Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I found this at Information Clearing House.


When people think of fascism, they imagine Rows of goose-stepping storm troopers and puffy-chested dictators. What they don't see is the economic and political process that leads to the nightmare.

By Paul Bigioni

Before the rise of fascism, Germany and Italy were, on paper, liberal democracies. Fascism did not swoop down on these nations as if from another planet. To the contrary, fascist dictatorship was the result of political and economic changes these nations underwent while they were still democratic. In both these countries, economic power became so utterly concentrated that the bulk of all economic activity fell under the control of a handful of men. Continued.

I found this to be a very informative article. I think we all should read this and listen to what it's saying.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Bush makes another attack on the Constitution by butchering the First Amendment.

From Doug Thompson at Capitol Hill Blue:

The Rant
Ain't no free speech allowed in Dubya's America
Nov 24, 2005, 07:10

In George W. Bush’s America, protest and free speech are illegal acts. Just ask those arrested Wednesday for staging a peaceful protest against the Iraq war near the President’s ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Camping on the same land that antiwar mom Cindy Sheehan used to stage her highly-publicized protest in August, the activists quickly ran afoul of a hastily-passed new Texas prohibiting public gathering.

That’s right. The public no longer has a right to protest the President’s policies on public land near the President’s home in Crawford.

“The ordinance was very plainly meant to prevent people from protesting in front of Bush's ranch,” Dave Jensen, a 54-year-old former Marine told reporters. “We feel that's a First Amendment issue. It's intentionally designed to curtail freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.”

But the First Amendment doesn’t mean much to cops in Texas or the Bush administration as a dozen protestors, including Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon papers fame along with the sister of Cindy Sheehan.

Such arrests, says Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, is just another example of how the Bush administration seeks to stifle debate on the Iraq war.

“What kind of debate are we willing to have? The White House showed exactly what kind of debate it wants on future of Iraq – none,” Obama says. “We watched the shameful attempt to paint John Murtha - a Marine Corp recipient of two-purple hearts and a Bronze Star - into a coward of questionable patriotism. We saw the Administration tell people of both parties - people who asked legitimate questions about the intelligence that led us to war and the Administration's plan for Iraq - that they should keep quiet, end the complaining, and stop rewriting history.”

History shows us that government attempts to silence its citizens leads to tyranny. America, however, has a long and proud history of rising up against tyranny – something the White House should remember as it continues to try and stifle lawful protests guaranteed by the Constitution.

Protesting in public is “a traditional way for Americans to support their political views,” says Julya Hampton, legal program director of the American Civil Liberties Union. When governments try to establish legal obstacles to such protests they clearly violate the First Amendment, she adds.

So the protestors who gathered at Crawford this Thanksgiving did so lawfully, exercising their rights as Americans to express their views on their government.

“We are proud to be here,” Dede Miller, Sheehan's sister, said. “This is just so important. What we did in August really moved us forward, and this is just a continuation of it.”

A few hours later, police arrested Miller along with 11 others.

Ray Meadows, the McLennan County commissioner who sponsored the ordinance to restrict free speech, admits he did so at the White House’s urging.

“Of course I did,” he bragged to a county resident when asked at a public hearing on the ordinance.

But Ellsberg, whose leak of the infamous “Pentagon Papers” to the New York Times is credited with helping turn public opinion against the Vietnam war, says the White House cannot control the will of the American people.

“Those of us who finally saw through the Vietnam War saw through this war, and all the actions that were necessary to end the Vietnam War will be necessary here,” Ellsberg said in Crawford on Wednesday. “I think the American people will get us out of this (war).”


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

If you're traveling today, drive safe.

Think about what you're thankful for, and if you feel like it....let me know what you are thankful for.

Let's all try to remember those who will going without today.

And let's all remember the troops in Iraq and Afganistan.

Enjoy this time with family and friends.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I wanted to post this before I left for work this morning but didn't have time, so I'm posting it now.

Do you remember where you were and what you were doing 42 years ago today at 1:00 pm Central Standard Time? That would have been November 22, 1963.

I remember where I was.

I was in 5th grade at that time. All of us boys were in the classroom while the girls were in the Gym for Phy. ED.

It was right around 1:00 when Miss Neiman, the school secretary, came in and told Mrs. Behrens, my teacher, that President John Fitzgerald Kennedy had been shot in Dallas, Texas, while traveling in a motorcade. It was shortly after that when we found out that President Kennedy had died of his wounds. All I could do was lay my head down on my desk and cry. I think we all wept that day.

It's been 42 years since that tragic day, but I still remember it as if it happened only yesterday.

If you remember I would like you to tell me where you were, what you were doing, and how the news of President Kennedy's assasination effected you.

Monday, November 21, 2005


From Reuters AlterNet:

FACTBOX - Cheney quotations on Iraq war
21 Nov 2005 19:51:56 GMT
Source: Reuters
Nov 21 (Reuters)

Following are quotations by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney before and after the March 20, 2003, start of the U.S.-led war on Iraq:


"As President George W. Bush has said, time is not on our side. Deliverable weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a terror network, or a murderous dictator, or the two working together, constitutes as grave a threat as can be imagined. The risk of inaction are far greater than the risk of action." Aug. 26, 2002, to veterans' group in Nashville, Tennessee.

"There's also evidence that there is some relationship with the al Qaeda organization and some evidence of exchanges back and forth between the al Qaeda organization - Osama bin laden - on one hand and the Iraqi intelligence services." Sept. 28, 2002, to a university fund-raising event in Laramie, Wyoming.

"The war on terror will not be won until Iraq is completely and verifiably deprived of weapons of mass destruction." Dec. 2, 2002, in speech in Denver.

"I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators." March 16, 2003, NBC's "Meet the Press."

"I think it will go relatively quickly. ... Weeks rather than months." Same broadcast.

"I think (IAEA chief) Mr. ElBaradei, frankly, is wrong. And I think, if you look at the track record of the International Atomic Energy Agency in this kind of issue, especially where Iraq's concerned, they have consistently underestimated or missed what it was Saddam Hussein was doing." Same broadcast.

"We know (Iraqi President Saddam Hussein) has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." Same broadcast.


"He (Saddam) had long established ties with al Qaeda." Sept. 14, 2003, to members of a conservative think tank in Orlando, Florida.

"There's no question this guy (Saddam) had invested billions in developing illegal programs of weapons of mass destruction and don't let anybody tell you this was not a significant threat." Oct. 3, 2003, to a political fund-raiser in Des Moines, Iowa.

"Any suggestion that prewar information was distorted, hyped, fabricated by the leader of the nation is utterly false." Nov. 21, 2005, speech to the American Enterprise Institute.

"Although our coalition has not found WMD stockpiles in Iraq, I repeat that we never had the burden of proof. Saddam Hussein did. We operated on the best available intelligence gathered over a period of years and within a totalitarian society ruled by fear and secret police." Same speech.

AlertNet news is provided by


From Think Progress with hat-tip to Tiny at Tiny Little Dots:

Cheney Rewrites The Headlines

Vice President Dick Cheney began his speech at the American Enterprise Institute today with the following statement:

My remarks today concern national security, in particular the war on terror and Iraq front in that war. Several days ago, I commented on some recent statements that have been made by some members of Congress about Iraq. Within hours of my speech, a report went out on the wires under the headline quote, Cheney Says War Critics Dishonest, Reprehensible, endquote. The one thing I’ve learned in the last five years is that when you’re vice president you’re lucky if your speeches get any attention at all but I do have a quarrel with that headline.

Here’s exactly what Cheney said just a few days ago, on November 16:

And the suggestion that’s been made by some U.S. senators that the President of the United States or any member of this administration purposely misled the American people on pre-war intelligence is one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city.

To quote President Bush, it is “deeply irresponsible to rewrite history.”


Cheney clarified later in the speech that he differentiates between war critics who believe the President misled the public into war and war critics who believe an exit strategy is needed. While he believes the latter is a patriotic group, the former is still “dishonest and reprehensible“:

What is not legitimate — and what I will again say is dishonest and reprehensible — is the suggestion by some U. S. senators that the President of the United States or any member of his administration purposely misled the American people on pre-war intelligence.


Rep. John Murtha wants the troops pulled back to a "safe zone" and then be redeployed. The majority of the American public wants the troops brought home. In Iraq 80% of the public want us to pull the troops out, with 45% saying they have the right to attack our troops because they are occupiers...which we are.

Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld say neither is going to happen. Maybe Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld should start lisening to us and the Iraqis.

From Information Clearing House:

Iraqi leaders demand timetable for troop withdrawal

By Agence France Presse

11/21/05 "
AFP" -- -- CAIRO - Iraqi leaders reached a tentative agreement Monday to demand a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops from their war-torn country during talks ahead of a reconciliation conference to be held next year.

Dozens of leaders representing most of Iraq's factions have been holding tough talks in Cairo since Saturday in a bid to reach a common agenda.

In a draft final statement, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, they demanded "a timetable for the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops".

The draft also advocates "immediately setting up a national programme to rebuild the armed forces in a way that will allow them to control the security situation and put an end to terrorist operations".

Iraq's disempowered Sunni community had long made the timetable one of its main demands before returning to the political arena.

But the current government -- dominated by the Shiite and Kurdish communities formerly oppressed by Saddam Hussein's ousted regime -- has so far stressed that a hasty troop withdrawal would plunge the country into chaos.

The United States, which leads the coalition of foreign forces occupying Iraq, has consistently said it would not stay indefinitely in Iraq but refused to announce a timetable.

The US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said Monday it was "possible to begin adjusting our forces downwards, meaning begin to withdraw, some forces beginning next year".

But he warned that a total pullout by November 2006 would be premature.

"I think a total withdrawal of US forces by then is unrealistic. I don't think the Iraqis will be ready to completely take over the mission by themselves by that time," he said on CNN television.

Apart from discussing the withdrawal of foreign troops, the planned reconciliation conference aims to lessen the ongoing insurgency by expanding political dialogue.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani told the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram that a large part of the insurgency could be won over if a common political agenda was agreed at the Cairo talks.

"A success of the Cairo talks will allow us to ... bring the resistance of the Arab nationalists to an end," he said.

But Iraq's most feared insurgent group, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, led by Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has rejected any dialogue, saying the "sword and blood" were the only ways forward.

© 2005 Agence France Presse