Monday, September 01, 2003

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION FOUND - Army Burns Sarin Gas in Alabama Incinerator

-In Anniston, Alabama-
Acceptable Risk or Unacceptable Risk?
You Decide
Sarin Gas Burning in Alabama--35,000 People Live Within a Nine-Mile Range
Arkansas, You're Next.

Army Burns Sarin Gas in Alabama Incinerator
from the Associated Press


Are people in Anniston concerned?

You bet your bum they are!

Alabamians worry as sarin gas burns
Army destroys nerve agents; nearby town preps for danger

"....The Army says burning chemical weapons is safer than leaving them alone at the Anniston Army Depot, where government employees have found 882 leaks since 1982, Abrams said...."

Oye---Such a Comforting Alternative!

Hard Talk On Labor Day
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Monday 1 September 2003


"....... I believe, at the end of the day, that America is an idea, a dream. You can take away our cities, our roads, our crops, our armies, you can take all of that away, and the idea that is America will still be there, as pure and great as anything conceived by the human mind. I believe the idea that is America stands as the last, best hope for this world. When used properly, it can work wonders.

I believe that the idea, the dream, that is America was made possible by the men and women who lived and worked and died for the right of workers to stand collectively for themselves. The idea that is America would not exist without unions, period. We must make people understand that. A great, great many Americans are well aware that the folks running things today do not have their interests in mind, but instead serve the interests of entities that would see workers' rights ground to powder.

That awareness is out there. We must make them aware that unions offer them the best possible chance to bring change, to turn back this tide, to bring us more fully towards the realization of that idea that is America. In your hands is the power to do these things. In your hands is the future of this great nation.

The word 'Union' is synonymous with the word 'Work.' I say let us begin this work, let us begin it today, let us not stop, let us not tire. I say let us begin. ...."
Will the Bush Administration Do ANYTHING to Try to Prove They Aren't Lying Sacks of Greed?

Get this:

The Bush Administration is now alleging that Saddam Hussein
sent out spies to spread false rumors that Iraq possessed
Weapons of Mass Destruction, thus forcing the United States to invade Iraq.

As if Saddam would risk an invasion of his country,
his assured removal from power, and the lives of his family!!

How gullible does this Administration think we are?

Read this article from the UK Mirror:

Sep 1 2003
By James Hardy

BRITISH and US spy chiefs are desperately trying to discover if Saddam duped them into believing Iraq had chemical and bio weapons.

Former Iraqi officers have confirmed Saddam sent double agents disguised as defectors to the West to plant fabricated intelligence.

The regime is also thought to have tricked real defectors into giving phoney tips - knowing they would pass lie detectors.

Experts believe Saddam wanted to convince his enemies of his military might to boost his reputation as a strong man.

An inspector with the 1,400-strong Iraqi Survey Group - which has failed to discover WMDs - added: "We said Saddam was a master of deception. Then, when we couldn't find anything, we said that proved it."


Once again, we have the infamous journalist Judith Miller popping up in the news. I've said all along she's a joke, so this is an appropriate blog entry in which she might appear. She's done far more damage than Jayson Blair ever dreamed of doing. Why is she still taken seriously in the world of journalism?
More importantly, why the hell did ANYONE within the Bush administration take her seriously?
More shitty leadership.
What a dirty shame!

An Important article From Slate:

Judith Miller: Duped?
Did the New York Times swallow Saddam's disinformation?

By Jack Shafer
Posted Friday, August 29, 2003, at 2:38 PM PT

".....No reporter was more go-go on the prospect of finding caches of unconventional weapons in Iraq than New York Times correspondent Judith Miller, who published numerous stories during the 18 months leading up to the war that supported allegations that Saddam Hussein was illegally developing, building, and storing chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons....."

"....No mainstream journalist bit harder on the Iraqi defectors' claims than Judith Miller. In the 18-month run-up to the war, Miller relied on their testimony again and again, as this earlier "Press Box" column documents. If the Iraqi defectors were indeed trafficking disinformation, they found a willing propagator of it in Miller and the New York Times. Although Miller salted her stories with disclaimers that the CIA and State Department tended to doubt many of the defectors, she and her editors continued to give prominence to their claims. Her closeness to Chalabi cannot be denied...."


