil is in the northern (Kurdistan) and southern regions, I guess it's fairly safe to assume that they'd rather sell it off than share the profits with their fellow Iraqis.
I personally think it's completely ludicrous to force Iraq to sell one of the only forms of revenue they have to fund their own reconstruction. To say that this is a "benchmark" for them to meet or face being abandoned by the US, and to use their compliance as a measure of their success - that's absolutely F*@CKED UP.
To pinch Iraqis and put them in a corner that they are helpless to get out of on their own, this reminds me of the book called, "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man." The premise is exactly about how the US has forced countries to sell-off their revenues to US companies for their interests (without any real benefit to the countries they are stealing from) and the only real difference is this one is being played-out right under our noses, as opposed to in coordination with Black-Ops (or covert missions). Worse yet, these hit men pretend as if they are doing these desperate people some kind of favor, while typically giving them no other choice.
It totally sickens me that US politicians have become these hit men, by threatening to abandon all efforts to repair damage done if Iraqis don't comply to selling their only hope to the ones that raped them in the first place.
(Kudos to a family member that tipped me off about Hunt Oil Inc., and to a fellow blogger that inspired me to write about this)
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
~ Albert Einstein
On another scary Gestapo-like note...
The protest against the Iraq war/occupation last Saturday, there were 190 people arrested and chemical spray was used on a few people too! As I searched for a link that included the mention of the chemical spray, MANY articles that came up in Google have since been erased - nor was there even a single large publication still running that part of the story. I bet you're just as shocked as I am about the lack of accurate media coverage...NOT. If you are surprised, I suppose no flags went up for you about Fox censoring the celebrities that attended the Emmy's and commented on the occupation the other night either. Fox? Censor? NO WAY!!!
I guess free speech is crime, unless you parrot Bush that is. Is it absolutely clear now that the peace movement is considered a serious threat to this administration?
God help us; She may be the only one left that can save our right to free speech.
"First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me."
Pastor Martin Niemöller
Friday, September 14, 2007
Saturday, September 8, 2007
But then again, in the words of Senator Gravel (recently on Bill Maher), "What do you expect when you have a mental midget for a president?" Napoleon complex? Perhaps...
Still, I wasn't feeling well at all the last few days, and then I was hipped to this bit of news from Australia about the Bums for Bush:
BLESS THOSE BUMS!!!
Saturday, September 1, 2007
However, time is of the essence in this matter, as there is about to be a GIANT propaganda effort taking-off. No time to read books before attending to this matter, we already know we don't want to go to war with Iran!
If you've been reading me, you know I have been expecting this to happen for quite some time now, and I'm still a little leery about an attack on US soil being within our immediate future. Now I think that the administration is backed into the corner far enough that if they are going to do this (as they've wanted to since the beginning), now is about the only chance they have left to pull it off. There's extra pressure to get it started quick too; with the progress report for the surge being due on September 11 (even though the White House was able to edit it), and the vast majority of Americans now agree that it's time to end US involvement in Iraq - we're weary from war & occupation already! So this effort for public support of another war won't be as easy as it was the first time.
The problem is that the warmongers don't care if they are able to gain as little as 30-40% support from the public, because that's plenty enough to go ahead with it in their book. Our only hope of preventing this catastrophe is by pushing for the legislation already introduced against funding for an attack on Iran, and let's not forget that this administration doesn't think they need congressional approval to do it - so passing a law forbidding funds for military action against Iran is absolutely necessary for prevention. Unfortunately, even if everybody is successful in doing these things, it may only hold it off temporarily - but that could be enough time to take other preventative measures thereafter.
Please everybody, do your part to end this mindless destruction of life everywhere, just for the sake of financial profit - it has got to end!
May we all take action, and may the powers that be have mercy on us all...
- ▼ September (10)
- "Oh Lucy! You Gotta Lotta 'Splainin To Do" 9/11 Timeline
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- GovTrack.us - Track Legislation!
- Impeachment Evidence Files
- Iraq for Sale
- Peace, Propoganda, & The Promised Land
- The Power of Nightmares
- Truth & Lies of 9/11
Been there, Listen to, Support that
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- FROM THE WILDERNESS
- Greg Palast
- Guardian Unlimited
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- Media Matters
- RAW STORY
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- What Really Happened
- the Left Paw
- I had been writing a News & Politics column for an online magazine for a little over three years, and just last fall opened this blog to continue publication. I also had the pleasure of being the associate producer for a progressive talk radio host for about a year. Alittle of everything... I've advised small businesses, and I paint all kinds of things (boxes, figurines, greeting cards, personalized children's and other dish-wares, decor...). I still paint when I can, but mainly I'm manage a wholesale company for a Fair Trade, eco-friendly Jewelry & Homewares designer/producer out of Bali called, Verlu. You can see a full catalog of our line on the website, and there is now a list of our retailers for you to visit too. "Wear in everybody's Good Health!"