Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina, aka Global Warming

"The hurricane that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name is global warming.

When the year began with a two-foot snowfall in Los Angeles, the cause was global warming.

When 124-mile-an-hour winds shut down nuclear plants in Scandinavia and cut power to hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland and the United Kingdom, the driver was global warming."

Ross Gelbspan

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Poor Haley Barbour

"He derided the idea of regulating CO2 as 'eco-extremism' "
Huffington Post

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has been all over television the last two days. He is fighting back tears and wringing his hands over the hurricane devastation wrought upon his state.

The next time you watch the now suffering Governor, keep two things in mind. First, global warming is intensifying the of severity of hurricanes. Second, Haley Barbour made sure the Bush administration stayed on point with the fossil fuel industry and gave the back of its hand to any effort to increase use of alternative energy sources.

Barbour served as the Republican National Committee Chairman and then as a lobbyist. In that role he made certain that no one in Washington spent a millisecond thinking about the environmental impact of increased oil and gas production.

No one can say that the lack of U.S. participation in the Kyoto Treaty caused this particular hurricane. But we do know that warmer ocean currents are responsible for an intense tropical storm season that is only half over.

So Haley, stop crying and get with the program. Demand that the U.S. government do everything in its power to slow the pace of global warming.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Weatherman Goes Nuts

"Let me talk Carol!"

I knew CNN had worsened over the years, but weatherman temper tantrums are hard to take. I guess this guy wasn't ready for prime time or for Katrina either.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

New Orleans Refugees Treated Like Criminals

Guardsmen made able-bodied people clasp their hands behind their backs while they patted them down, feeling the seams and hems of clothing, then ran metal detectors over them. The backpacks, suitcases and plastic grocery bags that held their belongings were searched.


Every man, woman, old lady and infant fleeing to the Superdome is being patted down and checked for weapons. That is why they have been on line for hours.

It is bad enough that Mayor Nagin acted like the Mayor in Jaws and withheld an evacuation order that ended up trapping thousands of tourists in the city, tourists that he wanted to appease.

Imagine being told you have a few hours to gather belongings, enough for up to five days, and make your way to a stadium with your kids, grandma and significant other.

I hope that the Mayor and the leadership of New Orleans are called to account for this outrage.
Good News from New Orleans

Fox reporter Shepard Smith to New Orleans resident: "Why are you still here, I'm just curious?"

Man on the Street: "It's none of your f_ _king business."

Now I'm happy. Fox News got cursed out. Video is here. Thanks to Crooks and Liars for the footage.
Too Little, Too Late in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast

Evacuation back log at the New Orleans Superdome
Mario Tama/Getty Images

I flunked meteorology in college, but I am fascinated by weather phenomenon nonetheless. I have been glued to the tube all weekend watching the progress of hurricane Katrina.

Apparently I am on the same wave length with Jim Cantore, a Weather Channel meteorologist. Cantore expressed concern that evacuation in Mississippi was moving so slowly.

On Friday I was alarmed when tropical storm Katrina became a hurricane. I was even more alarmed when Floridians, who should be experienced in these matters, were blase because it was just a Category 1 storm.

Newsflash. There are no minor hurricanes. Tropical storms kill people, itty bitty Category 1 hurricanes kill too. Katrina killed 7 in Florida.

To get to my point quickly, I think it is going to prove catastrophic that the city of New Orleans didn't issue an evacuation order until today. The storm track all weekend pointed to a Gulf Coast land fall. If the Mayor was squeamish about evacuating before today he should have warned his city yesterday that there might be an evacuation order issued today.
The announcement didn't take place until 11 a.m. central time today. This time lag is unconscionable. I hope it doesn't prove tragic as well.

As the photo above shows, there are thousands of New Orleans residents who were unable to leave town. Most of them are poor people lugging bedding, pampers and non-perishable food only to find a human traffic jam when they arrive at the Superdome to access shelter. I can only imagine taking my septugenarian parents, neither of whom walks very well, into a crowd of humanity where they have to stand for hours.

I live in New York and I knew that New Orleans lies beneath sea level. What have they been doing? How could they have been so unprepared?

Those who have cars are stuck in traffic jams along the coast. What happens when they run out of gas? There is already no gasoline to be had. At what point should motorists look for an elevated building if they can't find elevated ground?

I hope that they are doing a better job of answering these questions in Louisiana and Mississippi. After all the post 9/11 talk about disaster planning I expected better from public officials.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Iraq: A Test for War

America's addiction to war has just received another fix. The Bush administration and its cohorts don't care if this war is won or lost.
Deepak Chopra

Chopra has harsh words, but not just for the Bushmen. He has a broader criticism of the antiwar movement that he feels does not work hard enough to end militarism altogether.
Mfume Unafraid of Anti-War Stance

"It's time to get out."
Kweisi Mfume

At least one Democrat is ignoring the DLC's nonsensical advice. Former Congressman and NAACP President Kweisi Mfume is a candidate for retiring Maryland Senator Paul Sarbanes' seat. Mfume is calling for the U.S. to leave Iraq.

It is imperative for Democrats around the country to do what they know to be right ethically and right politically. Democrats will be toast in Congressional and national elections if they parrot the pro-war stance.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

War Against Iran and War Against the American People

The United States mission in Iraq is doomed. But the outcome will be very dangerous to the world, its economy, and to American citizens, as well. That’s because the War Party in charge in Washington will not accept defeat, and will, instead, escalate, in an attempt to erase its initial failures. When they do, they will vastly accelerate the process of their own demise.
Black Commentator

Can Black Commentator and Pat Buchanan both be right? In a radio commentary last month Black Commentator exposed the Bushmen plot to attack Iran. Buchanan's magazine, American Conservative, also reports that Cheney is the point man in plotting a "tactical" nuclear strike on Iran should there be another 9/11 type attack. Do they know something the rest of us do not?

If that isn't scary enough, there are ominous hints that the Bushmen will declare martial law in the U.S., if there is another terror attack. Have you ever heard of CONPLAN?

But the new plans provide for what several senior officers acknowledged is the likelihood that the military will have to take charge in some situations, especially when dealing with mass-casualty attacks that could quickly overwhelm civilian resources.

How convenient. I guess we will all be enemy combatants.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

"Blow Them All Away in the Name of the Lord"
Jerry Falwell (quicktime)

Before we beat up on Muslims we have to condemn these crazy Christian religious extremists. Thanks to Crooks and Liars for the video.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Why the Dems Will Keep Losing

"Credit the Democrats for not trying to pour more gasoline on the fire, even if they're not particularly unified in their message," said Michael McCurry, a former Clinton White House press secretary. "Democrats could jump all over them and try to pin Bush down on it, but I'm not sure it would do anything but make things worse. The smartest thing for Democrats to do is be supportive."
Mike McCurry (registration required)

Let's see if I understand correctly. Bush's poll numbers are worse than Nixon's were during Watergate, but the opposition should not oppose on the issue that has killed his approval ratings. Did I read correctly?

The Democrats are so pathetic that they don't even know how to by cynical. If they were cynical, something political parties usually know how to be without any prompting, they would just blame Bush. That's all. We voted yes because we believed the President. We weren't the ones who said Saddam had mobile WMD facilities. We didn't say anything about mushroom clouds. We went along with you, you figure it out.

That is it. That is all. Blame Republicans for the debacle and call for troops to leave. No harm. No foul. Piece of cake. In fact a cake walk, as the neocons would say.

Believe it or not there is good news here. We know that the people who run the Democratic party will find a way to lose in 2006 Congressional races and in the 2008 presidential race. That means we are liberated. We should do whatever the hell we want. The lesser of two evils argument can be a sound one, but only if both evils have a chance to win. If one evil is once again headed to Loserville, it can and should be abandoned.

Every cloud does have a silver lining.
Preacher Advocates Murder

"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him [Hugo Chavez], I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson said. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."
Rev. Pat Robertson

I realized long ago that Pat Robertson was no Christian. I'm not surprised that he has publicly called for the killing of Venezulean President Hugo Chavez. Robertson also advocated that the U.S. State Department should be blown up, with a nuclear weapon no less. He is a very dangerous man, a fascist. He is one of many like minded creatures who were empowered by the theft of the presidency in 2000.

