February 3, 2006

From Riverbend at Baghdad Burning:

Election Results...
Iraqi election results were officially announced nearly two weeks ago, but it was apparent from the day of elections which political parties would come out on top. I‚m not even going to bother listing the different types of election fraud witnessed all over Iraq- it‚s a tedious subject and one we‚ve been discussing for well over a month.

The fact that a Shia, Iran-influenced religious list came out on top is hardly surprising. I‚m surprised, however, at Iraqis who seem to be astonished at the outcome. Didn‚t we, over the last three years, see this coming? Iranian influenced clerics had a strong hold right from 2003. Their militias were almost instantly incorporated into the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defense as soon a move was made to create new Iraqi security forces. Sistani has been promoting them from day one.

Why is it so very surprising that in times of calamity people turn to religion? It happens all over the world. During tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, blockades, wars- people turn to deities∑ It‚s simple- when all else fails, there is always a higher power for most people.

After nearly three years of a failing occupation, I personally believe that many Iraqis voted for religious groups because it was counted as a vote against America and the occupation itself. No matter what American policy makers say to their own public- and no matter how many pictures Rumsfeld and Condi take with our fawning politicians- most Iraqis do not trust Americans. America as a whole is viewed as a devilish country that is, at best, full of self-serving mischief towards lesser countries and, at worst, an implementer of sanctions, and a warmongering invader. From Riverbend at more...:

February 2, 2006

from Blackprof.com:
Don't Be Evil ... To Your Shareholders
by Marcey Peek

Last week, Google announced that it has launched Google.cn -- essentially Google for China.   In the announcement, Google‚s senior policy counsel said that, „In order to do so, we have agreed to remove certain sensitive information from our search results.š   In other words, Google has agreed to censor search results.   It is obviously high irony that Google (whose motto is „Do No Evilš and whose mission is „to organize the world's information and make it universally useful and accessibleš) is now in cahoots with the Chinese government.   Indeed, if you click over to the announcement, you can read a plethora of witty and dead-on criticisms of the decision by scrolling down to the „links to this postš section.    I know why people are disgusted by this decision, but I‚m not sure why they are surprised.  As other commentators have noted, Google is a publicly-traded corporation and therefore its primary goal is the same as every other publicly-traded corporation – short-term shareholder profits.    Not freedom.  Not human rights.   And certainly not taking a principled stance against a foreign government‚s offensive policies by deciding not to do business in that country.    Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I‚ll simply let you experience the world of a Google.cn user for yourself.    If you do an image search for Tiananmen at Google.cn, you will get this result.  Do the same search at Google.com and you will get this.   

This is the search that bloggers around the world have been posting since the announcement was made last week.    Now some groups are calling for a boycott of Google; they want us to use other search engines.   Here‚s what one blogger had to say about the call for a massive protest:
„Some are calling for a boycott of Google, but that won't do any good. Those of us who know and care about this are doubtless small in number compared to the vast new customer base Google now has. But even though the soulless, faceless, well-branded paper entity known as Google won't care, I'd just like to state for the record:

Google has ceased to have any brand loyalty with me. I will no longer use "to google" as a verb. When I see Google ads, I'll make a point of ignoring them. I'll also be going out of my way to get to know some of the other high-quality search engines out there, like Gigablast and Clusty. Indeed, I've tried them already and they're every bit as fast, efficient, and easy to use as Google. They turn up results just as good or better. So really, why should I care whether Google lives or dies? What's a Google?š

February 1, 2006

What Really Happened
by Cindy Sheehan  

Dear Friends,
As most of you have probably heard, I was arrested before the State of the Union Address tonight.

I am speechless with fury at what happened and with grief over what we have lost in our country.

There have been lies from the police and distortions by the press. (Shocker) So this is what really happened: ...more

**********

The True State of the Union

More Deception from the Bush White House
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Gentle reader, if you prefer comforting lies to harsh truths, don't read this column.

The state of the union is disastrous. By its naked aggression, bullying, illegal spying on Americans, and illegal torture and detentions, the Bush administration has demonstrated American contempt for the Geneva Convention, for human life and dignity, and for the civil liberties of its own citizens. Increasingly, the US is isolated in the world, having to resort to bribery and threats to impose its diktats. No country any longer looks to America for moral leadership. The US has become a rogue nation. ...more

January 31, 2006

Goodbye Democrats

Well Alito's a sure thing and the Senate Dems should hang their heads in shame. There have been a number of great things written about the filibuster over the last few days that sum of my disgust with the Democratic establishment right now. This scenario from LiberalOasis perfectly sums up the beltway cowardice :

Senate Dems are perhaps heading into a worst-case scenario with the Alito nomination, at least, worst-case for the party‚s reputation.

Achieving 41 „Noš votes, yet not filibustering the nomination.

. . .
The Dem approach has the appearance of going through the motions -- to give the allusion that a fight was waged, that principle was stood upon – in hopes that the base won‚t be livid.

. . .
So if 41 or more Dems speechify as to all the damage Alito will wreak, yet choose not to do what they can to stop that damage, they will look like spineless idiots. more...

