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In This Edition

Noam Chomsky with a must read, "All Options On The Table?"

Uri Avnery feels, "The Anger, The Longing, The Hope."

Victoria Stewart sees, "The Face of Revolution."

Jim Hightower finds, "For Republican Leader. Principal Trumps Principle."

Mel Bartholomew covers, "High Rise Carrots."

Moteur Development International offers, "The Air Car."

Greg Palast was, "Chewing The Buddha."

Chris Floyd watches the, "Pole Position."

Cindy Sheehan explores, "We the People Vs. The (Cyst)em."

Mike Folkerth wonders, "America Needs Change; But Too What?"

Vincent L. Guarisco recalls, "The 7th Anniversary Of 9/11 And The Cycle Of War."

Ray McGovern watches, "Musharraf, Not Bush, Follows Nixon."

U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger wins the coveted "Vidkun Quisling Award!"

Glenn Greenwald reports, "Doubts Over The Anthrax Case Intensify, Except Among Much Of The Media."

Mary Pitt covers, "The Ed McMahon Example."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department Will Durst sends a message "To America's Raging Moderate" but first Uncle Ernie considers, "Freedom Cages."

This week we spotlight the cartoons of David Horsey with additional cartoons and photos from Ruben Bolling, Micah Wright, Ann Telnaes, Khalil Bendib, Gary Varvel, John Cole, John Branch, Don Wright, Ed Stein, Moteur Development International, Square Foot Gardening, Issues & Alibis and Pink & Blue Films.

Plus we have all of your favorite Departments...

The Quotable Quote...
The Dead Letter Office...
The Cartoon Corner...
To End On A Happy Note...
Have You Seen This...
Parting Shots...
Zeitgeist The Movie...

Welcome one and all to "Uncle Ernie's Issues & Alibis."

Freedom Cages
By Ernest Stewart

Though your brother's bound and gagged
And they've chained him to a chair
Won't you please come to Chicago just to sing?
Chicago ~~~ Crosy, Stills, Nash & Young

"Said the frying-pan to the kettle, get away, blackbreech"
Don Quixote ~~~ Miguel de Cervantes

"Russia must also warn the European countries that... in case of a potential military confrontation... capitals, large cities, and industrial and communications centers of the countries hosting elements of the U.S. missile shield will inevitably become primary targets of nuclear strikes." ~~~ Col. Gen. Leonid Ivashov

Well, I suppose it was the next logic step in America's destruction. First Bush introduced "Free Speech Zones" and now, for those of you who want to speak your mind at the Demoncratic Convention in Denver and who aren't corpo-rat goons inside the "Pepsi Center," you will do so inside a "Freedom Cage!"

U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger said, "That while a designated parade route and fenced-in protest zone may inhibit protesters' ability to express themselves, they do not violate First Amendment rights to free speech. These restrictions are justified by important government interests." she continued. Can you guess who appointed Frau Krieger to the court? No, let's not see the same hands all of the time... If you guessed it was our own beloved "Smirky the Wonder Chimp" you may stay after class and clean the erasers!

Oh, and if you dare to "peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances" outside of the "Freedom Cage" you will soon find that the 1st amendment to the Constitution no longer exists and you will be on your way to another Bush Brothers Gulag known to the locals as, "Gitmo on the Platte!"

Note the similarity to Gitmo "Tiger Cages."

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper (I couldn't make a name like that up if I tried folks), who is a Demoncrat, said Frau Krieger's decision was "gratifying," and noted that "of the three Democratic conventions since 2000, Denver's is the only plan fully upheld by a federal judge." (Which is interesting because since 2000 there have only been the 2004 convention and this one.)

"With this validation of our plans, we continue moving forward - focused on making the convention a safe, inclusive and enjoyable event for all," Herr Hickenlooper said. Makes you want to play some John Phillips Sousa and march around the room, don't it? I know what my generation would have done facing such a challenge from Smirky and his minions. I know because I was there as a member of the SDS and it was called the "1968 Demoncratic Convention" in Chicago. I wonder what today's kids will do?

In Other News

Who didn't get a chuckle form our beloved prairie monkey wagging his finger at the Chinese and the Russians over human rights issues? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! Not to excuse the Russians or the Chinese for a moment but after his millions of war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, where does Bush get off?

To the Chinese he said, "We speak out for a free press, freedom of assembly, and labor rights not to antagonize China's leaders, but because trusting its people with greater freedom is the only way for China to develop its full potential." Of course, we've done away with a free press and if you dare speak your mind outside of a free speech zone you'll end up in a freedom cage. Unions? Since old Dementia head hit the scene back in `81 the unions have all but disappeared.

To the Russian Smirky said, "The United States stands with the democratically elected government of Georgia and insists that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia be respected." Say what? Isn't that exactly what we did in Kabul and Baghdad? Didn't we invade, overthrow their governments and take over their countries, appointing puppets to run them?

Then we're treated to another hissy fit from Kinda Sleazy running hither and yon in Europe demanding Russia get out of Georgia all the while pretending what we're doing isn't just like what the Russians are doing-except that we've killed and maimed millions.

"This is not 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia where Russia can threaten a neighbor, occupy a capital, overthrow a government and get away with it," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said. "Things have changed." Oh really? Methinks the "lady" doth protest too much!

That's just our foreign policy chickens coming home to roost. When you've thrown your morals out the window to make a buck on the destruction of innocent countries it's a bit hard to stand up with righteous indignation without the world laughing in your face and calling you a hypocrite!

And Finally

Kinda Sleazy stopped by Warsaw on her way back to Foggy Bottom to seal Poland's doom by signing the controversial "missile defense shield treaty."

Rice arrived in Poland having attended an emergency summit of Nato foreign ministers, which warned Russia there could be no "business as usual" until it complies with the EU-brokered ceasefire in Georgia.

Russia has threatened that Poland "faces being targeted by nuclear warheads" in retaliation for agreeing to host the US missile system.

NATO secretary-general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, while rattling his sword, described that as "pathetic rhetoric," and declared, "It is unhelpful and it leads nowhere." To which Kinda Sleazy added, "Poland is an independent country. And it's an ally of the United States. And it's a democratic country, to whose security the United States is committed." Remember Georgia had the same promises that we've given Poland!

"The negotiations were very tough but friendly," Donald Tusk, Poland's prime minister said to Rice in English after the signing. "We have achieved our main goals, which means that our country and the United States will be more secure." Don, you really ought to put that crack pipe down, it's making you silly!

If Russia nukes those two bases in Poland and in the Czech Republic, does anyone really believe that NATO will risk London, Paris and Berlin, etc, by attacking Moscow over Poland? We've already been there and done that, and 60 millions died. This time around it could easily be 6 billion. Of course, that is exactly what our masters want, a population of a few hundred million to clear out some space and serve their every need!

Philip Coyle, a senior adviser with the Center for Defense Information in Washington DC, said the Bush administration has been trying for about 18 months to reach this deal but the timing has turned out to be "most unfortunate from a Russian point of view. The tragedy in all of this confrontation with Russia is that the system that's proposed for Poland and the Czech Republic is a scarecrow," he said. "It's not something that Europe can rely on, it is not dependable. If Iran had missiles that could reach central Europe, which they don't yet, this system couldn't be relied on to defend against them anyway." The "commotion and sword-rattling with Russia is for nothing," Coyle said.

For 30 years we had the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with MAD which both served the world well. Can you guess who pulled us out of the ABMT? I bet you can! That's right, it was our beloved Smirky the "Wonder Chimp" who is doing everything he can before January to commit us to WWIII. Thanks again, Nancy, for pulling impeachment off the table. I hope we live long enough to watch Cindy kick your traitorous ass!


"The era of manufacturing consent has given way to the era of manufacturing news.
Soon media newsrooms will drop the pretense, and start hiring theater directors instead of journalists."
~~~ Arundhati Roy ~~~

We'd like to thank David, Terry and David for sending in their donations which allowed us to restart the weekly polls and help pay off some of the bills. We're a lot closer to raising all the money we need to keep going but we're still $2300 short. If you haven't spent all of your refund check yet please consider sending us what you can. For those of you who are as broke as we are don't send money but do tell all of your friends about the magazine and our cause. Consider staging a fundraiser with your friends and groups. One good topless car wash would straighten up our finances for the rest of the year!

To contribute to the cause and help us keep fighting for you just visit our donations page and follow the instructions there. Thank you!

Ernest & Victoria Stewart


01-10-1917 ~ 08-15-2008
Still diggin' that rhythm and blues!

09-07-1961 ~ 08-19-2008
R.I.P. Bro!

09-10-1949 ~ 08-20-2008
R.I.P. Sister!


The "W" theatre trailers are up along with the new movie poster and screen shots from the film. They are all available at the all-new "W" movie site: http://wthemovie.com. Both trailers are on site and may be downloaded; the new trailer can be seen with Flash on site. You can download in either PC or Mac formats. I'm in the new trailer as myself but don't blink or you'll miss me! The trailers are also available on YouTube along with a short scene from the film.


We get by with a little help from our friends!
So please help us if you can...?


So how do you like the 2nd coup d'etat so far?
And more importantly, what are you planning on doing about it?

Until the next time, Peace!
(c) 2008 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for the last 7 years managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. In his spare time he is an actor, writer and an associate producer for the new motion picture "W The Movie."

All Options On The Table?
By Noam Chomsky

: NUCLEAR threats and counter-threats are a subtext of our times, steadily, it seems, becoming more insistent. The July meeting in Geneva between Iran and six major world powers on Iran's nuclear program ended with no progress.

The Bush administration was widely praised for having shifted to a more conciliatory stand -- namely, by allowing a US diplomat to attend without participating -- while Iran was castigated for failing to negotiate seriously. And the powers warned Iran that it would soon face more severe sanctions unless it terminated its uranium enrichment programs.

Meanwhile India was applauded for agreeing to a nuclear pact with the United States that would effectively authorise its development of nuclear weapons outside the bounds of the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), with US assistance in nuclear programmes along with other rewards -- in particular, to US firms eager to enter the Indian market for nuclear and weapons development, and ample payoffs to parliamentarians who signed on, a tribute to India's flourishing democracy.

Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Stimson Center and a leading specialist on nuclear threats, observed reasonably that Washington's decision to "place profits ahead of nonproliferation" could mean the end of the NPT if others follow its lead, sharply increasing the dangers all around.

During the same period, Israel, another state that has defied the NPT with Western support, conducted large-scale military manoeuvres in the eastern Mediterranean that were understood to be preparation for bombing Iran's nuclear facilities.

In a New York Times Op-Ed article, "Using Bombs to Stave Off War," the prominent Israeli historian Benny Morris wrote that Iran's leaders should welcome Israeli bombing with conventional weapons, because "the alternative is an Iran turned into a nuclear wasteland."

Purposely or not, Morris is reviving an old theme. During the 1950s, leading figures of Israel's governing Labor Party advised in internal discussion that "we will go crazy ("nishtagea") if crossed, threatening to bring down the Temple Walls in the manner of the first "suicide bomber," the revered Samson, who killed more philistines by his suicide than in his entire lifetime.

Israel's nuclear weapons may well harm its own security, as Israeli strategic analyst Zeev Maoz persuasively argues. But security is often not a high priority for state planners, as history makes clear. And the "Samson complex," as Israeli commentators have called it, can be flaunted to warn the master to carry out the desired task of smashing Iran, or else we'll inflame the region and maybe the world.

The "Samson complex," reinforced by the doctrine that "the whole world is against us," cannot be lightly ignored. Shortly after the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, which left some 15-20,000 killed in an unprovoked effort to secure Israel's control of the occupied territories, Aryeh Eliav, one of Israel's best-known doves, wrote that the attitude of "those who brought the 'Samson complex' here, according to which we shall kill and bury all the Gentiles around us while we ourselves shall die with them," is a form of "insanity" that was then all too prevalent, and still is.

US military analysts have recognised that, as Army Lt. Col. Warner Farr wrote in 1999, one "purpose of Israeli nuclear weapons," not often stated, but obvious, is their 'use' on the United States," presumably to ensure consistent U.S. support for Israeli policies -- or else.

Others see further dangers. Gen. Lee Butler, former commander-in-chief of the US Strategic Command, observed in 1999 that "it is dangerous in the extreme that in the cauldron of animosities that we call the Middle East, one nation has armed itself, ostensibly, with stockpiles of nuclear weapons, perhaps numbering in the hundreds, and that inspires other nations to do so." This fact is hardly irrelevant to concerns about Iran's nuclear programs, but is off the agenda.

Also off the agenda is Article 2 of the UN Charter, which bars the threat of force in international affairs. Both US political parties insistently proclaim their criminality, declaring that "all options are on the table" with regard to Iran's nuclear programs. Some go beyond, like John McCain, joking about what fun it would be to bomb Iran and to kill Iranians, though the humor may be lost on the "unpeople" of the world, to borrow the term used by British historian Mark Curtis for those who do not merit the attention of the privileged and powerful.

Barack Obama declares that he would do "everything in my power" to prevent Iran from gaining the capacity to produce nuclear weapons. The unpeople surely understand that launching a nuclear war would be "in his power."

The chorus of denunciations of the New Hitlers in Teheran and the threat they pose to survival has been marred by a few voices from the back rooms. Former Mossad Chief Ephraim Halevy recently warned that an Israeli attack on Iran "could have an impact on us for the next 100 years."

An unnamed former senior Mossad official added, "Iran's achievement is creating an image of itself as a scary superpower when it's really a paper tiger" -- which is not quite accurate: The achievement should be credited to US-Israeli propaganda.

One of the participants in the July meetings was Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who outlined "the Arab position": "to work toward a political and diplomatic settlement under which Iran will maintain the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes" but without nuclear weapons.

The "Arab position" is that of most Iranians, along with other unpeople. On July 30, the 120-member Nonaligned Movement reiterated its previous endorsement of Iran's right to enrich uranium in accord with the NPT.

Joining the unpeople is the large majority of Americans, according to polls. The American unpeople not only endorse Iran's right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes but also support the "Arab position" calling for a nuclear-weapons-free-zone in the entire region, a step that would sharply reduce major threats, but is also off the agenda of the powerful; unmentionable in electoral campaigns, for example.

Benny Morris assures us that "Every intelligence agency in the world believes the Iranian program is geared toward making weapons." As is well-known, the US National Intelligence Estimate of November 2007 judged "with high confidence that in fall 2003, Teheran halted its nuclear weapons program." It is doubtful, to say the least, that the intelligence agencies of every country of the NAM disagree.

Morris is presumably reporting information from an Israeli intelligence source -- which generalizes to "every intelligence agency" by the same logic that instructs us that Iran is defying "the world" by seeking to enrich uranium: the world apart from its unpeople.

There are rumblings in radical nationalist (so-called "neocon") circles that if Barack Obama wins the election, Bush-Cheney should bomb Iran, since the threat of Iran is too great to be left in the hands of a wimpish Democrat. Reports also have surfaced -- recently from Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker -- on US "covert operations" in Iran, otherwise known as international terrorism.

In June, Congress came close to passing a resolution (H. Con. Res. 362), strongly supported by the Israeli lobby, virtually calling for a blockade of Iran -- an act of war, that could have set off the conflagration that is greatly feared in the region and around the world. Pressures from the anti-war movement appear to have beaten back this particular effort, according to Mark Weisbrot at Alternet.org, but others are likely to follow.

The government of Iran merits severe condemnation on many counts, but the Iranian threat remains a desperate construction of those who arrogate to themselves the right to rule the world, and consider any impediment to their just rule to be criminal aggression. That is the primary threat that should concern us, as it concerns saner minds in the West, and the unpeople of the rest of the world.
(c) 2008 Noam Chomsky is emeritus professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is co-author, with Gilbert Achcar, of Perilous Power: The Middle East & U.S. Foreign Policy: Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice. His most recent book is Hegemony or Survival Americas Quest for Global Dominance. His writings on linguistics and politics have just been collected in The Essential Noam Chomsky, edited by Anthony Arnove, from the New Press.

The Anger, The Longing, The Hope
By Uri Avnery

ONE OF the wisest pronouncements I have heard in my life was that of an Egyptian general, a few days after Anwar Sadat's historic visit to Jerusalem.

We were the first Israelis to come to Cairo, and one of the things we were very curious about was: how did you manage to surprise us at the beginning of the October 1973 war?

The general answered: "Instead of reading the intelligence reports, you should have read our poets."

I reflected on these words last Wednesday, at the funeral of Mahmoud Darwish.

DURING THE funeral ceremony in Ramallah he was referred to again and again as "the Palestinian National Poet."

But he was much more than that. He was the embodiment of the Palestinian destiny. His personal fate coincided with the fate of his people.

He was born in al-Birwa, a village on the Acre-Safad road. As early as 900 years ago, a Persian traveler reported that he had visited this village and prostrated himself on the graves of "Esau and Simeon, may they rest in peace". In 1931, ten years before the birth of Mahmoud, the population of the village numbered 996, of whom 92 were Christians and the rest Sunni Muslims.

On June 11, 1948, the village was captured by the Jewish forces. Its 224 houses were eradicated soon after the war, together with those of 650 other Palestinian villages. Only some cactus plants and a few ruins still testify to their past existence. The Darwish family fled just before the arrival of the troops, taking 7-year old Mahmoud with them.

Somehow, the family made their way back into what was by then Israeli territory. They were accorded the status of "present absentees" - a cunning Israeli invention. It meant that they were legal residents of Israel, but their lands were taken from them under a law that dispossessed every Arab who was not physically present in his village when it was occupied. On their land the kibbutz Yasur (belonging to the left-wing Hashomer Hatzair movement) and the cooperative village Ahihud were set up.

Mahmoud's father settled in the next Arab village, Jadeidi, from where he could view his land from afar. That's where Mahmoud grew up and where his family lives to this day.

During the first 15 years of the State of Israel, Arab citizens were subject to a "military regime" - a system of severe repression that controlled every aspect of their lives, including all their movements. An Arab was forbidden to leave his village without a special permit. Young Mahmoud Darwish violated this order several times, and whenever he was caught he went to prison. When he started to write poems, he was accused of incitement and put in "administrative detention" without trial.

At that time he wrote one of his best known poems, "Identity Card," a poem expressing the anger of a youngster growing up under these humiliating conditions. It opens with the thunderous words: "Record: I am an Arab!"

It was during this period that I met him for the first time. He came to me with another young village man with a strong national commitment, the poet Rashid Hussein. I remember a sentence of his: "The Germans killed six million Jews, and barely six years later you made peace with them. But with us, the Jews refuse to make peace."

He joined the Communist party, then the only party where a nationalist Arab could be active. He edited their newspapers. The party sent him to Moscow for studies, but expelled him when he decided not to come back to Israel. Instead he joined the PLO and went to Yasser Arafat's headquarters in Beirut. IT WAS there that I met him again, in one of the most exciting episodes of my life, when I crossed the lines in July 1982, at the height of the siege of Beirut, and met with Arafat. The Palestinian leader insisted that Mahmoud Darwish be present at this symbolic event, his first ever meeting with an Israeli. He sent somebody to call him.

His description of the siege of Beirut is one of Darwish's most impressive works. These were the days when he became the national poet. He accompanied the Palestinian struggle, and at the sessions of the Palestinian National Council, the institution that united all parts of the Palestinian people, he electrified the hall with readings of his stirring poems.

During those years he was very close to Arafat. While Arafat was the political leader of the Palestinian national movement, Darwish was its spiritual leader. It was he who wrote the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, which was adopted by the 1988 session of the National Council on the initiative of Arafat. It is very similar to the Israeli Declaration of Independence, which Darwish had learned at school.

He clearly understood its significance: by adopting this document the Palestinian parliament-in-exile accepted in practice the idea of establishing a Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel, in only a part of the homeland, as proposed by Arafat.

The alliance between the two broke down when the Oslo agreement was signed. Arafat saw it as "the best agreement in the worst situation." Darwish believed that Arafat had conceded too much. The national heart confronted the national mind. (That historical debate has still not been concluded today, after both of them have died.)

Since then Darwish lived in Paris, Amman and Ramallah - the Wandering Palestinian, who has replaced the Wandering Jew.

HE DID not want to be the National Poet. He did not want to be a political poet at all, but a lyrical one, a poet of love. But whenever he turned in this direction, the long arm of Palestinian fate dragged him back.

I am not qualified to judge his poems or to assess his greatness as a poet. Leading experts on the Arabic language are still bitterly quarreling among themselves about the meaning of his poems, their nuances and layers, images and allusions. He was a master of classical Arabic, and equally at home with Western and Israeli poetry. Many believe that he was the greatest Arab poet, and one of the greatest poets of our time.

His poetry enabled him to do what no one had succeeded in doing by other means: to unite all the parts of the fractured and fragmented Palestinian people - in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, in Israel, in the refugee camps and throughout the Diaspora. He belonged to all of them. The refugees could identify with him because he was a refugee, Israel's Palestinian citizens could identify with him because he was one of them, and so could the inhabitants of the occupied Palestinian territories, because he was a fighter against the occupation.

This week some people of the Palestinian Authority tried to exploit him for their struggle with Hamas. I don't think that he would have agreed. In spite of the fact that he was a totally secular Palestinian and very far from the religious world of Hamas, he expressed the feelings of all Palestinians. His poems also resonate with the soul of a member of Hamas in Gaza.

HE WAS the poet of anger, of longing, of hope and of peace. These were the strings of his violin.

Anger about the injustice done to the Palestinian people and every Palestinian individual. Longing for "my mother's coffee," for his village's olive tree, for the land of his forefathers. Hope that the conflict would come to an end. Support for peace between the two peoples, based on justice and mutual respect. In the documentary by the Israeli-French film-maker Simone Bitton, he pointed at the donkey as a symbol of the Palestinian people - a wise, patient animal that manages to survive.

He understood the nature of the conflict better than most Israelis and Palestinians. He called it "a struggle between two memories." The Palestinian historical memory clashes with the Jewish historical memory. Peace can come about only when each side understands the memories of the other - their myths, their secret longings, their hopes and fears.

That is the meaning of the Egyptian general's saying: poetry expresses the most profound feelings of a people. And only the understanding of these feelings can open the way for a real peace. A peace between politicians is not worth very much without a peace between the poets and the public they express. That's why Oslo failed, and why the present so-called negotiation for a "shelf agreement" is so worthless. It has no basis in the feelings of the two peoples.

Eight years ago, then Minister of Education Yossi Sarid tried to include two poems of Darwish in the Israeli school curriculum. This caused a furor, and the Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, decided that "the Israeli public is not ready for this." This meant, in reality, that "the Israeli public is not ready for peace."

This may still be true. Real peace, peace between the peoples, peace between the children born this week, on the day of the funeral, in Tel Aviv and Ramallah, will only come about when Arab pupils learn the immortal poem of Chaim Nachman Bialik "The Valley of Death," about the Kishinev pogrom, and when Israeli pupils learn the poems of Darwish about the Naqba. Yes, also the poems of anger, including the line "Go away, and take your dead with you."

Without understanding and courageously facing the flaming anger about the Naqba and its consequences, we shall not understand the roots of the conflict and shall not be able to solve it. And as another great Palestinian man of letters, Edward Said, said: without understanding the impact of the Holocaust upon the Israeli soul, the Palestinians will not be able to deal with the Israelis.

The Poets are the marshals of the struggle between the memories, between the myths, between the traumas. We shall need them on the road to peace between the two peoples, between the two states, for building a common future.

I was not present at the state funeral arranged by the Palestinian Authority in the Mukata, so orderly, so orchestrated. I was there, two hours later, when his body was buried on a beautiful hill, overlooking the surroundings.

I was deeply impressed by the public, which gathered under the blazing sun around the wreath-covered grave and listened to the recorded voice of Mahmoud reading his poems. Those present, people of the elite and simple villagers, connected with the man in silence, in a very private communion. Despite the crowding, they opened a way for us, the Israelis, who came to pay our respects at the grave.

We bade our silent farewell to a great Palestinian, a great poet, a great human being.
(c) 2008 Uri Avnery ~~~ Gush Shalom

The Face of Revolution
By Victoria Stewart

"The fact is that America's weapons systems have made it impossible for anybody to confront it militarily. So, all you have is your wits and your cunning, and your ability to fight in the way the Iraqis are fighting." ~~~ Arundhati Roy

Several months ago I read a book which was a manifesto of sorts, one that sought to rally the "lower" and working classes in America and stir them to lead a revolution. These groups, the writer asserted, were the key to social change and the defeat of all things evil. The workers, you see, actually worked and so could impact the corporate industrial machine. The upper classes (of which the author was a member) couldn't effect change because they, well, they didn't really do anything that was necessary and so no one would pay attention to what they did.

I have, of course, vastly simplified-although I prefer the term "distilled"-the several hundred pages it took this writer to explain and defend why the poorest and least privileged should jeopardize life and freedom to make the country better for the wealthy but this ugly and scurrilous argument, which surfaces more and more often in "liberal" and "leftist" political discussions these days, cannot be prettied up with excess verbiage.

Someone else, someone poor and powerless, should do the dirty work.

I know this is going to be a crushing blow to the high-minded intellectuals who understand the theory and dynamics of social and political change but, we're not going to stage your revolution for you.

Don't misunderstand. The bloated, corrupt, lying, murdering politicians and corporate elite who embalm themselves with conceit and power are recognized as enemies. They are not only despised but also held in a particular contempt reserved for those who cannot do an honest day's labor. It's just that we know you-those of you who call on us to revolt and those who are woundedly confused by our refusal to fulfill your plan-would be nothing more or less than the new bosses on the other side of that revolution.

It has been more than 40 years since a leader came from the ranks of the poor and underprivileged and spoke with their voice. It has been four long decades since someone stood before the gates of power in this country and dared to shout out the truth. In the years since that voice was silenced we have become a nation more divided than ever. Money and possessions separate us but it is privilege-the unwitting and unconscious assumption of privilege-that is seemingly insurmountable.

