2006 - January thru September
To October thru December, 2006 archive
Sat, Sep 30
So - it seems top Republican Congressmen also lie about having sex with interns - er, pages. I ask you - what is worse - exploiting a person over 21 - legally impossible - or a boy of 16? Seems the top Republican leaders of the House of Representatives have known for almost a year of Rep. Foley's exploiting young boys - pages - and they covered it up. Now they are lying. They are changing their stories by the hour - and saying they did not know - or did know some or did or did not tell another Republican leader.
Ahhh - but our Republican friends have spent 10 years ranting about Bill Clinton having an affair with a woman over 21 - and lying about it. But their wrath is purely political - as again shown by yesterday's developments. Foley was one of those ranting about Clinton - even as Foley pursued young boys. And this guy was allowed to chair the committee responsible for stopping the exploitation of children - and while he chaired it for this past year the leaders of the Republican Congress knew he was pursuing boys.
Ahh - but that Bill Clinton. The Republicans tried for four years to impeach him for a sex affair with a grown woman - and at the same time harassed him for trying to get Osama bin Laden. But now - we are not talking about one congressman named Foley - we are talking about the top several leaders of the Republican House of Representatives. Cover up and lying. Don't expect any Republican outrage - just expect explanations and more cover up. Fox News to the rescue.
Thur, Sep 28
The "Terrorist Detainee" bill passed the US House of Representatives by 253 to 168 vote yesterday. Aka the Military Commissions Act of 2006. House Resolution 6166, passed on Roll Call 491 of the second session of the 109th Congress. It went to the US Senate yesterday, which is expected to pass it today. George W. Bush wants this bill very much and will sign it quickly.
In plain English, this bill authorizes torture. One way a society commits atrocities is to rename or redefine them. Thus we Americans now will "legally" do what Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia legally did. So much for our supposed respect for the rule of law. The Bill of Rights is now being trashed. Representative Rick Larsen voted against the passage of this torture bill.
Molly Ivins has a commentary - Habeas Corpus, R.I.P. (1215 - 2006)
Wednesday, Sep 20
For the record, the library administration reacted to the post below by shifting the argument from branches to drive times and looking to give us crumbs from the main library bond issue in the form of a couple drop points. Look for info on the Library website soon. I will post a link when they post the info. Let the discussion begin.
Gentle reader, you do need to know that one of the 'on the record' reasons for the new library location to be near the civic center is to include a parking garage in the bond issue. This may explain why Edelstein suddenly brought back the civic center location for consideration at yesterday's meeting. This may reflect the desire of mayor-to-be Tim Douglas. Tim will be resigning from the board in October to take office as mayor on Nov 1.
Many questions. Instead of discussion and debate, we need facts. We need a serious cost-benefit analysis of building branches vs building a new bigger main library. It should include the gas and parking facilities needed to use each type of facility. And that may well tip the scales to branches. And that may well be why they do not want to do the study.
Monday, Sep 18
The Bellingham Library Board of Trustees will meet Tue, Sep 19 at 2:30 pm in the basement meeting room of the downtown library - the room across the hall from the Children's Library. The public is welcome - but being scheduled in the middle of a business day they are guaranteed that few ever attend.
A PDF file of this library article is posted for your convenience and easy printing. If you agree with this proposal, then please feel free to send to others or encourage printing anywhere. And contact city council reps and library board trustees. Don't take their dismissive comments. Insist on a real study.
We need branch libraries - not a new main library.
This coming Tuesday, our Bellingham Library Board of Trustees may make a decision on where to locate a new, huge, downtown library building. The plan is to ask voters to pass a bond issue of several tens of millions of dollars next spring to build this. I think there is a better solution to our library needs.
Lets start at the beginning. When an organization - our city - makes a capital decision involving tens of millions of dollars and a commitment to an infrastructure that will serve for 20 or more years, then we should first look at all viable options. The Trustees of the Bellingham Library have refused to consider the option of several branch libraries. I have talked to them and have followed this process for years - and I have urged them to investigate branches and keep the current library building downtown. They have refused and have told me that they have been told by the city administration that branch libraries are not to be discussed and that Bellingham is not big enough to have branches. Each time a citizen brings this up at a meeting, the board dismisses the idea as too expensive and not realistic. But no actual objective study has ever been done.
Now - I have some experience here. Just a few of us started the Friends of the Fairhaven Library in October 1992 when then Mayor Tim Douglas - and now Library Board Chair - decided to close the Fairhaven branch library for cost saving reasons. We did our own research and found the city numbers were skewed and false - and rather than risk our publishing those numbers, the city reversed itself and kept the library open. Over the next 10 years, the city tried at least three more times to close our branch. Our organization - and the Fairhaven community - stopped them each time. We owe much to then city council representative Bruce Ayers for keeping this branch library open.
Over these years, I have looked further into branch libraries and the future of libraries. The future is with computer access for library searches for books and the delivery to a branch library of the desired book - and the return of the book to the branch. Computer access can be from a terminal at the branch library or from our homes - and that is already a full reality. If you use the library then you know that what you look at from home is exactly what you see from a terminal at the library. You can even view the cover as a if you were browsing the shelf. There are no longer card catalogs at any libraries.
Try it yourself at http://www.bellinghampubliclibrary.org/ and click on the "Library Catalog" link in the top left corner. Then click on the upper link to the "Library Catalog - full images ..." and then click on the "Keywords" - centered on the blue stripe - and type in Sailing as a keyword. Whala. Now, you can select a book and have it delivered to the Fairhaven Library where you can pick it up the next day - without having to waste gas driving downtown, finding a parking spot and paying for it and then driving home. Notice you can even see the book covers. More and more people are doing this every month - and Bellingham Library statistics show this. They know change is on the way.
The Fairhaven branch serves five neighborhoods - South Hill, Happy Valley, South, Edgemoor and Fairhaven - plus many people from the Samish neighborhood across I-5. Indeed, the Friends of the Fairhaven Library draw support, members and officers from all six neighborhoods. The children of south Bellingham are so lucky to have their library and all the programs it has for them. They can pick up requested books and return them - even though the books came from the downtown main library or even from the county library. Very convenient - very fuel efficient - time saving - environmentally wise.
We need branch libraries in the following sections of town. Note these are not exact, but are best near middle or high schools - where parents and kids travel. Neighborhood involvement would provide the best exact locations.
Whatcom Falls Park area - about as far as Fairhaven from the main library. This would serve the neighborhoods of Silver Beach, Whatcom Falls, Alabama Hill plus many from the Puget and Roosevelt and Mt. Baker neighborhoods and the Urban Growth Area of Geneva and north of Lake Whatcom.
Birchwood - almost as far away as Fairhaven. This would also serve the Meridian neighborhoods to an extent and the large Urban Growth Area around the airport.
Branches at these two locations would provide huge relief to the crowding at the main library downtown. Additional locations will become viable and cost effective in future years - especially north of I-5 in the fast growing Meridian area, Yew Street, and the Squalicum growth area. Experience will be our guide for new branches.
Our Fairhaven branch has three meeting rooms of small, medium and large sizes. Any groups can reserve the rooms and dancing and music events regularly take place in the large third story room. We only wish other neighborhoods had the fine facility we have on the Southside. Oh - and it is cost effective in comparison with the main library for services. Regardless of the dismissive comments from the trustees.
Now to address those two issues or reasons given for needing a new huge main library downtown.
They say they have too many books and cannot display them. Well, yes, the administrators have given me tours over the years of the basement and the many books down there. But the very real world rule of 80-20 applies here - those books are hardly ever requested and this is mainly because they are so old. Or so narrow in scope. 80 percent of requests are for 20 % of the books - and those are the only ones needed for display on open shelves for browsing. They are not a reason to spend tens of millions of dollars just to store them.
Instead what we need is an inexpensive warehouse located in an inexpensive industrial zone that can house all the books and materials not needed for display. When books are requested that are in the warehouse, then courier trucks can bring the books directly to the library of choice of the patron - main, Fairhaven, or other. If on any given day, 100 people request 200 books that are in the warehouse, then one truck can deliver them close to where these people live - instead of 100 car trips to downtown with all the gas usage, traffic on streets, parking problems and over crowding of the main library.
Think about it - banks use branches for customer convenience. Grocery stores are all over town. The library provides a service and it should locate facilities where the people are.
Second, Bellingham Library should merge with the Whatcom Library System. The two libraries now share many services - the online catalog is common and they loan books back and forth. One administration would save tax dollars. The time is long past when this should have been done and the improvement of service will be considerable. Our current Bellingham library director, Pam Kiesner, came here from my home town of Green Bay where she oversaw a combined city and county library system. She is well experienced to provide us with the same service.
These three things - branch libraries, an inexpensive warehouse for old and little used materials, and merging with the county system - will provide the path to efficiency and better service for all in Bellingham and the county. This option should be seriously evaluated in an open process by the Bellingham Library Board of Trustees. Instead of spending 20 or 40 or more millions of dollars on a new library and parking facilities, we will probably learn that for half that amount we can build branches and a warehouse and be providing better service to everyone - and doing that more cost effectively every year.
A little story is in order here. In 1994, the Bellingham Library spent tens of thousands of dollars on a dialup process for accessing the catalog. It involved 500 disks for 500 patrons only and was very confusing to use. As it was being planned, I protested that this was folly and the library should spend that money to go on the Internet. I was actually asked by city administrators what the Internet was. Finally I brought together three other computer consultants and we met with the library director and mayor Tim's assistant. We four tried to explain to them the advantages of going on the Internet and the waste of setting up their little program. They thanked us and went ahead with their program. I am willing to bet that not one reader in 100 of this story ever knew of that program. It was a total flop. We citizens do have a right and need to provide guidance to our city administrators. And they would do better by listening to us occasionally.
Internet computer access is becoming more awesome each year - and we will soon be able to 'browse' a shelf of books, including those checked out and not on the real shelf. We will even be able to read the title pages and abstracts. Of course we can still visit our branch or main library and browse the shelves and flip through books - a most enjoyable endeavor. With Internet research, the need for a huge reference library is diminishing fast. There is no reason for a monolithic library any more than there is for a huge train station. The Internet is supplementing the one and the airplane almost replaced the trains.
Indeed the joy of our Fairhaven branch library is we can conveniently drop in and read, browse or pick up a reserved book. The branch especially serves school age kids and retirees for reading. Back in 1992, my son was 7 years old and I fought to keep our neighborhood library open for him and his friends and other school kids. Today, all residents should insist that our city evaluate this viable option before committing to a single huge monument of a library downtown that will not provide service to our growing community and will soon be as outdated as the foolish dialup system of 1994.
I hope other citizens will speak out to our library board and our city council and request a serious, fair, objective and professional evaluation of what will serve us best in the future. Even if it costs a couple hundred thousand, it may save us 20 million. Branch libraries will take pressure off the main library, will serve residents better, and will cost less.
- John Servais
Saturday, Sep 16
Bush wants to continue torturing captives. Good God, is our country mad? Why are we even discussing this? The Nazis and Soviet Russia tortured people to get information - not the USA. Now here is Bush demanding the authority to torture. What has happened to our American values? As some of my conservative friends say, we should not hamstring ourselves and deny ourselves the use of the tools needed to win. How truly warped and dark are such souls.
Make no mistake - that is the point of Bush's legislation. He wants a list of specific torture techniques that the CIA will not be allowed to use. Gentle reader, we can make a list of 200 techniques and that still leaves thousands of other imaginative ways to torture. And Bush knows that. Water boarding is out? Ok, we just push their heads under water. Use of biting dogs is out? Ok, we will use snakes. Or spiders. Or - you name it. Can no longer push their noses into s---? Ok, push their noses into ______. Gawd.
You see, Bush says the Geneva Conventions are too "vague" when they say no torture. He wants loopholes so we can beat prisoners. A lot of them have died while in our custody. What a country. Good thing we are the good guys - fighting a defensive war on the other side of the world.
We tip our hat to the three Republican US Senators who have stopped the torture approval legislation - Senators McCain, Graham and Warner of Arizona, South Carolina and Virginia. May they prevail against Bush.
Friday, Sep 15
Anti War demonstration next Tuesday in New York will probably be big. Bush will be speaking at the UN on that day to further his Iraq war. Demonstrators are being denied permits - and we can expect a big show from both sides. Expect the Feds and NYPD to provoke a violent reaction from at least a few demonstrators which will give them their lame excuse to bash heads of the many. Much like Seattle in '99 - and Chicago in '68.
Tuesday, Sep 12
Tim Douglas - the longest serving mayor in Bellingham's history - will now serve another year. This also sets up a perfect scenario for Dan McShane's run for mayor as there will be no incumbent. Asmundson is the person who lost in the vote. While true that Knutson did not work with Mark for his election as interim mayor, Mark did work to have Knutson elected. Everything the players of this process did had 2007 in mind and the election of the next mayor. Asmundson does not favor McShane. We now have a wide open campaign process in motion for November 2007. Let the games begin.
Monday, Sep 11
What NWCitizen posted on Sep 11, 2001 seems to have stood the test of time. The cautions and concerns about democracy and hate were relevant considering the hate mongering and mindless striking out at imaginary enemies by the Bush administration since then. And the steady destruction of the liberties we need for democracy and freedom.
Bellingham Mayor. Unless you read this morning's Bham Herald very closely, you may not know that this evening's very important city council meeting will be at the Municipal Court at 2014 C Street and not city hall. On the Agenda is possible selection of our interim mayor for the next year. No public speaking time is scheduled, so if you want to speak then do it during the general 15 minute comment period at the beginning of the session.
John Watts will probably be voted in as mayor according to the best information I have been able to gather. While he is no one's first choice, he is a majority's second choice. Gene Knutson has not gotten the needed four votes. Most council members strongly want a person who will not run for the office in November 2007. Tim Douglas was seriously considered. Only those three were considered seriously by most council members.
The council wants to do this quickly - partially because Barbara Ryan is leaving Tuesday for a three week vacation. That would have reduced the discussion to just four council members who do not agree with each other. Watch for Barbara to vote for John.
If this scenario plays out - and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle applies here - then this sets up a perfect setting for Dan McShane's run for mayor next year. He will not face an incumbent and he can start campaigning almost immediately without any penalty for speaking out so early. We will all be looking for our next mayor. Possible other strong contenders are Bill Gorman and Dave Hovde.
Friday, Sep 8
Voting recommendations for the Primary Election. Mail your ballot before Tuesday, Sep 19 (or by 5 pm that day if you want to take a chance).
Mary Kay Becker - re-elect her as a judge to the Appeals Court. Her opponent, Teichert, is basically a right wing, extreme property rights pawn who is bought and paid for by the developers. He has never been a judge. Mary Kay has provided fair and knowledgeable service and is respected by virtually all the state judges. This position will be elected in the Primary Election, so be sure and vote.
