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Saturday, April 10

Stop That Plane, But Not Those Planes 

The AP says:

"Fighter jets forced down a small plane that flew too close to President Bush's ranch Friday."


Within moments of knowing a plane was off course, the national air defense kicked into action and steered the wayward plane toward a different location. This was without any PDB, any actionable items, or any forwarning whatsoever. It was simply standard operating procedure. Plane off course heading toward wrong location? Force it down somewhere else.

Of course, knowing that one airplane has hit a World Trade Center and three others are hijacked and in the air heading toward other targets... that's different. How could the US AirForce and NORAD possibly defend the airspace over the US?

You are figuring it out. There was the NeoCon report in the late 90's saying they needed a "new Pearl Harbor" to kick their plan into action. The president and his pals were hand delivered information saying that such an evil event might be in the works on Aug 6. If they do nothing, they get their wish.

Bush goes on vacation for a month. 9-11 happens. They are shocked and amazed, but have a plan to attack Iraq ready to go, as well as thousands of pages of new laws to clamp down on citizens, seize assets around the globe, and funnel every last government dollar to a personal friend's corporation, all while reducing taxes on their stolen booty.

And you think Bush & Co. aren't brilliant. If stealing the entire US treasury at a time of its greatest surplus and rewriting laws to suit your personal needs isn't genius, I don't know what is.

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Friday, April 9

Let me remind you of the prior agreement 

The underlying assumption is that there is a stable international order that the United States must defend. The general contours of this international order were developed by U.S. planners during and after World War II. Recognizing the extraordinary scale of U.S. power, they proposed to construct a global system that the United States would dominate and within which U.S. business interests would thrive. As much of the world as possible would constitute a Grand Area, as it was called, which would be subordinated to the needs of the U.S. economy. Within the Grand Area, other capitalist societies would be encouraged to develop, but without protective devices that would interfere with U.S. prerogatives. In particular, only the United States would be permitted to dominate regional systems. The United States moved to take effective control of world energy production and to organize a world system in which its various components would fulfill their functions as industrial centers, as markets and sources of raw materials, or as dependent states pursuing their "regional interests" within the "overall framework of order" managed by the United States....

...an honest review will show that the primary enemies have been the indigenous populations within the Grand Area, who fall prey to the wrong ideas. It then becomes necessary to overcome these deviations by economic, ideological, or military warfare, or by terror and subversion. The domestic population must be rallied to the cause, in defense against ["terrorism"] (note: here the author used the term "Communism" which I replaced with a word more topical to today's perceived threat to democracy).

[excerpts from Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions, chapter entitled "Containing the Enemy"]


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Church and State 

Bush said today:
"The Lord is risen indeed. Luke 24:34

I send greetings to Christians around the world as they gather to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus' life and teachings continue to speak to every generation, and Christians believe his miraculous Resurrection provides hope for the future and offers us the promise of new life.

Through His ministry and sacrifice, Jesus demonstrated God's unconditional love for us. He taught us the importance of helping others and loving our neighbors. His selfless devotion and mercy provide a remarkable example for all of us.

As families and friends gather to enjoy this Easter season, we celebrate God's gift of freedom and His love that conquers death. For those who observe Easter, our faith brings confidence that good will overcome evil and that joy is everlasting. Today, we give thanks for God's many blessings and pray for His peace in the affairs of men.

Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for a happy Easter.

GEORGE W. BUSH"


Recall that this guy cancels the annual Easter Egg Hunt on the White House Lawn every year. Even before 9-11.

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Americans Prefer None of the Above 

The AP's latest poll found something interesting. Citizens in the US don't like Kerry or Bush.

"Neither President Bush nor Democrat John Kerry has gained an advantage in the presidential race, despite millions of dollars spent on advertising, though Americans are growing concerned that violence in Iraq is increasing the threat of terrorism, an Associated Press poll found."


This bodes well for them both. The goal, in case you forgot, is to get as few people to come to the polls as possible. The fewer the people, the easier it is to control an outcome. Being equally unappealling, both candidates are on the path towards creating the lowest turnout ever in the history of our nation.

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Thursday, April 8

If You Were Patton, What Would You Do? 

30 U.S. casualties since Sunday. Unacceptable. For what? So that three cities can go back into the hands of the insurgents? Meanwhile, as part of an announced troop maneuver earlier this year, 30,000 marines have arrived in Iraq to deal with the insurgents' onslaught. Is this the Tet Offensive Redux?

