September 30, 2004

Cool interview

Morgaine has a great interview - at What She Said!  with Julia of em>Sisyphus Shrugged -  :

Morgaine: What's the one point you'd like a reader to take away from your blog- the one thing for them to really "get"?

Julia: I'd like them to know that you don't have to wait for someone to tell you you're qualified to make your own decisions about politics and that you don't have to wait for someone to tell you that your opinions matter. Most of the world's gatekeepers are self-appointed. Once you make it your business to know what's going on, appoint yourself.

Also I would like to point out that I have a seriously cool kid.
And a seriously cool blog, too, I might ad.

American Leftist -  puts some legs on the Al Lorentz story. Mr. Lorentz, who's in the military and is also extremely conservative recently wrote an excellent piece, Why We Cannot Win - posted on a very conservative website. The military has gone ballistic and is trying to crush the guy. Echos of, "You can't HANDLE the truth!"

Left is Right -  picks up on a great piece by Common Ground 's Guy Dauncey, "Where are we going?":
Think big; and I mean BIG. Think the biggest question of all, beyond “Is there life in the Canucks?” and “Is there life elsewhere in the universe?” Think, “Where are we going?”

We’re clearly going somewhere, yet it rarely comes up at dinner parties. When you consider the progress of the universe since the Big Bang, 13 billion years ago, it does seem there is a kind of direction. Once there was nothing, and then that nothing went “Bam!” and turned into a gazillion neutrinos. Then “gazoom!” they created hydrogen and all the atoms. Then “whoomf!” and they created galaxies, stars and supernovas. Then great scatterings of dust and meteorites created planetesimals, congealing into planets.

Then slowly, at the bottom of the sea, life began. And life grew from single-celled to multi-celled organisms, and then to a bazillion bacteria; then it grew legs and crawled onto the land. All the time, it grew more complex. We, its latest strain, have a hundred billion neuron cells per brain. We scratched our neurons, and started using tools. Another few scratches, and we’re using computers and telescopes, peering out at the origins of it all. Unless you prefer Noah to Darwin, it does seem there’s a kind of direction.

But where? We may have evolutionary space siblings who understand it all but we’re still in the dark. (If you’re reading this, and your crop circles are intended to tell us, could you make the message a little more clear?) It’s getting critical, since we’re running on ecological empty. A few more decades like this, and we won’t have time to ask the question any more. Our planet is accelerating into the future with no-one at the helm. It’s a very scary thought. We’ve got national and corporate leaders, all busily pursuing their own agendas, but very few who we can truly call planetary leaders . . .
Well, I know where I'm going . . . home, where I will try to figure out what to do for the four hours or so that JFK Lite and Doubleduh plan to pollute my TV.

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Be at peace

September 29, 2004

Ain't no party!

One week ago, retiring congressman Porter Goss was confirmed by the Senate as George Tenet's replacement as DCI. The Senate voted 70 - 17 to confirm. Three Democrats (Kerry, John Edwards, and Hawaii's Akaka) did not vote. Here is a list of the 17 Democrats who voted against confirmation:

Bingaman (D-NM)
Byrd (D-WV)
Clinton (D-NY)
Conrad (D-ND)
Corzine (D-NJ)
Dodd (D-CT)
Durbin (D-IL)
Harkin (D-IA)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Reed (D-RI)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Wyden (D-OR)

That leaves 26 Democrats who voted to confirm this guy. When I think about that, my forehead starts to twitch. Lookee here . . . Goss was gonna be confirmed even if every Senate Democrat voted against him. Goss has the potential for being the nastiest DCI since Bill Casey. Go ahead . . . Google - the guy. Read what Ray McGovern and others have to say. Y'know, there are a bunch of elected folks in Congress who call themselves Democrats and make speeches which "oppose" The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang, but where the rubber meets the road, they're duplicitous cowards. Shame!

Today's the final day for this month's ddjangoWIrE Poll - . I'm disappointed with the partcipation level.

Italian, Iraqi and Egyptian Hostages Freed in Iraq -

VOA News
28 Sep 2004, 16:17 UTC

Italian aid workers Simona Pari, left, and Simona Torretta

Two female Italian aid workers kidnapped nearly three weeks ago in Baghdad have been released, along with two Iraqis who were abducted with them. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says that Simona Pari and Simona Torretta are headed home to Italy this Tuesday evening. He called their release "a moment of joy."

