Sunday, July 23, 2006

Yesterday's News

NPR news is my "other" source after the web. There's no Tv in the dojo. So it's anoying when the reasonably centerist, public news source goes Fox.

Mangling an old quote: The only true facts in the Newspaper are the box scores on the Sports page, everything else is opinion.

Scott Simon NPR News

Mr Simon,

I'm a longtime listener to NPR (member of KCRW, WSHU, WLIU...) and a fan of yours. Some of the wack little things you throw in crack me up and your handling of sensitive, tragic events preserves the victims' dignity and has moved me to tears.

That's why I was so peeved when you had Frederick Kagan on this morning.

Kagen is the frontman (at least in this interview) for the gang of thugs that have hijacked our government and engaged US in not one, not two, but four wars (and counting), Afghanistan, Iraq, Paraguay/Andes and now Lebanon/Syria/Iran. He was identified as a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, which, technically, he is. But he (along with his brother, Robert) is also one of the promulgators of the PNAC and if memory serves me, the Netanyahu paper: A Clean Break.

These two documents and a raft of others, some public and some not available to the public, argue for and outline the disastrous path America and Israel have been put on since Bush/Cheney siezed the WhiteHouse and Sharon took the Knesset.

The Kagens, along with Wolfowitz, Perle, the Wormsers, Gaffney, Feith, Woolsey (and the list goes on, find it at AEI) and most importantly, Cheney, Libby, Addisson, Bolton, Gonzales and Yoo, are responsible for the arrogance, the cooked Intel, the full court press for war that took us totally the wrong direction after 9/11. Following the trajectory they have US on, they have made US a rogue state. And one that is creating more "Failed States" that are the breeding grounds for terrrrrrrsm. Their "Plan", particularly in SouthWest Asia is energizing a massive hatred for US, not for "Our Freedoms" but because of our actions.

They were wrong.

Way wrong.

And lots of people have died and are dying as a result.

Their beligerant "philosophy" has created War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, it has shredded our Constitution and torn up the Geneva Conventions. They lie to Congress, they lie to the People and what they don't lie about, they try to keep secret. In the eyes of many, they should stand trial.

And yet, here is Kagen on NPR, spouting the Party line, cheerleading the illegal invasion of Lebanon, ducking your one tough question (which I noticed you didn't follow up).

This man is a criminal, his gang are raising Hell in the world in our name (all those Jets and Helicopters, Rockets and Bulldozers are Made in America and everyone in SouthWest Asia knows this).

His insinuation that we should back Israel all the way to Tehran is one of the worst possible stands in this situation. (could be worse: Just nuke Iran 'til it's a glass parking lot)

While I don't believe that every story must be "balanced" with an opposing viewpoint, there was no indication in your segment that this thug was not just wrong but criminaly so. All people heard was that he is a "scholar" at a "respectable" think-tank. It gave tacit endorsement to him and his spew that most of America rejects, that ALL of America would reject if it wasn't so slickly packaged and sold to US by people we respect and rely on for the truth.

Granted that NPR has for a long time had a clear pro-Israel bias, Linda Gradstein is infuriating in her slant, but this is worse than just ignoring the human-ness of Arabs, Kagen and his gang are actively engaged in subjugating the Arab world by force and you gave him a platform to shout from.

Please, Scott, you are a man of Peace, don't let bloody warmongers use you.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

American Ideal

In the GOP style
Just say, for the sake of argument, that the GOP controlled all three branches of government and could re-invent America to their specifications, what would that look like?
Women, er, girls, back to the kitchen! The Workplace is just too dangerous and complicated for you. And you can forget that Planned Parenthood ever existed.
Since nearly everyone with a Spanish surname was rounded up and deported (even the ones born here, 'cause their parents were probably illegal and they don't talk English too good) It's been hard to find cheap labor so everything is outsourced, We export Jobs and Dollars and Import everything else.
Medicare and Social Security got too expensive since SDSI, Corporate, Capital Gains & Estate Taxes were eliminated and Income tax was capped at $1 million, but axing them was out so the age of eligibility was raised to 80.
The combination of drastic tax cuts and the Conquest of SouthWest Asia had depleted our Treasury to the point that most of the functions of Government were disassembled. Most folks don't even remember FEMA. Or the EPA or the USDA or the NLRB...
But Homeland Security and the Military are well stocked! In fact, that's where you could get a job. In the NEW National Guard. These aren't your old-school weekend warriors and sandbag fillers, nope. These are crack troops, trained in urban counter-insurgency, that patrol all our major cities and towns. When local police forces balked at implementing provisions of the Patriot lV Act, particularly the forced collection of DNA from everyone in the country and the installation of surveillance gear giving universal coverage in any space, public and "private", they were stripped of their firearms and relegated to foot patrols and traffic direction and the NG stepped in. Now the NG presence is felt everywhere, they are the guys (and they are almost all white guys) on the streetcorner with assault rifles and flak jackets. There are 6 million of them nationwide, almost 2% of the population.
Did I mention the state of constant war that we are engaged in? Even before we had seized half of the Middle East, we had engaged in South America, a campaign to undo Chavez's Bolivarian Revolution. Several little wars got hot and we are in the process of securing that region as well. Keeping out the flood of deportees and the deluge of new refugees required building a "militarized" border, a wall that made the Israeli wall look puny and the Berlin wall look understaffed. All of this takes troops. Since a draft was about as likely as ending Social Security, a backdoor draft ensured that we had enough bodies to stand 10 million men at arms.
By backdoor draft I mean the "War on Drugs".
Judges were given instruction to dispense stiff sentences with a join-the-army option, for even the most minor possession. Some recruiters, pressured to perform, set kids up that they weren't able to convince otherwise. This has kept the Military supplied with new recruits, many of them minorities. Typical "drug enlistment" was six years plus reserves and from time to time, stop-loss orders kept some of these guys in for 15.
That is, if they survived. Occupying a dozen countries from fortified positions, under constant siege, outnumbered 100:1, relying on armor and intimidation to get through, this was tough duty. The actual number of casualties we sustained was classified but it was in the hundreds per month.
Of course, none of that is ever mentioned on the Tv News. At first, after the takeover, Media was just all happy-talk, titillation and fearmongering "Reality" Shows, but soon, the Decency in Media Act made sure everyone's shirt was buttoned right up and everyones' roles were biblically Correct. Between the DiM Act and the privatization of the Internet into subscriber-only commercially censored fiefdoms, the collapse of Print Media and the sell-off of the USPostal Service, it was nearly impossible to find out what was happening in the world, or to find others who believe anything other than the Party Line.
But some things fell so badly apart that they couldn't be swept under the rug, like the MadCow outbreak in the Chicago area or the Jet collision at Dulles that killed several Senators and several hundred others in the Air and on the ground. Each disaster was proof that the Terrrrrrrsts were still active among US and demonstrated the need for increased vigilance.
And patience with the astronomical cost of gas.
If you could get it, Gas was over $10/gallon! If you could get any. For months at a time, Non-essential vehicles could not fuel up. Deciding what was essential was a process of pleading and pulling strings that most people had no leverage to pull.
Advancing militarily from Mesopotamia into Persia had united the world against US. Even England refused to sell US any Oil during the WorldWide Embargo. Our Economy took a huge hit, but so did the rest of the world's, they realized that if the Giant fell down, everyone would be squashed, so the Embargo didn't hold, but Oil was no longer traded in Dollars and traders held out for exorbitant prices for their crude. Supplies became erratic, causing ripples that kept US just off balance, but not a Tidal wave that would take US down.
Not since the great depression has this country had such scenes of poverty and destitution. People were literally starving to death in American Cities, Businesses collapsed and Unemployment went through the roof (though the Military and HSA soaked up some).

(to be continued)

(this is an unfinished piece, I could spend another day on it, but things are happening too fast)

Friday, July 07, 2006

An open letter to Barbara Boxer

Sen. Barbara Boxer,

First let me thank you for your principled stands on so many issues, I cant even keep track. Several times we've looked up to see the lone voice in the chamber is our Barbara. I lived in LA and worked for your first election to the Senate when you came and joined forces with APLA and you haven't let me down. That's more than I can say about any other politician I've ever voted for.

But I moved. I'm a CT voter now and I ask you, please before you embarrass yourself backing Joe Lie berman, meet Ned Lamont and talk with him, dig in and see if you can trust him, can work with him. I know you will be pleasantly surprised.

Hapless Joe no longer represents CT Democrats, he's become a Beltway animal, completely out of touch with his constituency and his party. He has been the FigLeaf of "Bi-partisanship" that has greased the way for Bush/Cheney's agenda. His votes have benefited the Bush Thugs and their cronys in the Corporate Boardrooms (the ones that pay his way, we guess) and hurt his constituents.

He is one of the reasons that the Democratic Party is considered rudderless, every time anyone tries to steer us back on course, Joe throws the tiller overboard. There is no party without at least some party discipline.

Now, he's decided that his seat is too important (to him) to work within the Party system, that is, he basically quit the Party. Good Riddance.

Please rethink your support for Hapless Joe, meet with Ned Lamont while you are in Connecticut.