Thursday, June 26, 2008


The Supreme Court decided yesterday that Exxon Mobil would have to pay $500,000 instead of $2.5 billion to the people of Alaska. The people have been fighting this for over 20 years. The fishermen of Alaska are the immediate losers, but we all lost on this one. If there is any doubt in anyone’s mind as to whether we have a corporate oriented government, this ought to erase it.

Today, the court will rule on the right to bear arms. The question is whether or not the District of Columbia has the right to ban people from owning handguns. It’s a ticklish question from the point of view of the NRA because their stance has always been that anybody but a convicted felon has the right to own any gun they want. A ban on handguns, they contend, would be the camel’s nose in the tent ultimately leading to a complete ban on all guns.

The anti-gun groups on the other end of the spectrum see nothing wrong with that idea, holding that banning all guns would decrease accidental gun deaths, homicides and armed robberies. To be of this opinion, one would necessarily have to believe that hunting is an invalid form of sport or even invalid as a means of supplementing ones table fare. This kind of complete Bambi-ism, though, ignores the negative impacts of excessive animal populations and the fact that harvest is going to occur whether by hunting or even less pleasant natural methods.

The total anti-gunners also suffer from the same delusions as the dries did during Prohibition. You can wish that a law could effectively ban something like gun ownership or alcohol production, but the fact is that a complete ban is impossible and the end result is that the most ruthless among us are the ones who take advantage of the low supply of a wanted commodity.

One of the few things the NRA says that I believe is that if you take guns away from solid citizens, the only ones left with guns will be criminals. Of course, the police will have them, too, but as my recent experience with DEA enforcement efforts demonstrates that they don’t always act appropriately either.

The court’s decision is likely to hinge on the intent of the framers of the second amendment. The issue is whether the amendment intended to shield the right on an individual citizen to keep and bear arms or intended only to ensure that a militia made up of citizens had access to arms. It’s a sticky issue and one that hinges on a pretty murky phrase. This is one case when you wish the framers of our constitution would have had a better editor!

It is hard to imagine, though, that this conservative court could possibly decide to attempt a ban on all privately owned arms. Not only would that go counter to the wishes of their buddies at the NRA, but arms and ammunition are huge commercially and industrially.

On the other hand, the right is much more likely to approve of restrictions of personal freedoms and to believe that the law has the power to control behavior than is the left. Still, my bet is that the final decision will be that Washington, D.C. cannot restrict the right of any law abiding citizen to own a handgun.

As a life-long hunter, I do wish, though, that we could find a way to restrict ownership of arms that have no real use other than the taking of human life. Ultimately there is a great deal of difference in my mind between sporting arms and AK-47s. Sure one can kill a deer with either, but no one hunts with an AK-47. You can kill a deer with a hand grenade, too, but they are illegal with good reason.

I once hosted a debate between candidates for the state Congress during which one candidate stated that if a farmer wanted to dig post holes with a bazooka he wouldn’t do anything to stop him. He got a round of applause from the Polk County audience, but not from me. Other than the personal pleasure one gets from the adrenaline rush of firing a fully automatic weapon (A thing I once did, myself, against orders on an army firing range!) there is no value in allowing ownership of such a gun. It’s a rush that none of us really need. The fact that they have such appeal to a certain type of teen-ager and that they have consistently been used in school and other massacres leads me to feel that a ban on them would be appropriate, but, obviously, I don’t believe the camel’s nose theory.

To me, handguns are a tougher issue as some can legitimately be used for hunting and for target shooting competitions. Those most commonly used for criminal activity, though, commonly aren’t of that quality. I could see some prohibition of guns known as Saturday night specials – cheap, inaccurate short barreled guns usually in the .22 to .32 caliber range – and snub nosed police pistols. You’d never stop the black market, but it would give the police a more legitimate target to go after than pot smokers and drivers of the racial minority persuasion!

The bottom line today, though, I think will be that no American governmental body has the right to restrict any gun ownership by any law abiding citizen.

We’ll know by tomorrow whether I’m right or not. For the next week, though, this blog won’t be wrong about anything because I won’t be saying anything! It’s time for a trip to my Mecca – the northwoods of Ontario -- in pursuit of the wiley walleye. I’ll be back July 7. Have a safe and sane Fourth.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Predictably, I‘ve taken some flak for my blog on my disgust with Obama’s position on the FISA bill. To refuse to vote or to vote for a third party candidate, my democratic friends say, is to vote for the Republican candidate, John McBush. Better, they say, to swallow my distaste for any particular positions Obama takes and vote for him. Otherwise a Republican gets a chance to nominate more conservative judges to the Supreme Court. You never get exactly what you want, they argue, so vote for the candidate that comes the closest. All valid points.

Okay, so maybe I wasn’t really serious when I told Obama I wouldn’t vote for him, but I was sure interested in what his staff would say in response to my angry little message. (They have a box to check if you want an answer.) Of course, their answer was – total silence!!

I’m sure that when it comes down to it, I will feel – once again – like I have no choice but to pull the lever for the Democrat. It galls me deeply, though, that in every election we are forced to settle for anyone other than someone who would put the needs of the nation’s citizens first.

I will have to say that Obama did something yesterday that will certainly help me feel better about my vote when he announced that he sees the military as being over-funded and over-blown as an actor in our foreign policy efforts. I like his plan for gradually withdrawing troops from Iraq and shifting emphasis to Afghanistan. I like his recognition of the Pentagon’s wasteful spending habits and, even more, his understanding that a strong defense and a vigorous offense are not the same thing. Of course, that kind of talk is another reason he had better beef up his security guards if he wins

There is always one other reason for voting Democrat, too, and that is the economy. The right wingers never believe that the dems are better at balancing the books, but that’s only because they are champion at ignoring facts. I heard yesterday that economic indicators of the health of the economy are at their lowest point since 1992.

Anybody remember 1992? The country was faced with a recession, and everybody was hanging onto their cash. Let’s see now – Who was president in 1992? Hmmm! That was an election year, wasn’t it? What kind of economic shape was the country in eight years later?

And in 2008, here we are facing an election. The country is faced with a recession and everybody is hanging on by their fingernails to anything they can. And who’s in power now? Hmmm! If the new president, whoever he is, can bring the country back to a balanced budget by 2016, let’s crown him king and forget this election business.

On a final note, in a gesture of recognition for our present president, the Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco is putting a proposal before the voters to rename the city’s waste treatment plant after W. They also plan to do a synchronized flush on January 20 the moment the new president is sworn in. It’s definitely a fitting gesture, though it might be more accurate if they named, not the treatment plant but the stuff it treats, after this president.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

Monday, June 23, 2008


Since the days when Newt Gringrich was Speaker of the House, you and I have been saying that this Congress needed to relearn the art of compromise. The dogged partisanship that his Contract on Amerika engendered has been one of the signal ways in which our system has been deteriorating to nearly the point of self-destruction.

This past week, however, both parties were touting their bipartisanship by pointing at the compromise legislation the produced in “reforming” FISA – the act that governs the nature of intelligence gathering in this country.

This compromise, though, is more a proof of the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for, you might get it” than of the value of Congressional compromise.

The new FISA is less a compromise than a collapse. Essentially, nearly one-half of the Democrats (Demorats -105 yea, Democrats - 128 nay) caved in to the demand of the administration that the telephone companies be given blanket immunity for anything illegal they did in the past in wiretapping American citizens.

The rational given is that when the government asks AT&T or anyone else to do something it is their patriotic duty to do it without question. What a crock of &#**. When the government asks even a soldier to do something illegal, it is that soldier’s responsibility to refuse. If anyone should understand the legal issues involved in wiretapping it is AT&T. They have years of history of involvement in the warrant rules for surveillance. They should have been the whistleblowers, not the enablers of this administration’s violations of the fourth amendment, and they should be punished for the complicity.

Typical of the Demorat position, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD., not only supported the legislation, but praised those responsible for striking a ‘compromise’. "We needed consensus to move forward," he said. "No one gets everything he wants."

Well it seems to me, Mr. Hoyer, that the Bush administration gets a lot more of what it wants than it ought to. How much backbone would it take to force an administration with only about a 30% favorable rating to back down from a position that violates the fourth amendment? Why was there such a great need to “move forward” on this bill that we should be willing to sacrifice the right to prosecute those who violate the Constitution?

Doesn’t this Congress have any more of an understanding of the Constitution and its value than the average southwest Missouri Republican?

And how will the Senate vote next week on the same bill? Here’s an indication – “Obama declared he will support the bill when it comes to a Senate vote, likely next week, despite misgivings about legal provisions for telecommunications corporations that cooperated with the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program . . .”

How are we going to be able to support any candidate for president if Obama is going to be that spineless? If this is the kind of leadership we can expect from him if elected, this may be the first election since '68 that I refuse to vote in.

Here is the message I sent to Obama this morning:

"I read this morning that you intend to support the FISA "compromise" that provides immunity to telecommunications companies. No one should be immune to law because they acted according to the wishes of a government intent on committing illegal acts. This is a fourth amendment issue and the kind of thing for which you have had my support as a presidential candidate because I believed that you had the knowledge and courage to confront.

If you vote in favor of this act, you will lose my support and my vote, and I will, for the first time since 1968 refuse to cast my vote for either a Democrat or a Republican in the presidential election."

If you want to contact him, go to: There is an easy link there to use to send him an email.

It will be darned hard for any candidate for the any seat ever to drag my vote out of me if they support this legislation. We need a Congress that understands and supports the provisions of the Constitution -- a legislative body that supports the rights of the people and the balance of powers in the government. Without that knowledge and courage, the Congress is nothing more than a rubber stamp for illegal and unethical practices that should be appalling to every American whether he or she is a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent or anything else.

And a president who supports this kind of legislation -- who needs another one? We have had more than enough of that kind of governance for the past eight years. Lord, just strike us dead and put us out of our misery if we can't get rid of it.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

Thursday, June 19, 2008


We all know that last week Dennis Kucinich read articles of impeachment against George W. Bush into the Congressional Record, and many of us have read the synopsis of the articles, but most have not read the entire body of the document. As it took Kucinich five hours to read it into the record, that’s understandable.

The articles are interesting though. As an example, here is the complete text of Article XXI which discusses Shrub’s push for war in Iran:

“In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has both personally and acting through his agents and subordinates misled the Congress and the citizens of the United States about a threat of nuclear attack from the nation of Iran.

“The National Intelligence Estimate released to Congress and the public on December 4, 2007, which confirmed that the government of the nation of Iran had ceased any efforts to develop nuclear weapons, was completed in 2006. Yet, the president and his aides continued to suggest during 2007 that such a nuclear threat was developing and might already exist. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley stated at the time the National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iran was released that the president had been briefed on its findings 'in the last few months.' Hadley's statement establishes a timeline that shows the president knowingly sought to deceive Congress and the American people about a nuclear threat that did not exist.

“Hadley has stated that the president 'was basically told: stand down' and, yet, the president and his aides continued to make false claims about the prospect that Iran was trying to 'build a nuclear weapon' that could lead to 'World War III.'

“This evidence establishes that the president actively engaged in and had full knowledge of a campaign by his administration to make a false 'case' for an attack on Iran, thus warping the national security debate at a critical juncture and creating the prospect of an illegal and unnecessary attack on a sovereign nation.

“Even after the National Intelligence Estimate was released to Congress and the American people, the president stated that he did not believe anything had changed and suggested that he and members of his administration would continue to argue that Iran should be seen as posing a threat to the United States. He did this despite the fact that United States intelligence agencies had clearly and officially stated that this was not the case.

“Evidence suggests that the Bush Administration's attempts to portray Iran as a threat are part of a broader U.S. policy toward Iran. On September 30, 2001, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of overturning the regime in Iran, as well as those in Iraq, Syria, and four other countries in the Middle East, according to a document quoted in then- Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith's book, 'War and Decision.'

“General Wesley Clark, reports in his book 'Winning Modern Wars' being told by a friend in the Pentagon in November 2001 that the list of governments that Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz planned to overthrow included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, and Somalia. Clark writes that the list also included Lebanon.

“Journalist Gareth Porter reported in May 2008 asking Feith at a public event which of the six regimes on the Clark list were included in the Rumsfeld paper, to which Feith replied 'All of them.'

Rumsfeld's aides also drafted a second version of the paper, as instructions to all military commanders in the development of 'campaign plans against terrorism'. The paper called for military commanders to assist other government agencies 'as directed' to 'encourage populations dominated by terrorist organizations or their supporters to overthrow that domination.'

“In January 2005, Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker Magazine that the Bush Administration had been conducting secret reconnaissance missions inside Iran at least since the summer of 2004.

“In June 2005 former United Nations weapons inspector Scott Ritter reported that United States security forces had been sending members of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) into Iranian territory. The MEK has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, Canada, Iraq, and Iran. Ritter reported that the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had used the MEK to carry out remote bombings in Iran.
“In April 2006, Hersh reported in the New Yorker Magazine that U.S. combat troops had entered and were operating in Iran, where they were working with minority groups including the Azeris, Baluchis, and Kurds.

“Also in April 2006, Larisa Alexandrovna reported on Raw Story that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) was working with and training the MEK, or former members of the MEK, sending them to commit acts of violence in southern Iran in areas where recent attacks had left many dead. Raw Story reported that the Pentagon had adopted the policy of supporting MEK shortly after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and in response to the influence of Vice President Richard B. Cheney's office. Raw Story subsequently reported that no Presidential finding, and no Congressional oversight, existed on MEK operations.

“In March 2007, Hersh reported in the New Yorker Magazine that the Bush administration was attempting to stem the growth of Shiite influence in the Middle East (specifically the Iranian government and Hezbollah in Lebanon) by funding violent Sunni organizations, without any Congressional authorization or oversight. Hersh said funds had been given to 'three Sunni jihadist groups ..... connected to al Qaeda' that 'want to take on Hezbollah.'

“In April 2008, the Los Angeles Times reported that conflicts with insurgent groups along Iran's borders were understood by the Iranian government as a proxy war with the United States and were leading Iran to support its allies against the United States' occupation force in Iraq. Among the groups the U.S. DOD is supporting, according to this report, is the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan, known by its Kurdish acronym, PEJAK. The United States has provided 'foodstuffs, economic assistance, medical supplies and Russian military equipment, some of it funneled through nonprofit groups.'

“In May 2008, Andrew Cockburn reported on Counter Punch that President Bush, six weeks earlier had signed a secret finding authorizing a covert offensive against the Iranian regime. President Bush's secret directive covers actions across an area stretching from Lebanon to Afghanistan, and purports to sanction actions up to and including the funding of organizations like the MEK and the assassination of public officials.

“All of these actions by the President and his agents and subordinates exhibit a disregard for the truth and a recklessness with regard to national security, nuclear proliferation and the global role of the United States military that is not merely unacceptable but dangerous in a commander-in- chief.

“In all of these actions and decisions, President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and Commander in Chief, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.”

Kucinich makes it clear that, once again, BushCo is willing to ignore the findings of the legitimate intelligence community in favor of inflammatory statements to give the Amerikan people a false picture of the threat BushCo wants them to perceive. (The American people see through it now, but the Congressional attitude ensures that their wishes will go unheeded.)

Carrying forward, yesterday’s theme, instead of “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”, BushCo constantly tells the citizenry in many subtle and not so subtle ways to be afraid – don’t stop and think, just be afraid enough to follow us anywhere we want to go.

None of the material in this article is unknown to readers of this blog. You are people who do your research, and things like the US involvement with MEK, earlier invasions of Iranian territory, and distortions of Iran’s role in Iraq have been discussed in this blog before. It is the fact that it is now being discussed on the floor of the Congress that makes it exciting.

Of course we know that this Congress will not take action as a result of Kucinich’s work, but at least we can also rest assured that history will not be kind to this Congress. The clear evidence that they knew the worst and did nothing about it will be a part of the written record of their neglectful ignorance forever.

At this point, the worst of it isn’t that they are ignorant of BushCo’s actions and intentions. They can no longer make that claim. The worst and sorriest point is that they are so ignorant of the intent of the Constitution of the United States that even given the clear evidence of this administration’s betrayal of its oath of office, they still won’t act.

As a result, not only will they allow BushCo to get away with their past criminal actions, but they will very likely, if dick Cheney and the neo-cons get their way, abet the invasion of the sovereign nation of Iran just as they did with Iraq. (I don’t mention Bush’s name here because it is obvious that not even dick and the neo-cons consider him any kind of a leader.)

This Congress is a disgrace to the United States of America and an enabler of the Bush administration’s rape of our heritage.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Copied in full below is a little article that came yesterday from The Iraq Insider:

Iraq supp expected in House this week
Posted By Travis Sharp to Iraq Insider at 6/17/2008 11:30:00 AM EST

It looks like the Iraq war funding supplemental package is finally going to come before the House this week, possibly as early as Thursday.

The supp has been held up by negotiations over GI veterans education benefits, unemployment insurance, and other domestic spending. The actual, you know, reason for the supp - $165+ billion to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan into next year - is sure to pass. The Senate passed its version of the supp package on May 22, but since the House is poised to make changes to the Senate's version, the Senate will have to ultimately approve the same version as the House (that whole pesky legislative process).

When the $165.4 billion in DOD war funding is enacted into law, Congress will have approved over $860 billion in DOD, State/USAID, and Veterans Administration funding for Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. This would cement Iraq and Afghanistan's place as the second costliest conflict in U.S. history, with the United States currently spending about $12.3 billion per month on military operations.

Travis Sharp
Communications Director & Military Policy Analyst
Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
Council for a Livable World
Phone: 202-543-4100 ext. 123

If your curiosity was piqued as mine was by the statement that the war in Iraq & Afghanistan is the second most costly war, you’ll be interested to see the data:

Iraq and Afghanistan To Date $695.7 billion
World War II $3.2 trillion

That knowledge triggered a string of thoughts about the difference in approach on the part of the administrations in those two wars.

The Bush administration’s first order to the American people about how they could help after 9-11 was to “Go shopping”.

The Franklin administration’s command was to “tighten your belts”.

The Bush administration’s approach included banning pictures of American dead or the caskets they come home in and embedding reporters so they could report back on “victories” like the staged destruction of a statue of Saddam Hussein.

The Franklin administration’s approach included reporters in uniform free to roam the fronts as on their own with military transport help. The pictures published for home consumption depicted the horror of the war and the sadness of the American losses as well as the glory of their victories.

The big question that arose in my mind, though, was, “How did the American people, who were making an average of about $3,500 a year at the time, support a war that cost 4 times as much as the one that is bankrupting us now?”

The answer – through tremendous sacrifice. That generation had been raised during the depression. They knew what hard times were. They knew, too, what sacrifice was and how easily death can wreak its havoc on a family. The war was nothing more than an extension of the rock hard times they faced during the thirties, so they tightened their belts and rolled up their sleeves. Everybody gave up some of their comforts to support the war effort.

Franklin D. Roosevelt told them, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself”, and they knew it was the truth. George W. Bush told us not to change a thing and everything would be alright, and we didn’t have the common sense to know what a crock of crap that was.

The situation was almost completely reversed for the two leaders. Roosevelt was leading a citizenry that was adamantly opposed to going to war so he had to resort to slight of hand in order to assist the British in their defense of their homeland. It wasn’t until Pearl Harbor that the people of the U.S. realized that they had no choice but to go to war.

In Bush’s case, the Pearl Harbor event came first and he was positioned as the head of a nation thirsting for revenge. Had he been the true leader Roosevelt was, his role would have been to calm the nation until he had clearly identified our true enemy and then lead the troops in pursuit of that enemy.

Instead, he took advantage of the ardor of the people. He led them on a wild goose chase that had been advocated by his advisors for several years before the 9-11. That attack gave them license to follow their dreams into Iraq even though they knew Hussein had nothing to do with the terrorism.

A wise leader would have tempered the steel of our resolve to punish those who had attacked us, but the rash, untested Bush, engorged by the power of his office but incapable of understanding the depth of the results of his decisions, strutted off to war thinking he was the new Roosevelt. He even labeled himself “the war president”.

It has been a costly lesson, but the bottom line is that it hasn’t really cost us enough. We only really learn when our mistakes bite hard into our comfort. This war has cost us over 4,000 of our most loyal lives, and it has cost us our status as a beacon of freedom and righteousness in a world of enslavement and dark intentions, but it has not cost each of us personally enough to make us, as a nation, recoil strongly enough from the kind of leadership that BushCo has foisted upon us.

World War II taught my parents’ generation what a real leader looked like and what sacrifices were worth making for a worthy cause. This war should have taught us just the opposite – what a bad leader looks like and how to avoid making unnecessary sacrifices in the name of false patriotism. How deeply I hope that it has, but because it really hasn’t impacted most of us personally, I fear that it has not been a lesson that will stick for long.

The generation that ultimately supported the war effort in World War II will go down in history as being worthy of the world’s undying gratitude for their sacrifices and their defense of freedom.

This generation that gladly supported the false cause of war in Iraq will reap the disdain of historians who will surely count the ways we failed to pay close enough attention to know that our good faith in our leaders and the Constitution of the United States of America were being abused with a resultant loss of freedom.

May we soon see the end of these gross abuses and, somehow, a return to some semblance of sanity. The “good old days” weren’t perfect by any means, but we are supposed to be able to learn from the past so we don’t have to repeat it. Hopefully the past eight years will never be repeated, but because those same despicable people will continue to hold sway in Washington, D.C., it will take a lot of diligence and hard work to avoid it.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Sometimes I think I don’t appreciate the Springfield News-Leader enough. I didn’t have to wait until I got to the funnies to start laughing when I read this morning’s paper. The second page got me started with a story about a local man whose voices told him to rob a store and then talked him into turning himself in.

It wasn’t the sad state of schizophrenia the poor guy lives in that tripped my trigger, and it certainly wasn’t that the clerk had to deal with a mad man wielding a broken beer bottle. It was the police report quoted in the article. I pity the poor policeman who has to write up reports in the kind of language this one used, but my chuckling at that is probably just a personal quirk.

Surely everyone who read the article about the Hulshof/Steelman face-off about Viagra was rolling in the aisles. Not only did it turn out, after Steelman attacked Hulshof for voting to provide Viagra to welfare recipients, that both had voted to support Viagra, but the capper came with a quote from Steelman who said that Hulsof’s vote on Viagra was a “straight ‘up or down’ decision”. That one had me falling off my chair.

So, if you are on welfare, the decision is you stay down, eh? Only the rich get to rise?!?
There was nothing in the comics that came close to that one. Only the dark humor of institutional denial of pleasure to the poor lessoned my enjoyment of the article.

Another article that gave me pleasure was the one about the turning point in Iraq. If it’s true, I am happy for the people of Iraq. What a relief if must be when one can feel safe enough to walk the streets of his neighborhood after years of living in constant fear.

The amazing thing about this story is that it will be used by McCain and the Republican Party as a reason for the U.S. to continue its occupation of the country. They will point to this as evidence that we are winning the war on terror. Never mind that Iraq is not and has never been a hotbed of terrorism.

They will say that the presence of the U.S. troops in the country has been the main reason that calm was restored and will argue that, therefore, the surge was a good decision. Never mind that all the sectarian killing and political infighting started only after we had invaded the country and destroyed its stability.

They will say that because we have been able to achieve this level of peace in the county (Ony 532 Iraqis died violent deaths in the past month, what a triumph!), it is imperative that the Iraqi Parliament passes the new pact designed to replace the UN resolution that permitted the invasion. Never mind that the ultimate result is a permanent Amerikan military presence in Iraq and decades of responsibility for American taxpayers.

Will Barack Obama and the Democratic Party take the opportunity to stand up to this by pointing out that decreased violence in Iraq should be a sign that we should be able to begin pulling our troops out of the county rather than staying in Iraq permanently?

Will Barack Obama and the Democratic Party say that at this point there is no need for the Iraqi Parliament to agree to anything like the pact that BushCo has put before them and that would bind them to obedience to Amerikan foreign policy decisions for decades?

I doubt it, but I sure would like to be proven wrong.

Maybe there should be a petition campaign to request that kind of action from Obama. If I were writing for, I would be pressing for it. In fact, I sent them a message this morning suggesting it. Here is a copy of my message to them:

“The news is now pushing the point that internal Iraqi violence has been reduced.

I would like to see a MoveOn petition for Obama to take the position that this is a sign that we should be reducing our presence in Iraq, not adding to it as the pact the Bush administration is currently asking the Iraqi Parliament to sign calls for. Additionally, it should request that he publicly denounce the Bush pact proposal entirely.”

If you agree, why not take a moment to send them the same message. Maybe it would help them to see that the idea has merit. Just go to and hit the link for comments, paste in the message above and add your comments.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

Friday, June 13, 2008


Without doubt the big story of the day is the Supreme Court’s decision that BushCo cannot deny due process to anyone whether American citizen or alien. In short, the decision means that BushCo’s actions have been UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

Even this heavily right leaning Supreme Court could not bring itself to lean so far right as to give the Amerikan Executive branch the power to imprison people – any people no matter where they come from – on a whim and without access to legal assistance.

It is shameful, though, that the vote on this issue was so close. This is an issue that any second year law student should be able to think her way through. All four justices who dissented in this ruling ought to be held accountable for it. Judge Scalia’s comments in his dissent were so disrespectful of the rule of law that his right to a seat on the court should be challenged. Only one justice (Samuel Chase in 1805.) has ever been impeached in the history of the country. In his case the effort was politically based and so failed. In this case, though, Scalia’s contempt for the Constitution of the United States is clear enough for me. Of course it won’t happen. It takes a majority vote of the House of Representatives and subsequent conviction by two-thirds of the Senate. You couldn’t get that many votes on the theory that water is wet with the bunch of jerks we have running the country right now. It might all hinge on what the definition of “is” is!!

BushCo, though, must now face the fact that this hard right leaning Supreme Court has called its hand three times on the issue of the rights of prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay. (The first time the court found against the administration’s policy of trying detainees without representation in military tribunals, BushCo pushed a law through that enabled the process. The court declared that law unconstitutional, too.)

President Shrub says they will abide by the ruling even if he doesn’t agree with it. dick Cheney says nothing, as usual, but there can be no doubt that he sits smirking in his office in the deep conviction that they will be able to finish their term in office without taking any action at all as a result of this finding.

In the meantime, the reputation of America is enhanced in the eyes of the world by the fact that the court ultimately showed the integrity to pass this judgement.

Here at home, though, we need to continue to recognize that there is a large and strong effort on the part of the far right to undercut the Constitution in order to ensure for the super wealthy the continued right to unbridled power. Right here in Missouri, we have been subjected to that kind of arrogance lately in the words and actions of our own Speaker of the House, Rod Jetton. What is it besides arrogance that leads a man to say, in regard to the village law he sneaked through the Legislature that, “This is still America, and if you want to put a junkyard in and you buy the property, it’s your right. And if a guy doesn’t want you, he could have bought the property.”

Those are the words of a man who is convinced that might is right and who cares not a whit for the rights of anyone but himself and his powerful cronies. Those are the words of a person who thinks that anyone less ruthless than himself doesn’t have or deserve any rights at all. (Incidentally, those are also the words of a man who has to leave office due to term limits. The “Village Law” is one of the side effects of those term limits. He had nothing to lose and everything to gain by helping his buddy, Robert Plaster get what he wanted.)

Also, those are the kind of words that constantly pour out of people like dick Cheney and poor dumb little George W. Shrub whose silver spoon has kept him from ever having to think anything through or to recognize that not everyone was blessed (or cursed, take your pick) with the sheltered life he has led. It’s easy to be ignorant and arrogant when your every need is anticipated and catered to.

Finally, Dennis Kucinich’s effort to have them all impeached has gone forward though none of the pundits give it any chance for success. The pundits, though, are as guilty of arrogance and ignorance as BushCo. This was clearly illustrated by the MSNBC poll taken yesterday asking whether or not respondents favored impeachment for BushCo. The response was overwhelming. Out of over 700,000 respondents 86% voted in favor of impeachment.

This wasn’t a controlled poll, but with that heavy a response it seems apparent that the majority of Americans want out of Amerika and back to America. With 86% in favor of impeachment and 68% in favor of getting the hell out of Iraq, how is it that BushCo still reigns and our sons, daughter, nieces, nephews and grandchildren are still risking their lives every day for a lost (nay, non-existent) cause?

