Friday, December 29, 2006

Creationists get preference now, what a croc!

This email was sent by a friend. The author was so eloquent I will just post it in its entirety:

HOW OLD IS THE GRAND CANYON? PARK SERVICE WON’T SAY — Orders to Cater to Creationists Makes National Park Agnostic on Geology

Washington, DC — Grand Canyon National Park is not permitted to give an official estimate of the geologic age of its principal feature, due to pressure from Bush administration appointees. Despite promising a prompt review of its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah's flood rather than by geologic forces, more than three years later no review has ever been done and the book remains on sale at the park, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

"In order to avoid offending religious fundamentalists, our National Park Service is under orders to suspend its belief in geology," stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. "It is disconcerting that the official position of a 'national park as to the geologic age of the Grand Canyon is ‘no comment.’"

Is it true what Mrs. Hoover taught me in 8th grade Earth science about the formation of canyons?

National Park Service: No Comment.

Wow.

Ironically, in 2005, two years after the Grand Canyon creationist controversy erupted, NPS approved a new directive on "Interpretation and Education (Director’s Order #6) which reinforces the posture that materials on the "history of the Earth must be based on the best scientific evidence available, as found in scholarly sources that have stood the test of scientific peer review and criticism [and] Interpretive and educational programs must refrain from appearing to endorse religious beliefs explaining natural processes."

"As one park geologist said, this is equivalent of Yellowstone National Park selling a book entitled Geysers of Old Faithful: Nostrils of Satan," Ruch added, pointing to the fact that previous NPS leadership ignored strong protests from both its own scientists and leading geological societies against the agency approval of the creationist book. "We sincerely hope that the new Director of the Park Service now has the autonomy to do her job."

Oh let's hope so, let's hope the new Director is allowed to follow basic facts, or let's all agree the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the geysers of Old Faithful by farting in the cosmic bathtub.

Seriously, I am a devout Lutheran, but even I know where to draw the line between science and pure fantasy. And trust me, Noah will not take it a slight that his flood did not create the Grand Canyon, and that he did not forget to pack the Unicorns on the ark.

Stop the madness now.


For those of you who don't know about the flying spaghetti monster go here. Pastafarians rule!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Kucinich runs again, and more thoughts

From The Nation: Dennis Kucinich is running for President again, and yes, the passionately antiwar Congressman from Cleveland would love to cure what ails the United States. But first, he wants to cure what ails his own Democratic Party.

The Democratic disease, as diagnosed by Kucinich, is caution at the party's leadership level about moving to end US involvement in Iraq. "Democrats were swept into power on November 7 because of widespread voter discontent with the war in Iraq," says Kucinich. "Instead of heeding those concerns and responding with a strong and immediate change in policies and direction, the Democratic Congressional leadership seems inclined to continue funding the perpetuation of the war."

That is not the typical opening salvo for a presidential bid. But Kucinich is not a typical candidate. When he ran for the nomination in 2004, he said a lot of things that grassroots Democrats were thinking. But he didn't say them in a way that won him many delegate votes--only around 70 of the 2,162 needed to secure the nod.
link

I happen to like Dennis Kucinich. I like what he stands for. Like Howard Dean, who I campaigned for, Dennis speaks his mind. Sadly, both candidates were jettisoned by the "inside the beltway" Democratic leadership that is sadly out of touch with the rest of us. We don't want their same old same old crap. Period. I was amazed when I returned from Iowa after the last Presidential primaries when I found out that the media (and our DLC leaders and the unions) jettisoned Dean in favor of Kerry, and the media used the so-called Dean scream (that wasn't) to discredit him. It was the first time I was actually at an event and saw that my experience was manipulated by the press. That is when I knew that our country was in trouble. That is when I knew that we, the people, were being manipulated by the "powers that be" so they could promote their agenda.

Hopefully, in this next election cycle, we the voters will wake up and see beyond the crap fed to us by the media and vote using critical thinking skills. Of course, critical thinking skills are in short supply in this country. I hope and pray that the American people will wake up and do what is good for the country and tell the Republicans and the Democratic leadership that we have had ENOUGH! Maybe?

Martin Luther King Day March

The MLK March is Jan. 15th. For more information click on the link

It's the largest march in the nation, and there are always a lot of activities that make it just wonderful. Consider spending the morning (or longer) at the MLK march. You can get there using park and ride, which is very easy to do. Typically, we park at Crossroads and take the bus at around 8 a.m. That gives us plenty of time to hear some good old gospel music and get ready to march.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Rest in peace, Gerald Ford

Ford was President when our oldest daughter was born. The one thing you can say about Ford was he was an ethical and honorable man, mostly. Our condolences to the Ford family.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Handing out phone cards at Audie Murphy VA in San Antonio


Today, I met these wonderful women, who had signed up at Volunteer for Change, sponsored by Working Assets, to deliver 120-125 minute phone cards to veterans at Audie Murphy VA Hospital. We came from all over San Antonio and outlying counties to thank our veterans for their service, and help them out with phone cards. We delivered 135 cards.
Many veterans were astounded at the generousity of our donors, 120 minutes was like gold to them. Many a tear were shed, by veterans and volunteers alike. These men and women gave service to their country that can never be fully repaid. So, this is just a little drop in the bucket of the thanks they deserve.
What I noted (as a former VA nurse) is that the veterans are younger, and younger. They will need our help for a lifetime. We, as a nation, need to be prepared to offer them that reward for their service.
Check out Act for Change. Part of their mission statement: Founded on the belief that building a business and a better world aren't mutually exclusive, Working Assets has been helping busy people make a difference since 1985. It's a belief that's generated over $50 million in donations to nonprofits working for peace, equality, human rights, education and a cleaner environment. And the process is simple. You just sign up for our long distance, credit card or wireless services and we donate a portion of your monthly charges to the causes you help select - at no extra cost to you. So why not change to Working Assets? You can rest assured it will be a change for the better. Sign up and volunteer, it will do your heart good.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Faithful America, living wage campaign

Let Justice Roll Sign the petition. Here is some information about the petition:
Leaders from Let Justice Roll will be meeting with Congressional leaders early in January where they plan to deliver thousands of letters signed by Clergy and lay leaders all calling for a raise in the federal minimum wage. We hope you will sign the letter below and add your voice to this important statement. Our goal is to get thousands of signatures from religious leaders, clergy and lay, across the country. You can help by signing AND by forwarding this to your friends and colleagues.

Today we deliver phone cards to Veterans

Supported by Working Assets, Veterans for Peace, Codepink, Iraq Veterans Against the War and Gold Star Famlies for Peace. Approximately 135 phone cards were delivered to me last week, and today I'll be heading to San Antonio to hand them out. Volunteers will be meeting me at the VA this afternoon. More later.

family values my ass! We slave for corporate profits,

In the United States there is no legal minimum number of vacation days for workers. I guess we're all supposed to be thankful to the rich for "giving us jobs."

The rest of the world? Different. (As you read this, remember that 20 days means minimum four weeks vacation by law, not three.)


Here are a few examples:

Austria: 5 weeks, for elderly employees 6 weeks
Belgium: 20 days, premium pay
Brazil: 30 consecutive days, of which 10 can be sold back to the employer
Bulgaria: 20 business days
Croatia: 18 working days
European Union: 4 weeks, more in some countries
France: 7 weeks
Tunisia: 30 work days
Saudi Arabia: 15 days
Who else gets none? China...

So a question: Who is our economy FOR, anyway? From Huffington Post,

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Military Appeal for Redress, protesting the war

For this first time since the Vietnam era, a robust movement of organized active-duty U.S. military has surfaced to oppose a war while still in course.

Hundreds of U.S. soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen -- many of them currently serving on the front lines in Iraq-- are formally petitioning Congress to end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home.

After the so-called Appeal For Redress materialized just a handful of weeks ago, almost 1,000 active-duty personnel have signed on, including dozens of officers. The voice of hundreds of active-duty soldiers joining the anti-war movement brings enormous moral clout to the effort to get the troops home.Link

Friday, December 15, 2006

Operation Wagonwheel, immigration raids

From a new blog, authored in part by Christy Harvey,a project of a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. I find it very interesting that in these raids what they have done is indiscriminate arrests, looking for "brown" people without regard to their citizenship. Driving while black is often enough to get a black person arrested, now evidently working while brown is also enough to get you imprisoned. These are police state tactics, not good police work or investigative work. Even the name of the operation, "wagonwheel" is strange. The last time we circled wagons, we committed genocide against Native Americans. Where are we going with this?

