Sunday, August 06, 2006

Dear Brother and Sister Americans still supporting the Bush Republican Party- Your Final Warning

Stand up for your American constitutional rights, the ones our forbearers fought and died for or suffer the unknown consequences. Unknown-but rest assured humane, lawful and agreed upon by the majority as such, will await you.

This nation of Americans cannot allow your ways and policy to continue to lead the majority-as they are ineffective and have caused cultural ruin, financial chaos, heartbreak, and massive unnecessary deaths the world over. Relatively speaking, there are many more of us than the few of you.

You have no rights bestowed upon you to overthrow our long held system of government and notions of justice based on fear mongering and war whoring amongst yourselves. It is clear that our military personnel are not a priority when hired guns have all the equipment they need, while true soldiers go begging for lack of food and water in the desert.

These few have chosen to give the eternal authority of this country-the United States of America, over to an ideology which does not resemble that of the accepted premise of democracy-based upon hundreds of years of legal precedence and long ago agreed upon by the majority.

November will be here before you know it-be forewarned we will not allow cheating in the vote-no longer will they silence the voice of the people.

We are Americans and united we shall stand-as always. When we arise at once, this reign of terror will have no choice but to heed our collective voices. Mark it on your calendar-November 3. If the vote is stolen this time, gather in your state capital and demand your rights peacefully. Because it hinges on democracy for America or fascism forever.

Hot Links

Dearest Readers, The trip to DC was interesting-the police polite and helpful. Despite security everywhere, robbery is still a problem. Prissy read that a veteran, also missing limbs was robbed in DC. Don't wear your good stuff when you go, just in case.

Know that while many previous military family protests may have consisted of mostly mothers-those days are over. The dads are now mad enough to do the same, makes Dubya look really bad-again.

The wives and fiancees are also coming out-seems commanders have had the nerve to order them to remain silent. Note to commanders: You don't have authority over them-apparently that is also something the public needs to be aware of. Prissy will make sure they are, because this treatment of wives and wives-to-be, is wrong and perhaps illegal-certainly unethical. These ladies still have their First Amendment rights, so please stop pretending they don't.

A word to the wise if you visit DC- don't look at any officials from the state department coming into the senate buildings, because you aren't allowed. That's right-it's a "national security issue" to do so. Ask the police, they'll tell you-even if they roll their eyes when they say it...

Via WRH At Least 100,000 March Against US-Israeli Aggression

Reuters Bush happy with U.N. resolution on Lebanon

The draft resolution calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon "immediate cessation by Hizbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations."

A second resolution will take up the issue of a multinational force for Lebanon.

What was the hold up? Never mind...

BBC Jobless rise as US economy slows

US unemployment rose last month for the first time this year, providing further evidence that the economy is slowing.

The US economy added 113,000 new jobs last month, fewer than expected, and this pushed the jobless rate up to 4.8% from the 4.6% reported in June.

Experts believe the economy has shifted down a gear after a strong first quarter, with house sales cooling.

The jobs data makes it less likely that the US Federal Reserve will raise rates when it meets on Tuesday.

Independent John McCarthy: Israel and the art of sophistry What is 'brave' about giving back something you have stolen?

Israel is out of control. A craving for physical security (unsurprising with the post-Holocaust generation's attitude of "never again"), together with secular Zionist ideals and the Jewish fundamentalist belief of being God's chosen people, has allowed Israel to believe it can do as it will. Anything, it seems, is legitimate, and Mr Blair has backed the US in rubber-stamping actions in Lebanon and Gaza which surely will be looked back on as crimes against humanity.

Groups such as Hizbollah and Hamas have said they want the destruction of the Israeli state. This obviously unacceptable ambition is shared by Iran and others. At times, such statements appear largely rhetorical; at others, they are backed by suicide bombings and rocket attacks. But, even now, no one can sensibly claim that Israel faces a real threat of destruction or occupation. Israel, on the other hand, is actively engaged in the destruction of a nation, bombing Lebanon back "by 20 years", as the military put it, and in the occupation of Palestinian land.

And...Israel has been occupying Palestinian land, in defiance of UN resolutions, for almost 40 years. Instead of insisting on Israel leaving all Palestinian territories, Mr Blair spoke of the former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's "brave step of disengagement from Gaza" last year. What is brave about giving back something you have stolen, still keeping the rightful owners in a virtual prison? Until the safety and human rights of Palestinians - and of all people in the region - are valued as much and put on an equal footing with those of Israelis, there is no hope for a peaceful settlement.

