Christopher,Is Religion in the Fire thread because it's a matter of culture?
It is a matter of culture, perhaps I should have said "Organized Religion." It is very much a hot topic and a source of much tension.Hell is purported to be rather hot.Religion and spirituality are often two seperate concepts in my view.
"Religion and spirituality are often two seperate concepts in my view."Me too.
US Tenders New Contract For Monitoring Iraq War Coverage And as President Bush begins his PR effort, the Washington Post is reporting the Pentagon has tendered a new twenty-million dollar contract to promote more “positive” news coverage of the Iraq war. The contract calls on bidders to monitor and analyze news coverage in the US and international media. The stories would be analyzed for their tone and attitude towards US military operations and used as part of a program to provide "public relations products" that would improve coverage of the military. A public relations industry source said the Pentagon has been “overwhelmed” by news stories that have differed from how the military originally wanted them transmitted. from democracynow.org
If I'd known about this cornucopia of informaton about remote sensing and the big bang, I could have simply provided the URL.Look at Section 20. Anything you don't understand, Dan will explain.http://rst.gsfc.nasa.gov/Front/tofc.html
On mainstream media:I just watched the rebroadcast of Dan Rather: A Reporter Remembers. I have a lot of respect for him as a reporter and as a person.I know this doesn't fit in with the view of most of the rest of this group, but my sense is that most news reporters I've seen, report as fairly and accurately as possible. All I can attribute it to is a difference between what is aired here, and what is seen in some other parts of the U.S. In this viewing area, I never seem to hear conservative views being promoted by the mainstream media. If anything, I've heard the opposite complaint from the minority of Republicans around these parts -- that there is too much of a liberal slant in the news.
Richard, thanks for the link. I have been lost in cyberspace for the last 2 hours perusing that site; fascinating. There is so much information there that I feel as if I just started a very long journey.Cheryl, 20 million of our tax dollars in order to present "shock and awe", murder, mayhem, torture, rape, destruction, civil war, no-bid contracts, lack of equipment for our troops, lies, and corruption in a good light...sheesh...that is so wrong in so many ways. I shake my head and vow to keep working to take the power out of these depraved people's hands.Christin, "Liberal media" is a myth promoted by the republicans. If TV was liberal much of the information that we are sharing on this blog would be being aired. I watched Scott Ritter, the cheif UN weapons inspector in Iraq before the war, on CNN. The guy was awesome, a bit like Ollie North only a good guy with a much better memory. His affiliation with network TV was that it manipulated information in order to discredit him. Phil Donahue did a show about the war in 02 and was canned. Those in the media, who have kept their jobs, have not rocked the proverbial republican boat. I currently fear for Keith Olberman. We've presented a vast array of information here at this blog that is consistantly being avoided on TV, and we do not lean toward a liberal extreme, so I would catagorize this blog as more "centrist" with a focus on reality. Yet, this blog is very far to the left of mainstream TV news.When I hear that our media is liberal I ask that person for examples of liberal news. Without fail there are none. The examples given aren't about news or opinion at all, but instead, they say that sexual content and lifestyles that don't conform to the conservative standard are why they believe that our media is liberal. Our network news is only presenting us with the information that they want for us to hear, which I consider fascist as opposed to liberal.FYI: This thread is all over the place. I have some links to post that would fit with the stated theme, but since we are already so spread out here I will look elsewhere to post them.
Deb, I can't seem to detect either a conservative or a liberal bias in mainstream media, though. It appears to me that they do report from a centrist viewpoint here. They must be showing us different stuff here than they're showing elsewhere. I suspect that the minority of Republicans here are referring to lifestyles that don't conform to conservative standards -- just as you said, when they say that our media promotes liberal views.
I grew up watching the Viet Nam war carnage on TV. Embedded reporters showed us daily the reality of the war. That footage and the draft were what caused the great baby boomer uprising of the 60's and 70's and ultimately ended the Viet Nam war. The propaganda in our media still existed, the peace protesters were called every name in the book (commie, pinko, etc.), but the war footage spoke for itself.The rest of the world sees the real Iraq war footage on a daily basis. Dan posted a link sometime back showing CNN video from England. It is extremely different from what we are seeing.I, too, saw the Dan Rather show. I like the man, but in his interview he justified why real information didn't come out. He is definitely not an Edward R. Murrow.Everyone in America heard that Kerry was a "flip flopper", did they hear that the reason he changed his stance was due to discovering that Bush lied about going to war? Why didn't the media report the information, when the lies about the aluminum tubes, yellow cake, mobile weapons labs, and biological warfare lab, became known? It contintues, to this day, to be under reported. The Abramoff scandal affected a majority of repubs in Congress, it is huge, involves tens of millions and very corrupt...why has the media failed to give it serious attention? On the other hand Jefferson (D LA) took tens of thousands and got more media attention than all of the Abramoff recipients combined.Our media raked Bill Clinton over the coals for 8 straight years, and the only "crime" he ever committed was lying about an affair. Bush, on the otherhand, engaged in what was, by all appearances, insider trading of stock from Harkin Energy (a company that he and Ken Lay of Enron fame were in business together),...I just realized that I would have to write a book about all of the things that Bush has done wrong, so I will leave it at; The media is not and has not scrutinized Bush in the same manner that Clinton was, and not in the same manner that Kerry was for that matter.Other sins of omission of our media include being the watchdogs of where and how our tax money is being used, the massive oil spill in the Gulf around LA caused by Katrina, no bid contracts are now predominate (illegal, btw), sweatshops in the Mariana Islands brought to attention by the Abramoff scandal, et al.Media propaganda includes seriously trashing the French for not participating in the war in Iraq (did y'all know that the French have been fighting in Afghanistan since the beginning and we seriously undermined their efforts by transferring so many troops to Iraq?), lumping Chavez in with axis of evildoers, using the term "liberal" in a way in which it appears to be synonymous with "immoral", scare tactics, personal attacks on those who speak out against the administration, etc.Mainstream media is corporate, corporations that own the stations are also corporations that are profiting from the war in Iraq.
Speaking of the corporate media, I received this form letter as minute share holder of AT+T.Dear AT&T Stockholder:AT&T is on the forefront of an exciting new era in communications. As you may know, AT&T is investing $5.1 billion to expand our network to compete head-to-head with the cable industry by offering a range of services that customers want - from new video services through our AT&T U-verse product to faster speeds for broadband.In order to quickly and efficiently enter the video market, we are seeking changes to federal and state franchising rules that impose unreasonable burdens, costs and entry delays.We need your help to ensure AT&T achieves this important public-policy objective that will allow us to quickly execute our business plan.The U.S. Senate is considering legislation to reform the outdated cable franchise laws. If signed into law, this bill would greatly enhance our ability to compete with the cable industry. It also would mean many benefits for consumers, including:• More competitive prices• More choices of new and enhanced service• Greater broadband investment, deployment and faster speeds across our 13-state footprintUnfortunately, this bill is in danger due to an unrelated issue our opponents call “network neutrality.” Their proposal would dictate how AT&T can recover the costs of our network investment and endanger the future of America’s broadband infrastructure. This issue should not be allowed to stall video reform legislation that would benefit millions.In this shortened legislative year, the Senate needs to hear from you, their constituents, that enactment of this legislation is important. Please contact your Senator and urge a vote FOR the Stevens telecommunications bill. And to vote AGAINST any “network neutrality” amendments.You can do this now by visiting www.FutureOfTheNet.org or calling 1-877-527-3333.AT&T is committed to pioneering new technologies and expanding AT&T’S history of innovation and this important legislation will help make our plans a reality. As soon as Congress acts, we’re ready to deliver. Thanks in advance for your help.Sincerely,Edward E. Whitacre Jr.Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AT&T
I've read about "net neutrality" in a few different places now, including this blog. For whatever reason, I still can't get a clear picture of what it's about. I know it's not brain surgery, but I need someone to explain it to me in a way that brings it into better focus for me. I'll understand it best if someone can give me potential scenarios that will show how it -- or its absence -- will affect the average person.
www.savetheinternet.com has a good faq.Here's my attempt at describing it.People using the internet pay for access. Higher speed access costs more. This stays the same.People providing content pay based on traffic to their site. This stays the same.Packets that travel from a web page to your computer travel over a web of connections. They want to start charging for priority access to the internet. There would be two classes of internet traffic. The expensive packets would get priority on the network. The cheaper packets will get passed through if the network doesn't have anything better to do.The two tiered system would give priority to better funded sites, mostly commercial. Blogger, information, small company, and artist sites would mostly not be able to afford the higher rate. Those sites would load extremely slowly when you access them.
So, if I'm understanding it correctly...If I visited -- say, Amazon.com, I would get there instantly. But whenever I'd try to visit this blog, I could sit here waiting on hold forever -- unless we maintain net neutrality?
That is what it pretty much boils down to. Squeezing out the little guys and taking control of the media, just like current corporate radio, TV and print media. Those who control the means of communication will control the message.
Then I'm definitely in favor of net neutrality.
If you have any ATT stock, or any stock in the other companies that have the same goal as ATT, you should write to your Congressman, identifying yourself as a shareholder who disagrees with the corporation you own. Be specific and make sure you get the facts right.IMO, the problem is that the companies who are anxious to have a two tiered system want to hijack the net in order to deliver canned content - namely movies and TV. That takes a huge amount of bandwidth. In fact, I'm not sure it's an appropriate use of the net at all.The companies claim they don't want to carry their competitor's products and that the "little" users, including even the high volume grassroots not-for-profits wouldn' be affected. Read my lips: when the corporate providers get control, they will not be so quick to transmit content that is contrary to their own interests. I think this is nothing less than a free speech issue. Grass roots is not a favorite kind of pasture for either the government or corporate US.
On "culture wars"...On the surface of things, it looks like all the flap about immigration seems to have died down. I see the so-called "illegals" as being common-law citizens. They've been here for so long and have contributed so well to our society without giving us a moment's trouble, that -- Republican Illegal Is Illegal bumper stickers notwithstanding -- the undocumented immigrants are our people now.
dan said... Richard, your post on Sept 01 5:49 pm puzzled me.Re: "Look at Section 20. Anything you don't understand, Dan will explain."I presume you're talking about some other Dan. As interesting as I found the content of section 20, I wouldn't be the person qualified to explain it to anyone.
I'm not so sure about the immigration stuff calming down. My daughter heard classmates making fun of Bush recently. As best she could tell, their parents weren't happy about illegal aliens.Personally, I don't have any problems with the people individually. They're just getting by the best way they can. The problem that they cause here is that they hold salaries down. When you can hire an illegal for almost nothing, who wants to pay a decent wage to someone with the legal right to be here? I blame the employers for creating a reason for them to come here.It would be a lot more efficient and cheaper to give Mexico, etc some help so that people wouldn't be so desperate. Getting rid of NAFTA would be a big start. And maybe we could stop spending money trying to topple left leaning governments in South America.
Cheryl,It's true -- it's the employers' faults for taking advantage of them. The immigrants know this, and they try to get fair wages -- sometimes with success. But some of our local businesses just won't budge. For example, most of the industrial and office cleaning companies here are headed by undocumented Brazilian immigrants. Every time a Brazilian cleaning contractor raises the fee he or she charges to the business that his/her crew cleans, that contractor immediately gets passed over for a new Brazilian cleaning contractor who is willing to do the job for a lesser fee.In fairness, a good number of immigrants do get paid decent wages here, because employers value their talents and their good attitudes. So sometimes they're willing to pay them better in order to keep them.It's amazing how many Mexican and other Central American immigrants, as well as Brazilian, Columbian, Uruguayan, and Ecuadoran immigrants we have here, considering we're so far away from the Mexican border. They're getting to be more and more Americanized (outwardly) too, except I would say they are more active in the community than the average apathetic American.The MIRA BulletinAs for permanent solutions to the problem, I most definitely agree with you that we need to get rid of NAFTA, and to stop wasting money trying to topple left-leaning governments in South America.
Dan 9/03:It was a joke, son.I figured if I couldn't do it, you'd have as good a chance at it.
"It was a joke, son."Rich, I recognize that from the Bugs Bunny cartoons... That was Foghorn Leghorn that used to say that.You didn't strike me as someone who would've liked cartoons. Did you use to watch them when you were a little kid? Or even as a big kid lately?
I just googled Foghorn Leghorn, and Wikipedia says he was patterned after a character called Senator Beauregard Claghorn from a popular radio show called The Fred Allen Show that went off the air in 1949. Maybe that's where you got that saying from, Rich?Sorry about veering so far off topic, but sometimes I just need to do that to lighten up. Like that time at SSB when Deb and Marilynn were entertaining us with that bit where they were gushing over how cute John Edwards is and how he must have showered on the plane (or something like that), because he smelled so good. It was fun reading that stuff, especially when one of the other commenters got bugged by it because he thought they were serious -- that they would vote for a candidate just because he was physically appealing...Okay, I'll get back into serious mode now.
I know that there are problems with NAFTA, and that people SERIOUSLY do not like NAFTA, but on a global scale, we had to do something...We ARE a global economy, and there has to be ways to equalize pay scales...Corporations do not belong to one country, they are multi-national and they do NOT care who does the job as long as they do it right, do it for the least amount of cost, and make them (the corporation) money. As long as the pay in India, China, etc is so low, Corporations are going to set up shop there..., taking good paying jobs away from American workers...NAFTA, in its way is trying to bridge some of the problems resulting from corporate outsourcing.
Are you kidding: Gahan Wilson, Far Side, Wizard of Id,...And I'm a political cartoon junkie. It's a true art to be able to distill complex issues into a single panel.As for, "It's a joke, son," my father used it long before I could read. I always thought Foghorn got it from Pop.(Please don't call me "Rich." I associate it with the salesmen with whom I had to associate for a very short and unhappy part of my life. It gives me the urge to go the the shop and find the degreaser.)
Sorry Richard, I'll stop making you want to run for the degreaser.
Question for ABC: If their "9/11" movie is accurate then why not hear from the dissenting voices and publicly set the record strait?If Only I Had An ABC-Approved Press PassABC Planning Massive Free Distribution of 9/11 Docudrama ABC's Rightwing 9/11 movie is bunkThis is deliberate lying propaganda designed to brainwash people against Democrats prior to the election.
Write or call your local ABC station warning them that you'll make a stink unless they postpone airing it until they can get the misrepresentations in it corrected and until they can re-publicize it, not as a dramatization of the 9/11 Commission Report, but as fiction. I can provide some specifics (just not at the moment) which include omission of Clinton's attempt to warn Bush about bin Laden during the pre-inaugural security briefings; Clinton's approval of attacks on bin Laden if he could be found, and debunking a scene in the drama in which either Clinton or Tenet called off a strike. We had no intelligence assets on the ground in Afghanistan to confirm bin Laden was even there or that he'd be there by the time a missile would arrive.Remember those administration "fake news" pieces. Let ABC know you think this is another one, only bigger and a bigger fraud.ry
Thanks for the heads up and the links Debbie. Glen Greenwald talks about the story at his blog and promises an in-depth column tomorrow.
This is a link to the Think Progress action page for registering a complaint with ABC/Disney.
I just did the e-mail to ABC from Think Progress. Tomorrow I am going to call the cable company and downgrade to basic cable. I will tell them it is because of ABC's 9-11 movie but really it is because I only watch an hour of TV a day at the most and see no sense in paying $45 a month for something I don't use. Most of the stuff can be found on the internet now anyway.I had meant to do this earlier and had called about the pricing and procedure last month to think about it and just never called back to have it done.
For TV reception, I just use good old "rabbit ears" that cost me only a little over ten dollars. I can get PBS, Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC, and the Spanish channel (If I ever learn Spanish, I'll be all set).I went completely without a television from December 1st, 2001 to December 2nd, 2002 -- exactly one year plus one day, until my friend James' Mom sent me the money to buy one for my Christmas/birthday present. So, having any channels at all feels like a luxury to me. Once in a while, I watch cable at my neighbor's apartment. I have my own key -- like the friends on Seinfeld. I get a lot of satisfaction from not wasting all that money on a big company like Comcast. I'm immune to any and all marketing advertisements from any and all price-gougers.This internet service is provided by the landlord for the whole house, via a little connector thingy that either he or my other neighbor bought at Circuit City.
Christopher, I used the link on Bread Crusts home page to see if the Anonomous Liberal weighed in on the ABC proaganda movie. Sure enough, he wrote a fine column on the matter and I also noticed your comments on the column. Good work!
I just came across a comprehesive blog site that is focusing on "The Path To 9/11".
I plan to read The 911 Report: A Graphic Adaptation -- as it is said to be an accurate, more readable retelling of the 911 Commission Report. Comic book format or not -- accurate is accurate. And making it easier for the average person like myself to follow the details of what happened, is a very good thing. Here is a USA Today writeup about it.
Something similar to this has been posted before, but this site is worth the click!14 Points of fascism
Thanks Dan for the link to Think Progress. I used that at AL's.I received this response from my local affliate: Dear Viewer,We are airing a program from ABC as is our contractual obligation. Here is a statement from ABC:“The Path to 9/11 is a dramatization, not a documentary, drawn from a variety of sources, including the 9/11 commission report, other published materials and from personal interviews. The events that lead to 9/11 originally sparked great debate, so it’s not surprising that a movie surrounding those events has revived the debate. The attacks were a pivotal moment in our history that should never be forgotten and it’s fitting that the discussion continues.” We cannot preempt ABC product unless we feel airing the program would violate FCC regulations. We suggest you direct your comments to ABC Network.Aloha,Mike Rosenberg I have been feeling major loopy today. It took the cable TV lady twice to get me to realize we are in September not August when I downgraded to basic cable. She asked why of course and I told her the ABC 9-11 movie was the final straw and I no longer wanted to pay for all the crap that made up the bulk of TV. She said I would still be getting ABC and I said I knew but I would not be getting all the other Disney owned channels.I am going to miss my History and Discovery channels.
Christopher, you did better than me. So far I've gotten no response from the local station.
Believe me, if there are enough letters, they will get back to ABC and Disney. That response about "contractual obligation" is safe boilerplate: they do have an obligation. But if they put it to ABC that there's going to hell to pay if it insists on airing a vulnerable film, ABC will take notice.In response to the Clinton et al objection to the docudrama, ABC is already being explicit that it contains fabricated scenes. The distinction will fly right over the heads of most people, but they are aware of the objections. They've also said that no one has seen the final cut because it's still being edited. That's a good sign.
I finally heard from the local ABC affliate. It was a bulk responce (so they had at least a few complaints) very similar to the one Christopher received. They did promise to forward the e-mails to ABC and they added this statement:The following disclaimer will air throughout the movie:“The following movie is a dramatization that is drawn from a variety of sources including the 9/11 Commission Report and other published materials, and from personal interviews. The movie is not a documentary. For dramatic and narrative purposes, the movie contains fictionalized scenes, composite and representative characters and dialogue, as well as time compression."
I can see that this Fire thread is active with important updates about ABC's (and Disney's too, I hope?) handling of the misrepresentations in the 9/11 movie, so this is only a temporary interruption.Since I'm not very savvy at picking up which news publications are biased, I thought it would be a good idea to ask all of you what you think about a particular internet news provider I'm interested in subscribing to. Would you all do me a favor and check out this page from my email inbox, and let me know if you think this news gathering organization sounds non-partisan as it claims to be? Here is what they sent me:New Accusations Arise About ABC and Disney Misleading U.S. Television Viewers About 9/11 During Run-Up to Midterm Elections; U.S. Politics Today Offers Extended CoverageWASHINGTON, September 7 -- Scheduled to be aired on September 10 and 11, ABC's "docudrama" about the Sept. 11 attacks has come under severe criticism by terrorism experts and a member of the 9-11 commission. Many reports have shown that the miniseries is ripe with conservative propaganda, largely ignores Bush administration failures and misrepresents Clinton's counterterrorism policies, such as in made-up scenes depicting Clinton officials as undermining attempts to kill Osama bin Laden.In another telling example, the series claims that the Washington Post ruined a valuable form of surveillance of bin Laden by disclosing that the U.S. was monitoring his cell phone calls, an accusation actually made by a different paper, the conservative Washington Times.U.S. Politics Today, a non-partisan news service for political professionals, offers extended news coverage of this hot topic. See:-- "The Path to 9/11" News - http://uspolitics.einnews.com/news/abc-the-path-to-9-11-- Government vs Media News - http://uspolitics.einnews.com/archive/selfcensorship-- 9/11 Investigation News - http://uspolitics.einnews.com/news/911-investigationAbout U.S. Politics Today, http://uspolitics.einnews.com/Indexing thousands of articles from over 25,000 online news sources and news sections, U.S. Politics Today provides the most comprehensive and up-to-the-minute information available on the web regarding U.S. politics. U.S. Politics Today is a resource for political professionals and tracks the latest news about every member of Congress, every member of the Bush cabinet and inner circle, every federal agency, every governor, the political happenings in every state, the most important campaigns and campaign issues, and much more.Unlike Google News, U.S. Politics Today focuses on pre-set newsfeeds edited by a team of experienced editors. It is published by the IPD Group which specializes in media monitoring services.About the IPD Group, Inc., http://www.ipdgroup.com/The Washington, DC-based IPD Group, Inc. provides niche-focused Internet data mining and searching tools to corporations, institutions, and professional individuals. The company makes online research more convenient, rapid and affordable.The IPD Group's media monitoring and newsletter services are designed as alternatives to high cost services such as Lexis-Nexis."Google or Topix.net offer a form of free news," says David Rothstein, CEO of the IPD Group. "On the other end of the spectrum, companies such as Lexis-Nexis charge thousands of dollars a year. We fit well in the niche-market data-mining space used by professionals."The IPD Group's publications include:-- EIN News - http://www.einnews.com/-- EU Politics Today - http://eupolitics.einnews.com/-- Healthcare Industry Today - http://health.einnews.com/-- Music Industry Today - http://music.einnews.com/-- The Inbox Robot - http://www.inboxrobot.com/-- Energy Industry Today - http://energy.einnews.com/-- Agriculture Industry Today - http://agriculture.einnews.com/For a FREE TRIAL to any IPD Group product please visit: http://www.ipdgroup.com/products.phpContact:David Rothstein+1-202 318 8905http://www.ipdgroup.com/feedback.phpC977
The report on the film, coincides with what I've heard about it. The point about the cell phone surveillance scheme is a good one. That source of information dried up instantly. Washington Times leans way right and seems to be beneficiary of this administration's trial balloon leaks.If you can find a representative list of the sources they monitor, it should give you a good idea of how even handed they are.The ABC station here acknowledged receiving mail about the possibly biased production even before the Clinton group made it's dissatisfaction known. It also identified that disclaimer as one provided by ABC. I don't think they'll either pull it or postpone it, but it's going to get a lot of press between now and next week.Isn't it fun being a squeaky wheel?
More squeaking. I sent a follow up to my local ABC station.Dear Mr. Rosenburg, Thank you for responding to my e-mail. You stated in an attached file that, "We cannot preempt ABC product unless we feel airing the program would violate FCC regulations. We suggest you direct your comments to ABC Network." From the online manual of the FCC that describes the regulation of broadcast radio and television comes this: Personal Attacks. Personal attacks occur when, during the presentation of views on a controversial issue of public importance, someone attacks the honesty, character, integrity, or like personal qualities of an identified person or group. No more than a week after a personal attack, the station must transmit the following three things to the person or group attacked: (1) notification of the date, time, and identification of the broadcast; (2) a tape, script or accurate summary of the attack; and (3) an offer of a reasonable opportunity to respond on the air.Is KITV 4 prepared to abide by these regulations of the FCC in regards to the already proven misrepresentations of "The Path to 9-11" if you should chose to air this commercial free DocuPropaDrama?Sincerely,Christopher C.I also noticed that when he responded to my first e-mail it was CC'd to an address at hearst.com
Great follow-up letter Christopher!!
And believe it or not I got a personal response in less than five minutes.Christopher,Thanks for your thoughtful response. I am unaware of any ABC affiliate in America that is planning on preempting this programming. It is simply out of our hands. I have heard that ABC is saying that the show is still being edited and perhaps they will delete the three offensive scenes. Mike
Christopher, I'm glad *Mike* is being responsive to you. You write fine letters and I think that gives you some credibility.
Yes, that was excellent work Christopher -- both the research of the FCC regulation and your very effective writing skills!
Thanks for the FCC manual research Christopher!!! More "grit" to keep the wheel extra squeaky;-)Keep up the good work!!!
Christopher.. great job...It is 4:10 here Pacific Daylight time, and I just heard on ABC late night news some discussion about this issue, and it sounded like they were trying to "fix" the problems....Anyway I was too sleepy to get the full story, but let's keep at them..I wonder, does the FCC regulation peertain to local cable companies?//
Hypocrisy...the true Republican theme!Osama bin Laden slips from CIA's most wanted listI go tthe heads up on this one from my latest addition of "Lowdown" edited by Jim Hightower (I LOVE that little newsletter). I did a quick search in order to share, but there is plenty more out there...search "alec station".
ThinkProgress.org has a few updates.ABC is considering pulling the 9/11 movie.President Bush plans primetime address at the same time as the movie.Yesterday the Senate unanimously reinstated a special CIA unit dedicated to hunting Osama bin Laden. The CIA received intense criticism after closing the unit in late 2005.
Y'all flatter me too much. The response from ABC is due to quantity and the big wigs weighing in. It seems Clinton, Albright and Berger have complained and the Senate democratic leadership sent them a threatening their license letter.The most amazing thing is the power of the internet which makes it easy for lazy me to zip off a couple of e-mails.The FCC is again considering new rules about Media company ownership according to my representatives newsletter after they were struck down by a court a few years back. This and Net Nuetrality are vital to keeping the internet free of corporate control or it will go the way of the rest of the media.
Check out the DNC blog threads about the "Path to 9/11". It has added information that I wasn't aware of, and asks that we keep the heat on. This is 9/8 so if you click on this link after this date you might need to scroll back to that date. There aren't permalinks (I don't think).
Christopher..."Y'all flatter me too much"Me thiks thou protests to much... You are great...Yur research and well thought out letters are bound to have an effect, at leats at the local level... and what happens locally gets faster attention now because of the internet...Keep it up..
And as the lies and hypocrisy continue it all becomes more sordid:Discover the Secret Right-Wing Network Behind ABC's 9/11 Deception
FYI:WHO OWNS WHATThe Walt Disney Company
I just had to make another post. A fellow blogger just stated that she is taking any and all Disney stock out of her portfolio. She said to spread that suggestionaround and thereby hit 'em where it will make a REAL statement.
Deb, Re: Discover the Secret Right-Wing Network Behind ABC's 9/11 Deception That story contained a very important fact, that the vast right wing consperacy lives on. I wish somehow the propaganda machine will finally be exposed to the point that the public finally understands. I know, not likely...but I can dream.
Deb, for the rest of the Democrats who don't own any Disney stock, there's the option of boycotting everything on that "WHO OWNS WHAT - The Walt Disney Company" list you gave us the link for -- and asking their friends and families to do the same.It should be easy for everyone to stop buying anything connected to Disney, because they don't offer products or services that are essential for living.That would hit 'em where they live!
Better use for your Disney stock (a sale or two won't hurt them at all) is to write to the Board as a shareholder. Management will hear abut those letters and care.
Shortly before the lights went out at Crossfire Jon Stewart made a few points about the media. I recall hearing about this but never saw it. Debbie If you haven't seen this I'm sure you'll like it. It is of the caliber of Colbert's ass whooping of George W.Stewart on CrossfireAfter the video you can scroll down and follow links to a library of other videos on a wide range of topics. It may be high on the conspiracy theory end. I have not explored it fully.
Christopher,I just watched that Jon Stewart piece. He was so funny and so on target. Now there's a guy that speaks for us -- and speaks my language!I'm gonna go watch it again now...
Thanks Christopher, I had never seen it in its entirety. Gotta love Jon. I just finished an op ed on the wind thread about Clark, but maybe the dems need to nominate Stewart;-)
The Stewart/Colbert campaign buttons have been out for a while. It's tempting.
I am not a person who wants to believe in conspiricy theories. I can not fathom the evil that has to be behind some of the claims about those in power and our government that are so far outside the mainstream of what we are fed in the media.On my local news tonight was a blurb about this internet film and I thought I had seen it out of the corner of my eye in the library with the Jon Stewart clip from earlier today.It is about 9-11. It asks many pertinant questions about the investigation and events in the months and days before, during and after this horrible event.You can't believe everything you see on film anymore. Things can be faked, but this film uses actual news footage from several stations from the day of 9-11 and eyewitness accounts of people in the buildings among other information to question the scenario the American public has been fed.Loose ChangeMaybe some of you have seen it before and I am just now hearing about it. Maybe some of you have heard the conspiricy theories and just thought it was dangerous far left wacko's and didn't pay much attention. Maybe it is just another version of Spin. I do not know what to think sometimes.It is an hour and twenty minutes long. I think it is worth your time to watch it.
Christopher, I hadn't heard of the film "Loose Change" which I've since learned has been viewed by 10 million people on-line. The movie was the subject of a debate today on NPR which I hope to watch tonight. The disscussion starts at the 17min. mark of the 59min. streamed video.
It would help if when we cite NPR programs that we name them. I will do it that way too. Thank you for your attention.
Richard, sorry I should have been more specific. The interview was on today's (9/11) Democracy Now with Amy Goodman. On the link I provided, go slightly down the page to *real player* and click on "watch the whole broadcast". As I stated, the interview about "Loose Change" started 17 min. into the program.For anyone without broadband, I imagine there's a transcript of today's program there also.I still haven't had time to watch the interview or the movie. I hope to later tonight.
That sounds like PBS (TV) not NPR (Radio)?I have one for you, (audio or video).It's an amusing speech by Ken Robinson (about 15 minutes) about someone I know - though I didn't know the story about how she got where she was when I met her.Is that enough mystery? The bottom line is how we teach and what we teach and how we judge the kids who have to be taught.http://ted.com/tedtalks/tedtalksplayer.cfm?key=ken_robinson
Christopher, I have seen this. I didn't share with this blog because I do not agree with their opinion. Thanks for the NPR debate Dan, I believe that the answers do not fit with the "Loose Change" producers or the "Popular mechanics" researchers.Deb's opinion: I am completely a conspiracy theorist (never was before Clinton; time changed my mind)...but not in the manner of the "Loose Change" producers. Did controlled demolitions bring down the towers? Perhaps, but if someone wanted to bring them down...how about crashing a plane into them to divert attention so that a bomb crew could rush in during the distraction, plant their bombs, get out and then set them off?The conspiracy, I believe, is that the current administration knew that Al Quaeda was up to something and did nothing to stop it. An attack on US soil played right into their hands.Want another conspiracy theory? The current administration is "feeding" info to the "Loose Change" group and intends to let people get pretty stirred up about all of this "our gov't planned and carried out the 9/11 attack" and at the right moment pull out the video of the Boeing crashing into the Pentagon. Thereby disproving "any and all" conspiracies that link the PNAC group to 9/11...which means that their complicity in turning their backs and letting Al Quaeda commit this crime will go uninvestigated. And their removing the gold from the towers during clean-up goes uninvestigated.I know that information that absolutely proves wrongdoing by the PNAC group is snatched from the web. Louise Slaughter's "Broken Promises" report is just one example. When it surfaced the links were in error almost as quickly as they were put on the web. I went to a link and then came back about 15 minutes later and it was gone. (BTW, The PDF is now available at the Democrats.House.Gov site.) Another example: A friend sent me a link today to the new "Disney Disinformation Logo"...anyway, the picture has been removed.Some of the most serious rebuttals to the administrations reasons for going to war disappeared from the web almost instantaneously. I saw a BBC video where they went to the "lab" in northern Iraq where biological weapons were supposedly being produced; it was such a joke. The entire village had dirt floors and no running water...their water was carried from about a half mile away. No way were they growing bio weapons. Forgive me, I digress, that BBC video quickly disappeared from any easily findable site...I believe that I had initially seen it on Yahoo. Clever bloggers usually copy the "good stuff" and a blog search will often find the info.And...getting back to the real point...If the Loose Change crew were even close to having something that would convict the powers that be, 10 million people wouldn't have seen it.Reality according to deb for what it's worth;)
Oh, sorry Dan and Richard. I was writing while the last 2 posts were done.
Richard, you may be right. I always listen to Democracy Now on the local NPR station so I presumed it was an NPR production. But I see that it's on tv and radio stations nationwide so it could be PBS.
The Ken Robinson clip is splendid, Richard. I have been saying the same thing since college; although not nearly as eloquently. It is very disheartening to see wonderful kids, who have so many assets, being labeled "C" students or even failures because their best attributes aren't the 3 R's. Why should the best artist or mechanic be labeled "mediocre" during their childhood?
Clinton vs. Terror, Republicans vs. Clinton
The collapse of the WTCCheryl (now that we know you are an engineer), Dan (who worked with structural metal), and Richard (who seems to be educated in everything), I have wondered as to why the buildings collapsed like they did. Being from the deep south, I had been suspecting that inferior building materials had been used (it's happened quite a bit down here). But, it still doesn't add up...what do y'all think?
Richard,I'm on dial up so I couldn't listen to Ken Robinson. From the comments though it reminds me of Dr Mel Levine. He has written a lot about different kinds of intelligence, and different learning styles. School can be very difficult. You have to be good at everything. We do need to acknowlege the strengths of each student.Deb,Sorry, I'm a software engineer. I have seen a number of shows on TV exploring why they came down. As I remember, it wasn't so much faulty materials. It had to do with the design. When the steel in the central shaft melted, there were no other supports.Keith Olberman had an excellent editorial tonight. If you missed it, I'm sure the transcript is available.
Cokie Roberts went over the line this morning on NPR with the Bush propoganda. If your not safe, it doesn't matter if you don't have good healthcare or good education. The Democrats understant that.
I'm on dial-up too. The audio version is 7 megs and took about 20 minutes. I sent it to file and listened to it after the d/l was complete.I'm not sure any of the central core of the WTC was even damaged by the initial collision. I understand that the connections to the outside steel structure and the inside core that held up the trusses that supported each floor, while protected by firproof material, melted or softened enough that they gave way. Once that happened, the floor fell on the one below it, breaking it loose, and another etc. Two reasons, 1) the designers did not expect the fireproofing to be dislodged by collision with a heavy jet. I think they were designed to withstand a 707. 2) The intensity and duration of a fire fueled by a fully loaded heavy jet was not anticipated. They designed for the fuel (furnishings, carpet, etc.) that you'd normally find in a building. The design was very elegant because it left all those floors, bottom to top, open from the core to the outer wall. I don't think terrorists were part of the design criteria.
Both WTC towers collapsed from the top down. You saw it yourselves. Even if there had been a conspiracy to go in after the planes hit, there was no need and no opportunity. It would not have been possible to get above the fires. Rigging a big building like that for demolition takes weeks.Once those hot fires got going, as I told Susan as soon as the second plane hit, the buildings will collapse.
Richard,I checked out the Ken Robinson clip. Just as you said, it was amusing -- he has a very engaging personality.I hope his teaching and aptitude assessment methods are taken seriously by educators in this country. Certainly they would be -- at some of the more progressive private schools. But what do you think the odds are of our public schools adopting those methods?Lastly,Who was she -- the "someone (you) know", whom his speech was about?
A dancer, choreographer, dance teacher whom I met when I was working at Equity. We had some issues with the choice of using some English dancers who were not Principals with star power. Ultimately we compromised and allowed them to bring their lead chorus members (2) for a limited amount of time.
WTC:It possibly makes sense to me for the twin towers, but what about bldg. 7 that was a couple of blocks away? It fell in the same way.Robinson:Sometimes all it takes is for one adult to really notice a child's attributes. The principal at your friend's school when she was 8 noticed her dancing ability and told the mother, who put her in dance classes. How wonderful for your friend that it happened that way, and what an amazing career she has had.
Senate proposal would check all US-bound cargoThis should have been done long ago. I haven't read the entire bill, but intend to encourage my Republican Senators to vote for it. Maybe we can turn up the heat on them;)
Not a friend, just someone I met, butted heads with, and finally came to a constructive compromise with. Interesting to know about the close calls though.When the buildings came down and the reports came out and the conspiracy buffs got into, I remember doing some reading that debunked the idea that building 7 had been rigged with explosives. It just didn't fly.Among other things, and I really don't recall the details, that building had a substantial backup generating system which, for some reason, was located on an upper floor. The fuel tanks were there too. I'm sure, given the location, it had something to do with some heavy duty computer system. There was a lot of debris coming down. Whether you got hit with it was a matter of serendipity. For example, Trinity Church went unscathed. Other buildings were badly damaged.I believe #7 used the same method of suspending the floors. If a fire got started, involved the several 10's of thousands of gallons of diesel, it would have collapsed the same way.Anyway, back then I dismissed the idea based on the evidence available AND on the logic of such a pissant demolition in the face of what happened next door.Give credit to bin Laden's engineer: he knew what he was about. I don't think it was a fluke that both towers collapsed. They chose good sized airplanes on flights with full, transcontinental loads of fuel. I think the second tower hit was probably performed as intended and that that the first tower hit (much higher) was badly aimed. If both had been hit at the lower levels, the death toll would have much higher. The first one hit would have collapsed sooner and more people would have been trapped above the fire. Those on lower floors would have had less time to evacuate.
Since this is the Culture thread, I think this would go here.Earlier this evening, I spoke with an Iranian-American acquaintance of mine, who works at a nearby department store. He looks and sounds like a typical American (except for the pocket protector), as he has lived in this country since he was eight years old. He was a computer programmer who lost his job to India a couple of years ago. He had mentioned to me once before that, if he had known back around nine or ten years ago that those Indian programmers he was training at work were being trained to take his job to their own country, he would've changed careers back then.Anyway, I asked him if he could tell me more about how his family came to live in the U.S., and also to help me get a clearer picture of what's going on in the minds and hearts of the Iranian people.He said that in 1983, his parents decided they could no longer stand having to huddle with their children in the cellar every time the ground shook and the power went out from a bomb blast.First they moved to Turkey, where they stayed for several months. Then they moved on to Spain, where they expected to get a visa (I think he said visa) from the embassy to come to the U.S. But exactly two days later, no more visas to the U.S. were being granted. They then approached an organization called the International Rescue Committee, who advocated for them, and got them into the U.S. as Iran-Iraq War refugees. They do have many relatives still living in Iran. He said that some of their relatives have visited here, but they prefer to remain in Iran, because they are devout Muslims.I asked him about President Ahmadinejad. The first thing he told me about him (he had an amused look at that moment), was that the Iranian people alter the spelling of their president's name slightly from Ahmadinejad to Ahmagh-inejad, because "ahmagh" means "idiot" in Persian.I asked him which religion his parents practiced, and he told me that they don't practice a religion. Then I asked him about the three warring religious sects in Iraq. He said that the Kurds (I think he said being Kurdish is a culture, and not a religious sect) are wonderful -- warm, generous people. He said the Sunni's are the most violent, and the Shiites aren't much better.Finally, I asked him how the different groups in Iran view their president. He confirmed that average citizens there do feel the same way about their leaders as most of us do about ours -- just as I had surmised from reading their blogs.However, the Mullahs (I don't know who they are, but I think I've seen that word before) do indeed want Israel leveled. But, he continued, they didn't count on Ahmadinejad's big mouth. The Mullahs have been trying to get him to tone it down, because they don't like for the rest of the world to know their plans for Israel.My last question to him was, "What do you think would get the Bush administration to back off -- if the Iranian leaders would give in and say, "Okay, we worship capitalism." His amused look returned as he responded, "No Bush won't back off until they say they worship Jesus Christ."I hope I got all of it straight, I tried to listen very carefully to what he told me, and to picture everything as he went along, so that I'd remember it all accurately.
Mullah = Muslim cleric, often village leader. I assume there is a pecking order.
Richard, I almost forgot – he said something about Halliburton and another company with three initials beginning with a "K" – at least I think one of the initials is a "K" anyway, but I’m not positive. He said that the latter company provides food and beverages, as well as other conveniences for U.S. troops. What he told me regarding those two companies is that, since together they have already usurped 90 billion dollars (did I get that right?) -- an amount which surely is more than sufficient to already have gotten electrical power permanently and reliably restored to Iraq – many of the people in Arab countries believe, just as U.S. citizens believe, that Halliburton is deliberately stalling completion of the project, in order to milk more money out of this deadly charade. Clearly it is deliberate, since nobody can possibly be that incompetent. Or can they...?They ask, "How much money is it going to take to satisfy them enough to permanently restore reliable electrical power for Iraqi citizens?"My personal opinion was the same as his – that their breed of "human" (corporate subculture) is bottomless (in every sense of the word) when it comes to money.
Debbie, Re: "Clinton vs. Terror, Republicans vs. Clinton"Great Link...a very timely response to the ABC's mis-information about Clinton's anti-terrorism efforts.RE: "Senate proposal would check all US-bound cargo"I agree that step is long overdue. It's interesting how homeland security money is divided up. I just read that the U.S. is spending $8.00 for security for each airline passenger and 1/2 cent for each subway passenger.Richard, Re: The Ken Robinson clipI enjoyed his wit and his content. Christin, you were wondering if the methods suggested by Ken Robinson were being used in the public schools. I'm sure that if he observed Patty's classroom (Det. Public Sch.), he would approve of her methods. I think teachers are no different than most professionals, a percentage of them are excellent and will find a way to be effective wherever they're employed.Christopher, Re: "Loose Change"I'm glad I watched the movie since it had such a large audience. It raised many interesting points but in the end didn't convince me of any conspiracy.My blogging time has been limited lately, but Bread Crusts is always worth a visit.
Christin,KBR is Kellogg, Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton.Alternet had a recent article, The 10 Most Brazen War Profiteers.http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/41083/Unfortunately your friend is very common in this booming economy of ours. There are a lot of technical people in his position.I didn't pay much attention to the last Iranian election, but I think it was a lot like ours. Choose between bad and worse. The Iranians picked the lesser of two bads. My impression of him is that he is a lot like Bush, a swaggering fool. Their combined bluster is very dangerous.
Both Haliburton and KBR have had their hands slapped for contract irregularities. IMO the fines were pocket change when compared to the money they've already made.Cheney came to his VP chair directly from his chief executive position at Haliburton. Halliburton and KBR were awarded huge no-bid contracts in Iraq even before the invasion.Among their transgressions: over-charging for gas delivered from Kuwait; billing for meals and amenities never delivered; selling the same equipment more than once; billing for work never done or time not spent on a contract; the list goes on.Anecdotes: abandoning vehicles due to flat tires or shoddy maintenance and simply buying new ones in cost plus contracts.It's a disgrace. And if you believe Cheney isn't pulling the strings, I've got a bridge, used, but so far only one owner....
I just saw on the NBC Nightly News earlier this evening, the satellite photo of the 190 Taliban soldiers all standing shoulder-to-shoulder at a training exercise. It looked like they were lined up three or four rows deep. IT WAS A VERY CLEAR PHOTO WHICH WAS TAKEN ONLY TWO MONTHS AGO -- Well, Wha-da-ya know...I think they said NBC finally was able to get the satellite photo de-classified. At the time when our military had them in their sites -- a very clear, very easy target -- they got orders from above NOT to engage, because the Taliban soldiers were standing in the middle of a cemetary. But the rules of engagement would still have allowed them to fire upon them, since the threat they pose outweighs the risk of civilian casualties.What do you guys think is the real reason they allowed such a perfect opportunity to pass?Could it be -- Hmmm... PROFIT?
Funny, all those Halliburton transgressions sound very similar to ones committed by former Rhode Island Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, Jr.He was sent to prison for racketeering. The really interesting part of the story is that he began his career as prosecutor for the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office.This reminds me...Richard, I caught the end of a short news story not very long ago, where it was reported that there was some type of construction failure in Iraq. I'm almost positive the contractor responsible for the failure was Bechtel-Parsons -- the same contractor who is responsible for the dismal failure of Massachusetts' Big Dig project. If you read about the Big Dig, you'll see that "dismal failure" is a huge understatement -- but at the moment, I can't think of a term that accurately describes just how bad it is.Do you know anything about Bechtel's construction projects in Iraq?
Dan,I thought that public schools tied the teachers' hands too tightly for them to be able to design unique programs. I guess it depends on the particular school system they work for. I'm glad to know that some of the public schools grant their teachers that freedom.I could already tell by your past comments that Patty is devoted to her profession.
Christin, some public school districts have implemented "scripted lesson plans" where all teachers are told what to teach and the exact wording of their presentation. I believe support for that *fad* method is waning. To Patty's relief, it was never widely adopted in Detroit.
The report I heard and the one I read, either NYT or Reuters, said that the commander in control of the drone nixed the attack based on ROE which don't allow attacks on funerals since that would almost certainly involve civilian casualties. Whether there's an exception for high value targets wasn't mentioned.FWIW, I don't think civilians would have been dressed in close order formation.It also wasn't clear that the drone was armed.Finally, this AM it was reported on TV, probably the CNN crawler, that the Pentagon is trying to find out how NBC got the classified photo that was so recently taken. It wasn't clear whether the photo had been declassified.Should they have fired if they had the capability to do so? I don't know. It depends on whether you have respect for what might or might not have been a funeral and whether we, even in some small ways, are trying not to become our enemies. If the latter elicits a positive response, then we might ask by on earth the Senate Judiciary Committee reported the "wiretap" bill to the full Senate. If every you felt compelled to write your Senators, that's the issue. Not only does it put us closer to Orwell's paradigm, it gives comfort to the crooks that have been flaunting the law and our civil rights for the last five years.Go get 'em gang.ry
Proably not much more than you do, and certainly not specific ones. I have no love for Bechtel or the way contracts have been let there - there should be more Iraqi involvement to start with - but I will defend anyone who tries to do a large scale project there. The likelihood of sabatage, degraded materials and the like must be a nightmare. ON SCHOOLSThere's a nasty race in Oregon for Governor. Saxon, the elephant, wants to cut costs even more. He was President of Portland's Board of Ed for a time and has some credentials. However, he's a supporter of charter schools which I interpret to mean that he's not a supporter of true education entitlement. Kulongoski, sitting Governor, a nice guy but lackluster, has his own funding plan which depends on applying at least some tax burden to corporations which, up to now, have a $10 minimum and don't pay much more.Saxon is all for making teachers accountable for skill and excellence and wants to do away with the Union, tenure, and seniority in favor of "merit." I have no problem with merit, but I do have a problem with the unintended outcome and the original reason for tenure.Tenure for teachers was meant to protect them from attacks on their opinions and for teaching unpopular, but true, things. It;s an issue which should be discussed long and hard before it's abandoned and one that everyone should understand - at one time or another, the blues will be in charge: are the reds willing to give up tenure protection for teachers who reflect their points of view any more than the blues?Voters must be educated in this respect: most think tenure is there to protect unworthy, lazy teachers. That happens, of course, but strong administrators can still weed out the incompetent if they take the time and trouble. In short, there's a princple to protect - free speech and thought and how it bears on giving our kids a true picture of the world, not just one that's tinted with the color of the powerful.