During the Tet Offensive in 1968, when images of the carnage in Vietnam appeared on television and in the papers, Americans reacted in horror and alarm. After it was all over, the Vietnamese losses far outweighed those of U.S. forces. The North Vietnamese retreated back into the jungle never to mount such a major offensive again.

The U.S. generals are probably saying, "Never again. Never again can we allow U.S. troops to be caught in the muck with heavily armed insurgents shooting down on them from rooftops while U.S. soldiers scurry down on the ground like ants waiting to be picked off."

Of course, you know, this means war.

This also means that we've lost the hearts and minds of the Iraqis.

What would you do, if you were Patton? The answer is simple. Withdraw. Simply by cordoning off cities like Falujah, when we are unsure of how many enemy forces are in there, doesn't mean the enemy will stay in the city.

At night, elements of Iraqi forces will sneak out and launch ambushes on U.S. units from behind.

Ultimately this is the worst kind of fighting and the worst strategy for U.S. commanders, i.e. when you are pulled into the theater of battle by your enemy, then told by your superiors to stay in position and wait in the desert, vulnerable, each unit guarding a position cut off from the next. What do the U.S. commanders think they're doing?

Patton would never have mounted such a botched attack. His successes in the past during WWII depended upon speed, as he skirted the enemy avoiding direct conflict, and engaged in skirmish after skirmish until his 8th Army had pushed the enemy back in disarray and taken city after city with hardly a fight.

Though the situation in Iraq looks dire, it is not over yet. The insurgents may control portions of three cities, but without supply lines, or escape routes, current gains are fleeting. Lack of water and lack of food will make them desperate. I'm afraid it will result in high losses for both sides and a vengeful and bloody counteroffensive by the Americans.

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Condi's Day 

Neal Pollack covered Rice's appearance today, in case you missed it:

"She sits. Professional. Responsible. Intelligent. Important. The very embodiment of the American dream and work ethic. The true heir to the learned legacy of our Founding Fathers. Condi Rice is smoking hot. A summary of her testimony follows:


Lie, lie, distortion, half-truth, pander, manipulation, pseudo-intellectual bombast. Dodge, dodge, feint, lie, dodge, avoid, subject change, lie, slander, pretentious generalization, character assassination, bald-faced lie.


Oversimplification, undersimplification, condescension, insult, insult, lie, avoidance of responsibility, avoidance of question about avoiding responsibility, cheap political point, utter, malicious lie. "


Bush and pals did everything they could, really.

"She told the story about how the Bush Administration did absolutely everything in its power to protect this country from terrorism, and then some, with the exception of the World Trade Center attacks, which no one could have predicted. No, there was no way to find out something like that was going on in this country, which is safer now than it’s ever been."

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Waiting For The Map  

Talking point:

Rice: "... when we went to Camp David to plan our response to the al Qaeda attack; it was a map of Afghanistan that was rolled out on the table." (CBS' "60 Minutes", March 28)

Rice: "We go to Camp David. It's the map of Afghanistan that we roll out, not the map of Iraq." (Interview by Network Correspondents, March 24)

Rice: "I can tell you that when we got to Camp David, it was a map of Afghanistan that was unrolled on the table..." (NBC's "Today", March 22)

Rice: "... when we got to Camp David on Sept. 15, it was a map of Afghanistan that was spread out on the table..." (CBS' "Early Show", March 22)

Rice: " ... at Camp David, the first thing that we did was to roll out a map of Afghanistan... " (ABC's "Good Morning America", March 22)

Rice: "... the meeting that Dick Clarke, of course, missed -- or was not invited to -- was at Camp David, when I can tell you that we rolled out a map, not of Iraq, but a map of Afghanistan." (CNN's "American Morning" March 22)

McClellan (Press Briefing, March 22): "...at the National Security Council meeting, what happened? There was a map that was unrolled on the table, and it was a map of Afghanistan."



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Wednesday, April 7

Bremer Provokes Uprising To Take Heat Off Condi 

Everyone knows that Bremer started this uprising by shutting down the newspaper.

Conventional wisdom says he did it to cause the uprising so that it will be impossible to hand over the keys on June 30. Bush, they presume, will be better off by staying there than leaving during his election effort.

Others say Bremer started it to keep us there because that's the plan - to stay there - and we need occasional reasons to remind people that there is still work to do.

We know the truth, though. It was calculated to make bigger headlines than Condi, if possible. The game is on. What gets more coverage?

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More Than 3,000 People Are Killed  

More than 3,000 people are killed every day in road accidents. Most of the victims are young adults between the ages of 15 and 44. According to a report released by the World Health Organization today, in honor of World Health Day, over 1.2 million people are killed in road traffic accidents around the world each year. Another 50 million people may be left injured by crashes annually.