On the lighter side (as if all the above wasn't JOKE enough for you), read this piece by Argus Hamilton-host comedian at The Comedy Store in Hollywood.


"...CIA reports surfaced Monday saying Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction may be hidden in containers deep inside Lebanon. They have to be somewhere. Americans don’t know where their jobs went either, but that doesn’t mean they never existed..."

"....The White House said Wednesday it will ask Congress for billions more to run Iraq. There must be a better way to pay for this show. If we sell naming rights to the country, the new nation of Jack Danielstan won’t cost the taxpayers a nickel.
Paul Bremer said it will take years and billions of dollars from outside Iraq to get the country on its feet and running. That’s at odds with what we all saw on television. The country was on its feet and running at the first sound of gunfire...."


The National Maximum Wage
- a fanciful orwellian essay

by Todd J. Schneider
The Free Thinker's Page

Dec. 24, 2009 - The New York Times reports today that Representative Bob Whiteman, freshman Republican Congressman from Texas has introduced a bill that would set a federal maximum wage for all manufacturing and most service sector jobs.

"In order to be competitive with the industrial powerhouses of India, China, and all those 'other countries over there', after the recess I will bring to the floor of the house legislation that would bring labor costs more in line with a world standard. Although we have been successful in repealing The Clean Air Act under the guidance of President Jeb Bush, it's really not enough to make us competitive with the rest of the world. Outlawing labor unions, as we did last Spring, isn't really a substantial enough gain. We need to let foreign investors know that we are serious about increasing production, and cutting the cost of doing business. The Fairness In Profit for Freedom and Families Act of 2008 went a long way toward our goals, with the federally-mandated 10 hour work day, but there is still room for improvement. I know that we will meet some small opposition from those wanting to play politics with this issue, just as they did when we privatized Social Security. But if these few remaining Democrats really want to stand with the President and his patriotic approach to commerce, they'll vote with me on this bill."

An aid to another congressman confided that, "After reviewing it closely with some of his constituents in the Automotive and Pharmaceutical industries, my boss is starting to see the wisdom in it. After all, as long as the American worker makes enough to feed her family, so they have the energy to work their six 10 hour days, and has a 'manageable' credit card debt load of say, 10 or 15 thousand dollars, then they really shouldn't have any problem. After all, a portion of the average family is already supported by the government, doing their patriotic duty protecting American interests in Iran/Iraq, The Philippines, South America...You know, I think the average American now understands that the only way to keep American jobs and American freedom is to make sacrifices. And any argument from the other side is just old-fashioned politicking, from a bunch of whiners that weren't even patriotic enough to support our great president before Operation Venezuelan Liberty."

When asked about the bill, a Democratic Congressman who asked to not be named said, "The middle class is gone. And there's not a damn thing we can do about it. After the new mid-census redistricting, the recall of 3 Democratic governors and packing of three-quarters of the Federal Judgeships when filibustering was done away with, the presidency has become the only branch of government. And this Representative Whiteman is just another player in the Republican formula - let some young buck that's all full of himself take a shot at introducing some off-the-wall legislation. He has the chance to be hero or zero - to make a name for himself or be a chump. But in the end, the electorate gets used to the idea and eventually accepts it. But to tell you the truth, after the legislation two years ago that protects voting results and the companies that make the machines under the umbrella of national security, the electorate may not be even essential to the process anymore!"


I never was much of a conspiracy theorist. Even though my political life began on 22 November, 1963, and I DON'T believe that Oswald was much more than a patsy, I noticed early on that the media had a way of spinning these searches for the truth into something akin to claiming to have been abducted by aliens. A few words from high-placed officials or academia, and the public tends to shun the subject and the messenger.

That's not to say that I didn't believe the theories myself; I just felt that, since they were being ignored so successfully, the person's energy was being wasted in a sad way. Let's move on, I thought. Things will work themselves out! The present state of the Union and the people (read Thinktanks) running it though, have proven me an ass and a fool.

