Why I Still Oppose Our Invasion
 and Occupation of Iraq


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Saturday, February 07, 2004

This letter writer is a mensch:

To the Editor:
David K. Shipler's article (Jan. 18) was beautifully written and very moving. Perhaps it will elicit a well-deserved groundswell of donations or even a higher-paying job for Caroline Payne. The public-relations personnel of the companies mentioned in the article will react defensively, if at all. But what of the thousands of other Caroline Paynes in America? How about a nation and an administration that has social programs in place to counter the rapaciousness of the unfettered marketplace? I would gladly pay more in taxes and for products if I knew it meant that hard-working people like Payne were paid a livable wage.
I would also gladly pay more, and do so when I can find such products or stores. And you know what, on a systemic basis it would often only be a few cents more per item, like 2 cents for a head of lettuce or 5 cents for a shirt.

Jack Clark 3:07 PM [+]  
Post #107619523945418727

Friday, February 06, 2004
Children's Defense Fund Analysis shows Bush Administration Budget Takes from Poor Children to Give to the Rich  So, isn't that what they were (s)elected to do?

Jack Clark 9:12 PM [+]  
Post #107613076231438567

Co-Chair of Bush Panel Part of Far Right Network
[I]t appears that Silberman was a key conduit to Iran during the early 1980s.

According to one source, after he received his judicial appointment, Silberman passed along his Iranian contacts to Michael Ledeen, a close associate of Richard Perle at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), who played a key role with McFarlane in the transfer of U.S. weapons to Tehran in the deal that gave rise to the Iran-Contra scandal.

Several years later, Silberman cast the deciding vote on a three-judge panel in a decision that resulted in dismissing the criminal convictions of Admiral John Poindexter and Lt Col Oliver North for lying to Congress in connection with the scandal.
This is just a terrific guy to head a commission investigating the Bushians!

Jack Clark 7:57 PM [+]  
Post #107612624365132630

The Fault Is Not in Our Stars, but in Ourselves
To the Editor:

Re 'The Stars Have Voted,' by Erin Sullivan (Op-Ed, Feb. 3):

Astrology teaches us much about cycles.

For example, in this election year, it suggests that major factions are splitting as they did in the Colonies (circa late 1750's), resulting in the American Revolution. Can another one be far behind?...
Wow, more "support" for my fantasy of separating the red and blue states into two nations! :-)

Jack Clark 3:23 PM [+]  
Post #107610982701170878

Political Memo: Military Service Becomes Weapon in a Kerry-Bush Race
The contrast could not be more striking.

In March 1969, John Kerry, a 25-year-old Navy lieutenant, reached down from the boat he was piloting in Vietnam's treacherous Bay Hap River and in a spray of enemy fire pulled a soldier out of the water to safety. For his valor, Mr. Kerry won the Bronze Star with a combat "V" and his third Purple Heart.

That very same month, George W. Bush was on far-safer ground in Valdosta, Ga., learning to fly fighter planes for the Texas National Guard, a coveted post that greatly reduced any risk that he would be sent to Vietnam — and one that he might not have obtained had his father not been a member of Congress.

Mr. Bush went on to miss a number of National Guard training sessions, although his spokesmen say he made up the dates and his records show he was honorably discharged.
The National Guard during the Vietnam War was a well-recognized way to avoid getting sent to 'Nam. Bush was a combat-dodger when his nation "needed him."

Jack Clark 3:12 PM [+]  
Post #107610916127475227

The Rising Value of Play Money
To the soft-spoken Mr. Carr, Cashflow is much more than just a $195 board game. He credits it with making him more financially disciplined.
The first financial lesson should be, don't pay $195 for any board game!

Jack Clark 3:05 PM [+]  
Post #107610873711593838

Thursday, February 05, 2004
Bush Administration Eyes Bolivia's Morales as Radical Who Has Nation's Ear  If Morales was elected Bolivian president, how soon before we would start hearing the Bushians scream about WMD's in Bolivia? Or more seriously, some other way this tiny country threatens us?

Jack Clark 8:56 PM [+]  
Post #107604337015987403

The Secretary of Labor Is the Enemy of Labor  Following eagerly on the heels of that great friend of the working American, George W. Bush.

Jack Clark 8:39 PM [+]  
Post #107604239237234367

Kissinger Document Shows Pre-Emption in Practice  So now Kissinger's exposed on Chile. He didn't want a successful left-wing Chile to be a model for others. So Kissinger destroyed it. Same reason Reagan destroyed Sandinista Nicaragua.

