Saturday, January 31, 2004

Friedman Lucid!!!! 

Hard as it is to believe, Thomas Friedman made sense today. Have an excerpt and a link.

It should be clear to all by now that what we have in the Bush team is a faith-based administration. It launched a faith-based war in Iraq, on the basis of faith-based intelligence, with a faith-based plan for Iraqi reconstruction, supported by faith-based tax cuts to generate faith-based revenues. This group believes that what matters in politics and economics are conviction and will — not facts, social science or history.

Personally, I don't believe the Bush team will pay a long-term political price for its faith-based intelligence about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Too many Americans, including me, believe in their guts that removing Saddam was the right thing to do, even if the W.M.D. intel was wrong.

The Bush team's real vulnerability is its B.M.D. — Budgets of Mass Destruction, which have recklessly imperiled the nation's future, with crazy tax-cutting and out-of-control spending. The latest report from the Congressional Budget Office says the deficit is expected to total some $2.4 trillion over the next decade — almost $1 trillion more than the prediction of just five months ago. That is a failure of intelligence and common sense that threatens to make us all insecure — and people also feel that in their guts.

Friedman Lucid

Lieberman Out? 

Rumor has it that February 3rd, Joe Lieberman will throw in the towel. I have criticized him a lot. And yet I probably agree with him on 99% of the issues. But let's say "You ran a great race, it is time to step aside".

Georgians Devolve 

So the Georgia Superintendant of Education called of the removal of the word "Evolution" from discussions of...well...Evolution. ( you remember Evolution- you know- it's the basic operating function of Biology). And now scientists have to publically defend science against Christian creationists.

I mean, She actually said "you know...that monkey to man thing:.."

I think her very existence is an argument at least for a man to monkey theory.

Save Hubble 

Can the Heavens Wait?

Published: January 31, 2004

From NYT

About two-and-a-half miles above the Pacific, the world's biggest observatory complex dominates the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Among other instruments at this site are the Kecks, the largest optical telescopes in the world; each possesses a mirror that is more than 30 feet wide. Mauna Kea is without question one of the nation's leading scientific research facilities.

One can therefore imagine the outcry that would follow if the University of Hawaii, which manages Mauna Kea, announced one day that the telescopes would be demolished because of budgetary constraints. It's expensive to maintain all that fancy equipment under the stars, the university might say; what's more, other programs require increased financing.

Ridiculous? In the case of Mauna Kea, the answer is, thankfully, yes. But virtually the same thing is happening to another, even more valuable observatory: the Hubble Space Telescope, which the National Aeronautics and Space Administration recently sentenced to a slow death.

Launched in 1990, the Hubble is surely the most important instrument in modern astronomy. Because it orbits outside the Earth's atmosphere, it sees things ground-based observatories can't. In the telescope's photographs, for example, the earliest galaxies can be seen careering at the edge of space-time like candy-colored pinwheels. These and other pictures have turned the Hubble into our national time machine — a device capable of peering back to epochs that far predate the formation of the Earth.

In fact, the pictures the Hubble has given us rank in importance with Apollo's canonical Earthrise over the Moon. And the telescope has done all this for a reasonable price: it consumes only 2 percent of NASA's annual operating budget.

Nevertheless, just days after President George W. Bush directed NASA to focus on missions to the Moon and Mars, the agency said it would drop plans to send the space shuttle on one of its periodic Hubble servicing missions — even though more than $200 million worth of new instruments for the telescope had already been built. The decision spells an early demise for the observatory, which will now most likely stop functioning by about 2007. In the past, shuttle missions have rejuvenated the Hubble — creating, in effect, a new telescope every time. With consistent servicing, it could operate for decades more.

NASA said that its Hubble decision was based on safety, not budgetary concerns. The agency was following the recommendations of the Columbia accident investigation commission, which suggested that future shuttle missions go to the International Space Station. That way, if the shuttle sustains damage — broken tiles, for instance — its crew can take refuge in the station. Because the Hubble is on a different orbit from the space station, a crew aboard a wounded shuttle would have nowhere to go.

This week, however, under pressure from Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland, NASA said it would ask Adm. Harold W. Gehman Jr., head of the Columbia commission, to examine whether it is safe for astronauts to visit the Hubble. Let's hope Admiral Gehman recommends to NASA that it reverse its decision. After all, there is good reason to do so. NASA has three remaining shuttles. Two could be prepared simultaneously — one to visit the Hubble and the other to be ready to go in the event that spare parts or a rescue is needed in space. If the second shuttle isn't used, it will be all set for its next flight.

NASA's deeper, less advertised worry is probably its budget. With many new objectives, the agency needs to trim as much fat as possible, and a Hubble repair mission costs about $500 million. But the Hubble long ago proved it was worth every cent. In recent years, it has generated more positive press for NASA than the astronaut program. It's also the source of important science. In 2002, more than 3,500 published scientific papers grew out of Hubble observations.

More to the point, scrapping the Hubble could be as expensive as saving it. Without servicing by the shuttle, it will inevitably fall to Earth, and NASA can't allow a 24,000-pound telescope to land just anywhere. So the agency will have to design and build a robotic rocket that would attach itself to the Hubble and bring it safely down in the ocean.

And here lies the fiscal absurdity: the price of that rocket is estimated by NASA at $300 million — and given that the Hubble wasn't designed for automated docking, new technology would have to be developed, perhaps pushing the cost even higher. Add to this the $200 million in new gizmos already built for the Hubble and you get a woeful picture. By not spending $500 million to service the telescope (and add many more years to its life), we will probably have to spend the same amount to bring the telescope crashing down. (A servicing mission could attach rockets for eventual controlled re-entry far more easily and cheaply than a robotic mission.)

In fairness to NASA, the agency is in a bind. It has been directed to write a new chapter in human space exploration. But it has also been asked to undertake this mission on the cheap. Although it might sound reasonable to prod the agency to find a less valuable program to cut, under these circumstances that won't be so easy.

Thankfully, there's a way to save the Hubble. The solution is similar to one that might have been devised had the University of Hawaii gone off its rocker and decided to dynamite Mauna Kea. The answer is a Congressional grant. In this case, Congress should give the Hubble two more shuttle missions and another decade or more of discoveries. A billion dollars isn't peanuts, but it would be of incalculable value in our quest to understand the universe and our place within it.

Michael Benson is the author of "Beyond: Visions of the Interplanetary Probes."

Deaths Are Increasing 

November, December and January have been the three deadliest months since "Mission Accomplished."

Enough of this "everything is great over there shit"

Friday, January 30, 2004

Talk Of Cheney Leaving. 

To anyone who has been watching and critically analyzing this whole lead up to war, it’s author is Dick Cheney. He cherry picked the WMD intelligence, bullied critics in the CIA and DIA and undermined Blair’s efforts to get UN backing.

Jim Lobe of Asia times writes a fascinating piece about Bush’s option to deflect bad news about Iraq by having Cheney announce he will not run for re-election.

Have an excerpt and a link.

The reasons are simple: instead of the moderate voice of wisdom and caution that voters thought they were getting in the vice president, ongoing disclosures about his role in the drive to war in Iraq and other controversial administration plans depict him as an extremist who constantly pushed for the most radical measures.

He is seen as not just an extremist, but also a kind of eminence grise who exercises undue influence over Bush to further a radical agenda, a notion that was backed by the publication of a recent book about former treasury secretary Paul O'Neill, who described Cheney as creating a "kind of praetorian guard around the president" that blocked out contrary views.

In addition, Cheney's association with Halliburton, the giant construction and oil company he headed for much of the 1990s and that gobbled up billions of dollars in contracts for Iraq's postwar reconstruction, is growing steadily as a major political liability….

"So Dick Cheney turns out to be a true radical - not a moderate Republican," noted Georgie Anne Geyer, a nationally syndicated columnist, who compared the vice president to Cardinal Richelieu of 17th-century France in a cover article for this week's edition of American Conservative magazine.

"While there is little mystery about what he has actually done, there remains the mystery of how a man from Wyoming should be the epicenter of a scheme so strange, so Machiavellian, so profoundly disaggregated from the American context," she wrote. "But no one should expect Dick Cheney and his group [of neo-conservatives] to change. They will not."

May I suggest a fourth alternative. 

This morning’s New York Times provides a news analysis that tells us Bush has three choices in the wake of the expanding debate about why our intelligence failed in regards to Iraq.

Read this excerpt please.

Iraq presents President Bush with difficult and risky alternatives as he balances election year politics with calls to overhaul the intelligence apparatus and to restore the nation's credibility around the world.

He could order the start of an inquiry about the performance of intelligence agencies, as Democrats and the former chief weapons inspector, David A. Kay, have insisted, but his aides fear that that could prove politically damaging and would almost certainly reopen old wounds with the C.I.A.

He could keep arguing that military action was justified no matter how immediate a threat Saddam Hussein posed, and put off an examination and possible overhaul of America's intelligence operations for another year. But his political team worries that doing so could keep the issue alive through a long campaign.

Or the president and those on his national security team who once described how Mr. Hussein could use his stockpiles of weapons to strike at any time could conclude that something went badly wrong during their long march to war.

Hasn’t anyone considered the bitching from anonymous ex-intelligence sources about being bullied and ignored in pre-war meetings? Has anyone ever considered that our intelligence agencies did not in fact say Saddam had WMDs? Has anyone ever considered that Cheney and Doug Feith cherry picked data until they got what they wanted?

linked text

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Now Wait Just One Minute. 