The "two Simonas," as they have been dubbed by the Italian media, were seized by gunmen from the Baghdad office of their charity, "Bridges to Baghdad," on September seventh.
Has it occurred to anyone that the Iraq situation is exactly  what The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang wanted? Bush himself is indeed dumber than a red clay brick, but the rest of these guys are pretty smart. They love chaos. It's their chief MO. With the emergence of the pre-war intelligence estimate that an insurgency of massive proportions was a likely outcome of a US invasion, it's become impossible for me to believe that they really  thought they'd be greeted with open arms and waving flags.

Eternal war and continuing terrorism is a foundation stone in the neocon power structure. They trashed Afghanistan, then all but withdrew when they had created chaos there. When was the last time any of The Gang mentioned Osama bin Laden?

So the notion that these folks "screwed up" and "didn't anticipate" the insurgency and have "mismanaged" the war is ill-founded. They're doing just what they set out to do. Realize the fact that one function of the war machine is to cover their tracks as they relentlessly push all the other pieces of their plan.

Maybe humans need always to have an Evil Empire to contend with. One apparently went belly up in the '80s. It appears to have been replaced.

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Be at peace

Smart conservatives?

From the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), via U.S. Newswire  (and a hat-tip to Cursor/PRWatch  ), National Security Think Tanks Call for Ending Dependence on Oil -

On Monday September 27, 2004, representatives of prominent Washington think tanks and public policy organizations will release an Open Letter to Americans and an accompanying Blueprint for energy security called "Set America Free." The document spells out practical steps which can be undertaken over the next four years and beyond to dramatically improve America's energy security. Members of the group call upon America's leaders to pledge to adopt the plan, with a view to rapidly expanding fuel choice in the U.S. transportation sector beyond petroleum while exploiting currently available technologies and infrastructures. If the plan is carried out in full, U.S. oil imports would drop by as much as 50 percent.

Representatives of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), the Center for Security Policy, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, The Committee on the Present Danger, National Defense Council Foundation and others who have endorsed the plan agree that, with appropriate vision and leadership, the next President can make major strides to greatly diminish the U.S. transportation sector's consumption of oil.
Note (1) that several of these organizations are just teeming with neocons and (2) it says (emphasis mine), ". . . the next President can make major strides . . ." There's always something sinister going on with these things, but the timing is very, very interesting.

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Be at peace

Can't tell whether the sky is falling . . .

. . . but the ceiling is showing a lot of cracks:

MSNBC/ , Growing pessimism about Iraq: Situation worse than portrayed, U.S. analysts say - " ":

People at the CIA "are mad at the policy in Iraq because it's a disaster, and they're digging the hole deeper and deeper and deeper," said one former intelligence officer who maintains contact with CIA officials. "There's no obvious way to fix it. The best we can hope for is a semi-failed state hobbling along with terrorists and a succession of weak governments."
Reuters , Families of Iraq War Dead Target Bush in Ads -|top|09-29-2004::09:07|reuters.html
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Angered by President Bush's policy in Iraq, a group of military families [] whose relatives died there is targeting the president in new television ads to be aired ahead of the Nov. 2 election.

"I think the American people need to know that we have been betrayed in this rush to war," said Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey is among the more than 1,000 U.S. troops who died in the war . . .
The Guardian , FBI swamped by terror tapes: Struggling bureau has more than 120,000 hours of wire-tapped conversations awaiting analysis -,12271,1315205,00.html
More than 120,000 hours of wiretapped conversations between terrorist suspects and sympathisers since the September 11 attacks have not been translated because of the FBI's lack of linguists, according to an official report.

The report, by the justice department's inspector-general, also found that many sensitive intercepts have been wiped automatically from the memory of the FBI's outdated computers to save hard-drive storage space.

An 18-page executive summary of the report says that the FBI, criticised for its failure to track down the al-Qaida plotters before they struck three years ago, is still struggling to come to terms with its new role as a counterterrorist agency.

The report also represents a glitch for President George Bush's election campaign, which is built on the promise to keep Americans safe . . .
So, uh, once again I feel so damn safe I could just die!

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Be at peace

September 28, 2004

Struggling with the elephant

Nick Lewis of Net Politik -  and David Scott Anderson of In Search of Utopia -  have just launched The Progressive Blog Alliance. ddjangoWIrE  is proud to join them as the third member. The damn elephant is big, nasty, and out of control . . . we could use some help.

