since when?

It seems ol Vlad The Propeller Putin is p-o’d at US over a planned missile defense system in Europe. Since when do we have a working missile defense system? Last time I checked, that stuff doesn’t work yet.

Talk about a tempest in a teapot. Putin’s threatening to vaporize millions of innocent people because he’s afraid of boogie man that doesn’t exist. He’s as crazy as the Shrub.

Why, you ask, do they call him Vlad the Propeller? Good question. I don’t know, but Shrub reportedly just calls him Beanie.

more on darfur

The Save Darfur Coalition [savedarfur.org] is calling for Bush to go to the UN and press for tough multilateral sanctions against Sudan.

I have misgivings.

I agree that tough action is necessary, and that many nations should become involved to help stop the suffering. But I don’t think our president has moral standing here. There was a time when America had moral authority in the world, but that time is not now. This suggestion, that George W Bush step up to end sectarian genocide while he’s waging a sectarian civil war, is a call for pure hypocrisy.

Isn’t it? Am I wrong?

It is the hour – as it almost always is – for moral leadership on Earth. Any nominations?

OK, I’ll sign their petition, but God help Darfur if the Impervious Empirate tries to send the US Army to Sudan.

Bush sanctions Sudan

I got an e-mail today from the office of the press secretary at the white house. It seems I’m subscribed to something there. Beats me. The e-mail consists of a press release:

Today, President Bush Announced The Expansion And Tightening Of Economic Sanctions Against The Government Of Sudan. The United States is now taking the steps the President outlined last month because the government of Sudan continues to violate its numerous commitments to stop the violence and suffering in Darfur.

The press release points out, among many things, that the US has given $1.7 billion for Darfur, and ends as follows:

The United States Will Not Avert Our Eyes From A Crisis That Challenges The Conscience Of The World

· The people of Darfur are crying out for our help – and they deserve it.

· The United Nations Security Council, the African Union, and all members of the international community must reject efforts to obstruct implementation of the agreements that would bring peace to Darfur and Sudan.

· President Bashir should stop his obstruction, allow the peacekeepers in, and end the campaign of violence that continues to target innocent men, women, and children.

OK, that’s all well and good I suppose, though claims have been made in other nations that economic sanctions actually hurt the people more than the government.

It occurs to me to ask who is going to sanction US for the mass killings Bush set in motion in Iraq. Then I think maybe we’re already being sanctioned. The world is turning its back on the dollar, and we are losing – or have lost – the world’s respect.

I saw a bumper sticker today:

Frodo Failed
Bush has the Ring


If you want a copy of the white house email,
leave a comment or send an email to me.

resistance is futile?

WASHINGTON – In the standoff between President Bush and Democrats in Congress led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over funding the Iraq war, it was the Democrats who finally blinked Tuesday, at least for now.

It’s as if we’ve been invaded by some insurmountable, unyielding alien force. No, not the Mexicans. This isn’t the Lou Dobbs site. I mean the Bushies. Have they got a Vulcan mind lock on Washington? Nah, it’s worse than that. It’s like puppies; as if Bush waived an old sock around until they finally flopped over like puppies, for tummy rubs.

Maybe a feline analogy is better: maybe the Democrats are just a bunch of pussies. Except, real cats know when they’ve got a bird by its wing.

Congress should keep sending the spending bill that is right for America, for Iraq, and for the military, not the bill that the Shrub wants to sign. Just do the right thing: Print it up, send it to the White House, again and again, until Bush understands that he has to sign it. After all, he didn’t veto a single bill until the Democrats took power. Now he’s yanking his veto out like a shootin iron. It’s high time he was informed there’s a new sheriff in town.

let’s be reasonable

I received a mass e-mail from Al Gore this morning. He’s promoting his new book, The Assault on Reason. It looks interesting. I would read such a book, but I’m not going to rush out to buy it right now, only because I’ve got several books stacked up ahead of it, including Carter’s Our Endangered Values. But these lines from the e-mail struck me:

One pattern that has held true since 2001 is that this White House is less interested in openness and truth than any previous administration.

We are facing so many long-term challenges, from the climate crisis and the war in Iraq to health care and social welfare. To solve these problems and move forward we need to reverse the damage done to our democracy. We have little time to waste.

Gore and Carter are right, you know. The Bush years have been a watershed of narrow minded, fundamentalist thought, a modern day dark age. The cabal has fostered paranoia and attacked science. They’ve called The Almighty down on the side of war, torture, intrusion, and deceit. And don’t even get me started on what they’ve done to the enconomy and the environment. Maybe Bush can clear brush, but he can’t tend a garden.

Check out Al Gore’s Web site. I like the design. Cool.

the worst ever

The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interréd with their bones,
So let it be with Carter…. The noble Bush
Hath told you Carter was irrelevant:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Carter answered it….
Here, under leave of Bush and the rest,
(For Bush is an honourable man;
So are they all; all honourable men)
Come I to speak on Carter’s relevance….
He was our friend, faithful and just to us:
But Bush says he was irrelevant;
And Bush is an honourable man….

Well now we have Jimmy Carter, former president of the United States, opining that halting reign of Bush the Lesser is the worst in history. The weight of truth and candor borne in these words is almost staggering:

“I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history,” …

“The overt reversal of America’s basic values as expressed by previous administrations, including those of George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and others, has been the most disturbing to me.”

He said this about the Iraq war:

“We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered,” he said. “But that’s been a radical departure from all previous administration policies.”

Wow. But my favorite is what Carter said about Tony Blair:

“Abominable. Loyal. Blind. Apparently subservient.”

