Friday, September 30, 2005

A War Like Never Before : US Forces 'Out of Control', Says Reuters Chief

Remember Eason Jordan? You ought to. Right wing Bloglodytes claimed his scalp after he said something that sounded to neo-con ears as though he were accusing the US military of targeting journalists in Iraq.

Now David Schlesinger, Reuters's global managing editor, has told Sen. John Warner (R., Va.), Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, that US miltary conduct toward journalists in Iraq is "spiraling out of control."
By limiting the ability of the media to fully and independently cover the events in Iraq, the US forces are unduly preventing US citizens from receiving information ... and undermining the very freedoms the US says it is seeking to foster every day that it commits US lives and US dollars.
The recent death of Reuters soundman Waleed Khaled brought the total number of journalists killed in Iraq since March 2003 (30 months) to 66.

Also from the Guardian:
Journalists in danger
30.08.2005:
Press groups demand release of Iraqi cameraman
26.08.2005: No special treatment for journalists in Iraq, says US
20.05.2005: I never said US tried to kill reporters, says ex-CNN boss
03.05.2005: Journalist death toll worst since 1955
28.04.2005: Captive journalists may still be alive
27.04.2005: Kidnappers threaten to execute Romanians
08.04.2005: CBS cameraman shot by US troops
29.03.2005: Romanian journalists kidnapped in Iraq
07.03.2005: Italian hostage accuses US
18.02.2005: Journalist group calls US to account over Iraq
16.02.2005: Kidnapped journalist makes video plea for freedom
04.02.2005: Italian reporter kidnapped in Iraq
09.02.2005: Journalist killed with son in Iraq
04.05.2004: Media death toll highest for a decade
27.08.2004: Media war toll rises
18.01.2005: Do more to protect journalists, governments told
18.01.2005: Journalists' killers 'not being brought to justice' International News Safety Institute

Random Thoughts About the Right

Bill Bennett is not a racist.
He is also not a compulsive gambler.
Nor is he a hypocrite.

Tom DeLay is not a crook.
There is no evidence against him.
He is the victim of a partisan political "fanatic."

The Religious Right in the US are not extremists.
They are acting out Christian principles in American public life.
They really love Jesus.

The neo-GOP is not a party of fascists.
There is no perverse ideology guiding their every policy decision.
They are true to their history, their traditions, and their past leaders.

George W. Bush is not a liar.
He really does put freedom and democracy above all other values.
He is not incompetent.

And the war is going really, really well.

Thanks and welcome to visitors from The Liberal Avenger and The Daou Report. Thanks, too, to all the readers of Feministe for coming by. Please stop by often...you're ALWAYS welcome!!!

US : We Won't Invade Venezuela -- Chavez : US Harbors "The Bin Laden of Latin America"

An update on the "NEW AXIS OF EVIL" TM

US Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield denied yesterday that the US has plans prepared for the invasion of Venezuela, a charge made earlier this month at the United Nations by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

A coup in 2002 that briefly unseated Chavez is widely seen as supported by the CIA and the Bush administration. At the very the US shared information with the coup plotters and did not inform the Venezuelan government.

Rest easy, good reader. I'm sure we would never invade a sovereign nation without a good reason, without hard and fast evidence of imminent danger. Would we?

Meanwhile, Hugo Chavez reacted angrily to this week's decision by Judge William Abbott in Texas not to deport terrorist Luis Posada Carriles to either Venezuela or Cuba, where he is wanted for the bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976.
Chavez said during a visit to Brazil on Thursday that the U.S. ruling allows the Bush administration to protect one of Latin America's most notorious terrorists. He called Posada "the (Osama) bin Laden of Latin America a torturer, an assassin."
Where are the "liberal" media on this story? Why do Americans remain IN THE DARK about the fact that we're protecting a terrorist? I believe that if more Americans knew about this story, about Posada, about what he's done, we would give him up in an instant, because he is terrorist scum.

The American people support neither terrorism nor terrorists. Mr. President, you're either with us, or you're against us....