Nick's the gatekeeper. My two cents consist of this: there are lots of folks out there - bloggers, organizers, politicians, etc. - who call themselves "progressives", but who just aren't. Folks working on the "left wing" of the Democratic Party, trying to pull the Party to the left, are not necessarily progressives. Dennis Kucinich is a progressive. So are folks like Barbara Lee and John Conyers. Howard Dean is borderline, but he has potential and some progressive ideas. Ted Kennedy is not - I repeat . . . NOT - a progressive. The Clinton Clan is not progressive.

V.I. Lenin once said, "The greatest enemy of the new radical is the old liberal." If you're unclear on the terms, please look them up. "Radical" is from the Latin word for "root". True radicals in our society are those who plant and cultivate the principles of real democracy and freedom. You can explore the principles of "liberalism" here at Wikipedia -

If you are truly progressive, I hope you'll join us. If you say you're one of us, but really aren't, I think Nick'll pick that up.

Let me be clear about one last thing. I'm going to vote for Kerry. Right now, the rogue elephant on speedballs is the greatest enemy of everybody . To bring it down, I fully support a coalition of liberals, moderates, intelligent conservatives (you can look that up at Wikipedia, too), socialists, Greens, and libertarians. I only ask that you not throw terms and labels around because they're nice "buzz words." If you do, I'll get Bill Safire on your ass.

My opinions, by the way, may not reflect those of other Progressive Blog Alliance members or other progressives. So there.

If you wish to join us, you can leave a comment here - or send an email here -

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Be at peace

Truth takes many strange forms

A clip from Joe Conason's New York Observer  piece, Republican Senators Tell Unpleasant Truths -

So if you don’t want to hear a Democrat say that the situation in Iraq is deteriorating dangerously, listen to a Republican Senator instead. "The worst thing we can do is hold ourselves hostage to some grand illusion we’re winning," said Chuck Hagel, a Republican from Nebraska. "Right now, we are not winning. Things are getting worse …. The fact is, we’re in deep trouble in Iraq."

If you don’t want to hear a Democrat tell how the Bush administration botched the mission that is further from being accomplished today than a year ago, listen to another Republican Senator. "We made serious mistakes right after the initial successes by not having enough troops there on the ground, by allowing the looting, by not securing the borders," said Arizona’s John McCain, still a fervent supporter of the war. "There were a number of things that we did. Most of it can be traced back to not having sufficient numbers of troops there."

If you don’t want to hear a Democrat criticize the President and his associates for their delusional approach to Iraq, listen to a very senior Republican Senator.

"Our committee heard blindly optimistic people from the administration prior to the war and people outside the administration—what I call the ‘dancing in the street’ crowd—that we just simply will be greeted with open arms," said Richard Lugar of Indiana, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "The nonsense of all that is apparent. The lack of planning is apparent."
Looks like the Doubleduh-Cheney Gang is taking increasing heat from its own elephant. Will the elephant stumble, fall, and die because of its own disease, rather than from a bullet from the elephant gun? Stay tuned.

A tip o' the hat to XXBlog -  and The-Goddess -   for the pointer.

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Be at peace

September 27, 2004

New Valenzuela - MUST READ

He's back (finally). A clip from Of Disconnect and Fantasyland -

I returned home to Fantasyland to find that America had entered the rabbit hole into Wonderland, taking the hand of Peter Pan into the realm of Never, Never Land. Instantly fiction had replaced reality, compulsive lies now represented holier than thou truths and the last four years had been but a terrible nightmare that we had now awoken from. George W. Bush and his administration, I found out, were incapable of lies, delusions and manipulations, after all, and so what they say must be truth and reality. Thanks to Bush and the American public that continues to live in Fantasyland, the world is a safer place and America has been made stronger, a land once more safe from the bogeymen trying to destroy us because of our endangered freedoms and ever-disappearing rights that they so abhorrently hate. Our Protector in Chief has given us comfort and security, and certainly four more years of his leadership are thus warranted. Only he, after all, can defeat the Arab bogeymen. He is the new superhero, sent to protect security moms and NASCAR dads. He has been anointed by the Almighty to read “My Pet Goat” to our children while the nation burns. Only he can protect us from evil and terror, helping to make us safe once again. He is, after all, the savior, the second coming. He converses with the Almighty. He genuinely cares about the middle class, even as he eviscerates our way of life, guts social programs such as healthcare and education and only serves to further enrich the elite few. But, deep in his heart, he cares about you and me. And, lest we forget, he has the same mental capacity as forty percent of our population. He truly represents America, for he is us and we are he. If presidents are indeed microcosms of the nation, then the United States is in grave danger. If our people are as dumb as George W. Bush, I fear the end is near.

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Be at peace

Bad Religion? Selective Wrath?

If, according Pat Robotson-types and dumbsciples, HIV/AIDS is god's punishment for "godless liberal" humanity's sexual licentiousness . . .

is it not possible that Florida's pounding by four major hurricanes in less than two months is heavenly retribution for the stolen election that began this millenium?

Or is the Doubleduh-Cheney Gang enough punishment for the sins of humanity since the Fall?

(See, Billmon . . . I'm trying ; ).

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Be at peace

Billmon nails it!!

This is so right on. Thanks to Bill C. of thoughts . . .  and

American Samizdat  for the pointer to this LA Times piece (you'll need a

free subscription) by Billmon,

Blogging Sells, and Sells Out -,1,72

45002.story?coll=la-sunday-commentary. Clips:


Even as it collectively achieves celebrity status for its

anti-establishment views, blogging is already being domesticated by its success. What

began as a spontaneous eruption of populist creativity is on the verge of being absorbed

by the media-industrial complex it claims to despise.

In the process, a

charmed circle of bloggers — those glib enough and ideologically safe enough to fit

within the conventional media punditocracy — is gaining larger audiences and greater

influence. But the passion and energy that made blogging such a potent alternative to

the corporate-owned media are in danger of being lost, or driven back to the outer

fringes of the Internet.

There's ample precedent for this. America has always

had a knack for absorbing, and taming, its cultural revolutionaries. The rise and long,

sad fall of rock 'n' roll is probably the most egregious example, while the music

industry's colonization of rap is a more recent one.

When I say blogging is

headed for a kind of commercialized senility, I'm talking primarily about political

blogs — those that have, or claim to have, something to say about government, economics,

foreign policy, etc. Not surprisingly, these are the blogs most likely to show up on the

media's radar screen . . .

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Be at


September 26, 2004

Progressive Women 7: Wrapping Up

Well, at least for me, the past few days have been enlightening and mind-clearing. I had a sense when I started this little project that I would commit many mortal sins of omission, and I sure have done.

I have to admit that I am overwhelmed by the number of progressive women bloggers, writers, and leaders trying to make, and making, a difference. I have no hope of mentioning even a tiny fraction here.

Before I'm done with this post, I will mention a couple of other leaders I respect and follow.

First, another of my little stories . . .

In the 60s, I dropped out of college to "explore other interests" (yuh, rIgHT). I went back much later as an "adult" (uh, yeh, RIIIIIgHT) and completed undergraduate, then graduate, degree programs. My studies were very politically oriented and required much community practice. Most (80%?) of my teachers and advisors were women who themselves had been out on the line . . . in Guatemala, Chile, Africa, Detroit, Watts, and Washington, DC. They picked up where Bo left off.

Their most important lesson was about how to always keep asking questions and never pass up an opportunity to challenge "the Party Line".

That's enough outta me. Let me leave you with a smidgeon more:

Barbara Lee - , US Congresswoman in Oakland. She was among the very few to oppose giving The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang's support for their rush to war. some of what she had to say:

It was a blank check to the president to attack anyone involved in the Sept. 11 events -- anywhere, in any country, without regard to our nation's long-term foreign policy, economic and national security interests, and without time limit.

In granting these overly broad powers, the Congress failed its responsibility to understand the dimensions of its declaration. I could not support such a grant of war-making authority to the president; I believe it would put more innocent lives at risk.

The president has the constitutional authority to protect the nation from further attack and he has mobilized the armed forces to do just that. The Congress should have waited for the facts to be presented and then acted with fuller knowledge of the consequences of our action.

I have heard from thousands of my constituents in the wake of this vote. Many -- a majority -- have counseled restraint and caution, demanding that we ascertain the facts and ensure that violence does not beget violence. They understand the boundless consequences of proceeding hastily to war, and I thank them for their support.

