Monday, April 30, 2007

Catch

"Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch."
--Pope John Paul II

Incarcerating The Next War Criminal

Great Britain has jailed its first war criminal:

Corporal Donald Payne brutally mistreated Iraqi hotel worker Baha Mousa, who died of his injuries at the hands of British soldiers, and other civilians held at a detention centre in Basra.

He punched and kicked the civilians when they were hooded and handcuffed and conducted what he called "the choir" striking the prisoners in sequence, their groans or shrieks making up the "music".

You can read about it in the Guardian UK, April 30, 2007.

______________________

My letter to the Guardian UK, the Independent, the London Times, and the Telegraph UK:


Dear Editor,

Congratulations on Britain's first incarceration of a war criminal.

May justice be swift, and Tony Blair be the next war criminal to be jailed.

Terry L. Clark

Those Ambien Side Effects Aren't Amusing to the FDA Any More

News reports began cropping up about a year ago regarding some of the strangest side effects associated with the useless drug Ambien, including nocturnal eating and driving.

The FDA finally got the message about those side effects yesterday, mandating new warnings on Ambien and 12 other drugs about complex behaviors like the previously listed ones along with potentially fatal allergic reactions and severe head swelling. (By the way, both of the later side effects can occur anytime after taking a sleep drug).

Full article, and references, Dr. Joseph Mercola

_______________________

When the FDA (Federal Drug Advocates) become concerned, you know it's an even-more-than-usual nasty toxin.

TLC

Buying Just-Us In The Prison-Industrial Complex

Jails Give Amenities To Inmates With Cash

Some county jails in the United States have implemented a program that allows inmates to pay by the day for upgraded living conditions.

A jail in Santa Ana, Calif., allows inmates guilty of non-violent crimes to pay $75 to $127 a day to serve their time in a relatively clean and quiet section of the jail, The New York Times reported. Some experts called the self-pay jails a good alternative for ordinary citizens who may not fare so well in a typical county jail environment, where gangs and violence are regular problems.

Full article, courtesy of Earth Times, April 29, 2007

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Exploration

"We must not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time."
--T.S. Eliot

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps

If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy - but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.
As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration.

It is my argument that, beneath our very noses, George Bush and his administration are using time-tested tactics to close down an open society. It is time for us to be willing to think the unthinkable - as the author and political journalist Joe Conason, has put it, that it can happen here. And that we are further along than we realise.

Full article by Naomi Wolf, Guardian UK, April 24, 2007

A Genuine Political Sea Change?

There were two seemingly unrelated incidents this week which, taken together, reflect some extremely important political developments.
First was the amazing letter to The Washington Post jointly sent by all 50 Democratic Senators in the Democratic caucus other than Harry Reid -- written in response to, and in emphatic rejection of, David Broder's self-caricaturizing attack on Reid this week, where Broder condemned Reid's criticisms of the Leader and the War and equated him with Alberto Gonzales. The letter was signed by all 50 Democrat-caucusing Senators -- each and every last one of them -- who stood behind Reid and, in effect, told David Broder that he and his previously revered High Broderism are completely out of touch and irrelevant.

And then there are the not-yet-fully-appreciated revelations in George Tenet's new (and unconscionably and unforgivably belated) book, one highly illustrative example of which was recounted today by Scott Shane in The New York Times:

Taken together, these two seemingly unconnected incidents reveal: (a) just how radical, extremist and dishonest are the people who have been running this country for the last six years, the whole Bush-led neoconservative Republican edifice loyally supported by most of the "conservative" movement, and (b) outside of the hard-core Bush followers and the stuck-in-2002 Beltway media establishment, there is a rapidly growing recognition of (a) in this country, which is beginning to engender a very potent sea change in political opinion and political power.


Full article, Glenn Greenwald, April 28, 2007

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Worthy

"She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are her life, her love, her leader. She will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of her heart. You owe it to her to be worthy of such devotion."
--Unknown

Bu$h:Do Not Test My Will

"If the Congress wants to test my will as to whether or not I'll accept the timetable for withdrawal, I won't accept one,"
--George Dubya Bu$h, April 27, 2007

Source: SF Chronicle, April 27, 2007
___________________________________

"This war is no convenience to me. For five years I've been shut off from the other world. I've not visited the theater, I've not heard a concert, and I've not seen a film.*

"I live only for a single mission, to lead this battle because I know if there is not iron will power behind it, the battle will not be won.

"I blame the General Staff because they, instead of always exhibiting iron will, have weakened the front officers, for when General Staff officers come to the front they spread pessimism."


--Adolph Hitler, August 31, 1944, speaking to a group of German generals at his secret headquarters.

Source: Time Magazine, October 8, 1945

Friday, April 27, 2007

Futures

"We don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."
--Howard Zinn, Historian

Sorrow Over The Changes Affecting Te "Good and Honest"

Letter to the editor by Nancy Woodward, April 25, 2007:


Writer feels sorrow over the changes affecting the 'good and honest'
4/25/2007

Dear Editor,

Donald Rumsfeld said one thing Americans should never forget, with a candor we should admire: “We’re growing hatred over there faster than we can kill it.”

I grew up in a time when I honestly believed that foreign aid meant supporting fine, idealistic American doctors, nurses and teachers doing heroic work around the world.

I thought we stood for feeding the poor and vaccinating the children.

My mother was among the first in our family to see the change. She said of the banking and savings and loan debacle, “We are going broke on bad loans to Third World dictators so they can buy weapons from us to prevent democracy in their own countries.”

My dad and my uncle, lifelong Republicans, left the party years ago. Dad said, “If the best they can do is Rush Limbaugh — I just can’t belong to their club anymore.”

To be honest, he also left the Sierra Club the same year, out of similar disappointment in the lack of integrity that had earned his membership dues and more, over decades of loyal giving.

Good and honest people are bewildered today, heartbroken. Our country has been handed over to the military-industrial complex that Ike warned us about. They are the oligarchy who rule the world today. HQ, the White House.

Google up PNAC, and weep. They’ve won. Now what?

Nancy Woodward
Blue Lake


Letter to the editor of The Eureka Reporter by Nancy Woodward, April 25, 2007

And Bu$h Is NOT A "Politician"?

"I think it -- I'm just envisioning what it would be like to be a young soldier in the middle of Iraq and realizing that politicians have all of the sudden made military determinations. And in my judgment, that would put a kid in harm's way, more so than he or she already is."
--DerBu$hler, April 27, 2007 (Thanks to Tim at Salon's "War Room")

_____________________________

True, Bu$h isn't a "politician". "Politicians" run for elective office. Bu$h stole elective office. Twice (at least).