Here's the rundown from MikeCheckradio:

Massive Immigration Raids
Crackdown! The Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration division has arrested 1,282 people, most of them undocumented workers, as part of a massive raid on meatpacking plants in six states. The raid is the largest federal immigration raid in U.S. history. [TPM Muckraker]
The DHS insists that the plants, owned by the Swift meatpacking company, are the sites of widespread immigration violations and identity theft schemes.
But the raids have shocked the small communities where these plants were, with hundreds of citizens disappearing overnight. Federal raids on the plants are not an uncommon occurance, but in Worthington, Minnesota, “Never before had so many workers — 230 — been detained or arrested. Never before had the fallout of the raid created so much fear and distrust among so many.” [Minneapolis Star Tribune]
According to Jill Cashen of the United Food and Commercian Union,"Stormtroopers came in with machine guns, rounded [the workers] into the cafeterias, separated identified citizens from non-citizens, and then they took away all green cards and put non-citizens onto buses.”
The arrested workers have been barred from seeing lawyers or members of their family. Many of them had kids who were at school or daycare, and the children were left without any way to get home. At CanyonElementary School in Utah, 100 kids had parents or family members taken by the raids (about a quarter of the students). [KSL] via [TPM Muckraker]
The raids also allegedly used crass racial profiling: One worker described the agents separating non-latinos and people with light skin, while forcing everyone with dark skin to submit to careful scrutiny. “I was in line because of the color of my skin,” one employee said. “They’re discriminating against me. I’m from the United States…” [Salt Lake City Tribune]
Officials in Washington are bewildered by the timing of the raid, saying there is neither a relevant political motive, nor any real need for the sudden and harsh crackdown.Link

Sunday, December 10, 2006

President Clinton came to San Antonio today







President Clinton spoke at Palo Alto College today, in support of Ciro Rodriguez. It was a rousing 20 minute speech, well received by the crowd. In fact, the crowd was loudly appreciative before and after the speech, stomping on the bleachers, hooting and hollering. The band that entertained before the speeches was just incredible!

Speakers included: Henry Cisneros, Charlie Gonzalez, Carlos Uresti, Boyd Ritchie, and of course, Ciro Rodriquez. The crowd included grandmas, grandpas, kids of all ages, many veterans. Veterans issues were extremely important to most in the crowd. Bonilla was booed many times when his anti veteran voting record was brought up.

All in all, a great time was had by all.

I apologize for the quality of the picture. I realized that people were getting better quality pictures with their cell phones than I got with my ancient camera, so it was frustrating that I could not improve this picture any more than this.

And here, the folkloric dancers:

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Bush Asked Whether He’s ‘Still In Denial,’ Responds ‘It’s Bad In Iraq. That Help?’

Think Progress � Bush Asked Whether He’s ‘Still In Denial,’ Responds ‘It’s Bad In Iraq. That Help?’:
"Bush Asked Whether He’s ‘Still In Denial,’ Responds ‘It’s Bad In Iraq. That Help?’

At a press conference this morning with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a reporter asked President Bush whether his use of the word “unsettling” to describe the violence in Iraq would “convince many people that you’re still in denial about how bad things are in Iraq.”

Bush responded curtly, “It’s bad in Iraq. That help?” and then chuckled."

Watch the video via the link provided. I can't believe this man is so crass, and uncaring. 11 military personnel have died this month so far in Iraq, and he chuckles???? What an ass.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Conservative Nanny State

The Conservative Nanny State: "The Government vs. the Market
A Useful Political Parable for Conservatives

Political debates in the United States are routinely framed as a battle between conservatives who favor market outcomes, whatever they may be, against liberals who prefer government intervention to ensure that families have decent standards-of-living. This description of the two poles is inaccurate; both conservatives and liberals want government intervention. The difference between them is the goal of government intervention, and the fact that conservatives are smart enough to conceal their dependence on the government."
The book is available free online for reading link

Monday, December 04, 2006

The dollar melts as Iraq burns

Comment is free: The dollar melts as Iraq burns [James Galbraith] : "So here's the big question: is the age of the dollar economy lurching toward an end? Are China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and other big holders of T-bonds about to start a rush, or even a stately promenade, toward the exits? Let's hope not, because the world is unprepared to replace the dollar with anything else. The euro is not suited for the job, and a joint dollar-euro system would need better central bankers than either America or Europe has got. An end to the dollar system would therefore be chaotic, inflationary, and very tough on world trade. The best argument for the dollar has always been: it's not in anyone's interest to bring it down.

Could it happen, though? Yes, it could. And it could be connected to that other unfolding disaster. As the 'Pax Americana' goes to hell in Iraq - producing a nervous breakdown among the pro-war elites - let's remember that security and finance are linked. Typically, the country that provides global economic security enjoys the use of its financial assets in world trade. And when the security situation changes, that privilege can be revoked. The consequences are unpleasant. Ask the British: after the sterling area folded, it took a generation for the UK to come all the way back.

That is partly why Economists for Peace and Security - a group I chair - opposed the Iraq war from the beginning. As far back as 2002, we understood - as the economically illiterate neo-imperialists did not - that a world system very favourable to America was on the line. And it was not, as they seemed to think, just a matter of military might. We knew that if the war undermined confidence in the power, good faith and common sense of the United States, that could lead toward disastrous changes on the financial front.

Four years in and with no end in sight, that risk may finally be catching up to the almighty dollar."


Something we have been talking about for a long time here at home. Wonder why our "fearless leader" can't wrap his head around this one?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

PEACE
Yusuf Islam - Peace Train (New Version)

The message is in the music.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Olbermann's special comment - Newts twisted free speech idea


Olbermann, always eloquent and always right on target.

Airport x-ray screening test to be started in Phoenix


link to story: "Phoenix airport to test X-ray screening

Fri Dec 1, 7:02 AM ET

Sky Harbor International Airport here will test a new federal screening system that takes X-rays of passenger's bodies to detect concealed explosives and other weapons.

The technology, called backscatter, has been around for several years but has not been widely used in the U.S. as an anti-terrorism tool because of privacy concerns.

The Transportation Security Administration said it has found a way to refine the machine's images so that the normally graphic pictures can be blurred in certain areas while still being effective in detecting bombs and other threats.

The agency is expected to provide more information about the technology later this month but said one machine will be up and running at Sky Harbor's Terminal 4 by Christmas.

The security agency's Web site indicates that the technology will be used initially as a secondary screening measure, meaning that only those passengers who first fail the standard screening process will be directed to the X-ray area.

Even then, passengers will have the option of choosing the backscatter or a traditional pat-down search.

A handful of other U.S. airports will have the X-rays machines in place by early 2007 as part of a nationwide pilot program, TSA officials said."


Why don't we just go to the airport nude? This is a really big invasion of privacy! What if you have a colostomy, or a penile implant, do you want some smarmy TSA screener to know, and worse, do you want your naked photo in a federal data base? When will Americans rise up and say ENOUGH ALREADY! How many liberties do we think we should give up?

As I see it, I'll just volunteer to strip at the TSA counter like I did at the Senate office building in DC when they told me I had to remove all my protest buttons in order to go through the x-ray machine. The guards were alarmed. Scared of a 55 year old women stripping to her bra? Oh sad too bad.

Let's all strip in protest! Particularly all of you who have said you having nothing to hide where wire tapping is concerned. Are you ready to get naked at the airport?

Let's let our legislators to go first, and see just how brave they are.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christmas wreath, a no-go??


t r u t h o u t | News Politics: "November 28, 2006 | Bill Trimarco and Lisa Jensen with their symbolic wreath. Last week, they were threatened with fines of $25 a day by their homeowners association until they removed the four-foot wreath shaped like a peace symbol from the front of their house. In its original letter to the couple, the association said some neighbors had found the peace symbol politically 'divisive.' The fines have been dropped, the three-member board of the association has resigned, and peace signs are multiplying in the town.
(Photo: Randi Pierce / Durango Herald)"

Imagine, some folks were complaining the peace symbol was "satanic." WTF! On what planet do these folks live???

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Christmas Lights Gone Wild

Love it! Merry Christmas ya'll!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Remembering our fathers

My husband and I, are remembering our fathers this week. My father, George, and my husband's father, Boris, died 3 days apart. Their legacies, are both interesting. We think that the two men, so opposite in many ways, had so much in common that they had a "date" in the next world. Boris was an immigrant to this country; my Dad could have been a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. What did they have in common? Love of this country.
They both served in WW II, my father in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, and Boris in France and Germany. They loved SOS, spam, souse, and organ meats. They could both sing Maresie Doats, Don't sit under the Apple tree, You are my sunshine, my only sunshine and She'll be coming around the mountain, and loved slang words like schlemiel, S.N.A.F.U., and my Dad's favorite for us, "wrong way Corrigan!" They were both loved people and loved to talk.
My father served in the US Army Air Corps (US Air Force) as a Chaplain for over 30 years. My father-in-law, served in the US Army and civil service.
Their legacies?
Two examples, which of course, do not include the legacies of fun, frivolity, and love they left to their families, but what they left to their country.....

This is the Memorial Window at the Strategic Air Command Chapel at Offutt AFB, NE. It commemorates the service, duty and loyalty of USAF comrades during WW II. It was my father's project. Boris, left another legacy, his valuable skill as a translator during the cold war.

These men, and the men and women of their generation gave everything they had and more to this country. They came back from war to the GI Bill, and a country that thanked them for their service. The middle class was born, unions were strong, one man could raise a family and buy a house on his wages. Yes, we were more homogeneous then, and a lot of it was due to homogeneity forged in the military when all our fathers were just "GI Issue." Our country and our parents worked to rebuild Europe and Japan; many admirable things were accomplished.

