For regular readers of Salon Online Magazine in those days and related comments in the now gone Table Talk Forum, the lies were obvious long before the war. Our congress critters refused to look at the evidence and source of the lies. Something in the area of 5000 US and other soldiers died, tens of thousands were injured, many will carry the emotional and psychiatric scars of that war for the rest of their lives.
As was powerfully indicated in the Moyers Show, the future of our system as a real democracy depends on determining truth and falsity in government propaganda. That requires determined digging and prodding journalists who need our support when even a "liberal" President Obama goes after whistle blowers and truth tellers with the kind of bureacratic vengeance not even seen by the morally rotten Bush, Jr. Administration.
And, we still need explanations from our own Senator Tim Johnson on why he suckered for the lies or went along with them when he had been provided ample evidence that the Bush War Card was a nearly complete and total fraud. We have let all of our congress critters in those days get off without an explanation for their incompetence or willing intelligence failure in the runup to the Iraq war.
And, in recent news is a bunch of partisan crap about how the IRS scrutinized right wing money-making schemes and propaganda devices when they went after tax exemptions. Several hundred e-mails apparently disappeared when hard drives failed BEFORE the GOP demand which produced something like 70,000 e-mails despite the computer crashes. In the Moyers show, is a note that the Bush-Cheney administration used corporate e-mail to avoid scrutiny inevitable with government e-mail systems and that 10,000,000 of those e-mails related to the Iraq war and presumably to the money-making schemes of the industrial war machine were destroyed.
*** Stay tuned...and never trust without proof and always verify--- Doug Wiken
Stealing is apparently in the mind of the lunatic religionists. They would cut the hands off some poor soul who steals a loaf of bread or a goat, but they themselves loot a bank. Lunacy like this makes the idea of radioactive glowing sand in all areas polluted with these crazies seem like an ever better idea. Better check with the mideast expert Dick Cheney on this first however.
*** Stay tuned, the day is yet young and the mail truck broke down, so mail is late in the boondocks today--- Doug Wiken
Americans are rightly a bit suspicious of Obama's pleading for war on Syria. All of us no matter what political orientation have reason to be very suspicious and locked into wanting real proof and independent verification. LBJ produced a fraudulent reason for war in Vietnam with the Tonken Bay resolution. Reagan invaded Granada of all places for little or no reason. One of the Bushes took us into Panama. And then there was Junior Bush taking us into war in Iraq after putting Colin Powell in front of the world with fraudulent irrelevant "evidence". And we now have continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which seem to have accomplished only making Americans hated by more people in more parts of the world.
Our military boondoggles and the incredible military waste and deficits going with them make a good case for modern isolationism. Military spending is doubly bad for the economy. It takes money out of the economy to produce goods we cannot purchase thus increasing inflation and preventing better options. It can be hazardous to our social, political, scientific, technological, physical and economic health.
Perhaps we will at some time be shown there are a dozen smoking guns that can remove all doubt about the wisdom of Obama's militarism, but it also seems that Bashar al-Assad held his own in an hour long interview by Charlie Rose. Rose seemed to me to edge into the area of being just plain obnoxious in presenting assertions as proven facts, but al-Assad stayed cool and also on script.
In any case, the treaties on use of poison gas are an international responsibility to enforce. This is not something the US is obligated to or should act on unilaterally and be justified only on general humanitarian ground and specious argument and evidence.
Perhaps all Islamic countries are so enmeshed in religious lunacy that completely senseless behavior can be explained even if counterproductive; but, it does not seem rational for the Bashar al-Assad regime to use of chemical weapons. Any use of chemical warfare seems rationally as being only counter productive to the goals of the regime. On the other hand, it seems entirely rational that rebels or terrorists opposing Basha al-Assad might use such weapons to discredit the regime and gain support from other powers which might otherwise find them as repulsive, retrograde, backward murderous fanatics. .But, the whole middle east seems at least partly insane to me and the last thing we might be able to actually expect from the region is rationality from any side of any issue there. Assertions by any side there should be viewed with our deep and continuing suspicion. We also might want to consider the arguments of climate scientists that global warming generates the droughts and poverty driven unrest that leads to rebellion and government incompetence in handling legitimate complaints aggravates the problem and adds fire to the rebels or terrorists..
