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"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt

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Saturday, June 04, 2005

Rocky Mountain Lows

How soon we forget about the devastating Chernobyl disaster and the long term effects of radioactive material being released. Are we really this desperate for a natural gas supply?

DENVER - A company says it plans to drill for natural gas near the site of an underground nuclear blast nearly four decades ago, despite opposition from local residents and the concerns of Energy Department officials. Presco Inc., based in the Houston area, had received permission from county commissioners to drill one well inside a state-imposed buffer zone around Project Rulison in western Colorado.
On a related note, local icon and activist John Denver once performed at a benefit for the Chernobyl disaster...

Denver's popularity waned as he turned his focus more toward humanitarian work, focusing primarily on ecological concerns and space exploration; he also toured Communist-led Russia and China, and in 1987 performed in Chernobyl in the wake of that city's nuclear disaster.
The irony is staggering, poor John must be rolling in his grave right now.

Fun With Google

The Downing Street coverage is growing exponentially on blogs and other non-mainstream media sites, but there is still an obvious blackout on established "news" sites.

When searching on the web tab of Google 274,000 hits are returned, but searching on the news tab only 327 hits are returned.

Don't you love Google?

Protesters in Tampa

This doesn't quite compare to the masses that took to the streets in the Vietnam era but its a start.

TAMPA - Just a stone's throw away from a life-size gorilla dressed in military fatigues was another oddity along Kennedy Boulevard Thursday - people protesting about a memo. "Did you get the memo?" read the fliers. "Air the truth!" said a poster held by retired Air Force Lt. Col. Joseph F. Bohren, outside the WTVT-Ch. 13 studios with about 10 others.
We cannot forget "the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." Thank you for your patriotism Joe Bohren; you're a real hero.

Thinking Global...

and acting local in Richmond, Texas.

Check out this grassroots organization seeking to oust Tom DeLay as House majority...

Congressional District 22, with Clear Lake, Pearland, League City, Sugar Land, parts of Galveston County and many other communities, is Tom Delay's GROUND ZERO. In a democracy, the people, not corrupt businesses and money-hungry politicians, will make or break office holders. Tom Delay knows now that the voters in this area, citizens that Delay has ignored for years, will make this his GROUND ZERO in 2006. Then, Tom Delay will meet his makers, the angry voters of Congressional District 22! Perhaps now, thanks to the public's growing knowledge of Delay's many ethical, no doubt illegal, actions, his party will make him step down!

Car Wars

Winning hearts and minds in Vienna.

An Austrian artist has staged an anti-war protest by parking three cars with controversial slogans in Vienna. Poeter Siegl parked a red Ford Mustang for George W Bush, a white Rolls Royce for Tony Blair and a hearse for Saddam Hussein. - The cars are offered as "head money" for anyone who "brings the balls" of the politicians to Vienna.

Meanwhile in Iran...

Condoleezza is charming as ever.

LONDON, June 3 (IranMania) - Iran hit out at US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Friday for comments on its participation in an Iraq reconstruction conference and "interference" in elections, the student news agency ISNA reported."Ms Rice is infuriated by our foreign minister's successful trip to Iraq and feels belittled when comparing that to her own trip," said foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi, referring to a landmark visit last month by Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi to Iraq.

Asked if Iran would be invited to the conference to be held in Brussels on June 22, Rice had launched into a litany of criticism of Iran."We have our differences with Iran. We believe very strongly that Iran is a state that is out of step with what is going on in the region," the chief US diplomat said.
I'm thinking it might do our diplomatic relations some good if How to Win Friends & Influence People was required reading at the White House; well that and a book on ethics.

Friday, June 03, 2005

We Don't Need Another Hero

Now that John Conyers and the blogger community has built up some momentum concerning the Downing Street Minutes, Kerry decides to step up to the plate. Sorry Mr. Kerry but, I believe you had your chance to be the hero for rescuing Democracy from the fascist grip about 7 months ago in Ohio. How soon you forget the broken promises. Do you remember something about "every last vote"; what happened? Step aside Big John, I believe we have our hero - his name is John Conyers.

"When I go back (to Washington) on Monday, I am going to raise the issue," he said of the memo, which has not been disputed by either the British or American governments. "I think it's a stunning, unbelievably simple and understandable statement of the truth and a profoundly important document that raises stunning issues here at home. And it's amazing to me the way it escaped major media discussion. It's not being missed on the Internet, I can tell you that."

Signatures Received!

I just heard on The Randi Rhodes Show that John Conyers received 100,000 signatures endorsing an inquiry for impeachment!

If you havn't signed, there is still time to be part of history.

Mark Morford

If you have not stumbled upon his column yet, you are in for a tasty treat; here's a sample...

Know what great leaders, great nations, do at times of war and fracture and massive bludgeoning debt? All of the above, all the time, with great intelligence and humility and grace and awareness and shared humanity. Or they die.

But not BushCo. This is the hilarious thing. This is the appalling thing, still. How can this man remain so blindly, staggeringly resolute? How can he be so appallingly ignorant of fact, of truth, of evidence, of deep thought? In short, what the hell is wrong with George W. Bush?

Here it is, another bumbling, barely articulate press conference by Dubya, one of the few he ever gives because he clearly hates the things and is deeply troubled by them, hates reporters who ask complicated questions and hates people who dare doubt his simple mind-set, his effectiveness, his policies, his lopsided myopic one-way black/white good/evil worldview.

Progressive Radio?

I was listening to Nancy Skinner on the way to work today. A caller called in talking about how the Bush administration went to war in Iraq for oil and profit, how we should follow the money to find the truth, she spoke of Halliburton and their war profiteering, and mentioned how the Bush administration more than likely were in on 9-11 to some degree or at the very least aware and let it happen. So Nancy responds to the caller by saying something to the effect of how the Bush administration didn't go to war for profit, but they thought it was necessary for national security, and not to fall in the trap of crazy conspiracies theories. WTF - this is progressive talk radio? The attitude of some of our "progressive" radio host really concerns me. Are they just a distraction to keep us on the "right" liberal message?

If any of you are as outraged about this as I am, let her know: nancyskinneram@clearchannel.com

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Rewriting History

Thirty years later the media's spin on the Watergate informant Mark Felt, is to demonize him for exposing lies and corruption in the then current administration. Could this be a warning to those exposing the lies and corruption of the Bush administration? Is the martyrdom that is being placed on Nixon an attempt to soften the possible impeachment of the current resident of the White House?

WASHINGTON Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan, a onetime speechwriter for President Nixon, provided the expected thunder on the right Wednesday, characterizing W. Mark Felt as "dishonorable" for leaking information about Watergate to the Washington Post.

Saying "Deep Throat" is "not a hero he's a snake," Buchanan compared Felt to Linda Tripp, who helped precipitate President Clinton's impeachment by leaking tapes of her conversations with Monica S. Lewinsky. Buchanan criticized the media for not making Tripp a heroine as well.

"The only reason Mark Felt is a hero now [is because he helped] destroy Richard Milhous Nixon," Buchanan told WABC Radio.

Others from the Watergate era weighed in with similar criticisms. G. Gordon Liddy, the Nixon operative who led the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters that began the scandal, said Felt was obliged as a law enforcement officer to turn over evidence of wrongdoing to authorities, not to the media.

"What he did was wrong," Liddy said.

Ticket to Iran

I'm guessing this will be the justification for invading Iran...

WASHINGTON: US defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has warned Iraq's neighbours that any country that takes in Abu Musab al-Zarqawi will be viewed by the US as associating with al-Qai'da.

Zarqawi, the most wanted man in Iraq, is believed to have been wounded while fighting near the Syrian border.

"The current assumption is that he's in Iraq," Mr Rumsfeld said. "Were a neighbouring country to take him in and provide medical assistance or haven for him, they obviously would be associating themselves with a major linkage in the al-Qa'ida network, and a person who has a great deal of blood on his hands."

War of Words

At the press conference earlier this week George stated that he was working towards a diplomatic solution to resolve the tension between the U.S. and North Korea. Based on this exchange of words I'm guessing it's not time to invite Kim Jong over to the Crawford ranch for a tour of the gardens just yet...

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea called Vice President Dick Cheney a "bloodthirsty beast" on Thursday, in response to Cheney saying the North's leader Kim Jong-il was irresponsible and ran a police state.

"Cheney is hated as the most cruel monster and bloodthirsty beast, as he has drenched various parts of the world in blood," a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by Pyongyang's official KCNA news agency.

Washington and North Korea have been in the midst of a war of words in recent weeks, with President Bush calling the North's Kim a tyrant. Pyongyang has shot back calling Bush a half-baked man and a Philistine.

Meanwhile back in Crawford...

George: Laura he called me a Philistine. What does that mean?

Laura: George just remember, sticks and stones may break your bones, but names will never hurt you.

Is this what we have come to; our world leaders are resorting to school yard tactics of eight year old boys? Expect shoving matches to follow. Can we just expel them both and get on with preparing for the coming energy crisis?

Conservative Dissent

Has hell frozen over?

Even hardline conservatives are questioning the empirical ambitions of the Bush administration...

Over the last two years, I have found increasing numbers of conservatives deeply concerned by U.S. military intervention in Iraq. They voted for and admire President Bush, but were profoundly disturbed by his second inaugural address pledging to spread democracy worldwide. Now, there is an important new book that eloquently puts in perspective their alarms about America's course in the post-Cold War world.

Sands of Empire by Robert W. Merry, a respected Washington journalist, warns of the United States as the ''Crusader State'' transporting American exceptionalism around the world. The book, to be published this month, contends this crusade threatens ''the American Republic, the greatest civic achievement in the history of mankind.''

Teens Protest the War

With the threat of a draft looming over the horizon teens in California get involved...

Students at Aptos High School are making their voices heard about their displeasure with the war in Iraq.

The school’s Peace Club is joining with other peace and justice groups in Santa Cruz to present "Rock for Peace," a student-produced benefit concert at the Vets Hall in Santa Cruz to make young people aware of how they can get involved in social issues.


Teens are concerned about military recruitment on campus and the possibility of a military draft, Bare said.

The event will be great for making connections with others who have similar viewpoints on peace, war and the community in general, Van Stolk said.

The tide certainly seems to be turning, make note of the event's sponsors:

Harbor High, Soquel High, St. Francis High, Santa Cruz High and Renaissance High schools are helping produce the event, sponsored by the Bill Motto Post 5888 VFW.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Ohio Report

Check out John Conyers' report: What Went Wrong in Ohio. One of the few members of Congress who was brave enough to expose the Bush administration's 2004 win for exactly what it was; a major fraud on our country and people, and a warning of just how fragile our democracy is.

Caption Contest 00001

"I'm telling you for the last time, Big Bird's not coming home from Guantamano until you and Cookie Monster tell Dickie and Georgie where you hid them WMD's!"

Congratulations Dr. Chaos, your the winner of the first ever Caption Contest at Daily Dissent!

Bubba's Back

Clinton reveals ambitions in regards to being head of the United Nations...

In 2001, in the opening months of his ex-presidency, Bill Clinton confided to an aide that he had decided on his dream job for the next chapter of his life: secretary general of the United Nations.
The goal may not be realistic, he acknowledged, but he then went on to analyze all the factors in minute detail, as though he were preparing for a political campaign: whether a U.S. president would ever see fit to back him, for one, and what it would take to persuade other nations to bend the long-standing tradition that the top job does not go to someone from a country with permanent status on the U.N. Security Council.

His ambition, as the aide described it, was both breathtaking and entirely logical for a natural-born politician who had reached the top of the American political ladder: "president of the world."

Four years later, say several associates who have spoken with him in recent months, Clinton regards his dream of leading the United Nations as something more than a flight of fancy and something less than a serious prospect. Already, however, he has succeeded to a surprising degree in fashioning his ex-presidency to make himself a dominant player on the world stage.

What is the high pitched whining sound I hear? Oh, that must be the collective conscious of the wingnut hive getting ready to explode.

The Media Paradigm

The irony of Fox New's coverage of the Downing Street Minutes is staggering. They ignore the story for two weeks then when they finally cover it, they report the lack of coverage.

WASHINGTON - A British government memo that critics say proves the Bush administration manipulated evidence about weapons of mass destruction in order to carry out a plan to overthrow Saddam Hussein has received little attention in the mainstream media, frustrating opponents of the Iraq war.

The "Downing Street Memo" first published by The Sunday Times of London on May 1 summarizes a high-level meeting between Prime Minister Tony Blair and his senior national security team on July 23, 2002, months before the March 2003 coalition invasion of Iraq.

While pondering the charade of the media's monopoly on the perception of reality, and its subsequent coverage of such reality, I am reminded of the famous M.C. Escher print.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Diplomatic Stealth Fighters

In today's press conference Bush states he is pursuing a diplomatic resolution with North Korea:

"North Korea had its weapons program before, as you know, as did Iran. And as I also told you, David, that we want diplomacy to work. And it's -- we want diplomacy to be given a chance to work. And that's exactly the position of the government. Hopefully it will work. I think it will."

Meanwhile over in North Korea...

The deployment last week of 15 stealth fighters to South Korea, along with the severing of the US military's only official interaction with North Korea, appears to be part of a new push by the Bush administration to further isolate Pyongyang despite China's hesitation to join the effort.

Is there a new stealth fighter code named Diplomatic Resolution?

Peace in the Middle East?

Iran and Syria step up their missile programs...

Syria test fired three Skud B missiles last Friday at the Syrian test site in the eastern part of the country, Channel 2 News revealed on Tuesday.

According to the report, the launchings were picked up by the Arrow missile system's radar 'Oren Yarok'.

In January, Israel Aircraft Industries missile experts told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Syria is especially interested in accurate medium-range missiles that can hit Israel.


Meanwhile, Iran has successfully tested a solid fuel motor for its medium-range Shahab-3 ballistic missile, a technological breakthrough in Iran's military industries, the Iranian defense minister said Tuesday.

I thought King George said that spreading freedom and democracy would bring peace to the middle east.?

Blackout on Downing Street

A thorough analysis of the Downing Street Minutes media blackout...

Aggressive followers and participants in U.S. politics often have strong opinions about the Downing Street Minutes. Most other Americans have not heard of or are not clear about what the Downing Street Minutes are.

How is this possible? Here we have the official government minutes from a meeting of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials, including a briefing by Richard Dearlove, then-director of Britain's CIA equivalent, MI-6, who had just returned from meetings with high U.S. Government officials in Washington. While the meeting recorded in these minutes occurred on July 23, 2002, months before President Bush submitted his resolution on Iraq to the United States Congress and months before Bush and Blair asked the United Nations to resume its inspections for alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the minutes make clear that Bush had decided to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein by launching a war which, Dearlove reports, would be "justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]." Dearlove continues: "But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Exxon Mobile Confirms Peak Oil Fears

Exxon Mobile predicts peak oil will be reached in five years. Can we now end the cognitive dissonance that has clouded the perception of the masses and start preparing for the inevitable?

Without any press conferences, grand announcements, or hyperbolic advertising campaigns, the Exxon Mobil Corporation, one of the world's largest publicly owned petroleum companies, has quietly joined the ranks of those who are predicting an impending plateau in non-OPEC oil production. Their report, The Outlook for Energy: A 2030 View, forecasts a peak in just five years.

In the past, many who expressed such concerns were dismissed as eager catastrophists, peddling the latest Malthusian prophecy of the impending collapse of fossil-fueled civilization. Their reliance on private oil-reserve data that is unverifiable by other analysts, and their use of models that ignore political and economic factors, have led to frequent erroneous pronouncements. They were countered by the extreme optimists, who believed that we would never need to think about such problems and that the markets would take care of everything. Up to now, those who worried about limited petroleum supplies have been at best ignored, and at worst openly ridiculed.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the apocalyptic consequences of peak oil please check out this previous post.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Go Johny, Go!

New information surfaces regarding an increased bombing rate in 2002 to goad Sadam into war...

THE RAF and US aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war, new evidence has shown.

The attacks were intensified from May, six months before the United Nations resolution that Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, argued gave the coalition the legal basis for war. By the end of August the raids had become a full air offensive.

John Conyers promptly demands answers from Rumsfeld...

Dear Secretary Rumsfeld:

I write with an urgent and important request that you respond to a report in the London Times on Sunday, May 29, indicating that British and U.S. aircraft increased their rates of bombing in 2002 in order to provoke an excuse for war in Iraq. Much of this information is provided by the British Ministry of Defense in response to questions posed by Liberal Democrat Sir Menzies Campbell.

As you may know, on May 6, I wrote to President Bush, along with 88 of my colleagues in the House of Representatives, asking him to respond to allegations first revealed in the London Times on May 1, that the U.S. and British government had a secret plan to invade Iraq by the summer of 2002, well before the Bush Administration requested authorization for military action, from the U.S. Congress. A response is still pending on that request.


As a result of these new disclosures, I would ask that you respond as promptly as possible to the following questions:

1) Did the RAF and the United States military increase the rate that they were dropping bombs in Iraq in 2002? If so, what was the extent and timing of the increase?

2) What was the justification for any such increase in the rate of bombing in Iraq at this time? Was this justification reviewed by legal authorities in the U.S.?

3) To the best of your knowledge, was there any agreement with any representative of the British government to engage in military action in Iraq before authority was sought from the Congress or the U.N.? If so, what was the nature of the agreement?

Support the Troops - Not Unnecessary Wars

The Minneapolis Star Tribune eloquently puts it all in perspective as we celebrate our nations service men...

Nothing young Americans can do in life is more honorable than offering themselves for the defense of their nation. It requires great selflessness and sacrifice, and quite possibly the forfeiture of life itself. On Memorial Day 2005, we gather to remember all those who gave us that ultimate gift. Because they are so fresh in our minds, those who have died in Iraq make a special claim on our thoughts and our prayers.

In exchange for our uniformed young people's willingness to offer the gift of their lives, civilian Americans owe them something important: It is our duty to ensure that they never are called to make that sacrifice unless it is truly necessary for the security of the country. In the case of Iraq, the American public has failed them; we did not prevent the Bush administration from spending their blood in an unnecessary war based on contrived concerns about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. President Bush and those around him lied, and the rest of us let them. Harsh? Yes. True? Also yes. Perhaps it happened because Americans, understandably, don't expect untruths from those in power. But that works better as an explanation than as an excuse.

Take what you want, leave what you don't.

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