Hilda Solis - , Congresswoman representing the 32nd Congressional District in California. just some of the stuff she's done:

  • Congressional briefing on women in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, March 25, 2003

  • Viewing of Señorita Extraviada by Lourdes Portillo, a documentary of on the killings of girls and women in Ciudad Juarez, July 30, 2003

  • Panel discussion on Latina Health Issues as part of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus' Dia de los Niños, April 30, 2003

  • Meetings to ensure that at least five percent of the subcontracts for the Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter are held by women owned business, May and July 2003

  • Wreath laying ceremony at the Womens' Memorial at Arlington Cemetery to honor women who have served in the military, May 22, 2003

  • Congressional briefing on Amnesty International's report, "Mexico-Intolerable Killings, Ten Years of Abductions and Murders in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuaha", September 17, 2003

  • Meetings with the FBI and State Justice Department to discuss the murders of women occurring in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, September and October 2003

  • Congressional delegation trip to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, October 11-13, 2003

  • Congressional briefing on YWCA's, "Week Without Violence", October 21, 2003

  • Congressional briefing on sexual offenses occurring against women in the military

Ani Difranco - From fierce flawless -

. . . there was light and then there was darkness but there was no line in between and asking her heart for guidance was like pleading with a machine cuz joy, it has its own justice and dreams are languid and lawless and everything bows to beauty when it is fierce and when it is flawless . . .

Just see what some women have achieved online Ultimate 100 Women. . .
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Be at peace

September 25, 2004

Progressive Women 6: Activists (cont.)

These are some women who put themselves out front, on the line . . .

/>Kathy Kelly - of

Voices in the Wilderness -  . A Nobel Peace Prize

nominee several times, she has also gone to jail for her beliefs, stepped un-armed into

harm's way, defended the most vulnerable and exploited peoples with words, actions, and

love, and inspired thousands of us to keep on. A clip from her bio:


Kathy Kelly (M.A. Theology), 51, of Chicago, IL, helped initiate Voices in

the Wilderness, a campaign to end the UN/US sanctions against Iraq. For bringing

“medicine and toys” to Iraq in open violation of the UN/US sanctions, she and other

campaign members were notified of a proposed $163,000 penalty for the organization,

threatened with 12 years in prison, and eventually fined $50,000, a sum which they’ve

refused to pay. Voices in the Wilderness organized 70 delegations to visit Iraq in the

period between 1996 and the beginning of the “Operation Shock and Awe” warfare (March

2003). Kelly has been to Iraq twenty times since January 1996, when the campaign began.

In October 2002, she joined Iraq Peace Team members in Baghdad where she and the team

maintained a presence throughout the bombardment and invasion. Kelly left Iraq on April

19, 2003 and has returned there twice, for 17 day visits with team members who’ve

remained in Baghdad. She most recently traveled to Iraq from December 21-2003 – January

8, 2004 . . .

She was recently sentenced to three months in Pekin Federal

Prison Camp for her participation in a nonviolent protest calling for closure of a

military combat training school based in Fort Benning, GA. As a pacifist and war tax

refuser, she has refused payment of all Federal income tax for 23 years . .

Simona Pari, Simona Torretta, Ra'ad Ali Abdul Azziz and Mahnoaz

are aid workers, opposed to the occupation, who were kidnapped on 7th

September from the Un Ponte Per - office in Iraq. There is more about this at Free Our Friends -  .

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) - .

On April 28, 1915, a unique group of women met in an International

Congress in The Hague, Netherlands to protest against World War I, then raging in

Europe, to suggest ways to end it and to prevent war in the future. The organizers of

the Congress were prominent women in the International Suffrage Alliance, who saw the

connection between their struggle for equal rights and the struggle for peace. WILPF's

foremothers rejected the theory that war was inevitable and defied all obstacles to

their plan to meet together in wartime. They assembled more than 1,000 women from

warring and neutral nations to work out a plan to end WWI and lay the basis for a

permanent peace. Out of this meeting the Women's International League for Peace and

Freedom was born.

WILPF's first International President was Jane Addams,

founder of Hull House in Chicago and the first U.S. woman to win the Nobel Peace


Physician, humanist, empassioned advocate for

nuclear disarmament and a true woman of peace is Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Dr. Helen


Helen Caldicott is recognized in every corner of the globe as the

most visible advocate for peace in the world. Her awards, acknowledgments and citations

fill pages - just to name a few: Peace Medal Award (United Nations Association of

Australia), which she shared with her husband, William Caldicott, who is equally

dedicated to the mission for world peace; Integrity Award (John-Roger Foundation), which

she shared with Bishop Desmond TuTu; Peace Award (American Association of University

Women); SANE Peace Award; Ghandi Peace Prize... and the list goes on.


Caldicott has written books (Nuclear Madness.- What You Can Do and Missile Envy),

developed dozens of video tapes and films, written scores of articles which have

appeared in nearly every major newspaper and magazine; spoken at major universities

throughout the world and has met with heads of state everywhere.

She founded

and headed Physicians For Social

Responsibility - and Women's Action For Nuclear Disarmament


Dolores Huerta -
As a teacher, Huerta saw first-hand

the effects of the working conditions on migrant farm workers’ families when their

children would come to school barefoot and hungry. She left teaching to work on their

behalf and in 1962 co-founded the United Farm Workers (UFW) union in California with

Cesar Chavez. Her work led to the passage of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act

(1975), the first “bill of rights” for farm workers in the United States. One of the

most respected leaders of the labor movement, she embraces nonviolent actions to fight

for change.
Granny D

- is 93 and running for the US Senate in New Hampshire. This is a clip from her speech

on 9/21/2001, Terrorism and the Four

Freedoms -
Our neighbors and children are being killed in great

numbers because Americans are not in control of the American government, and haven't

been for some time. And now we are being killed by our own airplanes, just as we were

killed in our African embassies in 1998 by our own explosives, which we gave to the

Islamic fundamentalists so that they would please kill our then enemies, the


And four months ago the current Bush administration gave $43

million to the current Taliban Regime so that it would please kill our enemies, the

heroin dealers of Afghanistan. Or was it to protect an oil pipeline? That's what we are

now learning.

Our subcontracting of death has never done us much good, with

Vietnam still the shining example, and with many other examples still bleeding in

Central and South America, Africa, and in Southeast Asia . . .
Thanks again.

More tomorrow. And thanks, Cyndy, my back actually feels a little better today. And

thank you, too, Gram Jhin, for carrying some of the weight for me today.

. .

. . . . . . . . . . . .
Be at peace


The dark thread of secret agendas and unspeakable acts that runs

like a subterranean stream through the last half-century of American history—and which

has turned into a river under this most secretive of presidential administrations—would

not have been possible without the outright cooperation of the media . . .


. . the great irony in the media's rejection of "conspiracy theory" is that the

metanarrative requires mainstream news consumers to subscribe to a far less credible

"coincidence theory."

By this theory, it is nothing more than "coincidence"

that the membership of a neoconservative think tank, whose ambitions for a global

American empire depend on public opinion being swayed by "a new Pearl Harbor," stole

their way into power and occupy key positions in the Bush regime. It is merely a

"coincidence" that unnamed persons cashed in big time in trading United and American

Airlines stocks in the week before 9/11. It's entirely "coincidental" that the FBI

supervisor who blocked the investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui's computer, containing

information about the hijacker's 9/11 plans, got a $25,000 bonus.

In the

media's metanarrative, the incontestable facts that Persian Gulf oil has been central to

American strategic planning since World War II, and that Dick Cheney's secret energy

task force generated maps of Iraq's oil fields in early 2001, have absolutely nothing to

do with the invasion of Iraq. It's just a serendipitous "coincidence."


and other theories - by Online Journal  columnist Michael Hasty.

/>. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Be at peace

River . . . flowing

From Baghdad Burning -

1527384036   . . .

I was

channel-surfing yesterday evening- trying to find something interesting to watch. I

flipped vaguely to Al-Arabia and Bush's inane smile suddenly flashed across the screen.

Now, normally, as soon as I see his face, I instantly change channels and try to find

something that doesn't make me quite as angry. This time, I stopped to watch as Allawi's

pudgy person came into view. It's always quite a scene- Bush with one of the alledged

leaders of the New Iraq.

I prepared myself for several minutes of nausea as

Bush began speaking. He irritates me like no one else can. Imagine long nails across a

chalk board, Styrofoam being rubbed in hands, shrieking babies, barking dogs, grinding

teeth, dripping faucets, honking horns – all together, all at once – and you will

imagine the impact his voice has on my ears . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .
Be at peace

September 24, 2004

Now where have I heard that before??

Thank you thank you thank you to Michael of PDP  for this post - Ya gotta see it. What's shocking is that I didn't know Zell could

actually read.

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Be at peace

Progressive Women 5: Activists

First, a history lesson . . .