TLC

$audi Arrests

MSNBC Breaking News Alert, 5:39 am, April 27, 2007:

Al-Arabiya TV: Saudi police arrest 172 militants in anti-terror sweep

______________________________

The Saudi Royal Family arrested itself?

Will the Bu$h Royal Family be arrested next for its' conspiracies with the Saudi Royals?

TLC

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Food

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist."
--Dom Helder Camara

NBC: The Bu$h-Clinton Cheering Section

Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2007 16:06:14 -0700
From: "MSNBC Breaking News" <MSNBC_BreakingNews_NewsMail@MSNBC.COM>
Subject: Breaking News - Debate: Clinton - it's time for Iraqis to step up

MSNBC Breaking News: Debate: Clinton - it's time for Iraqis to step up

_____________________________

This is news? BREAKING News???

It's been clear for quite a while that Hillary's position is close to that of the Bu$h Regime: Kill brown-skinned Iraqis and take their oil.

The US invades Iraq, kills their civilians, men, women, children, everyone...and now it's their fault for not stepping up to the rhetorical plate? Guess what? If the US quit slaughtering them, sent in a few billion dollars to clean up the damage already done, maybe they'd be able to put together a coalition government! Duh! "It's The Oil, Stupid".

We've already heard this from the Fourth Reich. Hillary, it would seem, wants to add 8 more to Bu$h's.

"Where's The Beef"?


TLC

They Thought They Were Free

An excerpt from the book:

The [Peorian] individual surrenders his individuality without a murmur, without, indeed, a second thought - and not just his individual hobbies and tastes, but his individual occupation, his individual family concerns, his individual needs. The primordial community, the tribe, re-emerges, it's first function the preservation of all its members. Every normal personality of the day becomes an 'authoritarian personality.' A few recalcitrants have to be disciplined (vigorously, under the circumstances) for neglect or betrayal of their duty. A few groups have to be watched or, if necessary, taken in hand - the antisocial elements, the liberty-howlers, the agitators among the poor, and the criminal gangs. For the rest of the citizens - 95 percent or so of the population - duty is now the central fact of life. They obey, at first awkwardly, but, surprisingly soon, spontaneously.


Full Review by Thom Hartmann

_____________________________

I'm not so sure that the Germans then or the Americans now think they are "free". Rather, in both cases, I think they are engaged in what Benjamin Franklin warned us about: "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security".

I think there is also alot of what criminal defense attorneys call "willful blindness", what the psychiatrists would call "self-delusion" or "rationalization". I'm not willing to take the leap into the notion that somehow the Germans then, or the Americans now, were tricked, even gradually. If there was a seduction, I think it was consentual.

The situation in the US today is compounded by the insessant message from the corporate media and the glowing blue orb of television that we are powerless. If not adequately countered, it--more than anything else (let's face it, the Fourth Reich consists of unpleasant brutes, not geniuses) may be our undoing.

Aside from those points of contention, it otherwise sounds like a most informative book.

TLC

Abortion Disconnect

“It’s sad about the Virginia Tech and it’s sad about our soldiers that chose to fight for our country. But it’s even sadder about the children that are aborted that have no choice.”

--The Salina [Kansas] Journal's anonymous Extension 333 call-in line, published April 26, 2007

__________________________

What about the 650,000 + Iraqis who had no choice about dying because the international oil cartel wanted to control Iraqi oil?

Is the value of life all in the timing?

TLC

Half Mast

"I think our flags should fly half mast until this president is out of office and this war is over."

--The Salina [Kansas] Journal's anonymous Extension 333 call-in line, published April 26, 2007

Whew--That Was Close

TOPEKA — A funeral will be held next week for Harold S. Herd, a retired Kansas Supreme Court justice and former legislator, after his death in his hometown of Coldwater at age 88.

Source: Wire service article, The Salina [Kansas] Journal, April 26, 2007

______________________________________

I wonder how many they've had funerals for BEFORE they died. Did they bury 'em before they died too?

TLC

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Feeding

"Nothing more strongly arouses our disgust than cannibalism, yet we make the same impression on vegetarians, for we feed on babies, though not our own."
--Robert Louis Stevenson

DN: Context-Less Part Of The Story

Pentagon to Close Controversial Spy Database

The Reuters news agency is reporting the Pentagon plans to end use of a controversial database that has collected information on several protests and activists groups around the country. The Talon database was intended for use in monitoring threats to U.S. military facilities. But it came under scrutiny after it was revealed it contained intelligence on events including anti-war rallies and meetings challenging the military’s policy of ”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Internal Pentagon records show the database contained nearly three thousand reports on US citizens.

Source: Democracy Now, April 25, 2007

_____________________________________

What's missing here is any perspective--the no-brainer is that the Pentagon's program will continue under a different name, maybe under the auspices of a different agency, and the accumulated data will not be deleted. Get a clue, DN--It's not stating the obvious when we have a society increasingly consisting of people whose "education" consists of being taught how to pass standardized tests ("No Standardized Test Left Behind"). A society in which the teaching of history is minimal at best, and extremely skewed when it is "taught".

TLC

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Insight

"The more you understand what is wrong with a figure, the more valuable that figure becomes."
--Lord Kelvin (1824-1907) Irish mathematician

George McGovern: Cheney is wrong about me, wrong about war

1972 Democratic Presidential Candidate George McGovern speaks out on the Bu$h/Cheney Regime. As you read McGovern's article, imagine how different this country, this world, would be had the corporate press not hijacked that election through a massive information campaign. Contrary to myth, Nixon's dirty tricks, the whole "Watergate" affair, wouldn't have made a whit of difference on the outcome of the election had it taken place in a country with a free press.

TLC

David Halberstam on journalists and Vietnam

In his September 2004 Vanity Fair essay, Halberstam described the role of journalists in uncovering the government's deceit about the "progress" of the war in Vietnam, as well as the accusations made against such journalists and their sources. The parallels are self-evident.


FOLLOW THIS LINK for the essay excerpts, courtesy of Salon's Glenn Greenwald, April 24, 2007.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Remembering Boris Yeltsin and David Halberstam

Boris Yeltsin, February 1, 1931 - April 23, 2007
David Halberstam, April 10, 1934 - April 23, 2007

In reflecting on the passing of Boris Yeltsin, and the death of author David Halberstam in a car accident in California this morning, I wonder how the world might be so much better if they had met and been able to work on reforming a society together.

