Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I enjoy reading Noam Chomsky and AlterNet has published an interview by Michael Shank which you can read...

Right here

Here is a sample quote:

"Seventy five percent of the population here favors improving relations with Iran, instead of threats. But this is disregarded. We don't have polls from the business world, but it's pretty clear that the energy corporations would be quite happy to be given authorization to go back into Iran instead of leaving all that to their rivals. But the state won't allow it. And it is setting up confrontations right now, very explicitly. Part of the reason is strategic, geo-political, economic, but part of the reason is the mafia complex. They have to be punished for disobeying us."

Saturday, February 24, 2007

'bout time

One thing that always bugged me about Donald Rumsfeld was his callous disregard for the welfare of his own soldiers. He sent them into battle without proper training and with insufficient armour, then made excuses rather than commitments to our boys and girls.

I hated that about him. I hated the way he had a machine sign letters to the families of the fallen. And I especially hated hearing how our wounded soldiers were treated.

However, until now I haven't seen signs that Robert M. Gates was any better, and if you don't understand this you don't understand anything. The one thing a potential recruit should ever hear is that his commitment to serve is a one-way commitment.

Unless Mr. Gates is full of hot air, which is always possible in this do-nothing-right Bush administration, then at long last our wounded will be treated with the respect they earned.

"The men and women recovering at Walter Reed and at other military hospitals have put their lives on the line and paid a considerable price for defending our country," Gates said. "They battled our foreign enemies. They should not have to battle an American bureaucracy."

Good words Mr. Gates. May you live up to them.

Full story: Click here

Monday, February 19, 2007

Peace is not the question...

"The searing truth is that in the 20th century, more than 100 million members of the human community, most of them civilian noncombatants, perished in wars. At the dawn of the 21st century, violence seems to be an overarching theme in the world, encompassing personal, group, national, and international conflict. It now extends to the production of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons of mass destruction for use on land and sea, in air and outer space. Real and anticipated conflict is accepted, even glorified, as intrinsic to the human condition, with few questions about whether the structures of thought, word, and deed that we have inherited are relevant to the maintenance, growth, and survival of our entire civilization. Our national policy dialogue is infected with war metaphors: the war on poverty, the war on drugs, the war on illiteracy, the war on this or that. Our children are immersed in video war games. Our sports are rife with war talk. Our media often glorify war. How did we as a society develop such an ardor for arms? Our Founders, while providing for the Common Defense, did not envision America as a land of conquistadores. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, at the beginning of World War II, encouraged steadfastness among the American people: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." As the war wound down, FDR aspired to ending the beginning of all wars: "Today we are faced with the pre-eminent fact that, if civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships, the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together and work together in the same world, at peace." As we stand on the threshold of a new millennium, it is time to free ourselves, to jettison our illusions and fears and transform age-old challenges with new thinking. We can conceive of peace as not simply the absence of violence but the active presence of the capacity for a higher evolution of human awareness, of respect, trust, and integrity. Of peace, wherein we all may tap the infinite capabilities of humanity to transform consciousness and conditions that impel or compel violence at a personal, group, or national level toward creating understanding, compassion, and love. We can bring forth new understandings where peace, not war, becomes inevitable. Can we move from wars to end all wars to peace to end all war?"

- U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich -

Source: Imagine - Essay on Government

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Osama who?

Larry Johnson over at No Quarter points out that while Iran is working with many Shia groups inside Iraq that it is the Sunni that are primarily responsible for killing US troops.

He also analyzes why it is a bad idea to alienate Moqtada al Sadr, rather than try to use him as an ally.

Article: Iran in Iraq

It is an interesting read and it clarifies many aspects of the war in Iraq. It also clarifies how war with Iran would make the situation in Iraq much more deadly for our own troops.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

And so it begins...

Border skirmishes with Iran?

Joe Biden once delivered the biting line, "There is no potential for education in the second kick from a mule."

That is all that needs to be said on the subject of attacking Iran.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Progress is progress

One of the first things the Bush administration did when coming into office was scrap the hard work done by former president Bill Clinton on the Korean peninsula. Soon after the president labeled North Korea a member of an "axis of evil" and has refused talks ever since.

The upshot has been that North Korea developed a nuclear bomb amidst Bush's bluster.

Somewhat belatedly someone at the whitehouse arrived at the conclusion that a nuclear-armed North Korea is contrary to US interests. This someone must have decided to eat a little crow, and we sat down with North Korea and hammered out an agreement that essentially restores the Clinton-era policies.

Source: Clinton vindicated

This is a stunning turn of events, since it means that somehow the Bush whitehouse is willing to abandon the perfect (as they see it) for the good. This also means that the whitehouse is willing to change a course that isn't working.

I find this very encouraging news and hope it is the beginning of a new trend, since there are more than a few courses initiated from the whitehouse in need of change.

Monday, February 12, 2007

On this day in history

On this day in history, (February 12, 2006), Vice President Dick Cheney shot Harry Whittington in the face while quail hunting.

Source: People shootin' people

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Welcome to corporatocracy

Here's a link to a Liberty News cartoon that promotes a progressive tax code (Windows Media Player required):

Enjoy the fun

Thursday, February 01, 2007

On fate if you will

If you believe that there is a supernatural micro-manager in the sky that controls every facet of reality, then that leads to some interesting conclusions.

For instance, there are those that argue that if a thing has happened it must have happened because it was God's will. After all, the logic goes, God is all-powerful and all-knowing. He set the whole works in motion and his will is directing the show.

I suppose you cannot hold that view without believing, then, that the fate of every life is pre-determined and the outcome unavoidable.

Doesn't that mean, then, that thought is inconsequential to action?

After all if you are in the process of raping and murdering a child, say, you must be doing it because it is God's will since it is happening.

Do I have the logic right?

If I do, then wouldn't it be wrong to punish the child molesting rapist in the above scenario since he is carrying out God's will, and furthermore potentially suffers greatly if he is alarmed by his actions yet unable to control them (since they are predetermined by God)?

To use a milder example, aren't the overweight being force-fed by God?

I'll wager that fundamentalists would find this ridiculous, yet how can it be refuted unless an admission is made that the will of Man has meaning?

Would they say that, like the rapist, when they throw him in jail they are also following God's will?

If so that takes some of the nobility out of your deed doesn't it?

If you are to get into Heaven by accomplishing good deeds, however can you point one out that isn't pre-determined and therefore not admissable as morally relevant?

Rene Descarte, discarding everything he was uncertain of, said "I think, therefore I am".

Perhaps God will judge us by our thoughts, then, and not our actions since I am told he is goodly in nature.

This would mean that a child-molesting rapist, who was repulsed by his actions, would receive entrance into the kingdom of heaven.

This would mean that a child-molesting rapist, who delighted in his actions, would receive for his wickedness eternal burning sensations.

What would it mean for the man that delighted in the act, yet knew it was wrong and made sure the molester was jailed, and therefore prevented from harming others?

Why that person would be considered wicked by a morally consistent deity would he not?

I suppose if you hold these views then one way to view the world is as an ethical video game. Your spirit is placed into different scenarios and you are viewing the action but unable to direct it. You score points when repulsed by wickedness and lose points when you enjoy wicked deeds. Perhaps you also score points when delighting in Good deeds and lose them when repulsed by good deeds.

When the game is over perhaps you and God will laugh and laugh at all the silliness you went through (har, har, a bleedin' idiot was your president - how'd you like them apples?).

I wonder what kind of a score you need to have Saint Peter pat you on the back.

Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin