Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Harvard Crimson/Zachary M. Seward
Old Crimson Interview Reveals A More Radical John Kerry
The Crimson reported Kerry called for U.N. control of troops in 1970

The Bush administration will be using much of this thirty-four-year old interview to try to attack Kerry, I'd imagine. In a "No-Sh*t-Dick Tracy" way, let's remember that "34 years later, Kerry's remarks on American military and intelligence operations vastly diverge from opinions expressed by the present-day Sen. John F. Kerry, D.-Mass......." PLEASE. Kerry SHOULD NOT be beholden to everything in that old interview...not by any means. I just heard David Brooks defending President Bush on the Lehrer News Hour, claiming that the Bush AWOL issue is moot because we already know all we need to know about his character after these four years. (I'll say we do--oye). Brooks' point was that a person changes a lot after 30 years...sometimes you'd think they were an entirely different person altogether. After Kerry's experience in Viet Nam, it's no wonder he felt the way he felt at the time! If Adam Clymer of the National Annenberg Election Survey thinks the interview should make its way to be used by the Bush campaign, I hope it totally backfires on them...and I think it will.
Let them open the old Viet Nam wounds and get this country talking about it all over again. It might actually be the best thing thing to revive the civic spirit of the late 60s. Young people "on the political fence" might just begin to understand the parellels between the Tonkin Gulf lies and WMD lies.
You know, I recall a certain Republican leader...a general, as a matter of fact, who solidly and unmistakably warned all of us Americans about the miltary -industrial complex.
"Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

--President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961
How soon Republicans have forgotten. Bush has been a puppet to a good many at the Pentagon who knew the Bush nose was easy for the leading. The People of this nation have lost so much power in the last four years that I don't honestly know if we shall recover from it.

It's no surprise that the Bush campaign would highlight Kerry's Senate votes should he win the Democratic nomination, as Kevin Madden from Bush's campaign avers. He's got a long list of them. It was one of my many reasons Kerry was one of my lesser favorites (among the many other reasons I've stated on this blog over the past year).
I think Kerry will withstand it all, should he become the Democratic nominee. Why? He is not Bush. Period. He is a leader with a mind for leading..even if I have not agreed with the intuition lying behind many of his recent decisions.
This is what I know: Bush is a puppet with an imagined mission from God propped by those I believe he trusts...and who lead him by the nose. I don't want a leader like this. I want a real leader..not a leader by sheer team influence.

So now we learn that a John Kerry fundraiser helped finance the anti-Dean ads that used Dean's name with images of bin Laden. Man, that was some dirty sh*t. Who knew what evil lurked in the hearts of men, already? $50,000 for the filthy ads came from Bob Torricelli (already rebuked by the Senate Ethics Committee two years ago for his relationship with a top political contributor to his campaigns). Kerry's affiliation with Torricelli...and now his indirect link to Americans for Jobs & Healthcare who ran these ads-- could cause political problems for him.... but with Terry McAuliffe (and thus the DNC) so obviously behind him, I don't think he can lose...regardless of what a bottom-of-the-barrel poor sport he's been or which unethical bums are his chums.

Creepy, huh?

Wesley Clark has dropped out of the Democratic race. The title of the Memphis Flyer article telling us the news is "GALLANT WARRIOR CLARK BOWS OUT". I couldn't think of a better way of describing this man....gallant. I am very sorry to see him leave. He brought some of the greatest ideas, truth, and honor to the race. (And Gert would have made a wonderful first lady).

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that, after a nationwide outcry, federal prosecutors have withdrawn the subpoena asking Iowa's Drake University to turn over a list of people involved in a November anti-war forum, as well as subpoenas ordering four activists to testify before a grand jury. U.S. District Judge Ronald Longstaff has also lifted his ultra-Draconian gag order that had prohibited Drake University employees from even discussing the case.

click photo..see story

The 9-11 Independent Commission's Family Steering Commitee is furious with the by the failure of the Commission to subpoena the White House for complete access to the Presidential Daily Briefings. Needless to say, the FSC is furious with the White House..particularly the President after his appearance on Meet The Press. They state that the public needs to be aware that the President's statements on Meet the Press, on February 8, 2004, were misleading.