OK, here’s a commander saying that Al Quaeda was seeking a foothold in Iraq…..Well, if they are seeking a foothold, doesn’t that imply that they have had previously had a foothold…and isn’t that the reason we went to war?…..

linked text

Osama bin Laden's terror network is seeking a foothold in Iraq as evidenced by the recent arrest of a top al-Qaeda operative trying to enter northern Iraq, the commander of coalition forces said Thursday.

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez cited the capture of Hassan Ghul by U.S.-allied Kurdish forces as evidence of al-Qaeda's interest in establishing operations in this country.

Bob Novak Physically Attacks A Man!!!!!! 

Wow, Novak pulled an Al Franken.... From Take Back the Media

As we crossed the street to enter the doorway of the Merrimack restaurant we noticed the BIG CNN Bus taking up all the parking spaces out front, parked at an angle - we had been there before making film shorts for fun, "This just in - CNN has found that Bush is able to find his ass with Both hands and a Flashlight..."

They has apparently been doing their show CROSSFIRE in the front window bay of the restaurant and were finishing up - I watched as Carville came out of the door and made a hard right, which put him headed for the side and back of the building, away from the crowd out front and the CNN Bus.

Soon after that, with the crowd swirling other CNN anchors started coming out - namely Robert Novak and Paul Begala and making the short trek to the Bus --

BUT - all of a sudden, a rather solid man was thrown up against me and I caught him and stopped him from falling on the ice and snow on the sidewalk - I looked past his shoulder and saw what looked like a garden troll gone insane. There were two VERY intense film lights on poles at both ends of the restaurant about 12 feet in the air and the image of Robert Novak scowling with his fist pulled back and cocked was frightening - it felt like the day that Lee Harvey Oswald was shot - all the color washed out of the picture - the raw hatred in Novak's face - he was obviously not done with the man I had caught, that he had shoved a good 5 feet on ice (which could have broken this man's head open or a hip or a leg) and Novak was coming to give him more, ready to punch him. He'd gone crazy and the crowd was completely aghast - dead silence.

I'm pretty sure it was Paul Begala that grabbed Novak and forced him onto the CNN Bus while everyone was stunned. I looked into the face of the man I had caught and realised that I knew him. I was Brad C. A big fan of ours - he'd come to every show we'd put on while here in the area.

I asked him, "What the hell is this all about?" and he admitted to me that he'd been inside during the show, and at breaks or whatever had called Novak a "traitor" - and that once Novak had moved past him to go to the bus Brad had said it again, more than once.

"Well, He Didn't REALLY Say Saddam Was An Imminent Threat." 

Thanks to Center For American Progess, uh...well. actually he DID say that.

"There's no question that Iraq was a threat to the people of the United States."

- White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan, 8/26/03

"We ended the threat from Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction."

- President Bush, 7/17/03

Iraq was "the most dangerous threat of our time."

- White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 7/17/03

"Saddam Hussein is no longer a threat to the United States because we removed him, but he was a threat...He was a threat. He's not a threat now."

- President Bush, 7/2/03


- White House spokesman Ari Fleischer answering whether Iraq was an "imminent threat," 5/7/03

"We gave our word that the threat from Iraq would be ended."

- President Bush 4/24/03

"The threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction will be removed."

- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 3/25/03

"It is only a matter of time before the Iraqi regime is destroyed and its threat to the region and the world is ended."

- Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke, 3/22/03

"The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder."

- President Bush, 3/19/03

"The dictator of Iraq and his weapons of mass destruction are a threat to the security of free nations."

- President Bush, 3/16/03

"This is about imminent threat."

- White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 2/10/03

Iraq is "a serious threat to our country, to our friends and to our allies."

- Vice President Dick Cheney, 1/31/03

Iraq poses "terrible threats to the civilized world."

- Vice President Dick Cheney, 1/30/03

Iraq "threatens the United States of America."

- Vice President Cheney, 1/30/03

"Iraq poses a serious and mounting threat to our country. His regime has the design for a nuclear weapon, was working on several different methods of enriching uranium, and recently was discovered seeking significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 1/29/03

"Saddam Hussein possesses chemical and biological weapons. Iraq poses a threat to the security of our people and to the stability of the world that is distinct from any other. It's a danger to its neighbors, to the United States, to the Middle East and to the international peace and stability. It's a danger we cannot ignore. Iraq and North Korea are both repressive dictatorships to be sure and both pose threats. But Iraq is unique. In both word and deed, Iraq has demonstrated that it is seeking the means to strike the United States and our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction."

- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 1/20/03

"The Iraqi regime is a threat to any American. They not only have weapons of mass destruction, they used weapons of mass destruction...That's why I say Iraq is a threat, a real threat."

- President Bush, 1/3/03

"The world is also uniting to answer the unique and urgent threat posed by Iraq whose dictator has already used weapons of mass destruction to kill thousands."

- President Bush, 11/23/02

"I would look you in the eye and I would say, go back before September 11 and ask yourself this question: Was the attack that took place on September 11 an imminent threat the month before or two months before or three months before or six months before? When did the attack on September 11 become an imminent threat? Now, transport yourself forward a year, two years or a week or a month...So the question is, when is it such an immediate threat that you must do something?"

- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 11/14/02

"Saddam Hussein is a threat to America."

- President Bush, 11/3/02

"I see a significant threat to the security of the United States in Iraq."

- President Bush, 11/1/02

"There is real threat, in my judgment, a real and dangerous threat to American in Iraq in the form of Saddam Hussein."

- President Bush, 10/28/02

"The Iraqi regime is a serious and growing threat to peace."

- President Bush, 10/16/02

"There are many dangers in the world, the threat from Iraq stands alone because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place. Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists."

- President Bush, 10/7/02

"The Iraqi regime is a threat of unique urgency."

- President Bush, 10/2/02

"There's a grave threat in Iraq. There just is."

- President Bush, 10/2/02

"This man poses a much graver threat than anybody could have possibly imagined."

- President Bush, 9/26/02

"No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq."

- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 9/19/02

"Some have argued that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent - that Saddam is at least 5-7 years away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain. And we should be just as concerned about the immediate threat from biological weapons. Iraq has these weapons."

- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 9/18/02

"Iraq is busy enhancing its capabilities in the field of chemical and biological agents, and they continue to pursue an aggressive nuclear weapons program. These are offensive weapons for the purpose of inflicting death on a massive scale, developed so that Saddam Hussein can hold the threat over the head of any one he chooses. What we must not do in the face of this mortal threat is to give in to wishful thinking or to willful blindness."

- Vice President Dick Cheney, 8/29/02

Too Bad For Osama It's An Election Year. 

From CNN.

Too bad for Osama that this is an election year. And too bad for America that we wasted billions in dollars and lives on the wrong target so far. As Thomas Freidman said in a rare moment of lucidity, we proved we could take anyone down alone, but that we cannot build anyone up alone.

That said, I hate to be cynical but Bush has made it possible to see every policy change as a contrivance. This is a great way to cover up the mess in Mesopotamia. The question is, will finding Osama guarantee Bush's first real win?

-- The U.S. military is planning a spring offensive against remnants of the Taliban and al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan, a senior Defense Department official has said.

Authorities have ordered troops, supplies and logistics into place to carry out the operation, the official said Wednesday, without detailing whether the new offensive would require more troops.

The news comes amid increased violence in Afghanistan and on a day in which the U.S. military said it thinks it will find Osama bin Laden and fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar in eastern Afghanistan.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Bush Vulnerable 

Don Hazen from Alternet wrote a terrific piece about Bush’s vulnerability. I keep sensing this, especially after the SOTU speech. But Bush is in trouble. He is so reactionary and so anti-working class man, that the Democrats are pulling together with independents and some born again fiscal Conservatives.

You have to read this. Have an excerpt and a link.

How is all this good for regime change? First, it suggests the maturity of voters who recognize that getting Bush out of office is paramount. Second, polls in Iowa and New Hampshire indicate that health care and the economy are more important in the national consciousness than the war, terrorism and national security – areas where Bush still polls relatively well.

Even Iowa anti-war voters supported Kerry more than Dean, even though Kerry voted to authorize the war on Iraq. How could this be? Well, the war is turning out not to be the fundamental litmus test in the primaries, and it won't be in November. More importantly, John Kerry is seen as a critic of Bush's war, and he voted against the authorization of $87 billion for Iraq. For more moderate voters, the undecideds who are now deeply suspicious of Bush, the Kerry path is more like theirs, and in Kerry they sense someone who has stood for peace.

Bush’s election not a sure thing


Regarding MyDoom. No, I am fine and will continue to be just great.

This is the code virus now spreading faster than any virus that has ever been created. Anyone knows that Windows Operating Systems have so many holes, viruses just eat up Window databases. This is hacktivism at its best. It is a couple of code writers who disagree with the liscensing laws in regards to Microsoft's Windows operating System. It is a battle about intellectual property.

These viruses act like car bombs. They simply remove your confidence in the ability of authorities to protect you. Will they win?

Depends on how virulent the virus is. This particular virus does not actually do anything but send itself to others. My guess is that the viruses will have to seriously hurt companies before people seriously stop using Windows.

