Why I Still Oppose Our Invasion
 and Occupation of Iraq


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Saturday, August 28, 2004

America's Failing Health
The fact is that the mainly private U.S. health care system spends far more than the mainly public health care systems of other advanced countries, but gets worse results. In 2001, we spent $4,887 on health care per capita, compared with $2,792 in Canada and $2,561 in France. Yet the U.S. does worse than either country by any measure of health care success you care to name - life expectancy, infant mortality, whatever. (At its best, U.S. health care is the best in the world. But the ranks of Americans who can't afford the best, and may have no insurance at all, are large and growing.)

And the U.S. system does have very high overhead: private insurers and H.M.O.'s spend much more on administrative expenses, as opposed to actual medical treatment, than public agencies at home or abroad.
When the right-wingers snidely allude to the long waiting lists for certain types of car in those universal care systems, they are, as usual, blowing it out the wrong end. Because those long waits are from the low per capita amount those countries spend. I think that at our per capita level, there would be no wait at all, and first-class care for all.

Jack Clark 10:08 PM [+]  
Post #109375612656863254

> U.S. Report on Violence in Sudan Finds a 'Pattern of Atrocities'
A preliminary State Department review of the violence waged in the Darfur region of Sudan has implicated government-backed militias in 'a consistent and widespread pattern of atrocities,' including murder, torture, rape and ethnic humiliation.

The study, based on 257 interviews conducted in refugee settlements in neighboring Chad in the last two weeks of July, is part of the Bush administration's investigation of whether the killing in Darfur amounts to genocide.

...The purpose of the report is not to come to a determination on genocide," said a State Department official. "What these guys are doing is collecting firsthand information that would serve as the documentary evidence on whether the legal standard has been met."
Every time I read something like this my blood boils. F**k that legal standard of genocide, what difference does it make regarding our moral obligation to STOP IT!

Jack Clark 10:01 PM [+]  
Post #109375571952273318

Here's an entry in the "what will be the October surprise" derby: Sistani asks U.S. troops to leave, and Bush says OK, we've done our job. Now, this is all a set-up so that Bush will have a great pre-election boost. Then after the election, there will be some terrorist act in Iraq, such that Al-Sistani calls on the U.S. to stay a little longer. Far-fetched? Well, remember that deal the Republicans made with the Iranians not to release the hostages before the election?

Jack Clark 9:43 PM [+]  
Post #109375488426378842

Wow, check out the sophisticated PR effort of the Chavez government. Good for them. Not only the Bushians should be adept at PR. (Don't skip the intro, watch it, it's a Flash series of print ad reproductions)

Jack Clark 6:34 PM [+]  
Post #109374337865965558

On this eve of the big NYC protest, I wonder if the whole scenario to date isn't a Karl Rove plan: pick NYC in the hopes there will be massive demos + deny protesters a suitable rally site = chaos and violence like Chicago '68, with the country reacting the same, blaming the protesters if not also the Democrats (in either case bolstering Bush).

Jack Clark 6:29 PM [+]  
Post #109374316891851731

Labor Department Wins $1.9 Million in Back Pay for Janitors
The United States Department of Labor announced yesterday that it had reached a $1.9 million settlement with a contractor for the Target Corporation after finding that the contractor had not paid overtime to hundreds of immigrant janitors who often worked seven nights a week cleaning Target stores.

Several janitors said in interviews that the Target contractor was doing much the same as contractors for Wal-Mart had done before an immigration raid at Wal-Mart stores last October - making late-night janitors work nearly 365 days a year, without paying overtime or Social Security and other taxes
A person is truly the lowest of the low if they rip off the poorest of the poor.

Jack Clark 6:29 PM [+]  
Post #109374295156620358

When people say Bush has lost a net 1.1 million jobs, they are seriously underestimating the problem. Since apparently 150,000 jobs need to be added each month just to keep up with population growth, in Bush's 44 months to date we would have needed 6.6 million jobs to stay even. So combine 1.1 net loss plus 6.6 need to stay even, and the situation is that under Bush, there are 7.7 million fewer jobs now than needed for us to be in the same place we were at the day he took office.

Jack Clark 6:17 PM [+]  
Post #109374226378993652

Further on my pipedream wish to have the Red and Blue states separate into two separate nations: I'd been thinking it would be a mutual thing, but hey, isn't there some way a majority of states can expel others from the union? (Probably not).

Also: when you look at an electoral map, it is so striking that the Red states are nothing more than the old Confederacy. Would it have been better in the long run if they had successfully seceded 140 years ago? Slavery would have soon ended anyway, given that trend all over the world at the time. And we today in the Blue states wouldn't be saddled with the fundamentalist Red state imbeciles. Who wants to be yoked together with and in order to accomplish anything decent have to convert, a bunch of people with their collective head up their ass?

Jack Clark 5:54 PM [+]  
Post #109374120126555810

Praying for Sistani's Good Health Finally some solid information, not just the usual calling of Sadr a lunatic and/or a thug. (alternative link)

Jack Clark 5:53 PM [+]  
Post #109374079020317150

Beyond Hero-Worship
A front-page New York Times story the other day referred to Sen. John McCain as 'the most popular national political figure in the country.' McCain built his career in politics while news accounts routinely described him as a 'war hero,' with frequent references to the captivity and torture that he withstood for years after a North Vietnamese missile brought him down from a plane he was piloting over Hanoi. Media outlets rarely put a fine point on the fact that McCain had been dropping bombs on civilians.
A point I take to its logical conclusion here.

Jack Clark 5:24 PM [+]  
Post #109373906392112235

Damaged Goods: How Far Will Republicans Go to Hold Onto Power?
The Bush crowd is smart and skillful, and above all devious. They have demonstrated that to hold on to power, they will do anything. In the background chatter of Washington, a real worry is expressed that the White House might put the bombers aloft and strike somewhere in a supposed emergency -- maybe take out Iran's nuclear program? -- to change the subject big-time and to scare the bejeezus out of American voters just before the election.

Normally, I wouldn't take such talk seriously. But when I consider Bush's dilemma and all that's at stake, I begin to think these fears are not implausible. In a newly concocted crisis, would anxious Americans stampede to the President's side? Or would they see through the cynical charade and toss him out? I would bet on the latter, but I wouldn't bet the whole farm.
Never underestimate the ignorance-based imbecility of a large swath of the American public.

Jack Clark 5:22 PM [+]  
Post #109373896184757883

Kissinger Backed Dirty War Against Left in Argentina
Henry Kissinger gave Argentina's military junta the green light to suppress political opposition at the start of the 'dirty war' in 1976, telling the country's foreign minister: 'If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly,' according to newly-declassified documents published yesterday.

State department documents show the former secretary of state urged Argentina to crush the opposition just months after it seized power and before the US Congress convened to consider sanctions.

'We won't cause you unnecessary difficulties. If you can finish before Congress gets back, the better,' Mr Kissinger told Admiral Cesar Augusto Guzzetti, the foreign minister, according to the State Department's transcript.

Carlos Osorio, an analyst at the National Security Archive, a US pressure group which published the transcript, said it was likely to be seen by historians as 'a smoking gun'.

It is likely to be seized on by Mr Kissinger's critics who have been calling for him to face charges for abetting war crimes and human rights abuses in Cambodia, Chile and Argentina.
The piece of shit mass murdering war criminal should have been rotting in jail for two decades already, not be a figure accorded respect and deference by the corporate toady media scum who kowtow to him whenever he's on their program (Greta, you listening?!).

Jack Clark 5:16 PM [+]  
Post #109373860028591203

Friday, August 27, 2004
I've been to a million demos, organized civil disobediances against Reagan's aid to the contras. But it seems to me that the 250,000 people who may be protesting in the streets of New York could far better spend their time by each registering 5 people to vote and then on election day making sure they vote. Of course, if the demonstrators have time to do both, then go demonstrate. On the other hand, skip the demo and register 10 people, not 5! And then after the election, we'll demonstrate against President Kerry to get the hell out of Iraq. I imagine he'll be much more amenable to persuasion than a second term, no-worries-about-reelection Bush.

Jack Clark 9:55 PM [+]  
Post #109366913118233759

Bush's Father Foresaw Costs of Iraq War
Not many people foresaw the postwar difficulties the administration has endured in Iraq.
For an AP article, this is inexcusable ignorance. In the leadup to the war, countless experts warned of just such a postwar situation as is now the case.

Jack Clark 9:23 PM [+]  
Post #109366703068933985

Pinochet Once Again in the Hands of the Courts
The path is now clear to establish his share of responsibility in Operation Condor, the strategy by which South American de facto military regimes coordinated the repression of political opponents in the 1970s and 1980s.
What a shame it is that this mass murderer has never been brought to justice. He's already 88 and has gotten away with it for all intents and purposes.

Jack Clark 9:18 PM [+]  
Post #109366672545544337

Thursday, August 26, 2004
What Would Dukakis Do?
The most urgent task is to inoculate Kerry against the damage looming directly around corner at the Republican convention. It is completely transparent that Rove put the convention in New York in part to replicate Chicago 1968, and the Left is obligingly preparing to do its part assisting in the further destruction of the Kerry campaign. Kerry must urgently and frequently broadcast his opposition to violent protest, disassociate himself from the same, blame Bush for dividing America, and do all this now.

The other crucial bit of inoculation concerns the prospect of an October Surprise. In 1980, the Reagan camp lived in deathly fear that Jimmy Carter would use a foreign policy ploy in the last days of the election to rally support around the flag and pull out a win. Carter, of course, was far too moral a man to have gamed national security policy for his own political benefit. Bush and Rove, of course, would not hesitate in the least. Cubans, Syrians and Democrats, are you listening? The Reagan camp expertly preempted any such possibility by talking about it loudly, frequently and early, so that had Carter in fact done this, the ground would have been pre-paved to make it appear a cynical political ploy. The Kerry people must do the same, starting yesterday.
Kerry's failure to do these two things could be the final nails in his electoral coffin.

Jack Clark 10:01 PM [+]  
Post #109358290428687473

What Would Dukakis Do?
When will Democrats learn?

...He should have a little chat with the remains of Messrs. Dukakis, McCain, Gore and Cleland.

How Kerry failed to see the events of the last week coming is as unfathomable as it is inexcusable. How he allowed two Vietnam dodgers turn a war hero into a question mark with hardly a rebuttal suggests that he may be in way over his head in this campaign.

...How is it that Kerry didn't see this coming, especially after the four Bush League victims above were so notoriously thrashed by this ugly cartel? The events of the last week suggest an ineptness at grand strategy perhaps rivaled only by Bush's invasion of Iraq while America is at war with al Qaeda.
Expresses my dismay at Kerry perfectly.

Jack Clark 10:00 PM [+]  
Post #109358280725263658

Get Mad. Act Out. Re-Elect George Bush
If resistance against Bush actually plays into Bush's hands, is it really resistance?

The parallels between Chicago 1968 and New York 2004 are striking.

[E]ven the most passive protesters, when arrested, are often perceived by the public—as they were in Chicago in 1968—as bringers of anarchy, and end up hurting the causes they profess to help.

...It is only inane arrogance that gives someone the confidence to pronounce that, magically, "people will understand." They might not understand at all. Instead, what they might understand is: "Bush is better than anarchy in the streets." It ain't fair. But if it all goes down as unplanned, there'll be a whole lot more unfairness coming down the pike in the next four years
Food for thought.

Jack Clark 9:55 PM [+]  
Post #109358250272979284

A Ruinous Trap of Their Own Making

There was no 'imminent threat' to the United States from Iraq. Then there was no strategy for building a new Iraq.'Hubris and ideology' ruled. Now, 'Iraq is more dangerous to the US potentially than it was at the moment we went to war'.

These are the reluctant judgments of one of the key US officials who participated in the highest levels of decision-making of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA)...

Diamond, a scholar at the Hoover Institution, a conservative thinktank located on the Stanford University campus, was personally recruited to serve as a senior adviser to the CPA by national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, once provost of Stanford.

Another conservative turned looney-left.

Jack Clark 9:40 PM [+]  
Post #109358160958564947

Focusing On Undecided Voters: Not A Very Swift Idea
According to a new poll by the National Annenberg Election Survey, 46 percent of undecided and persuadable voters say they find the group's vile ads 'very or somewhat believable'.

Believable?! But then why are we surprised that the folks who are still on the fence nearly four years into one of the most disastrous and polarizing presidencies in American history find foaming-at-the-mouth accusations that John Kerry might have shot himself because it would look good on his resume 'believable'?
Voters who are still "undecided" are dullards at best.

Jack Clark 9:34 PM [+]  
Post #109358127373892033

What Would Machiavelli Do? The Big Lie Lives On  Thom Hartmann is so damn brilliant. Read this!

Jack Clark 9:28 PM [+]  
Post #109358093802763284

Father of dead Marine sets fire to military van, is severely burned: South Florida Sun-Sentinel  Happy, George?

Jack Clark 9:02 PM [+]  
Post #109357933449766437

Ranks of Poor, Uninsured Rose in 2003
The number of Americans living in poverty increased by 1.3 million last year, while the ranks of the uninsured swelled by 1.4 million, the Census Bureau reported Thursday.

It was the third straight annual increase for both categories.

...[S]ome Democrats claimed the Bush administration was trying to play down bad news by releasing the reports a month earlier than usual. The reports normally come out separately in late September — one on poverty and income, the other on insurance.
The Bushian assault on the middle class, working class and poor continues. But KERRY DIDN'T DESERVE HIS MEDALS, HE DUPED THE NAVY INTO GIVING HIM 5 MEDALS, BLAH BLAH BLAH.

Jack Clark 8:59 PM [+]  
Post #109357917155350899

Wednesday, August 25, 2004
It needs to be asked once again, is Hannity stupid, or a deliberate liar. He keeps repeating his spiel that since Kerry "was told" about atrocities in Vietnam, shouldn't he have reported them, and if he didn't report them, isn't he complicit in the atrocities, and unfit to be commander-in-chief. But surely Hannity knows, and guests have said this to his face, that Kerry did not say that while he was in Vietnam, soldiers came and told him about atrocities they had committed. The misleadingly excerpted clip that Hannity plays, where Kerry gives a litany of atrocities, was from a Congressional hearing where Kerry was reporting what veterans had testified to publicly at a hearing in Detroit. So obviously there was nothing for Kerry to report to anyone, since the veterans were reporting these atrocities publicly and after Kerry had already left the service. But Hannity, shameless as always, continues with his "why didn't he report these atrocities" spiel.

Jack Clark 8:51 PM [+]  
Post #109349258556240639

Sean Hannity was hoist upon his own petard this evening. He was happily interviewing a Vietnam veteran who had turned his back to John Kerry while Kerry was addressing a veteran's group. Hannity started into his spiel about how Kerry needs to apologize to all Vietnam vets for claiming that U.S. troops committed atrocities in Vietnam. Hannity asked the vet if he had ever, while in Vietnam, heard of any atrocities being committed. The vet was taken aback, hemmed and hawed, and finally said yes. Hannity clearly didn't like that answer, as he doesn't like any answer that reflects the truth of a situation that Hannity is trying to lie about.

Jack Clark 8:48 PM [+]  
Post #109349230210693578

Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Police Brace for Unauthorized Convention Protest in Central Park
Officials are quietly making plans to police spontaneous protests in Central Park on the eve of the Republican National Convention - expecting thousands of demonstrators to converge on the vast urban parkland regardless of the outcome of this week's court battles.
Bloomberg is denying the park permit because he wants to foment chaos, which will play into support for the Repubicans in the "heartland."

Jack Clark 9:23 PM [+]  
Post #109340780133122935

They'd Be More Truthful If They Called Themselves 'Swift Boat Veterans for Lies'  Actually, my name for them is even better: Swift Boat Liars for Bush.

Jack Clark 9:14 PM [+]  
Post #109340729402477436

Observers See Eerie Parallels in Attacks on Kerry, McCain
Four years ago, as George Bush struggled in the polls, supporters of his bid for the Republican presidential nomination unleashed a ferocious attack on rival John McCain, questioning his commitment to veterans and his fitness to serve.