Before the US spends one more dime on dumping weaponry into desert sand, we should be aggressively pursuing development of conservation, wind, solar, and hydropower and development of Thorium nuclear power systems. Couple wind and solar energy with devices such as reverse energy cells to produce conventional fuels without adding more carbon to our atmosphere and environment. The goal should be complete independence of the US from fossil fuels in any Islamic country on any continent at any time for any reason...
Pull all of our embassies out of every Islamic country and completely sever economic and social connections with all of them. They only take our money and then hate us as it is and more futile wars with us on any side of one or another religious sects will only make deeper and more dangerous the hate of all of them in every retrograde sect.
Our entry into previous mideast wars and in other backward areas have produced few positive benefits to the US National or Domestic interest and in fact generated almost nothing but negative consequences for us. It is time we realized that every time an Islamicist kills another Islamicist, the US benefits indirectly. It is not in our interest to stop the killing and it is also not in our interest to engage in the killing ourselves and it is certainly not in our interest to lose more American lives in pursuit of placating religious fantasy.
The new reality must be that we have nothing to gain by dealing with those separated from reality by religious insanity.
*** Stay tuned, but do your own research on alternate energy and do your part for pushing the US to a sensible US international policy by more rational domestic policy -- Doug Wiken
Mitt Romney and Lie'n Ryan are trying to make a case that the Obama administration and the vast military and intelligence organization Republicans love has somehow failed miserably because the killing of an ambassador in Libya was not predicted and prevented.
How many miserable desert tribal states are there all with insane religious zealolts? How many of these have a finger of our government stuck in them?
How many cars are on desert highways in Utah? How many semi-trucks on those highways? Can Mitt, or Lie'n Ryan predict exactly when some flaming crash there will wipe out a dozen Mormans? Even if they know that somewhere, sometime, it will happen, they still can't stop it on any particular day, or particular time of day..
Which reminds me, Condoleeza Rice said something after 9-11 tragedies that was a very interesting escape phrase in these situations, but was not appropriate in her and Bush's case. With great specificity, Condoleeza said something like: " Who would have (or could have?) predicted that on September 11, 2001, that 3 planes would be hijacked to kill Americans and destroy the twin towers and damage the Pentagon?" Well, probably nobody could have predicted that or for that matter the minute or the second of the attacks.
The Bush Administration had warnings from the previous administration on the specific dangers and Bush was busy ignoring one from his own administration as he strutted around in his cowboy boots on his Texas "ranch". Condoleeza took advantage of the very specificity of her statement to prevent it from being completely untruthful evasion. It was not really appropriate however.
But, in a region of lawlessness and religious fanatacism with easy cross-border movement, flaming attacks on embassies, etc. are as specifically unprdictable as a US drone blowing the hell out of some crazy fanatic intent on being a suicidal tool of his god or simple insane hatred of Western values.
Romney and Ryan are irrelevant and their whole campaign is based on nonsense and outright lies...or rewriting of their own past nutty statements and positions..or conversion of past sensible statements into campaign nuttiness. Let Mitt tell us when the next full carload or busload of Mormons will die in a Utah flaming desert crash.
*** Stay tuned even if you aren't in the 47% of the US population Mitt holds in utter contempt.--- Doug Wiken
Republican apologists and ignorant, shallow press and media hacks seem to enjoy smugly saying "Obama is not running against George Bush" as if this irrelevancy is really effective, deep and profound. Even grade school kids know this kind of taunt does not even rise to school yard levels and they probably shake their heads wondering how stupid are these so-called adults?
It is obvious to everybody that Obama is not running against George Bush. That is an irrelevant strawman kind of expression which just diverts attention from the origination of our current economic mess. Obama is running against the politics and consequences of George Bush which seem to be embraced by Romney and Ryan, Your ticket back to 1929.