Answer – a terribly irresponsible Congress. Next fall, let’s vote for anybody who has never been to Washington. If we fail to jerk a knot in the Congressional tail, we will be the next three time losers no matter whom we elect to the presidency.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Broward Politics ( has posted a story about Florida Democratic Representative Robert Wexler signing on to Dennis Kucinich’s articles of impeachment of George W. Bush read yesterday on the floor of the House of Representatives.

The story itself didn’t light my fire. After all, I think it is disgraceful that both houses of Congress have not been up in arms against this administration since the beginning of its push for war in Iraq. What interested me most was the progression of comments.

The first responders were so familiar I had to check to make sure I wasn’t reading a blog comments section of the Springfield News-Leader -- pure hard-line vitriol including attacks on Obama (with plenty of despicable plays on his name) as a Muslim Jew-hater.

Finally, though, the more temperate and left-leaning citizens began to take over the discussion. The one quoted below, though, stood out for me:

“Wait a minute!!! You mean, if Bush and Cheney both get impeached, we'd have a new, female president, and it wouldn't be Hillary? What would that do for the election? Its probably too late to finish before election takes place, so Pelosi would be number 44, and wouldn't be in office for long.

Congress would lose a senior democrat though, and the Dems already feel confident they have the election, so there is nothing for the party to gain by impeaching the lame duck.

It would take a democrat of principle, one who put rule of law above party politics, to pursue impeachment. And of course, they are a minority in DC.”

In a nutshell, this person was able to sum up the best argument against ideo-illogical hard headed hard-line Repulsicans who constantly maintain that W is the finest president since George Washington. The bottom line is that no one has anything to gain in terms of a political coup by impeaching this bunch of criminals. Therefore, taking that action at this point is purely an act of principle.

It is no surprise, then, that the articles were filed by the most principled man in the Congress. Sadly it is also no surprise that a man like Mr. Kucinich has no chance of being elected president in a country that is so generally unprincipled that couldn’t recognize a man of moral character if he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven from the capitol dome.

It is also an interesting notion that a double impeachment – the only acceptable kind in our circumstance – would result in swearing in a female president. What a great twist of fate! Let’s do it!!!

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


'President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.' Kucinich introduces Bush impeachment resolution 09 Jun 2008 Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich took to the House of Representatives floor on Monday evening to introduce a 35-count resolution to impeach President [sic] George W. Bush. Kucinich claimed Bush "fraudulently" justified the war on Iraq and misled "the American people and members of Congress to believe Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction so as to manufacture a false case for war." "President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office," Kucinich said.



And thank you Dennis Kucinich - the man who should, but never will, be president. This country is just too twisted to elect a man as straight as Dennis.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

Monday, June 9, 2008


For months I have been noting but generally ignoring all the notices of an impending invasion of Iran. Many months ago, I even gave a little talk on the question of whether or not such an invasion was likely. My conclusion was that I wasn’t seeing strong enough evidence to conclude that it was. I’ve always reserved a little spot in my thinking for the possibility that it would become a reality, though, and now it looks to me like the pressure for it is building to the boiling point.

What convinced me? – The fact that Israel has now begun a public push for it. For a long time now, Israel and the US have been joined at the hip. In the early years of Israel’s existence their cause was glorified, and no one I knew questioned that position. The more I understand about the middle-East, however, the more I come to wonder how much influence the western world’s interest in establishing control in the middle-East had over Britain’s decision to hand part of Palestine over to the transient Jews who first settled the land we know as Israel. It had certainly become to hot for the Brits, so they undoubtedly saw some advantage to having a grateful population in a new nation as an ally in the region. Wish I knew more about that. Maybe I ought to do some research!!

At any rate, it is certainly clear that these days the US and Israel are joined at the hip and marching in lockstep on middle-Eastern policy. When Israel wanted us to settle Iraq down, we (thanks to the neo-cons) complied by invading. When we wanted to settle Lebanon down by taking on Hezbollah, Israel complied by standing in for us to avoid alarming the whole region over widening US aggression.

Now we have reached a point where both countries are openly pressing for invading Iran, and that’s what has my knees knocking.

For months, it was just BushCo who were rattling their swords and shaking the bushes trying to stir up sentiment for expanding the war into Iran. dick Cheney has been pushing for it publicly for at least two years. Iran’s President Ahmadinejad has played into his hands several times with his stupidly defiant rhetoric, and his country’s insistence on continuing a nuclear development program without allowing complete monitoring by the international community hasn’t helped.

The end result is that people in the US largely perceive Iran as a dangerous enemy – just as they saw Saddam Hussein as a dangerous enemy. Throw in the John Wayne attitude of BushCo’s backers and you have a formula that certainly could give rise to an invasion.

There is no question that BushCo has long been ratcheting up the pressure for an invasion, but Israel has now come out for it, too, and that is the impetus that makes me fear that it may soon become a reality. Here are some of the notices I have received lately that make me tend to believe that:

'Unavoidable' attack on Iran looms, says Israeli minister 06 Jun 2008
An Israeli minister has said an attack on Iran's nuclear sites will be "unavoidable" if Tehran refuses to halt its alleged weapons programme. In the most explicit threat yet by a member of Ehud Olmert's government, Shaul Mofaz, a deputy prime minister, said the hardline Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, "would disappear before Israel does".

'The window of opportunity is closing.' Mofaz sees Israeli attack on Iran 06 Jun 2008 Israel will attack Iran if international diplomacy fails to rein in Tehran's nuclear program, Shaul Mofaz said. "If Iran presses ahead with its plan to develop nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The window of opportunity is closing," the Israeli transportation minister, a former defense chief, told Yediot Acharonot on Friday. "The sanctions are not effective. To stop the Iranian nuclear program, an attack is inevitable."

Boogeyman Iran messing up US-Iraq pact
Posted By Travis Sharp to Iraq Insider at 6/06/2008 11:30:00 AM EST
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said yesterday that recent Iranian criticism of the potential U.S.-Iraq long-term security agreement is "deliberately intended to make the negotiation difficult."