From Josh Marshall 

Mr. Marshall attended some primary functions and writes this that has me jazzed.

Look also at turnout. Iowa and New Hampshire both saw huge surges in turnout. A good bit of that is due to there not being a Republican contest. But not all of it. Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents are seriously energized and not just by their particular candidates but by their desire to turn George W. Bush out of office.

More Perfidy 

From the Washington Times

 An aide to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has been put on leave during an investigation into how Republicans gained access to Democratic memos concerning opposition to President Bush's judicial nominees.
    Manuel Miranda, who works for the Tennessee Republican on judicial nominations, is on leave pending the outcome of the inquiry by the Senate sergeant-at-arms, Frist spokesman Nick Smith said yesterday. In the matter under investigation, Democratic memos stored on a computer server shared by Judiciary Committee members ended up in Republican hands.

Bush is my shepherd, I shall be in want. 

He leadeth me beside the still factories,

He maketh me to lie down on park benches,

He restoreth my doubts about the Republican party,

He guideth me onto the paths of unemployment for the
party's sake.

I do fear the evildoers, for thou talkst about them

Thy tax cuts for the rich and thy deficit spending

They do discomfort me.

Thou anointeth me with never-ending debt,

And my savings and assets shall soon be gone.

Surely poverty and hard living shall follow me,

And my jobless children shall dwell in my basement

Bush's Credibility Problem. 

At the gym last night, I was watching CNBC and they had a Democrat on talking about how Bush is now equivocating on the WMD isuues now that it looks like the last hand picked inspector said Sadaam was not armed. The Republican who defended Bush said something like "You know Clinton cut so many intelligence programs it wasn't even funny..." I mean that's all he had. The reason our intelligence was bad was BECAUSE BILL CLINTON MADE IT BAD.

At this point, if you asked Republicans who sank the Titanic , they would show you Bill Clinton sank it before he was born.

At this point, any American who accepts what Bush says at face value is being purposely, openly resistant to conventional wisdom. Or better yet, Gut Wisdom. That feeling you have in your gut that something is one way or another, this it's really true or it's really a lie. I heard him speaking yesterday in front of the Polish Prime Minister (who got his Iraq contract for his 1300 soldiers) and Bush seemed to be squirming.

He was caught in a bold faced lie that he and his administration promulgated with a full court press to Metter The Press, Fox News Sunday and other propaganda outlets. He said Saddam had WMDs. Cheney said it, and still says it, despite being contradicted by every authority who has gone whther they hand picked him or not.

To those who think...well Saddam was bad and we're better of without him...I would say..well the President lied to start an unnecessary war and we are worse off because of that. The right wing, that wanted Clinton impeached for lying about sex pays no attention to a president who lied to the entire country about the the threat we were under and send an Army into battle for a fucking THEORY. The obvious double standard is a shame. The entire Republican party and its lockstep liars should feel some sense of shame for refusing to admit this.

Today's New York Times mentions that Bush has backed off his WMD rhetoric. That's because he knows it simply is not the truth. As such, he is relegated to reminding us about how we freed the Iraqis and how we overturned a dictator and hey look at all those mass graves.

Well look at all those starving North Koreans. Look at all this Chinese dissidents who got jail for writing poems. (No, not them they're our biggest trade partner!!)Look at all those insurgents who cuts people's arms off in Sierra Leone.(Sierra Leone...where IS that? I 've never heard Bill OReilly mention it) Look at the torturing government of Uzbekistan who received $1.2 billion of American aid at a time when Americans could sorely use it.

Bush has a problem with the truth, one that is worse than Clinton. My gut feeling is that no one really trusts Bush on this issue. Oh sure, there are right wingers who would back Bush if he fucked their daughter on the dinner table. But what they believe in their hearts have to reflect what the obvious signs are: Bush presented a case for war that simply has not supported the evidence and will never support it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Could it be? 

Only gossip at the moment, but it appears that Bush may drop Cheney from his reelection ticket. Health reasons are surface excuse, but likely Bush is realizing that Cheney has become a liability, and that his chances of claiming the presidency in '08 would be slim (see NO CHARISMA, NO WARMTH in the dictionary).

So, who would be in the running to replace him on the ticket? Rudy Guilliani, sayeth MSNBC.

Defending the Freedom of Speech 


Writes Vincent Morris: Wise-cracking funnyman Al Franken yesterday body-slammed a demonstrator to the ground after the man tried to shout down Gov. Howard Dean.

The trouble started when several supporters of fringe presidential candidate Lyndon Larouche began shouting accusations at Dean.

Defending his actions, Mr. Franken said, "I'm neutral in this race but I'm for freedom of speech, which means people should be able to assemble and speak without being shouted down."

From SouthKnoxBubba 

OK, this is funny:

...sort of like rubes at a sideshow who get conned into paying fifty cents to see the "Amazing Two-Headed Beast" only to find a deformed pig fetus in a thirty-year-old jar of formaldehyde once they're inside:

Pejman Yousefzadeh: I think that Kay is going to prove invaluable in resolving the question about WMD's.

JunkYardBlog: The Kay report contains a reference to botulinum toxin, and the fact that investigators found a live vial of it in the home of an Iraqi scientist. Botulinum is in fact a weapon of mass destruction--it's the most poisonous known substance. [...] So we have found a WMD in Iraq. We will probably find more. It remains for the world to realize what this means.

InstaPundit: DAVID KAY ON MEDIA COVERAGE: ...David Kay also said, "We're going to find remarkable things" about Iraq's weapons program. Funny that this gets so little attention.

Bill Hobbs: WMD: The Hunt for the Truth: South Knox Bubba says I'm lying about this. But David Kay has been in Iraq, while SKB hasn't, so I think David Kay has a much better idea of the extent of Saddam's weapons programs than SKB does....

Right Wing News: The text of David Kay's unclassified report was released tonight. [...] ...even if they don't find anything more than they already have, isn't it pretty clear that invading was the only way to stop Saddam from having WMD?

Sgt. Stryker: I just have to wonder what contortions of illogic the nay sayers will come up with after Kay releases his report.

Andrew Sullivan: (Sept. 2003) If you think that David Kay's report on Iraqi WMDs can be adequately summarized by idiotic headlines such as: "No Illicit Arms Found in Iraq," then you need to read this report.

George Bush: [David Kay's] interim report said that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program spanned more than two decades. That's what he said. See, he's over there under difficult circumstances and reports back. He says that the WMD program involved thousands of people, billions of dollars and was elaborately shielded by security and deception operations that continued even beyond the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In other words, he's saying Saddam Hussein was a threat, a serious danger.

David Kay: I don't think [the stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons that everyone expected to be there] existed. I think there were stockpiles at the end of the first Gulf War and those were a combination of U.N. inspectors and unilateral Iraqi action got rid of them. I think the best evidence is that they did not resume large-scale production, and that's what we're really talking about, is large stockpiles, not the small.

OK, then. On to the next sideshow...

Red Ink Realities 

Cutting and Pasting is so declasse and lazy- except when it's Paul Krugman you are cutting and pasting.Another must read.

Even conservatives are starting to admit that George Bush isn't serious when he claims to be doing something about the exploding budget deficit. At best — to borrow the already classic language of the State of the Union address — his administration is engaged in deficit reduction-related program activities.

But these admissions have been accompanied by an urban legend about what went wrong. According to cleverly misleading reports from the Heritage Foundation and other like-minded sources, the deficit is growing because Mr. Bush isn't sufficiently conservative: he's allowing runaway growth in domestic spending. This myth is intended to divert attention from the real culprit: sharply reduced tax collections, mainly from corporations and the wealthy.

Is domestic spending really exploding? Think about it: farm subsidies aside, which domestic programs have received lavish budget increases over the last three years? Education? Don't be silly: No Child Left Behind is rapidly turning into a sick joke.

In fact, many government agencies are severely underfinanced. For example, last month the head of the National Park Service's police admitted to reporters that her force faced serious budget and staff shortages, and was promptly suspended.

A recent study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities does the math. While overall government spending has risen rapidly since 2001, the great bulk of that increase can be attributed either to outlays on defense and homeland security, or to types of government spending, like unemployment insurance, that automatically rise when the economy is depressed.

Why, then, do we face the prospect of huge deficits as far as the eye can see? Part of the answer is the surge in defense and homeland security spending. The main reason for deficits, however, is that revenues have plunged. Federal tax receipts as a share of national income are now at their lowest level since 1950.

Of course, most people don't feel that their taxes have fallen sharply. And they're right: taxes that fall mainly on middle-income Americans, like the payroll tax, are still near historic highs. The decline in revenue has come almost entirely from taxes that are mostly paid by the richest 5 percent of families: the personal income tax and the corporate profits tax. These taxes combined now take a smaller share of national income than in any year since World War II.

This decline in tax collections from the wealthy is partly the result of the Bush tax cuts, which account for more than half of this year's projected deficit. But it also probably reflects an epidemic of tax avoidance and evasion. Everyone who wants to understand what's happening to the tax system should read "Perfectly Legal," the new book by David Cay Johnston, The Times's tax reporter, who shows how ideologues have made America safe for wealthy people who don't feel like paying taxes.