Yeltsin, the former head of Russia, was an idealist, a can-do person, who stood down the Soviet tanks while then-Russian President Gorbachev was held hostage by the military, a visionary who lacked the ability to implement the reforms he sought. Halberstam, best known as the author of "The Best And The Brightest", understood bureaucracies, groupthink, inertia, how the best-laid plans go astray. Had they come together...who knows...?


First, some quotes from Boris Yeltsin:

A man must live like a great brilliant flame and burn as brightly as he can. In the end he burns out. But this is far better than a mean little flame.

It is especially important to encourage unorthodox thinking when the situation is critical: At such moments every new word and fresh thought is more precious than gold. Indeed, people must not be deprived of the right to think their own thoughts.

My soul aches when I think about hungry soldiers, unpaid officers and their families, who have been suffering for years without a home of their own.

Today is the last day of an era past.

We don't appreciate what we have until it's gone. Freedom is like that. It's like air. When you have it, you don't notice it.

Your commanders have ordered you to storm the White House and to arrest me. But I as the elected President of Russia give you the order to turn your tanks and not to fight against your own people.


And from David Halberstam:

The crueler the war gets, the crueler the attacks get on anybody who doesn't salute or play the game. And then one day, the people who are doing the attacking look around and they've used up their credibility.
--Speech to a Tennessee journalism conference, 2006


And so in early 1967, Joe McGinniss, then just a young reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, would spend a day traveling with Westmoreland to the coastal town of Phan Thiet. There a young American officer startled McGinniss by giving an extraordinarily candid briefing on how bad the situation was, how incompetent the ARVN was. Westmoreland had demanded the briefing and the young American had been uneasy about giving it, apologizing for being so frank with a reporter present, but finally it had come pouring out: the ARVN soldiers were cowards, they refused to fight, they abused the population, in their most recent battle they had all fled, all but one man. That one man had stood and fought and almost single-handedly staved off a Vietcong attack. When the officer had finished his briefing, still apologizing for being so candid, Westmoreland turned to McGinniss and said, "Now you see how distorted the press image of this war is. This is a perfect example - a great act of bravery and not a single mention of it in the New York Times."
--The Best and the Brightest, pg. 562


Do you know what the greatest test is? Do you still get excited about what you do when you get up in the morning?

Yahoo! We're All Gonna Be Tortured

Jailed Chinese Activist Sues Yahoo In Human Rights Case

A jailed Chinese activist has sued the Internet company Yahoo for aiding and abetting human rights violations committed by the Chinese government. The activist, Wang Xiaoning, was sentenced last year to 10 years in prison for emailing electronic journals advocating democratic reform. The Chinese government's case against him was aided by information provided by Yahoo. Last year Amnesty International accused Yahoo, Microsoft and Google of being complicit in efforts by the Chinese government to silence government critics.

Source: Democracy Now, April 23, 2007

Wrong Color? Little If Any Corporate Press Coverage For You

Halfway down the list of today's summaried stories. At least they gave it a brief mention rather than no mention.

TLC
_______________________________________________


219 Killed In Somalia Over Past Week

In Somalia, fierce fighting between U.S.-backed Ethiopian forces and backers of Somalia's Islamic Courts Union has entered its sixth day. On Sunday at least 51 people died. The death toll over the past week has now reached more than 219. The United Nations says more than 319,000 Somalis have fled the capital of Mogadishu since February.

Source: Democarcy Now, April 23, 2007

Nigeria Mimics America

Legitimacy of Nigeria's Election Questioned

In Nigeria, two leading opposition candidates and election monitors are challenging the legitimacy of Saturday's election to replace outgoing Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo. The Transition Monitoring Group said that no election was held at all in parts of Nigeria. There were also many reports of ballot-box stuffing and polls opening late. The group called for the election results to be cancelled. Opposition candidates said the vote was rigged to elect Umaru Yar'adua, who Obasanjo had picked to be his successor. This is election monitor Pierre-Richard Prosper of the U.S.-funded International Republican Institute.

Pierre-Richard Prosper: "The system, as designed, did not work. You can look at some of the issues, irregularities that some of you witnessed on your own, some of which were articulated today. You can see that there were many people that were denied the opportunity to vote."

Nigeria's Electoral Commission claimed the election went smoothly despite some problems.


Source: Democracy Now, April 23, 2007

Mr. Bu$h: Tear Down That Wall

Creating giant concentration camps...practice for those to come in America...

TLC
_____________________________________

U.S. Plans to Wall Off 10 Neighborhoods in Baghdad

The United States is defending a plan to construct a 12-foot-high concrete wall through parts of Baghdad to divide Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods. According to the Washington Post, the U.S. is walling off at least 10 neighborhoods despite opposition from Iraqi leaders. . On Sunday Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered the construction of the controversial walls to be halted but the U.S. military has given no indication it plans to change course. U.S. forces are also planning to use biometric technology to track residents in Baghdad. Troops are compiling a neighborhood census by recording the fingerprints and eye patterns of residents. The deputy commander of American forces in Baghdad, Brigadier Gen. John Campbell, defended the measures. He said, "This is an area where we need to monitor people coming in and people coming out . . . and it is the only way we could do it."

Source: Democracy Now, April 23, 2007

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lies

"Lies are powerful, but the even greater lies are silence about truth."
--Aldous Huxley, introduction to "Brave New World"

The High Cost Of The Stairway To Heaven

"Yes, I belong to a church but I don’t go because I can’t afford to belong to a church anymore."
--The Salina [Kansas] Journal's anonymous Extension 333 call-in line, published April 22, 2007

Virginia: A Tale Of Two Colors

Sir: I can't help but feel that if this tragedy had occurred in the one of the black or brown parts of the world we would be hearing little about it. It's hard to imagine an atrocity of this scale in Africa getting this much coverage.

Comparison only has to be made to the careless way Iraqi war casualties have been covered in the media to conclude there is a racial hierarchy structuring our concerns about human life. The headlines may as well read, "Tragedy: White, middle-class English-speakers killed".