The LA speech was vintage Blair but he seemed undecided which of his two favourite roles he was playing, world leader or preacher. Ultimately, his words, though full of sound and fury, signified nothing. The Lebanese, Palestinians and Israelis - all of us - deserve better and more honest leadership.

John McCarthy was kidnapped in Lebanon in 1986 and held for five years.

ABC Governors Bristle at Bush Guard Proposal Governors Bristle at Move to Give President Greater Power Over the National Guard

The measure would remove the currently required consent of governors for the federalization of the Guard, which is shared between the individual states and the federal government.

"Federalization just for the sake of federalization makes no sense," said Gov. Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana, a Democrat who had rough relations with the Bush administration after the disaster last year. "You don't need federalization to get federal troops. … Just making quick decisions can make things happen."

Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, a Republican, said "a whole bunch of governors" were opposed to the idea after the proposed change was brought up in a private lunch meeting., not the intelligence front .Net is straight from the Arab world. Beirut dismisses UN draft resolution Sunday 06 August 2006, 2:07 Makka Time, 23:07

Lebanon has rejected a draft UN resolution proposed by the US and France that calls for "full cessation of hostilities" between Israel and Hezbollah.

Nouhad Mahmoud, a Lebanese foreign ministry official, said on Sunday that the government "would have liked to see our concerns more reflected in the text" of the draft resolution.

"Unfortunately, it lacked, for instance, a call for the withdrawal of Israeli forces which are now in Lebanon. That is a recipe for more confrontation."

He said the government was also unhappy that the resolution does not call for the Shebaa Farms area to be put under UN control, as Lebanon has asked, while its future status is figured out.

Scotsman New lethal superbug found in Scottish hospitals

A VIRTUALLY untreatable new superbug has been found in Scotland for the first time after causing death and panic in hospitals in the US and England.

Eleven patients have tested positive for the presence of multi-antibiotic-resistant Acinetobacter, which - unlike MRSA - can only be treated with one medicine.

Health chiefs believe the new superbug is now present throughout Scotland and it is only a matter of time before it mutates into a particularly deadly form which does not respond to any known antibiotic.

Editor and Publisher-wishing bloggers would stop telling the truth on them...or they wouldn't pick such a title. It really doesn't fit the story. Latest Jailing of Journalist Sending A Message to Bloggers?

Carolan, who has represented The Associated Press in the past, said the government is increasingly becoming more aggressive “in going after reporters in the grand jury context.”

Freelance video journalist and blogger Joshua Wolf was jailed Tuesday for refusing to hand over his unaired footage from a July 2005 protest.

Wolf does not fit the classic profile of a reporter trying to protect a source. He describes himself as an activist and journalist, a freelance cameraman who also runs a blog.

He videotaped a protest in which anarchists were suspected of vandalizing a city police car. One San Francisco police officer was struck during the rally against the G-8 economic summit last year and sustained a fractured skull.

Prissy is torn on this one-doesn't care for anarchist methods-prefers a more controlled situation.

This is interesting:

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. August 4, 2006: “A shipment of Zelzal missiles arrived in northern Lebanon yesterday via Turkey, who has no love for the U.S. because of their support of the Kurds. Of course the Russians have been hard at work in that area and have had some notable success in Ankara. I do not know when the projected saturation attacks on Tel Aviv are up because the satellite pictures show new Israeli troop concentration areas that might also be targets of importance. Apparently, disinformation has worked very well so far in the anti-Israel campaign and those here passing what they mistakenly think is vital satellite and SIGINT information to Israel have no idea they have been led down the path. While Bush has been eagerly supplying bunker-buster and cluster bombs to Israel, albeit with many problems caused when the Brits refuse to allow his cargo planes with their deadly cargoes to land on their soil, Hezbollah has been wreaking havoc on the vaunted IDF people and are continuing to bombard Israel with rockets, of which they have a huge supply, the Zelzal missile came from Iran and can easily reach Tel Aviv from Lebanon and the SIGINT indicates that a massive attack has been in train for some time now. Sometimes, it is said, the biter gets bitten.”

Rocky Mountain News Indeed, U.S. could be going bankrupt

Sheer denial also is at work. Younger generations are held hostage to grandma - the monetary transfer flows mostly one way. Yet rather than change a management that is failing them, younger shareholders are focusing on hour-to-hour subjects, such as, say, those earmarks, West Nile virus or gas prices. This is the corporate equivalent of enjoying the buzz the gadfly makes at the annual meeting and then going home to wait out another year.