I was particularly struck by Mr. Johnston's description of the carefully staged Senate Finance Committee hearings in 1997-1998. Senators Trent Lott and Frank Murkowski accused the I.R.S. of "Gestapo"-like tactics, and Congress passed new rules that severely restricted the I.R.S.'s ability to investigate suspected tax evaders. Only later, when the cameras were no longer rolling, did it become clear that the whole thing was a con. Most of the charges weren't true, and there was good reason to believe that the star witness, who dramatically described how I.R.S. agents had humiliated him, really was engaged in major-league tax evasion (he eventually paid $23 million, insisting he had done no wrong).

And this was part of a larger con. What's playing out in America right now is the bait-and-switch strategy known on the right as "starve the beast." The ultimate goal is to slash government programs that help the poor and the middle class, and use the savings to cut taxes for the rich. But the public would never vote for that.

So the right has used deceptive salesmanship to undermine tax enforcement and push through upper-income tax cuts. And now that deficits have emerged, the right insists that they are the result of runaway spending, which must be curbed.

While this strategy has been remarkably successful so far, it also offers a big opportunity to the opposition. So here's a test for the Democratic contenders: details of your proposals aside, which of you can do the best job explaining the ongoing budget con to the American people?  

Monday, January 26, 2004

Bob Herbert On Job Out Sourcing 

Whether it becomes a boon to the U.S. economy or not, the trend toward upscale outsourcing is a fact, and it is accelerating. In an important interview with The San Jose Mercury News last month, the chief executive of Intel, Craig Barrett, talked about the integration of India, China and Russia — with a combined population approaching three billion — into the world's economic infrastructure.

"I don't think this has been fully understood by the United States," said Mr. Barrett. "If you look at India, China and Russia, they all have strong education heritages. Even if you discount 90 percent of the people there as uneducated farmers, you still end up with about 300 million people who are educated. That's bigger than the U.S. work force." …

… Intel has its headquarters in Silicon Valley. A Mercury News interviewer asked Mr. Barrett what the Valley will look like in three years. Mr. Barrett said the prospects for job growth were not good. "Companies can still form in Silicon Valley and be competitive around the world," he said. "It's just that they are not going to create jobs in Silicon Valley."

jobs gone

Greenspan Wraps Bad News Inside Good News. 

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the country can be confident that a flexible U.S. economy will be able to replace jobs lost in the last recession but said laid-off employees in job-losing industries may need to be retrained to qualify for new work.

Now, here's the qualifier- from CBSNews.com

In a speech prepared for an economic conference in London, Greenspan sought to address fears that many of the 2.8 million manufacturing jobs lost in the past 3½ years could be gone forever to lower wage countries.

Parrot with 950 word vocabulary 

Parrot's oratory stuns scientists

By Alex Kirby
BBC News Online environment correspondent

The finding of a parrot with an almost unparalleled power to communicate with people has brought scientists up short.

The bird, a captive African grey called N'kisi, has a vocabulary of 950 words, and shows signs of a sense of humour.

He invents his own words and phrases if he is confronted with novel ideas with which his existing repertoire cannot cope - just as a human child would do.

N'kisi's remarkable abilities, which are said to include telepathy, feature in the latest BBC Wildlife Magazine.

N'kisi is believed to be one of the most advanced users of human language in the animal world.

About 100 words are needed for half of all reading in English, so if N'kisi could read he would be able to cope witha wide range of material.

Polished wordsmith

He uses words in context, with past, present and future tenses, and is often inventive.

One N'kisi-ism was "flied" for "flew", and another "pretty smell medicine" to describe the aromatherapy oils used by his owner, an artist based in New York.

When he first met Dr Jane Goodall, the renowned chimpanzee expert, after seeing her in a picture with apes, N'kisi said: "Got a chimp?"

School's in: He is a willing learner

He appears to fancy himself as a humourist. When another parrot hung upside down from its perch, he commented: "You got to put this bird on the camera."

Dr Goodall says N'kisi's verbal fireworks are an "outstanding example of interspecies communication".

In an experiment, the bird and his owner were put in separate rooms and filmed as the artist opened random envelopes containing picture cards.

Analysis showed the parrot had used appropriate keywords three times more often than would be likely by chance.

Captives' frustrations

This was despite the researchers discounting responses like "What ya doing on the phone?" when N'kisi saw a card of a man with a telephone, and "Can I give you a hug?" with one of a couple embracing.

Professor Donald Broom, of the University of Cambridge's School of Veterinary Medicine, said: "The more we look at the cognitive abilities of animals, the more advanced they appear, and the biggest leap of all has been with parrots."

Alison Hales, of the World Parrot Trust, told BBC News Online: "N'kisi's amazing vocabulary and sense of humour should make everyone who has a pet parrot consider whether they are meeting its needs.

"They may not be able to ask directly, but parrots are long-lived, and a bit of research now could mean an improved quality of life for years."

All images courtesy and copyright of Grace Roselli.

Miranda Survives 

the Supreme Court reaffirmed Monday that police must tell indicted people of their rights before starting interrogations, ruling 9-0 in favor of a Nebraska man who claimed he was tricked into talking to officers who came to his house to arrest him on drug charges.

From CBSnews.com

From Tacitus 

The Gentleman of Right Wing Bloggers

If you told me in fall '00 that the next Republican administration would embrace mushy multiculturalism; wipe out our reputation for fiscal rectitude; preside over a massive entitlements expansion; embrace secrecy as a good in itself; and unnecessarily strain the US armed forces to the breaking point, I would never have believed it. But it has all come to pass, and we must be very clear on why it has come to pass: it is not because these things are expressions of the core principles of most Republicans -- it is because most Republicans have allowed them despite their core principles.


I think it's amazing and cool how well NASA has done in spite of nothing but massive criticism. few people remember when just two years ago, a probe we launched to catch up with the asteroid Eros actually landed on the asteroid and NASA engineers shut it down.

No one was paying attention whatsoever.

Many people might have seen that picture of a what appears to be a human face in sand dunes. At the behest of many curious citizen, NASA had the Mars Global Surveryor, a mapping probe, one of two that has been orbiting Mars for at least 4 years, dip down and make a pass over the face and re-photograph the very spot where the face lay.

The face was gone. It was nothing more than a sand dune.

The point, not to be lost, was after all the defunding, the criticism, NASA still had probes out, looking around, orbiting the Sun, the venerrated Explorer, sent in 1975, was, until a few months ago, over a billion miles away, and still sending telemetry.

I couldn't be happier that there is new attention to space. Only time will tell us if this is yet another PR move.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

From Nation & World 2/2/04 - Honoring The Dead 

Brought to my attention by The Agonist. I recommend you visit The Agonist once a day.

Honoring the fallen, quietly

By Jonathan Evans
There are no reporters on the tarmac at Dover Air Force Base. The public is not allowed to witness the military tradition of "receiving the remains." Instead, there are soldiers, roused at dark hours to stand in the confines of what seems like a secret as the dead are brought home.

I am one of the soldiers. Nearly every day we learn of another death in Iraq. In our collective consciousness, we tally the statistics of dead and wounded. The number is over 500 now. But none of our conjurings are as real and tangible as the Stars and Stripes folded perfectly over a coffin cradling one of those statistics on his or her way home.

It does not matter where somebody stands politically on the war, but I believe that all who have an opinion should know the cost of that opinion. When a soldier dies in a foreign land, his or her remains are returned to the United States for their final rest. The remains arrive in Dover, Del., without fanfare. No family member is present. There are no young children to feel sad or confused. Just a small group of soldiers waiting to do their duty and honor the fallen.

"Dover flights" are met by soldiers from the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Regiment, the storied Old Guard. They are true soldiers, assigned to an esteemed regiment, but it is a unit defined by polish, not mud. It seems that they quietly long to be tested with their comrades "over there." But it is clear to me as I watch them that they find immense pride in honoring their country this way.

Silence. I am a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army, and it is my job to have the honor guard at Dover at whatever hour a flight arrives. In military-speak, the plane's grim contents are referred to as "HRs"--"human remains." Once the plane arrives, conversation ends. The soldiers form a squad of two even ranks and march out to the tarmac. A general follows, flanked by a chaplain and the ranking representative from the service in which the fallen soldier served.

The plane's cargo door opens slowly revealing a cavernous space. The honor guard steps onto a mobile platform that is raised to the cargo bay. The soldiers enter in lock-step formation and place themselves on both sides of the casket. The squad lifts, the soldiers buckling slightly under the weight. The remains have been packed on ice into metal containers that can easily exceed 500 pounds. The squad moves slowly back onto the elevated platform and deposits the casket with a care that evokes an image of fraternal empathy. It is the only emotion they betray, but their gentleness is unmistakable and compelling. The process continues until the last casket is removed from the plane. On bad nights, this can take over an hour. The few of us observing say nothing, the silence absolute, underscored by something sacred. There is no rule or order that dictates it, but the silence is maintained with a discipline that needs no command.

The caskets are lowered together to the earth, where the soldiers lift them into a van, one by one. The doors close, and the squad moves out. Just before the van rounds the corner, someone speaks in a voice just above a whisper. We snap to and extend a sharp salute.

There are those who would politicize this scene, making it the device of an argument over the freedom of the press. But if this scene were ever to be exploited by the lights and cameras of our "infotainment" industry, it would be offensive. Still, the story must be told. A democracy's lifeblood, after all, is an informed citizenry, and this image is nowhere in the public mind. The men and women arriving in flag-draped caskets do not deserve the disrespect of arriving in the dark confines of secrecy. But it is a soldier's story, and it must be told through a soldier's eyes. In the military, we seldom discuss whether we are for or against the war. Instead, we know intimately its cost. For those of us standing on the tarmac at Dover in those still and inky nights, our feelings have nothing to do with politics. They are feelings of sadness, of empathy. And there is nothing abstract about them.


Greetings, all. I realize that it has been quite some time since I have posted, but work on the novel has kept me extremely busy. Still, I've been wanting for the past week to take a break from the drama of Rome in the third century B.C. and offer some thoughts on recent happenings.

See, I've of late had something of a change of heart. No, I haven't become a liberal, or a socialist. I still think that the ACLU going after the Boy Scouts (the BOY SCOUTS, for crying out loud!) is terrible and wrong. I still despise political correctness. I still believe in personal responsibility and limited government. I still believe that affirmative action does nothing more than perpetuate racism, and is leading us nowhere closer to a colorblind society. Terrorists are terrorists, not "freedom fighters".

Still, I've had a change of heart. If I had to some it up, I'd say "there's nothing like a bad argument for a good idea". Bush, in my opinion, has come to represent the worst aspects of conservatism. And in other areas (immigration, health care reform, federal spending) his policies are quite liberal. Could Clinton have ever passed the largest expansion of health entitlements in what, forever? Nope. But Bush did, because the Republcans are so desperate to have a Republican in power that they will accede to anything. Tacitus says it better and more thoroughly than I, but the overall point is the same.

That said, if the cards fall right, and John Edwards somehow emerges the Democratic nominee, I will vote for him in a heartbeat. I agree with many of his policies, and believe that many other conservatives are prepared to as well, especially given Bush's shopping spree. Plus, the man is at once both as charismatic as Clinton and as down-home good ol' boy as Dubya. I think, of all the contenders, he'd have the best chance of claiming the White House.

There, I said it. If Edwards is nominated, I will swallow my pride and vote Democratic. I think a lot of conservatives, and independents, would likely feel the same.

Friday, January 23, 2004

More Evidence This SOTU Has Hurt Bush. 

This is Tom Engelhardt dissecting Bush’s last address in another way. I mean this SOTU was awful. Engelhart concludes the speech is meant to scare us.

In the first half of the speech, the words "terror" or "terrorists" were used 14 times; some form of "kill" ("killers," "killed," "killing") 10 times; war 7 times; and that doesn't count the various stand-ins for war or warlike actions ("aggressive raids," "attack," "offensive," "patrols," "operations," "battle," "armored charges," "midnight raids," "on the offensive," and the slightly more opaque "pursuing a forward strategy of freedom in the Greater Middle East," a favorite phrase of our vice president as well);"weapons" was used 8 times (usually in the phrase "weapons of mass destruction" or "of mass murder," or in one case in the extraordinarily convoluted phrase, "weapons of mass destruction-related program activities"); "threat" appeared 4 times, "hunting" or "manhunt" 3 times; "capture" 3 times; ditto "tracking"; "plotting" four times; "danger" in some form four times including "ultimate danger"; some form of the word "violent" three times; "thugs" twice; some form of "enemy" 3 times.

Among other words occurring at least once were: patrolling, vigilance, assassins, disrupt, seize, tragedy, trial, catch, fear, chaos, carnage, torture, tyrant, tyranny, despair, anger, brutal, hateful propaganda, prison cell, shake the will.

And even some normally positive words fell into this category in a process akin to guilt-by-association as in the phrase, "enemies of reform and allies of terror."

In this swirl of verbal mayhem, some form of the words "secure" and "safe" appeared 9 times, but often as in "movements that threaten the safety of America and our friends" or as in the Homeland Security Department. "Security" also appeared in the classic line: "America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people," which based on the image evoked probably should have been moved to the "education" section that followed in the second half of the speech.

Who'd Have Thunk It? 

I think given the war and all, accession and retention rates are fairly high. Americans are an optimistic and resilient lot. Have an excerpt and a link.

Guard survey hints at exodus
By Dave Moniz, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Just as the Pentagon is increasingly relying on the National Guard and other part-time troops for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, an internal Guard survey suggests that the demanding deployments could prompt a significant number of its soldiers to quit the military.

A recent survey of 5,000 soldiers from 15 states showed that the rate at which Army Guard members choose to leave the military could jump — to 20-22% a year among those who have served long overseas tours, typically 12 months.

Last year, about 16% of all Army Guard troops left the military as a result of retirement, injuries or a decision not to re-enlist, a figure slightly below the annual historical average of 18%. Among Guard soldiers returning from deployments in the USA and overseas from 2001 to 2003, only 12.5% left, statistics show....

linked text

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Equal Rights Does Not Mean Equal Abilities 

Columnist Brent Biles has failed to distinguish the difference between the meaning of different rights, and different abilities. From the Amarillo Voice.

When we say students are equal, we mean they are treated equally in any setting and under the law. This does not mean everyone makes the same grade or studies at the same level.

And this guy is a columnist WRITING ABOUT EDUCATION.


Have an excerpt and a link.

I've seen a lot of commentary in the paper lately about our schools, most of it blaming teachers or teachers' education for the abysmal state of education in this country.

I want to say without hesitation that if you think teachers are the problem, you're dead wrong.

Here's what's wrong with schools in our country: Our school system is based upon the idea that all students are equal. Sound familiar? Yeah, it's communism. The truth is that students have no reason to perform because there's no competition.

linked text

Comparing Claims. 

Oy vey.

“The Iraqi regime…possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas , sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas.

Bush 10/7/02 Speech in Cincinnati.

“Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.”

Bush State of the Union Address, January 28th, 2003.

"….dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations."

Bush State of the Union Address 2004.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

SOTU begins to back fire. 

Tonight, my wife and I watched about two hours of straight comedy- the Jon Stewart Show, Colin Quinn's Tough Crowd and the first twenty minutes of Bush's State of the Union Address.

Dude, they skewered him. Jon Stewarts's entire SOTU show was the absolute funniest half hour on TV in a long time.

Colin Quinn like Jon Stewart, poked the Prez for mentioning athletes taking steroids. I mean at a time when one in five US children are living in poverty, he is announcing an initiative about million dollar athlete's imbibing anabolic stereoids.


Leno skewered him. Senior Senate Republican John McCain skewered him.

A friend at the gym said they were optimistic for the first time in a long time. I think it's because this SOTU address when fully 1/2 the Congress sits down in abject protest, it seemed so hollow, so staged, so negative. One couple interviewed in USA Today had a couple saying "we're not Bush haters but it seemed like a pep rally."

My wife says this will be known as the "steroid" speech and it will be the shoot yourself in the foot routine of all time.

What’s 100,000 Poor Children When You Consider How Much We need To Cut the Budget? 

Poor Children in Texas: Read it and vote Bush out of office. And Rick Perry while you’re at it.

A few months ago, a writer named John Fund noted in the Wall Street Journal that as newly elected California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger looked for a role model, he "could do worse than Texas Gov. Rick Perry."

That's because Perry, in Fund's words, "has just wrestled a $10 billion budget deficit to the ground."

We chuckled often in the ensuing months because any time Perry's staff was called on to defend him, they referred to the article. (The extent to which it was referenced made me realize how few positive press notices Perry must receive.)

Even before that, after the Legislature passed the state budget last spring, we chuckled at a news release from then-state Republican Chairman Susan Weddington, praising Republican legislators for doing the Lord's work in cutting the budget.

Unfortunately, as that Texas budget comes home to roost, there's little room to laugh.

I just couldn't find it in my heart to chuckle as I read in the Dallas Morning News last week that 100,000 children already have been cut from the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP.

linked text


Sexually transmitted diseases. Abstinence. "Defending" marriage from those gay people.

Honestly. Millions more children are living in poverty today than before Bush was (not) elected. The government is cutting benefits to veterans and poor people and giving billions in tax cuts to the rich. Polluters are given a free pass. pristine wilderness is being exploited by GOP backers. There are more lobbyists in Congress than Congressmen. His No Child Left Behind has left every child behind that could be left behind. His $15 billion promise for AIDs to Africa has been put on hold. The hydrogren fuel initiave has disappeared.

And all he can think to do is talk about kids having sex?

If you back Bush, you are officially a fucking idiot

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

More Compassionate Conservatism 

Once again, Bushco shows how much they really care for Americans, and how much Bush has helped the poor. Now he's removing the last safety net for millions of poor people.

What a deceitful, evil man.

The Bush administration, which created a record budget deficit partly through tax cuts for the rich, is threatening to make up some of the difference by cutting desperately needed programs aimed at the poor. One candidate for the chopping block is Section 8, the federal rent-subsidy program whose main purpose is preventing low-income families from becoming homeless.

The Section 8 voucher program subsidizes families who rent apartments in the private market. The renters, most of whom live at or below the poverty level, pay 30 percent of their incomes toward rent, and the voucher covers the remainder.

At the moment, the program covers about 2.1 million households. Most of these families include minor children; 40 percent include elderly or disabled people. Section 8 came about during the 1970's, when the government began to move from housing needy people in publicly owned developments to housing them in private housing, through rent vouchers and construction subsidies. The most recent data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, based in Washington, shows that the average rent on a two-bedroom apartment has risen by 37 percent since 1999. The yearly cost of the voucher program has reached $14 billion - and will grow as long as housing costs continue to rise faster than incomes.

Like health care, housing has become a necessity priced out of the reach of many families, particularly the working poor. It is understandable that the government should look at the cost of housing programs with concern. But the one unacceptable option is simply to decide to let people fend for themselves.

Even now, families sometimes wait for years for vouchers, which become available when current voucher holders die or get better jobs and become ineligible for subsidies. By some estimates, only one in four families who actually qualify for Section 8 vouchers receives them. Given that the affordable housing crisis is likely to become worse as time goes by, anything that makes it harder to house poor families is by definition a disastrous idea.

more compassionate conservatism

Larry Kudlow and the Club For Growth 

Cheri Delbrocco, of the Memphis Flyer, comments on the Club For Growth, the wingnut organization that created the anti Dean ad in the Iowa caucus.

Have an excerpt and a link.

So perhaps if Larry Kudlow and his friends at the Club For Growth could get out of the Democratic candidate bashing business long enough, they could figure out what actually is growing in America: Poverty is growing , job losses are growing, health insurance costs are growing, and bankruptcies are growing. They are growing like there is no tomorrow. Of course, something else that is growing like an athlete on steroids is the $7 trillion national debt. All that spending like "drunken sailors" will saddle the nation's future generations with decades, perhaps centuries, of tax increases, low wages, and inflation

linked text

The First Stolen Election 

Republicans have a hard time winning elections. So they cheat, and lie and steal.

OK, that's a sweeping generalization. In the context of elections, it's generally true.

From Kevin Phillips Book, via Orcinus

Some of you may even recall the story. Its basic outline went like this: In the runup to the 1980 election between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, it became clear that the outcome largely hinged on the release of the 52 Americans who had been held hostage by Iran since November 1979. If Carter was able to obtain their freedom, he was likely to win re-election. If he failed, it was nearly certain Reagan would win. As you may recall, the latter was what happened. The hostages were freed on the day of Reagan's inauguration. Later it emerged that a cadre of Reagan campaign officials -- led by former CIA chief William Casey, who was the campaign manager -- may have actually negotiated with Iran behind the scenes to ensure precisely this outcome. There were even indications they may have been involved in sabotaging the attempted rescue of the hostages.

The story gained real traction in the early 1990s when a former Carter intelligence official named Gary Sick released a book detailing the plot. It was promptly pooh-poohed by articles in Newsweek and The New Republic, and a brief House investigation came up dry. Afterward, anyone who even suggested they thought the scenario had any credibility was dismissed as a loony conspiracy theorist. Even the respected AP reporter Robert Parry found himself a journalistic pariah for his dogged pursuit of the story; you can find the results of much of his work at his marvelous Web site Consortium News.

Phillips not only resurrects the story, he examines the evidence and finds that it is almost certainly substantial, despite the all-too-eager earlier dismissals of its substance. More to the point, he compiles a wealth of subsequent evidence, most of it having emerged since 1992, pointing to his conclusion that "Bill Casey -- a born schemer and true buccaneer -- and his associates probably were involved in machinations akin to those Sick alleged." This evidence includes intelligence material from the French, the Soviet Union, Israel and Iran, as well as material that has been ignored by the House investigators.

All of this ties in with Phillips' theses that the October Surprise was a precursor to Iran-Contra (in fact, he argues, the latter was actually a confirmation that the former had occurred) as well as Iraqgate -- the consequences of which, he ably demonstrates, have come home to roost in the current war in Iraq.

So Called Liberal Media 

It amazes me when people call the New York Times liberal even though they have hired david Brooks of the Weekly Standard and the ever Bush-ass-kissing William Safire.

From Roger Ailes (no, not the evil one), a criticism of the Gray Lady

The New York Times editorial page and Bill Keller saw fit to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. by running a piece attempting -- and failing -- to rehabiliate Ronnie Reagan on the issue of racial equality.

Yes, the Reagan who supported tax-exempt status for the racist bigots at Bob Jones University.

The Reagan who said in 1980 that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was "humiliating to the South."

The Reagan who said that "Jefferson Davis is a hero of mine."

That Reagan.

Monday, January 19, 2004

The American Military Empire 

John Chambers from Alternet writes a fascinating viewpoint on America as an international Empire with no colonies but over 7000 military bases and 13 naval task forces surrounding the globe. The piece is a little conspiratorial and very anti- American. I understand why so many feel that way. It’s still chocked full of great information.

Have an excerpt and a link.

As distinct from other peoples, most Americans do not recognize – or do not want to recognize – that the United States dominates the world through its military power. Due to government secrecy, our citizens are often ignorant of the fact that our garrisons encircle the planet. This vast network of American bases on every continent except Antarctica actually constitutes a new form of empire – an empire of bases with its own geography not likely to be taught in any high school geography class. Without grasping the dimensions of this globe-girdling Baseworld, one can't begin to understand the size and nature of our imperial aspirations or the degree to which a new kind of militarism is undermining our constitutional order.

Our military deploys well over half a million soldiers, spies, technicians, teachers, dependents, and civilian contractors in other nations….

… It's not easy to assess the size or exact value of our empire of bases. Official records on these subjects are misleading, although instructive. According to the Defense Department's annual "Base Structure Report" for fiscal year 2003, which itemizes foreign and domestic U.S. military real estate, the Pentagon currently owns or rents 702 overseas bases in about 130 countries and has another 6,000 bases in the United States and its territories. Pentagon bureaucrats calculate that it would require at least $113.2 billion to replace just the foreign bases – surely far too low a figure but still larger than the gross domestic product of most countries – and an estimated $591,519.8 million to replace all of them. The military high command deploys to our overseas bases some 253,288 uniformed personnel, plus an equal number of dependents and Department of Defense civilian officials, and employs an additional 44,446 locally hired foreigners. The Pentagon claims that these bases contain 44,870 barracks, hangars, hospitals, and other buildings, which it owns, and that it leases 4,844 more….

…Some of these bases are so gigantic they require as many as nine internal bus routes for soldiers and civilian contractors to get around inside the earthen berms and concertina wire. That's the case at Camp Anaconda, headquarters of the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, whose job is to police some 1,500 square miles of Iraq north of Baghdad, from Samarra to Taji. Anaconda occupies 25 square kilometers and will ultimately house as many as 20,000 troops. Despite extensive security precautions, the base has frequently come under mortar attack…

The American Military Empire

Bush and Hitler 

Dennis Miller says it pisses him off when people compare Bush to Hitler. Of course he little notices when the right wing or even mainstream media compare Clinton to Hitler, or various people on the left. It amazes me, the depth of hypocrisy in the right wing.

I hate to say it but there are real comparisons between Bush and Hitler. Hitler used Goebbels to create Orwellian lies to tell the German people. Karl Rove uses very similar tactics, including repeating lies over and over again until they become memes. Hitler told Germany that Poland was a threat to the country, and within weeks he invaded. Bush told Americans we were in imminent danger of attack from weapons of mass destruction from Iraq, and months later we invaded.

Telling people outright that it isn’t right to compare Bush to Hitler is not totally justified. Certainly Bush hasn’t committed genocide or tried to ethnically cleanse America. But his lies have been beyond the pale, almost surreal in their magnitude, nuance, even in how well they were delivered.

Hat tip to Conwebwatch for this collection below.

"I once wrote that 'Vac’m in the Vulva' Barbara Boxer was the reincarnation of Adolf Mengele in drag, the Nazi Angel of Death. I meant it. ... The spirit of Mengele knows well to start at the weakest point and work from there – with Clinton, Singer, Boxer or any other willing host."

-- Michael Savage, NewsMax, Jan. 31, 2000

"I refuse to whistle Dixie while my country is being overrun by psycho-lib Commu-Nazi organizations like the ACLU who defend child molesters and terrorists, who trash our traditions and who silence religious speech while wrapping themselves in the flag to justify child pornography – virtual or otherwise."

-- Michael Savage, excerpt from his book "The Savage Nation," WorldNetDaily, Dec. 10, 2002

"The first sign of Bill Clinton's totalitarian inclinations became manifest during puberty when he saw a film of Adolph Hitler haranguing a Nuremberg rally, and got an erection. By age 12 Bubba was a common sight on the street corners of Little Rock, playing Deutchland Uber Alles on his ocarina. ... Like Hitler, Clinton will keep "up-ing the ante" of his demands on the American people's freedom until they have no choice but to resist - and then he will move in with armed and lunatic force."

-- Norman Liebmann, NewsMax, Sept. 15, 1999

"Clinton has rallied to his cause - Boxer, Feinstein, Schumer, Lieberman, Waxman, Wexler, and others whose psychological profile fit those Jewish trustees at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. ... Clinton has genius for using the lemming instinct rampant in some Jews to his purpose. Further, he has a genius for surrounding himself with people who have a compelling psychological need to submit. Like Hitler, Clinton knows how to manipulate feelings of boredom, inadequacy and the more monstrous impulses of the libido. ...

"In Germany, in 1933, bleeding hearts like Boxer and Feinstein were forming Fair Play for Hitler committees. The Hitler/Clinton metaphor is an easy one. Had they been around in the forties, when six million Jews were being forced to inhale Zyklon B, "Babs" and "Di Di" would be doing overnights at Berchtesgaden."

-- Norman Liebmann, NewsMax, Nov. 22, 2000

"On the interview circuit, it seems apparent Woodward and Bernstein were out to undo Nixon, whose sins were trifling compared to the Arkansas Nazi, Bill Clinton."

-- Norman Liebmann, NewsMax, July 15, 1999

"The media has normalized, even "casualized", partial-birth abortion (Clinton's attempt to revive Nazi eugenics.) Devoted as the Clintons are to abortion, it is a pity Bubba's mother did not avail herself of it."

-- Norman Liebmann, NewsMax, Oct. 15, 2000

"The difference between Clinton's fascists and Hitler's fascists is Clinton's have no paradigm. The trickiest to identify are the fascists in Arkansas, but only because the people there found the Nazi salute too intricate a maneuver for them to master."

-- Norman Liebmann, NewsMax, Jan. 21, 2000

If Boxer and Feinstein are determined to use the loathsome term "confiscation" they should be prepared to pay the surviving Hitler family members a royalty. ... At the Democratic National Convention, Clinton may reasonably expect Boxer to deliver from the great state of Auschwitz, six million proxy electoral votes for his third term. Clinton will no more yield power willingly than Hitler did.

-- Norman Liebmann, NewsMax, Nov. 18, 1999

"Incidentally, neo-Nazi students at Heidelberg University have elected Hillary Clinton their Homecoming Queen for Kristalnacht."

-- Norman Liebmann, NewsMax, Aug. 10, 2000

"Does anyone see the diabolical digit of destiny in the fact that Clinton has the same attitude about smoking as Adolph Hitler?"

--Norman Liebmann, NewsMax, Feb. 22, 2000

"Clinton was invoking the Nazi practice of Sippenhaft, in which the relatives of those who opposed Hitler were punished. This vengeful notion holds that the accused person's family is tainted with 'blood guilt.'"

-- David C. Stolinsky, NewsMax, Nov. 9, 2001

"Tranzi stands for Transnational Progressive ... They propose abolishing nations and replacing them with a single, global government. ... The word 'Tranzi' nicely evokes the ideology it represents. It has a nasty, sneaky sound, like Commie or Nazi."

-- Richard Poe, NewsMax, Aug. 30, 2002

"There have been dozens of examples of the Clinton administration using Nazi-style police tactics against government whistleblowers."

-- Carl Limbacher, NewsMax, Sept. 2, 1999

"There is a Web site mistakenly called democrats.com (it should be .con) - run by a gaggle of Marxist thugs who could have taught Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels a thing or two about political slander."

-- Phil Brennan, NewsMax, Aug. 21, 2001

"The political adviser responsible for making Al Gore a two-term vice president (Dick Morris) said Thursday night the veep is in a state of denial about his impending White House loss, comparing him to "Hitler in the bunker." Then he quickly withdrew the analogy to the World War II dictator."

-- NewsMax story, Dec. 7, 2000

"There's probably a general consensus that she's going to pursue the presidency. ... And I have to tell you that that scares me to death - not just as an individual, but as an American citizen - to think that these Hitler-esque propagandists could go on in politics. ... it's very, very scary."

-- Gennifer Flowers on the idea of Hillary Clinton
as president, NewsMax story, Feb. 28, 2002

"The only difference between a Communist police state and a Nazi police state is which boot -- right or left -- is on your neck. The Clinton compromise is both boots on your neck."

-- Charles Smith, WorldNetDaily, Feb. 2, 1999

"In the first and largest essay in the booklet, entitled, 'Hillary Clinton and 'The Third Way,' Horowitz dismisses her use of Third Way ideology as a course of centrist moderation, but rather as a cover for her commitment to socialist ideals and political action. He notes the use of this political tactic by the Nazis in their rise to power during the 1930s, the Trotskyists to distinguish themselves from Stalinists, and the New Leftists of the 1960s to distance themselves from the horrors of the Soviet gulags."

-- WorldNetDaily story on David Horowitz's book "Hating Whitey and Other Progressive Causes," July 22, 2000

"Monica Lewinsky is not nearly as interesting as Hitler's mistress Eva Braun, the school teacher's daughter who died in a bunker with her Fuhrer boyfriend after she took cyanide and he, maybe, shot himself."

-- Maralyn Lois Polak, in a WorldNetDaily column dedicated to proving exactly that, March 29, 2000

"There are those who say that Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler's propaganda minister, was the preeminent master of deception in the 20th century. I say President Bill Clinton, along with Attorney General Janet Reno and most of Clinton's cabinet, rank right up there with this 'master of deception.'"

-- Jon Dougherty, WorldNetDaily, Nov. 12, 1999

"Perhaps the Democratic Party should consider a new battle cry should their most famous face decide to enter the presidential race in 2004. Sieg Hillary!"

-- Vox Day, WorldNetDaily, Aug. 18, 2003

"Recently, one of Rupert Murdoch's newspapers, the New York Post, took a poll to identify the 25 "Most Evil People" of the millennium. ... Adolf Hitler barely edged out Bill Clinton for first place, and Josef Stalin came in third. ... The injustice is not that Bill Clinton was voted in as one of the top, world-class, evil men in the last thousand years. The injustice is that, with a level playing field, he might have come in first."

-- -Linda Bowles, WorldNetDaily, Nov. 23, 1999

"(A recent Al Gore speech) was less a political speech than a blueprint for Nazi America."

-- Jon Dougherty, WorldNetDaily, July 14, 1999

"Additionally, such (pro-gun) legislation will help to prevent socialists like Al Gore from ever being able to use our military and police illegally against U.S. citizens -- just as Hitler did against his own citizens many years ago.

-- Tom Ambrose, WorldNetDaily, Nov. 29, 2000

"Bovard starts his book with AmeriCorps, Clinton's version of Hitler's old notion of putting "volunteer" youth in the service of the state."

-- Alan W. Bock, WorldNetDaily, Dec. 8, 2000

"Clinton went on to say, 'And so a lot of people say there's too much personal freedom.' Bullfeathers! Who are these 'lot of people'? Why are freedom and liberty anathema? He said, 'When personal freedom's being abused, you have to move to limit it.' Yeah, just like Hitler did, just like Stalin did. ..."

-- Geoff Metcalf, WorldNetDaily, Oct. 9, 2000

Al Gore – the darling of the media elite – is a professed globalist. The Clinton-Gore administration was chock full of globalists. ... Quoth the globalists: 'One Folk! One Reich! One Dictatorship by the Proletariat!" (Wait a minute. Maybe that was Hitler? Or was it Lenin?)

-- Gordon Prather, WorldNetDaily, July 14, 2001

"We have lost faith in the FBI and in the secrecy of the files they keep on individuals. We now know that they will remain secret unless one happens to cross paths with Mr. Clinton. We now have an idea of how it felt to be ruled by Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler."

-- Steve Myers, CNSNews.com, Jan. 22, 1999

"If you think Hitler was a lunatic, than you had better give some thought to Gore's views."

-- Alan Caruba, CNSNews.com, June 27, 2000

"Budweiser is marketing heavily to homosexuals when we know that homosexuals have a higher than average alcoholism problem. If they're going to attend an 's and m' rally, why don't they sponsor a neo-Nazi rally since there are consumers out there they should be reaching."

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth,
CNSNews.com story, Oct. 19, 199

Right Wing Nazi References

Justice, 2004 

We learn, sadly, that not only is it bad enough that you can get a speedy trial on the six o'clock news, and be reamed across the coals by Nancy Grace for years even if you are innocent; now celebrity justice has taken a new turn and counties in California are vying for the Peterson trial because of the tourism revenue.

The day we see an execution at halftime on the Superbowl I will move to Canada.

Crying Wolf 

The failure to find the WMDs might now have hurt Bush’s election bid. But it will make it much harder for allies to work with us and believe it when we really have the goods.

From Wapo

The Bush administration's inability to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq -- after public statements declaring an imminent threat posed by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein -- has begun to harm the credibility abroad of the United States and of American intelligence, according to foreign policy experts in both parties.

In last year's State of the Union address, President Bush used stark imagery to make the case that military action was necessary. Among other claims, Bush said that Hussein had enough anthrax to "kill several million people," enough botulinum toxin to "subject millions of people to death by respiratory failure" and enough chemical agents to "kill untold thousands."

Now, as the president prepares for this State of the Union address Tuesday, those frightening images of death and destruction have been replaced by a different reality: Few of the many claims made by the administration have been confirmed after months of searching by weapons inspectors.

Within the United States, Bush does not appear to have suffered much political damage from the failure to find weapons, with polls showing high ratings for his handling of the war and little concern that he misrepresented the threat…..

……Already, in the crisis over North Korea's nuclear ambitions, China has rejected U.S. intelligence that North Korea has a secret program to enrich uranium for use in weapons. China is a key player in resolving the North Korean standoff, but its refusal to embrace the U.S. intelligence has disappointed U.S. officials and could complicate negotiations to eliminate North Korea's weapons programs.

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said the same problem could occur if the United States presses for action against alleged weapons programs in Iran and Syria. The solution, he said, is to let international organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency take the lead in making the case, as has happened thus far in Iran, and also to be willing to share more of the intelligence with other countries.

The inability to find suspected weapons "has to make it more difficult on some future occasion if the United States argues the intelligence warrants something controversial, like a preventive attack," said Haass, a Republican who was head of policy planning for Secretary of State Colin L. Powell when the war started. "The result is we've made the bar higher for ourselves and we have to expect greater skepticism in the future."

Sunday, January 18, 2004


Even military attorneys think the war tribunal is bullshit. jesus H christ.

Have an excerpt and a link

Five U.S. military lawyers assigned to defend prisoners captured in Afghanistan in a newly created military tribunal filed a sharply worded "friend of the court" brief with the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday, arguing against the tribunal's legitimacy, the detainees inability to appeal to a U.S. civilian court and the Bush administration's attempt to have the judicial branched "usurped."

The director of the National Institute of Military Justice, an organization that tracks and analyses military justice issues, called the brief a "watershed" event for the American military's legal community.

"I don't know of any case in which uniformed defense counsel have participated in friend of the court brief in a civilian court other than the court of appeals for U.S. military justice," said Eugene Fidell.

The 30-page brief pulls no punches in its criticism of the legal issues surrounding the more than 600 detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, ostensibly outside the reach of civilian courts.

"If there is no right to civilian review, the government is free to conduct sham trials and condemn to death those who do nothing more than pray to Allah," the brief states.

If the Bush administration's treatment of the prisoners is not challenged by the Supreme Court "the government is free to label virtually any person on the globe an enemy alien and deprive recourse to the civilian court."


Hope Floats- From CBS 

After rising in public support following the capture of Saddam Hussein, President Bush gives his State of the Union message next week with a decidedly less positive audience.

A CBS News/New York Times poll of 1,022 adults puts the president's approval rating at 50%, matching his lowest ever, and the largest number ever – 45% - disapproving.

This decline (from 60% approval the week after Saddam's capture) comes after former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's criticisms of the administration in a book and in interviews, and after continuing attacks on American troops in Iraq.

And there is other bad news for the president.

Less than half now approve of how he is handling the situation in Iraq. 51% say the war was not worth the costs.

Two of the president's just-launched initiatives have met with negative public assessment. Most Americans oppose temporary work permits for illegal immigrants and don't think a permanent space station on the moon is worth it.

Just 41% say the president has the same priorities on the issues as they do.

Only 30% say he is more interested in protecting the interests of ordinary Americans than in protecting the interests of large corporations. Just 39% - fewer than before - have confidence in his ability to make the right economic decisions.

Brilliant Juan Cole- On The Press And the Wounded 

Juan Cole is a professor who thankfully blogs. This is from his post today and I agree with every word.

You should visit Juan cole every day.

The press has concentrated on the significance passing the 500 mark (346 from hostile fire) with regard to deaths. But in this war, the injuries that have been survived have been horrific. Thousands of US soldiers are coming home with their faces blown off, or missing limbs, facing a lifetime in a wheel chair. The military medicine is good, and swift, and saves more lives. But the result is large numbers of permanently maimed vets. These have largely been hidden away from public view, and they haven't even always been treated very well on their return by the military.

The other complaint I have is the fetish about daily number of attacks (down to 18, the military says, from a high of 50 a few months ago). But the rise to 15 attacks a day had once seemed intolerable, in the aftermath of the military victory. And the "reduction" to 18 a day appears to have been achieved over and over again. The important statistic is the number of our guys getting killed or wounded. That isn't down appreciably in the past month, so fewer attacks that are more deadly seem to me to be just as bad as more attacks that are less efective.

You have to read this 

Via Kevin Drum and Josh Marshall, two of the very best bloggers in America.

And excerpt from Charlie Wilson's Book about the CIA War In Afghanistan.

Their idea was to encourage Soviet officers and soldiers to defect to the mujahideen. As [CIA chief Gust] Avrakotos derisively describes it, "The muj were supposed to set up loudspeakers in the mountains announcing such things as 'Lay down your arms, there is a passage to the West and to freedom.'" Once news of the program made its way through the Red Army, it was argued, there would be a flood of defectors.

....Avrakotos thought [Oliver] North and Perle were "cuckoos of the Far Right"...."What Russian in his right mind would defect to those fuckers all armed to the teeth?" Avrakotos said in frustration. "To begin with, anyone defecting to the Dushman would have to be a crook, a thief, or someone who wanted to get cornholed every day, because nine out of ten prisoners were dead within twenty-four hours and they were always turned into concubines by the mujahideen. I felt so sorry for them I wanted to have them all shot."

The meeting went very badly indeed. Gust accused North and Perle of being idiots....Avrakotos thought that would be the end of the...idea, but he greatly underestimated the political power and determination of this group, who went directly to Bill Casey.

....In spite of the angry complaints, Clair George and everyone else on the seventh floor agreed with Avrakotos' position. He says that Director Casey even privately told him, "I think your point is quite valid. What asshole would want to defect to these animals?"

But the issue wouldn't go away. Perle, [Walt] Raymond, and the others continued to insist that the Agency find and send back to the United States the many Russian defectors they seemed to believe...the mujahideen were harboring. They had visions of a great publicity campaign once these men reached America.

....Avrakotos describes what happened next with the kind of pleasure he feels only upon achieving revenge. It had been almost impossible to locate two prisoners, much less two defectors. The CIA found itself in the preposterous position of having to pony up $50,000 to bribe the Afghans to deliver two live ones. "These two guys were basket cases," says Avrakotos. "One had been fucked so many times he didn't know what was going on. The other was an alcoholic."

....At that point, Avrakotos says, he went to Perle to announce the good news that the Agency had twelve more willing to come over. "I turned the tables on them and demanded they take them all. And they didn't want to....In all I think we brought three or four more over. One guy ended up robbing a 7-Eleven in Vienna, Virgina."

Hat Tip -Just A Bump In The Beltway 

That sucking sound? That's the media on their knees before the White House.

The nearly 100 million viewers expected to tune in to next month's Super Bowl on CBS will be served up ads that include everything from beer and bikinis to credit cards and erectile dysfunction.

They will also see two spots from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. What's missing from America's premiere marketing spectacle will be an anti-Bush ad put forth by upstart advocacy group MoveOn.org. The group had hoped to buy airtime to run "Child's Pay", a 30-second ad that criticizes the Bush administration's run-up of the federal deficit.

CBS on Thursday rejected a request from MoveOn to air the 30-second spot, saying "Child's Pay" violated the network's policy against accepting advocacy advertising, a company spokesperson told reporters.

At the same time, CBS is allowing ads placed on the docket by the White House's anti-drug office. For the third year in a row the White House has paid between $1.5 and $3 million each for 30-second spots during the broadcast. The 2004 ads, produced for the White House by Ogilvy & Mather are expected to convey a message similar to their previous Super Bowl spots. While CBS would not reveal the content of the upcoming ads, previous White House Super Bowl spots drew a controverial link between casual drug use and the financing of global terrorists.

Writing about the previous ads, LA Weekly media critic Judith Miller reported that their message plays well into Bush's anti-terror campaign because it keeps ordinary citizens under siege and the war on terror central in their minds -- an objective which in 2004 serves the president's re-election strategy well.

Actual Quotes. You can't believe how this ends. 

Here's a president who went AWOL while at the Texas Air National Guard,made the lowest grade you could possibly make to qualify for training, used his family connections to avoid serving in Vietnam, Got two DUIs, traded Sammy Sosa and lost millions when he owned a team, failed miserably at Harken Oil, lost the popular vote in an election, and still thinks all his success is...well...his.

Hat tip Billmon

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness...

Thomas Jefferson
The Declaration of Independence

If it be a fundamental principle of free government that the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary powers should be separately exercised, it is equally so that they be independently exercised.

James Madison
Remarks to the Constitutional Convention

The American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.

James Monroe
The Monroe Doctrine

The moment you come to the Declaration of Independence -- that every man has a right to life and liberty, an inalienable right -- this case is decided. I ask nothing more in behalf of these unfortunate men, than this Declaration.

John Quincy Adams
The Amistad Case

By virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States and parts of States are, and henceforward shall be, free...

Abraham Lincoln
The Emancipation Proclamation

A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.

Woodrow Wilson
Fourteen Points

Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights or keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
The Four Freedoms

I, Harry S. Truman, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim and make public the said Charter of the United Nations, with the Statute of the International Court of Justice annexed thereto...

Harry Truman
Proclamation of United Nations Charter

I have today issued an Executive Order directing the use of troops under Federal authority to aid in the execution of Federal law at Little Rock, Arkansas.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Address to the Nation on the Little Rock School Desegregation Case

Next week I shall ask the Congress of the United States to act, to make a commitment it has not fully made in this century to the proposition that race has no place in American life or law.

John F. Kennedy
Report to the American People on Civil Rights

What happened in Selma is part of a far larger movement which reaches into every section and State of America. It is the effort of American Negroes to secure for themselves the full blessings of American life. Their cause must be our cause too. Because it's not just Negroes, but really it's all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome.

Lyndon Baines Johnson
Address to Congress on the Voting Rights Act

Because we are free we can never be indifferent to the fate of freedom elsewhere. Our moral sense dictates a clearcut preference for these societies which share with us an abiding respect for individual human rights.

Jimmy Carter
Inaugural Address

With today's signing of the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act, every man, woman and child with a disability can now pass through once closed doors, into a bright new era of equality, independence and freedom.

George Herbert Walker Bush
Americans With Disabilities Act Signing Ceremony

No President has ever done more for human rights than I have.

George W. Bush

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?