GAVIN LEWIS
MANCHESTER


Letter To The Editor, Independent UK, April 19, 2007

Creation

"I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image."
--Stephen Hawking

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Orthodoxy

"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done"... Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals."
--George Orwell [Eric Arthur Blair] (1903-1950) British author

Friday, April 20, 2007

Next On The Watch Lists

"We now cleverly protect ourselves from airline passengers wearing bombs in their shoes and small bottles containing liquids. I believe it is now time to have closer monitoring of English majors."
--The Salina [Kansas] Journal's anonymous Extension 333 call-in line, published April 20, 2007

Government At Glacial Speed

"Will any construction work be done on Broadway or it is a place to store orange cones and construction signs for the summer?"
--The Salina [Kansas] Journal's anonymous Extension 333 call-in line, published April 20, 2007

Governmental Art

"As our new mayor says, art is beginning to sprinkle our landscapes. I looked in my front yard and, sure enough, I had art in my front yard that looked like the art in front of the police station. Then I seen it. A dog just left. So much for art."
--The Salina [Kansas] Journal's anonymous Extension 333 call-in line, published April 20, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

From Blacksburg to Baghdad

We know that Baghdad, Iraq, is a long way from Blacksburg, Va., and we don't mean to take anything away from the tragedy that struck this week at Virginia Tech. But still, we've got to ask: How much airtime will the networks commit -- how many convocations will George W. Bush attend -- to honor the lives of the 178 people who were killed in bombings in Iraq's capital today?
-- Tim Grieve
Salon, April 18, 2007

Liberty

"Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people. Letus dare to read, think, speak and write."
--John Adams, August, 1765

It is invigorating to realize you've been dead wrong about something. That's why we read history.

Two-Tiered Life

My letter to The Salina [Kansas] Journal, regarding their priorities of April 19, 2007, which is applicable most other corporate media outlets in America:


Dear Editor:

Why is it that the deaths of 183 Iraqis, dead because of the U.S. government's pursuit of empire at the behest of its corporate masters, only ranks page B-4 coverage, while the deaths of thirty-some predominantly white people hits the front page?

Are Iraqi lives worth less than American lives? Did God set up a two-tier system: Valuable life and junk life?

Terry L. Clark

It's Your Fault We Ruined Your Country To Steal Your Oil

Gates Says 'Clock Is Ticking' on Iraq

Defense Secretary Robert Gates slipped into Iraq Thursday to warn Iraqi leaders that the U.S. commitment to a military buildup there is not open-ended.

Gates said the political tumult in Washington over financing the military presence in Iraq shows that both the American public and the Bush administration are running out of patience with the war.

He said that the Iraqis need to push through legislation on political reconciliation and sharing oil revenues. "It's not that these laws are going to change the situation immediately, but I think ... the ability to get them done communicates a willingness to work together."

Full A.P. Wire Service Article, SF Chronicle, April 19, 2007

______________________________

Jeez, the US as La Cosa Nostra...

Is Gates saying that if Iraq doesn't surrender its' oil resources, the US will pick up its war machine, close its permanent military bases, package up its depleted uranium, and go away?

Not a chance.

TLC

Not

"Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander."
--Holocaust Museaum, Washington DC

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Another Sign Of The Decline Of American Civilization: American Idol

Cowell Denies Disrespecting Va. Tech

An annoyed look from "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell as a contestant expressed sadness over the Virginia Tech shootings was drastically misinterpreted, Cowell and the show said Wednesday.

The Fox show went into damage control Wednesday, with Cowell — known for his acerbic comments — and a series producer denying that he had heard what Richardson said.

Instead, he was talking to Abdul about Richardson's contention that he deliberately sang "Mayberry" in a nasal tone, Cowell told "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest on Seacrest's radio show Wednesday.

Full A.P. wire service story, SF Chronicle, April 18, 2007

______________________________

Is this what it's come down to? Simon Cowell as the symbol of American empathy? If our new Icon doesn't weep on command with us, He must be Dethroned and burned at the stake?

Give me a f*****g break.

TLC

Pet Foods: Covering Only Part Of The Story

My letter to the San Francisco Examiner:


Dear Editor,

Your article, "Chemical that contaminated pet food found in 2nd ingredient", is completely silent on whether the rice protein concentrate used has been introduced into the human food supply. Whether the rice protein concentrate is from a US rice crop or that of another nation. Whether the contamination occurred at the growing site or in transit. Whether the F.I.B. is doing anything. Whether Homeland Insecurity has lifed a finger.

Unfortunately, glaring omissions such as those make your publication part of the problem. Is it your desire that your readers face injury or death because to reveal the truth would offend your advertisers? Has the Examiner become just another arm of the Bu$h Fear Mongering Machine?

Terry L. Clark

Petition: Save Small and Independent Publishers

Save Small and Independent Publishers

Postal regulators have accepted a proposal from media giant Time Warner that would stifle small and independent publishers in America. The plan unfairly burdens smaller publishers with higher postage rates while locking in special privileges for bigger media companies.

In establishing the U.S. postal system, the nation's founders wanted to ensure that a diversity of viewpoints were available to "the whole mass of the people." Time Warner's rate increase reverses this egalitarian ideal and threatens the marketplace of ideas on which our democracy depends.

It's time stand up for independent media. Demand that Congress step in to stop the unfair rate hikes. The deadline for comments to the Postal Service is fast approaching.

Sign the letter before April 23 to alert Congress and put the Postal Board of Governors on notice.

Israel: Murder As National Policy

Undercover Israeli Troops Assassinate Palestinian Militant

In the West Bank, undercover Israeli troops have assassinated a senior Palestinian member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades near Jenin. Israeli troops wore disguised as Palestinians and were driving a civilian vehicle. One Palestinian eyewitness said "They pulled him out of his car alive, they pulled him by his neck, put him on the ground and shot him." Meanwhile thousands of Palestinians held rallies in the West Bank and Gaza on Tuesday to mark the annual Prisoners Day. More than 10,000 Palestinians are held in Israeli jails, many without charge.

Source: Democracy Now, April 18, 2007

Religious Priorities

“I think it is appropriate you always put the Money and Religion sections in the same part of the paper on Saturday morning, just like my church bulletin only focuses on those two topics. I only wish they would focus more on religion and little less on money.”

--The Salina [Kansas] Journal's anonymous Extension 333 call-in line, published April 18, 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Class

"It seems to me of great importance to teach children respect for life. Towards this end, experiments on living animals in classrooms should be stopped. To encourage cruelty in the name of science can only destroy the finer emotions of affection and sympathy, and breed an unfeeling callousness in the young towards suffering in all living creatures."
--Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady of the United States of America

Some Lives Are Worth Far More Than Others

UPDATE: Published in the Independent UK, April 19, 2007. Interestingly, they added the word "Muslim" before the word "peasants".

TLC
____________________________________________


The British newspapers are giving extensive coverage to the tragedy in Virginia. My letter to the Guardian UK, the Independent, the London Times, and the Telegraph UK:


Dear Editor,

The extensive coverage you are giving the Virginia shooting in the U.S. is quite interesting.