January 30, 2006

from Democrats.com:
10:55 am: AP's Jesse Holland is singing an entirely different tune: Kennedy leads final effort to block Alito. That means it's too close to call!!!! Kennedy offers the perfect filibuster sound-bite: "He is the wrong judge at the wrong time in the wrong place." Jeffords opposes Alito - but will he filibuster?

Keep calling the undecideds!!!

Updates

**********

Please concentrate on your own senators and the ones listed below as the key ones to sway. All the toll free numbers to the Washington offices we have are 888-355-3588, 888-818-6641, 800-426-8073, 877-851-6427, 866-340-9279 and 866-340-9281. The master list of all direct dial phone and fax numbers for all senators state by state including all district offices is here:

http://www.nocrony.com/master_senate_phones.txt

UP FOR ELECTION IN 2006

Daniel Akaka [HI], already has two primary challengers, one of whom, Ed Case, is a former elected state representative and is polling well.

Joe Lieberman [CT], already has a primary challenge looming from Ned Lamont who has set up an exploratory site, and until 5/16 to make the decision to jump in. They last thing Joe needs is lots of more encouragement for Lamont.

Bill Nelson [FL], currently has NO primary challenger, with until 5/12 to find one.

Ben Nelson [NE], currently has NO primary challenger, but if there is a concerned citizen in Nebraska who wants to run they have until 3/1 to register as a candidate.

Jeff Bingaman [NM], currently has NO primary challenger but still two weeks remain until the deadline for filing of 2/14.

Carper [DE], currently has NO primary challenger and all the way until 7/28 to enter the primary against him.

Kohl [WI], currently has NO primary challenger. We have heard he plans on skipping the vote, which is the same thing as an abstain. The filing deadline in Wisconsin is 7/11.

Cantwell [WA], is being already challenged by a strong progressive candidate, Mark Wilson.

Byrd [WV], has no serious primary challenger we can confirm and the 1/28 deadline has just expired. Perhaps you can appeal to his professed love of the Constitution which Alito would gut.

Robert Menendez [NJ], was just appointed but has to run himself this year. If he drops the ball there are challengers waiting in the wings and until 4/10 to decide.

Lincoln Chafee [RI] is a Republican who professes to be pro-choice and not feeling very secure right now about her 2006 prospects. Perhaps he is a possibility for abstention on cloture.

Olympia Snowe [ME] is a another Republican who professes to be pro-choice who must face the electorate in 2006. She should also be encouraged to abstain on cloture.

OTHER POSSIBLE SWING SENATORS

Blanche Lambert Lincoln [AR], up for reelection in 2010
Mark Pryor [AR], up for reelection in 2008
Tom Harkin [IA], up for reelection in 2008
Evan Bayh [IN], up for reelection in 2010
Mary Landrieu [LA], up for reelection in 2008
Susan Collins [ME], up for reelection in 2008
Carl Levin [MI], up for reelection in 2008
Max Baucus [MT], up for reelection in 2008
Frank Lautenberg [NJ], up for reelection in 2008
Tim Johnson [SD], up for reelection in 2008
Patty Murray [WA], up for reelection in 2010


Just tell them that failure to support this filibuster will be a deal breaker as Alito starts to cast the votes that his reactionary supporters absolutely know he will.

If you can't get through any other way, or even if you can, also submit these two action pages too:

http://www.millionphonemarch.com/nuke_option.php

http://www.millionphonemarch.com/reid.php

January 29, 2006

Mr. Smith Comes to Washington
by Paul Savoy  

"Dad always used to say the only causes worth fighting for were the lost causes."
– Jimmy Stewart as Senator Jefferson Smith in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."

How many senators does is take to launch a filibuster? If you said 41, you‚d be wrong. It takes only one.

The term, filibuster, from a Dutch word meaning "pirate," describes a hallowed tradition of unlimited debate in the Senate based on the principle that any senator has the right to talk his head off for as long as he wants on any issue. That is, until at least 60 senators vote to shut him up. more...

January 28, 2006

Polls Show Many Americans are Simply Dumber Than Bush
Blind Ignorance
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Two recent polls, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll and a New York Times/CBS News poll, indicate why Bush is getting away with impeachable offenses. Half of the US population is incapable of acquiring, processing and understanding information.

Much of the problem is the media itself, which serves as a disinformation agency for the Bush administration. Fox "News" and right-wing talk radio are the worst, but with propagandistic outlets setting the standard for truth and patriotism, all of the media is affected to some degree. more...
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No War in Iraq march.

San Francisco, Ca., January 18, 2003
San Francisco, Ca., February 16, 2003

Klezmatics

Klezmatics concert photos. (These are uncorrected straight out out of the camera)

On April 3, 2005, Barbara and I went to see the Klezmatics, with guest Joshua Nelson, Jewish gospel singer. To quote the concert program, "Their soul-stirring Jewish roots music recreates klezmer in arrangements and compostions that combine Jewish identity and mysticism with a contemporary zeitgeist and a postmodern aesthetic. Since their founding in New York City's East Village in 1986, the Klezmatics have celebrated the ecstatic nature of Yiddish music with works by turn wild, spiritual, provocative, reflective and danceable." The concert was phenomenal.

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