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Bush in Freefall (And Not Just His Job Approval Ratings)

NOTE TO OFFICERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: NEITHER THIS BLOG NOR ITS AUTHORS EITHER CONDONE OR ENCOURAGE VIOLENCE OF ANY SORT AGAINST EITHER PUBLIC OFFICIALS OR PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS. ON THE CONTRARY, WE ARE OF RATHER MILDLY PACIFICIST INCLINATION AND TEND TO AVOID EVEN SHOUTING MATCHES AND CONTROVERSIES OF EVERY KIND. THIS BLOG IS MEANT TO INCITE NOTHING BUT THINKING--HARD, DEEP, AND CRITICAL THINKING. BUT SOMETIMES THINGS ARE JUST FUNNY, YOU KNOW?

Having said all that, haven't you ever dreamed of just watching George W. Bush in absolute freefall, plummetting through the air, limbs flailing against the wind, bouncing off the occasional stationary object? Well, check out this site. It's so simple--it doesn't really do much--but it is SO cool. You can even grab the Pres in mid-air and give him a fling.

Great stress reliever. Give it a try.

Republicans See Signs That Pentagon Is Evading Oversight - New York Times

Back in January, the Washington Post reported on the possible establishment of a new super-secret spy agency directly reporting to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, the Strategic Support Branch. The branch uses "reprogrammed" funds, thereby bypassing both the appropriations and oversight functions of Congress. So the branch is answerable to no one but Donald Rumsfeld.

Part of the purpose of this super-secret arm of the Defense Department was to remove much of the traditional intelligence gathering responsibility from the CIA, increasingly seen by the neo-con right as hamstringed by the Constitution. Instead the branch will do the spywork, unhampered by Constitutional Congressional oversight, and the CIA will function as a PR instrument for the Executive branch, creating plausible arguments for unpopular (and perhaps illegal) foreign policy. As Seymour Hersh reported last January:
The C.I.A. will continue to be downgraded, and the agency will increasingly serve, as one government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon put it, as “facilitators” of policy emanating from President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. This process is well under way.
Well, now even Congressional Republicans are becoming concerned about this bald-faced (and probably un-Constitutional) powergrab, which not only makes the CIA redundant, but also the new Directorate of National Intelligence under John Negroponte.

"We see indications that the D.O.D. is trying to create parallel functions to what is going on in intelligence, but is calling it something else," Representative Peter Hoekstra, Republican of Michigan and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in an interview.

Mr. Hoekstra said he believed that the purpose might be to obscure the extent of Pentagon intelligence activities and to keep them outside Mr. Negroponte's designated orbit.


Where are the "liberal media" Howie keeps talking about? Why doesn't anybody know about this? Where's the ruckus?

God, help us.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

US Protects International Terrorist Luis Posada Carriles

Judge prevents deportation of Cuban militant Luis Posada Carriles: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

This is not a shock, but it is disheartening, and gives the lie to Bush administration claims to be fighting against terrorism. Empty, shallow lies.

Luis Posada Carriles is a terrorist--there is little, if any, doubt about that. CIA documents link him to the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner (among other things). But we will not extradite him to countries that want to try him, and we will not deport him to those countries either, even though the President of the Organization of American States has asked the Bush administration to do just that.

It seems that there are good terrorists and there are bad terrorists. This level of intellectual and moral consistency is par for the course Bush & Co. have set.

Is the US "war on terror" for real? Or is it a war on people who do not accept the agenda of the Project for a New American Century? Only George W. Bush and his administration can answer this question, and the answer will be made clear by their actions, not their rhetoric. The words have been very clear:
“All governments that support terror are complicit in a war against civilization.” – President Bush's UN speech, 9/23/03

The actions have been a little muddier.

Will you be following this story on your evening news? Doubt it...

Le Monde (France) : With Torture, America's Enemies Multiply

With Torture, America's Enemies Multiply

What a mess we've created in the last five years. I pray that a merciful God forgives us for foisting George W. Bush and the Project for a New American Century on the rest of the world.

Read first-hand accounts of the torture of Iraqi prisoners committed by members of the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division here.

US Study : Societies Suffer When "God is on Our Side"

The paper, published in the Journal of Religion and Society, a US academic journal, reports: “Many Americans agree that their churchgoing nation is an exceptional, God-blessed, shining city on the hill that stands as an impressive example for an increasingly sceptical world."
Ummmmm. Yeah. Maybe. But then again....

“In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies.