In Iraq, thanks to the US and Britain, such butchery would be considered a "slow day", with only a brief mention in your paper. But those are peasants, brown-skinned people whose lives don't count. Besides, publicizing the carnage caused by the U.S and British governments might impair the interests of the multinational oil cartel that both governments are subservient to.

Terry L. Clark

Same Planet, Different World

FBI says arrest imminent in sabotage of Calif. power agency
Federal agents on Tuesday were investigating computer tampering and a bomb threat at the headquarters of the agency that controls California's electricity transmission.

Full wire service article, SF Chronicle, April 17, 2007

____________________________

So where were all these federal agents when the utility companies were--and still are--royally ripping off the consumers of California?

How many Enron executives are sitting in jail?

And what happened to California Governor Gray Davis, who tried to stop the fleecing? Oh yeah, the utilities and their allies brought in a Hollywood actor to play Governor.

TLC

Blaming The Hired Help

N.J. Gov.'s SUV Went 91 Mph Before Crash
The sport utility vehicle carrying Gov. Jon S. Corzine was traveling about 91 mph moments before it crashed, the superintendent of state police said Tuesday.

The speed limit along that stretch of the parkway is 65 mph.

The state trooper-driven SUV was in the left lane with its emergency lights flashing when a pickup tried to get out of its way. Instead, it set off a chain reaction that resulted in the crash.

The driver, Trooper Robert Rasinski, could be charged if the state police Motor Vehicular Pursuit Review Board determines the crash was preventable, Superintendent of State Police Col. Rick Fuentes said.


Full wire service article, SF Chronicle, April 17, 2007

______________________________________

And the Governor has no responsibility, faces no charges???

Money talks, and the B.S. walks.

TLC

Opposition To The Fourth Reich Is...A Joke?

Kucinich Seeks to Impeach Cheney

It’s a shame Dennis Kucinich is such a joke and that this will doubtless be pilloried as some sort of campaign stunt, because, well, the Articles really do write themselves.

Dear Colleagues:This week I intend to introduce Articles of Impeachment with respect to the conduct of Vice President Cheney….

-- Tim Dickinson
Rolling Stone, April 17, 2007

__________________________________

My Posts at Rolling Stone in the "Comments" section:

Yes, Dennis is “such a joke”…just like the people in Germany were who stood up to Hitler in the 1930’s.

Those who continue to drink the purple Kool Aid of the corporate media will receive the Fascism they so richly deserve.


P.S. Unfortunately, consuming the corporate purple Kool Aid of Fascism affects the rest of us, so we must continue to save you from self-destructive behaviors that impact us non-drinkers.

Terry L. Clark

Fit

"The man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unhappy but hardly fit for life."
--Albert Einstein, American Theoretical Physicist

Just-Us Monolithic Corporations

Ex-Worker Ordered Not to Discuss Wal-Mart's Spy Operations

In business news, Wal-Mart has reclaimed its position as the largest corporation in the United States edging out Exxon Mobil. Meanwhile Wal-Mart has succeeded in winning a gag order to stop a fired security operative from speaking out about the company's spy operations. Earlier this month Bruce Gabbard told the Wall Street Journal that Wal-Mart is running a sophisticated surveillance operation that targets employees, journalists, stockholders and critics of the company. Gabbard also revealed that the company had infiltrated an anti-Wal-Mart group. In addition to the gag order, a judge has order Gabbard to name every person whom he has discussed Wal-Mart with over the past three months. Wal-Mart alleges that Gabbard has violated trade secrets law by revealing confidential information about Wal-Mart security systems and operations.

Source: Democracy Now, April 17, 2007

_____________________________

Since when is an illegal spy operation considered a "trade secret"?

Just another example of how the Reagan/Bu$h I/Bu$h II filling of the Federal Judiciary has, whatever happens to Bu$h II/Dickless, severely corrupted the American judicial system and US Constitution for decades, if not permanently.

TLC

Monday, April 16, 2007

"News"

"We do nothing controversial.
We're not in the investigative business.
Our only concern is giving editorial support for our ad projects."
--Houston Chronicle Vice President of Sales and Marketing, 1979
Source: Quoted in Editor & Publisher, March 31, 1979.

"One should not associate with controversy;
one should always reach for the highest ratings;
one should never forget that there is safety in numbers;
one should always remember that comedy, adventure, and escapism
provide the best atmosphere for selling."
-- Peter G. Peterson (1926-) Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations,
Senior Chairman of the Blackstone Group, US Secretary of Commerce (1972-73)
Source: as President of Bell & Howell on the standards of advertisers, New York Times, September 28, 1961

"The cold, hard facts of magazine publishing mean that
those who advertise get editorial coverage."
-- Richard Shortway
publisher of Vogue Magazine, 1972
Source: Advertising Age, April 17, 1972

The Emancipation Of Venezuela

Venezuela Pays off World Bank-IMF Debt

Venezuela has announced its paid off its remaining debt to the World Bank and International Monterary Fund. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez: "Today, with the last payment that debt that had been almost $3 billion since 1998. We also had a large debt with the IMF. Venezuela was hand tied. I can tell you today, that we don't owe a cent of debt to either the IMF or the World Bank."

Source: Democracy Now, April 16, 2007

The Truth Shall...Keep You Out Of The US...

U.S. Bars Iraqi Doctor from Delivering Lecture

A leading Iraqi doctor who co-authored a study on Iraq’s death toll since the US invasion has been barred from entering the United States. Riyadh Lafta was set to give a talk at the University of Washington on the growing rise in cancer rates among Iraqi children. U.S. immigration officials ignored Lafta’s visa request a half-dozen times before finally turning him down. Lafta will still make the speech -- he’s been invited to speak at Simon Fraser University in Canada.

Source: Democracy Now, April 16, 2007
__________________________________

Another example of "Inconvenient Truths"...

TLC

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Happen

"It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things."
--Elinor Smith, aviator

Friday, April 13, 2007

Challenges

"When you are face to face with a difficulty, you are up against a discovery."
--Lord Kelvin (1824-1907) Irish mathematician

Pulling The Plug On Windoze XP

Microsoft Pulls The Plug on Windows XP

In what appears to be a last ditch effort to sell more of it's newest operating system (OS), Microsoft has notified computer manufacturers that by the start of 2008, they will no longer be allowed to ship PCs loaded with Windows XP."

The OEM version of XP Professional goes next January," said Frank Luburic, senior ThinkPad product manager for Lenovo. "At that point, they'll have no choice."

As with the release of previous Microsoft operating systems, soon you'll be stuck with Windows Vista whether you want it or not. Unless of course, someone brings another lawsuit against Microsoft -- or you go with a Mac.