President Jimmy Carter stated the following in his recent book, Our Endangered Values:
"Our people have been justifiably proud to see America's power and influence used to preserve peace for ourselves and others, to promote economic and social justice, to raise high the banner of freedom and human rights, to protect the quality of our environment, to alleviate human suffering, to enhance the rule of law, and to cooperate with other peoples to reach these common goals."

These were the goals of our fathers, ours and yours. Their legacy. They had a common bond, whether new immigrant or old immigrant, a bond forged in adversity. Now, in adversity, all we have done is polarize ourselves, forgetting the values that brought us together as a nation. For the sake of our fathers and forefathers, we should get back to the business of building a nation for everyone. ALL of us.

Again, to quote Carter, ..."our own well being [as a nation]would be enhanced by restoring the trust, admiration, and friendship that our nation formerly enjoyed among other peoples."

Walt Handelsman - The Midterm’s Greatest Hits

Walt Handelsman - The Midterm’s Greatest Hits
A little humor!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Blotter

The Blotter: "First Daughter Barbara Robbed in Argentina

November 21, 2006 3:14 PM

From Our Sources:

Bush_sisters_nr First Daughter Barbara Bush had her purse and cell phone stolen as she had dinner in a restaurant in Buenos Aires, Argentina, even though she was being guarded by a detail of Secret Service agents, according to law enforcement reports made available to ABC News.

It was not the only mishap on the two-week trip to Argentina by Barbara (right) and her twin sister Jenna (left).

A Secret Service agent on the advance detail got into an 'altercation' with someone after a night out and was badly beaten, according to the law enforcement reports. The Secret Service said today the incident was an attempted mugging that occurred while the agent was on his own time. The agent is doing fine."

My comment....Oh boo hoo Now you know how the rest of us manage to exist without body guards. Funny, I have been overseas but never mugged. Perhaps I knew, from long experience, to never carry a purse. Duh! Even may daughters don't carry purses. Guess you wanted your several hundred dollar status symbol purse to stick out. Well it did, moron.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Calif. Couple Calls for Orgasm for Peace - New York Times

Calif. Couple Calls for Orgasm for Peace - New York Times: "Calif. Couple Calls for Orgasm for Peace
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: November 19, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Two peace activists have planned a massive anti-war demonstration for the first day of winter.

But they don't want you marching in the streets. They'd much rather you just stay home.

The Global Orgasm for Peace was conceived by Donna Sheehan, 76, and Paul Reffell, 55, whose immodest goal is for everyone in the world to have an orgasm Dec. 22 while focusing on world peace.

''The orgasm gives out an incredible feeling of peace during it and after it,'' Reffell said Sunday. ''Your mind is like a blank. It's like a meditative state. And mass meditations have been shown to make a change.''"
Ok, sounds like a plan to me! Oh progressive grandpa..... LOL.

President Bush: Driving Iraq Towards A Wall Of Death

President Bush: Driving Iraq Towards A Wall Of Death
Bob Cesca
"We'll succeed unless we quit," has to be one of the president's most ridiculous and dangerous statements about Iraq since, "Those weapons of mass destruction have to be around here somewhere." No wait. It was one of the most dangerous things he's said since, "It'll be just a comma." That's not it. Since, "Bring 'em on," maybe? Ah hell. There are so many stupid, dangerous and ridiculous things he's muttered with a smirk about this war, you could probably document them on enough paper to build a giant paper bridge from Washington to Baghdad allowing our soldiers to walk home.

This latest nugget of I'm-not-stay-the-course-but-stay-the-course-anyway ignorance was regurgitated by the president in Hanoi, Vietnam of all places which served only to underscore the tragedy of it all. And what's worse is he's signaled an intention to escalate the hostilities with increased troop levels in Iraq -- a plan that appears to be endorsed by the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group. It goes without saying the entire schmear is not only a slap in the face to all the soldiers who are dutifully departing on their fourth and fifth tours of duty, but also a kick to the throat of everyone who spoke out against the war on November 7.link
This article is well worth reading as it compares Iraq and Vietnam. Add to this McCain's statement that we need to send a massive number of troops over there and you can only see disaster looming. Will they re-institute the draft? And, where will all those troops come from? And where will the medical support come from? Old military medical folks like me,called back to active duty? Are they f*ing crazy?

FRONTLINE: the torture question | PBS

FRONTLINE: the torture question | PBS
You can watch this online at this web site. Well worth watching. There is no excuse for torture. Bush and Cheney continue to push their torture agenda, but even the Senate voted 90-9 to stop torture.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

AlterNet: We Need a "Can-Do" Attitude on Health Care

link:
By Barbara Ehrenreich, AlterNet, Posted on November 15,2006,
After their roaring two-house victory, the Democrats are squeaking about micro-policies. There'll be no impeachment, we're told, though maybe a bit more oversight of Halliburton-style war profiteering. No withdrawal from Iraq, only a 'phased redeployment.' And, the New York Times assures us (11/12/06), that the Dems ' have largely dropped ... talk of a Canadian-style national health insurance.' Instead, they might try to reverse the Medicare drug plan's ban on bargaining for drug price discounts.

They've caught the can't-do spirit that hovers over that former malarial swamp, Washington D.C. "

Wake up Dems! We, the activists helped get you elected and we, the activists can, and will, exert pressure if you continue this cowardly streak.

WE THE PEOPLE did not put you there to sit on your stinking hands! Get some balls and get out there and fight for what is right, even if you don't think you can. We need to see action on issues that are important to our society as a whole.

Progressive Grannie's newest blog

Blog spot has a beta version.
Check it out. It is easier to use in some ways, but still not as functional as a myspace blog.

Today's news

Bush reappoints overseas broadcast chief
boston.com/...
President Bush on Tuesday renominated the chairman of the agency that directs U.S. overseas broadcasts even though the nomination has been stalled in the Senate amid allegations of misconduct.

Tom DeLay: Nancy Pelosi Refused To Have A Slave "Mindset" When She Was In The Minority | The Huff - Huffington Post
On Tuesday, Fmr Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay told the audience at the Time magazine Person of the Year luncheon and panel that he thinks soon to be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi deserves to be awarded the magazine's cover and title this year. DeLay's reason for nominating her included a metaphor on Washington, plantations and the slave mentality. Read what DeLay said below, since he manages to explain it best.

"I'm going to shock you on two levels. One is I think the real Person of the Year ought to be Nancy Pelosi....I think it's unfortunate that you said I created the culture in Washington. The Democrats, when they lost power, it was like, as John said, it was like losing your plantation - they refused to work with the Republican majority. Back in the good old days they always talk about the Republican minority mindset like the slaves of the plantation and as long as they kept that, the Democrats, they all got along. It's when things got up and changed that we all got more partisan. Nancy Pelosi, I have to give her credit."

Gallup: Obama Now Posing Threat to Hillary in 2008 -- Giuliani Leads McCain on GOP Side - Editor and Publisher/
After a whirlwind political campaign and press tour riding a bestselling book, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois now trails Sen. Hillary Clinton by only 12% among Democratic voters (and Democratic-leaning independents) as their choice for president in 2008, in a new Gallup poll.

As Bush Goes To Vietnam, White House Website Displays The Wrong Flag Think Progress
Today, President Bush visits Vietnam for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, “looking to burnish his foreign-policy credentials.” He’s off to a miserable start.

FOX NEWS INTERNAL MEMO: "Be On The Lookout For Any Statements From The Iraqi Insurgents...Thrilled At The Prospect Of A Dem Controlled Congress"Huffington Post

Truthdig - Bush: I Can Hold Immigrants Forever, Without Trial

Truthdig - Bush: I Can Hold Immigrants Forever, Without Trial: "Bush: I Can Hold Immigrants Forever, Without Trial
http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/20061114_bush_immigrants_without_trial/
Posted on Nov 14, 2006

From the AP: “Immigrants arrested in the United States may be held indefinitely on suspicion of terrorism and may not challenge their imprisonment in civilian courts,” Bush & Co. officials said Nov. 13.

Maybe it’s time to stop singing that Lee Greenwood song “God Bless the U.S.A” ? (And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free...) Those lyrics don’t quite resonate anymore…

AP:

Immigrants arrested in the United States may be held indefinitely on suspicion of terrorism and may not challenge their imprisonment in civilian courts, the Bush administration said Monday, opening a new legal front in the fight over the rights of detainees.

In court documents filed with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., the Justice Department said a new anti-terrorism law being used to hold detainees in Guantanamo Bay also applies to foreigners captured and held in the United States.

Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar, was arrested in 2001 while studying in the United States. He has been labeled an “enemy combatant,” a designation that, under a law signed last month, strips foreigners of the right to challenge their detention in federal courts."


Soon will he try to ship dissidents off indefinitely? Thank goodness there will be some checks and balances in Jan. IF, and only if, the democrats quit this conciliatory B.S.

Truthdig - Cartoons - Mr. Fish - Rumsfeld, Vagabond

Truthdig - Cartoons - Mr. Fish - Rumsfeld, Vagabond

Truthdig - Barry Golson: Stop U.S.-Canada Immigration Now!

A little humor to brighten you day.
Truthdig - Barry Golson: Stop U.S.-Canada Immigration Now!: "The House of Commons in Canada’s Parliament today passed its final legislation of 2009, a controversial bill to strengthen Canada’s border with the U.S. The bill calls for erecting a wall across the continent from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, similar to the wall and demilitarized zone at the U.S. border with Mexico.

“Illegal American immigrants continue to take Canadian jobs,” said the Hon. Dashell Samuels, Minister of Public Safety. Samuels cited the estimated 10 million American “illegals” who “mow our lawns and bus our tables at below the minimum wage,” disrupting the Canadian economy."

Monday, November 13, 2006

Slap a yellow ribbon on your SUV

Slap a yellow ribbon on your SUV watch here

Why did I post that Asylum Street Spankers song? The video, by the Asylum Street Spankers, brought to mind what I have said, in in various venues, that I am sick and tired of the lip service given to our veterans. As benefits have been cut time and time again, and our President has seen fit to ignore the dead and wounded, it's has become more and more obvious that this so-called war is all about money. Money for Halliburton, KBR, Caci, and Bush and Co.
They should be tried for crimes against humanity. I was interested to hear the following information on Democracy Now! There is never an excuse for torture, and our leaders should be made to step up to the bar of justice.


War Crimes Suit Prepared Against Rumsfeld

Democracy Now!

Thursday 09 November 2006

The president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Michael Ratner, is heading to Germany today to file a new case charging outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with war crimes for authorizing torture at Guantanamo Bay. [includes rush transcript] Would Rumsfeld stepping down leave him open to prosecution? In 2004, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a criminal complaint in Germany on behalf of several Iraqi citizens who alleged that a group of U.S. officials committed war crimes in Iraq. Rumsfeld was among the officials named in the complaint. The Iraqis claimed they were victims of electric shock, severe beatings, sleep and food deprivation and sexual abuse.

Germany's laws on torture and war crimes permits the prosecution of suspected war criminals wherever they may be found.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

U.S. Vs. John Lennon Trailer

Sigh, no longer playing at the Bijou or anywhere else in town. I think I'll just have to buy it to see it. Still appropriate today. We can only hope that the Demos give our habeus corpus rights back to us and immediately!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Tribute to the Nebraska Cornhuskers

I could not have had a better week! The Democrats win the House and the Senate and the Cornhuskers beat the Aggies! Yahoo!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

We are THE champions!

Queen says it all!

Rummy, this is for you

Black Sabbath War Pigs Paris 1970

Very appropriate as Rumsfeld leaves the office he totally screwed up.

Incredible!


OMG! We did it! We did it! The 50 state plan, boots on the ground, and pissed off Americans, what a marvelous combination. We pulled our country back from the brink of fascism. There is hope, for our country after all!
Now the work begins. We must continue to exercise due diligence, participate in our government and get ready for 2008.

A note from John Courage.

Dear Team Courage,

To All My Friends and Supporters
I have been honored and humbled to have been allowed to represent you as a candidate for the 21st Congressional District of Texas. From Austin to San Antonio to Kerrville and many places in between, I have traveled and spoken and worked to offer the best representation I know how to all of you.

To those of you I have informed, impressed, or convinced that I could and would do a better job in Washington to represent you I say thanks for your support and encouragement, and to those of you I may never have had the chance to meet, and to those I failed to convince to vote for me, I just share your hope that through your vote for my opponent we will receive good leadership over the next two years.

I will continue to strive to serve in whatever way I may be asked, and I will not end my commitment to make this district, state, and country a better place to live in.

Let me add a special congratulations to all the Democratic victors, especially Valinda Bolton, Susan Steeg, Charlie Baird, and Diane Henson in Travis County; and my Hays County friends Liz Sumter, Karen Ford, and Jeff Barton; and finally my San Antonio fellow Democrats Joe Farias, Larry Knoll, and particularly my friend Ciro Rodriguez for forcing Republican Henry Bonilla into a runoff.

All of the candidates, whether they won or lost, worked incredibly hard, and it has been a privilege to be on the ballot with them.

I also want to thank all the great Team Courage staff and volunteers for their work. I know if I name names I will forget someone or two, but you all know who you are and you should be proud of everything you did. The Austin crew, led by Teri, Matt, and Stewart were awesome, and the San Antonio crew of Madeleine, Davida, and Zada (my wonderful spouse) were amazing.

I’ll never forget this great effort and hope you won’t either.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Truthdig - The Forgotten Wounded of Iraq

Truthdig - The Forgotten Wounded of Iraq

Thirty-eight years ago, on Jan. 20, 1968, I was shot and paralyzed from my mid-chest down during my second tour of duty in Vietnam. It is a date that I can never forget, a day that was to change my life forever. Each year as the anniversary of my wounding in the war approached I would become extremely restless, experiencing terrible bouts of insomnia, depression, anxiety attacks and horrifying nightmares. I dreaded that day and what it represented, always fearing that the terrible trauma of my wounding might repeat itself all over again. It was a difficult day for me for decades and it remained that way until the anxieties and nightmares finally began to subside.

As I now contemplate another January 20th I cannot help but think of the young men and women who have been wounded in the war in Iraq. They have been coming home now for almost three years, flooding Walter Reed, Bethesda, Brooke Army Medical Center and veterans hospitals all across the country. Paraplegics, amputees, burn victims, the blinded and maimed, shocked and stunned, brain-damaged and psychologically stressed, over 16,000 of them, a whole new generation of severely maimed is returning from Iraq, young men and women who were not even born when I came home wounded to the Bronx veterans hospital in 1968.

I, like most other Americans, have occasionally seen them on TV or at the local veterans hospital, but for the most part they remain hidden, like the flag-draped caskets of our dead, returned to Dover Air Force Base in the darkness of night as this administration continues to pursue a policy of censorship, tightly controlling the images coming out of that war and rarely ever allowing the human cost of its policy to be seen.


What do we need to do to support these men and women? Simply put, we need to elect veterans to office, who will then fund VA Hospitals and clinics, PTSD programs and generally stop the funding cuts in Veterans programs. The chickenhawks in DC just keep cutting the budget for veterans healthcare, without any regard for the lives that have been incredibly altered by war. Of course, many of those officials, including the President and Vice President have no skin the game, so they could care less. The sound like they support the troops, but when it comes to putting their money where their mouths are...they don't.
These injuries will be something these veterans will struggle with for 30-40+ years. This impacts them and their families. Reservists get little or no support at all.
This must stop! Stand up and demand better care for our veterans!

Bill Moyers | America 101

Again, Bill Moyers lays it out for the nation. The non critical thinkers among us need to pay attention, but will they?
Bill Moyers | America 101: " Rub the crystal ball: In the next few decades, when the huge liabilities start coming in due to Social Security and Medicare, there may be nothing left - less than nothing left - for public needs like education, highways, disaster relief, and social services, let alone national healthcare.

Small wonder that the Wall Street investor, Pete Peterson, a life-long Republican who served as President Nixon's Commerce Secretary, says our children's future is being ruined by a reckless fiscal 'theology.'

Theology asserts propositions that are believed whether or not they meet the test of reality. Not only do our governing elites act as if there's no tomorrow, they behave as if there is no reality. Alas, they won't be around to feel our grandchildren's pain.

In his recent book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed , the Pulitzer-prize winning anthropologist Jared Diamond writes about how governing elites throughout history isolate and delude themselves until it is too late. He reminds us that the change people inflict on their environment was one of the main factors in the decline of earlier societies. For example: the Mayan natives on the Yucatan peninsula who suffered as their forests disappeared, their soil eroded, and their water supply deteriorated. Chronic warfare made matters worse as they exhausted dwindling resources. Although Mayan kings could see their forests vanishing and their hills eroding, they were able to insulate themselves from the rest of society. By extracting wealth from commoners, they could remain well fed while everyone else was slowly starving. Realizing too late that they could not reverse their deteriorating environment, they became casualties of their own privilege.

Any society contains a built-in blueprint for failure, Diamond warns, if elites insulate themselves from the consequences of their decisions. Then he describes an America in which elites have cocooned themselves in gated communities, guarded by private security patrols and filled with people who drink bottled water, depend on private pensions, and send their children to private schools. Gradually they lose their motivation to support the police force, the municipal water supply, social security, and public schools."
Video the Vote 2006

we must get out there and watch the polls. but most of all VOTE!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

IAVA - Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America - The F Troop


IAVA - Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America - The F Troop

Get these bums out of power! We need checks and balances. That requires more Demo's in the house folks.