For State Supreme Court, we want to re-elect chief justice Gerry Alexander over John Groen. Alexander has served well and more importantly, Groen has never been a judge and is another extreme right winger paid for by the big development interests. This position will also be elected in the Primary Election.
Vote for re-election of the other two Supreme Court justices, Tom Chambers and Susan Owens. Both are good judges and again, their opponents, Stephen Johnson and Jeanette Burrage, are far right zealots who are not really qualified to even be judges at the County level. Johnson has never been a judge and is well known in the state legislature as an extremist on the religious right. Burrage has horrible ratings from attorneys and other judges. Chambers position will be decided in the Primary Election, while Owens may go to the General if she does not win a majority.
If conservatives want to win seats on our higher courts then they should put forward qualified candidates who have served as judges, have decent peer reviews from practicing attorneys and have some independence. That will only happen after the Republican party breaks away from the control of the hell and damnation fundamentalist religious right and of narrow interest big money PACs.
Regarding the partisan offices - I'm not even voting in this charade of an election process. The Republicans and Democrats have rigged this so badly that I will vote for my representatives only in the General Election in November. Besides, the results are a dead lock already because the two parties work together. Your vote here is useless. Save it for November. The parties just want to use us for a polling process (at taxpayer expense) to assess their chances in November and decide how much money to throw at their candidates. But do vote for the judges.
Sunday, Sep 3
Who wants to be mayor and what political gaming is being played to best position a candidate for the big election in the fall of 2007? I will be doing my best to sort this out for you over the next few weeks.
Gene Knutson, openly declared, supposedly backed by outgoing mayor Mark, is the favored candidate at this time for the one year appointment by the council. But - local political junkies have known all summer that the mayor favors Kelli Linville to replace him next year and that if she would not run then he was going for a fourth term. He has confirmed his considering another run - until this job offer that he accepted. But Kelli is running now, in 2006, for state legislature and is denying she will run for mayor next year. Most of us do not believe her. She has to say that in order to get elected this fall.
I hear reliably that Bill Gorman plans to run for mayor. Bill has many years of civic involvement - much of it in a quiet manner - and with the local Democratic Party. He is well qualified and a fair person. Expect to see him apply to the council.
Dan McShane wants to be mayor. His wife and brain trust, Lisa, spearheaded the clean bay initiative to set him in opposition to the mayor on the waterfront cleanup and be well positioned to run next year. Ahh, but the mayor's resignation upset that time table and may force Dan to announce a year early.
Now - Mark is nothing if not a complete planner and he loves power. So, while Gene may be playing it straight, don't think for a second that Mark is leaving the choice of his successor to chance. Perhaps he is backing Gene so Kelli will face Gene and not Dan next fall, with the expectation that Kelli can beat Gene but maybe not Dan. A Kelli - Dan race would split the Democrats for this non-partisan office.
So - do we have two liberal camps in opposition to each other for the next year? What is the bone they are fighting over? Is the bone the waterfront? Or the livability of our city neighborhoods - which many think has suffered under Mark? Or taxes and how to pay for some grandiose schemes? Will the council choose an ex-mayor for an interim mayor with the assurance he will not run next fall? I hear the council wants an interim mayor only.
I've not heard of a single viable conservative candidate. Have you?
Wednesday, Aug 30
Some clarification is needed here. Gene Knutson is not knowingly part of any arrangement by Mark to succeed him as mayor. Below in yesterday's post I suggested just that but today I've been convinced that Gene is personally on the up and up and that he only learned yesterday for the first time that Mark was going for the new job. In all his years on the council, Gene has tried to be a straight up and honest representative. My apologies to Gene.
Now, that said, let us be careful to not apply that to all the process of replacing Mark. The process of his application by the new job leaves several questions. Did no one in the city know when he applied in July? Is Mark actively working the council members for his personal selection as his successor? And the big point - this quitting of an elective office a year before retirement is an old and corrupting procedure used to stifle the emergence of opposition candidates.
Tuesday, Aug 29
Bellingham Mayor Mark Asmundson submitted his resignation today, effective Nov 1. My my. He continues an old corrupt practice of Whatcom County - resigning a year before his last term is up - at election time - so his carefully hand picked successor can be appointed, serve a year, and then run as the incumbent. Incumbents have a 90% better chance of being reelected than non-incumbents have of being elected.
The Port of Bellingham did this successfully for over 60 years. Until I upset their party in 1990 with the KAP scandal. Our county judges pulled this off with incredible timing and innocent faces just a year ago. Mark has one year left on his third term - and this is the exact time for this sweet dirty move. Who will be his successor? Ahh - that is the charade that has to play out next. Inside rumor has it that GK is the arranged for winner. He wants it. Who ever it is, Mark has arranged it and has his tat for tit agreed on. You can bet your bippy.
Sunday, Aug 27
Are we being conditioned to hate Iran? Yes. Is there truth in what we are being told by our corporate media and the Bush administration? No. Want an example of a lie and some truths that you are not being told? Then read Juan Cole's blog post of today. He is worth reading every day and a link to his site is posted in the right column near the top.
We can probably bet our bippies that there will be some sort of 'October surprise' - maybe a terrorism incident - which will have Bush yelling for a Republican Congress so he can go after Iran. Karl Rove, Bush's political advisor, never loses sight of what is most important - and right now that is a Republican controlled Congress for the next two years. August has gone quietly with Democratic Party candidates making strong showings against Republican incumbents.
I think Rove, being a guy who does not like to peak too early, is planning a series of 'events' that will happen during September and October. Hate for Iran by common Americans will either be needed or be good to have in reserve. A couple months ago we all wondered which country would be the next victim of US destruction and possible conquest - Syria, North Korea or Iran. It has become clear that Iran is the choice. Bush likes violence and war as a normal method of operating and the increasing Iran hating news is the tip off of coming events. Time will tell.
Thursday, Aug 24
What might be the biggest political issue of the next two years is - voting. Fair voting. Instant Runoff voting. The elimination of the crooked Diebold electronic voting machines and bringing in the use of open source honest machines. And it is not just Diebold that has crooked machines. Others do also and they need to be thrown out.
Check out the new website link at the top of this page - to Fair Voting. If we value democracy - if we actually each value it - then we will each of us spend some time, money and energy to help change our present dysfunctional voting system into one that helps us to actually elect the people we want to run our governments and represent us.
Let us change spoiler candidates into positive choices without negative results. Let us not waste our votes on candidates we know cannot win but who most closely represent our values. Let us allow a new candidate have a chance without risking letting some scroundrel into office because we wasted our vote. Let us diminish the role that money and incumbency plays in each election. Hmmm - lets improve on the process for making democracy work.
Instant Runoff Voting is on the ballot in Tacoma. North Carolina just voted it in and it will be used statewide. It is not weird - it make real sense. Whether conservative or liberal, it works. The only ones who do not like it are the two big political parties and the big money interests. Dah. Check it out. Learn how it works. Tell others about it. And be ready to support it when the time comes.
Tuesday, Aug 22
Is criticism of Israel also implied criticism of Jews? Especially American Jews? Does this show a prejudice against Jewish persons? Racism? Anti-Semite feelings?
Of course I say no, but then the knowing smiles greet me. It has been suggested to me in a recent email that Mel Gibson at least apologized and I have not. My my. So, shall we equate disgust with the Irish Republican Army with a prejudice against Americans with some Irish blood? How about blaming American blacks for the atrocities in the Congo? Or Catholics for some of the more absurd pronouncements of the Pope or some Bishops? Or Chinese Americans for what China does in Tibet? Or Cuban Americans for what Fidel does?
Well, we did round up all Japanese Americans in 1942 and put them into concentration camps. How absolutely dumb - and we now realize it. To go to war with Japan should not have caused us to turn on Americans of Japanese descent.
I am quite critical of the Israeli war tactics. This has nothing to do with Jews in America - and actually not Jews in other countries. Now, when Jews contribute to Israel and support Israeli war practices then I will disagree with them and happily argue the issues. But be prejudiced against them? No. They are not the Israeli government.
And I certainly wish that those in other countries would not blame me for the actions of Bush and our USA these past few years. I am embarrassed as an American.
Let us keep things in perspective and separate in our minds. It is the dumb ones with little intelligence who get separate items all mixed up and lumped into 2 or 3 categories. Let us not be frozen in fear of being labeled a racist or unpatriotic or immoral for speaking out when the facts seem to support a opinion that is contrary from what is popular or conventional.
Saturday, Aug 19
Today, Israel broke the UN cease fire agreement with a helicopter raid into northern Lebanon - along with fighter jets bombing the area. Why mention this? Because it fits the pattern over the many years. If Hezbolah retaliates, then the corporate media will scream 'terrorism'. Right now the Lebanonese are left alone to protest. Israel practices provocation on a calculated scale as a matter of policy. It then plays the victim when attacked back. I repeat - Israel broke the cease fire it agreed to - and the criticism is muted.
Ariel Sharon inspired the creation of Hezbolah in 1982 with his full invasion of Lebanon. Since then they have existed to defend Lebanon - and are not a terrorism group. They stay in Lebanon and resist Israeli invasions - successfully. They did this again today with the raid. We should be respectful - not supportive - of Hezbolah as they are a group that came into being for good reasons. And they respect the laws of warfare and international law better than does Israel. We Americans need to be open minded to the facts if we want to stop our blind rush down the road to perdition under Bush. And next to our invasion of Iraq, our blind support of every Israeli military strike is leading us down this road.
Monday, Aug 14
You can see a new link at the top of this page - to the writing of Joel Connelly, a Seattle PI columnist. His column normally appears each Mon, Wed and Friday. He should be helpful to us progressives and liberals as we approach this fall's voting season. And he is a very good writer so it is always entertaining to read him.
As the November election approaches, some of us will go through angst over Senator Cantwell's record on the Iraq war. Our options are zill. Zilch. McGavick may be a good person and, in other years, may make a good Senator. But McGavick will ensure Bush a Republican majority in the Senate and the war insanity will continue. During the next three months, we all will be talking with other citizens and we need to keep our sanity. How do we discuss issues and candidates and not shoot ourselves in the foot come election day? How do we convince our neutral friends to vote for Cantwell without demonizing McGavick? Joel will be a help to us.
Joel grew up in Bellingham and wrote for the Northwest Passage 'underground' paper back about 1970. He moved on to the PI and for several years was their reporter in Washington DC. He now writes about Northwest politics. I don't always agree with him, but he is probably the most informed and reliable political columnist in the state.
Thursday, Aug 10
Fair voting in this country is a myth. A fraud, more exactly. How did Bush get elected a second time? We may learn 20 or 40 years from now that it was the Diebold electronic voting machines that were 'tweaked' for final election results in Ohio and New Mexico. And maybe other places. The president of Diebold is on record as saying he would do everything he could do to 'elect' Bush president and a supporting Congress. Republicans have scoffed at us Liberals as being concerned about that.
Turns out that it is very easy and quick to change the vote tallies in a Diebold machine - and can be done by a supposed 'voter' behind the curtain in the booth in a minute or two. Thus, with a flash drive, Karl Rove's troops can program their flash drives with credible numbers for a precinct in their car via a laptop, go into 'vote' and instead download the desired totals. This can be done in many places and smoothly change the outcome of an election.
Watch the video by Marty Kaplan on how to hack a Diebold TS voting machine. For the full Alice in Wonderland effect, maybe the Feds will arrest Marty for conspiring to commit fraud. And the Huffington Post for informing Americans about one of many illegal schemes used by Bush & gang to steal elections. Like they are seeking the whistle blowers who told us about the unconstitutional spying on all of us.
Tuesday, Aug 8
Lieberman lost. This is very good news for America. Hope that perhaps we Americans will overwhelm the forces of war in this country.
If you are a geek, this might be interesting. Joe L blamed his opponent for hacking his website and bringing it down on election eve. What appears to have actually happened is Joe has a very crummy webmaster who bought a cheap web service in Texas that had 73 other websites on the same computer - and Joe's website crashed from citizens trying to visit his site and learn more about his positions on issues. Joe seems to have quite the victim complex. I've posted a couple screen dumps to back up these claims.
Sunday, Aug 6
In case you didn't know - given US media skewed news - the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers on July 12 took place inside Lebanon - not Israel. The Israeli army routinely has violated the peace agreement by sending patrols into Lebanon - and that is where the Hezbolah captured them. Not, as Israel and the US media told us in Israel. Still trying to learn if it was in the Sheba Farms which Israel never left.
So - this is more and more of a setup war by Israel and the US to invade and destroy Lebanon. Three years from now our US Representative Rick Larsen will say he had no idea and that no one would have suspected this. Rick has been a Lieberman like supporter of the war since the get go. He likes to craft his votes and statements so he appears war supporting to Whidbey Islanders and the Navy base there but worried about the war to Bellinghamites. Rick can speak out against the madness anytime - but he probbly won't.
Saturday, Aug 5
Juan Cole's Informed Comment blog has it in a nutshell today. Check the Aug 5 post in his archive if you click this link after today. Israel is destroying Lebanon and grinding down the spirit of the people of that country. The war against Hezbolah - well, that seems to be secondary. And the war in Iraq has disappeared from the top of news reports. How convenient as that war becomes a total mess.
Two weeks ago the US said it was giving Israel a week to wipe out Hezbolah. The permission obviously has been extended. Keep in mind that we are supplying Israel with the bombs for all this destruction of Lebanon.
What is the US doing? It appears more like an effort to dominate and control the Middle East - to totally defeat the Islamic world. The neocons are still directing Bush. Tis a war of civilizations that we are being dragged into. Is this the ranting of some liberal who shows little judgement? Well, read the leading Israeli publication Haaretz and what they are worried about. It is that Israel is following us down the path to perdition.
Monday, July 31
So Mel Gibson is a racist - and his denials of being anti-Jewish with his film "The Passion of Christ" are quite false. Many claim it provides a very anti-semitic slant - and now we know why. Mel spent 12 years working on that movie - he wrote it, produced it and directed it. It grossed hundreds of millions. It is his signature piece - and it glorified the Roman Catholic Church view of Jesus and the Jews. The Pope approved of the movie.
Booze loosens the tongue, and what comes out is what we have suppressed. Booze does not put new thoughts or feelings into us. It just brings out what is there. The real challenge now is to get the police video of Mel spewing all this. That will be the proof. If the video can be destroyed then denials will come forth.
Why is this important? Because Gibson, through that movie, pushed a racist and dangerous hate mongering agenda - and it got a world wide audience. He is not some bimbo who got drunk and said some dumb things. He is one of the world's more influential movers and he has been exposed.