Speaking of Reagan, there's a book out now about his great religiosity. Sure, of the right-wing pseudo-Christian variety. He could be a poster boy.

Jack Clark 8:27 PM [+]  
Post #107604164692292081

Tuesday, February 03, 2004
Our True Intelligence Failure, or, Don't Throw Me in That Briar Patch
The formation of this new commission will become the next step in the mission of the administration to dismantle all institutions, inside and outside government, and reshape them in the image of the radical right. This is so even though many of the institutions they're attacking are already conservative. They've almost finished the job with the broadcast media; 'compassionate conservatism' is about doing the same with the institutions of the social safety net; they've done it with corporate lobbyists (see 'Welcome to the Machine", by Nicholas Confessore, ); they want to do it with the CIA and the military; and, scariest of all, they're doing it with the very infrastructure of democracy, the counting of the vote.
Nice overall summary of things.

Jack Clark 7:43 PM [+]  
Post #107586620276366513

Halftime Was One Big Rip-Off
MTV's halftime extravaganza — a mind-numbing assemblage of huge, meaningless special effects, talentless schlumps, simulated decadence, and extreme musical puerility — was a devastating indictment of American music and American culture. There was not a single moment of artistic meaning, or a moment free of bombastic titillation.

...When it came time to showcase our aesthetic riches to the world, all we managed to do was to turn aside momentarily from "Jacko's" pedophiliac legal entanglements and dress up his sister in red lingerie and black vinyl armor, a sort of fascist armadillo. She bounded about mumbling incoherently.
A "fascist armadillo." I love that phrase.

Jack Clark 7:37 PM [+]  
Post #107586582364430438

Protecting the Purity of American Children or What Exactly is Obscene?  Best I've seen on Janet Jackson's exposed breast, undoubtedly one of the most obscene and child-tramautizing events ever to have occurred in the history of mankind.

Jack Clark 7:21 PM [+]  
Post #107586486897201722

Red Bush States are the Moochers
Each year, the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit research group, crunches numbers from the Census Bureau to produce an intriguing figure: how much each state receives in federal spending for every dollar it pays in federal taxes.

...You might expect that in the 2000 presidential election, Republicans, the party of low taxes and limited government, would have carried the Giver states — while Democrats, the party of wild spending and wooly bureaucracy, would have appealed to the Taker states. But it was the reverse. George W. Bush was the candidate of the Taker states. Al Gore was the candidate of the Giver states.

...For President Bush, this invisible income redistribution system is a boon. He can encourage his supporters to see themselves as Givers, yet reward them with federal spending in excess of their contribution — and send the bill to those who voted for his opponent. It's shrewd politics.
And it's typical Bushian flim-flam. Here's a link to the full report. My devoutly wished-for fantasy is to divide up the red and blue states into separate nations.

Jack Clark 3:02 PM [+]  
Post #107584933529729996

Elitism in Youth Sports Yields Physical Fatness
[A]s a country, we've never been fatter. Today, as we prepare for the ultimate couch potato experience — the Super Bowl — it is sobering to note that almost 65 percent of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese. That is sad news. But what is even sadder is our children are on pace to be significantly fatter than we are by the time they reach adulthood.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the percentage of children ages 6 to 11 who are overweight has increased nearly 300 percent the past 25 years. The numbers are nearly identical for teenagers.

As a result, children today have a shorter life expectancy than their parents for the first time in 100 years, said William J. Klish, professor of pediatrics at the Baylor College of Medicine.

...The health implications are scary. For example, Type 2 diabetes was once considered an adult disease. Now, the incidence of the disease has increased dramatically in children and adolescents because more children are overweight. Klish notes that the percentage of children and adolescents found to have Type 2 diabetes at Texas Children's Hospital has increased to 27 percent in 2002 from less than 1 percent 20 years ago.
How fat can we get before we explode?

Jack Clark 2:32 PM [+]  
Post #107584752545138847

O'Reilly said last night that the Janet Jackson boob episode will be a "seminal" event in broadcasting history. Good to see O'Reilly hasn't lost his skill at extreme exaggeration. I thought maybe he might have once he had to admit that Hillary's book outsold his nearly two to one (1.5 million to 800,000). What I'd like to know is, how many copies did Franken's book and Michael Moore's book sell. I think one or both of them must have outsold O'Reilly also.