Dear all:This is not a partisan plea. This should not be a partisan issue.Once again, our government is on the verge of making a decision basedon short term discomfort, in what if suggests in an emergency, thatwill have a profound effect on the foundation of the law that formsand guides our democracy well into the future, if we then have one.The Bush/Specter bill was reported to the Senate yesterday. Itcontains provisions that endanger the very basis on which our republicis founded - the rule of law and the privacy to which all of us areentitled.Rather than reframe my letters to my Congressional delegation, I'llcopy it below. (It was changed for my Rep in-so-far as there willlikely be a Conference Committee resolve differences between theSenate and House versions.)It doesn't you trust Bush/Cheney now or the Democrat(s) you expect will followthem. The real question is should we give up so much power to anExecutive who, in the future, may be bent on holding absolute power?Please, take the time to access your own delegation's web sites, andcall to express your own views on this core issue. It's not terrorismfrom outside; it's not protecting the rights of those who are guilty; ratherit's protecting those who are innocent but are treated as though theywere guilty after taking from them all means of protecting themselves.It's almost too late to get ahead of this.Richard Yarnell---------------""We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. " Edward R. Murrow"Dear ,"You will be debating the Bush/Specter "Wire Tap" bill next week. Irealize there is more to it that wire tapping, but I fully subscribeto Mr. Murrow's admonition."Our form of governance, our standing in the world, our reputation,and to a large extent, our capacity to influence the world, depends onour ability and willingness to follow the rule of law. Untilrecently, that has been the hallmark of our great nation and has beenadmired around the world."I am NOT willing to dilute anyone's rights under the Bill of Rightsin order to "secure our safety." For one thing, the administrationhas been so selective in its attempts to safeguard us, that focusingon this one approach is a cynical insult, to you, to me and to therule of law that distinguishes our republic."Under no circumstance should anyone be protected retroactively ifthey broke our law, international treaties, and by inference, themoral strictures against inhumane treatment of any detainee and theprinciple that everyone is presumed innocent until it is provenotherwise. We argued that point at Nuremberg."I urge you to do everything in your power to preserve ourConstitution. We have existing laws adequate to the task ofindentifying terrorists and tracking their activities. We cannotafford to react to an immediate threat but rather should act in thebest interests of our long term future. And by the way, the phrase is"All men," not "All Americans.""I'm sure you'll do the right thing when the chips are down.Best regards,"Please, everyone, do your duty by giving instructions to your representatives.---We win justice quickest by rendering justice to the other party. -M. Gandhi
RE from Richard's post: "Saxon is all for making teachers accountable for skill and excellence and wants to do away with the Union, tenure, and seniority in favor of "merit." Richard, you made some great points about tenure. I can just imagine some *merit committee* rejecting the very teachers that Sir Ken Robinson would hold in high reguards, citing non-conforming methods.Re: The Bush/Specter BillRichard, that is a very eloquent and impassioned letter. I agree with you about the need to oppose the bill and I'll certainly let my Reps know how I feel.
Thanks for the heads up Richard. I am behind on reading the news (and our blog), but will positively act on the Wire Tap Bill.
The Specter Bill concerning FISA and wiretapping is not the only incredibly dangerous Bush bill currently in Congress. Today the President went to Congress to lobby for the authority to torture people in secret prisons.This letter from an Army reservist sums up the issue from a military perspective. What We've LostBoth of these bills are designed to retroactively cover the administration from prosecution for breaking the law in regards to warrantless wiretaps and torture authorized from the very top.I also think the Net Neutrality bill is going before congress this session. All of these bills will have profound effects on the very nature of our lives here and how the rest of the world perceives us if they pass.It is critical that our representatives hear from us now. Any of these bills are worthy of a filibuster if that is what it takes to delay these poisonous bills until the removal of GW Bush and his lackey Congress.
Surprisingly, the Senate Armed Service Committee refused to go along with the Prez. I haven't read the details yet, but evidently they insist on using the courts, keeping the Geneva protocol intact and a host of other things the little weasle wanted. You're right about the net access rules. With the FCC being outed today regarding the apparently quashed report about the decline of local news on the mega networks, it may be that the country and the Congress has gotten the message: these guys can't be trusted to care for roughly 230 years worth of rule by law.
The Senate committee voted to send their own version of the bill to the floor which contains protections and keeps us in compliance with the Geneva Conventions. The House I am pretty sure has already passed the Presidential cover my ass legislation.The good news is that many influential conservative thinkers and pundits are finally speaking up and saying this is very wrong, mostly about the torture bill. I don't know what they have been saying about the Specter bill.This will be used of course to label Democrats as weak on terrorism if they manage to halt it. They will need some comebacks.Torture is not an effective weapon against terror.Outsourcing secret prisons cost American jobs.The Inquisition was not a high point in history.Digital signatures and technology make getting warrants quick and painless.Now if I can do that in five minutes why can't the Democrats hire some folks to help them.
Christopher, thanks for posting "What We've Lost". That reservist has more sense in his pinky toe than the collective wisdom of the whole Bush team.
Christopher,"What We've Lost" would make a good letter to our congressmen. It might even make an impact on my knuckleheads.
The Geneva Conventions bill isn't what it is reported to be. An except from http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2006/09/hand_reporting_.html* It would eliminate the right of any alien who is in US custody outside the US, or who "has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant", to file for habeas corpus. *It would eliminate the right of any such alien to take any legal action against "the United States or its agents" concerning the conditions of his or her detention, other than to appeal the results of Civilian Status Review Commissions or military tribunals. * Both of these provisions apply to all cases pending when the bill becomes law, which means that any of the cases currently wending their way through the legal system that haven't been resolved by that time become moot. * It changes the definition of war crimes: currently, any conduct that violates Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions counts as a war crime; the draft bill changes this to "a grave breach of common Article 3".
Another try with that link. I had to insert a carriage return because it's too long.http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2006/09/hand_reporting_.html
Cheryl, the link worked fine for me. The article was great and I loved this line: "To echo a point that Andrew made earlier, terrorists cannot possibly bring down this country and all that it stands for. Only we can do that."
I agree with Cheryl -- that "What We've Lost" article that Christopher linked us to should be forwarded to our Congressmen.
I was wondering about something... Are there any immigrants from Pakistan and Somalia where the rest of you live? The reason I'm asking is because over the past few years, in one nearby city, I've met some people from those countries. The ones I've met are very gentle-mannered and polite. They appear to be around college-age, and they seem to embrace Western lifestyles.
Not so much where I live, but in Portland, there are many. In particular, Portland State University, for years, has had a very strong set of degree paths which attract an unusually high percentage of foreign students. Susan, as long ago as 1972, was courted by a chief's son from Nigeria, I think. He offered 25 cattles - a princely sum, to her father. Her father was tempted but she turned him down.
With all the uproar over the treatment of Guantanamo prisoners, The V.P. has offered a solution according to reporter Andy Borowitz:"The debate over the future of the detention center at Guantanamo, Cuba, was ramped up another notch today as Vice President Dick Cheney offered to transfer all detainees held there to the secure undisclosed location he calls home.The vice president, whose underground lair is believed to be located thousands of feet beneath the earth’s crust, said that his subterranean home is well equipped to hold thousands of detainees, adding that he would “relish the task” of interrogating them.“If crybabies like Joe Biden think the detainees are being treated too roughly at Guantanamo, I say ship them down to Camp Cheney,” the vice president said in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Tax Shelters in Gstaad, Switzerland."I've got a hunch that Andy may be a humorist.
Does everyone here agree that the one and only reason for milking the Iraq "War" for so long is the fact that it is a gigantic CASH COW for the principals involved?I would like to know all of your takes on this too.
During my internet travels tonight -- from Christopher's Tropical Embellishments blog, to the Garden Rant link, to the Americablog link that Garden Rant provided in the "The Friday Orchid Blogger" post, to the AMERICAblog homepage link, to the "Clinton plots his comeback" thread... I checked out this link provided by a commenter in that thread:Jesus CampReading it almost made me use the Lord's name in vain -- a breach of the Second Commandment according to Roman Catholicism, which I try not to do out of respect for the memory of my Dad who was a devout Christian right up until the morning he passed away -- a true Christian like Jimmy Carter is. (My Dad spoke enthusiastically about Jimmy Carter even before he was elected, but we were young teenagers, so talk of politicians and religion only got stored away in our memories for future reference.)Christopher,I also noticed your nice comment at Garden Rant's "The Friday Orchid Blogger" post, advertising and providing a link named with the URL to our Bread Crusts blog.
Here's another relevant link provided by another commenter in that "Clinton plots his comeback" thread at AMERICAblog:Once again, Can you say "cash cow", boys and girls?
I work with a number of people from Pakistan, India, the Middle East, and other places. Generally, they are nice people just trying to get by the best way they can. They have "Westernized" to varying degrees. Many are here only for the work and keep ties to home and others here from their country. Most wear western clothes. Some are religious, some not. Generally, they were in a position to get better than average education in their home country.Men from India often save vacation time for years so that they can go home for a few months to get married.
Christin, I appreciated your post concerning the conversation between you and your Iranian friend. It tells a lot about how the problems are percieved from people who live in the middle east."Lord's Name in vain": I believe that it means not to garner support of policies by saying that the same policies are the Lord's will when in fact the policies are designed to enrich that person either financially or through power. I.e., Preaching not for religious reasons but for personal gain. Something done quite a bit these days. Christopher, "What we have lost" is what this country has to come back to. The Geneva Convention bill that the GOP and Whitehouse have been debating would not only decriminalize war crimes, but would let those off of the hook who have already participated. Congress and the Whitehouse have agreed to come to terms. I feel certain that those terms are going to include amnesty for past participation. A revised bill should show itself in the Senate this week.
Deb,If that is what using the "Lord's name in vain" means, I'm beginning to get the picture that every culture is and always has been doing it -- whether it be our right wing politicos manipulating the name of Jesus Christ to achieve their ends of molding the entire Middle East into carbon copies of $$$$$Saudi Arabia, the mullahs in Iran using Allah to craft assassinations and justify annihilation of entire cultures, or the first- and second-generation obscenely rich and powerful Hollywood movie moguls, who I'm sure went to temple religiously every week on the Sabbath -- to network. Of course, I'm not saying that everyone from any one particular religion is motivated by power or greed, or even that any particular religion is wrong. But put into the wrong hands, religion -- just like every economic system -- or every drug -- can become just as evil as any living evil entity.
This is a must watch, Keith Olbermann telling the president he owes the nation an apology.Apologize Mr. President
That Olbermann link opens a little low on the page. Scroll up a schooch to get to the video link.
Christopher, thanks for the link. I rarely watch TV anymore and I missed Olbermann's outstanding and timely commentary. I'm afraid his warnings will be lost on this President and a substantial percentage of Americans who profess to support free speech, but willingly suspend that freedom during any preceived crisis.
I am actually watching TV sometimes these days because of Olberman. He is trying to be this era's Murrow, and actually doing a good job. I have noticed from the beginning that NBC wasn't quite as horrid as the others, but they lost me when they dropped Donahue before the war. I think they actually have wised up a bit and realize that (1) they are loosing their customers and (2) they might be held liable for feeding the country propaganda. Possibly because of this they have decided to have at least one show that does provide an obvious opposite to the neocon propaganda.I wish that Olberman would not try so hard to sound just like Murrow...he needs to be saying the same things, but in his own manner. Regardless, I admire the guy for his courage to stand up to this bunch. We all know what "they" do to those who speak out against them.
Lou Dobbs, known for covering for the R's in the past has spoken up about war profiteering:I Owe Lou Dobbs An Apology
Lou dobbs is usually a pit bull when he latches on to a topic. I hope exposing "war profiteering" is his next big campaign.
I finally found Ahmadinejad's speech to the U.N. General Assembly. (Be patient -- for some reason it takes a particularly long time for the entire article to show up.)The following excerpt from his speech is of especial concern to me, because no matter how many times he has put forth this particular message, NO ONE has been willing to address it. He first asked the question "Why Palestine?" back in early August, during his interview with Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes -- MIKE WALLACE COMPLETELY IGNORED THE QUESTION. Then earlier this week, Ahmadinejad again asked that same question "Why Palestine?" during his interview with Brian Williams on the NBC Nightly News -- BRIAN WILLIAMS, JUST LIKE MIKE WALLACE, COMPLETELY IGNORED THE QUESTION.Here is the excerpt of Ahmadinejad's U.N. speech to which I'm referring:"Consider the situation in Palestine. The roots of the Palestinian problem go back to the second world war. Under the pretext of protecting some of the survivors of that war, the land of Palestine was occupied through war, aggression and a displacement of millions of its inhabitants.It was placed under the control of some of the war survivors, bringing even larger population groups from elsewhere in the world who had not even been affected by the second world war and a government was established in the territory of others, with a population collected from across the world, at the expense of driving millions of the rightful inhabitants of the land into a diaspora and homelessness.This is a great tragedy and with hardly a precedent in history. Refugees continue to live in temporary refugee camps and many have died still hoping to one day return to their land.Can any logic, law or legal reasoning justify this tragedy? Can any member of the United Nations accept such a tragedy occurring in their own homeland?"If Ahmadinejad truly is speaking for the Palestinians, I think we should re-visit the idea of relocating Israel -- to New Orleans, perhaps? Maybe the Israeli's could fortify New Orleans in such a way that it could withstand future hurricanes?
Ahmadinejad- "This is a great tragedy and with hardly a precedent in history." That is a load of crap. The precedents in history for displaced conquered people are too numerous to count and continue to this day. If you think the Israelis and Palestinians don't get along very well see what happens if you put a bunch of Jews in Black and Southern New Orleans.New Orleans is a city not a nation and it is a major shipping, fishing and energy hub worth billions of dollars to the economy. Ain't nobody gonna give it to the Jews.Oklahoma or Kansas would be a better choice.
http://www.sciencefindsgod.com/blog/CONTROVERSIAL BUT INTERESTING...JG
"Oklahoma or Kansas would be a better choice.".....Come on now, ...my Plains States relatives are the backbone of this nation... providing food for the world...Let's send them to Boston...
I have to point out that there is (or at least was) a large Jewish community in New Orleans. I doubt that they would care for a bunch of Middle East militants though. Their most visible contributions to the city have been arts, charity, medicine, etc.
I know this is fun, but I think we need to listen both to Ahmadinejad and to Chavez. What they said at the UN resonated very powerfully around the world.Further, the fact that they said it at all relects more on our loss of standing in international affairs than on their own politics.Chavez has the support of China now that Venezuela and China have a large oil deal in place. Iran is flexing its muscle now that Iraq has been neutralized.Thanks to GWB, we have very few arrows left in our quiver and most of those arrows either can't be or shouldn't be used by a civilized nation.
I was skipping through the AM radio this morning & caught a bit of the Uncle Henry show. He was very upset that Chavez had the nerve to insult our president. He said he was so mad that he was tempted to ride a bicycle to work, and move our manufacturing base back home to the U.S. That would show 'em. They need us more than we need them.I don't know how to react to this. Once you get past the inflamatory language, a lot of what Chavez has to say is true. On the other hand, it would be great if Uncle Henry went through with his threat.
Yeah, it's hard to disagree with what Chavez has been saying. But what I want to know is -- Is that true that he doesn't allow the people of Venezuela the same freedom of speech that we are granted here?I need to know that before I can judge what Chavez is really about.
Richard,Is one of those "arrows" to which you're referring, the one that caused Harry Truman to pace the floors of the Whitehouse night after sleepless night, before making his grave decision?Or were you thinking more along the lines of biological or chemical warfare?
I agree that we need to listen to Ahmadinejad and Chavez. I have to admit ignorance about what Chavez has said other than snippets from headlines and a few stories.I saw the Mike Wallace interview with Ahmadinejad. I was impressed and frightened. He is obviously a well spoken man, at least through his interpreter and very adept at steering the conversation and getting his points across. He seems a good politician in knowing how to use language to persuade and move people.I was frightened because I could tell he was manipulating things to a certain extent. He is also a fundamentalist Muslim. Being the President of Iran, he is not really in charge, it is more of a figure head office, but he is the voice of Iran that the Mullahs put forth.It is very frightening to think we have two fundamentalist religious leaders of the US and Iran. Iran's leader is a lot smarter than ours and I think he can out manuver Bush easily.At this point in world history the smartest security strategy for the US would be an all out effort to reduce our need for oil and sit by or help start a Sunni/Shia Islamic War among themselves.That may be a little harsh but if they are busy fighting each other over how many virgins are waiting in heaven they just might be too busy to mess with us. Then the moderate 21st century Muslims might get fed up and put a kaibosh on fundamentalist Islam.Gotta run.
I agree. The sooner we reach energy independence, the safer we'll be. I also agree with the idea of standing by and letting the Shiite and Sunni street gangs finish each other off.We should offer refuge for all the civilians not involved in the gang fighting, and just leave the murderous ones there to put themselves out of our misery. Then once they whittle themselves down to more manageable numbers, it'll be a lot easier for the moderates to put the kibosh on it.
I would like to add one other thing. Chavez and Ahmadinejad may have similar and legimate gripes about US foreign policy, but they come from two very opposite cultural mind sets. This will have a profound effect on how they want to interact with the US.I have not had time to read it yet but here is a link to the full text of Ahmadinejad's UN SpeechWe can all read it and discuss what it says to us. You need to scroll down past the blank middle portion on the page that comes up.
I used arrows metaphorically: we no longer have the power to sway people diplomatically or by force of our moral positions.However, from a military point of view, we're running out of arrows, too. We're stretched pretty thin. I don't know whether the ammunition makers are keeping up with the demand for various missiles, drones, etc.I don't think I've heard the story about Harry's sleepless night.
Bite your tongues!We may have no choice but to eventually leave our occupation. But if civil war starts in Iraq, it's bound to involve Iran and Syria. I'm pretty sure it would involve both Palestine and Israel too.The world can't afford it and there has to be a way to avoid it.
Thanks Richard for informing me. It looked like such a straightforward solution to me -- I don't know why it hadn't occurred to me that it wouldn't be confined to just those two factions.I swear the whole world is out of its collective mind, just like Germany was when Hitler held sway over it.No wonder so many people prefer to remain ignorant about what's happening in the world.
An Islamic civil war would involve more than Syria, Iran, Israel and the Palestinians. It could bring in Saudi Arabia and all the countries in the Saudi penisula, Egypt, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan to name a few. I don't know precisely the Sunni/Shia breakdown by country. There are also most likely other Muslim sects that don't get as much press.Why can't the world afford it besides the oil? It's not like Darfur in the Sudan is causing the world much problem. We are not going to reform Islam. They have to do it themselves.Granted if we can avoid such a scenario it is the more humane approach. Under our current leadership that is not the direction we are headed. I guess I don't see how we can turn around so much animosity towards the West in a very young demographic population in any thing less than two generations or 50 years. Even to do that we need to stop the bellicose rhetoric now and begin a more just approach to the region while remaining firm that violent Islam is not acceptable on the world stage.Do we want to spend the next 50 years battling Islamic extremism?
Bush has shown himself a master at digging holes. If we stay in Iraq, we fuel the unrest. If we leave, the power scramble really starts.Bush has blown every half decent way out. Somehow we need to tell the world that we have come to our senses. It's Bush & company's fault. They're gone. We're trying to fix it & need help. This would have been a lot easier if Kerry had won. Maybe a Democrat win will get us closer.The continued death and destruction of lives while politicians play games is a tragedy.
Why can't the world afford it?Everyone of those countries is a client of a major world power. Some even involve mutual defense treaties. We'd be in the thick of it via Israel. Russia is heavily invested in Iran and maybe Syria. China has trade agreements in the region, is selling arms there, and may have mutual defense treaties. Unlike Darfor which is a moral quagmire for western nations but has no economic impact, the Middle East certainly does. War breaks out and we all lose really big.
You may have noticed I do have a penchant for simplifying things, even very complex problems like the Middle East. I do understand the major economic relations with the region which also include all of Europe as well as Russia and China that are other than oil and arms.The arms of course I think should be eliminated world wide and one of my SSB ideas was a targeted assault on arms manufacturers, placing stringent restrictions on their manufacture and sale. Another pie in the sky idea of mine.I think it may be better to risk a world wide economic recession or even depression instead of an unending fight with radical Islam that can lead us into world war any way. The major powers do not have to be directly involved in an Islamic war.
Christopher, I for one, like simplistic approaches... when we make mountains out of molehills it is usually just because our own vested interest is at stake...Cut the crap...Take an inventory and do what is best for those immediately concerned... and forget politics...
I wouldn't fear risking such a world-wide economic recession -- or even a world-wide depression.The entire world is such an unbalanced mess -- we all need to go back to the starting gate.
I'm not talking about a recession, folks. With all those sponsor/client, mutual trade agreements, and of course the oil there, you can bet that there will be one whopping hot World War III. We've already got major forces in the arena and you can bet that Israel will demand and get our protection.
Richard,We wouldn't have to get involved in World War III if Israel would move into the U.S. before it starts. Judging from the numbers of synagogues in the U.S., I'm pretty sure we already have more Jewish people here than there are in Israel. The only noticeable change would be that they'd move their industries here with them.
You make foreign policy choices with the government you have not the government you wish you had.This government seems particularly adept at starting wars and if we launch an attack on Iran WW III will have commenced. I am suggesting it is a viable option to let them fight among themselves as a distraction and weakening method. They will have to protect the oil flow to purchase weapons. Who is going to intercede if Iran attacks Saudi Arabia? Never mind stupid question. The US will protect the Saudi Royal's of course.Just trying to question conventional wisdom and think outside of the box here. Obviously any strategy along those lines comes after oil independence or until we are forced there by other circumstances.A draft would be required to fight such a war and then you can bet the folks will be protesting in the streets.
Richard, Christopher, anyone:Please paint me a scenario of what would happen in North America -- what everything around us would be like -- if tomorrow our entire world's oil supply were cut off forever. I know we have some in reserve, but certainly that would be rationed. Would they just step up drilling in Alaska?Would we be effectively shut down? And if so, what would we need to do to survive on a day-to-day basis? And how would we protect ourselves from attack?How would the desert regions of our country be irrigated? Would we need to immediately relocate residents of those areas to our more fresh water abundant regions?
This whole global mess reminds me of a story I heard somewhere. It was a response of a Democratic candidate to a reporter's question, "what's your plan to get us out of Iraq?" The gist of his answer went something like this.The Rep. decided it would be good policy to juggle raw eggs. The Dem. warned that the juggling would be risky, serve no purpose and likely end badly, creating a terrible mess. The Rep. ignored the warning, juggled wildly, and dropped the eggs.The Rep. told the reporter who witness the egg dropping, that no one could have predicted the out come but since it happened, we can't walk away until the eggs are repaired.The reporter then said to the Dem., all you do is criticize the Rep. for the mess. Just what is your plan to reassemble the eggs?
I doubt that our imports will ever get suddenly shut down. The exporters like our money too much. Here's my prediction on what would happen though.It takes years to get an oil field producing, and we don't have enough oil anyway. I'm not sure what our reserves are, but I doubt they would last more than a few months. If our oil imports stopped tomorrow, everything would stop. Food is shipped by rail and truck, just like everything else. Changing to a new power source requires factories and a transportation system. Some areas would lose power generation, the rest would soon after because coal needs to be transported. Our banking system is dependant on a networked computer system.With rational people in power, we could allocate fuel to soften the landing. With the jerks we have, they'll probably declare martial law or something.
I like your story Dan. It describes the situation so clearly. I've been thinking about Humpty Dumpty and all theh kings men a lot lately.I have some ideas that could defuse the situation somewhat.Announce a time table to withdraw from Iraq. They don't trust us because they think that we are there to stay. Real signs that we are leaving could calm some of that. The power struggle can't be stopped. It's human nature. If we start acting like mature adults, the rest of the world might decide to help Iraq sort itself out more peacefully.Make a serious investment in alternate fuels. If they see us making a real movement to independance, it'll take a lot of wind out of their sails. We have to keep it up even after the price of oil drops, or else it starts over again.If a regional war breaks out in the Middle East, I don't think the oil fields will be safe. Look at the mess in Lebanon. If I can't have the oil, no one can.
A lot of people would die. Panic would set in: looting, hoarding. Rather than conserving resources, those who were out of control would go on binges. Those who otherwise would be rational, wouldn't be able to organize self-help and community help. Hospitals would be overwhelmed treating injuries. The chronically ill, aged, would die for want of attention and medicine. Those reliant on natural gas and coal for their electricity would probably do better than those dependent on oil. Oil would be rationed. We do have a modest stash that, up to now, has been used mostly to level prices. Several industries would stop cold - first to go would be airlines.IF, and it's a big if, the resources could be made available to them, those who produce windmills, solar, ethanol, and the like, so that they could manufacture equipment in quantities large enough to effect a transition, a gradual change to electrical transportation. But the transition to coal gasification requires heavy industry to produce the steel and other heavy items. Cities would suffer the most. Water would become scarce except in NYC where gravity delivers it to the first 5 floors of every building. But cities would suffer the most because they produce so little of the basics needed to survive.The population would decrease quickly and dramatically. Lots of mourning but salvation for the survivors.In a utopia, the fit would be conscripted and moved onto the farms which would have to revert to doing thengs by hand and horse and mule.Life expectancy would diminish. If we weren't careful, too few people would stay in training to be the scientists, Doctors, engineers that we would need to effect transition to a more "primitive" life while the industries that we should have been deploying all this last 30 years were finally put in place.Look around at what we call third world countries - at least the second tier. Most of the world manages on less mechanization that we do now. I don't know how the transition would actually play out.For example, I don't have a way yet, to get water out of my modestly deep well. I have storage for 10,000 gallons. If I collected that much during the rainy season, I'd have about 60 gallons a day during the dry season. Unfortunately, while two people could survive on that much, irrigation, even using drip, to produce enough food for the winter, might not be possible. I'd probably make that my first priority, finding a way to pump and store more water.I could go on, but I think your question is one that should be asked in a wider forum. Sometimes looking at the worst case scenario can sober people up.On the bright side, while a war might dry up all foreign sources, we do still supply about a third of our current needs. Since we could get along on a lot less, and if people wouldn't panic, and if we isolated ourselves, possibly with Mexico and Canada in the bargain as the NAU (North American Union, we'd have a very short border to defend south of Mexico, oil to harvest from Canadian sands, the gulf's deep supplies and Mexico's not inconsiderable reserves. Properly managed, those could last a long time and would make a transition to a heavier reliance on renewables possible. The key to it all: population reduction and getting a head start on that transition.I'd start by installing as much wind and solar as I could and converting our transport systems, including long haul freight, to electricity. In the short run though, it's a grim prospect.
Cheryl said: "Somehow we need to tell the world that we have come to our senses. It's Bush & company's fault. They're gone. We're trying to fix it & need help." I believe this is exactly the answer, but heads are going to have to roll. If we wanted the respect of the world again and especially anyone who is Muslim we must expose how a small group of very rich people took over our country for their own gain. The group must be convicted. The war profiteers money needs to be confiscated and properly redistributed in a manner that it is used to try and repair some of the mess.Bring all parties to the table in Iraq. There is a better than good chance that the country will be split into 3 countries, with each having equal acces to producing oilfields. Insist that their oil program is nationalized with everyone recieving an equal amount royalty from the oil.Then we back completely out and go about turning our country into the nation it should be based upon renewable/alternative energy.
What if the U.S. sneezed and nobody noticed?
I came to this thread to ask "what if the U.S. pulled out of IRAQ now?"The previous postings beat me too it...thanx. We do not hear that question asked enough, in our personal and local interactions as well as nationally.I was very young throughout the Vietnam War and was in a unique location geographically, which enabled me to see it being fought daily, abroad and at home. In some ways it shaped my interests in the world. I cannot tell you my relief as an eight year old when word went out we were leaving Vietnam, defeated? Since that time I have often wondered "did we really lose the Vietnam war?"Look at conflicts since that time, how the Vietnam war affected the decisions of later military and political commanders, what lessons did they learn from mistakes made which ultimately helped us to resolve later and potentially more lethal conflicts by simply not repeating mistakes made during that conflict?"Bring all parties to the table in Iraq." has anyone seriously entertained that prospect? And by all parties don't we mean globally? This administration is famous for refusing to hold one on one talks with adversaries, constantly insisting on multiparty regional talks.Why is Iraq different from the other two?As a hyper power on the global stage and professing to waging a "global" war on terror, why could we not refocus our attention on the U.N., Convince the security council we cannot win this war alone, it affects their way of life as ours. Pull the U.S back a bit and replace them with a diverse U.N sponsored peacekeeping force? It would stand to reason if we genuinely want to win the very real global war on terror we must do a better job of working with "all" interested parties. We must win the support of our own populous first, our allies second and our adversaries will follow.It would also stand to reason if we pulled back from Iraq as the primary military force at the front lines and as this administration repeatedly states, the terrorism spreads beyond Iraqi borders and back to the U.S. again, this would be the quickest and surest way to garner "global" support for the war on terror...Here is a quote from the top of another thread, which could be relevant to this conversation,"When it comes to bridge building, meticulous is good. I don't like the surprise of it falling down."http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14975242/Iraq war hurting terror warAlso during the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese had an elaborate tunnel system, have we located and mapped the one being built in Iraq?Not just the one Saddam built.This posting is asking questions, what if’s, “not” stating a position. Please read it in that manner…JG
Deb,About Iraq being split into three separate countries: It looks like that's the only possible way the sectarian fighting is going to be stopped.Does General Clark see dividing Iraq into three countries as being a workable option?
General Clark wrote an excellent essay (over a year ago) describing how to prevent the civil war that is now Iraq. Before that he had written on what it would take to actually turn Iraq into a democratic country (either late 03 or early 04). His writings have always included benefitting citizens and other countries, which would mean less profit for the major oil corporations.As far as I know he has not written a comprehensive plan for the current situation, which is constantly changing.JG, these new terrorists do not have ships, planes, tanks, armor, vast stockpiles of weapons or other military equipment that it would take to invade us or other countries for that matter. "Get them over there before they come over here" is a fearmongering lie. We heard it about Viet Nam, but NVN didn't have the equipment to mobilize and invade us...and they had a lot more than the Iraq guy who has joined the insurgency because we killed some of his family members.The fight against terrorism needs to be a spy operation. Their methods will be small groups intent upon destruction, like 9/11. We can try and locate their training camps, as in Afghanistan, and keep our ears to the ground to see what they are planning next. I know I've become cynical, but spying just doesn't put money in the pockets of the war profiteers so we are on the wrong track as far as preventing or stopping terrorism.
My son just posted a parody that he wrote at dailycos. It's about how we got into the mess in Iraq. It's titled "The Megalomanicans" and my son is "nequals 1". If you want to read it, here's the link.
"It didn't take long, before they came up with their plan --a plan no wise person ever could stand.But that didn't matter. There was no time to lose.They started selling it right on the news.They sold it for free, to complacent reporters.Who parroted their message, as if taking orders."From "The Megalomanicans" by n equals 1Terrific poem Dan
"The fight against terrorism needs to be a spy operation. Their methods will be small groups intent upon destruction, like 9/11. We can try and locate their training camps, as in Afghanistan, and keep our ears to the ground to see what they are planning next. I know I've become cynical, but spying just doesn't put money in the pockets of the war profiteers so we are on the wrong track as far as preventing or stopping terrorism."Debbie, I don't consider that cynicism -- To me, it just looks like you're realistic.
Richard,What do you think will happen with Pakistan if one of the assassins does get President Musharraf? There has been mention made that the reason he wanted his official biography to be published this year, is because otherwise he may not be around long enough to authorize it.I watched the 60 minutes interview with Musharraf this evening -- he comes across as being a very intelligent and sensible man. Of course he spoke briefly about the rude threat dealt to him by former U.S Deputy Secretary of State Armitage in the aftermath of 9/11. He also talked about how it was an embarrassment to him that Pakistan's top secret nuclear weapons technology was sold to North Korea, Libya, and Iran by Abdul Qadeer Kahn -- the German-educated metallurgist who headed Pakistan's nuclear weapons program for 25 years.Here is a link with some info about Musharraf's biography:http://www.presidentofpakistan.gov.pk/PRPressReleaseDetail.aspx?nPRPressReleaseId=1789&nYear=2006&nMonth=6
It seems like there will never be complete agreement on the virtues or flaws of any politician -- even in other countries.I chatted up a couple of my Middle Eastern acquaintances again to get some feedback from them about Musharraf. One young man who is from Pakistan himself, thinks Musharraf is a good guy. But another young guy from Somalia thinks otherwise. Both young men were raised Muslim -- moderate Muslim. And both have adopted very "Western" lifestyles. The two of them get along well, even though they occasionally mildly disagree on world affairs. The Somali guy (whose facial features appear more Arab than African -- while the Pakistani guy looks more Indian than Arab), says that Musharraf is bought and paid for by Bush. He also says that Musharraf has his eye on gaining control of Kashmir. I asked him what Musharraf's interest is in Kashmir -- and he told me that he wants the land for the plentiful fresh water supply it has coming from the Himalayas.I asked if that were common for people in that region to disagree on policies and politicians. They both said loyalties to particular politicians depend on which area of a country you're in. They gave the example of how in the U.S. they haven't met one person their age here in the Northeast that likes Bush, but they know it's different in parts of the South.Same with Iran. In some parts of the country -- especially the smaller, more impoverished towns -- there are citizens who are loyal to the Iranian president. A comparison can also be made between the enthusiasm of our young military recruits and that of the young Muslim terrorist recruits. That WAAF-FM radio DJ named Mistress Carrie said that some of the young military guys she spoke with told her they volunteered to stay on longer in Iraq than they were required to, because they believe so strongly that they are doing the right thing. She said that in some cases, the young men even went so far as to lie to their wives by telling them they were required to stay on longer in Iraq, because they knew if they told their wives they volunteered to stay on, they would risk divorce.If our young men are so "gung-ho" about fighting the war for our country, I can imagine that the young Muslim men are just as fired up about fighting for their countries too.But the main difference between our military and the terrorists is that the terrorists deliberately aim for innocent civilians.That's the one point on which I agree with Condi Rice (she was also featured on 60 Minutes last night). She points out that the terrorists aren't aiming only for our military personnel and Western leaders -- they are deliberately attacking innocent civilians -- as they did in Spain and in the subways of London.
Christin... earlier on this thread you asked what would happen if our oil supply was cut off.. Richard and Cheryl responded with their take...HEre is mine....I am not going to worry to much about the oil supply being cut off... There isn't too much I can do about it on any scale.... Our local Emergency Management suggests that we concentrate on things that we can control... and that is to be prepared for emergency situations that are most likely to occur...They have a big preparedness plan for people to do to take care of themself for 2 weeks, in the event of a Katrina like disaster; another plan for 6 months for a pandemic situation; and an even bigger plan for a combination of emergencies...I personally think everyone should be prepared for a two week emergency, and begin preparing for a 6 month emergency...There are certain things that are high on the list, like Medication, water and food. But then the list becomes pretty individualized...The big push tho is to BE PREPARED, because some type of emergency seems to happen almost every day, and you never know when it will affedt you...
Well said Judy, it is hard enough to work on the things that are wrong right now without worrying about what troubles the future will bring. But, I, too, have thought of those "just in case" scenarios and agree that having the things to help survive if the worst happens. Living in a hurricane zone for the majority of my life let me know that stuff happens. The first bad 'cane I experienced was when my first child was a baby, we had a well and no power, i.e. no water for 2 weeks. I learned to be more prepared than that.Christin, Wes Clark has written an article about Afghanistan for next months "Time" mag.What We Must Do NowSuccess is possible. But make no mistake. We are not winning.
Deb, I especially liked the way General Clark's message is summed up:"We need to acknowledge that, yes, we do nation-building."I'll continue to watch Wes Clark's blog, since -- as I've said before -- I have a good feeling about him. Also, please keep us updated on any causes he is involved in and any future written pieces he authors that might not be posted at his blog.
I also wanted to say, that article brings me around again to Pakistani President Musharraf, as he offers similar solutions to addressing the root causes of the extremism -- not the least of which is political and economic abandonment (by the U.S. who, as we all know, has trained and used Muslim soldiers and then coldly "ditched" them in past decades, as well as by the soldiers' own governments in some cases) -- rather than focusing solely on the outward manifestation -- i.e. the terrorist acts.I'm becoming increasingly fascinated with President Musharraf. I just saw him in an interview with Charlie Rose on PBS this evening. By the way, I referred to the wrong book in last night's post. The one they were talking about in the 60 Minutes interview -- and tonight again on Charlie Rose, is In the Line of Fire -- A Memoir, which was just released yesterday.
Musharaf is supposed to be on The Daily Show tonight.
Take a look at Newsweek's international edition,http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3037881/site/newsweek/They show the cover for the Europe, Asia, Latin America, and United States. Guess which ones get the story about losing Afghanistan, and which one gets some media fluff.
I'll see if I can get this right this time... This is from the Fareed Zakaria Newsweek article:"Iran is ruled by a failed regime that cannot modernize the country and is instead seeking a cheap path to influence. It didn't work for the communists in Russia or China and, if we keep our cool, it won't work for the mullahs in Tehran."I don't understand -- Since Iran has so much oil money, why are they not able to modernize the country?
Hmmm... one mistake after another today. Now I'll try this one again too.I found this page from a progressive Iranian community. It says the site is still under construction.Persian Journal
Being that many cultures are so different from one another, I can’t help but be amazed at seeing how people all over the world gripe about the exact same domestic issues. It looks like Americans aren’t the only ones who are complaining that "illegal" immigrants are taking their jobs away. Check this out:800,000 foreigners working illegally in Iran Sep 25, 2006
Uh-oh -- I'd better get going so I won't miss seeing Musharraf on the Daily Show (Thanks for letting me know about that Cheryl). I'll have to let myself into my neighbor's apartment quietly with my key (he'll probably already be asleep), because he lets me watch cable on his TV. He's a really good guy -- sometimes he makes extra food for me when he cooks too -- and lets me use his land line when I get too close to using up all my peak time minutes on my cell phone. I only have 450 peak time minutes on my plan, but I get free nights (after 9 pm Mon.- Fri.) and free weekends from 9 pm on Friday till 5:59 am on Monday. I think that's the standard deal for most of the cell phone service providers. That plan -- including all the taxes and fees -- still costs me less than $45.00 per month. The downside is that I'm supporting a huge corporation, 'cause it's Verizon Wireless. At least their workers have a union though.
Cheryl, great post pointing out the Newsweek covers. Is the American public so shallow that they will only read fluff or do they read it because MSM sees fit to under report articles of substance? Both might be true.
Cheryl, Jon Stewart had a piece on those Newsweek covers last night.
Cheryl,I just read an article that I thought would be of interest to you, since the subject it covers will have a major effect on information technology workers:Visas for Skilled Workers Still Frozen
Deb,Have you already read Jeff Cohen's book?
Christin,A bit of good news. I hope it lasts.They're calling this the do-nothing Congress. I think they've done too much, and all of it bad. Two Supreme Court Justices, assorted other appointments confirmed, Medicare drug bill, the bankruptcy bill, the torture bill...
I saw Bill O'Reilly on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night. O'Reilly said something like "Most of the voters are somewhere in the middle, but the battlefront is between the ultraconservative right and the secular progressives."Bill O'Reilly said that the secular progressives want the Western European model of government and commerce, while the ultraconservative right wants to keep things the way they are now (to their advantage, of course).Then Jay Leno said that when he reads the views of the secular progressives, he finds that there is an element of truth in what they are saying.Bill O'Reilly's response to that was something like, "If I wanted to live like they do in the Netherlands, I'd move to the Netherlands. I happen to prefer the way we do things here in America."I'm just paraphrasing on everything they said -- I didn't store it all in my memory verbatim, but I'm sure that what I wrote here is very close to what was said.Now, what I want to know is -- Is that who we are? Are we those "secular progressives" Bill O'Reilly was talking about?Because if that's who we are -- can we change our label to anti-exploitationists?If not, how does one go about starting a new political party? Do you have to register the name of a new political party somewhere -- or get a certain number of signatures? How does that work? Never mind the "Independent" Party -- that's a misnomer if ever there was one. To be accurate, they'd need to call it the Eclectic Party. As for the Green-Rainbow Party -- it doesn't cover enough ground, and it still leaves the door open for easily-manipulated and corrupt tax subsidies.Why not a new political party called the Anti-exploitation Party, since its name states exactly what its mission would be? It's focus would be on preventing, disarming, disabling, prohibiting, and prosecuting all exploitative practices -- whether they are committed upon our natural resources, such as our land, air, and waterways -- or upon our human resources, such as our workers, or any citizens who don't have the wherewithal -- financial or otherwise -- to stand up for themselves.
Bill O is a pompous, hypocritical, idiot. Which is why Olberman has so much fun making fun of the falafel king.But yes, we probably are some of the secular progressives he was talking about.There's no big deal to forming a political party. You just declare yourself. With enough organization, you can field a candidate or two.Wikipedia has a list of parties. I kinda like the Pirate Party.http://www.pirate-party.us/main
I have to post this really quickly -- no time today...Washington Post Clinton poll
Oops -- It was Newsmax, but I got the link through the Washington Post.
Recently, I watched "Iran: The Next Iraq?" on the History Channel (courtesy of my accommodating neighbor who has cable). Strangely, it caused me to reflect back on 1979, when I was a typically clueless eighteen-year-old whose biggest concern all week long every week was whether my friend Jack and I were going to go to Martha's Vineyard, the White Mountains, Hampton Beach, or to see a band or concert on the upcoming weekend (a little money went an incredibly long way back then).My memory drifted back to one particular occasion where Jack and I were doing research at the library of one of our local state colleges. That day, we happened to sit down at a large oak table next to an Iranian college student. (I think that was the last year we had students from Iran attending U.S. colleges.) Being that neither Jack nor I bothered to follow the news very closely at that time (after all, we had our carefree little lives -- our equivalent of a baby pacifier -- and were therefore complacent), I don't know how our at first cheerful conversation turned to talk about our U.S. president, but somehow it did. I remember how the Iranian student started to speak in angry terms about the U.S. government. Not knowing any better, Jack and I told him he was wrong -- that our government was good and couldn't possibly have committed any injustices. This infuriated him all the more. Thinking the guy was crazy or something, Jack and I just gave each other a subtle exit signal, and then told him we had somewhere we needed to be soon.Now that I know what I know -- about the underbelly of our government and about what the Iranian people were suffering through -- according to the History Channel's account: sinking into poverty, ignored by the Shah as he continually wasted all of their money, I can't help but sympathize today with that young man's outrage.In fact, I can't see much difference between the United States in 2006 and Iran in 1979. I also cannot see much difference between President Bush and the former Shah of Iran
I have a question for any of you history buffs out there: Since Jimmy Carter was U.S. President in 1979 -- and to this day, I've never known of any amoral acts committed by him -- who, then, were the people in our government responsible for the injustices that so outraged that Iranian college student?Did the CIA act on its own?And who was at the head of the CIA at that time?
Carter largely inherited the Shaw, the attitude of his subjects about him and about the governments that supported him. He was not popular in Iran, as the coup later proved - remember that he was overthrown in spite his having been propped up by at least three major powers from outside.When the Shaw turned up with cancer and asked to travel to the US for treatment, for humanitarian reasons, he was given a visa. Iran was denied its revenge and the US was the culprit even though, as soon as he'd recovered enough to travel, the Shaw was shown the door. I forget where he ultimately ended up.It is in Carter's character that he permitted the Saw entry for treatment. But mobs usually don't read all the commas, the subtext, and explanatary clauses.
That was a strange time. LSU had a lot of Iranian students. Most of them became very active in protests & avoided all contact with Americans, whether they believed in it or not. Others tried desperately not to graduate because they were afraid that they would be killed when they went home.
Wikipedia has extensive articles concerning the history of Iran after Colonialism. This one is about the Hostage Crisis.I highly recommend "Reading Lolita in Tehran" by Azar Nafisi. Nafisi was an American student who returned to Iran after revolution.Another good book covering that time is "Journey From the Land of No", by Roya Hakakian
Taliban Revived in Southern Afghanistan
I don't know if any of you are into science fiction, but Battlestar Galactica has provided some thought provoking drama. "The premiere also suggested why the writers made such an abrupt U-turn in the plot: they’d devised a new political metaphor and were eager to explore it. What seemed at the end of Season 2 to be an unfolding analogy of Nazism and the Holocaust is instead a recasting of America’s presence in Iraq."..."It’s helpful for us to walk a mile in Iraqi shoes, and Galactica entices us to do this by setting us up to identify with humans (Iraqis) instead of Cylons (Americans)."http://seedlings.wordpress.com/2006/10/07/iraq-and-galactica/
Have the Ceylons changed their laws to allow torture? Canada is going to keep the pressure on in the Arar case. PM to Bush: We're protesting Arar caseOttawa sends letter calling for officials 'to come clean' on his deportationAnd torture at Gitmo is finally making the news in the mainstream press. Pentagon to Probe Gitmo Beatings Claim
I think that the proposition of going to Baghdad is also fallacious. I think if we were going to remove Saddam Hussein we would have had to go all the way to Baghdad, we would have to commit a lot of force because I do not believe he would wait in the Presidential Palace for us to arrive. I think we'd have had to hunt him down. And once we'd done that and we'd gotten rid of Saddam Hussein and his government, then we'd have had to put another government in its place.What kind of government? Should it be a Sunni government or Shi'i government or a Kurdish government or Ba'athist regime? Or maybe we want to bring in some of the Islamic fundamentalists? How long would we have had to stay in Baghdad to keep that government in place? What would happen to the government once U.S. forces withdrew? How many casualties should the United States accept in that effort to try to create clarity and stability in a situation that is inherently unstable?I think it is vitally important for a President to know when to use military force. I think it is also very important for him to know when not to commit U.S. military force. And it's my view that the President got it right both times, that it would have been a mistake for us to get bogged down in the quagmire inside Iraq. -- Dick Cheney 4/29/1991
Debbie, that's an amazing quote. Seems like the mans had a change of heart since then.
I think that is called a flip flop and the flipper should be made to flop around in public and splain his self.
Journalists Secretly Helped Bush Shape 9/11 ResponseAnd it has been revealed that two prominent journalists took part in a secret meeting with the Bush administration in 2001 to help shape the country’s response to the Sept. 11 attacks. Then Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz organized the meeting in order to produce a report for President Bush outlining a strategy for dealing with Afghanistan and the Middle East in the aftermath of 9/11. The journalists attending the meeting were Fareed Zakaria and Robert Kaplan. Zakaria is the editor of Newsweek International and a Newsweek columnist. Kaplan is a writer for the Atlantic Monthly. They both signed confidentiality agreements not to discuss what happened at the secret meeting. Their role in the meeting was disclosed by Bob Woodward in his new book. Kaplan said his editor gave him permission to take part in the meeting. Kaplan defended his decision by saying that at the time “everybody was in a patriotic fervor.” from democracynow.org
Cheryl,I'm pretty sure Bush is still consulting Fareed Zakaria. The reason I say this is because back when you gave us the link to the Newsweek covers to show us how Americans get the "fluff" cover to keep the masses distracted, I read one of those Newsweek articles written by Zakaria in which he suggested that George Bush should create a student exchange program with Iran.A couple of days later, I watched an interview Charlie Rose did with a U.S. diplomat whose name I can't recall. During the interview the diplomat said that President Bush is considering creating a student exchange program with Iran. Since I had just read that very suggestion made by Fareed Zakaria in his Newsweek article only a couple of days prior to seeing the interview, the logical conclusion was that Bush is still consulting Zakaria.
Newsweek did it again this week. Maybe they've been doing it all along & no one noticed.The cover for the Europe, Asia, and Latin America editions shows Global Warming. The US edition shows Foley.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3037881/site/newsweek/
Cheryl,At least this time Newsweek's focus away from what's most needed is indirectly helping us to clean up our planet. The more oil company sponsored Republicans that are damaged by the scandal -- the less likely it is that Evangelical Christians -- or for that matter, a good number of parents of all faiths -- will trust them enough to vote for them.
"And in the last months of Donahue, we were ordered by management at MSNBC: every time we booked one guess who was antiwar, we had to book two that were pro-war. If we booked two guests on the left, we had to book three on the right. One meeting a producer suggested booking Michael Moore and was told, for ideological balance she would need three right-wingers. And, you know, I used to think about proposing Chomsky as a guest but our stage couldn’t accommodate the 38 right-wingers we would have needed for balance. I mean, when you see this kind of suppression -- when we would talk about booking Scott Ritter, one of the most articulate dissenters, a skeptic of the WMD evidence, because we had a steady parade of weapons experts that got everything wrong and they were unrebutted. On MSNBC, I was a pundit, I couldn’t have discussed the weather without being balanced by at least one fire-breathing right-winger. But the weapons experts got on all by themselves, and everything they said was wrong. And we tried to book Scott Ritter. And it was like clockwork. We’d hear in the building at MSNBC, “Oh, we hear he’s covertly -- he’s getting covert funds from the government of Saddam Hussein.” It was completely false, a smear aimed at getting an articulate dissenting voice off of mainstream TV. I’m sure it wasn’t just being heard at MSNBC. It was being heard at other channels."Cable News Confidential: FAIR Founder Jeff Cohen on his misadventures in corporate media
That's the liberal media for you.You can always tell what the right wingers are up to, because that's what they accuse everyone else of.
It is ironic that the *right* the whole time they were putting their thumb print on MSM, convinced the public of liberal bias.
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