I want to say how sad and despicable the shootings in Seattle at the Jewish center are. This shooter is some poor slob who bought into all the racist anti-jewish verbage and went over the edge. This is the problem with stealth racist junk put out by elites like Gibson and others - some poor low intelligence or unstable types buy into it and decide to do something about it. And the killing and hate goes on. We will put the guy away for life to protect society. But we have not addressed the cause.
Then we get to the war that Israel is waging. And we must be careful not to confuse the Jews with the state of Israel. Anymore than associating intelligent US citizens with the Bush gang's insane war mongering.
Wednesday, July 26
Long but good article on how the US manipulates world evens so as to go to war with other countries. Iraq and now Iran.
Did you know that for years, Israel and Hezbolah have traded prisoners at times through the mediation of Germany? Because Israel wanted to destroy a rebuilt Lebanon, it used the two soldiers as an excuse and started what was a war long in preparation. And we then fell in line to supply Israel with more bombs to destroy Lebanon. And now we are using the war to find a way to attack Syria and/or Iran. The more we deprive Arab peoples of their homes and a chance to create decent lives for themselves, the more they will create the only resistance they can to us - and that is groups of fighters.
Monday, July 24
Alice in Wonderland. Sec of State Rice visit Lebanon and offers $30 million to help relieve the destruction and death there that is caused by $hundreds of millions of US dollars in bombs given to Israel to destroy Lebanon. Rice did not have to sneak into the country - we no doubt told the Israelis to not bomb where she was landing - as they are our allies.
Because the US and Israel have not allowed the Palestinians to have a future, we cannot claim that Hezbolah is a terrorist group any more than is Israel which has made it routine to destroy Arab homes, farms and businesses for over 50 years.
Sunday, July 23
Lebanese fleeing the Israelis - as ordered by Israel - are being strafed and bombed by the Israelis. Don't expect to see this on Fox.
Nice war. An early October surprise. Takes the losing war in Iraq off the front pages. The Bush theory is war can solve the Middle East problems. Dumb. I suspect most folks are sort of hoping this works. Well, it will probably backfire and we can expect the unexpected to start. Study history and that is what happens in most wars. Almost all wars. The unexpected.
Saturday, July 22
Conservative Pat Buchanan has it right in his column posted Thursday. We should not be supporting Israel in its war of destruction of Lebanon. He rips up the extreme right wing-nuts who support Israeli aggression, planned the Iraq war and are now calling for the USA to bomb Iran. Indeed, he explains how nuts they are. How blood lusting they are and how irresponsible they are.
Personally, I think this summer now has the chance of going down in history with the summer of 1914 - when arrogance, blind following of past practices and no real thinking by some governments led to WWI and the breakup of the old order. This time, it is Britain (as in 1914), the USA and Israel. The Islamic countries are being shown this summer how little the USA respects them or cares about them. We may be about to lose the few allies we have in the Mideast.
History will show that Israel decided to destroy Lebanon and looked for an excuse. Lebanon was becoming an economic competitor to Israel. Yes, we were close to peace but Israel has never wanted peace. It wants to dominate the Mideast and uses provocations and war towards this goal. The USA pays the bills.
Thousands of Americans are not fleeing a Nazi German army, or a Communist North Vietnam army - they are fleeing the jet bombers and cannons of Israel - who is flying US F-16 jet bombers and shooting US 155mm cannon shells. American citizens are fleeing the rampaging army that is supported by its own government. Why have we not seen any TV news commentator say that obvious fact?
Friday, July 21
The USA try and stop the Mid East war? Don't kid yourself. We are air shipping more bombs to Israel - bombs that will help destroy the city of Beirut and kill more civilians - women and children. No mention on CNN, Fox, or MSNBC. But the NY Times has the story. Gee - the US promoting the brutal bombing of civilian apartment buildings. This is what we have become.
What is different with this war? In 1948, Israel was attacked. It was attacked first in 1967 and 1973. This time Israel attacked first. The excuse was two soldiers were captured. And that is just an excuse. Maybe even set up. We will be 30 years learning the truth. Israel wants to destroy its neighbors. That you can take to the bank. And is now doing so with our USA eager assistance. What a country. Bush and gang are having a lot of fun playing war. And US military industries are reaping the profits. Follow the money.
Thursday, July 20
Israel has concocted another war. The pogram to prevent a Palestinian State continues. Terror and murder are the normal weapons. Again the chance to form a nation and live normally is being destroyed by Israel. This is the plan and we American taxpayers are paying the billions of dollars a year to Israel for this destruction.
I've talked with people who have been to Palestine. They tell horror stories of the Israelis destroying schools, destroying olive groves, destroying the homes of innocent people with bulldozers, taking land, insulting in the most gross and obscene ways Palestinians who are trying to be civil.
Have you taken a vacation to an Israeli hot vacation spot? After their tour of Army service, the young Israelis get a long vacation in one of many choice spots amount the world. Meeting one of them and getting to know them is a real eye opener. They are the most racist people you have ever met. For them at accuse others of prejudice is the height of comedy.
The cover story that Israel is defending itself is just that - cover. Israel consistently drives Palestine to the ends of frustration and then attacks. Each time it is some minor reason. Note that Israel spent the first few days destroying much of rebuilt Beirut - not fighting Hezbollah.
Now - this is not criticism of American Jews or Jewish people in general. Indeed, I've lived among them on the East Coast and they are the most civil, intelligent and gentle people. The nation of Israel is the monster. And many American Jews are now critical of that nation. As am I. And critical of our billions of tax dollars each year that supports their aggressions.
Tuesday, June 20
Alice in Wonderland is the appropriate description of the Bush administration and how it wages incompetent war on terrorism while it wrecks the good country of Iraq and drives out beloved United States towards tyranny.
A review and excerpt from a new book - The One Percent Doctrine - has just another of the thousands of eye opening scenes from our confused White House. This from the GOP that spent 6 years and 10s of millions of dollars trying to impeach Clinton for lying about an extra martial affair. This Bush lying leads to the killing of our US soldiers and costs 10s of millions of dollars in mere days. What a country.
Saturday, June 10
Net neutrality. Learn more about this issue and why it is very important to you.
Craig Newmark of Craigslist.org tells why his efficient classified pages could be hurt by the big mega corps.
Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal wrote this a year ago about these same companies and their wireless service where they prevent us from accessing desired services and products. You can bet they will treat the Internet the same.
Those against net neutrality are using very dirty tactics. They all are using the same words and tactics which shows a well organized corporate effort to eliminate the independent voices now using the internet. Here is an example: "Under their self-proclaimed banner of "neutrality," Google, eBay and other big online companies are lobbying for what amounts to a federal exemption from paying." So, they play the populist card, suggesting we are dupes of large corporations. This from Democrats - some of whom have no shame. We liberals have to realize a lot of Democratic representatives are also bought and owned by the big lobbyists. We need to look past the rhetoric and to the facts. The fact is we subscribers pay for the internet so that we can access Google. Google is popular because I and you and others like their great services. I pay for those wires.
Verison president Smith said if they can destroy net neutrality it would reduce their revenue by 8 billion dollars from us subscribers. Now why would he be for such a change? Because he can then realize 20 or 30 or 100 billion dollars in revenue from Google and Yahoo and eBay and Amazon. He wants part of their profits. Such is the deceit being put out there. Oh, and if you think your rates will go down, guess again. It just gives them more profits.
With net neutrality gone, you will have a hard time finding this website in a year or five years at the most. As we learn real news via the Internet, those who fear the free exchange of ideas are looking at how to cripple the Internet.
Write your US Senators and insist they support net neutrality. Insist.
Friday, June 9
2 pm addition -
Rick Larsen voted against a free and open Internet. Below I write he voted for it - my error. I misread what "noe" meant. Our US Representative voted with the Republicans again to go along with the big big lobbyists in DC. Wonder how big a bribe he took - er, campaign contribution. Rick also voted to abolish the Estate Tax with the Republicans, benefitting those richer than most anyone in Whatcom County. If the Republicans could run a decent moderate who was not a religious nut and was against the war in Iraq then the Republican would probably beat Larsen.
We should be very careful about Jaspar MacSlarrow who for years has been a trusted aid to Larsen and is now running for State Legislature against Doug Ericksen. Jaspar is trying to leverage his position to start his own political career. At least Ericksen is an honest Republican. Given where Jaspar has worked, he is well schooled in the politics of deceit. Jaspar worked with Larsen to help him deceive the voters about where Larsen has stood on the war and advised Larsen on voting for the Patriot Act. The Democrats support this guy?
Rick Larsen is a Democrat?
Below posted at 5 am -
Net Neutrality - the Internet principle which allows you to find this website - is being dismantled by our US Congress. Last night the House voted to dismantle net neutrality. Our representative, Rick Larsen, barely voted against - but spent the last week on the fence wondering what the fight was about instead of fighting against this travesty. Now it goes to the Senate.
As the Internet has grown, you pay fees to access it. The company you pay, pays the company it connects to for service. At the top, the nationwide carriers actually trade traffic in a fair manner. So - when you access Google for a search, you have paid to use the wires and get information from Google. OK? That is how net neutrality works. It is how the Internet has grown these last 14 years. It is how you can get NW Citizen - or any place you want.
The big telecoms don't like this. Nor do some other corporations who want us to only use them for information. So they want to charge me in order for you to find and access this site. They have bribed congress to pass this. Indeed, they laugh that those of us for Net Neutrality have not learned we have to bribe to get good laws. Business Week refers to content providing web sites thusly: "...the Internet companies simply need to pony up more cash inside the Beltway." - if we want Congress to vote our way.
How to destroy freedom and liberty? Gain control of the news and how people communicate. That is now happening. In five years you will not be able to find this website even if you live next door to the web server. But you will find what some corporate outfit pays AT&T or Comcast to show you. It took Rick till Thursday to figure that out. Lets hope our two Senators have more smarts and will fight against this in the Senate.
Saturday, June 3
Diego Garcia is small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Today it is a major US military base - and has no other inhabitants. But 40 years ago it was not ours and had a couple thousand inhabitants. How the people were illegally expelled and how the island became ours is a story you have probably never heard.
One benefit of the Internet is we can link around the world to news that our governments have tried to keep secret. I picked this up on another blog and can link you to it from here. If you post a website then please consider linking to this story or to more information on this. Our country - our USA - is a partner to many crimes against peoples around the world. We need to inform ourselves and then work as citizens to stop the crimes of our government. We need to elect decent representatives from city through county, state and national. We citizens need to speak out against the crimes and madness of our governments.
The people want to return to the island and have been fighting in British courts for years for that right. The US Air Force used the island for long range bombers to fly over Iraq, Afghanistan and will be the base for bombing Iran. Of course the people will not be allowed to return. Regardless of the courts. The island may also be a location of one of our secret torture prisons.
Sunday, May 21
True conservatives may stay home from the polls this November. And let the Democrats take over Congress. My wishful thinking? Not at all. Rather the wish and hope of Richard Viguerie, one of the most prominent and influential conservative Republicans. It was his direct mailings starting in the 1960s that helped boost conservative candidates to office - like Reagan. This guy knows the score.
His column in today's Washington Post is very revealing - whether you are conservative or liberal. I only wish my "liberal" friends had half the backbone that my conservative friends have. We would not have our milk toast Rick Larsen representing us in Congress. We would have Democrats in Congress who would speak out on issues instead of watching polls on issues and then speaking things the majority likes. Larsen pays more attention to which clothes he will wear than the issues. He sometimes changes clothes a dozen times a day I am told. All to identify with the group he is shaking hands with or speaking to.
Anyway - back to Viguerie. This is good news for this fall for Democrats and liberals. But it also means we will face a more conservative Republican candidate for President in 2008 - but a true conservative Republican would keep us out of war, protect the environment and reduce the deficit - three things liberals support. The political debate will return to social issues - the classic battleground between conservatives and liberals.
Friday, May 19
A legal and effective communications analysis system to combat terrorism was developed and used by President Clinton's administration. But the Bush administration tossed it away and has used the illegal system that is better in tracking all our phone calls - but is less effective in tracking terrorists. Follow the link and read the Baltimore Sun May 18 issue.
The Bush system has created a database that they can use to play even better dirty tricks than Nixon was able to play. This will allow the reelection of loyal Republican lackeys to Congress this fall. But it is less useful for finding terrorists. We will see if this important information gets wider media attention. It should. This is the smoking gun that shows Bush wants to control us, not find terrorists. Read the article. Our common sense tells us what we really wish was not happening - and that is the Bush administration is up to no good. They are not dumb - they are after total control. And they don't care about terrorists.
Sunday, May 14
Al Gore on Saturday Night Live last night was great - funny - and also had a very real message. The last six years did not have to be one debacle after another. As events become history, we humans can easily think it was just going to happen that way and human effort could not have prevented it. In truth, our security agencies - FBI in particular - had to work at being stupid in order for the 9/11 attackers to succeed. The agencies were not lacking any information nor were they lacking any legal tools to stop the attacks.
The debacle of New Orleans, the catastrophic war in Iraq, the immense federal debt, and now the beginnings of inflation and high interest rates - are all direct results of poor thinking and decisions plus a good dollop of corruption. Al Gore reminds us that it did not have to be.
Oh - and it you now believe that the NSA has only databased our complete phone calling records and not taped our conversations then I have a bridge to sell you. And if you think the feds knowing every person you have talked with for 5 years is not an invasion of your privacy, then you would have been cheering on Hitler in 1936 Germany. After all, he promised to protect them from the other threatening countries of Europe. Just as Bush has protected us from an Iraqi invasion. I actually have college educated friends who say it is better to fight them there than here.
Monday, May 8
A gauntlet has been thrown down on the floor by GW Bush. By nominating General Hayden to head up the CIA, Bush is daring good citizens, the responsible media and decent Senators and Representatives to stop him. As his administration is exposed further for corruption and violating our constitutional rights, he is nominating the guy who ran the NSA wiretapping of US citizens. We shall see how our Senators respond to this.
This Hayden appointment is critical enough for us common citizens to express our objections by letters to our Representatives and Senators. George "I'm the decider" Bush is now daring us to stop him from bringing the military further into our government. The head of the CIA should be a civilian - certainly not an active military general. And not the guy who is illegally wiretapping all of us - right now.
We note The Huffington Post will mark one year of posting tomorrow. Arianna has built her website into one of the very best news sources on the web, imo. I am posting the link to the top of this column. Check it out.
Friday, April 28
The Army announced it will court marshal a Colonel Jordan for torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. His immediate boss, a Colonel Pappas will testify against him with immunity from prosecution. Hmm - so they flipped one guy against the other because these two were a team. A guy does not accept immunity - and rat on his buddy - unless he is vulnerable to conviction himself.