“And I think the almost undeviating support by Great Britain for the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major tragedy for the world.”

Now comes Brutus, I mean Bush, stooping to argument ad hominem:

White House spokesman Tony Fratto shot back Sunday from Crawford, Texas, where Bush spent the weekend.

“I think it’s sad that President Carter’s reckless personal criticism is out there,” said Fratto. “I think it’s unfortunate. And I think he is proving to be increasingly irrelevant with these kinds of comments.”

I’ll you what’s relevant, gentle reader:

3422 Americans, dead (more than in 9/11 attacks)
148 British, dead
127 Other coalition of the Wasted, dead
3697 dead dead dead
Does that count the 15 killed over weekend? I don’t know.

Then we add in the Iraqi casualties. Oh yes, we really must. Iraqbodycount.org has them between 63929 and 70023. And of course, we’ve all seen other sources, such as the British medical journal The Lancet, that put the number much higher. Perhaps a quarter of a million people have died in Iraq because of this war. That’s approaching 4% of the pre-war population. Which would translate to roughly 12 million in the United States. Put them numbers in your wood chipper, George.

What’s relevant is the wave of resolutions to impeach Bush and Cheney, which is sweeping across the land. No kidding, here’s a list. And here’s the text of my favorite of all the resolutions of impeachment I found online. It’s a dandy.

What’s relevant is that Jimmy Carter is hardly an ambitious man. He is a thoughtful, deliberate and stable intellect, compared to any among the loyal bushies. He’s hardly rash, ever. Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. He is an elder statesman, which has largely gone out of fashion in modern times.

What’s relevant, and immensely ironic, is that George W Bush and Dick Cheney are the epitome of the bald and reckless imperial ambition of which Caesar was accused.

Impeach.

kids march against war

A cadre of enthusiastic youngsters carrying homemade banners and balloons called for an end to the Iraq war this weekend in a kid-centric “peace parade” stretching from the playgrounds of Carroll Park to the arch at Grand Army Plaza.

“Money for schools, not for war,” the children shouted from their Razor scooters and inline skates as they moved up Union Street. “Impeach Bush.”

I was 11 in the summer of 1972. The Grateful Dead were touring Europe. Those were the flowery days of the imminent second term of Richard Nixon. A family friend, here in our small town, stretched a banner across his house: IMPEACH NIXON. That was cool.

I was a supporter of George McGovern, the Democrat. Nixon ridiculed McGovern as the radical candidate of “acid, amnesty and abortion.” Or so says this entry on Wikipedia. I don’t remember that. I also don’t remember that Nixon carried 49 states. (Yes, we already had 50.) But I remember some of the names: Chisholm, Muskie, Humphrey, and Roger Mudd. And I really thought McGovern had a chance, because he won the mock election at my school. I figured we were a microcosm, you know?

I remember that Edward Kennedy was already known mostly for the 1969 Chappaquiddick incident. If that had never happened, and he had been able to run in 1972, I wonder whether Nixon would have lost and Watergate might never have happened. America might not have become so disillusioned with politics. Maybe not a good thing.

Nixon might have done us a favor in teaching us mistrust for high government. Or we might be even more inclined to fall for the lies and misdemeanors of the Shrub and his ilk. If kids hadn’t learn the word impeach back then, it might not be in the vocabulary now. Or, in the words of The Grateful Dead, “So it goes, we make what we made since the world began.”

Impeach Bush

in the forbidden zone

WASHINGTON – As the Iraq war enters a fifth year, the conflict that President Bush’s aides once said would all but pay for itself with oil revenues is fueling the highest level of defense spending since World War II.

Even with past spending adjusted upward for inflation, the $630 billion provided for the military this year exceeds the highest annual amounts during the Reagan-era defense buildup, the Vietnam War and the Korean War.

Do you ever daydream about what we might have done with all those resources, all that dough? I do. I sit here quaffing a mug of Folgers and think Damn, maybe we could’ve found a meaningful treatment for Type 1 Diabetes or Multiple Sclerosis. I wonder if maybe all those billions – almost half a trillion dollars so far, in Iraq alone – could have been spent to enhance the education of American children. Maybe some could’ve been invested in business to build ourselves a place in the new global marketplace growing around us.

I have to admit I think it’s just too late. We elected a myopic miserable failure of a man, then we did it again. And he has done nothing short of digging the grave of the American Dream.

I remember as a kid going to the movies with my Dad and seeing Beneath the Planet of the Apes, and I’ll never forget the scenes near the end of the movie, with the mutants worshiping the ICBM beneath the ruins of a cathedral. Back in 1970, everyone thought that if the world ended it would be with a bang. Now, if you listen carefully, you can hear America whimpering. We are on the verge of losing our place as a Superpower, because other countries are using their resources to build while we pump our life blood into absurd war. We’re becoming a consumer nation, borrowing money to buy the things from others that we used to make here. That is not the basis of an economy.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
Wordsworth

George W. Bush should be impeached, not just because he lied to drag us into war, got many of our people killed, is incompetent to finish the job, and has ruined our place and reputation in the world for nothing. He should go because – to appropriate Biblical allegory – he is the servant entrusted with a vineyard, and the vines are dead and have borne no fruit. And worse, he has done nothing for us but to perpetuate the worst that’s in us; he has done nothing to lift us up or make the world a better place. Here is the truth of the Bush legacy, as was written on the Apes’ sacred scrolls in the movie 37 years ago:

Beware the beast, man, for he is the Devil’s pawn. Alone among God’s primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother’s land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him! Send him to his jungle home. For he is the harbinger of death.