It is time for Christians to forthrightly denounce him and his ilk, instead of beating up on Muslims and making them take the heat for the actions of some of their coreligionists. It is time for Christians to denounce Christian terror.
George Loses It

In fact, George W. Bush’s mood swings have become so drastic that White House emails often contain “weather reports” to warn of the President’s demeanor. “Calm seas” means Bush is calm while “tornado alert” is a warning that he is pissed at the world.
Capital Hill Blue

Bush has his annual physical every August but he didn't last year. Was he afraid that we would find out he was taking anti-depressants? He didn't have to worry. As usual the corporate media covered for him.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Bomb Carrier Can Keep Flying Planes

U.S. Department of Homeland Security documents obtained by The Norman Transcript newspaper indicate federal agents who searched Dreyling's residence found gunpowder, carbon dioxide cartridges and wires as well as a computer with a video of detonation of a device similar to the one transported into the airport.
USA Today

A guy who tried to board a plane with a bomb is learning to be a pilot. His name is Charles Dreyling. He is the red blooded, white, all-American, Oklahoman who thought he could get through airport security while carrying a bomb.

Dreyling is now out of jail, thanks to his landlord, former Oklahoma City mayor Kirk Humphreys. Humphreys posted $10,000 bail for Dreyling. I guess he wants to make sure the rent gets paid. If anyone ought to remember that white Americans blow up buildings it ought to be an Oklahoman.

But wait, there is more. Dreyling has a commercial pilot license and can resume his studies at the University of Oklahoma. What is his major? Why it is aviation management of course.

The Transportation Security Agency is recommending that the FAA revoke Dreyling's license. Duh. While Brazilian electricians are being shot to death in cold blood by London cops, white people caught with bombs have licenses to fly planes.
Jean Charles de Menezes, Killed by a Piss

". . . a leaked investigation report revealed they had identified Mr. de Menezes as a would-be bomber without looking at his face because their intelligence officer was busy urinating. . ."

Way to Go Keith

I guess the painkillers wipe out your memory along with your ethics. Rush Limbaugh, today's worst person in the world!

Keith Olbermann
Way to Go Arianna

"So Cindy might have used the "f-word" when talking about the administration that sent her son to die in Iraq. Big fucking deal."
Arianna Huffington
Even Cindy Sheehan Can't Help the Dems

It really is amazing. Cindy Sheehan has galvanized dissatisfaction with Bush, but Hillary Clinton won't take advantage and mention her name. Bush's poll numbers are tanking because of Iraq but Dem leaders (Clinton, Biden, Kerry, Reid, et al) are too chicken and too stupid to act like an opposition. They also never lose their desire to be a part of the permanent government.

I'm truly sick and tired of being told that we must follow them or lose. The choice is a phony one. We are already losing and we are losing because of them. Ari Berman explains how the insanity of the Democratic establishment stays firmly in place.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

de Menezes Murder

"Leaked documents, believed to be from the IPCC inquiry suggest Mr de Menezes was sitting calmly in the Tube carriage, surrounded by surveillance officers, moments before police stormed in and fired eight bullets into him.

According to the documents, an officer grabbed Mr de Menezes, pinned his arms down, and pushed him back on a seat before he was shot."

Scotland Yard tried to squelch an investigation into the shooting of de Menezes the very day that they killed him. Thank God for whomever leaked these documents. We are now getting the real story from London. Read about it here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Cindy Sheehan Gets Smeared

"He died for oil. He died to make your friends richer. He died to expand American imperialism in the Middle East. We're not freer here, thanks to your PATRIOT Act. Iraq is not free. You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism."
Cindy Sheehan

Even a blue eyed white woman can't get a fair hearing if she criticizes Israel. Oh well. Cindy is dog meat now. Supporters of Israel have publicly stated that Iraq should be occupied for Israel's benefit, but if the rest of us quote them we are villified. So long Cindy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

De Menezes Killed in Cold Blood

He wasn't wearing a heavy jacket. He used his card to get into the station. He didn't vault the barrier. And now police say there are no CCTV pictures to reveal the truth.
The Guardian

As I predicted a few weeks back, everything we were told about the police killing of Jean Charles de Menezes was a lie. If he had been wearing a bulky jacket, they would have showed it to us. If he had jumped the turnstile, they would have the video and we would have seen it a million times.

So much for the argument that racial profiling is a good thing. Then again, the ones who advocate it are never the ones who are profiled.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

War Mongering Media

The German people knew that the German government managed the news. They could take it or leave it. But the U.S. corporate media is pervasive, it is everywhere, with hundreds of channels of propaganda, virtually all of them repeating the same government lies, while claiming to be independent of the government. The corporate media are engaged in a monstrous scam. They are the megaphones of war, just as guilty as the warmongers in Washington. If there are ever war crimes trials in the future, the corporate media should also be under the harshest indictment.
Black Commentator, Radio BC

I hadn't intended to post until my mini-vacation ended on Tuesday, but Glen Ford, my friend and mentor at Black Commentator, has provided us with a searing and brilliant radio commentary that must be made known to as many people as possible.

That’s a standard tactic of the U.S. news media, which is really not about news, at all. Just smiling faces with quips and jokes, making fun of the rest of the world on television, and snide, self-satisfied state propagandists holding down newspaper jobs, sneering at anyone who is not hooked up in the power grid.

If the role of journalists is to make power accountable, then there is virtually no journalism going on in the United States. That is, no journalism that reaches the masses of the people. Americans are left deaf, blind and dumb to the world around them. This would be sad, if it only affected the population of the United States. But the U.S. is the sole remaining super-power, and the disappearance of journalism means that the criminals in power in Washington can convince the public that up is down, day is night, and hot is cold.

Television and the newspapers will not challenge them, and as a consequence, the Bush men are free to wage war against whoever they choose, under any pretense they can conjure up. They can lie at will. Citizens who point out the lies are ignored, or made to look insane, or worse.

Read or listen to Glen's commentary and then pass it on to as many people as possible.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Another 9/11?

As I embark on a long weekend trip, I leave you with these sobering words.

A whopping 84 % of respondents approved the President’s job handling immediately post 9/11/2001, with only 11 % disapproving. If the President’s job handling approval ratings have to go back up to that level, a similar event must take place.
Anwar Hussain

Hopefully nothing will happen before I return to New York on Tuesday.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Fascism Watch

I mean, isn't there something nightmarish about our misleader swooping down on a steaming pit of testosterone and sweat and whipping a throng of brown-shirted youths into a nationalistic frenzy?
Rick Mercier

The Boy Scouts certainly need to change the color of their uniforms.
Bush Has "No Conscience"

And so president Bush came marching in, to make a long story short, came marching in to the room, got right in my face, eyeball-to-eyeball, nose-to-nose this close, toe-to-toe and he said, "I'm George Bush, President of the United States, and I understand you have something to say to me privately.' And I said, 'Yes, I do respect the office of the presidency of the United States, but I want to tell you how it feels to lose your only child in a cause that you don't believe in, in an unnecessary war.
Dolores Kesterson, Gold Star Mother

Here we have another story of a grieving mother who lost a child in Iraq who was later creeped out after meeting the president. He is a frightening, terrifying, megalomaniac and we will all pay dearly before the constitution forces him to go back to Texas in January 2009.

Now we know that he can't even pretend to have any empathy for the mothers of soldiers he sent to die. Mrs. Kesterson also had this to say.

But my personal feeling is that he really doesn't have a conscience about all this death and destruction. That was the essence I took away after looking him in the eyes and meeting with him—there's just no conscience there.
White Guy with Bomb

After the London bombings we were told that racial profiling is not only OK, but it is necessary. No point in screening white grandmas when we know that bombers are all brown skinned Muslim men.

Well, not so fast. A very white man was caught trying to bring a bomb on board a plane in Oklahoma City. The FBI says that Charles Alfred Dreyling, Jr. has no known connection to any terrorist organization. That remains to be seen. Lest we forget, there are white supremacy terror groups operating openly in the U.S. and they have bombs.

How can we forget Timothy McVeigh? What about William Krar? Never heard of Krar? Thanks to the corporate media, the story of Krar's possession of over 100 cyanide bombs has been largely unreported.

So let's keep screening everyone. A lot of red blooded white Americans are walking around with bombs.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Fascism Has Arrived

A few months ago I wrote a Black Commentator column entitled, "Fascism: Are We There Yet?" Well, it seems there is no longer a need for rhetorical questions. The answer is a definite yes. The U.S. military has devised plans, CONPLAN 2002 and CONPLAN 0500, (sound like movie titles), that will allow them to take control in the event of terror attacks.

If this news doesn't give you the creeps then you aren't thinking clearly. Check out this less than comforting piece of information.

But the new plans provide for what several senior officers acknowledged is the likelihood that the military will have to take charge in some situations, especially when dealing with mass-casualty attacks that could quickly overwhelm civilian resources.

I for one don't trust Donald Rumsfeld to call out the troops to "help" me. This week we were told that the 9/11 Commission hasn't received any of the documents it requested from the White House and that some of the hijackers were known to military intelligence but were allowed to roam freely.

What a neat trick. You allow a terror attack to take place and then use it to justify invading other countries and putting the American people under military control.

Fascism is here.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Times Gets the Goods on Judith Miller

"I gather that Doug Jehl, who is a dogged and respected reporter, has been assigned to do an in-house investigative report for the Times and that he is already cutting pretty close to the bone. Several editors he has spoken to are now asking themselves why there wasn't more questioning of whether Miller's silence reflects a fear of incriminating herself rather than betraying a source. I predict this will start to unravel in the next couple of weeks -- if only because the Times is afraid of getting scooped again by outside rivals."

Hmm. You can tell the truth for the sake of telling the truth or you can tell the truth because you don't want someone else to tell it first. I suppose we should take our victories wherever we can get them.

It will all come out. In all probability Judith Miller is not in jail to protect a source. She is in jail to protect herself from incrimination. Arrianna Huffington keeps getting the goods on Miller and on the Times too.
Robin Cook's Resignation Speech

We cannot base our military strategy on the assumption that Saddam is weak and at the same time justify pre-emptive action on the claim that he is a threat.

Well, if that isn't good old fashioned common sense I don't know what is. Those were some of the late Robin Cook's words as he resigned from Tony Blair's government in 2003.
Robin Cook: A Man of Principle

Robin Cook served as Britain's Foreign Minister until his boss, Tony Blair, formed an unholy alliance with George W. Bush and occupied Iraq. Cook resigned his position in protest. He died suddenly on Saturday but his courage should not be forgotten.

Friday, August 05, 2005

60th Anniversary of Hiroshima

Many Japanese historians have long judged the Soviet declaration of war to have been the straw that broke the camels back - mainly because the Japanese military feared the Red Army more than the loss of another city by aerial bombardment.

For the past 60 years Americans have been told that vaporizing men, women and children in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the only way to end the war with Japan. What a convenient justification for a war crime.

Well, maybe the Soviets should get credit for ending the war. The endless discussions of whether or not the bomb had to be dropped might be useless after all. Common Dreams has a great article on the subject.
Judith Miller

And no fewer than four sources have either e-mailed, called, or, in one case, run up to me on the street to tell me that what I termed Miller's "especially close relationship" with Chief Warrant Officer Richard Gonzales, the leader of the WMD-hunting unit Miller was embedded with during the war, might have been, well, very close indeed.
Arianna Huffington

We already know that Judith Miller is a corrupt journalist who used compromised sources to help the administration in its campaign of lies that led to the deaths of thousands. She may also have been the source who outed CIA agent Valerie Plame. Now it turns out that she may have taken the term "embedded" rather literally. Was she making a little whoopie with the troops in Iraq? Thanks to Arianna Huffington for the heads up.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

CNN Suspends Robert Novak

CNN should have suspended Robert Novak long ago. He did out a CIA agent after all. At any rate it took a childish melt down on the air to get CNN to do its job. Novak had a hissy fit and walked off the set during a segment of Inside Politics. Crooks and Liars gives you a peek.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Bolton Booed

Another embarassment for America. Our new UN Ambassador, John Bolton, was booed as he walked in the door. Why was he booed? Perhaps because he made statements like these.

"There is no United Nations. There is an international community that occassionally can be led by the only real power left in the work, and that is the United States, when it suits our interest, and when we can get others to go along."

"The secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If you lost 10 stories today it wouldn't make a bit of difference."

"The United States makes the United Nations work when it wants it to work, and that is exactly the way it should be because the only question for the United States is what is in our national interest."

See the video here.