Full Article, Infopackets, April 13, 2007

___________________________________

With all the privacy problems with Vista, and all the invasive "Digital Rights" b.s., it may be time to switch to a Mac. Or to Linux.

TLC

Kurt Vonnegut, R.I.P.

November 11, 1922 - April 11, 2007. Go gently, Kurt, into that new dawn.


I really wonder what gives us the right to wreck this poor planet of ours.


Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand


One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us.
--"Cold Turkey", In These Times, May 10, 2004


1492. As children we were taught to memorize this year with pride and joy as the year people began living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America. Actually, people had been living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America for hundreds of years before that. 1492 was simply the year sea pirates began to rob, cheat, and kill them.
--Breakfast of Champions


During my three years in Vietnam, I certainly heard plenty of last words by dying American footsoldiers. Not one of them, however, had illusions that he had somehow accomplished something worthwhile in the process of making the Supreme Sacrifice.
--"Hocus Pocus"


I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Blame The Non-Fitting Of The Jeans On The Genes

Scientists find fatness gene
More than half of the population carries a gene that makes people more likely to pile on the pounds, scientists announce today.

Half of English men and a third of women are classified as overweight

They hope the discovery could eventually lead to treatments to help people lose excess weight they carry simply because of their genetic make-up.

Source: Telegraph UK, April 13, 2007

______________________________

I wonder how much money changed hands for that whopper.

And who cut the checks? Monsanto, whose Genetically Modified Fankenfoods are doing horrible, perhaps irreparable, damage?

The rest of the pseudo-food industry?

Heck, it wouldn't cost much to buy off a few faux scientists and newspaper reporters, the fluoride industry--responsible for damaging the thyroid gland that is critical for proper metabolism and weight control--could have spent a small fraction of their immense profits for this one.

BigPharma, licking its chops at the prospect of coming up with yet another drug that cures nothing but creates a lifetime customer?

It's not rocket science, people. Go to a good library, a good secondhand store, and find crowd shots of people in the 1950's and earlier. Rarely will you find anyone that is obese, let alone morbidly obese. What happened in since then? Our genes suddenly turned on us? That's certainly the line of the pharmaceutical drug cartel, the insessant message that BigPharma is the only thing that stands between us and our insane physical bodies that is bound and determined to kill us.

TLC

Pope Benedict: Back To The Good Ol' Days

Israel has expressed shock at the Vatican’s decision to boycott an annual memorial ceremony at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, this weekend because of an exhibit accusing Pius XII, the wartime pontiff, of turning a blind eye to the Nazi extermination of the Jews.

Source: London Times, April 13, 2007

______________________________

This little tidbit was buried deep in an article on Pope Benedict having great difficulties with evolution. See earlier Post on that gem.

TLC

Pope Benedict: The Delusion Of Evolution

Pope puts his faith in the Book of Genesis, not Darwin
The Pope did not explicitly back intelligent design or creationism. He praised scientific progress but said that the Darwinian theory of evolution was “not finally provable” because: “We cannot haul 10,000 generations into the laboratory.”

In his latest intervention, the Pope appears to dissociate himself from remarks made in 1996 by John Paul II, who said that although creation was the work of God evolution was “more than a hypothesis”.

“My predecessor had his reasons for saying this,” the Pope said. “But it is also true that the theory of evolution is not a complete, scientifically proven theory.”

“There is no conflict between evolution and the doctrine of the faith regarding man and his vocation, provided that we do not lose sight of certain fixed points. In order to mark out the limits of their own proper fields, theologians and those working on the exegesis of the Scripture need to be well-informed regarding the results of the latest scientific research.”
— John Paul II, 1996


“The question is not to either make a decision for a creationism that excludes science, or for an evolutionary theory that covers over its own gaps and does not want to see the questions that reach beyond the methodological possibilities of natural science. The theory of evolution implies questions that must be assigned to philosophy and which themselves lead beyond the realms of science.”— Benedict XVI, 2007


Source, and full story: London Times, April 13, 2007

______________________________________

I guess this means that God only allowed somethings to grow from a seed and not others? Planted ancient bones to play with our heads? Started out with dinner already half-cooked rather than baking from scratch?

And what, pray tell (pun intended), IS "finally provable"? Certainly not the existence of the Christian God, Muslim God, or any other Deity. Or, for that matter, the non-existence of a Deity/Creator.

TLC

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Consult

"Consult not your fears, but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do."
--Pope John XXIII, theologian

Worker Oppression = Reform

President Bush Resumes Immigration Reform Push

President Bush has renewed his push for immigration reform. On Monday, the President said he would call for a temporary guest-work program and massive fines for those seeking citizenship. The announcement came two days after tens of thousands of immigrants and immigrant rights advocates held a massive rally in Los Angeles. Bush spoke at the U.S. border crossing with Mexico in Yuma, Arizona.

President Bush: "Congress is going to take up the legislation on immigration. This is a matter of national interest and it is a matter of deep conviction for me. I've been working to bring Republicans and Democrats together to resolve outstanding issues so that congress can pass a comprehensive bill and I can sign it into law this year."

Source: Democracy Now, April 10, 2007

_______________________________________

My email to Democracy Now:

I expect better of DN, yet you continue to adopt the language of the oppressors.

Since when is driving down US wages by bringing in people who will work for lower wages "Reform"?

Since when is driving down wages in Mexico by destroying the Mexican economy with US imperialism "Reform"?


War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.
--George Orwell
--Democracy Now


TLC

Iraq Paralleling America

Red Cross: Iraqi Civilian Suffering Worsens

The violence comes as the International Committee of the Red Cross is warning the suffering of Iraqi civilians is getting worse. In a new report, the Red Cross says hospitals are overstretched, malnutrition is rising and power outages are intensifying. Red Cross director of operations Pierre Kraehenbuehl said: “The suffering that Iraqi men, women and children are enduring today is unbearable and unacceptable.”

Source: Democracy Now, April 11, 2007

_____________________________________

My email to Democracy Now:

Given the crappy quality of medical care here, consisting primarily of toxins provided by the pharmaceutical drug cartel, the description applies to the US as well.

TLC

More

"There is more to life than increasing its speed."
--Mohandas Gandhi,

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Larry, Larry, Larry

Now that it's been established that Larry whatshisface dipped his wick on at least one occasion and helped create a child, as if that confers some sort of cloak of fitness to be a parent, can we get back to the important things in life--like whether it will continue to exist in Iraq, Iran, or indeed on this planet, much longer?

(As for the child--please, please, let her be adopted out anonymously so she can have a life away from all those characters).

Of course, distracting the masses is the whole idea of the Anna Nicole charade...

TLC

Monday, April 09, 2007

DN...Why Not Connect The Dots In Mexico?

Mexican Journalist Shot To Death

In Mexico, a correspondent from the country's top television news network was shot to death in Acapulco on Friday. Amado Ramirez was attacked by two gunmen after he left his radio show. Ramirez had covered Acapulco for the Mexican network Televisa for more than a dozen years. The Miami-based Inter-American Press Association recently said Mexico has become the most dangerous place to be a journalist in the western hemisphere. Teachers in Argentina Go On Strike To Protest Police Killing of Protester Teachers in Argentina are going on strike today to protest the fatal shooting of a teacher by police during a protest last week. Carlos Fuentealba – who taught chemistry – died after being hit by a tear gas canister fired at close range by police. He was taking part in a teacher-led march in the city of Neuquen calling for better wages. Protests have been intensifying in Argentina for days. Protesters have now blocked the main roads to Neuquen cutting off the provincial capital from the rest of the country.

Source: Democracy Now, April 9, 2007

________________________________________

My email to Democracy Now:

So why isn't DN reminding and pointing out that it was the Bu$h Regime that brought to power the organized crime family masquerading as Mexico's "government" that is responsible for the journalist's murder?

"And when they came for Amy Goodman, there was no one left to speak out for her..."

TLC

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Shadows

"Beware lest you lose the substance
by grasping at the shadow."
--Aesop (c. 550 B.C.) legendary Greek fabulist
Source: The Dog and the Shadow

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Apathy

Outside Of A Small Circle Of Friends
by Phil Ochs

Look outside the window, there's a woman being grabbed
They've dragged her to the bushes and now she's being stabbed
Maybe we should call the cops and try to stop the pain
But Monopoly is so much fun, I'd hate to blow the game
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends.

Riding down the highway, yes, my back is getting stiff
Thirteen cars are piled up, they're hanging on a cliff.
Maybe we should pull them back with our towing chain
But we gotta move and we might get sued and it looks like it's gonna rain
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends.

Sweating in the ghetto with the colored and the poor
The rats have joined the babies who are sleeping on the floor
Now wouldn't it be a riot if they really blew their tops?
But they got too much already and besides we got the cops
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends.

Oh there's a dirty paper using sex to make a sale
The Supreme Court was so upset, they sent him off to jail.
Maybe we should help the fiend and take away his fine.
But we're busy reading Playboy and the Sunday New York Times
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

Smoking marihuana is more fun than drinking beer,
But a friend of ours was captured and they gave him thirty years
Maybe we should raise our voices, ask somebody why
But demonstrations are a drag, besides we're much too high
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

Oh look outside the window, there's a woman being grabbed
They've dragged her to the bushes and now she's being stabbed
Maybe we should call the cops and try to stop the pain
But Monopoly is so much fun, I'd hate to blow the game
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

[Additional verse, 1974]
Down in Santiago where they took away our mines
We cut off all their money so they robbed the storehouse blind
Now maybe we should ask some questions, maybe shed a tear
But I bet you a copper penny, it cannot happen here
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends


Notes:
The first verse is a commentary on the murder of Kitty Genovese. She was murdered
March 14th, 1964 in NYC.

Sanity

"I am beginning to realize that "sanity"
is no longer a value or an end in itself.
If modern people were a little less sane,
a little more doubtful, a little more aware
of their absurdities and contradictions,
perhaps there might be the possibility
of their survival."
--Thomas Merton (1915-1968)
Source: his book, Peacemaking Day by Day

Friday, April 06, 2007

Making The World A Much Better Place: Simple Things

Life-changing Maxi-pads?
New York Times: Here's a no-nonsense approach to quickly improving the lot of Kenyan women and girls: Provide them with Maxi-pads. Thomas L. Friedman's Op-Ed suggests that access to sanitary napkins is much more than an issue of comfort or convenience. Naisiae Tobiko, a native to Kenya's Masai region, told Friedman that around puberty she started to notice some that some girls would miss a few consecutive days of class each month. Friedman writes, "When she finally asked, they confided that they did not come to school when they were menstruating -- because their parents could not afford sanitary napkins." Some tried to make due with "rags or soil or mud," says Tobiko. But, ultimately, many of her classmates dropped out of school because they had already missed too many days of school.


Source: Salon's Broadsheet, April 6, 2007

___________________________________________

Although I think the title of the article is too flippant, this illustrates how those of us who are bleeding hearts sometimes forget to consider how simple inexpensive things can make a world of difference, and can change the world.

Thanks to Salon for the article, since Friedman's column costs money to read at the Bu$h League Times.

TLC

"Free Speech Dershowitz"

Alan Dershowitz Admits Lobbying Against Tenure For Norman Finkelstein

Meanwhile here in this country, one of academia's most prominent critics of Israel -- Norman Finkelstein -- is facing an uphill battle to receive tenure at Depaul University where he has taught for six years. His tenure has been approved at the departmental and college level but the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has opposed it. A final decision is expected to be made by May. Finkelstein has accused Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz of being responsible for leading the effort to deny him tenure. In an interview with the Harvard Crimson, Dershowitz admitted that he had sent a letter to DePaul faculty members lobbying against Finkelstein's tenure.


Source: Democracy Now, April 6, 2007

AP Fires Correspondent Covering Oaxaca Uprising

Report: AP Fires Correspondent Covering Oaxaca Uprising

The Associated Press has reportedly fired a Mexican correspondent named Rebeca Romero due to her pro-government bias in her coverage of last year's populist uprising in Oaxaca. This according to a report on the website Narco News. In January, Narco News revealed that Romero had violated the AP's code of ethics by accepting payments from the Oaxacan state government for advertisements on her personal website. Before her stint at the Associated Press, Romero had worked as a press secretary for the Mexican federal attorney general. For much of the conflict in Oaxaca U.S. newspapers relied solely on Associated Press articles written by Romero. A review of Romero's coverage by Narco News showed a consistent pattern of sensationalizing protester violence while sanitizing state violence through misreporting. Romero never published a single article that attempted to explain the protesters" motivations.


Source: Democracy Now, April 6, 2007

______________________________

That's a nice change of pace. AP has often received blistering Posts here from yours truly.