“The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so.”

And we've got the dysfunctional President to prove it.

This is not just a "developed world" vs. "developing world" thing, either. It's not the dysfunctions of a technological society vs. the traditional, time-honored values of the developing world. Gregory Paul, the author of the study and a social scientist
said that the disparity was even greater when the US was compared with other countries, including France, Japan and the Scandinavian countries. These nations had been the most successful in reducing murder rates, early mortality, sexually transmitted diseases and abortion, he added.
It's not God's fault, in other words. I'm not convinced it's mere belief in God, either. I think this has something to do with how one chooses to believe in God, whether one uses God as a rationalization for exploitation of others and the maintenance of ridiculous myths of cultural or religious superiority and, ultimately cultural, political, or economic dominance.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

"New Axis of Evil" Update -- Chavez : US a "Terrorist State"

From Agence France-Presse via Truthout

Four months after the US arrested terror bomber Luis Posada Carriles but refused to extradite him to Venezuela, and scant weeks after Pat Robertson called on national TV for his assassination, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez labeled the United States a "terrorist state" and called for the United Nations to move out of New York.

"It is a terrorist state. It is a government that violates all rules and behaves shamelessly," Chavez said on Friday. He also charged that he has evidence that the US is planning an invasion of Venezuela.

On Nightline last night, Chavez said that the Bush administration has carried on a campaign of propaganda against Venezuela and Chavez's government, and has left the American people IN THE DARK about the reality of Venezuela:
We're one of the biggest investors of Latin America. I think we're the prime investor of Latin America in the United States. We are giving employment to more than 2,000 U.S. workers and their families. We are paying taxes to the government of the United States. We cooperate with many cities, with mayoralties, Houston. And now with Katrina, this awful drama that the United States is living through, from the very first day I ordered a group — a coordinating a group of support being sent to where one of our refineries is located. We've been helping. And we've been even rescuing people. Practically no one in the United States knows that we've donated millions of dollars to the governorship of Louisiana, to the New Orleans Red Cross. We're now giving care to more than 5,000 victims, and now we're going to supply gasoline, freely in some cases, and with discounts in other cases, to the poorest of communities, starting with New Orleans and its surroundings. The people of the United States should know that.
CITGO, the Venezuelan state-owned oil company, has put hundreds of evacuees up in housing in its plants along the gulf coast.

He told Ted Koppel that, contrary to Bush administration claims, Venezuela is no threat to a peaceful United States:
It's very difficult for someone to bring the empire to its knees. That is not my pretension. That would be something totally disproportional. What we do want to do is have both of us on our feet — both of us standing up or both of us sitting down. Or, if we kneel, let both of us kneel. That would be to pray — to pray, as we Christians pray.
When he addressed the UN General Assembly in Friday, he criticized harshly the Bush administration for the UN-opposed war on Iraq as well as for his contempt for the United Nations. He "won rousing applause" for his comments. Speaking past his five minute limit, Chavez was given a note by a UN diplomat to end his speech. He threw it on the floor and announced that if Bush could speak for 20 minutes, he would speak for twenty minutes. The Associated Press reports, "When he finally stopped, he got what observers said was the loudest applause of the summit."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Heckuva Job...

Howie says that as soon as Bush takes a pro-active position regarding the Gulf States' clean-up, his poll numbers will be just fine again. So, how's he been doing? Let's see.

He has started off by taking better care of his friends than of the citizens of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Bush has guaranteed the greatest profits for those contractors who will be rebuilding New Orleans by allowing them to pay below the prevailing wage. The poor gulf staters who are doing the work will be getting very low wages.

From Money.cnn.com:

In a notice to Congress, Bush said the hurricane had caused "a national emergency" that permits him to take such action under the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act in ravaged areas of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The Davis-Bacon law requires federal contractors to pay workers at least the prevailing wages in the area where the work is conducted. It applies to federally funded construction projects such as highways and bridges.


