Friday, April 28, 2006

A Soldier Writes to President Bush

A Soldier Writes to President Bush

This letter was sent to President Bush by someone I know and American soldier and patriot whose vision of America I support. Please take a moment to read it.

A Controversy in Europe Is Silenced in U.S.

A Controversy in Europe Is Silenced in U.S.

Who is this man.... and why is he at the center of a controversial news story that is big in Europe, connected to our own ineterests here in America, yet never talked about in our media?

Why don't we talk about the body counts in Iraq? If other societies aren't squeamish about it, why do American cable TV news pundits with their perfect coifs and chiclet smiles never talk about the people who are dying in the country with whom we went to an absolutely unnecessary war? Why is John Sloboda (seen in the photo) being knowingly stingy with the numbers he allows to be put up on the IBC website (Iraq Body Count)?
Why is he so hot under the collar about journalists like John Pilger who confront him on the facts? Read this story (by Gabriele Zamparini) and you will find out.

What would make a man like John Sloboda refuse to answer relevant questions from media watchdog Media Lens? The editors of Media Lens' central claim is that IBC underestimates the number of deaths in Iraq by relying on western media reports.They just aren't independent of Western media...not enough to be considered a reliable source of information. From A BBC Two report:
Media Lens and other critics have also attacked IBC for being run by "amateurs", unlike the professional epidemiologists who ran the sample-based Lancet study....An editorial asks: "How many journalists are aware that IBC is not in fact run by professional epidemiologists?

Aren't the European and American societies already aware (and sick) enough of the lies that make up the debate by those who want to hide and/or cover up the numbers? (See David Fuller's BBC follow-up and Media Lens' final word).

Bottom line, we still don't know exactly how many people have been killed as a result of the Iraq War. The powers that be, along with the assistance of a media that keep the story "fuzzy", don't want you to know. Is John Sloboda a willing accomplice to the "fuzz" or an independent thinker? Decide for yourself.

If you aren't curious to know how many have died...if you do not want to know the truth...then you may keep your head buried in the sand while some of us try to reach the truth for the sake of truth.


- Do Iraqi Lives Matter? March 2006, Cat's Dream

- Iraqi Civilian Deaths - Time to Know the Truth, March 2006, Cat's Dream

- Dead Reckoning: Counting Iraq's Civilian Dead, May/June 2006, Mother Jones

- Counting the Iraqi Dead; Interview: Tallying the cost of war, and holding power accountable, April 2006, Mother Jones

If We're Addicted to Oil, Where's The Rehab, Already?

If We're Addicted to Oil, Where's The Rehab, Already??

How can you look at your country's people with a straight face, as their leader, and tell them that they'd better "get over their oil addiction" when it's not an addiction, but a necessity? Knowing that we live in the era of globalization where families are not only forced to spread out all over the nation to find job opportunities based on their respective professions, but all over the world - how can George W. Bush pop in at a Gulf Coast gas station and shake someone's gas-pumping hand or put his arm around some poor price-gouged sap and tell them he's going to be able to do a damned thing to help them while hypocritically and unfairly criticizing their alleged "gas-addiction?"

Where's the rehab? There isn't any, you say?
Say! What kind of outreach program is this, anyhow?
Today Bush rejected the idea of a tax on the windfall profits of oil companies.

What has the Bush administration done (and what will they do) to change anything at all? In Biloxi, Miss., Bush renewed his brave call for Congress to give him the authority to "raise" mileage standards for all passenger cars. According to the Washington Post, White House officials said later that they didn't know when or how the president would use that authority! Is Bush all talk and no plan? It seems that way. Tell me where I'm wrong if you disagree. I haven't seen anyone in Congress or the Bush administration juiced up about raising passenger car standards. There has been no action in years. And now the consumer is in deep trouble with these outrageous oil prices.

The reality of globalization, peak oil, and war is coming home to roost and the GOP cannot explain away the great American giveaway with meaningful policy to counter the effects of these rising oil prices. They're being pushed into a corner and now they are trying to look like bold environmentalists when they are little more than robbers and rapists hiding behind years of perveted policy. Blaming the consumer for their habits is cheap and it won't bring about the solutions required by great minds. (There are no great minds in the GOP today, I am convinced.)

Do you say to a cocaine addict, "You need to get off coke"...and then offer $100 apiece to a large group of people to convince them to start brand new poppy fields in order to harvest more coke for the addict's nose?