A well-known figure with ties to terrorism is coming to Syracuse, NY to march in the 2004 St. Patrick's Day parade at the invitation and welcome of GOP Congressman James T. Walsh. His name? Gerry Adams of the Sinn Fein. Of course, Sinn Fein is only the political wing of the that wouldn't be any different from Yasser Arafat being invited to march in a Palestinian holiday parade by one of our governmental representatives, I suppose...would it? Look, I'm not dissing Mr. Adams here. I actually believe he wants peace and justice, as we all would love to see in this world. Being an Irish-American, I even tend to personally (though certainly not actively) side with his cause. *Does that make me a terrorist-sympathizer?* I am coming to a point here (believe it or not and thanks for your patience.) It's just that..well...Mr. Adams' political cause is not a cause of a brown-tinted
people...even though history will show his battle has been every bit as violent as most of the troubles in Israel and Palestine. Being white and Judeo-Christian has helped to keep Sinn Fein off the terror-watch lists. Do you see the hypocrisy there? Will President Bush have any comments about this, I wonder? I tend to think he'd say it was a local matter and would probably love to leave it it that.

ABC will not censor political statements during Oscars According to the linked story, "ABC network's 5-second censor delay will be used to shield viewers from any unlikely profanity or nudity -- but will not interfere with any political statements winners may make." I expect there will be a fair number of such statements during this year's Oscar broadcast.

The problem of media concentration only gets worse. Comcast, in a hostile bid, has proposed buying Disney (which includes the ABC-network-family). In Europe, Vivendi Universal stocks leapt on news of the surprise $66 billion merger offer. This is all in anticipation of a key speech today from U.S. Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan.

I just read an article where I observed right-wing clingers John R. Lott Jr. and Grover Norquist trying to scare voters away from Democrats. They're pulling out the old tried and true "wedge issues". Observe the "God, guns, and gays" spook-tactics that Howard Dean astutely warned us about.
Speaking of Grover Norquist, I'll wager you haven't seen this most unusual New York Press interview of Grover's ass.

At Working For Change, Robert Scheer says President Bush sounded like a broken record on 'Meet the Press' in a column titled War as an excuse for everything.

At The Nation, David Corn didn't have a glowing review of Russert's performance as Bush's interviewer, stating "He was not his usual self: a polite but aggressive quizzer who sticks to specifics, wielding quotes and source material to force his subjects to address previous statements and past actions. Instead, Russert allowed Bush to dish out the all-too familiar, White House-approved rhetoric. It pains me to say, he was more enabler than interrogator......Russert never cornered him, never pinned him. Russert never made Bush sweat, and Bush was able to reel off the same-old/same-old. Was this because Russert was too respectful of the man or the office? Expectations (mine included) were high. After all, It's not too often a president has to submit to being interviewed by a smart, no-holds-barred journalist.....It was as if Russert wouldn't let Russert be Russert......"

Paul O'Neill has been cleared in the use of classified documents in the Suskind book. The probe has faulted a lapse in the Treasury Department for releasing any secret papers.

Christopher Hitchens is asked which Democratic candidate he'd recommend. He decides that we should make up our own minds.....only hinting that he believes an Edwards-Kerry ticket would be "made up of serious men".

Tony Blair refuses to be drawn out on whether he favors Bush or Kerry. I cannot purport to know what's in his mind, but judging from the fact that he was nearly politically destroyed through his dealings and connections with President Bush, I can imagine he's probably thinking: "Bushliar..get thee behind me!!" By the way, it's amazing how the press is already coronating Kerry as Democratic nominee. Well, I guess they're only following the leader..which is Terry McAuliffe himself.

