Saturday, July 31, 2004

Frenchmen Say Guantanamo Detention Was Like Hell

Two Frenchmen that were guests at Guantanamo describe their experience as "like hell".

Donald Rumsfeld took exception to their charges claiming that Satan was "old-evil" and used unsophisticated methods, far inferior to the techniques in place at Guantanamo. Said Rumsfeld, "We didn't spend all that money to make their stay like hell, after all sending them to hell would be a lot less expense and trouble. No. We think we have a facility that far exceeds the suffering inflicted in the underworld. Satan is an amateur."

I kid. I'm a kidder. Rumsfeld did not, I repeat, not say that.

The two Frenchmen, however, did compare their stay in Guantanamo to hell. They also claimed the United States is practicing medical experiments on the guests:

Frenchmen Say Guantanamo Detention Was Like Hell

If these stories are true it would not be the first time in human history people were placed in camps and medically experimented on. But hey, we're good guys and our cause is just and our actions are all sanctioned by God right? Sooner or later people will come to understand that if we torture someone here or collaterally damage someone there that it doesn't count because we're morally infallible, oui?

Besides, they're only dirty Frenchmen. Oui?

Chinese in uproar over attack at U.S.-Canada border

When did we start calling America "the homeland?" I hate that expression. Our Homeland Security Services ought to be American Security Services, don't you think? You might think the acronym more appropriate after you read this story:

Chinese in uproar over attack at U.S.-Canada border

We could avert a lot of confusion for our foreign guests if we simply dropped the word Homeland altogether and referred to our domestic agents as SS agents. Then foreigners would show the proper respect, because that they've heard of.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Balooning budget deficit

Hey big spender.....

Budget swells to 445 billion

Spin meisters are spinning this report in both directions, but how many of us want too much debt on the books? You can only spend a dollar once and every dollar spent enriching the central bank is a future tax-break or social program displaced.

JFK's way

I know that George Bush is wrong for America. I can see that in diners and on street corners everywhere I go. I can see it by the lines on peoples faces. I can see it in the headlines of every newspaper. I can see it in the lack of response every time George Bush sends Colin Powell out with a call for help in Iraq. I can see it by the way he is on vacation yet again and tumbling from his mountain-bike yet again with no more concern for this country's problems than a frat-boy might have.

But, I didn't know if John Kerry would be right for America, or simply better for America; that is, until last night.

John Kerry opened up his heart and showed me the America he loves and I share that vision, that dream for America, and that love. I know when I cast my vote for John Kerry I will be electing a man ready to give more than he asks in order to restore the American dream we both believe in.

Last night I saw a man passionate about America and ready to lead it towards prosperity, opportunity, security, hope, and unity. Last night I saw the son of a foreign service officer concerned for the health of our global alliances and ready to rebuild our reputation abroad. Last night I saw a life-long environmentalist willing to invest in American technology to solve environmental, foreign policy, and economic problems in one stroke. Last night I saw a man in earnest, who cares deeply about America, and who wants to work to solve our problems. You could see it in his eyes, in the way he gripped the podium, you could see it in the way he spoke. This man wants to lead us and he can lead us and he knows where he wants to lead us. He isn't going to leave us behind if we falter; he didn't do it in Viet nam and he won't do it now.

John Kerry will make a great President of the United States at a time when we need more from our President than we are currently getting. I am now willing to commit more than my vote for John Kerry. I am now willing to invest my hope for a better America in John Kerry this November. I know that he won't let me down. Last night I saw the makings of a great American president, one who'll make us strong at home and respected in the world.

If you missed the speech, you can watch it here:

John Kerry, Boston, 2004

If you would like to know more about John Kerry's policies, you can do so here:

Kerry Edwards 2004

Thursday, July 29, 2004

If I were the nominee

Here is what my address to the nation would look like.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for coming here tonight. Thank you for working so hard to make John Edwards and I your president. I promise to honor your faith in me with hard work and a sense of duty for your hopes.

Winston Churchill once said that the only thing worse than fighting a war with allies was fighting a war without allies. Do you know that America is providing 94.8 percent of the soldiers in the coalition of the willing? Do you know why that is? It is because President Bush failed to give the inspectors time to do their jobs and that alienated our closest allies. Decisiveness is not inherently wise! Churchill knew that partnerships can be difficult to wield, but he also knew that strong alliances cannot be easily broken by the will of a few. When he was faced with the responsibility of securing his nations safety he chose statesmanship and cooperation and it was the right choice then and it is the right choice now.

Every soldier that dies in Iraq is evidence that President Bush was premature to declare our Mission accomplished. Every soldier wounded in Iraq is proof that going it 98 percent of alone is not wise policy. I will not have a foreign policy that puts a target on the back of our troops and a deficit in the bank books of the American dream.

Followers are a pre-requisite to leadership and our lop-sided coalition is a testament to President Bush's deficit in that regard. If President Bush is steering the right course, then why is our coalition shrinking in the face of greater challenges, rather than expanding to meet them? If President Bush is steering the right course, then why are communities across America so divided? If President Bush is steering the right course, then why does he have the worst job creation record since Herbert Hoover? If President Bush is steering the right course, then why are we increasing our reliance on coal, the fuel of cavemen, to meet our energy needs in the 21st century?

When I am president I am not going to leave our forces under-manned and in harms way without an exit strategy because I believe that is the most irresponsible thing a commander in chief can do.
If you elect me President I am going to throw out the Bush doctrine in favor of multilateralism. Multilateralism works! Multilateralism won two world wars and drove the Russians out of Cuba. Multilateralism is allowing us to eradicate Polio and make substantial strides combating AIDS. Multilateralism is going to deny Al Quaeda a place to hide and the wherewithal to move money around the globe. Multilateralism is going to secure the nuclear materials which threaten us all. Multilateralism works because it is simply cooperation for the sake of the common good of all. It is similar to an old-fashioned American barn-raising or quilting party. People can do together what individuals cannot do alone.

Likewise I believe a strong America is an America united in common cause and I will NOT divide Americans by race, by class, by sexual orientation, by religion, or by party. Our Constitution is not a wedge. It is a sacred document that lays out the rights and liberties which make us all free.

It lays them out, but it does not guarantee them. What guarantees our freedom is the willingness of ordinary Americans to stand up for each other when these rights are infringed. All across America you are seeing this now in the resistance to the Patriot Act.

Martin Luther said that another man can't ride you when your back is straight. Well I know and you know that sometimes a man needs help to stand up straight when the burden he carries is too heavy. Our Constitution asks each of us to help their neighbor stand up straight by appealing to the best in our human nature rather than the worst. This behavior rewards us when it is our turn to stand before the dividers of a free society. America, right now gay Americans should not stand alone as this President and this Congress uses faith to single them out for unequal treatment under the law. Are you aware that Dick Cheney's daughter Mary is openly lesbian? Is there a Republican who will go on record tomorrow and deny Mary Cheney the right to make her home however she chooses? I hope not. I hope not.

Here is my plan to make us respected abroad and safe at home:

1. Communities all across the country have rejected the provisions of the Patriot Act because it makes a mockery of our Bill of Rights. I am going to cancel this divisive piece of legislation and replace it with a bill that does not betray our freedoms.

2. I am going to cancel the Bush doctrine which is nothing more than the self-destructive notion that might makes right. Our security depends upon strong alliances and coordinated action like never before in our history and to fail to see that is to endanger the security of Americans.

3. I pledged allegiance to an America which offers liberty and justice for all and I intend to honor that pledge by asking Congress to send me a bill making Civil Unions legal for Gay American men and women because to do otherwise is to create two America's and I will not have it. Gay Americans will not have to stand alone if I am elected president.

4. I am going to ask Kofi Annan to establish within the framework of the UN a way to deal with crises like the one unfolding in Sudan right now. We must not wait when close to a million people's lives are in jeopardy but must have a way to act swiftly to restore hope to a hopeless situation.

5. I am going to invest in a NASA-style program that takes the promise of energy independence off the drafting table and into American homes and automobiles. This will give us cleaner water, cleaner air, and a leadership role in an inevitable technology. We can create an energy web similar to our information web that is less susceptible to blackouts and which decentralizes our power generation. Breaking our oil dependence is going to be simultaneously sound environmental policy, sound economic policy, and sound foreign policy and I will choose to embrace the inevitable future rather than protect the inevitable past.

6. This is the 21st century and we need a 21st century economy. So, I am going to lift President Bush's stem-cell research prohibitions because the greatest growth industry in America also has the potential to save countless lives. The technology used in stem-cell research is also that which is used in in-vitro fertilization and you cannot make the moral argument that one is right and the other is wrong. Just as many parents owe the joys of parenthood to in-vitro fertilization, so too might they know the joys of a cured child thanks to stem-cell research. We must lead again, or we will forfeit the technological jobs of tomorrow.

7. I agree with Bill Clinton that we cannot kill, jail, or occupy everybody that we disagree with and so I think it is time in America that we created a Cabinet-level department of peace. If he'll take that job I offer it now to former President Jimmy Carter, a good man that has made a lives work of building peace.

America can only lead where others follow and we must reclaim the moral stewardship that has been the hallmark of this great nation. We must rededicate ourselves to the technologies and jobs of tomorrow to create wealth at home and trade abroad. We must rejoin the international community and fight alongside them for human rights. We must become again a home for hope instead of a fortress of fear. We must rekindle the American dream that has brought Barack Obama to us on the shoulders of Al Sharpton who himself is here because his mother was willing to scrub floors to give nurture to the dreams of her child.

Don't let anybody convince you it is weak to be free or impossible to be safe and free. Al Sharpton's mother felt freedom's call in her bones and wouldn't rest until she made something out of nothing so that her child could march on. When our grandfathers felt their freedom was endangered they fought tooth and nail the world over to defend it. There is not a force on earth powerful enough to extinguish the cravings of man for liberty and my administration will know where our strength lies and work to rekindle it. To be respected in the world again and safe at home we must secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our children and lead by force of example, rather than by force of arms.

This concludes my experiment and I have to confess I enjoyed it. It is my fondest hope that John Kerry has better speech writers, but ones which manage to convey this core message.

Hope is on the way

John Edwards reached out to Americans being harmed by manufacturing job losses and proclaimed, "Hope is on the way".

John Edwards reached out to Americans working full time and remaining in poverty and said, "Hope is on the way".

John Edwards reached out to military families that aren't getting enough support from this administration and told them, "Hope is on the way".

America will be fortunate to have a humble man of faith, a uniter if you will, like John Edwards as Vice President. Contrast John Edwards message to that source of misinformation from an undisclosed location that we now have in the same role and I say "Bring on the VP debates!"

Al Sharpton answers Bush

There is nothing like watching a good speech delivered by someone with a gift for oration. By the time Al Sharpton finished speaking, the Fleet Center in Boston roared its' approval.

I thought his best line was, "If George Bush had picked the Supreme Court in 1954 Clarence Thomas would not have had the chance to study law."

Note to Barack Obama: Study this man Sharpton for he posseses the skill you most need to develop, and that is patience. If you stand tall and see far, it is because you stand on the shoulders of Sharpton, Jackson, King. Draw on their strength and rise up.

On Thursday you ought to be able to see his speech here:

Read my lips

I await John Edwards with anticipation. I'll give my two-cents-worth on his speech later.

Enjoy it Bush fans

I don't compliment the Bush administration often, because frankly I don't like the way they behave. On Darfur, though, the US is taking a lead role and we ought to. Apparently, we have to as well.

The case of Darfur highlights what is wrong with the UN. At a time when the US is a little bit busy, and at a time when the international community claims to hold the secret to multilateralism, they stand around with their hands in their pockets as one million people are starving to death!

If France expects to represent multi-lateralism and compassionate foreign policy then where is she? If Germany wants to use its armies to build up nations, rather than tearing them down, then where is she now?

Annan short on funds and backs

What Sudan needs is French, and German, and South African special forces rolling back the rag-tag bunch of degenerates known as the Janjaweed and pronto. You cannot lead by being absent in a moral crisis and you cannot wait to act when people are this desperate.

Bush's rush to war in Iraq was a mistake, since the country was quarantined and the inspectors were doing their job. In this case, though, swift action is required. It is time for the multi-lateralists among the UN to stand up and be counted. This type of conflict is a duty-call to your raison d'être is it not?

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Ask a hard question

Michael Moore is a rockstar in Boston and he spoke at "Take Back America". Click the link to hear him demand more from the media, bash Nader, and go after war profiteers:

Ask the tough questions

I suppose Kerry must think he's too divisive, too much of a loose cannon to speak at the convention, but I would love to see Michael introduce John Kerry at the convention. I expect the euphoria in the room would be buoyant.