Jack Clark 2:28 PM [+]  
Post #107584731014757142

On the Dark Side of Democracy
But in much of the developing world, she argues, nations are starkly divided along ethnic lines. Disproportionately wealthy ethnic minorities — Ms. Chua calls them market-dominant minorities — exist alongside poor and resentful majorities. And in such cases, she insists, adding democracy and free markets can be disastrous.
For example
Though they make up barely 1 percent of the population, she writes, 'Chinese Filipinos control as much as 60 percent of the private economy, including the country's four major airlines and almost all of the country's banks, hotels, shopping malls and major conglomerates.'
Interesting article about how greedy bastard minority groups get theirs when democracy comes. (Whoops! the US is a greedy bastard minority in the world!)

Jack Clark 2:26 PM [+]  
Post #107584716418256167

Blinded by the Right
The ascendance of Republicans in control of all branches of the federal government has put the 'We've Got Ours' party in charge. Wealth is to be preserved and hoarded, and as to sharing the bounty for the common good, well, the Grand Old Party doesn't mingle with anything 'common.'
They've got theirs, and the hell with everybody else.

Jack Clark 2:12 PM [+]  
Post #107584636900268313

Monday, February 02, 2004
FCC to investigate Super Bowl breast-baring  NATIONAL CRISIS! NATIONAL CRISIS! CALL IN THE MARINES!! Drop everything else! Forget about WMD's, deficits, mad cow. All IRRELEVANT! A breast was exposed on national TV. The minds of untold numbers of poor innocent children -- not to mention that of John Ashcroft (who covered up the breast of a statue not too long ago) -- have been irretrievably corrupted. The very souls of these children are now probably damned to hell for what they have seen. Quick, get a priest and do a mass national exorcism!

Jack Clark 8:20 PM [+]  
Post #107578202296793248

Another thing: If all these parents are so upset that their kids saw a breast, why aren't they upset about the ads for -- as Bill Maher terms them -- boner pills? Wouldn't those ads provoke questions from their kids a lot more tricky to handle than the bare breast?

Jack Clark 8:19 PM [+]  
Post #107578199320259165

A Scandal Greater Than Watergate  Great short piece, full of logic and indisputable facts. Just like I would have written :-)

Jack Clark 8:17 PM [+]  
Post #107578182851016079

Danger of Imperious Presidency
Until recently, the 'soft power' of our human and civil rights record was admired -- and sometimes envied -- around the world.
Uh, probably not by the peoples of all the countries around the world where we supported or even installed brutal dictatorships since WWII!

Jack Clark 8:11 PM [+]  
Post #107578147106256720

USATODAY.com - Poll: Bush approval hits new low
Kerry's standing has strengthened not only against his Democratic rivals but also against Bush. For the first time, he clearly defeats the president in a head-to-head matchup, 53% to 46%.
Is there really a God?

Jack Clark 7:57 PM [+]  
Post #107578066085944025

Sunday, February 01, 2004
Why doesn't someone ask the simple question: if we had $200 billion and 120,000 troops to go get Saddam, why didn't we have $200 billion and 120,000 troops to get bin Laden on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and wipe out the remaining Al Qaeda there? Wouldn't we have been better off with the results of the latter investment of blood and treasure, than with the results of the former?

And -- if now the Bushians are claiming that even if Iraq had no WMD's, the war was worth it to liberate the Iraqi people, who were suffering so much under Saddam, what about the 11,000,000 children who die around the world every year from hunger and preventable disease? If Saddam was responsible for one million deaths (which includes several hundred thousand casualties in the Iran-Iraq war), how can we logically or morally justify spending $200 billion and sending 120,000 troops to punish someone who killed a million people, when we invest not even 1% of that amount of money to save the 11,000,000 children who unnecessarily die every year?! With $200 billion we could wipe out hunger and preventable disease on the planet. Probably it would cost a lot less than that.

Jack Clark 9:17 PM [+]  
Post #107569906098003780

Afghan Government Says U.S. Lies About Civilian Deaths  The villagers say innocent civilians were killed, the Pentagon said not so. Now the Afghan government, our "ally," sides with the villagers. So suddenly the Pentagon is backtracking.

Jack Clark 9:10 PM [+]  
Post #107569865128460067

The last elephant to crash were the antiglobalization protesters, who almost shut Davos down the last two years. This year, they were nowhere...

[I]t's no wonder much of the hot air has come out of the antiglobalization movement, which never did have any real alternative growth strategy.
What intellectual dishonesty is shown here by Thomas Friedman. The protesters weren't there because the police blocked off the site. As to no alternative growth strategy, this is the most oft-repeated and least accurate canard I've ever seen. Antiglobalization protesters are not against globalization, just against globalization which considers only the needs of multinational corporations. The web sites of these groups have very detailed proposals to make the globalization process fair to people around the world. For example, check this.