In an incredible memory-loss incident, Donald Rumsfeld did not recall Tony Blair's pre-war claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction ready to be deployed in 45 minutes. I'm serious, people. At a Pentagon news conference yesterday, he said: "I don't remember the statement being made, to be perfectly honest." General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he didn't remember the statement either. [source: Herald Sun]

At the NY Times, Nicholas Kristof is telling us Americans that our loss of jobs is our own fault. It's education's fault for focusing on the Humanities and not the Sciences. Kristof says (quote): " trade worked. Some autoworkers lost their jobs, but America emerged stronger than ever..." Gee, I'm not sure what Joe SixPack's grande American humanities education had to do with working the assembly line. While Kristof looks at the big picture and believes that America "emerged stronger than ever", I think he should consider that the American dream is one based upon the individual spirit and opportunity. Kristof ought to ask all those Joe SixPacks (laid off the assembly line, each with five mouths to feed) how "strong" they have emerged. Ask them what kinds of jobs waited for them once their assembly-line jobs and mining jobs went to India and Russia. I'm not saying Kristof doesn't have a point, but I do think he's throwing a cold blanket over anyone who might believe a protectionist consideration of economic issues is an important and relevant American consideration. I think Mr. Kristof is a bit too enamoured by the vision of a better the expense of his average countrymen.

In a story related to Kristof's column, the Bush administration is stating that this movement of American factory jobs and white-collar work to other countries is part of a positive transformation that will enrich the U.S. economy over time, even if it causes short-term pain and dislocation. To ask Americans not to complain about the bleeding away of their jobs is not realistic by any historic means. I have not yet located an example in world history (and especially American history) where workers have ever benefited by sacrificing their own families' economic futures for any government or any business. To the contrary, I recall a happening called the Boston Tea Party (which I'd imagine the Bush White House calling a 'socialist movement' today).

I found this to be an intriguing spirit-based article. The writer Sadhu Vishwamurtidas asks us to determine how we would identify a modern "saint". The line that stuck with me was: "He will have a heart in which the whole world can live." ('She', as well).

Have you seen these Afghan war rugs?

According to NPR, a few years ago, strange images began showing up in the traditional rugs woven by natives of Afghanistan. Instead of trees and birds, some rugs depicted tanks, missiles and fighter jets -- familiar sights in the war-torn nation. These rugs have now developed a cult following. It's not surprising some of the rugs have proven controversial, but I'd imagine they will someday be valuable collectibles.

If you look at the latest targets of the Iraq-based "terrorists", there seems to be a plan for these "terrorists" to pre-eliminate their "enemies"....homicide-bombing them before the potential soldiers and police have the chance to sign up in the cause to fight against them.

President Bush will have a lot of questions to face when he comes up against the Democratic candidate this fall.
Consider just some of these topics for discussion:
lies about WMDs; lies and excuses about keeping spending under control; comments about how Bush came to power in 2000; ongoing soldiers dying; 7 trillion dollar debt; record deficits; worst negative job growth since Hoover; overseeing economy with much outsourcing of high tech jobs; constitution in tatters because of the Patriot Act; oil supplies and oil security dwindling with no alternatives in sight; Afghanistan still dangerous and now #1 in heroin exports; those pesky Bush-links with Saudis and bin Ladens; get out-of-jail (and investigation)-free cards to Pakistanis who sell atomic secrets to rogue states and terrorists; Ken Lay still at large; states are broke; education is falling apart from lack of funds; defense contractors getting larger and large share of the pie; IMF says US deficits will take down entire world economy; AWOL-Desertion is a capital offense; traditional allies now disrespect America; the Kevin Phillips book, the Suskind book; the goofy Mars idea when we can't afford life on Earth as it stands; internet (and blogs) being used to inform and organize; Unocal pipeline scandals.....
If he answers to any of these topics the way he answered Tim Russert last Sunday, he'd best consider skipping any formal Presidential debates.

Opinion: French Assembly Votes to Ban Religious Symbols in Schools
What do you think about this assembly vote? I am not at all comfortable with it. When a government attempts to wipe away all outward signs of the spirit, it would seem to be only for the promotion of a non-spiritual, 'religion-void' society. Is this not what the most infamous authoritarians of the past have attempted to do?

Trivia: Did you know Brit Hume went to elementary school with John Kerry?

Speaking of John Kerry, the anti-Kerry websites are already sprouting. Democrats, know thine enemy.