In the above fanciful newsclipping, a law introducing a federal MAXIMUM wage is being put forth to make us competitive internationally. Far-fetched? If you would have asked me 10 years ago whether I thought something like this would take place, I would have said I was 80 per cent sure that there would be enough good people imbued with a conscience to never let that happen. You would always hear someone out of the corner of your ear say, "They want to destroy the middle class". Of course, as a blue-collar guy, I was always receptive to this sort of statement. But I lived in a semi fantasy world where good would triumph over evil at the end of the day, just like on TV. Even my dad, who isn't a real radical guy has spoken this phrase many times - and he owns the family company! But it has always been our family heritage to have a healthy distrust for the ruling economic elite. And you know what? We hillbillies was right, all along.

The creeping control of an ever-shrinking number of financial entities over our political system has been coming for a long time; in fact, our great republic has never been free of this sickness. But the coming of the Texans to Washington has accelerated this process at a speed that has been faster than the eye. But something caught my eye, and the eye of others before me. Note that the economy never seems to be much of an issue to the present occupier of The White House. Even though it was allegedly the issue that killed daddy's presidency, Junior doesn't really seem to be the least bit bothered by the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. Now, we can jot this down as bush's total inability to understand the life of a commoner. True enough. Or we can say that this guy is a moron, and isn't intelligent enough to grasp the long-term effects of job loss.

Though I agree heartily with both concepts as basic elements of the bush 'mystique', I am starting to see (taking points from the anti-globalization fighters, union folks, etc.) that there is a reason the powers that be aren't at all alarmed with economic downturns. When a person has a choice between feeding her family at a $5 an hour job, or seeing them starve because she has no job at all, she is going to take that job. This idea is summed up for me in something my dad said to me once. It was a few decades ago; somewhere around the early seventies. Our shop was slow for some reason or another, and one day my dad was half complaining about the current state of things. But switching to a lighter note, he proclaimed, "This is good for us, though", going on to say that if a guy lost his job in another machine shop, we had a chance to take on an experienced guy for the lower wages that we paid at our shop. Now, my dad is a good guy, and has since seen through the moneyed elite for what they really are. In fact, he has turned around to voting blue collar, even though he is a small business owner. But times were different then. We didn't fear the reality of exploited foreign labor, and we had a Democratic majority that boldly stood for the American worker against unfettered profiteering.

But now we have a president beholden' to the corporate cash that had him appointed to the office. The scary part is that these fellows (the ones that pull the puppet strings) are of the opinion that this is a GOOD thing. Almost daily, American workers are confronted with another removal of pro-worker legislation, with the gutting of a federal agency that would protect their job, with the rhetoric that unions are somehow destroying America's freedom (though the Teamsters have played ball with them for years). And all the while, the corporate media makes excuses for it, or ignores it all together, because 'you don't bite the hand that feeds you'.

Yes, a poor economy is good for corporate America - which, let's admit it - sees loyalty and patriotism in terms of how they can put an American flag on a product in order to increase sales. In fact, the international nature of today's global economy really nullifies any real loyalty to our country, let alone foster any egalitarian sentiments toward America's workers. Untold riches are their god, and the flag is just a promotional vehicle. And as much of a beneficiary is the Republican Party. Not only have they laid the red carpet of profit before their corporate friends, they have served to distract the voting public. When both Mom and Dad have to work at low paying jobs to make ends meet, they have very little time left to research the issues, and no funds to contribute to progressive (un-American, freedom-hating) candidates.

Yes, the above faux news release is fanciful, and God help us that it never happens. Maybe ALL the workers in the world will be raised UP to a decent standard of living, and our corporate overlords will be overcome with altruistic ideals of the betterment of mankind. But if you would have asked someone 15 years ago whether or not they thought that 20 or 30 unelected men in swanky D.C. office buildings would dictate that we preemptively attack a third-rate country for economic and political gain, you probably would have thought that it couldn't, or wouldn't happen. Or that if it came out, the people responsible would be at least going to some minimum security federal prison for 18 month's cooling-off. But that's not the case, is it? So, I begrudgingly have become a conspiracy theorist. And I believe that the ultimate conspiracy in play today is the Republican/corporate dream of the universal $4 an hour job. Remember, I tried to resist!