End the war in Iraq.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Apple - Trailers - Borat - Trailer

Apple - Trailers - Borat - Trailer

Great reviews! Looks like something to see.

video the vote.mov (video/quicktime Object)

2004 Voting in Ohio. Will this kind of thing happen again? We need to prevent this from happening. REMEMBER, WHEN YOU VOTE ON A MACHINE, MAKE SURE YOU REVIEW TO ENSURE THAT YOUR VOTE WAS CORRECT.
video the vote.mov (video/quicktime Object)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Borat On Daily Show: "In Kazakhstan We Have Midterm Elections Just Like You, The Next One Is In 30 Years"... | The Huffington Post

Borat On Daily Show: "In Kazakhstan We Have Midterm Elections Just Like You, The Next One Is In 30 Years"... | The Huffington Post: "Kazakh journalist Borat appeared on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart to discuss his upcoming movie. Borat and Jon discussed the similar nature of US and Kazakh democracies. Borat told Jon, 'In Kazakhstan, we have midterm elections just like you. The next one is in 30 years.'"

U.S. Web Archive Is Said to Reveal a Nuclear Guide - New York Times

Bush and Co. won't allow anti-war demonstrations, yet they allow the "cookbook" for nuclear bombs to be posted. This does not make any sense. Unless, you believe, as they obviously do, that by creating chaos, you can plunder the world.
Read on:
U.S. Web Archive Is Said to Reveal a Nuclear Guide - New York Times: "Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who said they hoped to “leverage the Internet” to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.

But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb."

.:Some of My Best Friends Are American:.

.:Some of My Best Friends Are American:.

Very, very funny!

Chertoff Given Henry Petersen Award...Petersen's Grandson Protests Decision: Chertoff Is "An Ass"... | The Huffington Post

Chertoff Given Henry Petersen Award...Petersen's Grandson Protests Decision: Chertoff Is "An Ass"... | The Huffington Post

Petersen's grandson is a smart man. Why award incompetence? Oh, it's the GOP (grand old pervert party) way.

The Blog | Brad Friedman: Here Ae Go Again: 'Just Push the Yellow Button and Vote as Many Times as You Want' on Sequoia Touch-Screen Voting Machines!

The Blog | Brad Friedman: Here Ae Go Again: 'Just Push the Yellow Button and Vote as Many Times as You Want' on Sequoia Touch-Screen Voting Machines! | The Huffington Post

Add to this the fact that Bexar County voters have noted their votes were not properly recorded when they got to the review screen, and had to try again and sometimes more than once to get their vote recorded properly. Review your votes folks!

Where are we going and why is it in a handbasket? I am glad I got to use a paper ballot and fill in the circles. Of course, I have nothing but praise for Darlene at the courthouse. She is a consummate professional, and very conscientious. Kudos Darlene!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Indicted Fmr. House Speaker Tom DeLay: "I Haven't Had No Ethical Problems"... | The Huffington Post

Indicted Fmr. House Speaker Tom DeLay: "I Haven't Had No Ethical Problems"... | The Huffington Post: "Tom Delay appeared on Fox News's Hannity & Colmes Tuesday night. The Former Speaker Of The House has been indicted for money-laundering and conspiracy to commit money-laundering, and has been linked to a number of other scandals. Colmes pressed DeLay on whether his 'ethical problems' have contributed to 'the negative view that Americans have of the Republican Party and Congress right now.' DeLay replied, 'I haven't had no ethical problems.'"

Ok, DeLay, you big fat liar, what the hell do you consider ethical? Do you remember the 10 commandments? Do you actually profess to be a religious person, perhaps even Christian? I think NO.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Pink- Dear Mr President - Live

Posted again, because it's so good.
As you vote, remember the lives that have been lost for lies. Bush's lies. Rove's propaganda, and Cheney's lies.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Oh wait, we never said stay the course!

Read it here Tony Snow and the Bush Co. try to convince us that they never said "stay the cours." What, were we hallucinating? There is a ton of videotape to prove what they said. How in the hell can they deny it?
Oh, wait, if they say it often enough the moronic American public will believe it...or NOT! We really aren't that stupid and cowed...at least half of us, anyway.
Wake your brothers and sisters and vote against the idiots, TODAY!

End run around the chain of command

Monday, October 23, 2006
Active troops ask congress to end Iraqi occupation
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sixty five active duty service members are officially asking Congress to end the war in Iraq -- the first time active troops have done so since U.S. invasion began in 2003.

Three of the service members will hold a press conference Wednesday explaining their decision to send "Appeals for Redress" under the Military Whistleblower Protection Act to their members of Congress. Under the act, National Guard and Reservists can send communications about any subject to their member of Congress without punishment.

-CNN


GO TROOPS GO! Sanity might prevail....eventually. Of course, after the Republicans have eviscerated any care for Veterans..shame on them.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Take Back the Capitol!

VOTE !! Vote early! If you don't know where, call your county courthouse. But VOTE! !

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Olbermann: Habeus Corpus

If you don't understand the importance of Habeus Corpus, watch this. This right is as old as the Magna Carta (the year was 1215).

Moses and God on minimum wage

Full story

Transcript of Colorado ad against amendment 42, you won't believe it!



MOSES: Hello!

GOD: Can you hear me now?

MOSES: We need divine intervention. They want to chisel Amendment 42 into Colorado’s constitution where it doesn’t belong.

GOD: What on earth are you talking about?

MOSES: An annual minimum wage increase in stone for eternity!

GOD: When inflation and recession come, it will be a catastrophe!

MOSES: It’s a plague we’ll face every year.

GOD: We can’t let the people make this mistake. Go. Spread the word. Vote no on 42!


And here are some of the best posts:

1. All I can think of is Mel Brooks’s Moses having to modify his statement from 15 to 10 commandments upon dropping one of the tablets and breaking it…

Why are there pedaphile Republicans in congress?


2. Jesus himself would vote for an increase in the minimum wage. The only folks who would not want the minimum wage increased are the greedy corporate types who would like all of us to work for $1.00 a day.

I guess that would be most, if not all, of the Bush crowd.

3, There oughta be an eleventh commandment:
Thou shalt pay a living wage

Clinton: voters know something is wrong

"I have never seen the American people so serious," said Clinton. "I think I know why. People know things are out of whack. The rhythm of our public life and our common life in America has been disturbed."
Clinton urged activists to focus on the midterm election.

"People are sick of partisanship, they are sick of gridlock and they are coming to us in droves," said Clinton. "People know something is wrong and they want to change."

Clinton called the Bush administration and the Republican-led Congress "unprecedentedly unaccountable" and said tax cuts for the rich have led to huge deficits.

link

My opinion: Let us all get out there and help get voters out in big numbers! We can call voters right from home, easy as pie.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

American Fascism Is on the Rise

This is absolutely worth reading!
please take the time to do so, thanks.
American Fascism Is on the Rise
By Stan Goff, Truthdig
Posted on October 14, 2006, Printed on October 14, 2006
http://www.alternet.org/story/42884/

When I was 18, before student tracking in the public schools had been formalized, an informal tracking system was nevertheless in place: the university track, the craft track, the poultry worker track, and the prison track. I was somewhere between the last two. Both my parents were working in a defense contractor factory, and I was left adrift in the factory-worker 'burbs to be trained by television and alcohol. Raised on a curriculum of McCarthyism, I did the most logical thing I could think of to avoid both the factory and eventual incarceration with the ne'er-do-wells with whom I was keeping company. I joined the Army, and volunteered to fight communists in Vietnam.

I tried to get out of the Army once, and it lasted for four years, whereupon I ended up doing piecework in a sweatshop outside Wilmar, Ark. Back on that public school track, I suppose, but given that the U.S. was no longer invading anyone's country, and that I was responsible for an infant now, I went back into the Army. One thing led to another, and as it turned out I was good at something called special operations, and I ended up making a career of it. By the time I signed out on terminal leave in December 1995, I had worked in eight places designated "armed conflict areas," where people who were brown and poor seemed to be the principle targets of these "special" operations. At some point toward the end, I had decided that plenty of people could look back and say they wished they'd lived differently; and I was just one of them; and that I might salvage something worthwhile from the whole experience by telling the people who had paid me -- people who pay taxes -- what their money was really being spent to do.

Among other activities, I started writing books.

The bad apple

There was nothing more inflammatory in my first book, about the 1994 invasion and occupation of Haiti, than my assertion that Special Operations was a hotbed of racism and reaction. "Hideous Dream - A Soldier's Memoir of the US Invasion of Haiti" was my personal account of that operation, and I was explicit not only about the significant number of white supremacists in Special Operations but how the attitudes of these extremists connected with the less explicit white male supremacy of white patriarchal American society and defined, in some respects, the attitude taken by U.S. occupation forces in Haiti toward the Haitian population.

The resistance to this allegation was particularly fierce, and not merely from those inside the Special Operations "community," whose outrage was more public-relations stagecraft than anything else. There was outrage from people who hadn't a moment of actual experience in the military at all. This is an affront to something sacred in the public imaginary of a thoroughly militarized United States: that we are an international beacon of civilized virtue, and that our military is the masculine epitome of that virtue standing between our suburban security and the dark chaos of the Outside. Questioning the mystique of the armed forces is tantamount to lunacy at best and treason at worst.

This is the reason bad-apple-ism has been the predominant meme of the media and the Pentagon when they are compelled to discuss the stories of torture, rape and murder in Iraq and Afghanistan. "A few bad apples" committed torture. "A few bad apples" raped prisoners, fellow female soldiers, and civilians in their homes. The massacre was not descriptive of the Marine Corps, but the work of "a few bad apples." Anyone who wants to be the skunk at this prevarication party need only ask, "How do these bad apples all seem to aggregate into the same units?"

One bad apple was dispensed with on June 11, 2001. That's when Timothy McVeigh was given a lethal injection at 7 a.m. in the death chamber of the U.S. federal penitentiary at Terre Haute, Ind.

Frugivorous analogies aside, McVeigh was not the product of a tree or poor storage, but of a culture. Raised in western New York by a devoutly Catholic father -- an autoworker -- after his parents divorced when he was 10, Tim McVeigh, like many other white youths who are socially awkward and living in times of economic insecurity, was already reading survivalist and white nationalist literature in his teens. The mythic-patriarchal absolutism of racial ideology mapped perfectly onto the consciousness of someone raised by a religiously devout male, and the fact that this ideology responded directly to the insecurities of economic and gender destabilization secured McVeigh as an early devotee.

Gore Vidal said that McVeigh "needed a self-consuming cause to define him[self]." Vidal's account, "The Meaning of Timothy McVeigh," ominously printed in Vanity Fair just days before the 9/11 attacks expressed another "self-consuming cause," noted that McVeigh took his cues from the very government he had worked for as a soldier. Before McVeigh's attack in Oklahoma City, the most recent attack by Americans against Americans outside of warfare was the FBI-BATF massacre of an obscure religious commune that was demonized for destruction at Waco, Texas -- which McVeigh memorialized by blowing up the Murrah Building on the Waco massacre's second anniversary.

When McVeigh was interviewed about the "collateral damage" in Oklahoma, he was asked if he felt remorse. He replied that Truman had never apologized for Hiroshima or Nagasaki. And the formative moment in Iraq for Tim McVeigh was the order by Major General Barry McCaffrey -- the sociopath appointed by Bill Clinton to be the nation's "drug czar" -- to slaughter a seven-mile line of retreating Iraqi soldiers and civilians after the cease-fire in Iraq … now called the Turkey Shoot. As the old military motto says, "Trained by the best, kill like the rest."

Much has been made of McVeigh's affinity for "The Turner Diaries," a neo-Nazi novel about a white nationalist guerrilla war in the U.S., written under pseudonym by the late William Pierce. Less often noted was another formative cultural product for McVey, "Red Dawn," a silly film about American teenagers organizing an armed resistance to the Soviet occupation of the United States. While "silly" is a descriptive term for both these cultural products, we cannot assume they are irrelevant.


Absolute normal





On April 19, 1995, a fan of these martial male fantasies detonated 7,000 pounds of explosives at a federal office building and killed 168 human beings, in what he described as a defense of the Constitution of the United States.




Before we judge his claim too harshly, we should take note that this “defense of the Constitution” is the core of the oath taken by every U.S. military member who is now “serving” in the bloody occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the oath I took that led me to burn down the houses of Vietnamese, and the oath taken by Captain Medina and Lieutenant Calley before they ordered the massacre in My Lai, where the body count was three times that of Timothy McVeigh.




It’s magic, this defense of a sacralized political document; it changes forms. And white male supremacy (we always leave out that second modifier, though it is just as consistently true as the first) is not simple; therefore it cannot be simply dismissed.




The reason I bring this up at all, this old news of white male terrorism in the U.S., is anything but academic. The U.S. military is inducting avowed white supremacists again after an alleged hiatus … one begun in response to the discovery of Timothy McVeigh’s ideological orientations, and the murder of a black couple in December that same year by neo-Nazis in the 82nd Airborne Division.




John Kifner, writing for the New York Times on July 7th:




A decade after the Pentagon declared a zero-tolerance policy for racist hate groups, recruiting shortfalls caused by the war in Iraq have allowed “large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists” to infiltrate the military, according to a watchdog organization.




The Southern Poverty Law Center [SPLC], which tracks racist and right-wing militia groups, estimated that the numbers could run into the thousands, citing interviews with Defense Department investigators and reports and postings on racist Web sites and magazines.




“We’ve got Aryan Nations graffiti in Baghdad,” the group quoted a Defense Department investigator….






This, of course, is remarkable for its abnormality … or so some might have us think.




These explicitly white supremacist groups, contrasted with the implicitly white supremacist Republican Party, for example, openly embrace a vision of fascism, and openly admire fascist leaders. And while I take issue with those who throw the F-word around as a mere epithet stripped of any operational meaning, the alarm sounded by the SPLC about fascists joining the military under less than perfect oversight to prevent their entry raises some very interesting issues about our entire political conjuncture.




I believe the case can be made that these young men joining the military, embodying a racial-purity version of military masculinity, are anything except ab-normal. They are hyper-normal.




A norm, after all, is defined as a standard or model or pattern regarded as typical.




We need to first see for how long white supremacy has been considered ab-normal in the United States; then we can see how ab-normal it is right now, and only then begin to focus more tightly on the question of fascism and fascists joining the military.




What is seldom examined in public discourse outside the universities and a handful of anti-racist political formations, is the question of what it means to be “white.” Thinkers from Toni Morrison to Noel Ignatiev to bell hooks to Theodore Allen to Mab Segrest to David Roediger have studied whiteness extensively, in its economic, cultural and political dimensions, and conclude unanimously that there is no “objective” measure for what it means; but that it is a social construction linked absolutely to social power. The insistence on existence of a white race, by racists and non-racists alike, is symptomatic of a form of mystification that conceals the concrete relations of power behind a set of widely accepted abstractions.




White supremacy as a beliefhas evolved out of the practice of people in power, who defined themselves as white as a way of differentiating themselves from those over whom they wielded that power. Some very well-known American presidents who made openly white supremacist pronouncements were Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Richard Nixon. Of course, until the dismantling of Jim Crow in the South, white supremacy was a norm, and before the Civil War, slavery was a norm.




White supremacy was so normal in 1964 that after the defeat of Goldwater, the Republican Party adopted thinly veiled racist appeals to attract white voters who felt betrayed by the reluctant Democratic Party support for civil rights legislation. Openly racist public officials like Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond and Trent Lott, even after their affiliations with white supremacist organizations were publicized, continued to be elected. The Republican appeals to white supremacy were cloaked as opposition to welfare, as “states rights,” and as concern about “crime.” As late as 1999 the Republican-controlled House of Representatives blocked a vote to condemn the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist organization with whom then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott had close ties.




How normed does something have to be before we can say it is normal?




Naturalizing Privilege





Denial supports this “non-racist” racism. A poll by the Washington Post in 2001 showed that half of all white people believe blacks in the U.S. are just as economically well-off and secure as whites.




But economic and social distance between blacks and whites is far from closed, except in the minds of many white Americans.




Six in 10 whites—61 percent—say the average black has equal or better access to health care than the average white, according to the poll.




In fact, blacks are far more likely to be without health insurance than whites. In 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey found that blacks were nearly twice as likely as whites to be without health insurance.






The survey in fact notes that half of whites have convinced themselves that African-Americans and Euro-Americans are educated equally well in the U.S. The empirical evidence, of course, points to a contrary conclusion. This misperception by whites is based on two things: (1) the need to believe that race as an issue is “all in the past now” and (2) the association of middle-class whites with middle-class African-Americans, which lends anecdotal support to the idea of equality-achieved, by exclusive exposure to a non-representative sample of the black population. Half of all whites believe that African-Americans enjoy economic parity with whites, another staggeringly wrong impression (the poverty rate for blacks is double that for whites, as just one example).




Racial attitudes are constructed around existing material advantage. This is not nearly as newsworthy as a Klan rally. It is far more important, though, as a causative agent for our social antagonisms. And there is an element of white supremacy in the mainstream discourse about the Iraq war, for example. Both liberals and conservatives articulate the notion that the U.S. has to “stay in Iraq to prevent a catastrophe.” There is no recognition here of the orientalism (a white supremacist meme) that assumes the superiority of Western tutelage and the deviance (violent irrationality) of Arabs and-or Muslims. Privilege naturalizes itself. It portrays itself as an outcome of nature; and we all know that the laws of nature remain out of critical reach. Alas, that’s just how it is … what a pity.



The new militarization of American society




You are what you do. -- Jean Paul Sartre




Fascism traditionally employs either a master-race or master-culture narrative. This narrative is reinforced for troops on the ground in Iraq by the circumstances. The role of occupier is the role of dominator, and as the Stanford Prison Experiment proved dramatically, this dominator role very quickly translates into the dehumanization and objectification of the dominated. On the ground, at the infantry level, wars of domination in every instance become race wars.




The dustup recently about a Marine singing a song (which was published on the Internet as a video), called ”Hadji Girl,” in which he humorously describes killing Iraqi children to the raucous applause of his fellow Marines, was hardly a blip in the corporate media.