Think ANWR. The GOP's idea to issue $100 "tax rebates" is no solution, It's an offer to entice Americans to give the GOP political authority to rape the ANWR. To pump out more of the stuff we're being told we're "addicted" to while blaming our culture for the government and the market's failure to come up with real solutions.

I say to that: Bullcrap! we're not addicted. We travel to work, to see our families, to go to the dentist and take our kids to football practice. Show us some creative solutions and to the GOP: stop trying to politically pay us off for supporting our "habit"!

You're in power now - take some real responsibility - show us some REAL ideas!

Partick Fitzgerald Update

Patrick Fitzgerald Update

- I just love Steve Benen's blogpost title: It's beginning to look a lot like Fitzmas.

- Swopa cleverly says that "Rove is trying to pull off one more would-be Houdini maneuver to escape Fitz's tightening of the straps on his legal straitjacket."

- Jeralyn at Talk Left is on the story with an update. According to Raw Story, MSNBC's David Schuster will report today that Rove's lawyers have been told there will be no announcements for at least ten days. Jeralyn has a great collection of news and blogposts at her site.

- Steve Soto has more to say about David Schuster's reporting:
Shuster of MSNBC reported today that despite the sunny appearance from Rove after his grand jury testimony yesterday, he described the experience as “hell”, and he now thinks it is possible that he will be indicted.

Weekly Standard: Replace Rumsfeld with McCain

Weekly Standard: Replace Rumsfeld with McCain

Employing the logic that Senator John McCain's fate is already tied to Iraq, Ari Richter of the Weekly Standard raises the idea of McCain replacing Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense. I tend to agree with this logic. Bush owes John McCain the chance - especially after all the dirty rotten crap Bush pulled on McCain in the 2000 presidential election race. And McCain certainly would garner more respect and cooperation from our Military, who seem to be teetering on the edge of full blown revolt. The Generals want someone they can work with and respect. We Democrats already know that Bush won't choose anyone of whom we'd approve to replace Rummy. If I was President, my choice would be Wes Clark or Tony Zinni, but I realize that my vision is much different than Bush's. I wouldn't have sent troops unilaterally into Iraq in the first place and I certainly wouldn't have lied or tolerated misleadings and lies from my administration to the American people about Iraq. Rumsfeld needs to go. We know (and can safely cross party lines to agree on) that much. If McCain gets the job and screws up, America will likely decide he doesn't deserve a shot at the presidency. If he comes out smelling like a rose, so be it. All the better for America. There are still some fantastic Democratic candidates waiting to offer better solutions and a competitive new vision for America.

Immigration: Jim Crow 2006

Immigration: Jim Crow 2006

The Rev. Graylan Hagler, senior pastor of Plymouth Congregational United Catholic Church in the District, said yesterday that members of his predominantly black congregation also plan to join the boycott: "There is a growing solidarity between people of color in this country. ... We join with this struggle and embrace it." [Washington Times]

He also called the criminalization of immigrants the new Jim Crow-ism of 2006.

The lack of dignity and respect for human beings in any new immigration legislation will cause a new civil rights battle in this nation.

CSPAN recorded the event from where these comments took flight. See "Int'l May 1st Coalition on Immigrant Boycott" (4/27/2006)

An informal poll of 2,000 immigrants conducted in 20 cities in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia showed that 97 percent of them would risk losing their jobs to participate in an immigration-themed boycott of school, shopping and work planned for May 1st. [see Washington Times]

Catholic Church Speaks Decisively on Immigration

Catholic Church Speaks Decisively on Immigration

The Catholic Bishops are speaking decisively and firmly on the moral issues surrounding immigration while the Conservative Christian leadership is appearing as a fractious and morally confused front.

Democratic Senators Ted Kennedy, Dick Durbin, and Harry Reid will appear with Roman Catholic Cardinals today for a press opportunity [per ABC's Note].

This is not only an American issue. In London today, the Archbishop of Westminster has called on London's Catholic parishes to embrace migrants whatever their legal status (ahead of a major Mass in the UK capital.)

AP writer Rachel Zoll reports [Boston Globe] that "the national immigration debate is muddying Republican relations with Roman Catholics, swing voters who make up about one-quarter of the American electorate." I see the immigration issue as the issue that may reverse the slow tide of once solidly Democratic Catholics leaning toward Republicanism. (What ever were they thinking, anyhow? ;)

Read the first paragraph of this anti-Catholic/anti-human rights manifesto and you may understand why Catholics are turned off by the radical and decidedly immoral stand that is being taken by the far Right.