After the charges took root, Bush distanced himself from the veterans group that made the attacks, called the Arizona senator's service "noble'' and cruised to a nomination-saving victory in the South Carolina primary.
Bush did something similar to Ann Richards also, as the article mentions. Bush keeps getting away with it. When will people wisen up? Oh, I forgot, they're Red State cretins and have no ability to wisen up.

Jack Clark 9:09 PM [+]  
Post #109340697492159543

The following are interesting stats from a Kerry campaign email:

· The average winning incumbent has had a job approval rating of 60%. Indeed, every incumbent who has won reelection has had his job approval in the mid-50's or higher at this point. In recent polling, Bush's average approval rating has been 48%. President Bush must emerge from his convention having dramatically altered public perception of his performance in office.

· In recent years, when incumbents have gone on to victory, 52% of voters, on average, said the country was on the right track. Now, just 37% think things are moving in the right direction. Thus, President Bush must convince the electorate that the nation is in much better shape than voters now believe to be the case.

· Every incumbent who has gone on to be reelected has had a double-digit lead at this point.

· Following their conventions, the average elected incumbent has held a 16-point lead, while winning incumbents have led by an average of 27 points. Bush will need a very substantial bounce to reach the mark set by his successful predecessors.

· Incumbents have enjoyed an average bounce in the vote margin of 8 points.

· On average, incumbents' share of the two-party vote has declined by 4 points between their convention and Election Day.

Jack Clark 4:05 PM [+]  
Post #109338909751619019

Monday, August 23, 2004
How the Mighty Post has Fallen
Ten days ago, when the Post ran a 3,000 word front-page post-mortem of its coverage of the run-up to the war in Iraq, Nixon popped into my head. Talk about bad timing. The guy couldn't get a break. Had his team pulled the same Watergate stunt today, the Post probably would have buried the story in the back of the A-section and given front-page play to his latest pronouncements on the "peace" negotiations with North Vietnam.

That's pretty much how the Post dealt with the current president George W. Bush's lies and obfuscations on Iraq. It served largely as the White House's megaphone on smoking guns and mushroom clouds while muting, or stifling, dissent and contradictory evidence.
Terrific analogy.

Jack Clark 9:21 PM [+]  
Post #109332127726011295

Anti-Terrorism Tip: Quit Spying on Nonviolent Activists
With Al Qaeda and similar terrorists bent on murdering as many ordinary Americans as possible, why would the FBI divert resources and personnel to protesters and nonviolent civil disobedients?

It's the ultimate question. But it's not a new one: In the fall of 2001, with Al Qaeda on the verge of attacking us, why was the FBI so passive about leads that might have thwarted the attack -- yet so aggressive in hounding prostitutes in New Orleans and medical marijuana suppliers in California?

Or going further back: While Ku Klux Klansmen were murdering civil rights activists in the South 40 years ago, why was the FBI deploying far more resources and agents to monitor Martin Luther King, his associates and sex partners than the Klan?
Great questions.

Jack Clark 9:17 PM [+]  
Post #109332103867421797

Kerry Wounded by Friendly Fire
Nine months and two days after the army changed the regulations so that married men with no children were no longer exempt, Cheney had his first child, Elizabeth, bringing a whole new meaning to the term family planning.
Every time I read this, it amazes me afresh.

Jack Clark 9:14 PM [+]  
Post #109332084548655088

Sunday, August 22, 2004
Retro vs. Metro
The Great Divide offers a unique geopolitical view that explains both the origin and nature of the divide that characterizes contemporary America.

The United States is in effect two nations divided by history, ethnicity, culture, religion, economics and finally, politics. The authors name these two nations "Retro" and "Metro" America.
An entire book that supports the position I've advocated for years: the Red and Blue States should split and form two separate nations. This page, Retro vs. Metro : What is Retro? What is Metro?, has a bunch of great facts. The site's "dupometer" is a high tech version of my "Right-Winger's IQ (Ignorance Quotient) Test".

Jack Clark 10:36 PM [+]  
Post #109323941930420518

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