The report warns that "without urgent action the death toll could rise by 60% over the next 16 years"; this would mean that traffic accidents could be one of the biggest causes of preventable deaths by 2020. In the United States, traffic accidents remain the leading cause of death for Americans unde the age of 35.

The highest rate of accidents is in developing countries in Africa and the Middle East, followed by the former republics of the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc countries. The safest countries are in Western Europe, with an average of 11 road deaths per 100,000 people.

Travelling from West Germany into neighboring Poland, the uniformity of road and traffic design changes from one country to the other. In the Eastern European country of Poland, road pattern design continues in the former communist era style of engineering, i.e. two-way roads are narrow and have no shoulder. Without shoulders, the road simply drops off on either side into a ditch. Bicyclists frequently use the roads.

Yet despite the treacherousness of roads in Eastern Europe, the lumbering American-style SUV's are increasingly popular. As sales continue to rise as the more affluent can begin to afford them, traffic deaths will predictably and dramatically increase.

The WHO report does not indicate what is the reason for the increase in traffic accidents other than that there are simply more cars on the roads.


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An Excise On Your Wal-Mart 

For every two jobs that Wal-Mart creates when it opens a superstore, it also destroys a job in the community.

If 500 jobs are created by Wal-Mart, don't forget to account for the 250 that will be deleted on Main Street. Wal-Mart pretends not to know any of that while it competes directly in hand-to-wallet-to-register combat against each and every small business owner it can.

What is Wal-Mart's mission really? If not to steal customers from small businesses which compete against it, then does Wal-Mart really think it wants to bring jobs to a community?

Wal-Mart may have "created" tens of thousands of jobs in America, jobs that start at an average wage of $7 an hour, but Wal-Mart owners have also destroyed thousands of small businesses throughout America and wiped out hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes that go back to the communities. These tax dollars pay for schools, roads, parks, police stations, and fire houses.

Wal-Mart isn't the only one that doesn't like to pay taxes. I hate taxes. Neither the rich nor the poor should have to pay them. But I do pay them or I go to jail because I can't make deals with the city not to pay them. Wal-Mart's lawyers can. Their litigators arrange to have the city pay its taxes in lump-sum welfare subsidies in the millions of dollars, just for the privilege of that community to have a Wal-Mart Superstore.

I think Wal-Mart should have to pay an excise tax for taking workers for everything they have. Let's say 15% per hour. At $7 an hour, that's a $1.05 tax. Let me see (grabbing calculator), so that would be $2,184 a year per employee that Wal-Mart would have to pay to the city in employee excise taxes. Multiply that figure by 500 (employees) and you have an annual tax of $1.09 million. When you think that's how much Wal-Mart makes per day, that'd be a pittance for them to pay considering it's all for the benefit of the community.

In Inglewood, California yesterday, 60% of the citizens voted down Wal-Mart's plan that would have allowed them to build a warehouse-sized store while skirting zoning, traffic and environmental reviews.

Wal-Mart's going to have to come up with a better deal in the future if they want to build more superstores.

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Tuesday, April 6

Kerry Nicer To Nader Than Kerry Supporters 

The NY Times quotes Mr. Kerry as respectful of third party candidates:

"'I'm going to talk directly to people who in the past have been inclined to support Ralph Nader,' Mr. Kerry said, adding that he may be meeting with Mr. Nader himself. 'I respect him. I'm not going to attack him in any way, I'm just going to try to talk to his people and point out that we've got to beat George Bush.'"


I suppose he'll leave the attacking to people like Kos and Randi. It is so much fun to listen to them spend time attacking someone to the left of them rather than concentrating on the real target, Bush. I guess it is really ABBAN - Anyone But Bush And Nader. You'd think Nader was the one sending kids of to die for oil the way they talk, as if he were against anything and everything American by running for president of the country.

ABN (Anyone But Nader) is a great plan to annoy the further left and keep them home on election day. My buddy Rove thanks you in advance.

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Shutting Down the Activists 

If the FEC chooses to shut down activist groups that are critical of George W. Bush, why don't they consider shutting down the big five major media activist groups including Viacom, Newscorp, Time Warner, Disney, and GE?

All five of these media activist groups spend an incredible amount of money that comes from wealthy advertising groups representing rich corporations to represent the interests of a small, elitist group that controls Washington. The ideas expressed by these media activist groups in particular are those represented solely by the two governing parties in Washington D.C., those being the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.

This is not a good thing for a country supposedly representing many different views from a diverse socio-economic plurality.

Far more, these media activist groups have the ability to slander an individual, to marginalize vast portions of the body politic that do not agree with the sole governing duopoly in Washington, the Democratic and the Republican Party, thus leaving millions of Americans in the dark on a vast range of important, critical issues that affect their lives.

Anyone who dares stand up to power in this country learns that is dangerous and leads to a backlash from the governing powers in Washington, which represents the governing rich corporations that use the media activist groups headquartered in New York's midtown. Speak out against them and expose their undemocratic actions worldwide, such as in the case of public TV station WNET when it aired "Hunger for Profit" in the 1980's - a program about multinationals buying up huge tracts of land in the third world - and then lost its corporate underwriting from Gulf+Western, and you see how dangerous indeed such action on the part of the people can be to their futures.

Try saying, as in the case of Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean, that if elected President, you would break up these five media groups and you see what these very same frightened media activist group leaders, otherwise known as CEO's, will do to you when you lose in Iowa.

If this country had one less political party supposedly representing us, we'd be living in Communist-controlled China.

So, FEC, why not shut down such activist groups that do not represent the majority of the people? And, instead, allow the natural democratic process of organized citizens to form into groups that address the dangers that these corporations are responsible for all over the world, the dangers of polluting the oceans, of nuclear radiation, of global warming, of causing the extinction of hundreds of species of birds, animals, plants and insects. Somebody must be engaged in this sort of activism; otherwise, who else will do it? Certainly not our government nor the NeoCons, which represent the corporations, in other words, the very multinationals that are intent on destroying our planet for their own selfish gain.

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Monday, April 5

Whoopee. You're Fired. 

The AP tell us today that:

" Bank of America Corp., newly merged with FleetBoston Financial Corp., said Monday it will cut 12,500 jobs -- or nearly 7 percent of its work force -- as a result of the combination that created the nation's third biggest bank."


In the mail today comes a message from Fleet, announcing the merger:

Bank of America has a strong tradition of community leadership... We know our company can only be as strong as our communities, and our policies reflect that belief.


They also tell us that there is nothing we need to do at this time and that signs will change at the bank later this year. That's all. Relax. Be comfy. They will continue to donate to charities. All is well in the land.

My understanding is that the banks will merge 10 more times, enabling them to reduce their workforce by 70%.

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Daschle Now Faces an Independent Native American 

Tim Giago, an Oglala native American from the Lakota nation, has decided to run as an independent against Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD). Mr. Giago had announced earlier this year that he would run as a Democrat but then switched to independent, prompting a call from Sen. Daschle in Washington urging him not to run in the election in November. Giago told Talon News that Daschle phoned him following his announcement and asked, "Do you want to be the Ralph Nader of this race?"

"Daschle Asks Native American Not To Run Against Him"

As usual, the Democrats are up in arms. But they fail to admit that they are responsible for turning their backs on their constituents on reservations who feel largely forgotten.

On January 19, 2004, John Fund of the Wall Street Journal wrote on Tom Daschle's primary opponent, Tim Giago:

Daschle Faces Revolt on the Reservation

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle faces a tough race this year with former GOP Rep. John Thune, but first he will have to contend with an unusual primary challenge from an American Indian leader. Tim Giago, a member of the Ogala Lakota tribe and editor of the Lakota Journal newspaper in Rapid City, says he will run because the "Indian vote on the Indian reservations has been taken for granted."

Mr. Giago isn't going to beat an incumbent senator well on his way to collecting a $10 million campaign warchest. But his candidacy signals a distance between the Democrats and Indians since 2002, when Democratic Senator Tim Johnson won re-election against a Thune challenge by some 500 votes amidst rampant voting irregularities on Indian reservations.

Mr. Giago's candidacy is one of several signs the Indian vote may not be monolithically Democratic this year in South Dakota. Russell Means, a leader of the Ogala Sioux tribe who narrowly lost a bid for tribal president in 2002, says Indians need to increase their clout with both major parties and indicates he'll be spending the year supporting Republican candidates like Mr. Thune. Democrats are crying foul and saying Indians are violating a long-standing mutual-support deal, but given the record of broken agreements between white politicians and Native Americans, it's not an argument that washes with tribal leaders.

.....

If anything, Tim Giago's independent run will act as a catalyst for actual change to occur in Washington. When Independents don't run for office in this country, politicians take the slumbering for granted and push through their lobbyists' drastic legislation. When an Independent runs, the watchdogs are unleashed.

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