I have been incredibly blessed with education and opportunity but my roots, my foundation and my deepest identity come from an unbroken line of poverty. Laborers, sharecroppers, mechanics, construction and factory workers, subsistence farmers, drunks and criminals and a few saints. The people so callously analyzed by surveys and statisticians--the poor and working classes who have hope for their children and faith in their God-are my family. And so it is with some authority that I can say until the middle class is willing to have less so that others can have more, until what passes for the intelligentsia is ready to abandon its claim to superiority, until "tolerance" and "inclusiveness" are no longer euphemisms for arrogance and exclusivity, the left will not have a constituency among the poor and working classes.

Our world, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the earth that grows our food, is unraveling around us. Our political and social institutions are overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problems we face. We no longer have the time for pedantic exercises and dogmatic theories. The left's philosophy and language of divisiveness, from the red-state-blue-state competitiveness to the socially acceptable use of the slur "redneck," produces hostility and resentment from the very people it proposes to reach. Revolution needs to be about freedom, about equality, and those who call for revolution-however subtly or guarded they may be-need to bring that revolution into their own lives before they ask it of other. Revolution is the hard, daily, unrelenting work of making change-in oneself and then in the world.

The revolution I want is simple: a world in which everyone's children are safe and cared for. Were that to be the goal we worked toward, if that were the one guiding principle, the one motivating force in the actions of individuals, groups and governments, then we would have a revolution.
(c) 2008 Victoria Stewart is the associate editor of Issues & Alibis magazine.

For Republican Leader. Principal Trumps Principle

Time for another Gooberhead Award, presented periodically to people in the news who have their tongues running 100-miles per hour... but forgot to put their brains in gear.

Today's Goober is John Boehner, the Republican leader of the U.S. House. He's been on a political rampage, demanding that Congress pass a bill allowing oil corporations to drill in America's public parks and protected coastal waters.

But he hasn't gotten his way, and when Congress adjourned for an August recess, Boehner called for his Party's members to stay on the House floor in protest. "We must continue to make a stand," he proclaimed, insisting that Republicans would remain on the floor "every day" during the vacation period, making speeches and demanding action from the Democratic leaders of the House. "Every day," Boehner reiterated for emphasis.

It turns out, though, that "every day" did not include the Gooberhead himself. After telling colleagues that "we" must make a stand, he promptly flew off for an extended golfing vacation. Known as "Suntan Johnny" because of the year-around brown glow he has as a result of frequent golf outings with lobbyists, Boehner was even posting his August golf scores online while his fellow members were back in Washington.

Asked about the contradiction (if not outright hypocrisy) of asking others to stand in protest while the leader went golfing, a spokesman explained that one of Boehner's golf events was not just a casual round - it was a fundraiser for his political action committee. "Canceling it," he said in horror, "would have cost tens of thousands of dollars."

So there you have it. Standing on principle (even a screwy one) is essential... unless a fundraiser calls you away. In that case, the principal of capital trumps any principled stand taking place at the capitol. It's a matter of what's important to you.
(c) 2008 Jim Hightower's latest book, "If The Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates," is available in a fully revised and updated paperback edition.

High Rise Carrots
By Mel Bartholomew

Whenever I'm telling a group about all the advantages of Mel's Mix, you know how rich and nutritious it is because of the homemade compost (which is made from many different ingredients) also the water-holding capacity (because we've added vermiculite and peat moss) and the startling fact that just about all crops can be grown in only 6 inches of this marvelous mix, I can see several people in the audience clicking through their computer brains, checking out every single flower, vegetable and herb they can think of, analyzing it as to whether it can grow in those six inches, and finally their computer stops at "carrots" and they immediately raise their hand and their question is always the same: How do you grow 10-inch carrots in 6 inches of soil?

I'm very tempted to tell a funny story about that and I usually do. It involved patio gardening for the handicapped where we had a very shallow box built and set up on legs so that a wheelchair could pull right up to it. Now the first box was made out of 1x4 lumber for the sides. The plywood bottom was drilled with holes for drainage, and as most of you know, a 1x4 doesn't really measure 4 inches, it's only about 3-1/2 inches. So we were growing everything in just 3-1/2 inches of Mel's Mix. Because of the high nutrient content of the compost, everything grew just fine and if you look on our website on the home page, you'll see a picture of that box. In fact, it looks better than fine - it looks spectacular. If I do say so myself. Can you imagine, all those plants growing in only 3.5 inches of Mel's Mix and NO FERTILIZER!

Well, I had another patio garden like that. It was a 3'x3' and it was something I took from school to school when we were teaching children about SFG. The 3'x3' box fit nicely into the station wagon (this was long before SUV's) and it was not heavy so that 2 people could carry it about. It was also made from 1"x4"'s. I planted carrots and they seemed to grow nicely. The tops looked good. Of course, you never know what is below ground and that is part of the excitement of a root crop. You just don't know what you are going to get until you pull it up at the end of the season. When we finally harvested these carrots, they were just average size, medium length and I didn't know what was going to happen to them - would they grow to the bottom and then flatten out, or what would happen? But, as it turns out, they went to the bottom of the box, which wasn't very far and turned 90 degrees and grew sideways. So, when we pulled them out, they were L-shaped. At first I thought, "Oh, this is terrible." This was kind of like admitting something was wrong. But, then I thought, "For kids, this would really be fun to grow an L-shaped carrot and who knows what other shapes we might get." In my lectures, I used to tell that story about what almost became an embarrassment or a disaster, turned out to be a fun thing to do for the children. Then, I would ask the audience, "You are probably wondering how they tasted." When I washed one off and ate it, guess what? "It tasted like 'L'!" That's a little bit of lecture humor there.

Someone wrote me recently and said, "How can you grow things like carrots in only 6 inches of soil? I thought the carrot roots go down 3 feet deep?" And, I thought, this is the mentality of single row gardening. This is something that the garden experts have been teaching us year after year - that plant roots go very deep and spread out and you need a lot of room for them. This is, in a sense, a total myth if it is reasonably analyzed. What they are judging is how plants grow in your backyard or on a farm where the soil is usually terrible. We used to work so hard for so many years to improve the soil and when you think about it, all we're really doing is improving the top few inches of our garden. Ever the best rototiller only goes 4 or 5 inches deep and that with a great deal of effort. Since gravity tells the roots to go down, what do they do? They keep going further and further searching for moisture and nutrients. Now reverse that whole situation and put your plants in perfect soil to start with - soil that has all the nutrients they need and constant moisture. If you were a plant, why would you go any further? The other purpose of roots is to anchor the plant, especially a big bushy or tall plant like a tomato plant. It has to send out a strong support system to hold that plant up.

But, in Square Foot Gardening, we hold that kind of a plant up on a trellis system. We grow all our vine crops on vertical frames and they are almost just hanging there on the frame. They don't need a strong spread-out root support system. So, the end result, although the experts still pooh-pooh the idea, is just about every plant that I've ever grown does very nicely in just 6 inches of our perfect Mel's Mix.

But, back to the carrots. When someone in the audience asks, "How can you grow a 10-inch carrot in 6 inches of soil," my first response, although I don't always say it is, "When is the last time you grew a 10-inch carrot?" If I do ask it, they sheepishly say, "Well, never, but I might want to." But, in general, most of the carrot seeds on the market are for varieties that grow 6-8 inches and that's about it. Everyone thinks they want to grow the tall, slender ones, but they very seldom do and they don't work very well in most backyard garden soils anyway. The carrots end up being misshapen and twisted and rather unappetizing looking. But, wonder of wonders, I'm going to show you how you can grow 10-inch carrots in 6-inches of soil.

One person wrote and said, "Do you just make your 4'x4' box 12-inches deep instead of 6-inches deep?" And, of course, that would waste an awful lot of soil mix - you would double the cost for your wood sides and you would double the cost for your Mel's Mix and all to accomplish space for perhaps only one out of your 16 sq. ft. So instead of that idea, we are going to build something that is specially made just for that 1 square foot of extra-long carrots. We are going to build what looks like a little high-rise apartment on the roof, just for that one square foot that we want to plant extra-long carrots in. Now we used to call this a penthouse until that awful magazine ruined the name, so now we stick with high-rise apartment or just high rise.

Use your imagination now and think about one square foot planted with extra-long carrots. Other square feet would be planted with other varieties that will grow in 6 inches. In fact, today, there are a lot of very short or round carrots on the market and they are kind of fun to grow, too.

So, to house those extra-long carrots we are going to build a little apartment on top of our roof where they will fit and grow nicely. To build that, we just build a bottomless box - in other words four sides. We are going to make it out of 1x4 lumber or maybe 1x6 lumber. It will just sit on top of one of the squares and, in order to fit inside your grid (and I sure hope you have a grid because a square foot garden isn't complete without a grid), then the outside dimensions of your new little box would be a little smaller than 12"x12" - so it fits inside the grid in one of the squares. You could use thinner plywood but some people don't like the looks of plywood. As soon as you may set that on top of your garden, inside your grid and fill it with Mel's Mix, you are ready to start planting. Because the inside dimensions are going to be a little less than normal, your 16 plant spacing will be a little closer together, but remember, nothing has to be exact in square foot gardening. You merely take that square foot, divide it in half each way by drawing a line in the soil with your finger (Have you seen the Introductory Video yet? It shows it all in humorous detail.) and then you merely poke two holes at a time with two fingers spacing them evenly apart. Plant your seeds and you are all finished. I like the 1"x4" lumber size better than the 1"x6". You also have to consider because of its exposure to the air on all four sides, so you may have to water a little extra, especially once the carrots get to be half grown stage.

Now, some may ask why go to this extra work when you could just build a whole 4x4 box bigger? But again we get back to the economy and the necessity of only one of the plants requiring this extra depth. Back in the old days, when we used to dig down and improve the existing soil (this was, of course, before the latest improvements to Square Foot Gardening), we suggested that you clean out one square foot and dig down into your existing ground an extra 4-6 inches and then back fill that with Mel's Mix and you would have an extra deep square, but that meant you would always be growing the same thing in that one square, so this new method goes along nicely with the latest improvement to Square Foot Gardening, because after your extra-long carrots have been harvested, you can easily move the box to another square, in order to grow something extra long somewhere else. That way you get crop rotation and this movable high-rise apartment satisfies all the requirements of your garden.

Now this unique method works well for other crops. For example, if you grow scallions or leeks or even celery, everyone wants the white part of the vegetable and by using the high-rise apartment idea, you can grow extra-long white portions of those vegetables. In fact, you can double, if not triple, the desirable portions. Of course the green part of those same crops are just as, if not more, nutritious, but everyone wants the white portion. This high-rise method also works well for potatoes, because, remember potatoes grow off of the main plant stem between the bottom root and the top of the soil surface. So, if that potato has an extra 4-6 inches in the ground, it is going to grow that many more potatoes. Remember the old-fashioned way of growing potatoes - once they are planted in a furrow, you then have to come along and hoe up the soil from the 3 foot paths along the side to provide that extra cover. Let's eliminate all that work, throw away your hoe. Now it is much easier just to back fill that square with Mel's Mix or better yet, pure compost to get the extra harvest.

This new idea is just one of the advance treatments of the basic square foot gardening system. There are many more and you will find there are many adaptable special things that you can do with Square Foot Gardening that you CAN'T DO WITH ANY OTHER SYSTEM because our system is so modular, you can replant any square foot with a new crop any time during the season and it all fits together so easily. NO OTHER SYSTEM CAN DO THAT. You will most often double your harvest without any more space or work.

Some people ask if we can paint the wood and certainly the outside exposed to the air could be painted any color you want, either to match your garden or to provide some decorative logo. You can even have the kids draw things with either paint or magic markers on the side of the high-rise apartment. I could even see windows with people peeking out and it would be a lot of fun to get the kids involved here.

If you want something unique and different, take your Square Foot Garden and do some special things with it. Try this idea and see how much fun and enjoyment it adds to your garden. I'm also going to show you how to build a stepped up or cascading SFG in a future column.
(c) 2008 Mel Bartholomew is an inventor, author, and founder of the Square Foot Gardening Foundation.

The Air Car

The fiberglass Mini C.A.T. runs on compressed air, and offers zero pollution and very low running costs

Many respected engineers have been trying for years to bring a compressed air car to market, believing strongly that compressed air can power a viable "zero pollution" car. Now the first commercial compressed air car is on the verge of production and beginning to attract a lot of attention, and with a recently signed partnership with Tata, India's largest automotive manufacturer, the prospects of very cost-effective mass production are now a distinct possibility.

The Mini C.A.T is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis that is glued not welded and a body of fiberglass. The heart of the electronic and communication system on the car is a computer offering an array of information reports that extends well beyond the speed of the vehicle, and is built to integrate with external systems and almost anything you could dream of, starting with voice recognition, internet connectivity, GSM telephone connectivity, a GPS guidance system, fleet management systems, emergency systems, and of course every form of digital entertainment.

The engine is fascinating, as is and the revolutionary electrical system that uses just one cable and so is the vehicle's wireless control system. Microcontrollers are used in every device in the car, so one tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, indicators etc.

There are no keys - just an access card, which can be read by the car from your pocket.

Most importantly, it is incredibly cost-efficient to run - according to the designers, it costs less than one Euro per 100Km (about a tenth that of a petrol car). Its mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car (200 to 300 km or 10 hours of driving), a factor which makes a perfect choice in cities where the 80% of motorists drive at less than 60Km. The car has a top speed of 68 mph.

Refilling the car will, once the market develops, take place at adapted petrol stations to administer compressed air. In two or three minutes, and at a cost of approximately 1.5 Euros, the car will be ready to go another 200-300 kilometers.

As a viable alternative, the car carries a small compressor which can be connected to the mains (220V or 380V) and refill the tank in 3-4 hours. Due to the absence of combustion and, consequently, of residues, changing the oil (1 litre of vegetable oil) is necessary only every 50,000 Km.

The temperature of the clean air expelled by the exhaust pipe is between 0 - 15 degrees below zero, which makes it suitable for use by the internal air conditioning system with no need for gases or loss of power.

How does it work?

90m3 of compressed air is stored in fibre tanks. The expansion of this air pushes the pistons and creates movement. The atmospheric temperature is used to re-heat the engine and increase the road coverage. The air conditioning system makes use of the expelled cold air. Due to the absence of combustion and the fact there is no pollution, the oil change is only necessary every 31.000 miles.

At the moment, four models have been made: a car, a taxi (5 passengers), a Pick-Up truck and a van. The final selling price will be approximately 5.500 pounds.

The Company

"Moteur Development International" (MDI) is a company founded in Luxembourg, based in the south of France and with its Commercial Office in Barcelona. MDI has researched and developed the Air Car over 10 years and the technology is protected by more than 30 International patents and MDI is actively seeking licensees, with according to the company, 50 factories in Europe, America and Asia signed already.

The Factory

It is predicted that the factory will produce 3.000 cars each year, with 70 staff working only one 8-hour shift a day. If there were 3 shifts some 9.000 cars could be produced a year.

The Tata Agreement

Tata Motors is India's largest automobile company, with revenues of US$ 5.5 billion in 2005-06. With over 4 million Tata vehicles on Indian roads, it is the leader in commercial vehicles and the second largest in passenger vehicles. It is also the world's fifth largest medium and heavy truck manufacturer and the second largest heavy bus manufacturer.

Tata has signed an agreement with MDI for application in India of MDI's engine technology, and believes the engine is viable - it's press statement described it as "efficient, cost-effective, scalable, and capable of other applications such as power generation."

The agreement between Tata Motors and MDI envisages Tata's supporting further development and refinement of the technology, and its application and licensing for India.

MDI is a small, family-controlled company located at Carros, near Nice (Southern France) where Guy and Cyril Negre and their technical team have developed the engine technology and the technologically advanced car it powers.
(c) 2008 Gizmag.com ideas, innovation, invention.

Chewing The Buddha
Bush at the Olympics
By Greg Palast

Lhasa, Tibet - China's secret police are just terrible at keeping themselves secret.

The detective, dressed in her business suit and pumps appropriate to urban Lhasa, did not expect to be trailing my wife and me up the steep hillside to a monastery 15,000 feet up an ice-crusted ridge. Even at 200 yards behind us, I could see her shivering in the thin, frozen air, trying, absurdly, to look like just another hiker on the barren slope.

But then, she really wasn't trying to hide. Her presence was meant to send a message of fear and intimidation. I got the point earlier when a photographer we'd helped sneak into Tibet was arrested, her film of protesting Tibetans seized and her camera smashed as she was hustled onto the first plane leaving the country.

When my police shadow looked away, I snapped a photo of the long boxes below me, roofs of the prison complex. It housed more Buddhist monks than any monastery.

At a hermitage carved into the summit rock I found my host sitting cross-legged under an ancient tapestry depicting a monster ready to devour quiet souls.

The holy man had questions for us:

Does Christianity have a god? (Answer: "Sometimes.")

What is a 'President'?"

It was 1993. I told the monk the new President, Bill Clinton, had met the Dalai Lama.

This Clinton must be a very holy and very good man, yes? ("Sometimes.")

It's not that the priest avoided worldly newspapers, but he'd just gotten out of prison after 27 years and he didn't get much news there. Not that you could get any real news in Tibet. No journalists are allowed there. (Not to be impolite to their Chinese minders - or lose their lucrative Olympics deals - The New York Times and NBC cover Tibet from Beijing and Delhi. Just check the by-lines.)

I assured him that Clinton, though not quite holy, would, at the least, help Tibetans.

That seemed easy enough as they didn't want very much, these mountain folk. They didn't demand independence from China but, ironically, just the opposite: an opportunity to become Chinese, that is, have full access to schooling, university positions afforded their ethnic Han comrades; and to have a share of the jobs and wealth created by the uranium and other resources of their plateau nation.

And maybe something a little un-Chinese: freedom of _expression, of movement, of culture, of religion. I assured the monk that this new President would help them obtain just a bit of autonomy in the "Tibetan Autonomous Region," as China calls it.

The lama smiled. It was not cynicism but a friendly disbelief in change happening in this coming year. He measured change in lifetimes.

He asked a student monk to pull down a small painted statue of the Buddha - which the elder man then chopped apart with a knife. He then gestured to his acolyte to give us each a piece of the icon - to eat.

Swallowing the body of his Lord was not meant to make us holy but to solve a more immediate problem - lunch. The painted god, I discovered with relief, was made out of barley, beer, rancid butter and honey.

I could see that my Tibetan translator was chomping at the bit to show the old man messages we'd brought from the Dalai Lama's Secretariat in India. But that would have been suicide. The young translator's brother (I certainly won't use their names), a cook at a nearby temple, joined a demonstration of monks against Chinese rule and was shot dead. I admonished our translator that his mother couldn't afford to lose her last remaining child.

Instead, we gave the lama a postcard printed with the image of the multi-armed god Chenrezig. The priest would know, but the Chinese wouldn't, that Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama, is a reincarnation of this god.

"Ta la'i bla ma tshur log pa," I said in my ridiculous Tibetan. The Dalai Lama will return.

We all return, he indicated, though not necessarily in this body.

The shivering "tourist" policewoman waited for us to leave before she entered the sanctuary. I can only imagine the questions she'd asked.

Ta la'i bla ma tshur log pa. The point of our heading deep into Tibet's wastelands was to spread the word that the Dalai Lama hadn't abandoned his people as the Chinese propagandists told them on radio, on loudspeakers, and through their local quislings. (My favorite notice was a warning by Chinese authorities that they must "approve all re-incarnations." That was meant to avoid the Dalai Lama locating the new child containing the soul of the Panchen Lama, the Dalai Lama's missing, and obviously murdered, number two man.)

On to another monastery with the postcard and the message. The old nuns would put the postcard over their eyes and forehead and turn to bow into the sun's rays, the symbol of Free Tibet.

One monastery was quiet. In a land where you see the clouds below you, not above, sunlight is brutally harsh. Every image stands out in painful, unforgettable clarity. This emptied place had been smashed into ruins by the Red Guards. They'd arrested all the monks they hadn't gunned down, some of the 200,000 Tibetans killed by the Chinese in their ethnic "re-education" campaign.

But the troops had left standing a wall of painted Buddhas, dozens and dozens of them. The Chinese cadres were certain the magic powers of these religious images were bunkum. Nevertheless, just in case, they'd put a bullet hole in each Buddha's forehead.

Back down in the city, another plainclothesman, a grinning Chinese man, greeted me in the parking lot of the Lhasa Sheraton - in English, "Glad to see you again!"


"Oh, don't you remember me? I was standing outside the Dalai Lama's in Delhi."

"Um, I was there to, you know, get some maps and, uh, some postcards."

O.K. This is my warning. Say something, Palast. I tried this:

"That's nice!" He stepped closer and grinned harder. "I have some books for you about Tibet" - some propaganda about Tibetans as cannibals (really). He paused, grinned even harder, then added, "I left them in your room."

In my room? Another warning.

I wasn't worried about the bed search. The envelope the Dalai Lama's Secretariat had given us had already been delivered to persons whose identities we made certain not to know.


In his fleeting moment as President, Bill Clinton didn't have time to remember Tibet. More pressing to him was free trade - with Mexico via NAFTA - and free trade with China, to which he granted Most Favored Nation status.


That May, we left just as the streets were filling with Tibetans demonstrating for freedom. They would never be seen on US TV. Not then, not now. NBC will interrupt the Beijing Summer Olympics only to broadcast its millionth ad for McDonald's.

George Bush is there; says he was thrilled that the Chinese dictator, Hu Jintao, invited him and Laura and the kids to lunch. I doubt if they dined on a barley Buddha.

In the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Berlin, Americans knew that the competition was as much over our national souls as our physical prowess. When Jesse Owens, a Black man, left Hitler's Aryan runners eating his dust, America jumped to its feet and cheered - not just for what he did, but for who we are: for liberty and justice for all.

Now, our Olympic Committee cravenly demands our athletes remain silent about Tibet. But they shouldn't bother: Bush has already won the gold medal in the Cowardly Silence competition.


On the way to the Lhasa airport, leaving those occupied territories, I thought I could see, looking into the harsh glare, the Buddhist hermitage just below the Himalayan crest. I asked my guide if he'd heard from the old monk. I was told that, days after our visit, he raised the Tibetan sun-flag and was arrested.

The foolish Chinese undoubtedly would have sentenced him to only one life in prison.

He would return.
(c) 2008 Greg Palast is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow for Investigative Reporting at the Nation Institute, New York and is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Armed Madhouse Join Palast's Network on MySpace, on FaceBook or on YouTube.

Pole Position
More U.S. Troops Sent to Russian Border
By Chris Floyd

First Georgia, now Poland. The Bush Administration announced Thursday that American soldiers will begin manning missile sites in Poland -- part of an agreement that surpasses even the NATO treaty in binding Washington to an armed response to any attack on Polish soil.

Spokesminions for President George Butt-Thumper said the installation of the missile base is designed to protect Poland from an intercontinental missile attack from Iran. (The perfidious Persians' long-standing plans to conquer Poland are well-known, of course.) The minions say that the missiles and troops are not at all intended as a threat to Russia, which is being slowly encircled by NATO bases and American missiles -- despite solemn promises from Washington to refrain from, er, encircling Russia with NATO bases and American missiles.

But while Butt-Thumper was playing coy about the latest interjection of American cannon fodder into the now-roiling region, the Poles were admirably frank: they wanted a signed, ironclad deal that would force Americans to fight for them -- unlike the hapless Georgian leader Mikhail Saakashvili, who depended on a nod and a wink from militarist factions along the Potomac (apparently John McCain and his neocon crowd) when launching his own sneak attack on South Ossetia. [Justin Raimondo has more on this.]

As we all know, Misha was left up Saakashvili Creek without a paddle when the U.S. cavalry failed to ride to his rescue as expected. (Can there be any other explanation as to why he would launch his tiny military on a reckless adventure that was certain to provoke a massive Russian response? Obviously he thought Uncle Butt-Thumper would back him up.)

But there was none of that boneheaded shilly-shally for the Poles. They took advantage of the Bush Regime's panicky anxiety to look big and tough in front of the Russians and quickly sealed the missile base deal, wringing concessions that Washington had been resisting for 18 months.

The Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, put plainly what his country wanted out of the agreement: "Poland and the Poles do not want to be in alliances in which assistance comes at some point later - it is no good when assistance comes to dead people. Poland wants to be in alliances where assistance comes in the very first hours of - knock on wood - any possible conflict."

Poland has an understandable fear of Russia, which has invaded and occupied its territory several times -- most recently, of course, in collaboration with the Bush Family's old business partners, Nazi Germany. Then again, Poland invaded and occupied Russia a few times too, back when it was a major power. Major powers tend to do that kind of thing. Which is why, as I noted in a recent comment exchange, one should be eternally suspicious of any person or group who takes control of massive, inhuman structures like states, because of our common human propensity to abuse power -- and to justify those abuses by claiming they are done in the name of some higher ideal. This applies no matter what system a particular state is based upon: capitalism, communism, theocracy -- or the grotesque chimera that now holds sway in both the United States and Russia: lawless, militarist authoritarian corporate-cronyism.

An American military move into Poland is the height of folly -- then again, we have been living on those dizzy heights for a number of years now, so there's nothing new in that.

But speaking of business partners, so much of the current unpleasantness would never have arisen if the dastard Putin had not begun hoarding Russia's natural resources for his cronies instead of giving it away to Butt-Thumper's buds. One recalls those halcyon days of yore when BP and Shell were striking fat oil and gas deals with Russian partners. Back then, Putin was Butt-Thumper's "soulmate," invited down for barbecues in Crawford. Back then, Putin was praised in the American media as the strong, steady hand that Russia needed, "a man we can do business with." Back then, Putin's astonishingly savage rampage through Chechnya and his installation of a regime of brutal thugs to preside over its remains were lauded as part of the war against Islamofascist terror.

But that was then and this is now. In the past few years, as the Kremlin has tightened its grip on Russia's oil and gas reserves and its indispensable pipelines to Europe, as it has grown rich from the spike in oil prices sparked by Bush's wars and threats of war, as its has rolled back Big Oil's presence in Russia -- often in harsh and humiliating ways -- Putin has steadily emerged in Western eyes as a tyrant, a bully, an ogre who threatens the stability of the entire world. (How long will it be before he is dubbed "the New Hitler"?)

The actual nature of Putin's regime has never mattered to our freedom-loving elites. The only "foreign policy" question they have is this: "Will they play ball? Will they fork over?" If Putin had only let the Western elite have a nice juicy slice of the Russian pie -- and maybe joined in one or two of Butt-Thumper's wars -- why, he could have romped and scampered around the region all he liked. But he didn't, and so now we have a "new Cold War," with Washington pouring oil on the fires in the Caucus and stirring the embers of fear and suspicion on the Russian-Polish frontier.

What next? Landing an expeditionary force in Vladivostok?

UPDATE: As'ad AbuKhalil weighs in with these observations (in separate posts:

My favorite thing about the whole coverage of the Georgia situation in the U.S. is the way the White House and media are feigning outrage over Russian actions. They just are aghast that a country can send its troops (across the border) under pretext of national security and defense. I mean, the U.S. would never ever send troops, say 10, 000 miles away from its border, under those pretexts. Never.

If I were Putin, I would have toppled the Georgian government, and installed a puppet government and then I would have said: We are here in Georgia at the invitation of the "democratically-elected" government of Georgia, and we will stay in Georgia as long as we are needed, and not one day longer. And I will make decisions on the basis of my military commanders on the ground, and in consultation with the new government of Georgia."
(c) 2008 Chris Floyd

We the People Vs. The (Cyst)em
On the one-year anniversary of announcing my candidacy
By Cindy Sheehan

Although I don't want to, I vividly remember the day that Casey was killed in Iraq on April 04, 2004.

I woke up at about 9am because it was a Sunday: Palm Sunday. I went out to brunch with my then best friend, Lynda, and we drank two mimosas each. After brunch, I went home and cleaned house and got my clothes ready for the next week of work.

Casey was in a war zone and I was having problems eating, sleeping or concentrating. Dear Reader, if you are a parent, you know what I am talking about. Even when my children went off to camp, or over night at a friend's, I worried. I was worried that day as I completed my chores.

About four hours before the grim reapers came over to inform us that Casey had been "killed in combat," I saw a humvee burning on CNN and it was announced that eight soldiers had been killed in Baghdad that day. Although we didn't even know where Casey was stationed yet, (he had just been in Iraq for 5 days before he was killed) I knew one of the dead soldiers was my first-born child. When the three Army officers came to confirm my worst fears, I fell on the ground screaming and screaming and screaming. After four years, three months and six days, I am still surprised that I was able to get back up. That day I found strength in myself that I never imagined that I could ever possess, but little did I know that my "metal" would be tested repeatedly, each day and in many other ways since that tragic day for the Sheehan family.

Now four years, three months and six days later, I live in San Francisco in a one bedroom flat in a cool Victorian home in the Mission District and I am running for Congress against House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. I have traveled the world struggling for peace and human rights; I have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and have been honored with dozens of other peace awards. I have met thousands of interesting and amazing people; I have a new grandson, Jonah; but I still miss Casey tremendously and cry everyday for his wasted life.

However, exactly one year ago today, (my 50th birthday) I left Crawford, Texas for the final time (San Francisco in the summer is a lot nicer than Crawford in the summer---and in more ways than one), and set out with a couple of dozen other peace activists on our Journey for Humanity from Crawford to Washington, DC, demanding that Pelosi put impeachment back on that now infamous "table" and do her duty by allowing John Conyers to do his.

Ms. Pelosi's office said at the time that impeachment would be a "distraction," and, anyhow, the Democratically controlled Congress was busy trying to "end the war." Sure!

Since Nancy Pelosi has been Speaker, Congress has given George over 1/2 trillion more dollars to wage the war that she says she is trying to stop: recently appropriating 162 billion for an entire year's worth of carnage! Since Nancy has been Speaker, tens of thousands of Iraqis have died and about 1200 of our young people have been unnecessarily murdered or tortured (with Pelosi's approval) and their families sent into tailspins of grief. Millions of people have lost their jobs and/or homes and oil is just under 150.00 a barrel. That's why it hurts me so much when Nancy says that she "likes" the president and when she opposes him (which has literally been never, since she's been Speaker), that it's not "personal." How can one personally like someone who has been responsible for so much heartache in this world? I wish the horrible state of affairs we find ourselves in were not "personal" to me but things are deeply "personal" to me. Bush's crimes and Nancy's support of him have cost a lot of innocent lives and caused a lot of pointless pain.

When I first left the Democratic Party in May, 2007, over disgust at the continued war funding and continued destruction of our rule of law, I was roundly and thoroughly criticized by the centrists and even more so when I announced my candidacy for Pelosi's seat. In the intervening year, I have been unfortunately vindicated by Congress's fresh attacks on our civil liberties and constant caving into BushCo and War, Inc. Just like being right about the wrongness of the war gave me no joy, being right about the wrongness of the "left" (read right of center) also gives me no consolation. Working to rectify the malignant (cyst)em is what gives me resolve and hope.

Today, Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh) introduced an Article of Impeachment against George Bush and Nancy says that the House Judiciary committee "may" investigate the Article. WOW! That is some "strong" defense of the Constitution on a day when George Bush also gleefully signed the bill that Congress wrote destroying the 4th Amendment. Is such a "courageous" remark because my campaign is gaining so much momentum? Or could it be because Congress has the abysmal approval rating of 9%? Congress' approval rating is dropping like a bomb over Baghdad; zoomed past George's historically low marks on the way down and in a few months' time could go into negative integers if Congress keeps going in the same demented direction its "leaders" seem intent on traveling.

It has been a challenging year ramping up the campaign, and getting our office up and running (totally renovating a store front that was formerly a successful sex shop) but we are seeing the fruits of our labor. We have raised over $215,000.00 in about 8 months time and our volunteer force is growing as dissatisfaction here with Pelosi and the (cyst)em also grows. In gathering the democracy-suppressing amount of signatures required from an independent to get on the ballot in California, we have been able to campaign and spread the news that corporately controlled Pelosi is part of the problem and that voting for me will be part of the solution.

I want to thank everyone who has contributed money, time, encouragement, talents, and even criticism that helped us grow.

I want to thank my surviving children, Carly, Andy and Janey, for the moral support that I need to be able to do this, but I want to especially thank my sister, Dede Miller, and my campaign manager, Tiffany Burns, who have constantly been by my side since August, 2005 when we first camped in a ditch in Crawford, Tx, and millions of people stood with us around the world.

I am convinced that we will be on the ballot when the final count is made on August 28th, then there will be no stopping us! America really wants a change, and we have the opportunity for real and positive change here in California's 8th district.

This race is not about Cindy and Nancy: it is about "We the People" standing up against the (cyst)em that is beholden to the Military Industrial Complex. This time, "We the People" must be victorious!

Thanks for standing with me, again.

Get moving!
(c) 2008 Cindy Sheehan

America Needs Change; But Too What?
By Mike Folkerth

Good Morning America, your King of Simple News is on the air.

I got a little windy today, but I do think the jest of this article is important.

U.S. NEWS: The main stream financial news is at least consistent; consistently wrong. As the King of Simple News Network was reporting that housing would, under no uncertain circumstances, tank in glorious fashion, such illustrious national figures as Alan "Cash" Greenspan was telling us just the opposite. How would you like to make the kind of money that ol' "Cash" makes for being wrong? Well, he's back, but he's getting better at his predictions. Not more accurate, but is now reminiscent of the weathermen who adopted the percentage system where one can never be totally wrong. "There is a 50% chance of rain today and the wind might blow...or maybe not."

In Mr. Greenspan's case, he is now saying that housing will bottom in the first half of 2009 and if not, it will be some other time...probably. I think ol' Cash is practicing to run for office. "If the economy doesn't get better, it will probably stay the same or it could possibly get worse...maybe."

What I'm pointing out here in my smart-alecky way is that Greenspan, Bernanke, Bush, Obama, McCain, and the biggest share of the 535 members of Congress and millions of other government officials are totally helpless to change universal law; which is exactly what they are promising to do. If the Pinocchio syndrome were true, these people couldn't get their nose in a semi-trailer.

"If you elect me for president, congress, governor, mayor, or dog catcher, I'll bring the price of oil down!" Oh sure they will, along with bringing back millions of buffalo to the Great Plains.

Why do they say that they will bring the price of oil down when they have no control whatsoever over world oil? Because we WANT the price of oil down so that we don't have to face reality, which is scarier than facing Hillary Clinton in broad daylight in a bathing suit or for you ladies, John McCain in his Speedo's.

Politicians run on change. After all, if we liked the one that we have, why change?

Alert reader, "Gila" recently said that "we have lost our will." His saying that motivated my last two remaining healthy brain cells to confer on that subject. Why would we have given up our will? "Maybe we haven't," was the conversation that my two brain cells were having.

Why would we have wanted things to change? Until recently gas was cheap, the stock market was making rocketing gains, homes were paying off like a busted slot machine, credit was available to everyone who could pass the fog-on-the-mirror test, new SUVs complete with TV sets were as common as bicycles, unemployment was low, we could afford $5 Starbucks and designer bottled water and American Idol was on every night. Is this a taste of heaven or what?

Can you imagine Barrack Obama just a few years ago saying, "We need change." Change to what? Higher gas prices, unemployment, motor scooters, lower stock prices, tighter credit, regular coffee and American Idol being cancelled? He couldn't have gotten that dog catcher job that I talked about. It's all smoke and mirrors based around prevailing circumstances and the very real fact that most Americans couldn't pass economics 101 yet could name in order, the last five winners of Survival.

Of course, Mr. Obama as well as Mr. McCain can put on their best Monday morning quarterback outfit and point out the failures of the past in order that they can become the failures of the future. Which they will due to neither of them having a clue as to why our economic failures have occurred; except that "George done it."

Both make the insane promise of growth in a world that has maxed out on that premise. They do so as traditionally the one that promises the most growth is gonna win.

Exponential growth in a finite world with finite resources is mathematically impossible. You can write that on the wall.

As we witness the continual failure of our leadership to recognize the above stated universal principal, and as the social pain associated with practicing that ignorance grows, perhaps our "will" to demand realistic change to a sustainable model will return and the spirit of America will be revived.

However, before that could happen, it would require leadership who understands that man cannot trump universal law and certainly not the basic principals of physics; the bad news is that Albert Einstein is dead.
(c) 2008 Mike Folkerth is not your run-of-the-mill author of economics. Nor does he write in boring lecture style. Not even close. The former real estate broker, developer, private real estate fund manager, auctioneer, Alaskan bush pilot, restaurateur, U.S. Navy veteran, heavy equipment operator, taxi cab driver, fishing guide, horse packer...(I won't go on, it's embarrassing) writes from experience and plain common sense. He is the author of "The Biggest Lie Ever Believed."

The Quotable Quote...

"And advanced forms of biological warfare that can 'target' specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool."
~~~ PNAC, Rebuilding America's Defenses, p. 60