When you hear the "George Bush is not running" crap, you should immediately react with ,"Why are you insulting my intellegence with that irrelevant distortion?"
If somebody digs a big hole that is a hazard, and you are newly hired to replace him you would not expect to be blamed for the hole or for labeling it as your predecessor' hole or for doing your best to fill the hazardous hole even if juvenile pranksters keep trying to prevent you from filling the hole.
And, if somebody asks if you are better off now than you were four years ago, you can answer yes or no, but you can also know that our nation is much better off now than it was in the last months of the Bush Administration. The starting point of the comparison is critical to sensible responses.
*** Stay tuned, the 2012 Election is not over until the fat lady sings better than George Romney-- Doug Wiken.
SDPB-TV has gotten past the most exasperating fund raising in the last week or so and Frontline 2 has actually ran a couple times instead of some snake oil salesman pushing a book or video worth $2 if we will just be generous and dump some more money into public TV to makeup for the GOP desire to make all voters more ignorant.
Anyway, The Frontline 2 program concerned reaarch on Parkinson's disease and fetal stem cell research related to it. The really disturbing part of it was George W. Bush using about his only veto to effectively kill that research while pandering for votes from sponge-brain square-head fundamentalists.
And now in the what-goes-around-comes-around or the bird's returning to their own nest, or the bird's crapping in their own nests, reality bites, etc. comes news that George H.W Bush now around 82 is getting around in a scooter because he has a form of Parkinson's diesease.
More than a few people taking care of other's with Parkinson's disease or suffering from it themselves are still furious at George W. Bush for effectively stiffling promising research on Parkinson's disease causing something like a six or eight year delay.. One notes that America is suffering from the effects of short-sighted GOP policies
Now, I don't believe the elder Bush deserves to suffer from a debilitating disease in his old age anymore than I thought my own mother deserved to suffer and die from ALS. But, one might think that even the wingnut right retrograde Republicans intent on making the rich richer and the rest of society poorer and sicker might re-consider their fundamentalist nonsense when they see one of their elder statesman ironically possibly suffering needlessly because his own son killed valuable research.
This morning CBS Face the Nation gave Texas US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson a few minutes to prove she is either a blithering idiot or transparent tool of big money, big oil, and old mythology. She is however proud enough of her performance this morning to note it on her website
She says Obama has failed of course, and that Mitt Romney has a big plan to save the economy and the poor from insurance coverage. He would immediately approve the XL Pipeline (designed to raise gas prices in the midwest and export Canadian oil to China), and of course kill "ObamaCare"which would leave about 40 million Americans without health insurance.
Contrast that with what Obama has already done to prevent a complete collapse of the economy and plans for more economic stimulus by funding needed infrastructure building and rebuilding and Romney and supporters like Kay Bailey Hutchinson look like empty sack blowhards.
Obama needs to be more aggressive in pushing for infrastructure development which lessen or eliminate our need for imported and domestic fossil fuels. But don't hold your breath waiting for sensible progressive ideas while Washington,DC is still filled with retrograde, regressive, know-nothing obstructionist congress critters intent on making big business, big finance, and big insurance lords of us all.
*** Stay tuned even if the world is still filled with partisan hacks like Kay Bailey Hutchinson..must be something in the Texas water..petroleum pollution? -- Doug Wiken
My "Why?" is not about why he wasn't convicted, but why this political witch hunt ever was tolerated to begin with. I lost interest in John Edwards when his sexual dalliance and betrayal of his sick wife became apparent. But,but, but...that stupidity may have made him a choice target for Republicans in government, but did not warrant twisting a campaign finance law or rule into a vindictive tool for corporations and Republicans beaten by John Edwards. It has seemed to me that much of the attack on John Edwards resulted because he single-handedly handed a bunch of highly paid corporate lawyers their slippery asses and got $millions for his clients.
By now we know what the national GOP organization and connected web stands for, and it is not little kids who get their guts sucked out by defective swimming pool drains. It is the very rich and the very connected corporate blood suckers and plutocrats.