What's frustrating about this attitude is that the entitlement issue isn't going away. If shareholders won't do something about U.S. obligations, financial markets will do it for them in a fashion that makes Kotlikoff's 30 percent sales tax look mild.

We Americans are oddly arrogant on this topic. We still believe that what happened to Italy, Latin America or Great Britain in the 1960s or 1970s can't happen to us.

In this regard Kotlikoff is correct. Political bankruptcy doesn't sound as bad as business bankruptcy, or the bankruptcy of a sovereign nation. But in the long run, they can become the same thing.

Some still shilling at the WaPo U.S., France Agree To Cease-Fire Plan For Lebanon

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 5 -- The United States and France reached agreement Saturday on a draft Security Council resolution calling for "full cessation of hostilities" between Israel and Hezbollah and outlining initial steps to end their 25-day conflict.

Senior Lebanese and Hezbollah officials immediately challenged the terms, and U.N. and European officials said major changes would almost certainly be needed before it is put to a vote this week

Jurist Prosecutors say US soldiers freed Iraqi detainees then shot them as they fled

[JURIST] A US military prosecutor said in closing arguments at an Article 32 hearing [JAG backgrounder; UCMJ text] Friday that four US soldiers should face court-martial for violating the laws of war by setting several Iraqi detainees free after a May 9 raid on a suspected insurgent camp near Samarra in Salahaddin province and then shooting them as they ran away. The soldiers - Pfc. Corey R. Clagett, Spc. William B. Hunsaker, Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard and Spc. Juston R. Graber - face charges [JURIST report] of premeditated murder [JURIST report], attempted murder, and conspiracy, and could face the death penalty if convicted of premeditation. They also face obstruction of justice charges for threatening to kill another soldier, Pfc. Bradley Mason, if he told investigators of their alleged plans for murdering the detainees.

So, where is that good news from Iraq?

Lebanon Daily Star US military prosecutor demands court martial for 4 American 'war criminals'

TIKRIT, Iraq: A military prosecutor branded four US soldiers who have been accused of murdering Iraqi prisoners "war criminals" on Friday and demanded they face court martial.

The prosecutor, Captain Joseph Mackey, was speaking on the last day of a legal hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to prosecute the troops following the May 9 slaying of three detainees.

"US soldiers must follow the laws of war. That's what makes us better than the terrorists, what sets us apart from the thugs and the hitmen. These soldiers did just the opposite," Mackey said, in his closing argument.

The defendants, he charged, had cut the prisoners free of their plastic handcuffs and then "murdered them in cold blood," later falsely claiming that the victims had escaped and assaulted their captors.

Turkish Press Syria accuses Israel of bombing Qaa "intentionally"

DAMASCUS - Syria late Saturday accused Israel of having "intentionally" bombed the Lebanese village of Qaa near the Syrian border where 28 people, mostly Syrians, were killed, the official Sana news agency reported.

In a letter sent to the UN secretary general and the chairman of the Security Council, the Syrian foreign ministry denounced "the massacre committed by Israel yesterday in Qaa."

Turkish Press via AFP Guantanamo detainees may remain indefinitely: Gonzalez

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said the US government could "indefinitely" hold foreign 'enemy combatants' at sites like the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"We can detain any combatants for the duration of the hostilities," said Gonzales, speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"If we choose to try them, that's great. If we don't choose to try them, we can continue to hold them," he said.

Der Speigel WASHINGTON VS. HAVANA The CIA's Blind Spot

The uncertainty surrounding Cuba's political future caught Washington by surprise. Instead of seizing the chance to develop a new Cuban policy, the United States is falling back on old, unsuccessful recipes -- and getting ready for an exodus to Florida.

If Cuba made an appearance in the headlines these last few years, it was usually because of the US military base in Guantánamo, in the southeastern part of the island. Cuba almost triggered the Third World War 44 years ago, but recently Washington has considered Fidel Castro's state -- the last satellite of the Soviet empire -- an anachronism, part of the waning residue of an age before the September 11 attacks, before the "war on terror" and before the explosion of the Middle Eastern powder keg. Armaggedon now lurks elsewhere.

So do US President George W. Bush's geopolitical interests. Which means it was hardly a surprise that the news of Fidel Castro's illness seemed to blindside Bush. "The president's comment was that everybody was caught by surprise, and we'll have to wait and see," reported US senator Robert Bennett, who discussed recent developments in Cuba with Bush on Tuesday.