Even red staters are uncomfortable about this, albeit for all the wrong reasons. From Red State:
The Bush administration has suspended the Davis-Bacon Act for an indefinite period. Under that Act, federal contractors must pay the prevailing wage, which in the Gulf Coast is from around $9 to $20 an hour. This will make it easier for illegal aliens to underbid U.S. citizens. For 45 days, employers won't be fined for hiring anyone who doesn't have documentation. Illegal aliens are currently doing cleanup and roofing jobs in Biloxi. Not only are they not being pursued by the DHS, some of them now want work visas. Day laborers from Conroe TX have been picked up to work in the cleanup. Vicente Fox was practically giddy at the chance to provide reconstruction workers. Phyllis Schlafly says we should give jobs currently going to illegal aliens to Katrina victims. Jesse Jackson says much the same thing. Even those at the DemocraticUnderground tend to agree. The Washington Post points out that evacuees in Houston face job competition from illegal aliens. It probably won't be too long before various conspiracy theories arise as to why Bush would seemingly want to move blacks out of the Gulf Coast and move Hispanics in.

So, just who is getting the no-bid contracts, sweetheart deals (now that the prevailing wage has been tossed aside), to rebuild New Orleans? How about the same old friends of Bush and Cheney that have gotten no-bid contracts in Iraq? How about Halliburton, Bechtel, The Shaw Group, and others?

Meanwhile GOP Senators blocked a move by Sen. Hillary Clinton (D., NY) to appoint an independent panel to investigate Federal Government screw-ups in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.

And one more note from the "compassionate conservative" response to Katrina. From Think Progress:
"SEPARATE BUT EQUAL" EDUCATION: The Wall Street Journal reports that Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings will ask Congress to waive a federal law that bans educational segregation for homeless children. The Bush administration is arguing, along with states like Utah and Texas, that providing schooling for evacuees (who, in this case, are likened to homeless children) will be disruptive to public school systems, so they want to have sound legal backing for creating separate educational facilities for the 372,000 schoolchildren displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The State of Mississippi is opposed to waiving the Act because they argue the law helps evacuees enroll in schools without red tape.

All I can say is, "You're doing a heckuva job, Bushie."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

UN Investigating Use of Shannon Airport by CIA "Torture Plane"

IOL: UN investigating use of Shannon by CIA "torture plane"

A shame if this is true...

Posada Carriles Could be Deported, not Extradited, to Venezuela

Posada Carriles Could be Deported, not Extradited, to Venezuela

This is a bit surprising and, perhaps, hopeful. But I'm not betting any money yet that justice will be done.

A Texas court said that if the asylum request of Luis Posada Carriles, the Cuban-Venezuelan, is rejected, he could be deported to Venezuela, where he is wanted in connection with the bombing of a 1976 airplane that killed 73 persons. The U.S. government’s Department of Homeland Security did not object to the judge’s decision.
The die is not yet cast, and it would not be surprising for the Bush administration to intervene--behind the scenes, to be sure. The elder Bush made his mark in American politics as an anti-Castro conservative, and as head of the CIA during the time Posada was an agency operative who helped to plan and carry out the Cubana airline bombing. Posada also worked closely with Bush friend and CIA "asset" Felix Rodriguez during the Iran/Contra scandal.

Recently declassified CIA documents show that Posada was, indeed, a central planner of the 1976 terrorist attack despite his denials.

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, recently joined the international call for Posada's extradition--NOT deportation--to Venezuela. Not to do so, he implied, would make the US's stated objective of fighting terror a joke. As it stands right now, we can extradite a terrorist, or we can deport an illegal immigrant--or we can do nothing.

It's time for the President to give him up. Does he have the courage?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bush Approval Ratings Tank

Bush: Job Ratings

The proportion of Americans who approve of the job the President is doing continues to recede. Support is evaporating. Resentment and dissatisfaction grows. The numbers?

ABC News/Washington Post Poll. Sept. 8-11, 2005.
Approve 42% Disapprove 57%

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey. Sept. 8-11, 2005.
Approve 40% Disapprove 52%

Newsweek Poll. Sept. 8-9, 2005.
Approve 38% Disapprove 55%

Time Poll. Sept. 7-8, 2005.
Approve 42% Disapprove 52%

Associated Press/Ipsos poll. Sept. 6-8, 2005.
Approve 39% Disapprove 59%

CBS News Poll. Sept. 6-7, 2005.
Approve 42% Disapprove 52%

How about Iraq? How is he handling that?