Add in that the Republican majority on the SCOTUS decided that money is speech and with the Citizens United case opened the flood gate for all kinds of political contributions many of which would be defined as bribery if they did not involve partisan politics. They are buying influence in Congress and in elections for congress. The money John Edwards got did not sway one piece of legislation pro or con for rich or poor.
If you are now looking back on all this and the Citizens United ruling wondering, you may want to look at the links below. They raise other interesting points.
John Edwards said after the trial that he thanked the legal system. I suppose he had to say that and make is personal guilty of marital sin admission. He should have thanked the jurors who apparently recognized this Edwards prosecution as an unwarranted witch hunt fueled by giving a man who allegedly stole $1 milllion from the Edwards campaign immunity for his testimony. Jurors must have wondered what kind of priorities the federal prosecutors had and why three years time for something like 40 lawyers wasting taxpayers money.
A few more links [added June 1, 2012] with some expert analysis of the trial. A comment in one of the links is interesting..something to the effect of "It is one thing to ask jurors to through the book at somebody, it is another thing to ask them to write the book." That relates to this being the first prosecution of this kind that had no quid pro quo impacts of the money involved, and also had the FEC disagreeing with the Justice Department.
What it is not is a crime. As bad as Edwards's behavior is, the Justice Department's is worse. The urge to ensnare in legalisms every aspect of human existence — including John Edwards's rutting — will consume American liberty.
Liberal, conservative, middle of the road, we should all be concerned when the US Justice Department has nearly unlimited resources to pursue a partisan-motivated witch hunt.
So much for beating that dead horse. But, consider the costs of using government to enforce religious ideals always with the wrong tools. [[[ And, if you have any actual information on how many million dollars and lawyer hours were wasted on this fool's errand, please let me know]]]
*** Stay tuned maybe I will find some sin-free politician to defend..someday--- Doug Wiken
Really not much of a confluence, but somewhat interesting anyway. This morning I got an Esquire magazine and read the politics column on page 80 of the May issue. The conclusion of the article laid heavy responsibility on Democrats to save the country from current GOP insanity.
The Democratic party has an obligation to beat the Republican party so badly, over and over again, that rationality once again becomes a quality to be desired. It must be done by persuading the country of this simple fact. It cannot be done by reasoning with the Republicans, because the next two generations of them are too far gone. The state legislators now passing all manner of crazy laws represent the next generation of national Republican leaders. They are proudly unknowing. They are certain, because it is impossible.
And, Pierce wrote a paragraph that fit right in with PBS "Earth: The Operator's Manual today on SDPB-TV
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Republican party, root and branch, from its deepest grass roots to its highest levels, has become completely demented. This does not mean that it is incapable of winning elections; on the contrary, the 2010 midterms, as well as the statewide elections around the country, ushered in a class of politicians so thoroughly dedicated to turning nonsense into public policy that future historians are going to marvel at our ability to survive what we wrought upon ourselves. It is now impossible to become an elected Republican politician in this country if, for example, you believe in the overwhelming scientific consensus that exists behind the concept of anthropogenic global warming. Just recently, birth control, an issue most people thought pretty well had been settled in the 1960s, became yet another litmus test for Republican candidates, as did the Keystone XL pipeline, to which every Republican presidential candidate pledged unyielding fealty despite the fact that several prairie Republicans and an army of conservative farmers and ranchers are scared to death of the thing. ( And another link not in above text to Pierce concerning unnecessary voter ID restrictions. )
Years ago in another context, the slogan was "Stop the Insanity". That phrase applies well to the current collection of retrograde Republicans including John Thune, Kristi Noem, Willard "Mitt" Romney, Sarah Palin, ...oh, and sadly the list could go on and on.
The current GOP party view of their ideal American can be summed up by "Government of the Patriots, by the theocrats and hack Mythologists, and for the Plutocrats.".
Sorry (well not really) if this did not meet your high standards for "confluence".
*** Stay tuned. There is enough GOP insanity to write a modern bible--- Doug Wiken
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