Watch out for the scary Iranian boogeyman!

Crocker's Iran-blame-gaming might make sense if Iraqis really wanted the pact to go through and it was only Iranian meddling that was obstructing negotiations. But that is assuredly not the case.
• Iraqi civil society groups oppose the agreement.
• The majority of the Iraqi Parliament opposes the agreement.
• Moqtada al Sadr opposes the agreement. While some U.S. officials consider him a thug, let's not pretend that he is not an extremely influential actor in Iraq. Even Petraeus has taken to referring to al Sadr with the honorific term sayyid.
• Influential Iraqi Shiite cleric Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim opposes the pact.

The letter from the Iraqi Parliament released this week by Rep. Bill Delahunt was not only signed by Shiites, some of whom may legitimately be sympathetic to Iran. Signatories included representatives aligned with parties that have Sunni members, such as the National Dialogue Front, Iraqi Accord Front (Al-Tawafuq), and Iraqi National List. Members of the Kurdish block also signed the letter.

Hey Crocker: Does Iran exercise magical mind control over Iraqi Sunnis and Kurds? You know, the Sunnis and Kurds who are deathly afraid of Iranian encroachment into their country.

Does Crocker think it possible that maybe, just maybe, Iraqis are capable of thinking for themselves, and oppose the U.S.-Iraq pact on its merits? It seems the Bush administration has so internalized the concept that America knows what's best for the people of Iraq that it no longer sees Iraqis as sovereign individuals capable of making rational decisions.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: If the WMD boogeyman was the "one reason everyone could agree on" in the buildup to the Iraq invasion, Iran has become the new boogeyman of choice for this administration.

The pact that Travis Sharp is referring to in the last article has been the subject of this blog for the past week, and represents, I believe, a major sticking point in the craw of the entire middle-East. If the US succeeds in forcing it through, the situation inside Iraq will worsen as more and more sects pull away from the puppet government BushCo has created there. At the same time Iran, Syria and perhaps others will up their defenses in the belief that the US will act on the permission the pact gives us to use Iraq as a platform for launching attacks on other countries.

If the pact doesn’t go through I think it will be essential for the UN to step in with peace-keeping forces to replace US influence. If that doesn’t happen, watch for heightened sectarianism, increased Iranian influence and the rise of more conservative Islamic figureheads with the end result being a militaristic, fundamental Islamic government.

In any case, it is hard to believe that BushCo’s objectives of a permanent Amerikan presence in Iraq and the spread of their brand of democracy throughout the region will ever come to pass. BushCo’s cause may be lost, but we can’t count on the neo-cons to accept that loss, fold their tents and get the hell out of Dodge.
The one thing you can be sure of is that they will continue goose stepping with Israel towards an explosive clash with Iran. Heading that off at the pass may be the biggest challenge for our new president – provided we don’t invade before the election.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I’ve written before about the agreement BushCo is trying to push through the Iraqi parliament to extend the US influence in Iraq long term. Today, though, I learned about another provision of the agreement that gives scares me even more.

You’ll remember that the agreement seeks to replace the UN resolution authorizing intervention in Iraq with an Iraqi/US pact for co-governance that ultimately places a lot of decision-making authority in Amerikan hands. That in itself , as Riley would have said, is a revolting development, but the newly revealed provisions are even scarier.

An article on Gulf ( reveals that the agreement also provides for permanent Amerikan bases in Iraq, control over armament contracts, and – you’d better sit down for this one – the right for Amerika to use Iraqi bases as a jumping off place for attacks on any nation perceived to be acting against the interests of Iraq or the United States of North America.

Make no mistake about this. It follows right in the goose steps of The Project for a New American Century as presented to the Bush campaign’s foreign affairs committee in September, 2000 in their paper, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses”. (For a more complete discussion of this paper, see my blog archives for “Mission Accomplished – The Neo-Con Legacy” published on January 24, 2008. I checked my old reference for that paper in an attempt to give readers a reference to it here, but it is no longer accessible. Maybe they have finally caught so much flak for it that they decided to remove it from public access.)

It all boils down to the equation of Amerikan foreign policy with Israeli foreign policy as a result of which we find ourselves embroiled in Iraq. If this agreement is accepted by the Iraqi government, we will find ourselves even more deeply mired in the region and very likely guilty of attacking more Middle-Eastern nations in the name of “spreading democracy”. The intended outcome, of course, is to extend Amerikan control while ensuring that Israel remains the only nuclear power in the region with the ultimate goal being Amerikan/Israeli military dominance as well as power over the production and distribution of oil.

If it happens, the Palestinians can expect a few more generations of Israeli oppression, the Lebanese can expect to live in a war zone while we attempt to eradicate Hezbollah, and both Syria and Iran can and will expect to be invaded in the name of protecting “peace” in Iraq. Just what the plans are for Saudi Arabia and other Middle-Eastern states, I do not know, but the bottom line for America will be continued outrageous expenditures on war, continued loss of integrity throughout the world, and a horribly over-burdened military that will ultimately put us at greater risk of more attacks on American soil.

All told, a typically SNAFUed outcome just like that of every policy this administration puts in place. We had better entangle them in legal proceedings at home before they destroy us with their actions abroad.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Last night Barack Obama announced that he had passed the delegate milestone and declared himself to be the Democratic candidate for president of the United States.
Hillary Clinton made no concession, though earlier in the day she did indicate that she would consider accepting an offer to run as vice-president. The wondrous thing about all this is that no matter which Democratic candidate received the nomination, the result is historic.

The result is also heartening to those of us who believe that our country suffers every time the short sighted, grab-it-all-now, America-first-and-only, to-hell-with-anybody-who-believes-otherwise Republicans wield their power. Our hope is that the Democrats, who have repeatedly dashed our wishes against the rocks of political expediency will, this time, truly deliver on their promises of service to the citizens of the US and the world by not shuffling those promises to the back burner and succumbing, once again, to the ambitious powers that be.