ABC News/Washington Post Poll.
Sept. 8-11, 2005.
Approve 38% Disapprove 62%

Newsweek Poll. Sept. 8-9, 2005.
Approve 36% Disapprove 60%

CBS News Poll. Sept. 6-7, 2005.
Approve 35% Disapprove 60%

But Katrina--surely Americans support his handling of the worst natural disaster in US history?

ABC News/Washington Post Poll.
Sept. 8-11, 2005.
Approve 44% Disapprove 54%

Newsweek Poll. Sept. 8-9, 2005.
Approve 37% Disapprove 57%

Well, how about Bush's handling of the oil crisis?

ABC News/Washington Post Poll.
Sept. 8-11, 2005.
Approve 25% Disapprove 72%

Associated Press/Ipsos poll. Sept. 6-8, 2005.
Approve 27% Disapprove 70%

Zogby America Poll. Sept. 6-7, 2005.
Approve 21% Disapprove 75%

CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. Aug. 28-30, 2005.
Approve 20% Disapprove 76%


Can someone explain to me, in this culture of "personal responsibility," why Americans are not holding the President accountable for his ineptitude, lies, and dereliction of duty?

I didn't think so.

Haaretz.com (Israel) : George W. Bush, "The Most Terrifying President"

At Home and Abroad, Bush Has Wrought Devastation

This is from Israel, our closest and most constant ally in the middle east!!!

...As we know, Bush is "born again," and wherever people who have found the old-time religion take their stand, intelligent people run away, as if from fire. Instead of running the world and its inhabitants, as one may expect of the leader of the free world, Bush acts as someone who is reinventing the world on a mission from God.

...The world can revert to a state of chaos - so long as the messenger does not violate his covenant with Divine Providence and the supervisors down below. It may very well be that the warming of the oceans contributed to Katrina, but who is going to tell a shepherd what is good for his flock while it is drowning in a flood?...

The world according to Bush is now more polarized than ever. A new poll that was released last week indicates that a decisive European majority - approximately 72 percent - reject his policies and doesn’t trust him....

Under the leadership of the fastest gun in the West, the United States has proved to the entire world that it has no one to rely upon, and no one to take example from. Even America's own poor do not take precedence. In the prisons of Baghdad and Guantanamo, America's image as the sentinel of human rights has been shattered. And in the graveyards of America, so has its image as a country that offers a good life. And America's reputation has even suffered in Beijing and New Delhi, for even there they don’t envy the morbidity and mortality rates of American babies, as publicized last week by Washington's central bureau of statistics.

And America thinks it has an image problem in the Islamic world...?

America has a problem in its White House.

Monday, September 12, 2005

WMD Threat Could Spark American Nuclear Strike

America, United States, Times Online, The Times, Sunday Times

We're rattling the nuclear sabre again.

A draft DoD document, "Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations," would allow the US to use "preemptive" nuclear strikes against terrorists, or nations who "sponsor" terrorism. Depending on the quality of US intelligence and the level of honesty of the US administration, that could mean Iran or North Korea. It could also mean Venezuela, Chile, or Uruguay. It could also mean just about anyone we get a nuke jones for.

The document’s key phrase appears in a list of pre-emptive nuclear strike scenarios, the first of which is against an enemy using “or intending to use WMD”.
And how do we know what an "enemy" is intending to do? Think about our recent examples of "knowing" what our "enemy" intended to do. This is scary.

From the Taipei Times:

A copy of the draft obtained by reporters urges US theater force commanders operating around the world to prepare specific plans for using nuclear weapons in their regions -- and outlines scenarios, under which it would be justified to seek presidential approval for a nuclear strike.

They also note that within the document

a number of scenarios allow nuclear strikes without enemy weapons of mass destruction in the equation. They could be used, for instance, to counter potentially overwhelming conventional adversaries, to secure a rapid end of a war on US terms, or simply "to ensure success of US and multinational operations," the document indicates.

The New Zealand Herald points out that the document

claims that some 30 nations have WMD programmes -- not to mention terrorists, or "non-state actors" as they are described, acting either independently or under the sponsorship of a state opposed to the US.

Like Saddam's Iraq?

This administration can't be trusted with this kind of power.