The 7th Anniversary Of 9/11 And The Cycle Of War
By Vincent L. Guarisco

"Why would all 110 stories drop straight down to the ground in about 10 seconds, pulverizing the contents into dust and ash - twice. Why would all 47 stories of WTC 7 fall straight down to the ground in about seven seconds the same day? It was not struck by any aircraft or engulfed in any fire. An independent investigation is justified for all three collapses including the surviving steel samples and the composition of the dust." ~~~ Ronald H. Brookman, structural engineer, with a masters degree in Engineering from UC Davis

"Photos of the steel, evidence about how the buildings collapsed, the unexplainable collapse of WTC 7, evidence of thermite in the debris as well as several other red flags, are quite troubling indications of well planned and controlled demolition." ~~~ Kamal S. Obeid, structural engineer, with a masters degree in Engineering from UC Berkeley

Here we are once again at an early threshold of another anniversary marking the seventh consecutive year that the Project for the New American Century boys (the architects), and the Bush administration (the perpetrators) of September 11, 2001 attacks, are still walking free among us, holding the mighty reigns of power within the construct of our own mundane borders. And just like the previous six years, justice seems to be a difficult task for bringing the guilty ones to trial. But eventually, the cretins will get what they deserve. As a nation weeping from immeasurable pain and loss, we deserve nothing less. Our recoil from the many injustices will only increase our tenacity for redemption and, as we turn the page to the next chapter, we must ensure it is devoid of this mafia's presence.

I now understand how special prosecutor Jim Garrison felt so many years ago when he tried to expose the guilty culprits who assassinated John F. Kennedy. Well, I'm here to say that Mr. Garrison is one-up on us. At least during the Warren commission proceedings (inadequate hearings he later condemned), he got a little more satisfaction when he was afforded the right to question his suspects 'under oath.' Even though justice was never served in any real sense -- Garrison's brother later got murdered too, along with Martin Luther King and others -- one fact remains. Garrison's ability to get some of evildoers 'on-record' gave the whole affair a small degree of credibility for historical purposes, and preserved the fundamental rule of law for interrogation -- two things the Bush administration arrogantly rejects in this frightful day of presidential oligarchy.

Yes, our Commander in Chief, the unpopular dullard many in the world would love to stone, is trying to contain this nation's worst treasonous crime and cover-up as he illegally claims 'executive privilege,' by not allowing congressional testimony to be given by those summoned within his own ranks. A slap in the face to all red-blooded Americans who watch with amazement as they try to avoid any incriminating missteps whatsoever. But, let's get real -- even if they did testify, I'm sure it would only consist of nothing more than a simple mish-mash of despotic double-speak laced with insulting euphemism pouring out of both sides of their pathetic faces.

This ugly display of 'damage control' seems to be a haughty life preserver for them to cling to. And one thing is for sure, they certainly do have tight lips on a shameful capsized ship. All are fools in shark-infested waters -- fools who truly believe nothing will ever be realized in their lifetimes to prove their ineffable ways. And while I'm on the subject of unspeakable 'lip service with a triangular tongue twist,' we can never forget how the gauntlet fell awfully hard and fast when House Republicans went after Bill Clinton for simply getting a blowjob in the oval orifice. Unlike today's sorry schism. All we get today is a different kind of sardonic head job, a 'bittersweet nothingness.' And we stand here, impatiently holding our hat. At least for now...

A sad reminder of what It was like for the victims...

A reality check is sometimes necessary in order to recreate a crime scene in true human form. In order to fully grasp the severity of that horrible September day, we must place ourselves in the victims' shoes. How can we even begin to imagine what it must have been like for the victims on that horrible day? Thousands of unsuspecting people innocently showing up for a normal work day only to be relentlessly pulverized -- floor by floor -- like sacrificial beef shoved into a descending meat grinder at free-fall speed. Hot steel shards tore them from limb to limb as the buildings were purposely rigged to demolish on top of them.

And let us not forget the brave and gallant efforts of exhausted fireman, police and paramedics, etc...running up seemingly endless stairways into disaster, armed with fire hoses, medical kits and other rescue equipment tucked under their tired and aching arms trying to save innocent lives as the devil's pre-planted cutter charges unsparingly greeted them with demonic eruption snatching their lives in the blink of a thermite flash. Then afterwards, the mayor left them entombed to rot beneath the massive pile of rubble that was soon hauled off to the landfill as trash.

For those of you who do not know what thermite is -- according to hundreds of experts not under the corrupt wing of the White House, it's the type of explosive used to demolish the World Trade Center. That's right, regardless of how they expeditiously tried to get rid of all the evidence, dust particles remained preserving crucial evidence containing trace elements of the stuff to unequivocally prove that planes did not cause the collapse.

I apologize for continuing this graphic description, but I feel compelled to extend my comments about those who suffered at the hands of our deceivers. Picture yourself 10,000 feet in the air strapped in a front row seat soaring at 300 plus miles per hour in a two-winged coffin of death. My God, can we even begin to imagine the unnerving confusion and horror that seared the minds of those who were aboard those hijacked planes digging their nails into the armrests as they watched their planes veer off course? It's inconceivable to fathom the extreme terror they must have felt when they entertained what was happening -- what would happen next. All trapped in limbo, without hope, paralyzed for what must of seemed like a hellish eternity as their end drew closer. Eventually, realizing for sure the executioners' true intent as the killers heartlessly banked -- then nose-dived -- their planes into the most horrendous nightmare our nation has ever seen.

Adding insult to injury, all New York residents were put at risk when they were falsely told by the Environmental protection Agency (EPA) the air was safe to breath (sic). So many illnesses are encountered even today as New York City residents suffer progressive health problems from ingesting the massive amounts of atomized carcinogens floating in the air on that fateful day, and in the aftermath of what had happened. Sadly, it's beyond our ability to track the real numbers accurately. And for those of us who live far away from this epicenter of misery, we are affected too...an entire nation forever doomed to suffer post traumatic stress disorder as we relive this horrific crime, time and again.

On many countless nights over the years I am living proof of psychological effects as I am unable to sleep when I imagine how those poor lost souls drew their last earthly breath as they vainly begged for mercy at the hands of those without any remorse. It's always the same for me, I usually drift away in the early morning hours with a slight glimmer of hope that the killers may have pumped some sort of sleeping gas into the planes rendering them unconscious before they really knew what hit them. The other scenario is too horrible to imagine in these turbulent days of restless woe.

A CIA sponsored boogeyman named 'Osama Bin Laden'

In retrospect, not everyone has been needlessly killing innocent civilians and crudely sacrificing brave military souls for a bogus invasion that never should been happened while chasing our tail in Afghan caves with the so called 'War on Terror' (sic). A useless war of choice willfully created by a US Supreme Court-appointed madman hunting down Osama Bin Laden, his new modern day 'Patsy.' Like those before him, such as Lee Harvey Oswald and others, bin Laden is a 'fall guy' who takes the heat -- gets the blame. And with the many profitable perks promised to those doing business with the merchants of death, is it any wonder this fiasco is still playing out? Nation building, privatized troop support, poppy fields for the drug trade industry and oil pipelines for petroleum barons, etc., are but a few of the enterprises that elevated many simpletons with dollar daisies sprouting in their pocketbooks. All unremorseful of how we got there or when we will shall leave.

Amongst the madness, many professional scholars for truth with the best minds assembled have been working overtime to unlock this 21st Century mystery in real terms. Although, I do love to entertain one amazing hypothetical point: if US smart bombs could tell tales, might we learn a thing or two from talking shrapnel? Yeah, I'd place a heavy handed bet (with favorable odds) that OBL may have a few ounces of metal-shards rattling around in his decomposing corpse after we probably blew him up years ago. Oops, bite my tongue, you don't suppose we've been chasing a 'ghost' all these years? Have we? Well, you gotta love to hate those sneaky CIA-sponsored hate objects. Dead or alive, a good believable 'spook' sure gets the ol' prep-rally factor motivated for moving those daddy war bucks into the war chest for a profitable conflict.

In romancing the stone further, I wonder how many OBL lookalikes are really out there reading scripts and doing videos as this live reality show unfolds? Yeah, and some of the tricky Islamo-terrorist actors even wear expensive jewelry no less (a taboo for real Muslims). Whew, now that's what I call real 'Hollywar' entertainment! And nothing keeps the machete swinging faster than us getting bamboozled watching bogus 'Nick Berg' execution video where, if you watch very closely, his head rolls like a low budget B-flick. Oh, I'm sure he lost it, God rest his soul, but certainly not by those they tried to portray in that sick dramatization played time and again on the internet. I would only add, after considering all the handsomely paid Blackwater mercenaries running around, and the many CIA-Ops and Mossad agents dug in and around Iraq with wonderful Arabian suntans (most of whom are on the payroll) is it really that hard to figure out? Indeed most have a vested interest in trying to keep the American hate in full bloom to secure longer contracts for this or that, or for serving other interior motives. Yes, I'm sure most could easily pass for someone of Arab descent with a little makeup, the right clothes, and a cool headdress. Think about it...

The Anthrax letters

After all that has transpired, we would have to be uniquely inept to not remotely suspect that the anthrax letters played a vital role in fanning D.C. unrest. Just at a time when certain select House members were offering a little resistance to passing the egregious 'Patriot Act,' these powdered jewels ended up in a few unsuspecting mailboxes. Even though Democratic Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy did not get a whiff of the deadly stuff, as intended, the scare alone sent a powerful message to everybody involved -- they had better fall in line behind those who willfully stripped us of our Constitutional Rights. And, did you notice how more letters magically appeared, right on cue, effectively shutting down the US Supreme Court just before the Patriot Act may have been scrutinized? Funny how shit like this happens. And let us not forget that the chemical itself was later determined to be a traceable strain of weapons-grade material manufactured in a lab at Fort Detrick, Md., north of Washington.

In addition, just recently (2008), it's equally amazing how one guy, Steven J. Hatfill, a former scientist who worked at the lab and a 'person of interest' to then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft's pithy investigation, who was suing the government for being harassed for years and was dubiously dubbed by the media to be the lone 'mad scientist' -- suddenly was let off the hook. Although his job, his reputation and his life were destroyed, Hatfill walked away with more than $5 million and a 'sorry 'bout that' wave of the hand.

And, just as suddenly, we were told the real culprit, scientist Bruce Ivins, also working at Fort Detrick, committed suicide upon learning the goons were closing in on him. How sweet. Logic snaps to mind -- dead men tell no tales when jackboots are eliminating loose ends just before this administration folds its tent. Gee, I wonder, if poor Bruce could drop us a message-in-the-bottle from purgatory, would he offer us some additional insight on who his next bunk buddies will be?

The media's role in all of this

Is it any wonder we remain pessimistic with everything that has happened? We distrust our news media for damn good reasons. But in order to stay focused, we must continue to know their propaganda is an elaborate con game. In truth, these public liars are business partners with those who continue to murder with impunity, all heavily invested in defense corporations on Wall Street. Make no mistake, most talking heads and silly pundits are mere puppet clowns jumping hoops and climbing ladders for a paycheck signed in blood as they deliver 'Oscar' performances for their mind-bending circus acts. Bottom line -- the best thing to do is bring others into the realm of informative alternative news sources (on the internet). A sober reality worth inviting, so we can avoid the pernicious rhetoric that has come to be mainstream news. It truly is a breath of fresh air to throw away the rumblings of tinsel-town performers.

And we can do something else too, let's quickly boycott all of the culprits' sponsors. It's the least we can do as wise, educated consumers who have been severely screwed over. I, for one, refuse to support those who would readily sell their own mothers on a street corner for a dime if they thought it would pull them out of the gutter to ease their shameful existence. I invite you to join me. Indeed, we must not pay for their half truths, no truths and seditious silence for the many unreported smoking guns they have ignored that makes Nixon's Watergate pale by comparison. If we remain resolute, we can defy their behavior-modification tyranny that tries to keep us docile, stupid and compliant.

I say get rebellious with our middle finger extended high as we pass along the secrets they try to conceal. To do anything less is mere cowardice or denial with ramifications that extend far beyond our own borders leaving our neighbors vulnerable with a massive nuclear arsenal pointed their way. Having said that, I can not stress enough, a single day should not go by without all of us doing everything we can to inform others of what the heck is going on. Get involved, or get ready to reap a methodical whirlwind that promises to deliver more progressive death and destruction.

The real lesson of World War II

You be the judge. For me, it's hands down. I now understand how my parents' generation felt totally betrayed by the anomalies surrounding the Pearl Harbor massacre. It would seem that history has conveniently forgotten to mention the insurmountable amount of suspicion many folks had in how the Japanese magically made it through all of our defenses, including the watchful eyes of many strategically placed Island-spotters armed with radio transmitters throughout Midway, our radar technology, etc. We were told the Japanese slipped through unnoticed and -- voila -- quickly obliterated our destroyers and submarine fleet at port. My, my...how history loves to glorify this official fairytale they quantified for decades. Sound familiar? God forbid, if we should ever question or tarnish the official explanation of WWII or say, September 11, 2001? Nope, no apologizes are offered in my humble journey into the abyss for truth. Indeed, everything is subject to public scrutiny and as true patriotic Americans, it's our duty to do so in our daily routine.

My father, Anthony Guarisco, a Navy seaman who served valiantly in the South Pacific during World War II and Korea, never wavered throughout his entire life in his belief that Pearl Harbor was purposely allowed to happen by the power brokers of his day. Just as many others, he said they did this so the US could squarely plant both feet into that war and send a harsh nuclear message to its communist enemy in the Soviet Union. He also told me something else very interesting. He said he first suspected something was dreadfully wrong when his commanders suspiciously ordered the 'entire aircraft carrier fleet' to leave port just before the attack occurred. He said the admirals of his day knew full well -- as long as they had their precious aircraft carrier division still intact -- they could win the war they so callously desired.

For over 50 years, my father's eyes welled-up every time he spoke about this. He was truly heart broken and became physically nauseated each time he was reminded of how the military brass of his day shrewdly allowed all those brave men and women to die an unsuspecting death -- like ducks sitting in a carnival shooting gallery.

We can all agree, as my father did, that WWII needed to be fought in order to stop Hitler. But he also admitted the only reason the Japanese attacked us in the first place was because our submarine fleet, as well as British fleets, were bombing Japan's oil tankers in Burma. Remember that Japan depended solely on its imported oil for virtually all of its energy needs. Also note, our submarine fleet was the first target to be destroyed during the initial attack. And for those who may question my father's credibility, I invite you to review a tribute I recently published honoring my parent's many accomplishments in life. Especially, read their impressive bio.

Remembering the bombing of Japan

Even as I write this essay way ahead of schedule (in August) to mark the coming anniversary of September 11, 2001, I want to point out that August 6 and August 9 are two dreadful days to mark on our calendar as well. Sixty-three years ago in 1945, Harry S. Truman insanely dropped two nuclear bombs, named Little Boy and Fat Man, on 'civilian' targets, destroying Japan and thus ending WWII. A sober irony to reminisce as my fingers rattle across this keyboard with goose-bumps protruding across my skin.

For sure, let us never forget what we did. It took less than 2.1 seconds for our past heartless warmongers to wipe-out more than 140,000 human beings in the blink of an eye. Truman's gift was one that kept on giving. Another 80,000 dead by the end of the year and, If you consider the many illnesses related to radiation exposure over six decades, the casualties could easily be in the millions. My God, how can we look into a mirror knowing what we did? How can we gleefully watch this insane administration attempt to justify more bombing campaigns in the Middle East? I would add, the nuclear option is not off the table for Iran, Pakistan, Syria and others. As a final note, I wonder how many lives would be spared if all those oil wells in distant desert sands only pumped 'sea water'? Hmmm...

The Vietnam War

Does the word 'false-flag' operation mean anything to you? I suggest you quickly do some research on the many suspicious anomalies surrounding the 'Gulf of Tonkin' incident that gave us the Vietnam War. In 2005, an official declassified National Security Agency (NSA) report revealed that the attack on the USS Maddox was not North Vietnamese boats. But yet, President Lyndon B. Johnson used that incident as the catalyst to launch the war. Thus, a huge jungle eulogy was given to the American public producing a Vietnam Memorial Wall containing more than 58,000 names etched on its haunting surface. I ask you this, how many times -- how many more times -- are we going to be fooled?

The first Gulf War

Or we could examine how the bullshit artists convinced us how those poor, defenseless Iraqi incubator babies were heartlessly thrown to a cold, filthy concrete floor to die. A big damn lie that helped George senior sell the first Gulf war to the American public. That's right, it never happened. It was all a big elaborate hoax. A Kuwaiti public relations (PR) firm manufactured the whole affair, hiring an actress who later was determined to be a diplomat's daughter, to dramatize the lie as real.

News outlets continuously ran with it on TV to get everyone all hyped-up for war. And to seal the deal, a clever mon-senior pushed his crown jewel by covertly tricking CIA-sponsored insurgent forces to invade Kuwait in what they thought was a green light with the blessings of the Almighty. Unfortunately, they learned, too late, that they had been betrayed. They were brutally squashed by our forces who played the role of heroes coming to the rescue. Indeed, I guess it's safe to say, 'Junior' is a chip off the old 'Senior' block. Do we see a pattern here?

Will the Cycle of War Ever be Stopped?

This is the multi-zillion dollar question that should be considered a bargain when compared to the value of life itself. I ask again, will this madness ever end? Truly, will we ever stop believing pathological liars who will say anything to germinate a conflict? In the real world, war has always been a profitable 'spectator sport' for those who embellish themselves in power and greed. Old crusty men will always send our young, innocent, and brave men and women off to fight and die in useless wars that, realistically, do not need to be fought. And by God, I mean it, this repeated cycle of madness must end once and for all. Otherwise, we will continue to be placed in harm's way -- mere pawns scurrying about as feeble toys to be manipulated by old crusty geopolitical chess masters like Dick Cheney and others who have been destroying and displacing lives for decades.

I apologize for such a disheartening, lengthy read, but felt it was critical to point-out the obvious known examples that have catapulted us into our present day dilemma. Sadly, I have barely scratched the surface of many infernal obfuscations that have chilled our bones from the very beginning of our country's birth. From the day that pilgrims first landed on Plymouth Rock and used smallpox as bio-warfare to weed-out Redskins, to the Native American death march that is the 'Trail of Tears,' to the slave owners who forced blacks to pick cotton in plantation fields, our nation's history is ghastly; it is replete with terrible memories.

However, if you want to understand a little more about the horrible attacks of September 11, 2001, a good place to start is David Ray Griffin's 'The New Pearl Harbor,' or perhaps his 'Debunking 9/11 Debunking,' or his latest, '9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press -- all of which lay out perfectly how our 21st Century wizards work their magic with cunning ability.

As I once wrote in a past article (worth a second round), isn't it funny how life's little ironies always seem to make the full circle? Truly, what goes around -- comes around...

Freedom is like a hovering analogy-cloud that lingers above the mist that haunts those who fraudulently repress large populations of people in the name of national security. At first, the peasants embrace repression in order to remain safe, then they tolerate it to feel protected and, eventually they hate it. They become resentful of the protectors who enslave them and, in due time, will almost always revolt in disobedience. Freedom is a glorious boomerang -- it's a wondrous hive full of spiritual honey called 'human nature' that beckons the soul to be free -- a natural elixir that will forever replenish itself regardless of fake promises of 'security.' Even more so for those who have experienced it and then lost it -- it will not be denied!

Well, today's mendacious tyrants are no exception, they will meet this fate I speak of eventually...nobody, either good or bad, is immune from the grand test of time. Each of us will be remembered in our own proper context with a full measure of reconciliation administered to appease our collective memoir.
(c) 2008 Vincent L. Guarisco is a freelance writer from Bullhead City AZ., a contributing writer for many web sites, and a lifetime member of the Alliance of Atomic Veterans. The 21st century, once so full of shining promise, now threatens to force countless millions of us at home and abroad into a dark abyss of languishing poverty and silent servitude; a lowly prodigy of painful struggle and suffering that could stream for generations to come. I'm wishing for a miracle, before it is too late, the masses will figure it out and will stand as one and roar. So, pass the word - it's past time to take back what is ours - the American Dream where the pursuit of happiness, the ability to live in a free and peaceful nation is a reality. We bought it, and we paid for it. It's time to take it back. Replies welcomed at: vincespainting1@hotmail.com.

Musharraf, Not Bush, Follows Nixon
By Ray McGovern

Most of the fawning corporate media (FCM) coverage of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's resignation Monday was even more bereft of context than usual.

It was as if Musharraf looked out the window and said, "It's a beautiful day. I think I'll resign and go fishing."

Thus the lead in Tuesday's editorial in the New York Times, once known as the newspaper of record: "In the end, President Pervez Musharraf went, if not quietly, with remarkably little strife."

Certain words seem to be automatically deleted from the computers of those writing for the Times. Atop the forbidden wordlist sits "impeachment." And other FCM - the Washington Post, for example - generally follow that lead, still.

Very few newspapers carried the Associated Press item that put the real story up front; i.e., that Musharraf resigned "just days ahead of almost certain impeachment." In other words, he pulled a Nixon.

How short our memories! Three articles of impeachment were approved by the House Judiciary Committee on July 27, 1974; Nixon resigned less than two weeks later. But what were those charges, and how do they relate to George W. Bush today?

Without lawful cause or excuse [Richard M. Nixon] "failed to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House...and willfully disobeyed such subpoenas...thereby assuming to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment vested in the Constitution in the House of Representatives."

"Endeavoring to cause prospective defendants...to expect favored treatment and consideration in return for their silence or false testimony."

"Endeavoring to misuse the Central Intelligence Agency."

Fortunately, John Conyers, who now chairs the House Judiciary Committee, was among those approving those three articles of impeachment.

Unfortunately, he seems to have long- as well as short-term memory loss.

He has let the Bush administration diddle him on subpoenas. And even though special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald made it quite clear that, because of "Scooter" Libby's perjury, a "cloud remained over the vice presidency," Conyers let out not a peep when Bush allowed Libby to avoid prison by commuting his sentence.

What about misusing the CIA? Here too Conyers' behavior has been nothing short of bizarre.

Again, hardly a peep out of him, though he has been made fully aware of how the Bush administration "twisted" (to use Ambassador Joe Wilson's word) intelligence to justify an "unnecessary" (to use former presidential spokesman Scott McClellan's word) war on Iraq.

On Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now" on Aug. 14, Conyers said he was "the third day into the most critical investigation of the entire Bush administration." He was referring to author Ron Suskind's revelations about how the White House misused the CIA.

At the same time, Conyers complained that he is "maybe the most frustrated person attempting to exercise the oversight responsibilities that I have on Judiciary" - a clear reference to how he has let himself be diddled by the White House.

Hey, John. If Pakistan can move forward to impeach a sitting president and force his resignation, why can't you? You were part of it in 1974. Is being chairman of Judiciary too much for you?

Without any apparent tongue in cheek, Tuesday's New York Times editorial points a sanctimonious finger at Musharraf's abuse of power, noting that "the presidency must also be stripped of the special dictatorial powers that Mr. Musharraf seized for himself, including the power to suspend civil liberties."

The Times notes "President Bush underwrote Mr. Musharraf's dictatorship," but says nothing of the example Bush himself set - including rigging elections, as Musharraf did.

It is the height of irony that the relatively young democracy of Pakistan has been able to exercise the power of impeachment inherited from the framers of the U.S. Constitution, while the constipated committee captained by Conyers cannot.

Under Pakistan's constitution, the country has a bicameral legislature with 100 senators and over 300 representatives in the National Assembly. The president is head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces. Sound familiar?

The difference is that the Pakistani legislature has checked Musharraf's unconstitutional accretion of power by exercising its constitutional power to impeach. In contrast, Conyers has chickened out.

Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?
(c) 2008 Ray McGovern served as a CIA analyst for 27 years -- from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. During the early 1980s, he was one of the writers/editors of the President's Daily Brief and briefed it one-on-one to the president's most senior advisers. He also chaired National Intelligence Estimates. In January 2003, he and four former colleagues founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

The Dead Letter Office...

Heil Bush,

Dear Bundesrecht Jurist Krieger,

Congratulations, you have just been awarded the "Vidkun Quisling Award!" Your name will now live throughout history with such past award winners as Marcus Junius Brutus, Judas Iscariot, Benedict Arnold, George Stephanopoulos, Ralph Nader, Vidkun Quisling and last year's winner Volksjudge Anthony (Fat Tony) Kennedy.

Without your lock-step calling for the repeal of the Constitution, your support of our two coup d'etats, your ruling stripping rights of protest and confining protestors to "freedom cages," Iraq and these many other profitable oil wars to come would have been impossible! With the help of our mutual friends, the other "Republican Whores" you have made it possible for all of us to goose-step off to a brave new bank account!

Along with this award you will be given the Iron Cross 1st class with ruby clusters presented by our glorious Fuhrer, Herr Bush at a gala celebration at "der Wolf's Lair," formally "Rancho de Bimbo," on 08-30-2008. We salute you Frau Krieger, Sieg Heil!

Vice Fuhrer Cheney

Heil Bush

Doubts Over The Anthrax Case Intensify, Except Among Much Of The Media
By Glenn Greenwald

The more that is revealed about the FBI's still largely-secret case against Bruce Ivins, the more doubts that are raised about whether their accusations are true. A particularly vivid episode illustrating how shoddy the FBI's case seems to be occurred in the last several days.

Ever since the FBI accused Bruce Ivins of being the sole anthrax attacker, one of the most glaring of the many deficiencies in the FBI's case is the complete lack of evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, placing Ivins at the New Jersey mailboxes (the proverbial "scene of the crime") on either of the two dates on which the anthrax letters were sent. To respond to criticisms pointing out that huge flaw, the FBI, on August 7, leaked -- and the news media then dutifully and uncritically trumpeted -- what was supposedly a highly incriminating fact: namely, that Ivins, on September 17, the day before the first batch of anthrax letters were postmarked, took administrative leave from work in the morning and did not return until 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. that day. This time period during September 17, according to The Washington Post (which was fed the leaked scoop), was the window in which Ivins drove to New Jersey and mailed the anthrax letters:

Anthrax attack suspect Bruce E. Ivins took several hours of administrative leave from his Fort Detrick, Md., laboratory on a critical day in September 2001 when the first batch of deadly letters was dropped in a New Jersey mailbox, government sources briefed on the case said yesterday. The gap recorded on his time sheet offered investigators a key clue into how he could have pulled off an elaborate crime that involved carrying letters packed with lethal powder to a distant location for mailing, the sources said. . . .

A partial log of Ivins's work hours shows that he worked late in the lab on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 16, signing out at 9:52 p.m. after two hours and 15 minutes. The next morning, the sources said, he showed up as usual but stayed only briefly before taking leave hours. Authorities assume that he drove to Princeton immediately after that, dropping the letters in a mailbox on a well-traveled street across from the university campus. Ivins would have had to have left quickly to return for an appointment in the early evening, about 4 or 5 p.m.

CNN mindlessly though flamboyantly trumpeted the FBI's story of Ivins' administrative leave all day as though it were definitive proof that Ivins used that leave in order to drive to New Jersey that day and mail the anthrax letters. Here's but one example illustrating how CNN disseminated this dramatic claim:

But almost immediately after the FBI leaked this theory as to when and how Ivins traveled to New Jersey undetected, it was pointed out in several online venues, including here, that this timeline made no sense whatsoever -- that, indeed, the FBI's own theories were self-contradictory. In the documents that the FBI disclosed two weeks ago, it itself defined the "window of opportunity" for mailing the September 18 postmarked letters as beginning on September 17 at 5:00 p.m. (after which letters dropped in that mailbox would have received a postmark of September 18, but before which they would be postmarked September 17). Thus, based on the FBI's own facts, it would be physically impossible for Ivins -- as the FBI claimed to the Post -- to have driven to New Jersey after taking administrative leave in the morning in order to mail the anthrax letters, since he returned that day to Maryland for a 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. meeting, and thus could not have dropped the letters in the mailbox after 5:00 p.m.

So what did the FBI do in response to that rather devastating hole in its theory being pointed out? It just leaked a completely different story to the Post about when and how Ivins mailed the September 18 letters from New Jersey. Here's the FBI's new version, from the Post on Thursday:

Meanwhile, government sources offered more detail about Ivins's movements on a critical day in the case: when letters were dropped into the postal box on Princeton's Nassau Street, across the street from the university campus.

Investigators now believe that Ivins waited until evening to make the drive to Princeton on Sept. 17, 2001. He showed up at work that day and stayed briefly, then took several hours of administrative leave from the lab, according to partial work logs. Based on information from receipts and interviews, authorities say Ivins filled up his car's gas tank, attended a meeting outside of the office in the late afternoon, and returned to the lab for a few minutes that evening before moving off the radar screen and presumably driving overnight to Princeton. The letters were postmarked Sept. 18.

That the FBI is still, to this day, radically changing its story on such a vital issue -- namely, how and when Bruce Ivins traveled to New Jersey, twice, without detection and mailed the anthrax letters -- is a testament to how precarious the FBI's case is. They stood up in public two weeks ago, refused to show anyone the evidence they possess, but nonetheless proclaimed that they know that Ivins was the anthrax attacker, and that he acted alone, beyond any reasonable doubt. Yet their own theory as to how and when he sent the letters was squarely negated by their own claims, and so they had to re-leak their theory to the Post once that glaring deficiency, which they apparently overlooked, was pointed out online.

This isn't some side issue or small, obscure detail. Being able to link an accused to the scene of the crime is the centerpiece of any case. That's why the FBI leaked its "administrative leave" theory to the Post and other media, which then spent all day highlighting the "incriminating fact." Yet the FBI's own theory made no sense and was immediately debunked, and so, in response, they just changed their theory to some completely different set of speculations the way political pundits have new "breaking news" every five minutes about who the likely Vice Presidential picks are. Does that behavior allow anyone to have confidence in what the FBI is saying?

* * * * *

And let's just spend a brief moment marveling at how mindless and uncritical the establishment media is in how they report on these matters. It was The Post's Carrie Johnson and Joby Warrick who first reported the FBI's leak on August 8 that Ivins had likely traveled to New Jersey after taking administrative leave in the morning, and they reported it without an iota of critical thought, and certainly didn't point out that the FBI's own timeline was impossible on its own terms. More amazingly, it was one of those same Post reporters -- Carrie Johnson -- who on Thursday printed the FBI's brand new and mutually exclusive theory -- that Ivins traveled to New Jersey at night, after work -- without even bothering to mention the most important fact: that it was a brand new theory that contradicted the one she mindlessly passed on from the FBI the week before.

To the contrary, in touting the FBI's brand new theory, Johnson wrote that "government sources offered more detail about Ivins's movements on a critical day in the case" -- as though the FBI's abandonment of its prior claim in favor of a new one comprised "more detail." The FBI didn't offer "more detail;" it offered completely "new detail" because the last "detail" they leaked to Johnson was almost instantaneously disproven -- a fact Johnson doesn't even bother to mention. Instead, she just allows the FBI's story to change radically and then serves as a vessel for that new story as though it's further incriminating proof, rather than a reflection of the fact that the FBI still has no idea whether it was Ivins who went to New Jersey to mail those letters.

That's because The Post's role here has been and continues to be what the establishment media's role generally is -- to serve government sources and amplify their claims, not to investigate their veracity. That's how it was Saddam Hussein who was the original anthrax culprit, followed by Steven Hatfill, and now Bruce Ivins. It's how Jessica Lynch heroically fought off Iraqi goons in a firefight, how Pat Tillman stood down Al Qaeda monsters until they murdered him, how Iraq possessed mountains of WMDs, and now, how Russia has assaulted the consensus values of the Western World by invading a sovereign country and occupying parts of it for a whole week, etc. etc. All of those narratives came from the Government directly into the pages of The Washington Post, which then uncritically conveyed them, often (as in the case of the Jessica Lynch lies and WMD claims) playing a leading role in doing so.

That's what the Post is doing again with regard to the FBI's case against Bruce Ivins. It was the same Post reporters who, on August 4, breathlessly touted one of the most inane FBI leaks of all -- that Ivins was clearly some sort of mad scientist because he possessed what the Post depicted as an exotic germ machine which Ivins had no good reason to possess, a lyophilizer (!), even though possession of a lyophilizer by an anthrax researcher such as Ivins is akin to possession of a pencil by an accountant (The Post headline: "Anthrax Dryer a Key To Probe -- Suspect Borrowed Device From Lab").

Similarly, here is an Associated Press article from last week, by AP's Matt Apuzzo, purporting to report on what it admits are many "meticulously researched" questions that have been raised (including by me) about the FBI's case, yet repeatedly demonizes such skepticism with these phrases, laced throughout the article:

As always, in Establishment Media World, nothing is more insane or radical than refusing to believe every word the Government says. Even after Iraqi mushroom clouds and the whole litany of Government falsehoods, the establishment hallmark of Seriousness and Sanity is accepting the Government's word. When it says Iraq was behind the attacks, then it was. When they said Hatfill was the culprit, he was. Now that they say that Ivins is, he is, and only "conspiracy theorists" -- comparable to those who disbelieve we landed on the moon -- would question that or demand to see the actual evidence. The FBI is relying, understandably so, on their mindless allies in the media to depict its case against Ivins as so airtight that no real investigation is necessary.

* * * * *

What is most remarkable is that even with a gullible, extremely accommodating press, and even though the FBI's case is still a secret -- they have only released their own conclusions about selectively highlighted evidence, but continue to conceal the evidence itself -- questions and doubts about the FBI's case have rapidly escalated since it held its accusatory press conference on August 7. This weekend, The New York Times reported that "growing doubts from scientists about the strength of the government's case against the late Bruce E. Ivins, the military researcher named as the anthrax killer, are forcing the Justice Department to begin disclosing more fully the scientific evidence it used to implicate him." Thus:

In the face of the questions, Federal Bureau of Investigation officials have decided to make their first detailed public presentation next week on the forensic science used to trace the anthrax used in the 2001 attacks to a flask kept in a refrigerator in Dr. Ivins's laboratory at Fort Detrick, in Maryland. Many scientists are awaiting those details because so far, they say, the F.B.I. has failed to make a conclusive case.

The circumstantial claims are proving no more convincing. As but one example, Rep. Rush Holt, despite calling for hearings after the FBI's August 7 press conference, nonetheless said in a statement after being briefed that day that the FBI's circumstantial evidence was "compelling." But now, after receiving another briefing this last week that he requested to address several unresolved questions, Rep. Holt pronounced the FBI's case less convincing that he originally thought: Representative Rush Holt, the New Jersey Democrat who has followed the anthrax case closely and requested this week's briefing from the F.B.I., said in an interview that he was not ready to draw any firm conclusions about the investigation. But he said: "The case is built from a number of pieces of circumstantial evidence, and for a case this important, it's troubling to have so many loose ends. The briefing pointed out even more loose ends than I thought there were before."

The NYT article identifies several individuals who believe that "some of the government's public statements appeared incomplete or misleading," while even the Post reported on Thursday that "federal investigators probing the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks recovered samples of human hair from a mailbox in Princeton, N.J., but the strands did not match the lead suspect in the case." That's what is so striking -- the FBI's case is full of huge holes even in its most favorable, unexamined, one-sided rendition, even before the FBI has been forced to disclose the evidence underlying the case, including the evidence that undercuts their claims but which they continue to conceal.

In addition to Holt, GOP Sen. Charles Grassley, long a vocal critic of the FBI's anthrax investigation, clearly believes that more questions than answers have been triggered by the FBI's accusations against Ivins. Last week, Grassley, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee with oversight jurisdiction over the FBI, wrote a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey and FBI Director Robert Mueller expressing serious skepticism about the FBI's case and demanding answers to many of the key questions. This sort of pressure is vital to ensure that the FBI's claims receive the critical scrutiny that they so urgently merit.

* * * * *

What's so striking here is that, when it comes to garden-variety, relatively banal crimes that have some tawdry aspect, the establishment media will investigate them endlessly. The same Washington Post that has spent weeks mindlessly reciting Government claims about the anthrax attacks just completed a 12-part series on the Chandra Levy case, in which -- as the Post itself proudly announced -- its reporters "were assigned to produce an in-depth reconstruction of the case that would reexamine all avenues of the investigation":

Yet here is the first fatal biological terror attack on the U.S. in history -- one which, by our Government's own reckoning, came from a U.S. Government facility itself. Those attacks had an incalculable impact on our political climate. The list of possible suspects, with overwhelming motives to perpetrate the attack and ample opportunity to have done so, is long and high-powered. Both the public and private bio-research industry in the U.S., which was already quite substantial before 9/11 and exploded afterwards, is shrouded in almost total secrecy and operates with virtually no oversight, despite experimenting with the world's most dangerous pathogens and bioweapons, including anthrax. And much (though not all) of the establishment media is playing its now standard role of uncritically ingesting and trumpeting Government claims (even when -- especially when -- made in secret) and investigating nothing.

As always, it's vital to emphasize that Bruce Ivins may have perpetrated those attacks and done so alone. But the more one learns about the FBI's case, the less convincing that case becomes. This week's revelation of new scientific evidence will be an important event in further assessing that case, but in all events, it is inconceivable that the FBI would be permitted to continue to conceal the evidence it possesses and to avoid having to answer very probing questions from a genuinely independent and subpoena-endowed body.

On an unrelated note, The Wall St. Journal has an article this morning on Accountability Now and the campaign against various Blue Dogs, such as Rep. Chris Carney. I'll have more to say about that later in the week.
(c) 2008 Glenn Greenwald. was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator in New York. He is the author of the New York Times Bestselling book "How Would a Patriot Act?," a critique of the Bush administration's use of executive power, released in May 2006. His second book, "A Tragic Legacy", examines the Bush legacy.

The Ed McMahon Example
By Mary Pitt

This morning, August 18th, the news was blaring from CNN and MSNBC: Donald Trump Bails Out Ed McMahon! The story that followed told us that poor ole Ed had fallen ill, was having a hard time financially and was in danger of losing his home. Now, I do not lack for sympathy for this poor man who had such an illustrious and munificent career and who can, even now, be seen on commercial television hawking insurance for oldsters so that they will not be devastated by one of the lingering illnesses that we oldster are prone to develop.

However, can we broaden our view a bit to take in the larger scene? It is all well for a "somebody" to have a friend like Mr. Trump who is able and will ride to the rescue. But this country is full of "nobodies," (like yours truly), who suffer long illnesses in our old age, who are willing to work as much as prospective employers will allow, and whose homes and very lives depend on our fiscal savvy and our ability to scrimp to live within our limited income.

I am sure that most of us receive a stipend from Social Security and parts of our medical expenses are covered by Medicare just as, I am sure, are Mr. McMahon's. Please note that I said "parts" of our medical care. It is the other "parts" that throw us into crisis. Every new year calls for a new "deductible," an amount that we must pay out of pocket before Medicare pays a penny. Then we run into "co-payments," the twenty per cent of the medical bills that Medicare considers necessary. Medicare also sets limits on the length of allowed hospital stays based on the illness or accident that sends us there. This means that, if we are not sufficiently recovered within that time period, we must be booted out anyway, usually through accessing "rehabilitation" or nursing home care. This, of course, is not covered by Medicare.

In that event, one must apply for Medicaid for assistance. This means that we must be qualified for welfare. Our home may be exempt so long as there is any hope that we can someday return there to live. However, there is a limit on the value of the home that can be exempted. Any other income must also be declared and proven, meaning that any pension must also be paid to the nursing home as it comes in, savings must all be spent for the needed care, saving only a small amount which your state believes will pay for cremation and a very modest funeral. Any real property other than your residence, i.e. a rental house, a fishing cabin, or a summer home, must be sold at appraised price and spent for the necessary care as well as that second car that you have left in the garage since the passing of your life-mate.

Now, all this paper work and real estate dealing will require active participation and you will be urged to name a "conservator" who will then become your keeper, able to sign legal papers for you, to transfer your property, and to determine where and how you spend the rest of your days. It will be the end of your treasured independence and you will have no choice but to spend your precious time in the midst of strangers, marching to the cranky orders and to walk or wheel yourself to the ordered place at the pre-determined time.

There will be no White Knight, no Donald Trump to ride to your rescue. You may have children but they have children and other expenses as they try assiduously to prepare for their own old age so they won't suffer as badly as you. There may be nice visits for a while and they may really care but life has a way of crowding out our better impulses and pushing things out of our minds. Be honest; we did it too.

It is wonderful to see one of our "heroes" rescued from being tossed onto the trash heap of time but those of us down here in the filthy trenches of humanity can only hope that this tearful story can be used to draw attention to the plights of too many of us and encourage people, particularly our politicians, to realize that the system is broken. The deductibles and co-payments were designed to discourage us from accessing the great boon that Medicare was meant to be. Sure, there is Medicare Supplement Insurance and many insurance companies will sell you a policy that will cost you a mere ten per cent or so of the amount you receive after Medicare Part B and Part D are deducted. But, again we have to weight the benefits of paying that premium or buying adequate food for a healthy diet.

With the election season upon us and a new President preparing to assume his duties, we have this one last chance to make a decision as to who will take the poor, the elderly, and the children of our nation into account and act on a determination to see that we have "health care, not sickness care."
(c) 2008 Mary Pitt is a very "with-it" old lady who aspires to bring a bit of truth, justice, and common sense to a nation that has lost touch with its humanity in the search for societal "perfection." Huzzahs and whiney complaints may be sent to mpitt@cox.net

The Cartoon Corner...

This edition we're proud to showcase the cartoons of
~~~ David Horsey ~~~

W The Movie_teaser1

To End On A Happy Note...

Millennium Theater
Ani Difranco

Millennium Theater
Get out there and buy that water and gas
Ramadan, orange alert
Everybody put on your gas mask

First, leak it out about the president
Then stand up and shout impeachment
Pull them coat tails out
From under that little V.P.
Before he has a chance
To get in the driver's seat

Millennium spectacle
Everybody put on a show
Slip the little prince in the back door
21st century, here we go

Digital whiplash
So many formats, so little time
While out in TV nation
Under darkening skies
The resistance is just waiting
To be organized

Halliburton, Enron
Chief Justices for sale
Yucca Mountain Goddesses
Their tears, they form a trail

Trickle down pollution
Patriarchies realign
While the ice caps melt
And New Orleans bides her time
New Orleans bides her time

Ladies and gentlemen
Welcome to tonight's show
The Millennium Theater
Asks that you not smoke
Please turn off your cell phones
And forget what you think you know
(c) 2006/2008 Ani Difranco

Have You Seen This...

Cynthia McKinney Speaking at the N'COBRA Conference

Parting Shots...

Too America's Raging Moderate
By Will Durst

Not content to be viewed as your ordinary run-of-the-mill hypocritical oaf, former vice-presidential candidate John Edwards compounded his monumental weaseldom by trying to sneak an overdue admission of serial monogamy infractions under the cloak of the Beijing Olympics. Nice one, John-Boy. Surprised you neglected to blame the whole sordid affair on the little girl who lip-synced opening night because the real singer wasn't deemed cute enough by the Chinese government. Question: How much cuter can one 7-year-old girl be than another?

What is this guy's major malfunction? Has he not been paying attention? Does the term "impeachment proceedings" ring no bells here? The hell has he been doing since 1998? Eating fudge in a cave, wearing earmuffs and galoshes? You'd think the public dredging of Bill Clinton through 24 months of partisan mud might intimidate a man with a penchant for $400 barber visits, wouldn't you? As clueless as a junior-varsity cheerleader's fifth Long Island Iced Tea.

Talk about arrogance. He made his presidential run with the sheets still warm. Now imagine Camp Clinton trying to reconcile the fact that if this guy had come clean at the beginning of the primaries, Hillary's dead-solid lock on the nomination would have been sealed tighter than her smile after the Iowa Caucuses. The irony is so rich and thick you could mix it with water and call it a driveway.

Those "Two Americas" of his are apparently those who barricade themselves from the press in hotel bathrooms and those who don't. What is it with southern male Democrats? Why do they insist on having red-neon romances with winsome business associates when the obvious antidote to their testosterone poisoning is the way of the northern Republican male? That being anonymous sex in an airport men's room stall. More importantly, why do they continue to commit the greatest political sin of getting caught? Is this a muffled cry for the spotlight to dim? The Carolina Lothario is giving Pretty Boys a bad name. Not that I'm affected or anything.

The senator pleads he didn't instigate the affair with his videographer (so that's what they're calling them these days) until after his wife's cancer went into remission. Dude. Even if that's true, as a defense, it is so, what is the word... sucky. Though he's denied the affair since the National Enquirer broke it in October last year, his public admission incomprehensively included; "Being 99 percent honest is not enough." The hell does that mean? That his affair with Ms. Rielle Hunter constitutes only 1 percent of his peccadilloes? What worse transgressions lie festering under that rock-hard helmet hair of his?

The one redeeming residual this squalid interlude hopefully will accomplish is to prod Barack Obama into being more circumspect with his VP decision than a safecracker in a nitroglycerin factory suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Especially considering the last two Democratic nominees, Edwards and Lieberman, will be as welcome at the Denver Convention as chlamydia.

Calling all liberal eunuchs. Now is the time to come to the aid of your party. Whoa! Not all at once, people. The line forms on the right. I mean the left. Best you clump up there near the center. After all, that's where the candidate is headed.
(c) 2008 Will Durst, is an actor, comic, writer, former radio talk show host and defense liability. Yes, he will be at the conventions. Outside. Somewhere. Wandering around. Aimlessly. His book, The All American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing, is available at Amazon and better bookstores all over this great land of ours. Better bookstores. Not Borders.


View my page on indieProducer.net

Zeitgeist The Movie...

Issues & Alibis Vol 8 # 33 (c) 08/22/2008

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