TLC

Training For The American Concentration Camps

Number of Iraqis Detained by U.S. Skyrocketing

The Christian Science Monitor is reporting the number of Iraqis being detained by the United States is skyrocketing. Under the new Baghdad security plan, the U.S. is apprehending thousands of Iraqis. Before the beginning of so-called surge, the U.S. was holding 13,000 Iraqis. Now 18,000 Iraqis are being held. And Army General David Petraeus is making plans to be able to hold up to 40,000 Iraqis in coming months. According to the Christian Science Monitor the U.S. will hold many of these detainees indefinitely. To help staff the expanding jails, the Pentagon announced on Monday the deployment of more than 2,000 additional US military police to Iraq.


Source: Democracy Now, April 6, 2007

Christian Science Monitor article, April 6, 2007

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Admissions

"Admitting you have a problem is the first step toward getting medicated for it."
--Jim Evarts

Tranquility

"All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don't. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity."
--Robert F. Kennedy

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Lessons From America

"I sure hope Iran isn’t using the interrogation techniques that America has used on the British soldiers recently captured."

--The Salina [Kansas] Journal's anonymous Extension 333 call-in line, published April 1, 2007 (no foolin')

Love That Legalized Gambling

A Shawnee County District Court judge on Friday placed Lisa M. Bisel on probation for five years for stealing more than $400,000 from The Topeka Capital-Journal while she was a cashier there.

Bisel was convicted Feb. 2 of stealing what witnesses said was $415,000 from The Capital-Journal from 2001 to September 2004. Bisel now operates a day care from her home.

During her trial, witnesses testified Bisel won $832,933 on slot machines at Harrah's Prairie Band Casino in Mayetta in four years, but lost all of her winnings plus $170,840.

Full Story, Topeka Capital-Journal, March 31, 2007

_______________________________________

Wouldn't want to do anything to seriously discourage the big push for legalized gambling in Kansas, like consequences for thievery used to support the habit...

But I couldn't resist firing off this letter to the Topeka Capital-Journal, captioned "Gambling With Kansas' Future":


Dear Editor:

I don't suppose the massaging of the hand--it doesn't even rise to the level of a proverbial slap on the hand--of former Capital-Journal employee Lisa Bisel, who stole $415,000.00 from your newspaper, will change anything about your refusal to publish letters from a certain former Kansas resident who moved to California and has witnessed the "collateral damage" of legalized gambling.

No, continue to keep your head in the sand as the siren song of "free money" for all sorts of nice government programs seduces Kansas too. And in a few years, when you find out that the legislature uses the gambling revenues as an excuse to not fund schools from tax revenues, resulting in continued underfunding of the educational system--just as has happened in California--will there be anyone bright enough on your staff to figure out the bait-and-switch? Not to mention all of the other consequences like thievery to support gambling addictions.

Sincerely,

Terry L. Clark

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Opinions

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts"
--Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan

White Texas Just-Us Whities

Texas Releases Teenager Jailed for Shoving School Aide

In Texas, state officials have decided to release a 15-year-old girl who was serving a seven-year prison sentence for shoving a teacher's aide in her school hallway. Shaquanda Cotton was released on Sunday after spending a year in a prison. Her release came after weeks of protests over her sentence. Supporters say Cotton was unfairly punished because she is African-American and because of her mother's previous involvement in a group that fought discrimination against black students. Shaquanda, who had no prior criminal record, was convicted on one count of assaulting a public servant last year. The teacher's aide was not injured and the incident's details are under dispute. The judge in the case -- Chuck Superville of Lamar County -- has been accused of double-standards after he sentenced a fourteen-year old white arsonist to probation. The head of the state's juvenile prison system has also announced plans to review the sentences of all 4,700 juveniles in state custody.

Source: Democracy Now, April 3, 2007

Kidnapping In The Middle East: The US Started The Current Round

A failed American attempt to abduct two senior Iranian security officers on an official visit to northern Iraq was the starting pistol for a crisis that 10 weeks later led to Iranians seizing 15 British sailors and Marines.

Early on the morning of 11 January, helicopter-born US forces launched a surprise raid on a long-established Iranian liaison office in the city of Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. They captured five relatively junior Iranian officials whom the US accuses of being intelligence agents and still holds.

In reality the US attack had a far more ambitious objective, The Independent has learned. The aim of the raid, launched without informing the Kurdish authorities, was to seize two men at the very heart of the Iranian security establishment.

Better understanding of the seriousness of the US action in Arbil - and the angry Iranian response to it - should have led Downing Street and the Ministry of Defence to realise that Iran was likely to retaliate against American or British forces such as highly vulnerable Navy search parties in the Gulf. The two senior Iranian officers the US sought to capture were Mohammed Jafari, the powerful deputy head of the Iranian National Security Council, and General Minojahar Frouzanda, the chief of intelligence of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, according to Kurdish officials.

US officials in Washington subsequently claimed that the five Iranian officials they did seize, who have not been seen since, were "suspected of being closely tied to activities targeting Iraq and coalition forces".

Source, and full story: Independent UK, April 3, 2007

___________________________

What, you thought you'd find out the truth from the Bu$h League U.S. news media???


From an email I sent on January 12, 2007, to a columnist:

Under long historical tradition, and international law, an attack on a Consulate or Embassy has been considered to be an act of war upon the nation. Some of your readers might not be familiar with that, a brief enlightenment is in order. And yes, point out what to us older folks is the obvious, that the US got rather unhappy when ITS Embassy was taken over in 1979...

______________

Some may call what is going on with Iran and the British operatives an example of The Law Of Unintended Consequences. Chalmers Johnson has written a very instructive book, Blowback, on how the U.S. has a long pattern of not thinking through the consequences of its actions.

That serious ramifications would flow from the U.S. attack in January on, essentially, an Iranian embassy, was a no-brainer. Yet the U.S. corporate media, and really much of the "alternative" media, completely ignored what was just another serious escalation in the routine violation of interantional law. To the extent that it got any mention it was soon superseded by more earth-shattering events like Anna Nicole's she-finally-got-around-to-it drug overdose (thank you BigPharma, eventually the Anna Nicole stories will fade away and we can move on to the next non-event).

TLC

Stability

"Let us not confuse stability with stagnation."
--Mary Jean LeTendre

Monday, April 02, 2007

Britain Today, America...Too

Tony Blair engineered this “war on terror” to bring into Britain a range of intelligence gathering facilities. Prof. C. Cooper of Manchester University has shown that the Royal Mail has the worst record in Europe for managerial, racial and sexual harassment and bullying of staff, and in order to sack 30,000 staff, embarked on a mass spying campaign for both internal cameras in the work areas, and pin sized cameras in the locker rooms, canteens, and toilets for information gathering on staff, but Royal Mail also spies on us, and sells the details to junk mail spammers.

Full (anonymous) article, April 2, 2007, Wayne Madsen Reports