Need hope?

I think that things are going very well for Kerry and the Democrats and that it is time to let optimism into your hearts. I say this for many reasons:

1. Since shortly after September 11th Bush's popularity has mostly held or dropped. It got a mediocre bump in June, but is sinking again: Carville grinds numbers. His current rating is at about 47% and it is damn difficult for an incumbent to raise those numbers (see Bush, George, H.W.).

2. Prominent Republicans, most recently Sen. Lincoln Chafee, continue to publicly criticize the Bush administration.

3. Ron Reagan spoke at the Democratic National Convention and Nancy Reagan declined an invitation to the Republican National Convention (even though Ronald Reagan will be honored). Reagan's adoring fans, of which many are Republicans, cannot fail to notice this.

4. Kerry has raised the money he needs and the Democrats are united. The Democrats are not ignoring the minority vote this time and that will give them strength at the polls.

5. Americans know that Bush's unpopularity is the reason our tradional allies are staying away. Americans remember Clinton was cheered in Ireland.

6. George Bush turned a surplus into our largest deficit ever. He has never put the brakes on spending and he never paid for his tax cuts. This erodes support among fiscal conservatives of which there are many in his party. It doesn't hurt that Clinton's economy created 22 million jobs in 8 years, while Bush will be lucky to break even.

7. He has been an abominable steward of the environment. This will erode support among hunting/fishing Republicans, of which there are many in his party, not to mention the people he lied to about reducing CO2 during his campaign.

8. Bush has lied to his own party members on the prescription drug bill and on Iraq reconstruction "paying for itself". Lies do not beget loyalty.

9. Jr. is using Sr's losing game plan, calling Kerry a flip-flopper and pretending the economy is in great shape. His negative attacks set the bar real low for Kerry, who will exceed them when he speaks Thursday night by far. Also, anybody out of work in the Bush economy will not be swayed by happy talk. It's still the economy stupid.

10. Michael Moore's movie has now grossed more than 100 million dollars. It will not escape movie-goers that Bush is on vacation yet again.

11. Bush didn't win the popular vote when people thought he was humble, compassionate, and a uniter. Now that this fraud is exposed he will be held accountable for it. Americans don't like to be lied to (see Nixon, Richard).

Finally, forget about the angry dog Republicans. Nothing you can say, do, or prove will influence them. Their rabid support actually helps Kerry paint Bush as a radical. Jerry Falwell blamed 911 on lesbians and this kind of bile is not mainstream and it is all Bush has left.

If anyone has occasion to smile it is Democrats. As Bill Clinton said, "Our way works better. It does"

Obama Mojo

Tuesday night Barack Obama was introduced to Democrats on a national stage and he was magnificent. If this young politician has a gift for policy to match his gift for oratory he could be America's first black president. He spoke very eloquently of the need for a united America recommitted to the American dream, recommitted to opportunity, fairness, and compassion.

His speech should appear at some point on Wednesday at this site:

Obama Mojo

Also appearing ought to be a speech by Ron Reagan Jr. on stem cell research. He gave a non-partisan speech about an issue very near to his heart and one that I hope gives pause to moderate Republicans.

Many of the other speakers were, I thought, damn dull. I was especially disappointed in Howard Dean. I had hoped he would talk about health care solutions and deficit reduction with the passion he mustered during his campaign. The audience showed him the love, but he just shot blanks up there. I guess Democrats were right to select John Kerry over Dean.

Obama, though, more than made up for my Dean disappointment. I think he has that combination of style and substance which you cannot teach and cannot imitate. He needs better timing, to give his audience time to applause, but otherwise he's got mojo.

Here is Barack's campaign site:

Barack's site

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Watching big dog

The BBC has posted a link to Clinton's speech, not a clip of it, not an analysis or distortion of it, but the entire speech.

First, click on this link:

Clinton at the convention

Next, do this:

1. Select "Video Choice"
2. Choose "Clinton speech dazzles Democrats"
3. Choose "Former US President Bill Clinton"

Thanks to the BBC. Once again, your reporting shines.

Big dog transcript

I'm still electrified from Bill Clinton's speech last night. I cannot find a video link to the entire speech, but when I do I shall post it. In the meantime, all I can offer you is a transcript:

Clinton transcript

Too bad, since he is such an engaging speaker, often ad-libbing as he goes.

Big dog shines

Clinton rocked the convention! Click to see.Posted by Hello

Monday, July 26, 2004


I feel that Fahrenheit 911 will be remembered by my generation the way Nick Ut's "Napalm Girl" has been remembered by the Viet nam generation. It is the moment when American compassion is reawoken and the "evil enemy" is exposed as a sobbing grandmother.

I was expecting to enjoy Fahrenheit 911 because I usually enjoy Michael Moore films and because I was looking forward to this the way Republicans must have anticipated Ken Starr's report. Even so, F911 exceeded my expectations by far. Michael Moore has created a masterpiece that is sure to be remembered as the progeny of a new genre of documentary. I call that genre the doculately (documentary + lately), for it is a documentary of recent history.

Most of the reviews I have read of Fahrenheit 911 failed to mention a facet which I feel gives F911 it's power. When the Bush administration made the case for invading Iraq they did so using lofty ideals like: We need to tip the first Domino in a freedom cascade. Michael Moore's movie tolls those visions of grandeur and conquest hollow.

We see, therefore, an Iraqi grandmother who has lost a handful of family members crying desperately out to God. "Where are you?", she says over and over again; echoing my own thoughts on God's benevolence. "Where are you? Why me? Where are you?"

We see what it means to lose a son in the war, but this time it is an American mother, this time it is an American life lost. This mother describes being so overcome with grief she couldn't support herself, and how the phone which delivered the terrible blow tumbled from her hand. Alone at the time she crawled to a chair and sobbed until her family members arrived.

Michael connects us all emotionally to the suffering which this war has unleashed. He opens our hearts to loss and our eyes to suffering and once this is accomplished the idea of war is replaced with the reality of war.

I recalled the Jewish barber (Charlie Chaplin) in the final scene of "The Great Dictator" when I came to that realization:

The way of life can be free and beautiful.
But we have lost the way.
Greed has poisoned men's souls - has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.

We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in: machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little: More than machinery we need humanity; More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.
Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

More... Look up Hannah

If, as Charlie Chaplin suggests, it is feeling and humanity and kindness and gentleness that is needed at a moment like this, then Michael Moore's film is the most important artwork of our generation.

Most of the rest of the film is already well documented. Bush is shown mumbling and stammering across the country in a variety of venues, Paul Wolfowitz combs his hair with spit, the extensive Saudi/Bush and Saudi/Al Quaeda connections are examined, there are a few battle scenes, and John Ashcroft sings "When the Eagle Soars" (which he apparently wrote). Those things make the movie entertaining and provide strategic comic relief, but are mostly beside the point.

As for Nick Ut's photograph, less than one year after "Napalm Girl" was published on the AP wire the Viet nam war was officially concluded. Nobody cared about "the vision thing" anymore, they only wanted to make it stop.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

My 911 Story

My 911 Story
(Written September 13, 2001)

I woke up early, before dawn, this morning because I was subbing for “Brother John” at WMPG radio. I went where I always do first thing every morning, to the coffee maker (it was Café du Monde coffee for me today).

The night before I had prepared all the music I would need and placed it in a canvas tote bag. So, once my coffee was finished I left early for the studio. I parked my truck out front of the station and sipped my coffee while the sun rose over Portland, Maine. In the dawn light seagulls were soaring above the city and the scene was more beautiful than any view of Portland I ever had. It must have been about 6am and at that time I now know that terrorists were on their way to Logan airport. At that time, though, all I saw and felt were beauty and inner peace (hey seagulls and coffee – try it before knocking it).

I grabbed my music and went inside the station. First, I set about locating the music I wanted to play but didn’t own. I remember it took me a long time to find “Will the circle be unbroken” by the Neville Brothers (on the Yellow Moon LP). That song has the lyrics “Undertaker, won’t you please drive real slow…that’s my mother, that’s my mother, and I sure hate to see her go”. I remember vividly that I played this song after Queen Ida’s “Papa played the fiddle” and Iris Dementh’s “Mama’s Opry” so that people in Portland could start their day with a good cry. I guess I was feeling introspective because of the magnificent morning I’d had. Looking back on it, though, I feel like a heel. Soon enough people would be miserable enough without me.

Generally, though, I’d have to say I played beautiful, happy music – at least I remember finishing the show in a wonderful mood. My favorite thing, which is to have a listener call and get album information (presumably so they can go out and buy it for themselves) happened several times, plus there is nothing like watching a city wake up on a beautiful day.

I remember that as I was wrapping up the show I botched the transition to the next one by failing to let the next DJ know how much time was left. She had to scramble to get started, but graciously didn’t get on my case.

I was on the air from 6:30am to 9am on WMPG & W281AC Gorham/Portland FM 90.9 and FM 104.1, and being simulcast on the web of course. I’m sure the terrorists that passed through Portland wouldn’t have been listening, since they were on their way to Boston already. However, it creeps me out to know that they were in my city, sleeping in it’s hotels, and passing themselves off as normal. I imagine there were seagulls in New York City that morning. I imagine there were public radio DJs like myself, going about their lives. I want to say I’m sorry to all the people of New York, to the husbands and fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers, to the urine-soaked bums, to the stone-faced cops, to the cabbies, to the hustlers, and the “suits” that make New York special. We didn’t know, or even suspect, that such an act would begin in our midst. How could we? The sun was rising on a beautiful day, and the Neville Brothers were singing “Will the circle be Unbroken.”

I left the station a few minutes after 9 (I had to file records and CDs, and I talked a bit to the other DJs). On my way home, I stopped at a bakery. A lady there distractedly sold me an éclair and a cinnamon bun (with raisins). Her coworkers were all saying things like “Oh my God” and staring at what I presumed was a TV, but I couldn’t see or hear it. Although I assumed it was entertainment television they were watching and someone like Mariah Carey “suffered” another “catastrophe”, curiosity got the best of me and I asked what was going on. When I was told a second plane had just struck the World Trade Center in New York, all I could manage to say was, “what?” They understood and said, “come look” and invited me over to watch television with them. On the television were the World Trade Center towers, but they were billowing smoke as if they were factories or paper mills. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I thanked the ladies and left; I went home and turned on my own television. I was hoping something was wrong with their televisions. I remember hoping the images on my TV would be normal. I know that’s stupid and I can’t explain it, but I felt it anyway. Of course, their television wasn’t broken and the World Trade Centers were burning on my television too.

I decided to call the station and let them know what I knew, which wasn’t much, but was enough to let them know they needed to shift their focus. I was the first to reach with the news and was asked to go live, on the spot, with what I knew. I remember I wanted to be cautious, measured, professional, and compassionate. I fear I was none of those things but, perhaps, the latter. How does one put into words a scene such as that? That two pillars of America have been bombed, that people, a great number of people (estimates as high as 50,000 at the time), were undoubtedly suffering. I tried to describe what I saw. I tried to give references (i.e. MSNBC reported…) whenever I could. At that point I wasn’t yet sure if one, or both, towers had been hit (the reporting was still quite frenzied).

I made the report brief and was asked to call back when I knew more. I watched TV rabidly, trying to confirm what had been hit and when. I watched footage of a commercial airliner slamming into tower 2. I called the station back with this information and by then they had received more calls. I remember that as I was reporting that both towers were indeed struck, and by commercial jetliners, that someone else reported that the Pentagon had been struck.

I don’t remember feeling unsafe, at-risk, or endangered. Let’s face it, I was in Portland, ME. However, I remember feeling pissed off at the military-industrial machine in this country; with their billion dollar budgets, their suits, their charts, their talk of “troops” and “theaters” not “Americans” and “battlefields”; their bravado and arrogance and for what? So that the very center of their operations can nearly be destroyed by people that can’t afford a decent bomb? This is akin to Barney Fife shooting himself in the foot. Andy always took away his bullets and I thought that was wise.

It was about that time I noticed I was absently stuffing an éclair in my mouth, while first reaching for my coffee, then the remote. I surprised myself because I should have been horrified. Where was my humanity?

It arrived when building two collapsed. Either NBC or ABC (I forget which) had just talked with firemen that were streaming into the building, knowing full well it was unsafe; to do everything they could for the people inside. When asked about it most people lied and said, “It’s my job, it’s what we do.” They didn’t say, “We love our neighbors and want to help them because they need us”, or “I don’t know why I’m willing to go in there, but I can’t help myself.”

Shortly after that segment, anyway, building two collapsed. I assumed that most, and I presumed all, of those men were now dead. I guess I learned what directors have known for decades, which is that people don’t react until suffering is personal. Someone I never met, but admired for their well-placed bravery, just died. They died not as victims, someone unlucky enough to be inside the World Trade Center that day, but as heroes; and finally tears came. Finally my anger gave way to grief as I became aware there were tens of thousands of lives ended today. Some of them were of the highest caliber.

I believe the US was attacked not because we are “good” and the attackers are “bad” as many in power are saying to their children. We were attacked because we engage in terrorism against other countries (i.e. Iran-Contra), we trained people like Osama Bin Laden, and because our politicians are not looking out for our best interests but their own.

It always bugs me that terrorists don’t attack the source of their frustrations. Do bonds traders and secretaries at the World Trade Center make intelligence decisions? Were the people leaping to their deaths the ones enforcing embargos?

No. In the end terrorists are frustrated and impotent, striking at targets they can reach because they cannot really effect change. Lot’s of people will be afraid now, but it won’t be the men in back rooms – the old-fashioned fascists – it will be the plumbers and secretaries and nurses and steel workers.


God Bless America

That’s my 911 story. There are approximately 250 million of them across the country. On Monday I’ll be discussing Michael Moore’s 911 story “Fahrenheit 911”.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Is our politicians learning?

Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?

George W. Bush
Florence, S.C., Jan 11, 2000

When I first heard that quote back in 2000 I knew we were in trouble as a nation. That inspired these lyrics, which I fancy would make a good gospel tune. The bit before the comma should be sung by someone with bass in their voice, the rest of the line by the rest of the group. Lines without commas should be sung solo.

Is our politicians learning?

Before the, bombs rain down,
Before the, children die,
Won't you, help us Lord,
Before the mothers cry?

They beat, drums of war.
They rub, hands in greed.
Won't you, hear this prayer,
In our time of need?

Won't you, fill us with joy?
Won't you, fill us with love?
Won't you, help us to live, Lord,
Like the peaceful dove?

Won't you, uplift our hearts?
Won't you, uplift our minds?
Won't you, stop us from acting,
Selfish and unkind?

Let us, love our neighbor.
Let us, feed our enemy.
Let us, speak the truth,
And live in harmony



Maybe this song will come in handy for the Iran, or North Korea, or Syria, or China, or France buildup?

Troops scale back Anbar patrols

When you start reading stories like this it is either time to get more allies into Iraq or for us to get out.

Impossible position of our troops

Tipping his hat to Yogi Bera, John Fogerty just released a song called "Deja Vu All Over Again". He sees many parallels between Viet nam and Iraq and cannot believe we are so stupid again.

I believe it. In fact I am amazed human beings have lasted so long given how violent and stupid they are every day. Look at Sudan right now: more people might die there in one year than Saddam ever dreamed of killing in 35 years of power. In fact, without immediate action the death totals are estimated to be as high as one million.

Hope for change

James Carville is one of my favorite public figures. He doesn't mince his words, is kinda folksy, and has orchestrated a few routs. What's not to like?

Maybe only a southern man can somehow walk in the highest, most elite, circles of power on earth and exude an aura of down-home-ism at the same time. Or, maybe it has more to do with maintaining a rural vs citified speaking style (as in Reagan's case). Anyway, however he does it, I am a James Carville fan.

He has formed an organization called Democracy Corps whose goal is to make politicians more responsive to the wishes of the governed. Here's a link to the site:

Democracy Corps

On that site you can find a report called "Strategic and message clarity on the eve of the convention" which is his analysis of Kerry's chances against Bush:

Framework Favoring John Kerry’s Election

As a Kerry supporter I am most encouraged by this line: "There is no real
area where the president stands on firm ground."


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Redemption through war

Doctrine produces conflict when combined with intolerance. I feel that any religion which preaches intolerance should more properly be considered a political organization.

Here is an article on United States evengelical Christians written from the perspective of one disaffected with the movement:

Evengelical militance

I personally don't understand how people can justify violence as a glory to God. There may be some debate as to whether or not Jesus is a pacifist, but there seems to be general agreement about what Satan wants (i.e. conquest, war, famine, and death).

Conquest, by the way, comes in the form of the deceiver.

"Bombing Iraq will spread democracy throughout the Muslim world".

- George W. Bush, Feb. 26, 2003

I wonder...

Wanna know what Kerry will stand for

Here is a link to the Democratic Platform for America. This is how Kerry and Edwards will govern:

Democratic Platform

A Democrat Knows That the Leaf Turns

A Prarie Home Companion has always been one of my favorite radio programs and Garrison Keillor, week in and week out, tells stories, puts on radio dramas, reads poetry and sings.

He wrote a book called "Homegrown Democrat: A FewPlain Thoughts From the Heart of America

Here is an excerpt from the book, in which he discusses the social contract which binds people in the Midwest:

A Democrat Knows That the Leaf Turns

I like that the excerpt talks about the type of society we want to live in, rather than the type of economy. Life is sacred. Money is not.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Flag Etiquette

One thing that irritates me is "patriotic" Americans that don't even know how to display their flags properly. Nothing says, "I'm a poser" like a flag in the rain, or those shredded flags on people's antennas.

Flag Etiquette

A new custom?

This morning, as allegations of sodomizing children surface in Iraq, I find myself thinking about war and peace in general terms.

I decided that if a war is worth starting then it ought to be worth dying for, therefore I propose that it be custom henceforth that all those responsible for starting a war be put to death at it's conclusion whether victorious or not.

Further, I propose that any leader who has led his nation into a war which takes ten years or more to conclude should also be put to death, under the theory that such a leader made a foolish miscalculation.

In this way life would be a bit more precious to those that rule. Also, we citizens would know that the cause were more important to a politician than money or self-preservation, and I might be scared enough to fight like hell when confronted with that.

The background: Democracy through Sodomy

According to the Red Cross, 70% to 90% of the detainees held at Abu Ghraib were arrested by mistake. Is it comforting to know that at least 30% to 10% of the children we may have tortured weren't innocent?

What a world we're building for the children.

Franklin D. Roosevelt- June 27, 1936

In 1936 Franklin D. Roosevelt accepted the renomination for the presidency in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In this speech he talks of a "resolute enemy within our gates", which he refers to as the "priviledged princes of economic dynasty".

If I were John Kerry I'd revive the great speeches of FDR and target them squarely at Bush and Cheney. After all, Bush belongs to a dynasty and Halliburton represents "priviledged enterprise, not free enterprise" in modern America. Bush is on record, too, referring to FDR's New Deal as socialism.

Here is the speech:

FDR on cronyism

Now, let's contrast what FDR said:

"We are poor indeed if this Nation cannot afford to lift from every recess of American life the dread fear of the unemployed that they are not needed in the world. We cannot afford to accumulate a deficit in the books of human fortitude."

With what Greg Mankiw, GWB's chief economic advisor said in February:

"The movement of U.S. jobs overseas due to cheaper labor costs, outsourcing, would prove a plus for the economy in the long run and was a new way of doing international trade"

(Source: Outsourcing OK)

Finally, FDR had to tangle with a Bush himself. You can read about it here:

Grandpa Bush

ADDENDUM: Halliburton has been subpoenaed over unit's Iran work. Read the story here:

$80 million for Cayman Islands unit of Halliburton

Monday, July 19, 2004

Iran crisis builds

Let's hope this report is way off the mark, otherwise we'll be rolling into Iran in October:

Iran Crisis Builds

BBC Audio interview with Bill Clinton

Here is a short interview conducted by the BBC with Bill Clinton. He talks about Tony Blair's "impossible position" in the run-up to the Iraq war and some of his own attempts to stop Osama.

Bill on Blair

Whale of a story

Whale of a story

What is the difference between
the eyes of a whale which wonder
and the wonder with which
we watch whales?

We watch a whale and wonder why,
while a whale with wonder in it's eyes
won't wonder why we watch.

While whales wallow in water
We follow in our floatilla
finding fun in his flippers
and fantastic belly flops.


Sunday, July 18, 2004

If at first you don't succeed, keep it up.

I am surprised by people who think Iraq is going swimmingly, and would like to know what failure looks like if not lying to get into a war and abandoning capable planning in favor of a "sweets and flowers" philosophy.
Perhaps a little quiz will win a few converts?

How many post-conflict American combat casualties were there in:

A. Germany
B. Japan
C. Haiti
D. Bosnia
E. Kosovo

If you answered zero, none, not one, less than one, and ought respectively you are correct.

Here is the documentation:

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

In Iraq, as of this writing we have 715 US military fatalities since Bush declared "Mission Accomplished" and 40 since we transferred sovereignty.

Here is the documentation:

Coalition Casualties in Iraq

I am currently reading Isaac Asimov's science fiction masterpiece "Foundation". The political mantra in the book is: "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent". It is a great novel made all the more entertaining contrasted against our current Commander-In-Chief.

Whenever Bush assures us he wants to "stay the course" I shall now recognize that he is seeking refuge.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Throwing the first stone with a log in his eye

A wife is not a punishment to be endured for the benefit of society! If you are unhappy with your marriage it is not somehow the fault of the activities of lesbians in Provincetown or gay men in San Francisco!

George Bush seems to think that society is going to collapse if gay people are allowed to marry. Apparently he wants to protect the sanctity of a Britney Spears weekend marriage from the clutches of "evil" lesbians like Mary Cheney (daughter of VP Dick Cheney).

How is it fair or equal to relegate homosexual Americans to "separate but equal" status? How, exactly, is the sanctity of marriage jeopardized by the actions of gay people? How, further, is it Christian to judge anyone?

Bush 'disappointed' by concept of equal treatment under the law for the Godless queers

It is human nature to feel better about oneself when playing the role of martyr or persecutor. As far as I can tell society would be a lot better off without either type of person. We need more people that take personal responsibility for their own actions and who tolerate the activities of their neighbors which do them no harm. Someone once said something about treating others the way you wanted to be treated yourself. I forget who said that or why, but it seems relevant. If they can find that quote, maybe they should put it up in a courtroom to serve as a mantra to those that judge others.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Neocon utopia

Seymour Hersh is a writer and it is difficult to listen to him speak sometimes. However, if you wade through this speech you will learn a few explosive details about operation Enduring Freedom.

Seymour comes on at about the 1 hour, 7 minute, and 50 second mark of this video. This is about the half-way point.

Interrogation or perversion?

This article paraphrases one of the more shocking charges:

Fruits of war

Wonks wonking

Wanna read a wonky analysis of Islam and it's relationship to terrorism?

If you answered yes, then you probably don't get out enough. May I suggest a nice movie like "The Station Agent"?


Well then:

Modernization and Democratization in the Muslim World

Creeping fascism

When people are arrested and released from their jobs for wearing anti-Bush t-shirts, that's creeping fascism. It used to be considered un-American, but I guess now we say it is pro-Republican.

Little cat feet

Thursday, July 15, 2004

On the light side

What kind of rhetorical swamp have faithful Republicans put themselves in?

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing UN resolutions against Iraq (while also ignoring resolutions against Israel).

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

There are many more truths here:

Things you have to believe to be a Republican today

Equal opportunity nation

One facet of governance is deciding where to draw the lines between economic needs and societal well-being. For instance, it would be cheapest of all not to educate children, but it would be hard to have a desirable and functioning society with a bunch of morons running around. It would be cheapest if every American were a slave to a supreme American overlord, but difficult to sell them cell phones, laptops, and game-cubes, or to create opportunity for ambition.

In the crazy liberal/progressive world that I want to live in there exists a humane and decent standard of living that promotes a safe and productive society. I want to live in a society that provides everyone health care, food and shelter security, and opportunity commensurate with their qualifications and work ethic.
I don't think a man, for instance, ought to have to choose between a doctors visit for his child or a roof over his family's head. I don't think children ought to be shuffled from activity to activity because their parents need to work two jobs to make ends meet. I don't think that a bright child, however poor, ought to be left to rot on the vine for want of an affordable education.

I am a perfect example of what a little help can do. Because of the Pell grant program I was able to go to college and get a degree writing computer software. Because of that career opportunity my income rose to a level which has more than compensated America's investment in me (via taxes on income and the goods that I buy).

I want to live in an America that works harder to provide insurance to the 43 million Americans currently without. I want to live in an America that invests in it's citizens so that we don't need to outsource high-tech jobs for lack of high-tech workers. I want to live in an America that fulfills it's economic commitments (vis-a-vis the budget) so that it can fulfill it's social commitments (vis-a-vis medicare, social security, and VA care). I want to live in an America that is a responsible steward of the environment.

I don't think that George Bush and I share the same vision for America. I'm not sure why, since he certainly knows the advantage of a helping hand.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Off to see the wizard...

Click picture to learn about the Wizard of Oz letter Posted by Hello

Juan Cole vs Bush

Juan Cole is a history professor at the University of Michigan. He has a blog based on the Middle East, History, and Religion. In this article he refutes Bush's "happy talk" with a little unhappy reality.

Who's safer now?

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

A CIA veterans take on Intelligence Committee report

Ray McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years, from the John F. Kennedy administration to that of George H. W. Bush. He, therefore, is someone whose opinions about CIA matters I like to pay attention to. This is a veteran of the cold war and a man that served both parties well (at one point he was briefing George H. W. Bush).

Here is his analysis of the recent Intelligence Committee report:

The Corruption of Intelligence

Here is another link to the article:

Corrupted Intelligence

Here is a link to the book mentioned in the article:

Imperial Hubris

Another tree falls in the woods and can only Democrats can hear it?

Who knew Biden was so damn funny

Rolling Stone put together a panel to discuss the deterioration in Iraq. Some of the things in this article are extremely candid, with my favorite being this statement from Senator Joseph Biden:

About six months ago, the president said to me, "Well, at least I make strong decisions, I lead." I said, "Mr. President, look behind you. Leaders have followers. No one's following. Nobody."

In fact, he has several direct lines like it, with a terrific one directed Cheney's way. I had no idea he had such a gift for put-down.

On the panel are:

Gen. Anthony Zinni Commander in chief of Centcom, 1997-2000; special envoy to the Middle East, 2002-2003; author of Battle Ready

Gen. Wesley Clark Supreme allied commander, Europe, 1997-2000; led NATO military campaign in Kosovo Rand Beers Counterterrorism adviser to President Bush, 2002-2003; national security adviser to Sen. John Kerry Sen. Joseph Biden Ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Thomas P.M. Barnett Strategic adviser to the Defense Department, 2001-2003; faculty member of U.S. Naval War College; author of The Pentagon's New Map Fouad Ajami, Director of Middle Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University

Sir Jeremy Greenstock British diplomat in Dubai and Saudi Arabia, 1969-2004; U.N. representative, 1998-2003; special representative for Iraq, 2003-2004

Youssef Ibrahim Managing director of the Dubai-based Strategic Energy Investment Group; former Middle Eastern correspondent for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal

Bob Kerrey Senator from Nebraska, 1988-2000; president of New School University

Chas Freeman U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, 1989-1992; assistant secretary of defense, 1993-1994

Monday, July 12, 2004

Defying Convention

What is the four-step program used by city officials and police to thwart first-amendment rights? Will New York and Boston political conventions more closely resemble open-air super-max prisons or a healthy democracy? Will candidates eventually need their own bullet-proof fleet to repressent us?

What is the difference between a protestor and an American expressing an opinion? Will the New York Times send any reporters to the "free speech zones"?

Is Ahmed Chalabi feeding bogus information about protestors to city officials through a network of Iraqi defectors?

Many of these questions seek answers here:

Defying Convention

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Deep thoughts on Liberty, Justice, and Security

The reason a Western-style democracy generates much more wealth than, say, the economy of a tin-pot despot is because democracy puts control of wealth generation into the hands of the wealth generators. The affairs of state are complex enough without trying to micro manage 200 million people's daily lives.

This is why Stalin's Russia crumbled. Eventually nepotism, cronyism, communism, or whatever you wish to call it tries to dictate to people rather than providing for what they want. Soon, you tie up your national resources and treasure and workforce generating things that nobody wants to curry favor with your cartel of friends. The economy begins to suffer because exports decline, then the military begins to suffer because the economy suffers, then the workforce begins to suffer and that increases the security costs to the state, which tips you into an economic abyss. Eventually dictators wind up spending their time, energy, and resources propping up a way of life that is detrimental to all because they haven't the capacity for reason. For instance, while Saddam was glorying in his fiefdom when did you ever see "Made in Iraq" on anything?

China is interesting, for they seem to have struck upon the notion of controlling the culture with an iron fist, thereby controlling what the people want, the better to anticipate their needs. This is a novel idea that will simply take a bit longer to fail. The reason it will fail is because we live in an inter-connected and inter-dependent world now. When the Chinese see what we have they will want it for their children, and there is simply no way to keep our culture out through force of arms. The Chinese government will simply be unable to keep out Jerry Springer and Oprah no matter how hard it tries. In fact censorship generally increases demand for a product.

That is the strength of this nation more-so than it's weaponry or flag/logo design. I believe that when we are true to the ideals of our founding: that all men are created equal, that opportunity and fairness are the engine of a peaceful/wealthy society, that we must all pay our fair share to live in a just society, and that we will never trade our liberty (or our neighbors) for a few magic beans, we are unopposable. This is because, as a Russian (forgive my memory) best put it, "You cannot stop an ism".

This is the historic lesson of governance for politicians to learn. Fight favor, rather than curry it, and you will generate more cultural wealth, economic wealth, and military might than if you pontificate infallible edicts from a mountain-top. A mantra to govern well is, "Embrace choice, for that is the engine of liberty. Protect fairness, for that is the engine of opportunity."

Because I believe strongly in the above it is very frustrating to watch the Bush administration operate in Iraq. By treating Iraq's capital like a baby with candy and pontificating privatization Bush has robbed Iraqis of opportunity. By hoarding Iraq's treasure in Halliburton-style sweetheart-deals the Bush administration has robbed Iraq's economy of fairness.

It may be a long time yet before we see "Made in Iraq" on anything we buy.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Flip and Flop Friday

Whenever I hear President Bush accuse someone else of being a flip-flopper I enjoy a full belly laugh. Here is a man that promised to be compassionate and humble, who criticized Clinton for using the US military for nation-building in Kosovo, and who passes himself off as a good old boy (when he was educated at Exeter, Yale, and Harvard).

Let me provide one concrete example of Bush flipping and flopping, these quotes are on Osama and I think they would be a great ad for Kerry:

"The most important thing is for us to find Osama Bin Laden. It is our number one priority and
we will not rest until we find him!"

Pres. Bush, September 13, 2001

"I don't know where Bin Laden is. I have no idea and I really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."

Pres. Bush, March 13, 2002

For many other examples, follow your mouse here:

Flippity Floppity

More bad news from Iraq

A bowl full of good intentions that produces a thimble full of spit is worth a thimble full of spit.

Here is a thimble full of spit:

Bad news in Iraq

I have no idea about the intentions and whether or not they filled a bowl.