Friday, September 09, 2005

A Letter from the School of the Americas Watch

Just got this:

Dear Friends in the Struggle for Peace and Justice,

As reports continue to come from the Gulf, we continue to be saddened and angered by what we hear. As Hurricane Katrina pounded the Gulf Coast we received reports from SOA Watch activists who were stranded. Some could not leave and some stayed to be with those who had no way of leaving. In the days that followed, after the levees broke, we continued to hear from friends in New Orleans who were trapped in the city. The reports were difficult to hear.

We also learned that over the last three years the monies that were allotted to reinforce the levees in New Orleans were cut by the Bush Administration as the budgets increased for Homeland Security and the Pentagon. We see U.S.-funded wars waged in places like Colombia and Iraq resulting in great loss of life. We see the funding of military training schools, like the SOA, resulting in Latin American soldiers returning home to bring suffering to their own people. We are angered that money for fixing the levees was cut and resources to assist survivors did not materialize in the days that followed Katrina. New Orleans was destroyed not by Hurricane Katrina, but by levees that could have been fixed.

We see National Guard Units in Iraq while we needed to see them and their equipment at home. Our anger grew as we learned of how many people were trapped and how many people would continue to die because rescuers were not on the way.

The federal government abandoned black people and poor people. The media showed images of people of color carrying food and reported that they were "looters;" nearly identical images of white people finding food carried captions describing the people as "finding food."

Clearly, institutional racism in our government caused people to die, and institutional racism in the media criminalized people of color as they were struggling to survive.

SOA Watch adds its voice to the outrage that millions are feeling in our country now. We demand accountability from a government that would take our money to fund a murderous foreign policy in the Persian Gulf while neglecting our infrastructure at home - neglect that is responsible for killing thousands on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

SOA Watch believes that our country would be more secure by no longer training assassins in the Americas and by no longer sending our troops to wage war on people of color abroad. We believe that a true homeland security will be achieved not by funding war, but by supporting a global security where our country's deteriorating infrastructure is repaired and all around the globe people have access to education, a living wage and healthcare.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we were inspired to hear your stories of the true heroism, generosity and mutual aid that occurred in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

In recent days you've shared with us how you've taken this struggle for life into your own hands. You told us that some of you were in the Gulf and continue to remain there adding your hands to the thousands who stayed to help others. We continue to hear that many of you are coordinating food and clothing drives, that you're finding housing for displaced people in your area or that you've left for the Gulf with groups like Veterans for Peace to volunteer in some of the areas that need our help most.

We will all continue to assist the survivors in the Gulf, to find homes for the displaced and to respond to this catastrophe as we hold onto our anger and sadness. We will carry our outrage and grief as we demonstrate in Washington this September - and we will take it with us as we remember and resist at the gates of Fort Benning this
November 18-20.We are a part of the millions in our country who believe that love is more powerful than prejudice, that hope will prevail over despair and that our hands united are building a world where respect for life triumphs over political interest.

Yours in the Struggle for Life,

Asha, Carmen, Christy, Eric, Hendrik, John, Pam and Roy The SOA Watch Staff


If you are as outraged by the events of the past two weeks (to say nothing of the lies of the last three years) as most Americans are, I urge you NOT to just sit back and let the Bush administration carry on "business as usual." PLEASE e-mail, call, or write your congressional representatives TODAY and urge them to begin an impeachment inquiry against George W. Bush.

You can find your representative here.

Will Judith Miller Talk?

Buried in an otherwise innocuous, routine report about the ongoing Federal Grand Jury investigation into the Bush administration's leaking of a CIA operative's name to the press, we find the following:
Abrams said Miller remained "resolute" and would not reveal her confidential source to a grand jury in the case, which could shake up an administration already reeling from criticism over its response to Hurricane Katrina. The probe has ensnarled President George W. Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove.

But lawyers close to the investigation say there are signs that the 20-month-long inquiry could be wrapped up within weeks in a final flurry of negotiations and legal maneuvering.

Asked if talks were under way with special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, a Justice Department prosecutor, to secure Miller's testimony and release, Abrams said: "If there are any discussions, they would be private."

"She is there (in jail) for a reason. At this time, the reason is still there. She made a promise and, unless properly released from her promise by her source, she has no choice but to continue to take the position that she's taking," Abrams said.

Hmmmm. Is she about to rat out Rove?

Let's hope so.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Army Corps of Engineers Warned of New Orleans Disaster Four Years Ago

ScientificAmerican.com : Drowning New Orleans
"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." –President Bush, on "Good Morning America," Sept. 1, 2005.

Hmmmm. I disagree, Mr. President. You should have known.

The Apple Never Falls Far From the Tree...

Mirror.co.uk : BUSH: THEY WERE UNDERPRIVILEGED, SO THIS IS WORKING VERY WELL FOR THEM

First Mother Barbara Bush thinks that the refugees from Katrina's devastation are sitting kind of pretty. They've really got it made with their folding cots and MREs. What "scares" her, though, is that the refugees might stay in Texas.

Unbelievable.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Fox: 'Security is a shared responsibility'

Violence and illegal immigration on the Mexican border is not only a problem that Mexico has to fix--it's a problem that the United States has to fix, too. According to a Sept. 5 New York Times article, Mexican President Vicente Fox had this to say:

"Security is a shared responsibility." Then, referring to the United States, he said, "I don't understand that now they only cast blame and accusations, and they do not collaborate or cooperate so that together we can resolve this problem."

On the changes in immigration policy, he said: "There is will on the part of President Bush, according to what he has expressed publicly, and what he has expressed in conversations with us. So, I trust that in the coming weeks and months, we will succeed finally in arriving at a positive resolution for the benefit of both countries."

Kudos to New York

According to the Associated Press today, in New York, about 43 percent of public school students speak a language other than English at home. So instead of just ignoring these students (and the fact that the parents have to ask friends and family to translate) the school district spent $7.5 million to expand its translation and interpretation unit.

Yes, this is a good thing. But I'm sure someone out there will turn this into something negative and complain (as if their ancestors spoke only English when they came here). To you I say "wake up!"

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Third World America

This administration has made the USA an international disgrace. Where is the clamor for impeachment?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Promises, promises

On Aug. 29, two weeks after the Democratic governors of Arizona and New Mexico declared states of emergency along the border, President Bush was in El Mirage, Ariz., defending his administration's efforts to control the nearby border with Mexico. He promised residents a huge federal campaign that will deploy more agents and provide more detention space to stop those trying to sneak into the country.

"We have an obligation to enforce the borders," Bush said. "I understand it's putting a strain on your resources. . . . What I'm telling you is there's a lot of people working hard to get the job done, but there is more we can do."


Bush Pledges Action on Borders
Southwest Is Promised Agents, Jail Space for Illegal Immigrants
By Peter Baker, Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Not many hits on this website

I'm sure there aren't many employers using website.

According to the Associated Press, a small group of businesses is quietly testing a Department of Homeland Security program that can check immigration status with a few clicks on the Internet.

I'm sure a lot of employers don't mind hiring illegal immigrants because they can pay them below the minimum wage. And the illegal immigrants are going to keep their mouths shut because they're afraid of getting deported--and mostly, they're afraid of losing their job because below minimum wage is a lot better than what they'd get paid in their own country. And that's a shame.

Firms Testing Web - Based Immigration Check
Associated Press - Sept. 4, 2005

If the money's not yours, stay out of it

A group that claims it's the Indiana chapter of the Minuteman Project, a group of volunteers that are trying to stop illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexican border, were protesting at Bank Calumet in Hammond, Ind. yesterday. They're upset because this bank lets people with an Individual Taxpayer ID Number transfer money to friends and family in other countries, open a bank account, and apply for a mortgage. (Illegal immigrants are issued Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers by the IRS so they can pay taxes and file tax returns.)

On Aug. 16, Bank Calumet launched a Web site in Spanish and a Hammond couple were introduced as the first to secure a mortgage through Bank Calumet's pilot program by using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (Fifth Third Bank and Harris Bank also have done Individual Taxpayer Identification Number loans, but not in Northwest Indiana).

Almost all Hammond banks now accept the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number and a Mexican-government issued identification card (a matricula consular) to open savings and checking accounts.

The Minuteman Project should keep their noses out of money that's not theirs.

Protesters at Hammond bank: No loans for illegal immigrants
Bank Calumet defends loan program, says goal is to promote home ownership
BY KEITH BENMAN