Friday, December 28, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Your guess as to which report is correct?
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I'd like to see the Democratic-controlled Congress address this issue, for heaven's sake. So far, I don't think it's even on their radar.
Friday, December 14, 2007
My first thought is, of course, that Hillary's not the one. Here's one reason: She's almost as bad as the Republican candidates when it comes to the war in Iraq.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
My question is this: Why don't the Democrats simply keep the bill on the floor and thereby require that the Republicans filibuster the bill? Make them spend Christmas on the Senate floor, make them keep the floor for weeks and months to avoid a closure vote? Particularly in this case, where the Republicans (and one Democrat, Breaux from Louisiana) are opposed to the energy bill as it's written because it increases some taxes on the massively-profiteering oil companies.
Am I crazy here, or are the Democrats simply cowards?
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
A perfectly fitting ending to a perfectly horrific war.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
"A car bomb exploded in a largely Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad on Wednesday and killed at least 14 people, police said, while Defense Secretary Robert Gates said during a visit to the capital that security and stability were within reach, although more work is needed."
(Actually, an update of the story says that 16 were killed in the bombing, and that nine more Iraqis were killed elsewhere in the country by other blasts.)
Monday, December 03, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
During this presidential campaign--even before it began, when it became clear that McCain was going to run and was thought of as a "maverick" and a frontrunner--I've been on my soapbox, yelling about him: that I knew his history, having been in his Arizona constituency for decades, and that for all his charm and affability, he's at heart a mad warmonger. Now do you believe me?
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Yup, violence is down in Baghdad. Just like it was in the Warsaw ghetto.
Monday, November 26, 2007
And then there are the presidents who touted their "experience" in national and international affairs: Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush. They won their nominations and the presidency too, and guess what? Ruination.
I say, don't listen to the MSM spin. Don't listen to the pundits. Listen to the candidates.
Do you want to lay odds?
Sunday, November 25, 2007
"And more and more people can afford them, as more get rich and the rich get richer. Worldwide, the number of "ultra-high net-worth individuals" grew 11.3% from 2005 to 2006, according to the 2007 World Wealth Report, published in June, 2007, by Cap Gemini and Merrill Lynch.
"The report identifies as "ultra-high net-worth" those individuals with more than $30 million in "financial assets"—that is, public and private stock, bonds, and cash, but not counting "collectibles, consumables, consumer durables, and real estate used for primary residences." "Global wealth is rapidly consolidating among this ultra-wealthy segment," the study said. As fast as the ranks of the ultra-wealthy grow, so grows the number of ways they can spend their money."
Problem: I may be understating the numbers, and I wonder if I shouldn't be more aggressive in my various tabulations. For example, I learned today that the G.I. wounded figures don't include approximately 20,000 soldiers who've suffered "brain injury" that hasn't been reported until after the soldier is home from theater. That figure, reported by USA Today, lumps together the injuries from Iraq and Afghanistan, but I could estimate, reasonably, that 4/5 of them originated in Iraq based on the respective numbers of attacks on our troops in each country.
Another example: I've recently read an article that states that the dollars spent on the Iraq adventure now exceeds one trillion, but I've not updated the number on my sign because I have no specific data source for it; and the same is true of the number of Iraqis killed. There are higher estimates, but no hard numbers.
Question: Should I continue displaying only my "conservative numbers"? They're horrific enough, I grant, but am I being too charitable to the monsters who've wrought this mad war? Or should I risk overstating the case, increasing my figures to reflect the recent upward revisions stated in various news items? For example, should I add, say, 16,000 to the wounded total, to estimate the brain-injured cases from Iraq? Should I post "one trillion dollars" as found in a recently-estimated cost of the Iraq war? Should I increase the "Iraqis killed" figure to one million, as some authoritative estimates have stated?
Saturday, November 24, 2007
I feel sorry for us humans. We've created a world that's beyond comprehension.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Works for me.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I'm beginning to hope I'm not around to see it.
Well, I learned that she's suffering from multiple sclerosis and that she recently made an appearance on Doctor Phil in a wheelchair.
Talk about something I wish I hadn't learned.
Friday, November 16, 2007
At some point, do US citizens come to comprehend why our nation is no longer held in repute in the world? I mean, with allies like this, who needs enemies?
Thursday, November 15, 2007
”Iraqi and American officials should be ashamed of talking of 'unidentified bodies',” said Haja Fadhila, from the Ghazaliya area of western Baghdad. ”These are the bodies of Iraqis who had families to support, and names to be proud of. But nobody talks about them, there is no media. It is as if it is all taking place on Mars.” The Iraqi ministries for health and interior have said that they are finding on average five to 10 ”unidentified bodies” on the streets of Baghdad every day. ”Those Americans and their Iraqi collaborators in the Green Zone talk of five or 10 bodies being found every day as if they were talking of insects.”
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
But (putting aside Nancy Pelosi, who's technically not my representative) who's this Dianne Feinstein creature, who definitely is? Here's the text of an email I just received from Democracy for America, the website for which is here:
Too many times Senator Feinstein has failed to represent the people of
California. Now she has announced that this Thursday she will support
President Bush for the third time in two months. And it all comes down to
Senator Feinstein's role on the Judiciary Committee.
Strike One: A Bush nominee for the federal bench, Leslie Southwick has a long history of rulings in lower courts that violate equality laws. Feinstein cast a
deciding vote to give him a lifetime seat.
Strike Two: Michael Mukasey, nominated for Attorney General, refused to say he would oppose torture. But Feinstein voted to send his confirmation to the Senate floor anyway.
Now she's poised for her third bad vote in a row, on a rework of the FISA Act --
the law that's supposed to protect us all against illegal wiretapping. When the Bush administration didn't want to follow this law, they asked major telephone companies like AT&T and Verizon to help. Several phone companies broke the law to help Dick Cheney read our emails and listen to our phone calls. They knew it was illegal. But they didn't expect to get caught.
Now that they did, the Bush administration is trying to protect AT&T and others from lawsuits by granting retroactive immunity for breaking the law. The Senate Judiciary Committee can kill this bill if all ten Democrats vote against it.
Strike Three: Senator Feinstein is the
only Democrat who says she'll vote for it.
Senator Feinstein is an awful legislator for a myriad of other reasons, but I like this message. It's timely and on point, and it's got a nice ring to it. Striking out Feinstein under the same draconian law that California has enacted for career criminals.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
For four years, I've been hauling around in my car a big sign that I display on weekly "peace marches" and at street corners in Santa Barbara and beyond whenever the mood strikes me that I've got to do something other than grumble about the state of the nation and type little ditties on this blog. The sign, for the first several months, carried varying messages: "Impeach Cheney First!", "NeoCons? No, same old con." "Wake Up, America, Impeach!" and the like. About two years ago I settled on a single message: On one side of the sign are listed the current figures for dead and wounded G.I.'s and Iraqis, and for the billions of dollars spent on the Iraq war and occupation; and on the other side is the exhortation, "Out of Iraq--Now!" I settled on this display because I believed the issue of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq was the single most important question of our time.
But my view has been overtaken by events. Now we have to deal with an imminent attack by the crazed US executive on the nation of Iran; a battle between separatist Kurds and Turkey's military, that could expand into a regional conflict involving a NATO ally on one side and the nation we occupy on the other; US threats and Israeli aerial attacks on Syria; the continuing deterioration of Afghanistan's "democracy," now involving a burgeoning poppy trade and the resurgence of the Taliban regime; and most recently the sharp reversal in Pakistan, a nuclear-armed "ally" in the "global war on terror," now despotically ruled by a military dictator whose allegiances and stability are at best questionable. When I add in the ongoing failure of the United States to address climate change, income disparity, health care, corruption in politics, drug addiction, childhood obesity, rampant materialism, loss of meaningful employment, loss of civil liberties, torture and imprisonment without trial--to list a few of the present outrages extant in today's America--I'm beginning to feel that my sign's protest is but pissing in the wind.
On the other hand, I've decided not to change my sign--except to amend it daily to display the latest death toll--because I don't have room on it for the above litany, and it wouldn't make sense to the viewer if it simply said, "Arise and Revolt!" People who saw it would simply think it was an ad for a rock group or a new energy drink.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Of course all the charts show the precipitous decline of the dollar--most notoriously, lately, against the euro--but check out whazzup with the Canadian dollar. If ever I had in mind to split to Vancouver, no way Jose. Not with the Canadian dollar (until a few years ago worth about $.65 US) now worth a nickel than ours.
Monday, October 29, 2007
About seventy folks gathered at Vera Cruz Park on Saturday (10/27) to protest the ongoing nightmare that is the Iraq war and occupation. After songs and speeches, some of us spread out in small bunches along State Street to display antiwar signs, while a few others paraded along the sidewalk singing John Lennon’s “Imagine.” It was a finely planned—indeed, a refined—demonstration of opposition to the Bush administration’s actions in Iraq. It was met by smiles and thumbs-up from passersby, as well as supportive honks from the stream of cars that filled the boulevard.
The key words in the previous paragraph are “small bunches” and “a few.” This immoral war has been grinding on for almost five years, and despite widespread opposition to it by a majority of Americans—and despite the urgent efforts of the organizers of Saturday’s demonstration—we could muster only handfuls of protesters? Have we become so preoccupied with purchasing, so attached to routine, so conditioned by media and government that we don’t care anymore what is happening in our name around the world? Have we become “the good Germans” of the 1930’s who remained mute while their government took over first them, and then Europe?
The cartoon character Pogo once said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” His creator, Walt Kelly, meant it to apply to Americans’ silence in the face of McCarthyism in the 1950’s. I fear it applies to Americans now, with equal force and with even greater ignominy.
Update: The letter was published in the News-Press on 11/1/07.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Well, now I'm fascinated, as much about how wrong I was to be ignorant then as about how prescient those protesters were. Fascinated enough to read with attention the entirety of this long piece about the longlasting detrimental impact of globalization upon the US working class and its contribution to the growing income disparity between workers and those who boss them. I'll save you the trouble of reading it. Bottom line: Globalization, for the American working class, means cheaper underwear and DVD-players, but no money to buy them.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
"We've got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel," he [Bush] said. "So I've told people that, if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."
This madman in the White House is using language straight out of Dr. Stranglove, not in connection with an imminent attack on the US, not even an imminent attack on a treaty-bound ally, but to threaten world war based on a titular-president's rhetorical attack on foreign nation with which we have no reciprocal-defense treaty obligations. Furthermore, Bush's threat is made solely on the prospect that Iran might obtain the "knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon." My God--talk about moving the goalposts, now our nation is going to start a world war because another country has "knowledge"? Because another country's president has made some untoward remarks about another nation? What about our statements about Iraq/Iran/North Korea/Libya/many others? We've been much more threatening to them that Iran is to Israel (and certainly to the US) and our threats aren't mere rhetoric but are backed by demonstrated nuclear weaponry.
Look, I knew before we invaded Iraq that Bush was going to go forward regardless of the protests or that facts "on the ground." But I've so far pooh-poohed the prospect of his attacking Iran. Call me stupid or in denial or just plain Pollyanna-ish, but I've until lately believed that with respect to Iran, Bush was "all hat and no cattle." But I fear I've been wrong. Language like the above demonstrates to me that he's absofuckinglutely nuts, that he's decided already to take out Iran's nuclear reactors/facilities whatever the state of negotiations/evidence/diplomacy. There's no other explanation for such incendiary language by the commander-in-chief of a world power.
Folks, we've got Dr. Strangelove in the Oval Office. Worse, we've got General Jack D. Ripper.
Monday, October 15, 2007
With the following letter, I've decided to go bigtime. If anyone should see it in print in the Times, please let me know, because I'm only an occasional reader of that fine paper.
I am curious. I wonder if any of your readers could point to a single feature or measure of the Bush administration—just one, in any field (except corporate profits and rising stock prices)—that has proven successful. We know too well the mind-numbing string of failures. The faulty pursuit of Osama bin Laden; the illegal and inept invasion and occupation of Iraq—and (it lately appears) Afghanistan; the worsening Middle East mess; the declining dollar; the loss of decent American jobs and the gigantic gap between rich and poor; the health care debacle; the growing environmental crisis; the upward-spiraling price of oil; the humongous federal deficit and international trade imbalance; the alienation of our allies and the disdain in which the US is held around the globe; the violations of our civil liberties; the corruption and incompetence of government; the decline of our military readiness—to name a few. Even the rise in home ownership that President Bush once touted has proven to be a Potemkin village, as thousands of foreclosures of easy-credit mortgages have reversed the numbers, resulting in a net decline in ownership during Bush’s tenure.
Some will argue that the U.S. hasn’t been attacked again since 9/11, to which the easy answer is this: If the purpose of bin Laden was to wreck America and instill fear and uncertainty in its citizens, he has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, aided and abetted by the abhorrent policies and ruinous actions of his effective accomplice, George W. Bush.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Pray for us, for our kids, for our grandkids. Bush/Cheney have created an endless nightmare.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I'm going to keep beating this drum until somebody listens.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
The Blackwater outrage. How could it not happen that that would finally blow up? A bunch of young, highly-paid former soldiers, armed to the teeth, immunized from legalisms such as the prohibition of murder, driving helter-skelter through the cities of Iraq with supposed urgent duties and God on their side? That they'd run amok? Whoodathunkit?
The collapse of the dollar? The subprime mortgage mess? The rising price of oil and of corn for ethanol? The loss of US manufacturing jobs and the growing income disparity? There are so many of such predictable--predicted--disastrous developments that I've tired of chronicling them, even of observing them. I've taken to reading headlines only, because the body of the stories don't say anything I don't already know, and have known for years.
Friday, October 05, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
But here's a fee that's nothing but mean-spirited and unfair and outrageous. Charging a $25 fee to recipients of more than $500 a year in child support payments to fund the governmental effort to collect delinquent support payments from others. Part of the Republicans' Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. Now you tell me: Is that fair? Is that governance you recognize? Is that even sane?
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Indeed, by allowing Bush to continue the war until now, Bush has likely snookered the Democrats already. There's no way the Iraq invasion and occupation will end other than badly, but now that bad end will be on the Democrats' watch. And the Democrats now deserve it.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
The reason for the stock market's rise in the face of this news, which in some reports is indicative of an impending recession, is that in the short run the Federal Reserve may discern that because higher interest may slow "economic growth" it should lower its benchmark interest rate, thereby making common stocks more attractive to investors than debt instruments. In other words, what's bad for the workers is good for the investment class.
Marx/Engels/Trotsky were right. The argued for "permanent revolution" that pitted the proletariat against the petty bourgeoisie, unrelentingly opposing the tug of capitalism toward materialism and greed-based culture. Well, we see now how strong that tug is, with its new proponents in the Far East, in Russia and its former satellites, where CD players outnumber books, stiletto heels abound and Burger King rules.
For the stock market to rise because the labor market plummets? What could be a clearer indicator that Karl Marx was right?
Lucky them. Lucky us.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Could the administration be fibbing about these numbers to support a continuation of the surge, I wondered? Surely they wouldn't be so bold as to lie about something so obviously, numerically false, I told myself. And surely the media wouldn't let them get away with it, right?
Sunday, August 26, 2007
"Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale."
"When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for."
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
The other interviews, with physicists, mathematicians, philosophers, etc., are illuminating too. Good stuff, long and interesting and penetrating interviews, much better than Charlie Rose's.
Friday, August 10, 2007
"We haven't done anything here. We'll go for 24 hours and we'll see nothing," said Sgt. Josh Claeson, a radio operator, as he waited with nearly 200 soldiers under the glow of an orange moon for helicopters to Khidr. "Our basic mission here is to drive around and get blown up."
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Well, check out the numbers for July here and you'll see that the 80 dead GI's is one less than the numbers for the months of February and March; and if you add in the number of other "coalition deaths" the total coalition troops killed (89) is higher than those two months.
Talk about media whores. Will the MSM print anything the government wants them to?
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Maybe by now, in her fifties or sixties, the spark is gone. But it was there once, I think, and it may reappear.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
This is precisely what the Nazis did to portions of Warsaw and other occupied cities during World War II--except then it was fuel in wintertime--an utterly forbidden act of "collective punishment," an acknowledged war crime.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Okay, so maybe they have a place in our modern culture. But to memorialize them by inclusion in an authoritative dictionary? Could this be less a linguistic effort than a marketing device?
Friday, July 06, 2007
Don't you see it? Both Bush and al-Qaeda's boss are saying the same thing: Bush, in order to legitimatize his ongoing, surging war; al-Qaeda in order to keep our forces fighting in Iraq. Both sides benefit from such announcements, because both sides want eternal war. As I (and many others) say as often as possible, Bush is bin Laden's best ally in his quest, and bin Laden is Bush's best ally in his.
Gaviota, by Erik O'Dowd
"A very cool idea: anchor a contemporary political thriller-chiller in the very real shelling of Ellwood Beach by a Japanese submarine back in 1941. The story revolves around political ambition, family secrets, and accusations of treason."
Good for me.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
But Bush? At peace, serene, with his position and decisions? If that's not mentally/emotionally aberrant, I don't know what.
Eighteen months to go and, thank god, counting.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
The ISG is supposed to "study" Iraq's conditions and report to Congress a month after Patraeus' report is due in September. Then, it's said, the reports will be melded and something--probably nothing meaningful--will arise from that process.
First, it's politicaly idiocy on the Democrats' part. This process will only delay and eventually legitimatize the Bush madness in Iraq. It will give Bush an "out" in the fall, by allowing him to escape the consequences of his years of misdeeds by following some of the ISG's recommendations, albeit belatedly, and hence to appear reasonable and "bipartisan" as the war enters the final year of his terms. By allowing this, the Democrats are defusing a critical facet of the anti-Republican sentiment that has grown up over the war, and in particular will be handing Republican Congressional candidates a vehicle for arguing that their continued (up to now) support for the war was well-founded.
Second, re-visiting the ISG will gain nothing in terms of saving lives and treasure in Iraq. The eventual report will, again, be a hodgepodge of observations and "approaches," none of them novel, none of them dramatic. It will be a same-old, same-old document that wastes time and effort, and merely allows the pols to delay decision-making and to be able to point to paperwork as justification.
Third, now that the "surge" is well underway, and is going nowhere, to ask the ISG to report again is absurdly naive. The surge has closed options that might have been available ten months ago when its first report was rendered. Now, what can the ISG say except to reiterate what it said originally, except, perhaps, with more urgency.
I am furious at the dumb, cowardly Congress that has chosen this path. It's an insult to me as an American. I deserve better from my representatives.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
"When Osama bin Laden and his lieutenant Ayman al-Zawahiri issued their "Jihad against Jews and Crusaders" statement on February 28 1998, responses to their declaration varied from apathy to amusement. They were an obscure group lost in the faraway emirate of the Taliban, a pathetic remnant of the fight against the USSR during the cold war. Their role looked historically defunct and their discourse archaic.
Things could not be more different now. Al-Qaida has become an intensely complex global network, with a decentralised, flexible structure that enables it to spread in all directions, across the Arab world, Africa, Asia and Europe. Whether pursuing active cells or searching for sleeping ones, the security world is haunted by al-Qaida's ghost. Like bubbles, these cells are autonomous, bound together neither by hierarchy nor by a chain of command. It only takes a few individuals who subscribe to its ideology and terrorist methods for al-Qaida to extend its reach to a new part of the globe.
With the Middle East moving from one crisis to another, this small organisation saw itself miraculously transferred from periphery to centre. In its founding statement, al-Qaida defined its mission as a jihad aimed at cleansing the Arabian peninsula of the American "locusts, eating its riches and wiping out its plantations", and liberating Palestinian land from Zionist occupation. With the invasion of Iraq in 2003, al-Qaida was offered a firm foothold in the Middle East and the unique chance to implement its "resistance against Jews and crusaders" project.
The organisation's penetration of Palestinian politics is the climax of a long, still unfolding process. Rapidly expanding from one location to another, al-Qaida currently boasts branches throughout the Arab region."
Heckuva job, Bush/Cheney.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Come September General Patraeus will report on the progress of Bush’s escalation of force in Iraq, and many mainstream pundits tell us the report will be definitive and will dictate America’s future course in that besieged nation. Don’t be fooled. Patraeus’ report will be similar to the scores official reports from Iraq that have preceded it: ambiguous, equivocal, essentially meaningless. It will contain enough “positives,” “negatives” and “needs improvements,” to give colorable support to the entire spectrum of decisions, from complete withdrawal, to redeployment to fixed bases, to continuing the surge.
As a result, any decision purportedly based on the report will be, as have been all previous decisions on Iraq, political, purely political. Indeed, many Americans recognize the report for what it really is: a cynical tactic that allows Bush to delay facing the reality that his invasion was wrong from inception and that the occupation is being monstrously maintained, and to buy time so he can hand off his disaster to the next president.
Meanwhile, our soldiers are being killed and maimed daily. John Kerry once asked, “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?” Now we should be asking, “How do you ask a man or woman to be the last soldier to die while a delusional president kicks the can down the road?”
Friday, June 15, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Arianna chastises the one senator, Clinton, for being a "finger-in-the-wind" politician, but I ask this: Wouldn't it be nice if at least one of the two had marched into the Senate chamber eager--demanding--to cast the first negative vote on the measure?
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
And--to add fuel to my fire--nowhere in the piece do the reporters point out how old, how re-hashed, how failed, these suppposedly "new" approaches are. So once again and still, the MSM reports as news that which isn't, and spouts as doctrine that which is but cover.
(A personal aside: Back in the Watergate days, I, along with a huge segment of US youth, aspired to be journalists. Now, I sure don't value that profession much, and neither do many Americans. I wonder why?)
Monday, May 21, 2007
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Tells you a lot about the crazies who make up the "somewhat approve" bunch: They're obviously so far right that they drop away the minute Bush deviates one iota from their mean-spirited, ugly view of the world.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Sooo--Gaviota may be found at the publisher's website, http://www.iUniverse.com/bookstore, where (if you're so inclined) it may also be purchased in hard-copy trade paperback form or as an ebook. It's also available in hard-copy at www.Amazon.com.
My own website, www.erikodowd.com, which is presently under construction, will soon contain additional information about Gaviota.
This is kinda fun!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
My reaction? Relief. Yours?
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
So these two Menonites? Hurrah.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
However, nothwithstanding my hesitancy to buy the entire "man-made warming" argument, I still believe we should stop ravaging the Amazon forest, stop driving fossil-fuel vehicles, stop many of the practices we've devoloped that render our planet less habitable and cause global conflict. I do so, however, not (yet, anyway) out of a founded fear of the effects of these actions on the temperature of Earth, but rather because I like the Earth the way it was, with abundant wildlife, clean water, clean air, open space--all that good stuff. Indeed, I believe a major contributor to the degradation of the planet is our exploding populations in the "third world"--which will be exacerbated by the imminent shift of many nations of that world from "third" to "second" or even "first," as countries become more industrialized.
So, I fret for our planet, just like a good liberal. But not for all the "right" (or is it "left"?) reasons.
"In other news, Az-Zaman reported that yesterday’s parliamentary session had to be postponed due to the absence of the speaker and the vice-chairs.
According to the newspaper, the deputies who came to attend had to suffer from the lack of air conditioning in the parliament hall, because US troops refused to allow the tankers carrying fuel for the parliament’s generators from entering the Green Zone -– where the parliament is located."
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Rasmussen also asks respondents if they "somewhat disapprove" and if they "strongly disapprove," and here's where the numbers are shocking. While the "somewhat" level has remained relatively constant at about 15%, the "strongly disapprove" has lately soared, as of yesterday (5/7) reaching 46%. Now that's freaky. Almost a majority who find themselves urgently opposed to the nation's leader. Doesn't this mean that an attack on Iran is inevitable?
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Anyhoo--About this notion that Condi is the moderating voice in foreign policy, whispering common-sense solutions to Bush but being overridden by Cheney. What's the evidence of that, other than White House pundits' assertions? I mean, Condi was the first to use the "mushroom cloud" metaphor. (Bush's speech to that effect came days later.) She's in the forefront of the push to further sanction Iran; to condemn the results of the Palestinian election of Hamas representatives; to call Iraqi insurgents "terrorists" at every press conference. She, in her public utterances, appears to be as much a hardliner as the rest of Bush's advisers. At best, she's like Colin Powell, or, as lately revealed, George Tenet: A Bush enabler, unwilling to do other than nudge him and mumble him toward sanity, but at all events to stay onboard the ship.
And yet, Condi seems to get a free pass. Check out these figures from Rasmussen about her "favorability rating" (57%) as compared to the much lower ratings of others in Bush's cabal, except of course Colin Powell. Certainly those ratings can't be based on her performance as, initally, National Security Adviser (whom both Richard Clarke and Tenet assert was deaf to their alarms about imminent al Qaida attacks in the U.S.), and lately as Secretary of State. I mean--pardon me for asking--what exactly has Condi done to warrant "favorability"? The answer: Absolutely nothing.
Now, it seems, Condi is about to force a showdown with the Congress, in the person of Representative Henry Waxman, over her testimony about the insertion of the infamous "16 words" in Bush's 2003 State of the Union address. Waxman has subpoenaed her and she's apparently resisting and, just yesterday, has apparently refused to allow her staff to testify about the Niger-yellowcake assertion. Let's hope we learn from this confrontation where she stands: Is she a moderating voice in this administration, or is she, like Powell and Tenet, just window-dressing for the evil forces within it?
That such high percentages of people can believe their leader is capable of such a monstrously barbarian act as to allow the attacks to take place is alarming, isn't it?
Friday, May 04, 2007
P.S. Among the best on the list is number 14, a link to a website that purports to track the location of your, or anyone's, cellphone via satellite links by simply typing in its area code and number. Try it--it's clever. (Please note that I've not forwarded it to you by email.)
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Guess what, you dumb fucking idiot Democrats: You've just made Bush's war your war too. Congratulations for removing the single most devastating issue Republicans face in 2008.
Update: Here's what's going on during the day following various meetings between members of Congress and White House representatives. Posturing and talking, with little accommodation by either side; all of which feels to me like the Democrats are trying to find a way to give in without appearing to, while Bush is allowed to play the role of stubbornly straighforward troop supporter.
A note, however: As much as I dislike her--and her candidacy--I do like Hillary's idea of a bill de-authorizing the Iraq war. It feels right, as a matter of legality and principle as well as tactics. If Bush/Cheney lied us into war, their authority to conduct it should be withdrawn. The bill won't pass, of course, but it's a sharp statement of disapproval of the invasion without being subject to the complaint that it restricts funds for our troops; and (wouldn't it be wonderful?) it would serve as a vehicle for hearings on the administration's prewar lies, since that question would be directly relevant to the subject of the pending legislation.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
My reaction to Bush's bullhorn speech and its sequels as he marched us to "war" in Afghanistan (not to mention Iraq) was at the time and has remained that the attacks were the work of a small bunch of crazies whom we should capture and punish, to be sure, but most importantly that we should react to their attacks with calm resolve to deal with the issues that underlay the fanatics's actions. I know that sounds wussy, but that's what I felt.
And now, six years later, as we've done precisely the opposite, it turns out I, and the small percent of decent folks who believed as I did, were right. Bush and his followers have succeeded, instead, in increasing the acts of terrorism around the world.
Now, wouldn't you think they'd listen to us about ending the madness in Iraq? Well, you'd be wrong.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
What won't this administration do to manipulate the public's perception of this awful war?
(I'll keep track to any MSM publication of this new outrage.)