Oh brother

Looking for deceit from the Bush administration is not unlike looking for blades of grass in a field. The latest deceit, covered by lies, which were then exposed amongst much spin and finger-pointing is this:

Inquiry Confirms Top Medicare Official Threatened Actuary Over Cost of Drug Benefits

In this particular scandal Bush administrators lied to Congress (including fellow Republicans) about the costs of Bush's prescription drug bill in order to get it passed.

It's kinda like the war, where President Bush sent a letter to Congress on March 19, 2003 which said that the war was permitted under legislation authorizing force against those who “planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.”

The Sept. 11th commission, of course, put the lie to that canard. Now the finger-pointing (it was the CIAs fault) and spin (You can't prove the WMDs don't exist) has begun.

Republicans who believe Bush just because he is of their party are a lot like Charlie Brown showing faith in Lucy to hold the ball in place "this time". God bless your faith. I hope you're wearing thick trousers.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Come on out Osama Bin Laden wherever you are

This article charges that President Bush is playing political games with Osama Bin Laden's capture. Apparently Pakistan was asked to capture HVT (High Value Targets) during the Democratic National Convention.

It might be a smart political idea, but it is criminal to risk Osama's escape. He is the guy responsible for over 3,000 American deaths on 9/11.

Dumb and Dangerous

Of course, the last time Pakistan announced it had HVTs surrounded they were full of warm wind. Their forces got hammered and nobody was caught.

More McCain on Bush

"When it comes time to make the decision to send our young men and women into harm's way, that decision should be made by a leader who knows that such decisions have profound consequences. There comes a time when our nation's leader can no longer rely on briefing books and talking points."

Senator John McCain speaking of Bush in 1999

Fighting fire with fire

CNN has been airing an "ad" from President Bush's website in which John McCain is portrayed as John Kerry's first choice for a VP.

Here is just one thing that John McCain has had to say about George Bush:

"Governor Bush is one of the great polluters in history. Air quality in Texas has gone down." [McCain in New York City, 3/4/00]

You can find many McCain shots at Bush here:

McCain on W

The Bush administration likes to gloss over uncomfortable truths with a thin veil of happy talk. If the media decides to look beneath the veil it will find a wealth of McCain repudiations of Bush's policies.

The question I have now is, "Will this help Bush's reputation or hurt McCain's?" (hint: See Powell, Colin or Blair, Tony).

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Ron Reagan is a Bush detractor

Ron Reagan Jr. was recently interviewed by Larry King. He isn't happy with Iraq or Bush. You can read his views here:

Ron Reagan Jr

Voting Official Seeks Terrorism Guidelines

"The government needs to establish guidelines for canceling or rescheduling elections if terrorists strike the United States again, says the chairman of a new federal voting commission.

Such guidelines do not currently exist, said DeForest B. Soaries, head of the voting panel."


Did you notice DeForest said "or rescheduling".


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

It's Edwards

It's official. John Kerry chose John Edwards to be his running mate.

See the details here:

Bring on the VP debates

A hale of a torse

Here is how I have fun with language:

A hale of a torse

A hule and a morse
made love to a horse
but went about it back-ways

To the hule said the morse,
"'Twas a hell of a horse,
I can't wait to see the donkeys"

Here is how John Stewart, host of the daily show, has fun with the language (or bald-faced lies) of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush:

Lee Dick Sie

It's Edwards

It is official. John Kerry chose John Edwards to be his running mate.

See the details here:

Bring on the VP debates

Monday, July 05, 2004

Deafening Silence

I don't know how much lying the Bush administration can get away with, but I hope critical mass is fast approaching.

It now turns out that the Pentagon failed to report 11,000 SOLDIERS WHO WERE WOUNDED OR INJURED!


Veterans for Common Sense - News Article

We are not just forgetting the fallen, we aren't paying attention to them to begin with.

Being a wounded US soldier in this war must feel like being a homeless man looking for kindness from strangers, and we all know how extravagantly the homeless profit from the kindness of strangers.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Land that I love

Here is a hilarious organization that uses honesty masquerading as satire. This group dresses extravagantly and flamboyantly and holds signs like "Blood for oil" and "Thank you for paying our taxes".

They are Billionaires for Bush and might have an organization near you. If you want to fight Bush with comedy, then this is the group for you.

Billionaires For Bush

This group is creative, humorous, and fun all rolled into one. What's not to love?

Friday, July 02, 2004

Makes sense, doesn't it? Posted by Hello

Will George Mitchell join Kerry?

Today I find myself wondering why George Mitchell isn't bantied about as a potential running mate for Kerry. Here's a guy that has international experience (i.e. Ireland), worked tirelessly to pass the Clean Air Act, took on Newt, and managed to maintain his reputation after serving all those years.

Then I remembered, well, there is the young wife. Maybe that's it.

Cost of War

Here is a site that lets you know how much the war in Iraq is costing in dollars and cents:

Financial Cost

Here is a site that lets you know how much the war in Iraq is costing in lives and injuries:

Human Cost

and in psychological damage:

PTSD for 1 in 6 soldiers

Churchgoers Get Direction From Bush Campaign (

Does anybody else find it odd that the Bush/Cheney campaign is trolling the churches and issuing "duties"? I thought that was supposed to be left up to the morally qualified people (those without potty mouths and unjust war on their hands).

These guys have incredible Messiah complexes.

Is Bush going overboard?

Maybe WWF can do a pastor/mullah smackdown?

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Hagel 's light shines

While it is tempting to gloat as each new Republican Senator, or four-star general, or prominent former backer criticizes Bush's record, I try not to do it. I generally feel sad because it is something akin to a broken heart which leads them to speak out.

Here, Republican senator Chuck Hagel says the war on terrorism has hurt America in it's battle against terrorism:

Hagel on Iraq

Criticizing your own party is a courageous thing to do and those objecting to Iraq's invasion ought to exhibit companionship, and not superiority, at the news.

Hollings criticizes war on terror

U.S. Senator Ernest Hollings made a rather forceful critique of operation Enduring Freedom. Here is an excerpt, with a detail I have not heard anywhere else:

With more than 800 GIs killed, 5,000 maimed for life and a cost of $200 billion, come now the generals in command, both Richard Myers and John Abizaid, saying we can't win. Back home the cover of The New Republic magazine asks, "Were We Wrong?".

The United States Has Lost its Moral Authority

Did Myers and Abizaid say we can't win in Iraq? I hadn't heard that.

Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin