Extremely Serious War Crimes Accusation Against U.S.

Thanks to Blogging of the President, this letter from Naomi Klein at The Guardian to the US Ambassador in London, Your evidence Mr Ambassador. (Mirror ">here.) It's too serious to leave it to excerpts so go read the whole thing and tell others.


She's OK

Natasha's alright.

Shaking Up The Democratic Party

Wednesday night I went to a Democracy For America meetup. DFA is the old Dean For America organization. I hadn't been to a DFA meetup since Dean lost Iowa.

Well here's some news: There were MORE people at the meeting than there ever were before Iowa! I didn't expect that. And these were not just Dean people. Maybe 1/3 were people who had been active in the Kerry campaign and are now looking for a place to continue their activity.

The meeting was about getting signed up in our local Democratic Party organization in time to be able to vote in their upcoming annual organizing meetings. There were detailed charts on how the state Democratic Party is organized and information on where to show up, what you have to do to be able to vote, things like that.

This is just San Mateo County (cities south of San Francisco, north of Palo Alto). I'm told that Santa Clara County (San Jose) has an even bigger DFA organization.

If this is happening in other states, I think we're going to see a real shake-up in the Democratic Party in the next few years. And, in the future many of these people will become candidates themselves.

2004 Weblog Awards: Best Military Blog

Democratic Veteran is nominated for 2004 Weblog Awards: Best Military Blog. Go vote for Democratic Veteran.

Jo writes, "It would be nice to give Citizen Smash a run for his money, and let blogtopia (y!sctw!) know that not all vets are Bushist jr. Fascists."

There are other categories. I didn't even know there were nominations...

Shorter Kevin Drum

Shorter Kevin Drum: Islam is the same as Nazism and Stalinism and we didn't go to war against them soon enough so "liberals" should go to war against all of Islam now.

Update - and apology. Kevin says I misinterpreted what he was saying. He says he was making the opposite point. I went back and read it again, and can see where he was doing that. In my defense, I think the wording of his piece is giving readers mixed messages, and in the comments following the piece I see that other readers also took Kevin to be saying what I thought he was saying. But in the end the scorecard should read that Kevin is AGAINST the idea of war against Islam. That's what counts.

Republicans: "Sex, Power and Nothing Else"

skippy the bush kangaroo is on the story.

Time To Start Making Noise?

This is a PDF of a letter from the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee to Ohio's Republican Secretary of State. It is worth reading. It documents just some of the problems with the Ohio vote, namely minority voter suppression ad counting irregularities. It is worth reading.

Before this I have said it's best to sit back and wait while things are investigated. I'm starting to think it is time to start making some noise about all of this.

The citizens of Ukraine faced similar problems with their election, and decided not to sit still for it. They had experienced Soviet-style government and recognized that it was attempting a comeback. We don't have their experience, so it seems that we don't recognize it when it is staring us in the face.

No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn

Some call it heavenly in it's brilliance
Others, mean and rueful of the Western dream
I love the friends I have gathered together on this thin raft
We have constructed pyramids in honor of our escaping
This is the land where the Pharaoh died

Valid choices:
Nice - I think I'll skip out of work, go home and smoke a joint
What the FUCK is he talking about?


Free polls from Pollhost.com


It's Here!

It HAS Happened Here!

Watch your backs!

Gun-Crime Enforcement Fuding Killed By Congress!

Key Antigun Program Loses Direct Financing:
"The move ... cuts federal grants to local and state law enforcement agencies in investigating and prosecuting crimes committed with guns. [. . .] A related program to track and intercept illegal purchases of guns by youngsters ... also received nothing.
Surprised? Why?

Republicans Taking Control of CalPERS - Huge Implications

CalPERS president removed from post. From the story,
"The ouster of the president of California's public pension fund has raised questions about whether pension funds, endowments and other big activist investors will be able to keep wielding clout in corporate governance campaigns."
This is a "tip-of-the-iceberg" story with vast implications. CalPERS is the pension fund for public employees in California. It had an activist management that was trying to help clean up corporate corruption. The large corporations got together and have succeeded in getting the fund's management changed.
"Richard Ferlauto, director of pension investment for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said Harrigan's ouster was an early success in a campaign to wrest control of pension money from a CalPERS board now controlled by Democratic trustees and put it to work in projects more in keeping with Republican ideals.

"Clearly, we're seeing a Republican attack on public pension systems," Ferlauto said. "And California has been targeted in a very strong way."
Public pension plans have been one of the few remaining avenues for exerting public pressure on corporate behaviour -- it's not just CalPERS that's a target.

The story suggests that they're also going to work now to get rid of employer-paid pensions and replace them with employee-paid pensions:
"Ferlauto said he thought that if Republicans could regain control, they would seek to make two fundamental changes: put an end to the corporate activism CalPERS has engaged in, and reshape the traditional, defined-benefit pension fund as something more akin to a 401(k) plan. [emphasis added - dj]"
401K means instead of THEY pay, it is YOU pay. That's the big bait-and-switch that was pulled under Reagan - convincing people to accept 401Ks - which really meant the end of employer-paid pensions, and rechanneling all the cash that had been set aside for pensions into the pockets of the top 1%.


Problem Solved

Massive Debt Problem To be Solved By Incredibly Massive Borrowing, Says Bush
"We're going to borrow more money than a body can possibly imagine," said Bush. "We're gonna take that enormous wad of cash and plug it right into what cynical people are calling 'that gaping whole in the budget.' And that'll save Social Security."

"It may not seem like the right thing to do in the short term, but in the long term, rich people will be thanking me for it," he added.

President Sissy

Heckled. By Canadians.


An Offer From the Right

I just posted a piece as a DailyKos diary: An Offer From the Right. I'm trying that out and hoping to grow Seeing the Forest's audience in the process. If you like it, recommend it... (In the right-hand column of Kos diaries there is a "Recommend this diary" button.)

It's cross-posted at The American Street.

Torture -- Something You Can Do

Yes, the American people voted to endorse torture. But there is something you can do. Bush has nominated Alberto Gonzalez, one of the authors of the "Torture Memo," to be our Attorney General. Here is a group working to do something about that:
Our group, Human Rights First, has launched a campaign called Http://www.EndTortureNow.org to ensure that the Senate obtains all the necessary information regarding Mr. Gonzales. As today’s New York Times reported, the Red Cross is calling the U.S. treatment of detainees “tantamount to torture”.

Leaked memos have revealed these vital facts about Mr. Gonzales:

  • As White House Counsel, Mr. Gonzales advised the President that the United States need not be bound by its obligations under the Geneva Conventions in the conflict in Afghanistan — a position vigorously disputed by Secretary of State Colin Powell and others.

  • Mr. Gonzales was centrally involved in the preparation of a series of highly controversial legal memos justifying the use of torture during interrogations. The legal arguments set forth in these memos helped lay the groundwork for the widespread incidents of torture and abuse from Iraq to Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay.

    It is imperative that the Senate has access to all information necessary to fully evaluate Mr. Gonzales' record on human rights and torture.

    Please let me know if you would post on this important issue and direct readers to Http://www.EndTortureNow.org so they can take action.
  • It's good to know about the group, and good to raise awareness of this issue. But I hope they are doing more than sending e-mails to elected officials. E-mails aren't even read.

    It's Here

    It's here. Do you believe now that it's here?

    Less subtle version: It HAS happened here!

    More on Declation at eRiposte

    eRiposte has an update on the story I put up last week about the "Declaration of Independence Banned" lie.



    PR Meets Psy-Ops in War on Terror:
    "Officials at the Pentagon and other U.S. national security agencies said the CNN incident was not just an isolated feint -- the type used throughout history by armies to deceive their enemies -- but part of a broad effort under way within the Bush administration to use information to its advantage in the war on terrorism."
    If for some reason you thought BEFORE today that what you see on the news or read in the papers in the Unted States was the honest story, AFTER reading this you should know that it is not. And if you think this refers only to the "war on terror" (whatever that means), you should think again.
    "The Pentagon in 2002 was forced to shutter its controversial Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), which was opened shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, after reports that the office intended to plant false news stories in the international media. But officials say that much of OSI's mission -- using information as a tool of war -- has been assumed by other offices throughout the U.S. government."
    Like ... maybe ... this right-wing story that the UN's "Oil-for-food" program was corrupt, and that the UN is corrupt, and that France and Germany were in on it?

    A democracy depends on an informed citizenry. We shouldn't even pretend anymore.
    "These efforts have set off a fight inside the Pentagon over the proper use of information in wartime. Several top officials see a danger of blurring what are supposed to be well-defined lines between the stated mission of military public affairs -- disseminating truthful, accurate information to the media and the American public -- and psychological and information operations, the use of often misleading information and propaganda to influence the outcome of a campaign or battle."
    Or... maybe... an ELECTION CAMPAIGN? DUH?

    official silence, including most Dems and most official bloggers
    credibility Ritter Blix

    passivity of defeat?

    I'm not a wonk and have no weight.

    EVEN IF it didn't swing election trying things ut

    meaningof long lines.

    Why Dems On Imus?

    Roger Ailes asks, with good reason, why Democrats appear on Don Imus' racist show? Read why he was prompted to ask.

    Did We Use Napalm?

    According to The Sunday Mirror:
    And last night Tony Blair was dragged into the row as furious Labour MPs demanded he face the Commons over it.

    Steve Gilliard Talks About NPR

    Tavis Smiley is leaving NPR, and the reasons for it give Steve Gilliard a reason to express his feelings about NPR's hiring (or lack of), and I agree:
    "NPR is an elitist organization which is regularly put to shame by the BBC and even PBS. [...] NPR is designed to appeal to middle class whites and few others."
    I listen to NPR and like it, but I'm its target. It is becoming more corporate and conservative when it should be going the other way.

    By the way, you'll enjoy the line that precedes where I started to quote. So go read.

    Firefox Instead of Internet Explorer

    I switched to the Firefox web browser yesterday, and I have to say it is MUCH better than Internet Explorer! It's faster and more convenient. It was extremely easy to install and set up.

    So far it's missing only one thing - the Blogger button that lets me instantly put a post with a link to any page I'm looking at up onto the weblog, adding comments. This is in the Google toolbar. There is a Google toolbar for Firefox, but it doesn't have this button.

    UpdateI found a utility that lets me do this with a right-click.


    The Right Misleading Followers?

    From If You Read the Gospels, the Religious Right is Most Often Wrong:
    "The truth is, if you depend on the Christian right for your theological sustenance, you probably won't recognize the Jesus of the Gospels.

    [. . .] Where in America is the Jesus who sides with the poor and the outcasts? Where in America is the Jesus who disdains those who wear their piousness on their sleeves? Where in America is the the Jesus with the prophetic voice, the radical who dares to tell the powerful what they don't want to hear?

    Is he in the pews that fill every Sunday morning with the smug and complacent? Is he in a political party that fights for tax cuts for the rich while neglecting the needs of decent, hard-working Americans? Is he among the "God-and-country" demagogues who push an idolatrous nationalism and who see military service as the supreme form of sacrifice? "
    And what about bearing false witness, like claiming that a school "banned the Declaration of Independence?"

    The Big Switch

    Paul Craig Roberts, one of the few remaining honest conservatives, writes about the other kind of conservative, in Whatever Happened to Conservatives?:
    "Once upon a time there was a liberal media. It developed out of the Great Depression and the New Deal. Liberals believed that the private sector is the source of greed that must be restrained by government acting in the public interest. The liberals' mistake was to identify morality with government. Liberals had great suspicion of private power and insufficient suspicion of the power and inclination of government to do good.

    [. . .] Today it is liberals, not conservatives, who endeavor to defend civil liberties from the state. Conservatives have been won around to the old liberal view that as long as government power is in their hands, there is no reason to fear it or to limit it.

    [. . .] Like Brownshirts, the new conservatives take personally any criticism of their leader and his policies. To be a critic is to be an enemy.

    [. . .] Not a single one of them will be able to explain why destroying Iraqi cities and occupying the ruins are necessary for "our freedom." But this inability will not lessen the enthusiasm for the project. To protect their delusions from "reality-based" critics, they will demand that the critics be arrested for treason and silenced. Many encouraged by talk radio already speak this way."
    Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review.


    What we're facing

    The Alabama voters who gave 63% of their vote to George Bush also narrowly defeated an amendment which would have eliminated the requirement for segregated schools. Four years ago, the Alabama voters gave 57% of their vote to Bush, and at the same time passed an amendment 60%-40% which repealed a law against interracial marria
    ge. Alabama is about 71% white and 26% black, so it's a good bet that the majority of white Alabamans voted against both amendments, just as they voted for Bush. Seemingly Bush's support increases as racism increases.

    Some of the excuses Alabamans give are almost as bad as the thing they're trying to excuse. Apparently the proposed amendment would have established the right of Alabaman children to a free public education, and that bothered people. So it wasn't really a racist vote, just an anti-education vote.

    A lot of Republicans are anti-education. Their concern for schools is limited to keeping sex education out of the schools, keeping evolution out of the schools, getting Christ back in, and keeping spending low. No, that's not an exaggeration. Not all Republicans are like that, but a lot of them are.

    The nice, slimy Republicans pretend that they don't know what's going on, and the servile, cringing Democrats think that we should all be nicer to Bush's loathesome core constituency. (Paging Brooks! Paging Kristoff!) But forget it. These people are beyond hope. However we put our 51% together, the white voters of rural Alabama are not going to be part of it.

    The Democrats are never going to win Alabama, and whether or not we quit saying mean things about the Alabamans, they're going to keep on saying mean things about us. So screw 'em. They don't like us, we don't like them, and as far as I can tell, we're right and they're wrong. (And yes, there are some fine people in Alabama, including some fine white people, and I truly do feel sorry for them). Democrats need to keep their Midwestern states and add a few more, win some border states, and win some states in the Southwest.

    And someone needs to get to Brooks and Kristoff. The Southern Strategy is alive and well. I know perfectly well why Brooks doesn't want to talk about that, but why is Kristoff so silent?

    Kos on education vote

    Washington Post on education vote

    CNN on 2000 interracial marriage vote

    Southern Republicans hate Lincoln

    Anti-education Oregon Republican


    Fallujah in Pictures