Two years ago, readers of NwCitizen could learn about Pappas and his 205 Military Intelligence Brigade and how they were the guys doing the torture, while the Army was scapegoating General Karpinski of the MPs. From May 4 through May 18, 2004, this website told you that US Army Col. Pappas and his gang of thugs were doing the torture at Abu Ghraib. In 2004, the Army and the US Congress could not seem to find anything.
Two years later and the outrage over the torture has not gone away so the Army is throwing another scapegoat to us. Col Jordan did not act on his own but as one of Col Pappas' many spineless subordinates who tortured and probably killed prisoners rather than say 'no' and report the crimes. Well, folks, the OK for torture goes to the top - to Bush and Rummy and Cheney. No one in the Army dared do anything they were not ordered to do. Sorry, Jordan, but you drew the short straw. That is how the system works.
Also check the August 26, 2004 post - higher up the page - as summary of how Pappas and his bunch started their coverup by deleting photos and pages from their brigade's website. You thought destruction of government records was illegal? It is but it is meaningless if there is no enforcement and there is none these days in the US.
Tue, April 25
Remember the promises of $ billions to rebuild New Orleans? Bush covered his FEMA failure last September. Nothing ever came of it. He later wimped out. Today Bush reversed his whole political life's work and spoke for some modest changes in the huge giveaways to the oil companies. We can expect little to be actually done. And he urged us to let the oil companies drill in Alaska and anywhere else they want.
So - if the oil companies gouge us and act against the best interests of our country and economy then we reward them with free access to wreck our environment even more. That is Bush's solution. We liberals just wonder how many educated conservatives will still swallow this latest speech and think he actually means any of it. Hell, he's just worried about losing a majority in Congress this fall.
Mon, April 24
A Spy Speaks Out - the 60 Minutes piece last night with Tyler Drumheller, the CIA chief in Europe during the years we prepared to invade Iraq. He blows the Bush Administration claim that the Intelligence failed Bush. He tells how the CIA told Bush that the Niger uranium papers were false and that Iraq was not building WMDs. You can read the transcript of the 20 minute piece.
This morning this story in not even mentioned in the Bellingham Herald. It does not even make the home page of Google news. Google his name and a lot of foreign press come up - but it is given very secondary treatment in the US Media - that group controlled by a handful of corporations.
Bush knew there was no threat from Iraq. We knew he was lying to us and now we have the proof. But you may be reading about this for the first time on this lowly political blog. Maybe our media will slowly rise to absorb this story and realize it is a gun with a lot of smoke coming out of the end of the barrel.
Sun, April 23
Why We Fight - a film about our present day United States. It won at Sundance and for good reason. For those of us who are beginning to wonder if we made a "mistake" going to war in Iraq, this film is for you. You will not feel you wasted your time. If you are weak on your history, this film is for you. It will show you how President Eisenhowser - our commanding general in Europe during WWII and the two term Republican president of the US - warned us, a future generation, against the military-industrial complex. Actually the military-industrial-congressional complex.
For those of us who have been against the war from 2002, this film is a rehash of all we knew then and know now. For those dwindling numbers of us who are still for the "spread of democracy" in Iraq through American arms - well you probably don't want to watch anything you don't agree with. Tis easier to stay with your beliefs that way.
Sat, April 1
Walls. So the Republicans - or the ruling faction - wants a wall between us and Mexico. And this is supposed to solve the problem? Well, this did not work for China nor Rome. And even 20 miles in Berlin did not work. And we were very critical of that wall. Walls don't work. Plus it is ironic that the folks who most want free trade and NAFTA also want walls. The conservatives can't be consistent for five minutes.
What works? Accommodation. And practicality. Mexicans come here and get jobs. They work. Our conservative Senators pound the podium and yell we are a nation of laws and that amnesty will only encourage more illegal immigrants. These same guys vote billion dollar bail outs to mega corporations that screw up and go broke. So much for allowing the process to work. They make exceptions to the laws for their friends. They subsidize corporations they like and take gifts. Big gifts. But they do not want to allow hard working Mexicans a chance to benefit from their own work. And our economy to benefit from their work.
A note about blogging. I have always felt compelled to write thoughts here that I have not read somewhere else. Otherwise, one may as well link. I read a lot and try and stay current. Blogging has been controversial as it has become effective over the past 3 or 4 years. This NW Citizen site began in 1995 as a very inexpensive way to communicate local government information. Since then it has morphed.
As I helped start the Whatcom Independent weekly newspaper in 2003, it seemed that this blog should not post local information in competition with the paper. The Independent only covers local Whatcom County news, and so this blog comments on the national scene. I can hardly contribute to national facts, being an ordinary citizen. But for anyone to do their best putting their thoughts to a website for others to read is a legitimate activity and will be with us from now on. I will be posting more about blogs and what we can do. I encourage others to consider starting a blog. No censors. No gatekeepers. And everyone can find and read your best. Tis part of the democracy of the future. Note the new notice in the right hand column about the October Indy Media conference.
Mon, March 27
Bush wanted war - and fabricated excuses for an invasion. Proof was printed today in the New York Times. In January, 2003, Bush and British PM Blair talked about how they could start the invasion even though they knew there were no WMDs. They decided to start the bombing in March and conspired how to fabricate evidence in the two months before the attacks. Because of weather, March was the best time to invade.
How about this in the Jan 2003 memo. "The U.S. was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in U.N. colours," the memo says, attributing the idea to Mr. Bush. "If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach." The memo is real. It was written during the meeting by a senior British official as a report of the meeting. Read the article for yourself and learn how wars of conquest are planned.
Sun, March 26
The Pentagon - that world renowned planning organization - is complaining that Russia tipped off Saddam to our military moves during the invasion of Iraq three years ago. How did Russia supposedly get our info? Apparently from Pentagon command headquarters. Hmmm. Where should the generals be looking? Maybe under their own beds.
But here is the fun part. During the invasion, Saddam and we could stay a step ahead of US forces by following a Russian website. Starting on April 3, 2003 - we posted the link to http://www.aeronautics.ru/ and on April 8, 2003 we posted the link to http://www.iraqwar.ru/?userlang=en which was where aeronautics was getting their info. This Russian site has long ago been dismantled - and the name is for sale. It was apparently run by a pick-up group of military, news and consulting people who were either in Iraq or had been there. They told the whole world what was happening with incredible accuracy - at times seeming to know more about where US forces were than the Pentagon did.
Saddam could just go to the website and see where the US forces were planning to be in 5 hours or the next day. As did many around the world. The website showed where they were and the direction they were movingl. For those of us using the world wide web, following the war was easy on the Russian website. Our US media followed the Pentagon rules and did not actually report on the war. I wonder if the Pentagon still has sour grapes about that website and is now trying to turn attention away from its own massive failures in Iraq and blame someone - anyone - for the failures. And thus the accusations against Russia this week. I think we can expect more accusations against other groups over the next few months.
So - questions the 'media' - Fox, NBC, etc - are not asking now. When were the Iraqi documents found? The ones that implicate the Russians. Three years ago? Then why only now are they coming out? Found just recently? How do we know they are valid? This whole thing is just so convenient for distracting from our failure in Iraq - and so needed to find others to blame for this failure.
Sun, March 19
Juan Cole has it - how the Mid East could end up if Bush continues with his insane war. See the Mar 19 post for the map showing Iraq partitioned and the new countries of Kurdistan, Qaedistan and Shiitistan. Maybe not a long term problem as Iraq was an artificial creation by the British after World War One.
The Kurds are quickly building their strength now. Iran is not afraid of the US as we are militarily too extended and all we can do is bomb them, which will just turn the rest of the world more against us and which will not happen during an election year. Syria doesn't have to do much except sit there and watch all fall apart around it. Jordan is another artificial country with little reason to exist other than support from several other countries as it is a buffer state.
Looking back 3 years, the NwCitizen Mar 19, 2003 post on the day the war started still applies. The Bush gang still suffers from hubris, a feeling they can do anything and get away with it. The American people are now slowly realizing we reached too far in our bid for conquest and world empire. I think most people - for and against the war - knew we were more interested in economic gain than anything else - and that is empire however you slice it.
Sat, March 18
Umpire Bob Davidson, our USA go to cheater, is behind the plate for today's game between Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Of course his calls are to help defeat Cuba. Gawd, what an embarrassment to the US if Cuba wins and goes to the finals on Monday eve.
A clear third strike and third out by the Cuban pitcher was called a ball. Video showed it clearly a strike. Davidson kept the Dominicans alive and they scored a run in the inning. Every little bit helps. Davidson is doing the American best to keep Communist Cuba out of the finals. No problem.
I understand why Bud Selig and MLB does this - money and the American way. The question is why the baseball writers let Davidson off the hook so easily. His bad calls have impacted games repeatedly. Answer - if they write critical opinions then MLB will ban them from the clubhouses. What a country.
Fri, March 17
We can all feel better as Americans today, as it turns out we did cheat last night in trying to beat the Mexicans. Whew. We did give it the old American best after all. Last night, I missed the early innings and the great bad call by umpire Bob Davidson that reduced a Mexican home run to an infield double. Of course video showed the call to be wrong. Of course the Mexican coach protested.
Bob Davidson is the same US umpire who cheated the Japanese out of scoring last week and helped the US win against Japan. To give the US all stars the needed edge, we again had US umpires in a game with the US team - which in itself is cheating. The American way. But the Mexicans beat us anyway.
Thur, March 16
Somebody forgot to tell the Mexicans that they couldn't beat the US baseball major league all stars. Take a hint. Clemens pitching? A batting lineup of all stars? Those little fellows south of the border? Do they even have organized baseball in Mexico?
The last two innings were so fun to watch as the overgrown hunks swaggered, chewed their gum in a manly way and tried to stare down the Mexicans. And went down swinging or popping out or hitting into a double play to end the game. 2 to 1 Mexico wins. Guys you never heard of making the Americans look like fools.
Yes, I have been cheering Japan, Korea, Mexico and anyone who could beat the Americans. Why? Because we are so full of ourselves that we have no idea that many other peoples on this small world have abilities and ideas and standards and skills. US major league baseball probably thought it could whip a team composed of the best from the rest of the world. Well, they can't win without cheating - as they did to beat Japan. They had never gone up against others before.
And we Americans should - if we have half a brain - extend this concept into war, respect for other nations, our swaggering foreign policy and what is in store for us if we don't get a grip on reality. We have lost in Iraq. The rest of the world is disgusted with us. We act like we have all the answers and all the cards - when in reality we are sliding into the abyss. In ten years it will be China calling the shots. And we will be remembering the days when the world looked at us as the super power. We will wonder what went wrong. And we will not have a clue.
Wed, March 15
A continuation of the Mar 13 post below: when we - Americans in this case - do lose at something despite our cheating, we simply ignore it as best we can. We pretend it didn't happen. Lose the war to Vietnam? Destroy the city of Falluga and kill hundreds of innocent people? Commit genocide to the millions of American Indians?
Lose to the Korean baseball team? Yep. The Koreans beat the best of American professional baseball on Monday night. Our Bellingham Herald simply did not report that - not Tuesday and not this morning. Didn't happen. Not a word - not a sentence. The Koreans did not just win - they trounced with a score of 7 to 3.
It was fun to watch - these guys of heights like 5'8" striking out 6'5" Major League all stars - big guys who looked stunned, confused and angry. Like these little guys weren't showing proper respect. Jeter, ARod, Chipper Jones and all the rest strutted, swaggered, stretched and glared - and the scrappy Koreans, with smiles, just whupped them.
So - how will we adjust in order to win the first ever international baseball tournament? Cheat, of course. The big juicer, Barry Bonds will be brought in. Maybe some other changes. Watch the umpires be carefully selected to provide an edge. We will cheat - of that there should be no doubt. Good minds are at work on it now. We don't call it cheating - we call it gaining an edge. That is how Americans win.
Oh - one last observation. ESPN cut out innings of its delayed telecast - innings where all the Americans went down swinging in embarrassment. ESPN said they had to shorten the telecast due to scheduling problems. More like who wants to watch American super heros go down swinging to a Korean team. Not Americans. Not the American way. Only show the full game when we are winning. No problem. Maybe it didn't happen.
Same reason we don't truthfully cover the Iraq war. We have lost it.
Mon, March 13
How do Americans win? By cheating, of course. Today American baseball umpire Bob Davidson nicely reversed a call in the new Baseball Classic which gave the American team a win over the Japanese - who were threatening to win. No problem. The film shows he was wrong. No problem. Game over. Americans move on and Japan gets eliminated. (He did not make a bad call - he reversed a good call) We can't have the Americans lose the first ever International baseball tournament.
Barry Bonds? Just juice it up and set records. No problem. Bud Selig and Baseball management will just look the other way because fans are watching the games and revenue is up. Cheating? Hey, the game is money.
America's Cup sailing competitions were won for years by the Americans cheating - on the rules and with the race committees. No problem. The American way.
Iraq. We absolutely destroy towns and kill thousands of innocents - and then make it too dangerous for our own news reporters to go near the action. No problem. We must win. We cannot lose. It is the American way. Cheat - even if it means killing those who might tell the truth. Not to mention thousands of innocent people. No problem. It is the American way. The C-130 gunships are back in Iraq - the most horrible killing machines on earth. Our military loves them. They destroyed much of the city of Falluga. No problem.
We all watch the Steelers be given the Super Bowl. Referees on the take from organized gambling? Probably. Lot of money there. Besides, the league wanted the Steelers to win. It was their turn. No problem. Cheat. The fans will be back next year. Lot of upset folks but no lose of revenue. The American way.
Bush can't win election in 2000 nor 2004 by a fair process. So the dirty tricks are trotted out - close polls early, disqualify good voters, intimidate, phone wrong directions, stuff ballot boxes, modify the electronic voting counts - anything, but win. Oh - and have the Supreme Court rule in violation of the constitutional processes. No problem. Must win. What can the Democrats do? Election over. Winner declared.
"Good guys finish last" said Leo. What he meant is the cheats are given the green light in America. In our country it only counts if you win. Not how you play - not fairness nor following the rules. Winning.
Kill innocents or make that needed bad call - but win. What a country.
Fri, Feb 10, 2006
She said "No" to VP Dick Cheney - and now she may go to jail for it. So much for free speech in America. The careful process of shutting up Americans. The Eugene, Oregon, Weekly has the story.
Oh, and no, I will not shut up. Those who brought considerable pressure on me these past months can stick it. While I have a voice, I will speak - even if it usually feels like shouting into a strong wind. Thank you, Perry Patterson. You shook me. How dare the neo fascists try and shut you and the rest of us up. This country is now ruled by a person and cabal that go by the rules of dictators - above the law and they alone decide what is best for the country and people. We the people will decide what is best for our country and ourselves. This website will again find its voice. Those of us who love freedom had better get busy gaining it back - for Bush is surely busy taking it away.
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