In American society right now, with the immigration hysteria fueled by faux populists like CNN’s execrable Lou Dobbs, there is a growing wave of xenophobia that has begun to legitimate vigilantism, like that of the Arizona Minutemen (supported even by the governor of California); and vigilantism is always a feature of fascism in periods before it decisively achieves state power. The lines between the comic-opera militias parked along the Arizona border, the “libertarian” militias in the Midwest and the Aryan militias in the Idaho foothills are not terribly clear. Timothy McVeigh could have easily related to all of them.




The social currents of racial/cultural supremacy are there. The vigilantism is forming. So two aspects of fascism are already falling into place.




Another aspect, and one that was formative of Timothy McVeigh, is economic destabilization. Fascism can be described as a “middle class” phenomenon. One can look at the emergence of the three most studied fascist governments, Mussolini’s Italy, Franco’s Spain and Hitler’s Germany, and in every case there was a privileged stratum of the working class that had been the beneficiaries of metropolitan capitalist development (courtesy of peripheral colonies) that rubbed shoulders socially with the professional and managerial sectors. In times of instability, friction develops between fractions of this stratum. Insecurity among the lower middle-classes creates anxiety and anger that can easily be directed by populist-sounding demagogues (Mussolini and Hitler actually claimed to be socialist, even as they strengthened the ruling classes in their own societies during militarization). Those just above these fractious masses are caught between their anxiety at the turbulent resentments of the lower stratum and their fear that they themselves are only a paycheck away from joining them. Leftist scholars have documented and explained this class dimension of fascism at some length.




Columbia University’s contribution to Answers-dot-com section on “fascism” notes:




While socialism (particularly Marxism) came into existence as a clearly formulated theory or program based on a specific interpretation of history, fascism introduced no systematic exposition of its ideology or purpose other than a negative reaction against socialist and democratic egalitarianism. The growth of democratic ideology and popular participation in politics in the 19th cent. was terrifying to some conservative elements in European society, and fascism grew out of the attempt to counter it by forming mass parties based largely on the middle classes and the petty bourgeoisie, exploiting their fear of political domination by the lower classes. [In the American South, this dread was aimed at blacks, and the bogeyman of black rule was repeatedly invoked, along with the black sexual satyr, to fuel anti-black pograms.—S.G.] Forerunners of fascism, such as Georges Boulanger in France and Adolf Stker and Karl Lueger in Germany and Austria, in their efforts to gain political power played on people’s fears of revolution with its subsequent chaos, anarchy, and general insecurity. They appealed to nationalist sentiments and prejudices, exploited anti-Semitism, and portrayed themselves as champions of law, order, Christian morality, and the sanctity of private property.






In each of the European cases, the trigger bringing fascist demagogues to power was a profound economic crisis. This is a tendency buried within an ever-expanding regime of capital accumulation, because the “logic of capital” inevitably comes into conflict with the “territorial logic of power” (David Harvey, “The New Imperialism,” Oxford Press, 2003). The mobility of capital eventually liquidates or abandons all spaces, including living space, and this throws middle classes into both economic and psychological disorder. They can break both ways: embracing a progressive path of “going through to the other side” of the crisis by creating new social models, or embracing the (often idealized and mythical) past.




Giovanni Arrighi, writing in “Hegemony Unravelling” (New Left Review, March-April 2005), made the point that “[a]s Karl Polanyi pointed out long ago, with special reference to the overaccumulation crisis of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, devastations of this kind inevitably call forth the ‘self-protection of society’ in both progressive and reactionary political form….”




That hasn’t happened in the United States … yet. The anxiety has been building, along with an increasingly precarious social existence in the ’burbs, where car infrastructure is running into record oil prices, pension funds are being wiped out in strategic bankruptcies, and the household debt overhang is beginning to resemble a plank suspended over a canyon with a couple of nails. Not coincidentally, militarization has been one of the processes that has postponed the inevitable.




The militarization of American society has gone on for some time (ever since World War II, to be exact), but this militarization—an aspect of fascism as well—has taken on a different character since the Bush administration lucked into 9/11. Aside from the Straussian convictions about mythopoetic perception management (using cheap cinematic conventions), the practical result of the neocon core advisor group around this decaying-dynastic White House has been the accelerated militarization of economic, domestic and foreign policy. Perception management, after all, including cynical constructions of the nation as the bulwark of good against evil, has been in the armamentarium of most governments.




The American economy has been using the military contracting system during decades of “deindustrialization” (moving offshore to exploit cheap labor) to create a surrogate export market for key industries. The military has also long been used as a research and development subsidy vehicle for private corporations. What the Bush administration has done that is unique is to prioritize unilateral military action in foreign policy at the expense of diplomatic maneuvering and consensus-building among the core capitalist metropoles, and to centralize population control measures at home under a more militarized system … though the with “tactical” units has been in progress for decades and the Clinton administration paved the way for the exponential expansion of the domestic prison population.




Another unique feature of the Bush administration’s militarization program has been the private contracting of military and paramilitary operations to an alphabet soup of corporations, some led by ruling-caste veterans like Bill Perry and many led by the sketchiest characters crawling out of the rank and file of the military itself. In Iraq, mercenaries are now the third-largest armed contingent on the ground, behind only the American armed forces and the Kurdish peshmerga. There are roughly 25,000 of these “contractors” working in Iraq … and they are almost completely immune from any law.




Last year, after a homemade video “escaped” (a la “Hadji Girl”… these folks seem to be proud of themselves) showing so-called security contractors in an SUV driving down an Iraqi highway with Elvis music blasting as they shot cars off the road for sport, the blogs began distributing it. In December, the Washington Post finally ran a story on it. Only then did the military even comment on the video, which they said they would investigate. Nothing has come of this alleged investigation. What did surface, however, once the media decided it was worth a closer look, is that this kind of colonial impunity is routinely exercised by contractors, who are little more than extremely well paid thugs, and is not covered by either Iraqi law or the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice.




Because the salaries of these contractors are routinely above $100,000 a year, with all expenses paid on site, the military itself, especially Special Operations, has had to steeply increase reenlistment bonuses ( some as high as $150,000 in a single lump sum), to partially stem the exodus of Special Ops troops into the lucrative world of corporate mercenaries.




This is a world unto itself, a culture obsessed with death, firearms and racial-purity doctrines. One need only page through the periodicals of this subculture, the most widely circulated being Soldier of Fortune magazine, to find these preoccupations between the articles and ads like a toxic salad. The glue holding them together is gun culture. Gun culture is not an obscure fringe, but a very mainstream, widely popular subculture that taps directly into another key component of fascism: martial masculinity.


Sex, Race, and Guns





Anson Rabinbach and Jessica Benjamin, writing in American Imago in 1995 ("In the Aftermath of Nazi Germany: Alexander Mitscherlich and Psychoanlaysis—Legend and Legacy"):




The crucial element of fascism is its explicit sexual language, what Theweleit calls “the conscious coding” or the “over-explicitness of the fascist language of symbol.” This fascist symbolization creates a particular kind of psychic economy which places sexuality in the service of destruction. Despite its sexually charged politics, fascism is an anti-eros, “the core of all fascist propaganda is a battle against everything that constitutes enjoyment and pleasure.” … He shows that in this world of war the repudiation of one’s own body, of femininity, becomes a psychic compulsion which associates masculinity with hardness, destruction, and self-denial.






Men who are threatened by women’s decreased dependency and increased organization often adopt an individual strategy of ” overconformity,” compulsively acquiring “masculine” accoutrements, be they giant automobiles, guns or attack-breed dogs, and just as compulsively behave as if they are trying out for a role with the World Wrestling Foundation—affecting a kind of bright-eyed homicidal aggression as we are further socialized to equate fear with respect.




Divisions of “male” labor and divisions of “female” labor respond to changes in the economic and political terrain. Look at the more “respectable” masculinity that prioritizes responsibility to the family—which keeps men who are not in the ruling class working. Compare that to the fascistic masculinity displayed by the masculine over-conformers (described above), which merges easily with the idealization of military masculinity in times when warfare plays a more central role in society—for example, during crises of (economic and social) destabilization. War becomes necessary to “rescue” the nation. Gun culture is permeated with this thought, including its sense of embattlement, and its embrace of mythical frontier masculinity that sacrifices comfort to overcome dark forces from the Outside.




Economic destabilization is extremely disruptive of conventional masculinities that equate the male role with that of a provider (I am not endorsing “provider masculinity” or any expression of patriarchy, but comparing them); and create the conditions for overcompensation in the form of hyper-normal male identity … as an armed actor.




The rise of fascistic masculinity prefigures systemic fascism, often in the form of vigilantism. Gun culture is steeped in vigilantism, which is steeped in military lore. Guns in this milieu transcend their practical uses and take on a powerful symbolic significance.




In the last decade, the National Rifle Association (NRA), which has always had close ties with the military, has been taken over from what are considered within the organization as “moderates,” that is, those whose message emphasizes peaceful, law-abiding gun use, like hunting (which is not peaceful for the game animals, but that’s another issue).




During my service with 3rd Special Forces Group in Haiti in 1994, members of the SFU initiated back-channel communications in support of the right-wing death squad network, FRAPH.




Two of the favored preoccupations of Barry, the SFU, Soldier of Fortune, and the NRA were Ruby Ridge, where Vicki Harris, the wife of an ex-Special Forces white supremacist (Randy Weaver), was killed by an FBI sniper with her baby in her arms, and the outrage at Waco against the Branch Davidians.




Let me say here, for the record, that the FBI actions in both these cases were criminal and inexcusable, and largely provoked by the FBI itself. But the fact that Weaver was one of the neo-fascists own, and that Koresh and his acolytes were white, combined with the stunning abuse of power by the federal government in both cases, turned these two cases into a twin cause celebre for the militia-right. I will also note that I own firearms; I have no problem with others owning them; and I think much liberal opposition to firearms is stupid and moralistic and drives many people into the arms of the lunatic right. I am an advocate of the right to self-defense. My critique of gun culture is a critique of those sectors for which guns have been combined with imaginary enemies and taken on a deeply symbolic value as tokens of a violent, reactionary masculinity that fantasizes about armed conflict as a means to actualize its paranoid male sexual identity.




The problem is that this reaction is far from ab-normal.




There is a kind of interlocking directorate between white nationalists, gun culture, right-wing politicians, mercenary culture (like Soldier of Fortune), vigilante and militia movements, and elements within both Special Forces and—now—the privatized mercenary forces. It is hyper-masculine, racialist, militaristic and networked.




If one simply pays attention to cultural production in the United States, especially film and video games, it is fairly easy to see that the very memes that are the cells within the body of white nationalist militarism are ubiquitous within our general cultural norms. The film genre that most closely corresponds to a fascist mind-set is the male revenge fantasy, wherein after some offense is given that signifies the breakdown of order (usually resulting in the death or mortal imperilment of idealized wives or children) in which Enlightenment social conventions prove inadequate, and the release of irrational male violence is required to set the world straight again. Any reader can list these fantasies without a cue. It is one of the most common film genres in American society.




R. W. Connell wrote in “Masculinities” (University of California Press, 1995):




In gender terms, fascism was the naked reassertion of male supremacy in societies that had been moving toward equality for women. To accomplish this, fascism promoted new images of hegemonic masculinity, glorifying irrationality ("the triumph of the will”, thinking with “the blood") and the unrestrained violence of the frontline soldier.






Chaotic Dark Othering




It is in no way aberrant when the lionized Theodore Roosevelt can be quoted saying: “the timid man, the lazy man, the man who distrusts his country, the over-civilized man, [italics mine] who has lost the great fighting, masterful virtues, the ignorant man, and the man of dull mind, whose soul is incapable of feeling the mighty lift that thrills ‘stern men with empires in their brains’—all these, of course, shrink from seeing the nation undertake its new duties; shrink from seeing us build a navy and army adequate to our needs; shrink from seeing us do our share of the world’s work, by bringing order out of chaos in the great, fair tropic islands from which the valor of our soldiers and sailors has driven the Spanish flag.”




Roosevelt was also a lifetime member of the NRA, itself founded by Civil War veterans who were dismayed by the poor marksmanship of soldiers and decided to prepare the next generation of boys and men for armed combat.




Roosevelt is often cited as a conservationist who admired the wilderness. What is less often noted is that “wilderness” was seen as a place where men could test themselves against “raw” nature, and that he referred to said wilderness as “lands we have won from the Indians.” Karl Rove claims to be a major fan of Teddy Roosevelt biographies and quotes Roosevelt often.




The use of mythic male wartime figures is a common political ploy. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft frequently used Lincoln that way to justify his own attacks on civil liberties, implicitly comparing the phony war on terror to the American Civil War.




This is not news, but it does support my general thesis that some key elements of fascism are already norms for broad sections of American society.




This should give us a special sense of concern that the military—under pressure from a retention and recruitment crisis—has relaxed the screening process against white nationalists joining the military precisely to gain military training and combat experience. This not only allows more of these dangerous ideologues into the military, it gives them unprecedented access to other combat veterans, brutalized into the sociopathy of war and inured to white supremacy through the inevitable racialization of the occupied enemy.




What makes this particularly alarming is that another essential element for the emergence of fascism is a national enemy. It is not unremarkable that the very people who question the federal government as an extension of ZOG/Illuminati/World-Government have also accepted the narrative—constructed by that self-same U.S. government for its own martial purposes—of a highly organized, technologically advanced terrorist threat: Al Qaeda. This has replaced the vastly overstated threat of the World Communist Conspiracy that proved so useful for the post-WWII American security state. The fact that immigration is now routinely portrayed as a security issue (letting terrorists in), at the same time that anti-immigrant vigilantism is being supported by public figures like CNN’s Lou Dobbs (arguable already a fascist) and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger , should give all of us pause … not only because we are now training future McVeighs but because the immigration polemics are finding a receptive audience even among so-called moderates and liberals of the middle-class.




The generalized flexibility of the term “terrorist” makes it infinitely more useful as a political instrument than a specific nation or regime, and so invests the term with a long half-life. The fact that Al Qaeda is a fiction created by the U.S. government—a fact well documented by researchers like Jason Burke, author of “Al Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror” (Penguin Books, 2004), and even the militarily connected Rand Corporation, which referred to Al Qaeda as “a notion.”




In a stunning bit of linguistic legerdemain, the actual mass movement of political Islam has been recoded by the neocons as … Islamo-fascism, and among the crypto-libertarians of the white right, fascist is an epithet reserved now for liberals.




With the same semantic abracadabra, the “notion” that is Al Qaeda is transformed by our cultural paranoia in such a way that every Arab, every Muslim, every immigrant, every dissident, every person of color, every (choose your enemy) is a threat; and the world is divided between Us and the Dark Other with no resolution except the agonal, and could—with economic dislocation as the catalyst—tumble us into a paroxysm of white nationalist hyper-masculinity as prelude to a new, uniquely American … what?




My friend, Steve McClure, a former window dresser and feral scholar in the darker residential regions of Washington, D.C. —itself a study in colonization and social contrasts—notes:




I hate the word fascist. It has been bandied about so much and brings up images of Storm troopers in grainy newsreels that it seems devoid of meaning. Furthermore, classical fascism was possible only in a mass society, organized along industrial lines, with one-to-many communications. Classical fascism is a reactionary modernism, a response to class struggle. Both German and Italian variants came to power after the defeat of revolutionary upsurges.




I think our own situation is very different, and a better term needs to be found that captures the unique qualities of our reactionary postmodernism. “Military police state” doesn’t quite cut it. Fascism implies policing of thought as well as bodies, today’s reaction is selective, policing bodies but allowing private speech and the empty illusions of parliamentary democracy to stand.






The civilizing mission





This trend of ignoring the backgrounds of military inductees—driven by numerical necessity—is swelling the ranks of tomorrow’s vigilantes of reaction. People have the mental habit of assuming that the powerful control their own outcomes. They don’t. The militarization of police forces, white flight and urban abandonment, even the international system of dollar hegemony that the military backstops … these all develop with multiple determinations, more akin to weather than strategy, with the larger system taking on a character independent of the agents within it. Changing outcomes is not the same as controlling them.




My greatest anxiety for my two grandchildren is not that they will be the victims of a plot but the inheritors of inertia and a society of “good Germans,” while society dives into a long period of unanticipated macho warlordism … and, oh by the way, ecocide.




We already have whole sections of America—in the former enclaves of a now deracinated working class—where hopelessness exists alongside police forces that function very like a military occupation force. Before the war, these occupation zones—filled with idled, angry, dark-skinned youths—were our middle-class nightmare, the Dark Chaos that inevitably leads us back to the patriarchal default, to militarized masculinity, and to the cultural celebration of bounty hunting and sexual revenge in feudal prisons.




Alas, the place-marker of a war on drugs—that created the largest national prison population on the planet—couldn’t create the pretext for bases in Southwest Asia, so the war on terror will have to do. The recruitment crisis that has opened the door to neo-Nazi youths entering military service was anything but a plan. The term before the war that proponents used to describe its outcome was ”cakewalk."




Now even putative liberals have copped to their own version of “white man’s burden,” saying (the rhetorical) we cannot “abandon Iraq,” lest “we” leave behind a terrible state of disorder. And so “we” continue down that hoary, blood-drenched path of “civilizing missions.”




The Bush administration never tires of telling us how war is necessary to protect “us” from disorder.




We need to ask ourselves, however, what sowing the winds of war abroad will reap at home. They are not Arabs who are painting Aryan Nations graffiti on the shattered walls of Baghdad.


Stan Goff is a retired veteran of the U.S. Army Special Forces. During an active-duty career that spanned 1970 to 1996, he served with the elite Delta Force and Rangers, and in Vietnam, Guatemala, Grenada, El Salvador, Colombia, Peru, Somalia and Haiti.

© 2006 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
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