"Wall, chilern, whar dar is so much racket dar must

be somethin' out o' kilter. I tink dat 'twixt de niggers of de Souf and de womin at de

Nork, all talkin''bout rights, de white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all

dis here talkin''bout?

"Dat man ober dar say dat womin needs to be helped

into carriages, and lifted ober ditches, and to hab de best place everywhar. Nobody eber

helps me into carriages, or ober mud-puddles, or gibs me any best place!" And raising

herself to her full height, and her voice to a pitch like rolling thunders, she asked

"And a'n't I a woman? Look at me! Look at me! Look at my arm! (and she bared her right

arm to the shoulder, showing her tremendous muscular power). I have ploughed, and

planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And a'n't I a woman? I could

work as much and eat as much as a man—when I could get it—and bear de lash a well! And

a'n't I a woman? I have borne thirteen chilern, and seen 'em mos' all sold off to

slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And a'n't

I a woman? [from Sojourner Truth, 1851: Account by Frances Gage, 1881 -]

Harriet Tubman -
We saw the lightning and that was the guns; and then

we heard the thunder and that was the big guns; and then we heard the rain falling and

that was the blood falling; and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that

we reaped.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton -
The strongest reason for

giving woman all the opportunities for higher education, for the full development of her

faculties, forces of mind and body; for giving her the most enlarged freedom of thought

and action; a complete emancipation from all forms of bondage, of custom, dependence,

superstition; from all the crippling influences of fear, is the solitude and personal

responsibility of her own individual life. The strongest reason why we ask for woman a

voice in the government under which she lives; in the religion she is asked to believe;

equality in social life, where she is the chief factor; a place in the trades and

professions, where she may earn her bread, is because of her birthright to

self-sovereignty; because, as an individual, she must rely on herself. No matter how

much women prefer to lean, to be protected and supported, nor how much men desire to

have them do so, they must make the voyage of life alone, and for safety in an emergency

they must know something of the laws of navigation. To guide our own craft, we must be

captain, pilot, engineer; with chart and compass to stand at the wheel; to match the

wind and waves and know when to take in the sail, and to read the signs in the firmament

over all. It matters not whether the solitary voyager is man or woman. [from Solitude of Self


Sappho -
Some an army of horsemen, some an army on

and some say a fleet of ships is the loveliest sight
on this dark earth;

but I say it is what-
ever you desire:

and it is possible to make this

perfectly clear
to all; for the woman who far surpassed all others
in her

beauty, Helen, left her husband --
the best of all men --

behind and

sailed far away to Troy; she did not spare
a single thought for her child nor for

her dear parents
but [the goddess of love] led her astray
[to desire...]

reminds me now of Anactoria
although far away, [a fragment, translated by Josephine Balmer]
Margaret Sanger -
No woman can call herself free

who does not own and control her own body . . .
No woman can call herself free

until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother . . .

/>Woman must have her freedom, the fundamental freedom of choosing whether or not she

will be a mother and how many children she will have. Regardless of what man's attitude

may be, that problem is hers -- and before it can be his, it is hers alone. She goes

through the vale of death alone, each time a babe is born. As it is the right neither of

man nor the state to coerce her into this ordeal, so it is her right to decide whether

she will endure it.
Emma Goldman -
All wars are wars among thieves who are too

cowardly to fight and who therefore induce the young manhood of the whole world to do

the fighting for them . . .
The most violent element in society is ignorance . .

Jane Addams -
I do not believe that women are better

than men. We have not wrecked railroads, nor corrupted legislature, nor done many unholy

things that men have done; but then we must remember that we have not had the chance . .

We slowly learn that life consists of processes as well as results, and that

failure may come quite as easily from ignoring the adequacy of one's method as from

selfish or ignoble aims. We are thus brought to a conception of Democracy not merely as

a sentiment which desires the well-being of all [people], nor yet as a creed which

believes in the essential dignity and equality of all [people], but as that which

affords a rule for living as well as a test of faith.
Thanks, folks. More


. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Be at peace

September 23, 2004


Folks - please forgive me. This progressive women series is important to me

and I really wanted to post today. But I've been having a major problem with my back

this week (from carrying the weight of the world ...). I'm in a lot of pain and will

have to take the day off from serious posting.

I do want to say that the only

thing more discouraging than the Senate's 70 - 17 ass kissing of Porter Goss is the near

silence of the progressive voices. We just hired the Son of Beria and all we can do is

watch John Kerry's mouth move. Shit!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

at peace