Saturday, March 04, 2006

Mortal fear

That, and only that, can explain AP's rushing out a "clarification" of its earlier story that Bush was shown in a videoconference to have been told before Katrina's landfall that the New Orleans levees might be "breached." Not so, AP "clarified." Bush was only told that the levees might be "overrun."

Family ties

You gotta read this, but I'll summarize. A group of Iraqi women tried to get visas to enter the US, at the behest of activist organization Code Pink, to tell their stories about the deaths of their families, innocent Iraqis shot by US troops during the invasion/occupation. However, the American consulate refused them visas on the ground that they hadn't sufficiently demonstrated that they'd return to Iraq on expiration of the visas. The stated reason for the denial: Absence of family ties in Iraq.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Okay, here goes: My first out-on-a-limb analysis

Heretofore, I've relied on others' news accounts and opinions about events before I've ventured my own, citing others' of course, as I adopted them. But this time I'm venturing my own opinion without backup, and will await the learned press and pundits' reaction.

The India deal is a tragedy for the American worker. Put aside the nuclear thing--that's already been condemned by those who seek true disarmament, and rightfully so. I'm talking about this "opening of markets, thawing the Cold War" nonsense. Here's what it really means: American corporations will gain a new huge expanse of consumers for their goods, while they pay dirt wages to produce those goods, wages set by the low-level margins that are prevalent in the Third World. The "sucking sound" of American jobs that Ross Perot talked about twenty years ago will become a tornado, a devastating drain of jobs out of America, while American corporations, with their powerful brand-names will profit mightily from this new horde of consumers.

The India deal is nothing but a payoff to giant American companies, a spit in the face of American workers, with Bush saying we shouldn't fear competition, meaning, of course, that the corporations won't fear it because they'll reduce wages to meet it. But the American worker with no health care, a huge mortgage and credit-card debt, and kids to educate? Is he/she supposed to compete with a worker in India/Korea/Malasia/Singapore who's happy to earn the equivalent of $2.00 an hour?

Yes, says Bush. Let the American worker eat cake.

You heard it here first. The India deal is the most outrageous insult to our economic system--trashing our wage-earners in favor of big business--since the days of the robber barons.

Smoking guns

This article reveals that two papers, hand-delivered to and read by Bush in the months before the invasion of Iraq, show his knowledge that (1) the aluminum-tubes intelligence was in doubt and (2) the "imminent threat" of an Iraq attack was unanimously discounted by all US sources. The documents, still secret, have been leaked and are quoted.

Question one: Will this information ever make it to the MSM?
Questions two and three: Who's the leaker, and why the leak?

Baghdad blogging

Here are a couple of recent posts by another Iraqi blogger, a dentist in Baghdad. I feel so damned sorry for these folks, just trying to live their lives while chaos reigns all around them and their world is crumbling.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Citizen soldiers or standing army

Here's a principal reason America has historically relied on drawing its military forces from the citizenry, rather than maintaining a standing army. According to a Zogby poll of our mercenaries in Iraq--what else are they?--have been kept in the dark about their mission.

"One surprising finding in the poll is that 85 percent of those surveyed believe that the US's main mission in Iraq is to retaliate against Saddam Hussein for his role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Numerous commissions and studies have been unable to find that Iraq played any role in the 9/11 bombings. Meanwhile, 93 percent said that they did not think that removing weapons of mass destruction was the reason they were in Iraq."

Amazing, right? Something to keep in mind when you listen to Bush/Cheney and Rummie and his generals talk about the war: They've lied to the troops, they keep lying to the troops, and so there's no reason to believe they're not lying to us.

Prarie Home Radical

I gotta tell ya, Bush has got to be doing something way wrong if Garrison Keillor wants him impeached.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Okay, What's it gonna take

to persuade Bush/Cheney to stop warring in the Middle East if the major Christian churches can't do it?

A world without America

Imagine--it's 2096, ninety years from now--and America's just another country, like England or France or Russia or Germany--that had its moments in history, but history has moved on.

I ask you: Would you favor such a world--whatever it held--or are you afraid to imagine it?

The price of democracy

One of my favorite sites, although I check into it only occasionally because it's so depressing, is here.

What a revoltin' development this is.

Most readers of this blog won't appreciate the title to this post. It's from a funny 1940's radio program entitled "The Life of Riley" starring William Bendix, in which Bendix plays a hapless husband/father who confronts various social and familial entanglements, most of his own doing.

Kinda like Bush, who has espoused "democracy" in the Middle East and has ended up with Hamas, a "terrorist organization" according to Bush, in control of the Palestinian government, and Muktada al Sadr, who's an announced foe of the US occupation of Iraq, now a kingmaker in the "democratically elected" government.

Let's see: Bush's social security "privatization" won't fly; his Medicare "drug benefit" is a nightmare; his invasion of Iraq is ditto; his "economic recovery" is a boon only to the rich; his environmental program is ruinous. Don't get me started.

What did we expect? This man's a loser, born, bred and being. He's never done well, not at anything he's ever done, except being chosen for jobs he can't perform.

We reap what we sow.

"It's my porty..."

Okay, not a good pun, but "port in a storm" was already taken.

Isn't it delicious? The Right-Wing nuts are braying that Bush sold us out to the Ayrabs; the "jump-on-Bush-for-anything-no-matter-what-its-merits (except the war)"--I'm talking the bitch Hillary here--is braying the same tune, and Bush is backpedaling while talking about how we've got to be fair to our brothers of the desert. You can't make this stuff up!

What an administration. Never a dull news cycle! Makes the Clinton stuff seems tame--and occasional. I mean, even with travel-gate and Whitewater and Monica, the Republicans could only come up with a scandal a month. Here we have one a week, and they're getting weirder and weirder, from "Vice President shoots guy in the face" to "Bushies okay deal to sell US ports to Arabs."

What fun!