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 and Occupation of Iraq


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Saturday, July 31, 2004

Evaluating a Society
'The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.'
FDR uttered these words of wisdom. I don't remember reading this before. It is an ultimate truth, a secular version of Matthew 25:31-46, the Biblical provision that conservative Christians violate with their every breath!

Jack Clark 10:55 PM [+]  
Post #109133972036309143

Lingua Franca? Yes, It's English
Ms. Villacis ... watched her middle-class life and her son's prospects of education implode when the currency in Ecuador collapsed, taking her job and bank account with it.

In New York, she and her son, now 16, eventually landed in a shelter for victims of domestic violence before she could sell her house in Ecuador and cobble together money from cleaning work and a boarder to rent an apartment.

'Without English, I can't defend myself,' she said fiercely in Spanish before class. She ventured one sentence in English to show what she had often longed to say during four years in New York: 'The work is hard, I need you pay more!'
'The work is hard, I need you pay more!' Yes, that should be a rallying cry for millions of Americans. But still, the rich need every cent of their money, don't they?

Jack Clark 10:49 PM [+]  
Post #109133939813584810

Polling: First the Convention, Then the Inevitable Expectations Game

The right-wing pundits are claiming that Kerry needs a 15% bounce or he's failed. More lies from the right.

Jack Clark 10:43 PM [+]  
Post #109133902452288566

Concern for the Integrity of the Vote
Why are Florida election officials resisting a verifiable paper trail unless they are trying to manipulate an election?...

The only reason the Republican leadership could have to wish to prevent having a paper trail, or to having machines independently checked before the voting, is if it wishes and expects to be able to manipulate the vote....

If Jeb Bush really trusted the new Florida voting technology, he'd welcome and encourage careful examination because it would confirm his claims and show to the world what a fine job he has done. Why doesn't he trust openness and transparency? Could it be that only ignorance and falsehood fear the light?
Excerpts from three different letters point out such an obvious truth.

Jack Clark 10:30 PM [+]  
Post #109133820219717005

Jordanian Company to Quit Iraq to Save Lives of 2 Hostages
On Tuesday, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell urged the allies not to hand the hostage-takers victory by giving in to their demands.

'Democracy is hard,' Mr. Powell said in a television interview in Hungary, where he is visiting as part of a tour to Europe and the Middle East. 'Democracy is dangerous...
The lying Colin Powell should really be saying "Empire-building is hard. Empire-building is dangerous..."

Jack Clark 10:26 PM [+]  
Post #109133798785483615

Lost Record '02 Florida Vote Raises '04 Concern
Almost all the electronic records from the first widespread use of touch-screen voting in Miami-Dade County have been lost, stoking concerns that the machines are unreliable as the presidential election draws near.
When I read this, I immediately thought "Well, the Bushians have to practice for '04, don't they?" Then I realized, it's probably Democratic officials running elections in these counties. So we don't need Bushian fraud, Democratic incompetence will do quite nicely, thank you! (PS: They later found these records.)

Jack Clark 10:23 PM [+]  
Post #109133779658685075

Triumph of the Trivial  Most columns and articles have so much fluff in them, I can excerpt a paragraph or two or three in my blog and the essence of the piece is presented. What I've noticed is, it's often impossible to do that with Paul Krugman's columns. There is so little fluff you have to read every word! So why not do just that with this column of his!

Jack Clark 10:18 PM [+]  
Post #109133748134726664

9/11 Victims' Families Begin Long Walk for Peace

A dozen peace activists - including several who lost relatives on Sept. 11, 2001 - set out from Boston on a 230-mile walk to New York City, pushing and pulling a granite slab that looks like an oversized tombstone.

...The monument itself, a massive chunk of granite quarried from the grounds of the Peace Abbey in Sherborn, is inscribed to "UNKNOWN CIVILIANS KILLED IN WAR."
This is a very powerful idea.

Jack Clark 10:01 PM [+]  
Post #109133676356187503

Activists Say There's Still a Dirty War Going On in Mexico
While Mexico debates charges against ex-President Luis Echeverria for the deaths of demonstrators 33 years ago, human rights advocates and others say police are still waging a dirty war in Guerrero state, with little or no government effort to stop it.
Multiple choice test: How long before U.S. government involvement in this dirty war will be revealed?
(a) one year
(b) five years
(c) 25 years
(d) never

Jack Clark 9:59 PM [+]  
Post #109133635130335565

Business Booming for Soldiers of Fortune
Although private military contractors, known as PMCs, were implicated in the torture scandal at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison, and are the target of congressional probes into over-billing, more than 150 U.S. companies have been awarded contracts worth up to 48.7 billion dollars for work in post-war Afghanistan and Iraq, according to research by the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity.
War profiteering run amok!

Jack Clark 9:56 PM [+]  
Post #109133619161572241

An Uphill Battle
A September Surprise. Well placed sources say that Bush's client government in Baghdad will put Saddam Hussein on trial, conveniently, in September. (It took years to prepare the Milosevic trial, but the efficient Iraqis will display Saddam in time for the US election.)

Saddam's outrages will be paraded on live American TV, reinforcing the idea that the Iraq war, no matter what the misrepresentations and blunders, was justified. Of course, nobody is debating whether Saddam was a vicious tyrant. The issue is whether America should have rushed to war on false information, without allies, and without a competent plan for the aftermath. Still, a September show trial will be a Bush propaganda coup.
Then Osama paraded in chains in October?

Jack Clark 9:53 PM [+]  
Post #109133601286499745

Johnnie Been Good?
[S]hooting a Vietnamese teenager in the back who was defending his country doesn't make [Kerry] a hero.

...I know what you're going to say. "Isn't Bush worse?"

By a long shot. Asking if Kerry is as bad as Bush is like asking if a slap in the face is as painful as a brick to the skull.
Complexities we must deal with maturely.

Jack Clark 9:50 PM [+]  
Post #109133581512021600

Hope Is Not On the Way, But Hopefully Bush Is On the Way Out
We can simultaneously walk, chew gum and be clear about the reality that Kerry embraces a centrist matrix of militarism and corporatism -- and, at the same time, in a world of contradictions, it's extremely important that George W. Bush lose the election on November 2

...[I]t's unfortunate some progressives feel compelled to claim that overall the political differences between Kerry and Bush are insignificant. Sounds righteous all right -- but for anyone who's been paying attention to the Bush administration for nearly four years, it shouldn't pass the laugh test.

...I agree with the Greens For Impact - www.greensforimpact.comorganization: 'The presidential election of 2004 is not a debate about voting your fears or voting your conscience. It is not an academic or theoretical exercise. Real people's lives are at stake. Women, people of color, the GLBT community, our nation's poor, and many others, save for the privileged few, will face real consequences from the outcome of this election. As a result, we must view the effect of our votes collectively, not merely by what they mean to us as individuals.'
All the people Bush will kill that Kerry won't, is reason enough to get rid of Bush, then start pressuring and protesting whenever Kerry doesn't do the right thing. Who do you think it would be easier for progressives to influence, Bush in a second term where he never has to run again, or Kerry in a first term when he does?

Jack Clark 9:39 PM [+]  
Post #109133515599798970

Let's Act in the the Democratic Emergency
On next November 2nd about 30%, 35 million, of all the votes will be cast on touch-screens and then counted invisibly inside direct-recording electronic computerized voting systems with no paper ballots. This gives the programmers working for the four major voting business corporations the ability to rig the outcomes specifically among those 35 million unverified votes in ways that nobody can see, audit, or recount. There can and will be no manual recounts of those 35 million votes because there will be no paper ballots to recount. Only Congressional passage of bills by Holt in the House, or Graham-Clinton or Boxer in the Senate, early in September, could require paper-ballot trails on these systems, and while a handful of Republicans are among the Holt bill's 145 co-sponsors, not one Republican backs either of the Senate bills. The coming national election is set up to be stolen.

...But what, specifically, do we do now about the democratic emergency?

...Suppose, to cope with this democratic emergency, leaders of the people's movement and organizations assemble now, say, a Committee of the Democratic Emergency, or the Committee of November 3rd, which will be prepared to call for the nonviolent occupation of Washington in the event of a stolen presidential election. Only planning by such a broad-based representative of the entire people's movement could possibly fund and master the million organizing details for Nov. 2, 3, and after, that would be required.
These kinds of scenarios have to be contemplated.

Jack Clark 9:35 PM [+]  
Post #109133492305941460

Friday, July 30, 2004
The Rich Gang up on the Poor at Trade Talks
In an eerie rerun of the breakdown on negotiations in Cancun last year, the European Union and the United States have already started blaming developing countries for failure. African governments have been roundly condemned for making 'unrealistic' demands on cotton (and how naughty it is of them to call on the U.S. to apply free market trade principles). Latin America and India have been castigated for demanding better access to industrial country markets. And the entire developing world has been denounced for failing to fall into line with demands for rapid liberalization.

All of this is a transparently absurd exercise in blaming the victim. What we are witnessing in Geneva is a failure of European and American political leadership of epic proportions. Private vested interests in agriculture are being allowed to override the wider public interest in strengthening multilateralism and reducing poverty.
The world economic system wasn't set up to serve the "wider public interest." It was set up to make the rich richer, and the poor poorer.

Jack Clark 9:50 PM [+]  
Post #109124942372679716

Capitol Hill Blue: Sullen, Depressed President Retreats Into Private, Paranoid World

Capitol Hill Blue: Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides  Bush on powerful anti-depressants?

Jack Clark 9:48 PM [+]  
Post #109124930582813316

Democratic Futures
This keynote speech cemented Obama's standing as the fastest-rising leader of the Democratic Party. Hillary Clinton and John Edwards must have noticed. Karl Rove would have been negligent in his duties if, after watching the speech, he did not say to an aide, 'get me something on this guy and let's try to stop him early.' Obama's speech suggested that should he be elected to the Senate--and he is close to a sure thing at this point--he will quickly become the progressive voice of that body, the successor to Paul Wellstone. And it is not hard to imagine Obama going further. If the United States is not a minority-majority country in, say, 2012, it will be close by then, and perhaps the electorate will be open to a candidate with a blended racial heritage. (After Ron Reagan delivered his own powerful speech at the Democratic convention blasting Republicans for not supporting funding of stem cell research, I wondered if an Obama-Reagan ticket might be possible eight years from now. )
Here's another scenario: Kerry-Edwards 2005-2012, Edwards-Obama 2013-2020, Obama-? 2021-2028.

Jack Clark 9:44 PM [+]  
Post #109124907300389728

The Story of No-Story - A Day at the Kerry Convention
Call me starry-eyed, or simply punchy as a day inside the Fleet Center ended, but there's always something about genuine enthusiasts that just does get to you. I thought to myself when Obama was finished and the place was truly rocking, maybe, just maybe, I listened to a speech by a future president of the United States.
Same thing I was thinking, provided there's no scandal along the way.

Jack Clark 9:41 PM [+]  
Post #109124887764017295

Two excerpts from O'Reilly-Moore on the ultimate question:

MOORE: Say ‘I Bill O’Reilly would sacrifice my child to secure Fallujah’

O'REILLY: I’m not going to say what you say, you’re a, that’s ridiculous

MOORE: You don’t believe that. Why should Bush sacrifice the children of people across America for this?
And later:

MOORE: Right, I would not sacrifice my child to secure Fallujah and you would?

O'REILLY: I would sacrifice myself.

MOORE: You wouldn’t send another child, another parents child to Fallujah, would you? You would sacrifice your life to secure Fallujah?

O'REILLY: I would.

MOORE: Can we sign him up? Can we sign him up right now?

O'REILLY: That’s right.

MOORE: Where’s the recruiter?

O'REILLY: You’d love to get rid of me.

MOORE: No I don’t want—I want you to live. I want you to live.

O'REILLY: I appreciate that. Michael Moore everybody. There he is…
Usual O'Reilly flim-flam. Saying he'd give his own life is meaningless, since he's way too old to go fight over there. But he wouldn't say he'd give his child's life, because he has a kid and I guess couldn't bring himself to say such a falsehood about something that then might, in a karmic way, come true.

Jack Clark 4:03 PM [+]  
Post #109122890458038836

Details of Condomskeezer Lice's Lie #1:
'I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center,' Condoleezza Rice, Mr. Bush's national security adviser, said in May 2002. As recently as this April, in testimony to the Sept. 11 commission, Mr. Freeh said that he 'never was aware of a plan that contemplated commercial airliners being used as weapons.'

But in its investigation, the commission found that an attack described as unimaginable had in fact been imagined, repeatedly. The commission said that several threat reports circulated within the government in the late 1990's raised the explicit possibility of an attack using airliners as missiles.

Most prominent among those reports, the commission said, was one circulated in September 1998, based on information provided by a source who walked into an American consulate in East Asia, that ''mentioned a possible plot to fly an explosives-laden aircraft into a U.S. city.' A month earlier, it said, an intelligence agency received information that a group of Libyans hoped to crash a plane into the World Trade Center.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command had gone so far as to develop exercises to counter the threat and, according to a Defense Department memorandum unearthed by the commission, planned a drill in April 2001 that would have simulated a terrorist crash into the Pentagon.
If she knew these things she was lying and should be fired. If she didn't know these things, she was massively incompetent and should be fired for that.

Details of Lie #2:

In the first hours after the Sept. 11 attacks and ever since, the White House has consistently insisted that Mr. Bush and his deputies had no credible evidence before the attacks to suggest that Al Qaeda was about to strike on American soil.

But the assertion has been questioned as a result of the commission's digging. After its most heated showdown with the Bush administration over access to classified information, the commission pressured the White House to declassify and make public a special intelligence briefing that had been presented to the president at his Texas ranch on Aug. 6, 2001, a month before the attacks.

The existence of the document - but not its detailed contents - had been known since 2002, when the White House confirmed news reports that Mr. Bush had received an intelligence report before Sept. 11 warning of the possibility that Al Qaeda might hijack American passenger planes.

In testimony this April to the Sept. 11 commission, before the report was made public, Ms. Rice insisted that it was "historical."

"It did not, in fact, warn of attacks inside the United States," she testified. "It was historical information based on old reporting. There was no new threat information.''

But there were gasps in the audience in the hearing room when she disclosed the name of the two-page briefing paper: "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in U.S."

The document was made public several days later. It contained passages referring to F.B.I. reports at the time of "suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York." It noted that a caller to the United States Embassy in the United Arab Emirates that May had warned that "a group of bin Laden supporters was in the U.S.," planning attacks with explosives.

The commission's final report revealed that two C.I.A. analysts involved in preparing the brief had wanted to make clear to Mr. Bush that, far from being only a historical threat, the threat that Al Qaeda would strike on American soil was "both current and serious."

Jack Clark 3:47 PM [+]  
Post #109122767688686850

More smear tactics by O'Reilly, comparing someone to Goebbels. This item is from the mediamatters.org:
On his July 28 FOX News Channel show, O'Reilly said filmmaker Michael Moore "has more power than probably anybody else other than Kerry and Edwards. It's scary. It's scary. You know this happened in Nazi Germany. ... Who was the most powerful person in Nazi Germany other than Hitler and Himmler and Goering, who? You guys know? ... Goebbels. The propaganda minister."

Jack Clark 2:22 PM [+]  
Post #109122280396002210

Thursday, July 29, 2004
Fear of Fraud
It's election night, and early returns suggest trouble for the incumbent. Then, mysteriously, the vote count stops and observers from the challenger's campaign see employees of a voting-machine company, one wearing a badge that identifies him as a county official, typing instructions at computers with access to the vote-tabulating software.

When the count resumes, the incumbent pulls ahead. The challenger demands an investigation. But there are no ballots to recount, and election officials allied with the incumbent refuse to release data that could shed light on whether there was tampering with the electronic records.

This isn't a paranoid fantasy. It's a true account of a recent election in Riverside County, Calif., reported by Andrew Gumbel of the British newspaper The Independent. Mr. Gumbel's full-length report, printed in Los Angeles City Beat, makes hair-raising reading not just because it reinforces concerns about touch-screen voting, but also because it shows how easily officials can stonewall after a suspect election.
Scary stuff. I usually vote by absentee ballot, but would probably do so anyway if the alternative was a non-secure touchscreen ballot.

Jack Clark 9:35 PM [+]  
Post #109116210610323287

Look at this excerpt from the poll linked to in this article:

56. Regardless of what you think of George W. Bush now, looking back to 2000, would you say George W. Bush legitimately won the 2000 presidential election, or not?
                             Legitimately won Did not DK/NA
7/04 All voters          51                        45            5
7/04 Dem voters       18                        78            4
2004 DEM Del            7                        91            2

Wow, 45% of ALL VOTERS think Bush didn't legitimately win the 2000 election!

Jack Clark 9:26 PM [+]  
Post #109116198464824411

My Millionaire is Better than Your Millionaire
We live in an era of ostentatious religiosity. Most presidents after Gerald Ford have been openly devout Christians, thus America, as a society, expects that the charity that Christ emphasized and upon which the Gospels themselves are built will be reflected in their words and deeds. Christianity, as I understand it, is not just faith but good works, charity, and kindness. The proof of the man, however, is not in his conspicuous Sunday churchgoing but in the policies they have enacted that affect the poorest, the weakest, the oldest of us, and in the genuine devotion to good works that only a few practice.
I am quite sure a special fate awaits those conservative Christians who mock the teachings of Jesus.

Jack Clark 9:17 PM [+]  
Post #109116106624258477

The Real Reasons Bush Went to War

There were only two credible reasons for invading Iraq: control over oil and preservation of the dollar as the world's reserve currency.
Eyes-wide-open people know this.

Jack Clark 9:15 PM [+]  
Post #109116090821766431

The 800lb Gorilla in American Foreign Policy
Torture is illegal in the US. Facilitating torture elsewhere is also illegal under the convention against torture, to which the US is a signatory. 'I think it's time,' said Jamie Fellner of Human Rights Watch, 'that we began to recognize that ghost prisoners are the new disappeared. And disappearance is almost invariably associated with mistreatment and torture.'

Congressman Markey has taken a stand. 'Extraordinary rendition is the 800lb gorilla in our foreign and military policy-making that nobody wants to talk about. It involves our country out-sourcing interrogations to countries that are known to practice torture, something that erodes America's moral credibility,' he said. It is up to his fellow Democrats to support him.
The world is quite aware of our hypocrisy, hence our abysmally low ratings in polls in virtually every country of the world.

Jack Clark 9:13 PM [+]  
Post #109116078174648991

Severed Head in the Freezer, Favorability Ratings in the Toilet
'Why do they hate us?' the president asked in his address to the nation on Sept. 11, 2001. 'They hate our freedoms - our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.'

It was an effective soundbite, but it wasn't true. 'There appears to be no empirical evidence to support the claim that Arabs have a negative view of the U.S. because 'they hate American values,'' the Zogby survey concluded. Interviews with members of suicide cells and surveys of opinion in the Middle East have consistently shown that both the terrorists and Arab and non-Arab Muslims as a whole generally admire American 'values' like democracy, a free press, free speech, and universal human rights. What they hate is our support for authoritarian regimes that deny them those rights. Ignoring those grievances was to ignore the 'hearts and minds' so vital to defeating terrorism. An overwhelming majority in the Zogby poll expect the U.S. invasion of Iraq to result in less democracy in the Middle East and say it was motivated by U.S. goals of 'controlling oil,' 'protecting Israel' and 'weakening' or 'dominating' the Muslim world.
Good debunking of a particularly stupid tenet of Bushism.

Jack Clark 9:09 PM [+]  
Post #109116054053021680

Transcript: Out of Many, One  This speech by Barack Obama may become historically significant if he wins the Presidency some day.

Jack Clark 9:07 PM [+]  
Post #109116042103970253

Put The Speakers In A Cage  If you want to read the ravings of a disturbed woman, check out this column by Ann Coulter that got her fired by USA Today.

Jack Clark 9:04 PM [+]  
Post #109116027292478954

I loved this message from a like-minded soul who read my piece about wishing the red and blue states could form separate nations:
I'm from Kentucky, a beautiful state where you will find warm, friendly, charming people. If you visit us we will feed you, show you our beautiful horses and our lovely scenery and make you feel very welcome. The people here are basically decent and hardworking. They are also dumber than rocks. They love:

1. George W.
2. Jesus
3. Toby Keith
4. Binny Hinn

So - if the day ever comes that the nation splits (and I've actually thought about that a lot) I want to go to a blue state.

This country is in a pitiful state - I can hardly believe some of the idiotic remarks I hear from those who support the madman in the White House ("he's a man of God"; "he's made us safer"; "he has morals"). I feel like I'm living in 1930's Germany or maybe this is just the twilight zone......

Anyway, if you should get the word that we're gonna split please drop me a line so I can be packed and ready to move.

Jack Clark 12:41 PM [+]  
Post #109113026398364108

Tuesday, July 27, 2004
A Bur Under the Saddle: Michael Moore in Texas
A poll released last week by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that Moore is 'preaching to the choir,' with those who had seen the movie breaking down as 57 percent Democrat, 33 percent independent and 9 percent Republican. A Los Angeles Times poll last week concluded that the movie -- which the White House and Bush-Cheney campaign decided to ignore or brush off when officials were asked about it -- was wielding less influence among potential voters than Moore had hoped.
Stupid analysis. 42% of the people seeing the film are non-Democrats and that's preaching to the choir? Even of the 9% Republicans, if only 1 in 10 changes their mind, that could cost Bush the election. And, who knows what the breakdown will be when the film is, hopefully, released on DVD before the election.

Jack Clark 9:26 PM [+]  
Post #109098880286939347

Gaining Ground: At Last, a Company Takes PETA Seriously
PETA released videotapes from a hidden camera planted by a member who worked undercover in a West Virginia slaughterhouse for eight months. Instead of recording the normal unpleasantries of factory farming, like chickens with their beaks burned off or unwanted male chicks ground up alive into fertilizer, it recorded wanton cruelty: workers stomping on live chickens, and flinging dozens into a wall. The investigator said his co-workers tore the head off a chicken to write graffiti, strangled a chicken with a latex glove, squeezed birds till they exploded and committed "hundreds" of other acts of cruelty...

[E]ven though millions of Americans have at least dabbled with vegetarianism, the activists are rarely taken seriously by food companies or federal regulators when they ask people nicely to stop eating meat or wearing leather or going to the circus.

...Even a journalist covering animal rights can struggle to be taken seriously. This one was kidded for exposing 'Kentucky Fried Chicken's Abu Ghraib.''
May all those kidders be reborn 1000 times as one of those tortured chickens.

Jack Clark 9:20 PM [+]  
Post #109098845414142432

Proposed Marriage Ban Splits Washington's Gays
The election-year fight over gay marriage has altered the gay scene here in ways that have left some in the community - most notably gay Republicans - stunned and even fearful. Under intense pressure to separate their gay consciousness from their broader political identity, gay and lesbian conservatives are facing stinging ridicule in the very neighborhoods, bars and restaurants that were once unquestioned safe zones.

...But it has reached fever pitch in the past two weeks, since Mike Rogers, a gay activist in Washington, began posting on the Internet the names of gays who work for lawmakers supporting the amendment.

"It's about exposing hypocrisy wherever we find it," Mr. Rogers said.
Out the hypocritical bastards, I agree whole-heartedly!!

Jack Clark 9:16 PM [+]  
Post #109098818981613182

Brazil Carries the War on Drugs to the Air
After hesitating for six years, in large part because of pressure from the United States, Brazil has announced that it will begin shooting down aircraft used in trafficking illegal drugs in its airspace.
I've never understood this tactic. Why not follow the plane, and when it lands, as it eventually must, arrest the people and gain info on their higher-ups?

Jack Clark 9:07 PM [+]  
Post #109098766902053695

War of Ideology
Last week I met with a leading military officer stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq, whose observations dovetailed remarkably with the 9/11 commissioners. He said the experience of the last few years is misleading; only 10 percent of our efforts from now on will be military. The rest will be ideological. He observed that we are in the fight against Islamic extremism now where we were in the fight against communism in 1880.
Very interesting point.

Jack Clark 9:05 PM [+]  
Post #109098753900033733

O'Reilly vs. Michael Moore Transcript  I reprint,you decide.

Jack Clark 8:14 PM [+]  
Post #109098446843576304

Monday, July 26, 2004
Shining, Happy People: The Dems Hit Boston
I doubt more than a few of the hundreds of people present even thought for a moment about the incongruence of this event. The worst of the Democratic Party (corporate backers looking for--and gaining--access and influence) and the best of the Democratic Party (civil rights heroes) were literally side by side, in collaboration. Talk about coalition building. But in this week of unprecedented unity, it might be impolite for anyone to question that. It would be off message.
Not impolite. STUPID! If you need something (a vote) from someone (2004 undecideds), and you know asking for it one way (harshly criticizing Bush and the Republicrat nature of the two parties) will express your true feelings but make the person refuse your request, while on the other hand, asking for it a different way (campaigning affirmatively) will mask your feelings but produce an affirmative response (a Kerry victory over Bush), which do you choose? If what you want is important enough, you choose the second method. There's always time after Bush is out of office to bring up unresolved issues.