Jack Clark 9:07 PM [+]  
Post #107569846380772073

An interesting letter:
A spokesman for Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, claims that a contract for logistical services for troops in Iraq was awarded two years ago... [T]his contract also predates the invasion of Iraq by more than a year. How could a company get a contract for an event that had not yet taken place unless it surely knew that it would?

Paul H. O'Neill, the former Treasury secretary, surely got it right when he claimed that almost from the inauguration the Bush administration was involved in planning to invade Iraq. This is another reason, perhaps, that Vice President Dick Cheney (chairman of Halliburton until 2000) doesn't want the content of his secret meetings with energy companies made public.
Is this two year thing accurate?

Jack Clark 8:57 PM [+]  
Post #107569787829843285

Bush Scaling Back Dollars for Third World  I guarantee you, he will be scaling it back even more as time goes on. And beyond how much he requests, let's not even get into how much will actually be spent out of the authorized sums.

Jack Clark 8:51 PM [+]  
Post #107569746182641810

The Dead Center
[The right wing] has devised frames of reference that are used repeatedly in policy debates (among them: it's your money, tax and spend, political correctness, class warfare).

It... has a coherent ideology uniting evangelical Christians, blue-collar whites in the South and West, and big business — an ideology in which foreign enemies, domestic poverty and crime, and homosexuality all must be met with strict punishment and religious orthodoxy.

...[A]ny political movement derives its durability from the clarity of its convictions.
Just like Robert Reich in this op-ed calls for Democrats to counter right-wing economic smoke and mirrors with clear and blunt counterarguments, so must the theological smoke and mirrors of right-wing religious leaders be countered with clear and blunt words about what Jesus really taught us.

Jack Clark 8:43 PM [+]  
Post #107569698382872874

I thought this little anecdote was really funny, from someone who was working the front desk at a fancy restaurant:
Despite the celebrity quotient, she said, she is usually not star-struck. But then there was that evening when the actor Aidan Quinn came for dinner in the Pool Room. 'Aidan Quinn had the bluest eyes I have ever seen,' she said.

But he was not wearing a jacket. The restaurant does not have a strict dress code, but it does keep about 20 men's blazers on hand because it prefers jackets in the Pool Room.

'He looked right at me and asked if he needed to put on a jacket,' she said. 'I could barely speak. And then I blurted out, `You could sit stark naked for all I care,' and I seated him. No jacket.'

Jack Clark 8:30 PM [+]  
Post #107569625454478921

Hostility Grows Over US Stance
Even among America's friends there is something about the trumpeting of American exceptionalism, especially when wedded to what seems to many to be a desire to make the world over in America's image, that is profoundly offputting. It was during a panel on narcissism at the World Economic Forum last week that a Yale University assistant clinical professor of psychiatry, Bandy Xenobia Lee, quoted the standard medical description of Narcissistic Personality Disorder from the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual. A sufferer of this disorder is defined as someone who:

--Has a 'grandiose sense of self importance, e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements.'
--'Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance.'
'Requires excessive admiration.'
--'Has a sense of entitlement, i.e. unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations.
--Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.'

In light of current events, Lee thought the diagnosis might at times be applicable to nations as well as individuals.
Get those Bushians into treatment FAST!!

Jack Clark 8:26 PM [+]  
Post #107569598964908853

Common Dreams has this on its home page today:
CLAIM vs. FACT: Bush Rationale for Invasion

"We gave [Saddam] a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore we decided to remove him from power."
- George W. Bush, 7/14/03 [Source]

“[Iraq] did not let us in.”
- George W. Bush, 1/27/04 [Source]

“If in fact [Saddam] didn't have them, why on earth didn't he let the U.N. inspectors in and avoid the war?”
- Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Pat Roberts, 1/25/04

According to the U.S. State Department, U.N. weapons inspectors entered Iraq on November 27th, 2002. These inspectors only left when the invasion began, and were then barred from returning by the Bush Administration after the war.
- State Department, 11/25/02; CBS News, 3/18/03; Sydney Morning Herald, 4/24/03
Now I ask you: if the corporate media had played Bush's misstatement of fact over and over again as many times as they played Howard Dean's Iowa speech, how much credibility would Bush have left?

Jack Clark 8:18 PM [+]  
Post #107569552442499593

US Officials Knew in May Iraq Possessed No WMD  I wonder if this will have any legs.

Jack Clark 8:08 PM [+]  
Post #107569493306546077

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