Christian Science Monitor Top military lawyers oppose Bush plan

Top US military lawyers, in a moment of "rare, open disagreement" with the civilian administration, told a Senate hearing this week that they do not agree with key provisions of a draft Bush administration plan for special military courts. The Washington Post reports that the military lawyers said they do not see "eye to eye with the senior Bush administration political appointees who developed the plan and presented it to them last week." They worry that the new plan – designed to replace one struck down by the US Supreme Court – would place US servicemen and women in jeopardy around the world.

"The United States should be an example to the world, sir," Maj. Gen. Scott C. Black, judge advocate general of the Army, told Sen. Russell Feingold (D) of Wisconsin at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. "Reciprocity is something that weighs heavily in all of the discussions that we are undertaking as we develop the process and rules for the commissions, and that's the exact reason, sir. The treatment of soldiers who will be captured on future battlefields is of paramount concern."

The Post also reports that the draft plan would give military courts the right to try people who are not connected with the Taliban and Al Qaeda and who are not "directly involved with acts of international terrorism." The new plan would allow the Secretary of Defense "to add crimes at will to those under the military court's jurisdiction."

Great job and kudos to those JAGs

Foreign Policy in Focus Jihad Against Hezbollah

The Bush administration and an overwhelming bipartisan majority of Congress have gone on record defending Israel's assault on Lebanon's civilian infrastructure as a means of attacking Hezbollah “terrorists.” Unlike the major Palestinian Islamist groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah forces haven't killed any Israeli civilians for more than a decade. Indeed, a 2002 Congressional Research Service report noted, in its analysis of Hezbollah, that “no major terrorist attacks have been attributed to it since 1994.” The most recent State Department report on international terrorism also fails to note any acts of terrorism by Hezbollah since that time except for unsubstantiated claims that a Hezbollah member was a participant in a June 1996 attack on the U.S. Air Force dormitory at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.

While Hezbollah's ongoing rocket attacks on civilian targets in Israel are indeed illegitimate and can certainly be considered acts of terrorism, it is important to note that such attacks were launched only after the U.S.-backed Israeli assault on civilian targets in Israel began July 12. Similarly, Hezbollah has pledged to cease such attacks once Israel stops its attacks against Lebanon and withdraws its troops from Lebanese territory occupied since the onset of the latest round of hostilities. (The Hezbollah attack on the Israeli border post that prompted the Israeli assaults, while clearly illegitimate and provocative, can not legally be considered a terrorist attack since the targets were military rather than civilian.)

Indeed, the evolution of this Lebanese Shiite movement from a terrorist group to a legal political party had been one of the more interesting and hopeful developments in the Middle East in recent years. Like many radical Islamist parties elsewhere, Hezbollah (meaning “Party of God”) combines populist rhetoric, important social service networks for the needy, and a decidedly reactionary and chauvinistic interpretation of Islam in its approach to contemporary social and political issues. In Lebanese parliamentary elections earlier last year, Hezbollah ended up with fourteen seats outright in the 128-member national assembly, and a slate shared with the more moderate Shiite party Amal gained an additional twenty-three seats. Hezbollah controls one ministry in the 24-member cabinet. While failing to disarm as required under UN Security Council resolution 1559, Hezbollah was negotiating with the Lebanese government and other interested Lebanese parties, leading to hopes that the party's military wing would be disbanded within a few months. Prior to calling up reserves following the Israeli assault, Hezbollah could probably count on no more than a thousand active-duty militiamen.

In other words, whatever one might think of Hezbollah's reactionary ideology and its sordid history, the group did not constitute such a serious threat to Israel's security as to legitimate a pre-emptive war.

Quotes of the Day

The cost of living is going up and the chance of living is going down.-- Flip Wilson

Put this down under cause and effect-why neorepublicans cannot accept new facts...and why they need newspapers under their control.

To read a newspaper is to refrain from reading something worthwhile. The first discipline of education must therefore be to refuse resolutely to feed the mind with canned chatter.-- Aleister Crowley

In democracy it's your vote that counts; In feudalism it's your count that votes.--Mogens Jallberg

It's not the voting that's democracy, it's the counting.--Tom Stoppard (1937 - ), Jumpers (1972) act 1

It is by no means self-evident that human beings are most real when most violently excited; violent physical passions do not in themselves differentiate men from each other, but rather tend to reduce them to the same state.--Thomas Elliot

Is this the main neocon problem?

Men live in a fantasy world. I know this because I am one, and I actually receive my mail there.-- Scott Adams