My hope is that Barack Obama will bring to his presidency the same kind of moral strength the Jimmy Carter brought to Washington. Local right wingers hold that Jimmy Carter’s presidency was a laughable waste, but that’s just one more sign of the enforced ignorance brought on by totally partisan non-thinking.

Carter was as close to a truly moral man as any that ever held the office. He brought with him a great intelligence and a deep understanding of the risks our history as unbridled consumers and polluters pose to our own future. At this point in history, it is crucial for some president to take office with a drive to deal seriously with the dangers humankind poses to the well-being of the planet.

The Republican party has made it clear through their every act, right down to the Bush “Clean Air Act” that enables rather than curbs air pollution, and refusals to act – note the many years of denial of global warming and the lack of action even after admitting it’s real -- that the economic growth of Wall Street holds primacy over any concerns for the environment.

That leaves a mile wide opening for the Democrats to step up to the plate and lead the nation into its potential place as the world’s leader in green technologies – obviously the planning and manufacturing wave of the future and the potential savior of our economy as well as our environment.

If Jimmy Carter were coming into the presidency right now, I have no doubt whatever that this would be the direction he would take. My hope is that Obama’s pledge of change and claim to innovative leadership will take him in this direction, too, and that all those young voters who have united behind him are prepared to step forward in eagerness to serve their nation in a new way.

We just passed through the Memorial Day week-end; our nation’s traditional day of recognition of the sacrifices made by the men and women who have given their lives in military service to their country. Every year, we go through those same motions and every year we willingly send more young men and women into danger in that service.

And just as regularly, I go through the same process of wishing that we would spend as much effort in honoring those who have served their country through their lives rather than their deaths.

John Kennedy and Sergeant Shriver gave us a way to serve by creating the Peace Corps. My hope then was that the Peace Corps would actually become the force for peace its name implies. Obama could lead the young people of our nation back in that direction and make that dream come true, too.

In my lifetime, I have witnessed both the strength of Martin Luther King’s dreams and the power of Robert Oppenheimer’s nightmares. For the most part, the leaders of our nation have embraced the latter. My deepest wish is that Obama, the embodiment of Dr. King’s dreams, might lead us toward the use of our strength rather than our power and give coming generations the same level of reverence for service by the living as past generations have reserved for the dead.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

Monday, June 2, 2008


I can’t believe that the local paper chose to publish my fluff blog about the great drug bust after ignoring most of what I consider the meaningful stuff. Of course the edited out my comment about how spending so many resources on tracking down marijuana growers is such a total waste from the git-go.

But, that’s water under the bridge. Let’s talk about the garbage in the water!

The big story in Missouri yesterday was the expose on Rod Jetton’s involvement with the secretive passage of the “village” law. The more I see and hear about Jetton, the more I think that he epitomizes the garbage in the water of Amerikan politics. The guy’s arrogance is brazen and abrasive.

A highly prized friend of mine recently lent me a wonderful book titled, “The Earth is Enough” in which the narrator describes the political divisions within his family – Republicans on his father’s side and Democrats his father called ‘those people’ on his mother’s side – summing the whole thing up in three paragraphs:

“Socialists,” my father said in describing my mother’s family, “It’s people like them, people who have no desire to get ahead, people with a work ethic rather than a profit margin, that give people like us, people who are working their asses off to get it over on the other guy before he gets it over on us, a bad name.”

My father’s people were for God, America, and progress at any price, just as long as it didn’t cost them anything. They believed that America was the greatest nation on the face of the earth and they were willing to take on any other nation that didn’t feel the same way. They were honorable, courageous, decent folk who believed passionately that there ought to be a law given them and their kind more happiness, more prestige, and more power than those who weren’t their kind.

“Republicans,” said my mother, the word vibrating deep in her throat like a death rattle.

It seems to me that the division he described so succinctly is at the heart of the mess our country is in right now. The notion that money and power are the keys to success and that anyone who believes otherwise is a fool has become endemic.

The most sickening aspect of it is the ability of both sides to project their worst characteristics onto the other side and blast them for it.

“If you’re their buddy,” Jetton spouts, “You get your project. If you’re not their buddy, you don’t.”

Who is he talking about? – planning and zoning commissions. Planning and zoning commissions operate according to rules and regulations passed by county boards to control inappropriate building and usage practices. They have nothing to do with the kind of good ol’ boy system Jetton used to slip his buddy Robert Plaster’s village law under the table. The result of which was that his buddy, Bob, got his project.
In true FU style, Jetton also said, “It’s still America and if you want to put a junkyard in and you buy the property, it’s your right. And if a guy doesn’t want you, he could have bought the property.”

If that’s not a clear statement that the little guy doesn’t matter, I never saw one. Couple that with the description the article provided on the way the “village” law was slipped through the Congress and the slime just gets slipperier and stinkier. Why does Missouri vote this kind of scum into office?

The big story in today’s paper was printed as a little one. In three short paragraphs stuck in the last page of the Nation/World section it is headlined, “Spokesman: Iraq will protect sovereignty” the story told in sparse detail how the Iraqis are fighting against the BushCo proposal for the US to take over the UN’s security role in Iraq.

That proposal, of course, is the long term pact Bush has been trying to slip through binding the US to long term troop presence in Iraq. It’s the central reason his administration tricked the country into this war in the first place, and but it is facing significant in-country opposition.

It isn’t just al Sadr’s group that’s against it, either. There are significant groups of both Sunnis and Shiites who are standing their ground against giving the US permanent footing in their country. This issue is becoming another wedge between the people of Iraq and the government emplaced by the coalition (read BushCo).

The fight over this issue in Iraq is much, much bigger than the three paragraphs the paper has allotted to it, and if the American press winds up taking precedence over the Amerikan press, we will be hearing more and more about it as time goes on.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -