What in the world....warning Political content

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What is going on?

1) "Not A Shred of Evidence About Search" "A commander with the Texas Department of Public Safety ordered the destruction of all documents and photographs gathered in the search for Demoncratic state legislators who fled to Okalahoma to block a congessional redistricting bill...." "Misuse of federal law enforcement agencies for domestic political purposes. Sounds like Watergate in 1974 and Richard Nicxon, doesn't it" asked Rep. Chet Edward, D-Texas. "The silence of Rpublican leadership and Majority Leader Tom DeLay on these abuses is deafening." "Delay said yesterday he would not comment on "false accusations." " Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Tuesday he would review a decision to withold information about his agency's involvement." (My comment: No comment, this one stinks to high heaven on its own).

....Associated Press, Kelley Shannon in today's Seattle PI.

2) "Head of EPA steps down." Okay, Christine Todd Whitman is finally calling it quits. But look who's being considered for a replacement: David Struhs, head of Florida's environmental protection department and a member of the Bush-Cheney EPA trasition team, and Jospehine Cooper, a Washington-based lobbyist for automakers who was an aide to Vice President Dick Cheney when he was a Wyoming congressman. (my comment: oh good, big oil and the auto industry in charge of EPA).

....Same paper.

3) "Push alleges that Iran is sheltering al-Qaida." (my comment: yes, and I think they are going to move to North Korea real soon, too).

.....Same paper.

4) "Tax-cut deal hammered out". Do you really think that people will applaud holding the line at $350 billion when they find out that this is only because of a sunset clause in the bill and that it will really cost more like a TRILLION dollars if the sunset clause (called gimicky by many) doesn't really happen in 2008 (my comment: Like I'm sure your legislators are going to raise your taxes back to pre-2003 tax levels to satisfy the sunset clause provision! NOT. We gonna be BROKE).

....same paper

5) "Deflation is ravaging Japan's economy." And Alan Greenspan of course made note of this in his last public statements, and told us to be very vigilant in monitoring in order to prevent our slide into same.

There's also the Mad Cow (BSE) outbreak in Alberta, and the horrible earthquake in Algeria.

My comment: Of course, the majority of people that I know will move on, not care, continue to boo the Dixie Chicks and say, what the hell, who cares if there's no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (the flip side of "who cares if our government lies to us?"), and will watch the new American Idol (whoever, whatever that is) which also got front section news coverage.

My question: Do you think I should just stop reading the paper?

-- Anonymous, May 22, 2003


Sorry for the typos (I did like "Demoncrats" though!). I shouldn't type with only one cup of coffee in me...

-- Anonymous, May 22, 2003

My question: Do you think I should just stop reading the paper?

I guess that depends on if you'd be happier knowing or not knowing. They say that ignorance is bliss, if that's true then a large portion of our population must be near orgasmic by now. :) BTW, the lead stories here in Indy today are 1)Michael Jackson, 2)Indianapolis Colts, 3) Indy 500, and 4)Hyperfix ( a $34 million highway project that's going to shut down the city this summer).

I had the evening news on TV last night while making dinner. They were giving the results of a survey, I didn't hear if it was just an ABC news poll or if it was connected with another group. Anyway, when asked what the president should be focusing on now, something like 60% said the economy and 30% said fighting terrorism. This was a complete flip from the same question asked last month. Now these worries about deflation did allow me to get a mortgage at a rate lower than what rates were when I was born, but that's just a bit of selfish happiness on my part I guess.

-- Anonymous, May 22, 2003

"My question: Do you think I should just stop reading the paper? "

Yes. :)

I dare ya. Become anotherhead-in-the-sand ostrich or sheeple (with apologies to sheeps and sheepishes),just like the majority of the american populace. I don't think you can though; you have way too much heart and brains for ignorance. tempting though, ain't it?


May 22, 2003 Dancing With the Devil By BOB HERBERT

Let's see. Who's less patriotic, the Dixie Chicks or Dick Cheney's long-term meal ticket, the Halliburton Company?

The Dixie Chicks were excoriated for simply exercising their constitutional right to speak out. With an ugly backlash and plans for a boycott growing, the group issued a humiliating public apology for "disrespectful" anti-Bush remarks made by its lead singer, Natalie Maines.

The Chicks learned how dangerous it can be to criticize the chief of a grand imperial power.

Halliburton, on the other hand, can do no wrong. Yes, it has a history of ripping off the government. And, yes, it's made zillions doing business in countries that sponsor terrorism, including members of the "axis of evil" that is so despised by the president.

But the wrath of the White House has not come thundering down on Halliburton for consorting with the enemy. And there's been very little public criticism. This is not some hapless singing group we're talking about. Halliburton is a court favorite. So instead of being punished for its misdeeds, it's been handed a huge share of the riches to be reaped from the reconstruction of Iraq and U.S. control of Iraqi oil.

A Democratic congressman, Henry Waxman of California, has raised pointed questions about the propriety of rewarding Halliburton with lucrative contracts as part of the U.S. war on terror when the company has gone out of its way to do business in three nations that the U.S. has accused of supporting terror: Iraq, Iran and Libya.

In an April 30 letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Mr. Waxman wrote:

"Since at least the 1980's, federal laws have prohibited U.S. companies from doing business in one or more of these countries. Yet Halliburton appears to have sought to circumvent these restrictions by setting up subsidiaries in foreign countries and territories such as the Cayman Islands. These actions started as early as 1984; they appear to have continued during the period between 1995 and 2000, when Vice President Cheney headed the company; and they are apparently ongoing even today."

According to Mr. Waxman, a subsidiary called Halliburton Products and Services opened an office in Tehran, Iran, in February 2000, has done work on offshore drilling projects and has asserted, "We are committed to position ourselves in a market that offers huge growth potential."

Shareholder complaints since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, particularly from the pension funds of the New York City Police and Fire Departments, have prompted Halliburton officials to agree to reevaluate their operations in Iran.

The federal government has been well aware of Halliburton's shenanigans. In his letter to Secretary Rumsfeld, Mr. Waxman noted that "Halliburton was fined $3.8 million in 1995 for re-exporting U.S. goods through a foreign subsidiary to Libya in violation of U.S. sanctions."

The fine was not enough to stop the company from dancing with the devil. It still has dealings in Libya.

Now, with the U.S. takeover of Iraq, Halliburton has hit the jackpot. It has only recently been made clear that an "emergency" no-bid contract given in March to the Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root covers far more than the limited task of fighting oil well fires. The company has been given control of the Iraqi oil operations, including oil distribution.

"It's remarkable there's been so little attention paid to the Halliburton contracts," said Mr. Waxman. In addition to doing business in countries that have sponsored terrorism, the congressman said, Halliburton has been accused of overcharging the U.S. government for work it did in the 1990's. And last year the company agreed to pay a $2 million settlement to ward off possible criminal charges for price gouging.

"Their reward for that terrible record," said the congressman, "was a secret no-bid contract, potentially worth billions, to run Iraq's oil operations."

Halliburton and its subsidiaries are virtuosos at gaming the system. It's a slithery enterprise with its rapacious tentacles in everybody's pockets. It benefits from doing business with the enemy, from its relationship with the U.S. military when the U.S. is at war with the enemy, and from contracts to help rebuild the defeated enemy.

Meanwhile, the flag-waving yahoos are hyperventilating over nonissues like the Dixie Chicks.

-- Anonymous, May 22, 2003

Mark Souder pisses me off so often I think I'm just going to put his Washington office number on my speed dial. sigh....

House GOP Targets Medical Marijuana States By Associated Press

WASHINGTON - House Republicans are pressing for legislation that would strip federal anti-drug money from local police in states that have passed medical marijuana laws. The overall legislation, which would keep the White House drug policy office in business for another five years, would also allow the office to run ads opposing medical marijuana initiatives.

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said both provisions were initiated in Congress, but they clearly reflect the Bush administration's strong desire to strictly enforce marijuana laws. Federal law does not permit legalization for medical use, although eight states allow it.

Tom Riley, spokesman for White House drug policy director John Walters, said: "One of the duties of the drug czar is to oppose efforts to legalize drugs. There's a concern in Congress that marijuana is more harmful than most people perceive. They want to make sure this agency keeps a focus on that."

Walters has traveled the country to speak out against easing marijuana laws, but Riley said there were no issue-oriented ads planned. However, he added, "We want as much flexibility as possible."

The House Government Reform Committee was expected to approve the legislation Thursday, with an amendment prohibiting ads expressly advocating support or defeat of a candidate or ballot question.

Groups opposed to strict criminal enforcement of marijuana laws said more than $11 million could be eliminated from state and local police budgets in "high-intensity" drug trafficking areas. The money would go to federal law enforcement officers on the grounds that local police would not be able to enforce marijuana laws.

The House bill is sponsored by Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., chairman of the House Government Reform criminal justice subcommittee. His staff director, Chris Donesa, said the switch is needed because the federal government would take on an added burden, but emphasized the money would be used in the same high-intensity areas.

Donesa added that local and federal officers work together in those areas anyway, so there would be little practical effect.

Steve Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project said his group was especially concerned about the possibility of huge advertising expenditures by the White House in an attempt to influence elections.

"This leaves them free to run ads saying medicinal marijuana is a lie and a ploy to legalize marijuana for all purposes," he said.

Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance called the potential issue advertising "a shell game. It would take money from taxpayers and most taxpayers will see through it."

Piper said the reallocation of money to federal officers would move the focus from heroin and cocaine trafficking to enforcement against medical marijuana patients.

The states with medical marijuana laws are Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Nevada and Maine.

Voters last November defeated a Nevada measure to legalize possession of up to three ounces of marijuana; an Arizona initiative that would have made pot possession equivalent to a traffic violation; and a South Dakota initiative that would have legalized hemp farms.

************************************* I hate the way the Federal Government uses the threat of loss of funds as blackmail to keep states in line. If the voters of a state want a medical marijuana law then the Feds should keep their freaking noses out of it. This is also why I think the Free State Project is ultimately doomed to failure. The federal government will never allow a "Free State" to exist. < a href="http://www.freestateproject.org/">Free State Project

-- Anonymous, May 23, 2003

oops, let's try that link again... Free State Project

-- Anonymous, May 23, 2003

Sheesh. The entire NATION of Canada just decriminalized marijuana. If you get "busted" (for a small amount, not like you're dealing), you pay a fine...not get charged with anything.

-- Anonymous, May 23, 2003

Here's my interesting news item for today. I read it (interestingly!) in yesterday's paper. I have excerpted a few paragraphs since I guess you're not supposed to use it (although it's AP and it's all over the internet, anyway).

WorldCom critics angered by government deal in Iraq Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) – The Pentagon made an interesting choice when it hired a U.S. company to build a small wireless phone network in Iraq: MCI, aka WorldCom Inc., perpetrator of the biggest accounting fraud in American business and not exactly a big name in cellular service.

The Iraq contract incensed WorldCom rivals and government watchdogs who say Washington has been too kind to the company since WorldCom revealed its $11 billion accounting fraud and plunged into bankruptcy last year.

“We don’t understand why MCI would be awarded this business given its status as having committed the largest corporate fraud in history,” said AT&T Corp. spokesman Jim McGann. “There are many qualified, financially stable companies that could have been awarded that business, including us.”

“I was curious about it, because the last time I looked, MCI’s never built out a wireless network,” said Len Lauer, head of Sprint Corp.’s wireless division."

It goes on to say how ATT never heard of any bids for a contract, etc. So now Haliburton gets the secret contract for the oil, and MCI gets the secret contract for the phones. Bechtel got the construction contract(s). I don't know if they were secret. Hmmm. And folks got upset because they thought Bill Clinton's behavior was sleazy?

Now, let's guess what next corporation will get what...just have to rant a little here!

-- Anonymous, May 23, 2003

If I'm remembering correctly, the MCI in Iraq story is even stranger. Apparently cell phone service in that part of the world is different that what's used in the US, and the system that MCi is proposing to build won't be compatible with anything else that's already there. A lot of European cell phone providers are honked off because their systems would be compatible, but they weren't allowed to bid on the contract. There was a story about it in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago.

As for Canada decriminalizing marijuana, they're getting huge pressure from Ashcroft and Co. not to do it. I believe we may even be treatening trade sanctions if they do. After all, we do have the right to tell other countries how to run their affairs. I can see it now..."US invades Canada in search of Weapons of Mass Intoxication".

-- Anonymous, May 23, 2003

Yes, Canada will be made to pay for its non-support for BushCo's stupid war. I would wager the payback is just beginning, and preparations being made to make sure that Paul Martin, or some other American toady, replaces Chretien. The US will tolerate no insubordination to our God-given right to world rule.

Marijuana........gimme a break ........they sure as hell have their priorites backasswards.

-- Anonymous, May 23, 2003

Yep, I think the terrorists have definitely won......


The US Government is pouring funding into the development of a system to identify people by the way they walk...

The Pentagon is reportedly funding further development of a Georgia Tech system that can identify people from a distance, not by body heat, facial features, height, weight or bone density, but by the way they walk. According to the Associated Press, the system is 80-95% successful at making identifications from a distance based solely on a person's gait. The plan is evidently to link "gait signature" data into Total Information Awareness. As you might imagine, both liberal and conservative privacy advocates are torqued about this.

The system operates ..........morons

-- Anonymous, May 23, 2003

"Speaker disrupts RC graduation" – this is the headline in the Rockford Register Star in Illinois. The article describes how commencement speaker Chris Hedges was booed off the stage for making an anti-war speech at the Rockford College graduation on Saturday..........

I'm Amy Goodman with Chris Hedges, the commencement speaker at the Rockford College graduation this past Saturday in Illinois. I'm looking at the Rockford Register Star, the latest report out of there, as it says: "The Rockford College family debated what went wrong at its Spring graduation ceremony that featured New York Times reporter and anti-war advocate Chris Hedges. When do people listen to ideas? When do people think critically and disagree? When do people sit respectfully and is there a time for civility to be lost? These and more questions discussed at a meeting on the campus, the Alma Mater of Jane Addams. Students, faculty and staff didn't reach a consensus, but college President Paul Pribbenow maintains students should be challenged by commencement speakers. He said, 'commencement is one of the last moments you have with students. I want commencement to be more than just a pop speech.' Well, Chris Hedges, you went to Jane Addams' school, to Rockford College. Who was Jane Addams? ............

amy goodman

-- Anonymous, May 24, 2003

It just keeps getting better and better. The Bush crowd pretty much has things the way they want them. The major media players are more or less conglomerated so they're easy to control and eager to "cooperate". The big money corps have their hands out in a quid pro quo mode and get what they want too. "They've" successfully criminalized so many things that we have so many cops and "crimebuster" organizations, not to mention the numerous prisons they can jail just about everyone they wanna or trumped up charges.

And the neo-cons are applauding. People are so fucking blind and stupid these days it makes me wanna puke. Can you spell oligarchy? and FACIST?

-- Anonymous, May 24, 2003

Well, actually John I CAN spell fascist. OTOH, you better use a dictionary next time ! [GRIN]

I feel your pain......and not only the neo-cons are applauding. If we are to believe the popularity polls, how depressing is it that the citizenry is completely asleep?? You begin to understand how people walked blindly into the ovens, which was inconceivable before. I think I've pretty much lost hope, not that I won't battle til my end, that most folks will ever find within themselves the courage to risk their illusion of security. People are much braver when they are uncomfortable, when they are daily in real danger of their lives, when they are starving or have been tortured. Most Americans are so indescribably spoiled materially, and so self-centered that they will continue to plug their ears and cover their eyes until such time as something hits them in their real personal life.

I daily struggle to not become bitter and cynical, to remind myself that I have to accept people and everything else just as they are, that everything happens as it should. That horrors perpetrated by human beings have always been a part of history, and very well may always be, although I had thought at one time it would someday not be so. What a great lesson for us living today, to see firsthand how dictators come to power so very easily via the compliance of those around them. How people see only what they wish to see, always striving to feel safe, because inside most of them are always terrified and, like children who never grew up, will grasp at whatever straw is easiest to reach.

If BushCo gets reelected, I doubt very much this country will be able to sustain itself. The house of cards they are building simply cannot stand long, and they may very well bring down completely what was once considered the world over the greatest nation on earth. A tragedy beyond description, and all for greed, our almighty god in the US of A. I mourn for my country.

-- Anonymous, May 25, 2003

We will tolerate no insubordination to our world rule: -------------------------------------------

Rice Quoted Saying U.S. to Ignore Schroeder BERLIN (Reuters) - Condoleezza Rice was quoted in a German magazine Sunday saying the Bush administration was trying to patch up strained relations with Germany but would continue to ostracize Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Focus magazine reported President Bush's national security adviser told a German visitor recently that relations between Bush and Schroeder were ruined because of the German leader's outspoken opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq ..........r ice and germany

-- Anonymous, May 25, 2003


-- Anonymous, May 25, 2003

EM: Thanks for the spelling correction but you get my point. What I don't understand is when a republican is stumping they invariably preach smaller government, tax cuts etc, yet when they get in office, they run huge deficits and run the national debt up.

The conservative bubbas cheer the republican office holders, regardless of how corrupt and transparent they actually are, blame Clinton for everything they don't like, yet fail to connect the dots regarding the national debt and balooning deficits.

I keep wondering how driving the nation into moral and fiscal bankruptcy will benefit the republicans because they seem hell bent on doing just that.

-- Anonymous, May 25, 2003

John, upon reading my previous post, I noticed something important was missing! I have no idea why, but when I posted that first line, I put a "very big grin" at the end of it, and it ain't there, making me look like an arrogant jerk and changing the whole tone. Sheesh! Anyway, forgive me if I sounded snotty; I never seriously criticize spelling anyway, that's the weird part, cuz it bugs the hell out of me when people get all anal about that. So please KNOW that I was just kiddin, and only said it cuz I found it chuckle-worthy that you asked 'can you spell fascist'? and didn't spell it right! Love ya, EM

-- Anonymous, May 26, 2003

I often read the Letters to the Editor stuff in the paper (you'd think all I have time to do is read the paper these days). Lately, the most nasty letters published are those wherein conservatives lambast liberals for their postions. The conservative letter writers broad-brush the liberal position as naive, unpatriotic, either socialistic or communistic, and sniveling (or equivalent).

I'm puzzled by all the emotion in it. Why is there all the name calling and such, when the current Administration must closely represent the writer's political philosophy in the first place?

On the other hand, the liberal letter writers typically call upon facts, recent current events, history etc. to comment on, and usually (though not always) try to present a cogent plea for disseminating information, etc. The letters seem pretty rational.

My question: Why are the conservative writers so vehement and ranting, why the liberal writers are so much less so? (And yes, I suppose it could be that the newspaper editors are liberal and so wish to present the conservatives as rabid ranters. However, in my travels and conversations, I find that life is much more like the letters in the paper). If a person has a political environment that one agrees with (ostensibly), then why be so vocal and nasty about the "opposition"? Seems logical that it would be the other way around to me. Do you think they doth protest too much? Are conservative letter writers trying to convince themselves that they are indeed CORRECT? (Or are they just assholes?).

-- Anonymous, May 26, 2003

EM: No offense taken and yup, I would'a thought the mispelling was funny too in the context it was mentioned. I CAN spell fucked up and I did so no big deal. I do it all the time!

Sheepish, I know what you mean about the liberal bashing from the "patriots". If you ever go to Homesteading today you'll see alot of it from a certain few. In fact, it seems thats about all they do. One in particular is a certifiable asshole.

It kinda reminds me of an incident a while back. We had a little family get together at my nephews place. His dad, Dean, was there and was spouting off the typical crap about Clinton, right from Rushes mouth to his ears. While not specifically defending Clintons bad behavior there were a few things he said that I didn't let go unchallenged. I nicely corrected a coupla things he said then he went ballistic, saying how much this upset him because Clinton was such an evil person.

I sez "Dean, if you don't wanna talk about it, I suggest you don't bring it up. Its still allowed to disagree with the party line." He got kinda huffy, then calmed down, only to later bring something similar up again, whereupon I asked, "Is Clinton the topic now?" and he sez, "Nope, sorry I brought it up."

The conservatives are big on calling the libs too "emotional", who refuse to deal with facts, but when confronted with facts that counter their own narrow take on things they go into the name calling mode as though thinking for onself is evil or something.

-- Anonymous, May 26, 2003

Hey, EM, after reading that the {grin} that you entered didn't show up, I checked the post. It was there, but it didn't show up because you used the HTML brackets, the right and left arrows, so to speak. So just a reminder to everyone -- don't use those, unless, of course, you're actually entering HTML code to your post. Use the { }, or [ ], or even ( ).

Now, as for Sheepish's post, yes, I have noticed those things too. I guess I'll just go with "they're assholes". I must be in a bad mood. {checks} Yep, in a bad mood! Sorry.

-- Anonymous, May 27, 2003

Gee, and all this time I thought I was being calm and polite. Guess I must be an asshole without even knowing it. At least to some folks way of thinking. Hmm.

-- Anonymous, May 28, 2003

Sorry, Polly, you don't qualify in the asshole department. Not even close. Methinks you don't have time or inclination to hear what's going on out there nowadays. It's really amazing, how the term 'conservatives' has been hijacked by a bunch of really nasty human beings, not at all like 'conservative' used to mean to me. We love ya, so there. And that's the truth.

-- Anonymous, May 28, 2003

Polly: All conservatives are not assholes, just the ones that behave like a-holes. They're not a-holes because they're conservatives.

You don't qualify because you don't impune the integrity, intelligence, sincerity, etc of the loyal opposition. Those that do are the mean spirited, self righteous a-holes that Sheepish refers to I think. If I'm mistaken Sheepish will straighten me out.

-- Anonymous, May 28, 2003

I adore Polly and would respectfully listen to ANYTHING she has to say. I love to listen to thoughtful, respectful commentary, left OR right. While I tend to list toward the left, I have a lot of appreciation for what conservatives have taught me over the years (to wit: consideration for state's rights, the Bill of Rights, Republican vs. Democratic forms of government, and more). I grew up in an intensely Republican household (Dad was precinct caucus chair...a big deal in a city).

I am really bothered, however, by how anyone with a position *different* than the current Administration is subject to being labeled unpatriotic, etc. (and booed or equivalent). And because we have a lot of "me too, me too" thinking in our population (be it Rush Limbaugh-inspired or, I dunno, gangsta-driven?), folks are NOT thinking critically or respectfully about current events in our country. Period.

I think both Dems and Reps are kowtowing to corporate interests. I also think people are being sold a BIG bunch of BS about what's really going on overseas. Since the current administration happens to be Republican, I am particularly po'd at conservatives (who elected these jerks). If this same crap were going on under a Democratic Prez, I'd be just as mad! I hated LBJ (Dem) and his complicity in Vietnam (I'm just a little too young to remember the specifics about Kennedy, but trust me, I KNOW he wasn't any saint). I'm on record for being unhappy (!) about the stupid things Clinton did.

But I remember Watergate. I really do. And these folks in power do too. And they are far more clever than I.

Polly, I never would want to show you any disrespect. I just want to voice my opinion SOMEWHERE where I don't get a barrage of silly crap thrown back in my face (for no good reason). That's what Freedom of Speech is about, I think.

America. Her strength has been diversity. All the immigrants. Freedom to think what one will. I would hate to see it tossed down the toilet for a couple of gallons of oil (or tin, as in Vietnam).

With love,

-- Anonymous, May 28, 2003

Ah yes, how true........


-- Anonymous, May 29, 2003

Yeah, EM, saw that one.

How about the $42 trillion bucks now for our projected deficit? Last time I heard, it was = 90% of all the assets of the entire US population. Is that a big enough number??? And just out of oh, *curiosity*, how come those numbers weren't published in the budget record (gee whiz, missed it by a whole DAY! Just in time to get the tax cuts passed, though). If I had kids, I'd be putting them in baskets and sending them off to float through the bullrushes...

AND! How come $3.5 billion (1% of the $350 billion for the tax cut) didn't get to Trickle Down to those folks who need the childcare tax credit? Folks making between $12-24?k (approx) will not benefit from the tax credit increase from $600 per child to $1000 per child. Oops. Guess that eliminates all those folks who just got off welfare and are trying to make ends meet! Well, send 'em back to welfare and then to drugs. Who says there is not a concerted effort to expand the lower class? Gotta keep those drug customers coming. Drug money is laundry money! Cash flow is important. Esp. when the dollar isn't worth much.

Anyone paying attention to the price of gold? How about the value of the Euro? the Yen?

I can't believe a) how cynical I have become (again), and b) how out of line our govenment seems to be.

It's late. Ranting again....zzzzzzzzzzzzzz....time for teevee.............zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2003

Sheepish, I feel your pain and share your outrage. And no dear, your not being cynical, you're being a realist. And what really galls me is when GWs poicies are being criticised for "targeting" the ultrawealthy for most of the benefits of the tax cuts he accuses his critics for class warfare. What gall!!!

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2003

If I had kids, I'd be putting them in baskets and sending them off to float through the bullrushes...

LOL, sheepish!!

I think you have it right; no other explanation for this outrageous string of destructive behaviour seems to make sense then that they are intentionally attempting to create this chaos. Getting rid of the middle class, isolating us diplomatically from the rest of the world, destroying the federal government's social programs (ala Grover Norquist).

As the Limbrains would say, we'll always have the poor with us, you know; they need to learn to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps instead of lookin for a handout all the time.

Keep it comin; it feels good to let it out. We're likely to go nuts otherwise.

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2003

Since we're ranting here's my recent contribution to HT;

Originally Posted by The Tuckered Out Poster


On Day 71 of the Hunt for Iraqi W.M.D., yesterday, once again nothing turned up.

Maybe we'll do better on Day 72. But we might have better luck searching for something just as alarming: the growing evidence that the administration grossly manipulated intelligence about those weapons of mass destruction in the runup to the Iraq war.

A column earlier this month on this issue drew a torrent of covert communications from indignant spooks who say that administration officials leaned on them to exaggerate the Iraqi threat and deceive the public.

"The American people were manipulated," bluntly declares one person from the Defense Intelligence Agency who says he was privy to all the intelligence there on Iraq. These people are coming forward because they are fiercely proud of the deepest ethic in the intelligence world — that such work should be nonpolitical — and are disgusted at efforts to turn them into propagandists.

"The Al Qaeda connection and nuclear weapons issue were the only two ways that you could link Iraq to an imminent security threat to the U.S.," notes Greg Thielmann, who retired in September after 25 years in the State Department, the last four in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. "And the administration was grossly distorting the intelligence on both things."

The outrage among the intelligence professionals is so widespread that they have formed a group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, that wrote to President Bush this month to protest what it called "a policy and intelligence fiasco of monumental proportions."

"While there have been occasions in the past when intelligence has been deliberately warped for political purposes," the letter said, "never before has such warping been used in such a systematic way to mislead our elected representatives into voting to authorize launching a war."

Ray McGovern, a retired C.I.A. analyst who briefed President Bush's father in the White House in the 1980's, said that people in the agency were now "totally demoralized." He says, and others back him up, that the Pentagon took dubious accounts from émigrés close to Ahmad Chalabi and gave these tales credibility they did not deserve.

Intelligence analysts often speak of "humint" for human intelligence (spies) and "sigint" for signals intelligence (wiretaps). They refer contemptuously to recent work as "rumint," or rumor intelligence.

"I've never heard this level of alarm before," said Larry Johnson, who used to work in the C.I.A. and State Department. "It is a misuse and abuse of intelligence. The president was being misled. He was ill served by the folks who are supposed to protect him on this. Whether this was witting or unwitting, I don't know, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt."

Some say that top Pentagon officials cast about for the most sensational nuggets about Iraq and used them to bludgeon Colin Powell and seduce President Bush. The director of central intelligence, George Tenet, has been generally liked and respected within the agency ranks, but in the last year, particularly in the intelligence directorate, people say that he has kowtowed to Donald Rumsfeld and compromised the integrity of his own organization.

"We never felt that there was any leadership in the C.I.A. to qualify or put into context the information available," one veteran said. "Rather there was a tendency to feed the most alarming tidbits to the president. Often it's the most ill-considered information that goes to the president.

"So instead of giving the president the most considered, carefully examined information available, basically you give him the garbage. And then in a few days when it's clear that maybe it wasn't right, well then, you feed him some more hot garbage."

The C.I.A. is now examining its own record, and that's welcome. But the atmosphere within the intelligence community is so poisonous, and the stakes are so high — for the credibility of America's word and the soundness of information on which we base American foreign policy — that an outside examination is essential.

Congress must provide greater oversight, and President Bush should invite Brent Scowcroft, the head of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and a man trusted by all sides, to lead an inquiry and, in a public report, suggest steps to restore integrity to America's intelligence agencies." My response:

I don't stay on top of this thing but from what I can tell, the spooks, if what they say is true, are the TRUE patriots.

Expose lying and corruption where ever it may be found. DEMAND Truth telling, genuine integrity, and accountability from our government. If we don't do it who will? Our "leaders"? who have been bought and paid for by the very wealthy---individuals and corporations?

If we don't we're complicit in allowing the wool to be pulled over our eyes and complacent with being openly manipulated. by those who SHOULD be truth tellers. Do you enjoy being a puppet?

I don't know about you but I don't like being treated like a stupid kid, like the paternalistic government thinks I'm better of not knowing what its really up to in my name with my money. Bob Dole asked when he was running for prez "Wheres your outrage?!" He should be glad he didn't ask me.

Have you neo-cons ever stopped to wonder why, when a "conservative" republican is elected, promising a smaller government, the budget deficit balloons dramatically? Are we paying more for less with these inflated budgets and "smaller" government? It's probably a Democratic conspiracy but its been a consistant pattern since Reagan. You're being duped and we're all being screwed, all but the very wealthy of course.

The democrats may not be the answer either because they're not much better in the truth telling department.

But face it folks, when Jimmy Carter was prez the deficit was about 800 Billion $ when he left office, and Ronny gave him a hard time about it in the debates, in spite of the fact that we were still winding down from a protracted war in Viet Nam. Reagan gets into office and borrows about 2 TRI-llion $ sometime after he tore the solar hot water system off the White house., When George the first left office it had climbed to about 6 TRI llion $. 12 years later and about 5 TRI-llion dollars MORE in debt.

The big spending democrat takes office and 8 yrs later we have a huge budget surpluss and are actually paying down the much huger debt. Presided over the longest running economic boom in the history of this country but of course the current recession is all his fault. How could anyone be so dumb as to think otherwise?

Now--- with shrub in office he quietly signs legislation a few days ago, while presiding over the LARGEST budget deficit in history, that would raise the debt ceiling to over 7 TRI llion $, the day before he signs the tax cut, most of which will go to the very wealthy.

The idea is that this huge shift of wealth will tinkle down on us, the PEE-ons, but, sadly, the ultra wealthy take their windfalls and move it off shore to build factories over seas where the PEE-ons will work for pennies.

Hmmmm? Windfalls? PEE-ons? PEE-ons in the wind? Prepare to be soaked and it ain't gonna be rain water.

Doesn't it make you proud to subsidize this? You must enjoy your "golden showers."

Taking a deep breath, putting on my fire proof rain gear, and ceasing rambling rant.

Remember; When the people lead, the leaders will follow.

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2003

Okay, coding errors fixed . . . geez, step out for a couple of days and the inmates find the crayons! ;-P

Hey, Polly, sorry if you took offense. I really didn't mean ALL 'conservatives' are assholes -- just the ranting writers referenced by Sheepish. And of course, probably the newspapers share the blame -- they probably pick out the sensationally slanted letters to print. Anyhoo, probably there are lots of conservatives who wince at the asshole behavior, just as I do when I read something written by a 'liberal' asshole. Heh, Julie sez assholes are not limited to any race, sex, or political viewpoint -- equal-opportunity for all! :-/

But, sorry again, Pol, if your feelings were hurt!

-- Anonymous, June 02, 2003

Thanks Joy; yes, you do need to keep a close eye on the inmates!


three cheers for dennis....again!


Published on Wednesday, June 4, 2003 by the Associated Press Candidate Wants Probe of Rescue of Jessica Lynch 'Time to find out truth,' Kucinich says by Malia Rulon WASHINGTON -- Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich called on the Defense Department on Tuesday to release the unedited footage of the rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital and to answer questions about her injuries.

"Nothing the administration has said about Private Lynch has been verified by private news reports," the Ohio congressman said Tuesday. "It's time to find out the truth."

Attention has been drawn to the April 1 rescue since a British Broadcasting Corp. report and Associated Press interviews with Iraqis who were present suggested the dramatics surrounding Lynch's rescue were unnecessary.

Reports of the rescue say the U.S. commandos broke down doors and went in with guns drawn, carrying Lynch out with helicopter and armored vehicle backup, even though there was no Iraqi military presence and the hospital staff didn't resist.

The hospital's staff has said it tried earlier to return Lynch to American troops but the ambulance carrying Lynch was fired on, so the driver sped back to the hospital.

Kucinich, ranking Democrat on the House Government Reform subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs and International Relations, asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a letter to release unedited footage of the rescue and answer the following questions:

Did U.S. troops encounter any Iraqi forces in the hospital?

Were U.S. troops fired upon during the rescue operation?

Did U.S. troops have information suggesting that Iraqi forces had abandoned the hospital?

Did Lynch sustain any gunshot or knife wounds?

Did U.S. officials have information suggesting that hospital staff members were trying to deliver Lynch to American forces?

Did U.S. forces fire at ambulances? A Defense Department official speaking on the condition of anonymity said Tuesday that it's unlikely that the full tape of the rescue would be released.

It was unclear whether the additional questions about the rescue would be answered. Pentagon officials have played down suggestions that Lynch's rescue was staged or that details were exaggerated. They have never claimed there was fighting inside the hospital, but have said U.S. troops were fired on outside the hospital.

Kucinich, one of nine Democrats vying for his party's presidential nomination, has been an outspoken opponent of the Iraq war. In a statement, the lawmaker also said he would introduce a resolution of inquiry in the House demanding the release of the intelligence data the United States relied upon before the war against Iraq.

"This administration led this nation into war based on lies," Kucinich said. "I think that this Congress, and the American people, have a right to know what information this administration had and how they justify their public comments. Now is the time for truth telling."

Several lawmakers have questioned why forces in Iraq so far have been unable to find weapons of mass destruction.

-- Anonymous, June 04, 2003

Verrrry interesting. btw, Tom Gjelton (sp?) of NPR had an interesting commentary today on the CIA intelligence reports (to which john referred ). It doesn't make Rumsfield or Wolf-whatever- O'Witz sound popular. I think if I were Karl Rove, I'd be sleeping less these days...

-- Anonymous, June 05, 2003

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