Jack Clark 8:58 PM [+]  
Post #109090068404839837

Sunday, July 25, 2004
Richard Ney, Financial Adviser, Popular Author and Actor, 87, Dies
He campaigned to change the markets, which he considered cornerstones of free enterprise that were manipulated to benefit insiders and specialists rather than individual investors. In a 1965 interview with The New York Times he called the prevalent system 'incredible mechanisms for legalized larceny.'

He added: 'The average investor in the market is a blind man crossing the street. He can't compete with professionals.'
Such is still the case. As I never tire of saying, economic structures set up by the rich are designed to make them even richer, at the expense of everyone else. It's only human nature, or at least the human nature of those who aggrandize unto themselves enough wealth for a thousand lifetimes.

Jack Clark 11:53 PM [+]  
Post #109082478020496636

Editorial Observer: Nicaragua, 25 Years After the Revolution, Is Still Struggling  It is inaccurate and appalling to equate the Sandinistas with Somoza, and the conservative governments that came after the Sandinistas, as this bizarre and self-contradictory editorial does.

Jack Clark 11:41 PM [+]  
Post #109082406144552963

A Former President of Mexico Charged With 1971 Killings
A special prosecutor filed charges on Friday against a former president and other officials in the killings of student protesters 33 years ago, reopening a dark and divisive episode that was a turning point in Mexico's struggle for democracy.

...His campus recruits were usually the children of PRI stalwarts. They formed the ranks of a government strike force created to counter the student movement in September 1968, days before the Tlatelolco killings. It was called the Falcons - Halcones, in Spanish.

...Contemporary evidence, including cables from the United States Embassy in Mexico City after the attacks, established that President Echeverría supported the Falcons and their attacks.

The United States Embassy in Mexico City was well aware of the group. On Jan. 6, 1971, it sent a cable to Washington saying a prominent Mexican Army colonel, Daz Escobar, had come to the embassy seeking training for a group of young army officers and university students. The cable described the students as likely government infiltrators of campus organizations. Washington granted the request, though no American-trained Falcons took part in the killings on June 10, 1971.
I'm sure no American-trained Falcons took part in the killings. Yet one more example of the U.S. training killers working for dictators (if not the dictators themselves!).

Jack Clark 11:31 PM [+]  
Post #109082347442272113

Sudan Memo: In Darfur, Appalling Atrocity, but Is That Genocide?
Appalling, gut-wrenching and vicious are just some of the terms that can reasonably be used to describe the mass killing and displacement of villagers in the Darfur region of Sudan. But does what has occurred there - and continues to unfold - amount to genocide?

The question is more than academic. The Genocide Convention, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, calls on signers to 'prevent' and 'punish' genocide. If what is happening in Darfur is genocide, as many contend, the United States and other governments would be compelled to step in and put a stop to it.
This entire discussion gets me sick. There is no debate that tens of thousands of innocent people are being murdered. If it's genocide, we'll stop it. If it's not genocide, but plain old mass murder of innocents, well then, let the killing continue!

Jack Clark 11:25 PM [+]  
Post #109082313647515917

House Rules Out Postponing Elections Because Of Terrorism
The House overwhelmingly approved a resolution that says it will not support any efforts to postpone this year's presidential election because of terrorist threats or attacks. The resolution, by Representative Bob Ney, Republican of Ohio, also said that no agency or individual should be given the authority to postpone the date of a national election. The election this year is on Nov. 2. The House action comes after the chairman of a federal commission on voting suggested to Congressional leaders last week that there should be a process for canceling or rescheduling an election interrupted by terrorism. Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, has said the administration is not considering such a plan. Tom Ridge, the homeland security secretary, recently warned that intelligence indicated that the Qaeda terrorist network wanted to disrupt the coming election. (AP)
This is a good step, although the fact that a Republican sponsored the resolution makes me wonder a bit...

Jack Clark 11:20 PM [+]  
Post #109082280678045767

Train More Nurses
To the Editor:

Re "An Exodus of African Nurses Puts Infants and the Ill in Peril" (front page, July 12):

Earlier this year, I returned to the girls' high school in Ghana at which I taught in the early 1980's as a Peace Corps volunteer.

While I enjoyed seeing former students, I was alarmed that virtually none of those who had become nurses were still in Ghana.

I heard, time and again, about nurses' being recruited overseas directly from school and happy, well-established nurses being lured away with such things as free plane tickets or sign-on bonuses.

Africans have the right to move to make their lives better, as people have throughout history.

What is troubling is the extent to which developed countries, with the resources to train their own nurses, have abdicated this responsibility and chosen to "raid" nurses from countries that already have acute shortages.

If we need more nurses, we should pay for more schools, raise wages and improve working conditions for the nurses we have.
This letter-writer points out yet one more way the rich rip off the poor.

Jack Clark 11:17 PM [+]  
Post #109082262796995949

Sales of Investments to G.I.'s Under Scrutiny in Washington
The inquiries, the people close to them said, focus on the sales practices of First Command Financial Planning in Fort Worth, which sells mutual funds, insurance and banking services to officers on military bases around the world.

...First Command heavily promotes the sale of contractual plans, an archaic type of mutual fund that vanished from the civilian market two decades ago.
Wouldn't you know, it's a Texas company ripping off the soldiers. I wonder if they're a big Bush contributor.

Jack Clark 11:14 PM [+]  
Post #109082245163792629

Provision in Bill Bars Pentagon From Revising Investment Rules
The Pentagon will be barred from taking any action to tighten its rules on the sale of insurance and other financial products on military bases until sometime next spring as a result of a small rider to the defense appropriations bill that was passed by Congress last night.

The Pentagon came under Congressional pressure this week to address policies and enforcement practices that have allowed young military recruits to be exposed to misleading tactics used to sell insurance and investment products that are ill suited to their needs.

...Even more stringent restrictions on Pentagon action were inserted into the House version of the military authorization bill, which was passed in May.
Protecting the crooks.

Jack Clark 10:53 PM [+]  
Post #109082120130564310

Judge Fines Philip Morris for E-Mail Loss
The judge overseeing the federal government's lawsuit against the tobacco industry levied a fine of $2.75 million on Wednesday against Philip Morris USA and its parent company, the Altria Group, for destroying more than two years' worth of e-mail messages related to the case.

Judge Gladys Kessler, of United States District Court here, said the stiff fine reflected "the reckless disregard and gross indifference" displayed by Philip Morris and Altria in destroying the records.
The parent group of Philip Morris had $11 billion in profit in 2002. This fine is a joke, pocket change that the company is quite willing to spend for the ability to destroy incriminating documents.

Jack Clark 10:49 PM [+]  
Post #109082099636035559

House Backs Bill to Limit Power of Judges
'If this bill becomes law, it will represent the first time in our history that Congress has enacted legislation that completely bars any federal court, including the United States Supreme Court, from considering the constitutionality of federal legislation,' said Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House.

Mr. Hoyer and others warned that the bill could establish a dangerous precedent and said that if such an approach had been used in the past, federal courts would not have been able to rule on cases that helped end government-sanctioned racial discrimination.
Truly, should anyone have any doubts, a step on the road to dictatorship.

Jack Clark 10:35 PM [+]  
Post #109082011927233354

Among Troops, Growing Doubts About Mission, Leaders Who Sent Them
Staff Sgt. A.J. Dean was on the same stretch of road a couple of nights later, and his tone was similar to Tilley’s.

"I don’t have any idea of what we’re trying to do out here. I don’t know what the (goal) is, and I don’t think our commanders do either," he said. "I feel deceived personally. I don’t trust anything (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld says, and I think (Deputy Defense Secretary Paul) Wolfowitz is even dirtier."
I wonder how widespread this sentiment is?

Jack Clark 10:29 PM [+]  
Post #109081976322653467

Democrats Bar Nader from Convention
Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader was rejected Friday in his bid to try to attend next week's Democratic National Convention.

'Given that Nader is running on the Pat Buchanan Reform Party ticket and is openly accepting both financial and organizational help from Republicans and their allies, the answer is no,' Democratic National Committee spokesman Jano Cabrera said.
Good! I hate that Nader moron more and more each day. What the hell does he think he's doing??!!

Jack Clark 10:24 PM [+]  
Post #109081947281841041

Rock Royalty to Join Voices Against Bush With Fall Concerts  It's about time. And they should also write some hit songs about the need for change.

Jack Clark 10:13 PM [+]  
Post #10908188092630292

Fox News' Roger Ailes: 'CNN Hates America'
As for CNN, he asks: Why do they hate America? 'CNN International, Al-Jazeera and BBC are the same in how they report mostly that America is wrong and bad.'
Oi vey, what is wrong with these right-wing imbeciles?!

Jack Clark 10:08 PM [+]  
Post #109081848867578503

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