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I have been thinking and reading about MLK all day. His message and example are more important now than ever.

MLK understood that the way the average person gets power is through direct action and confronting injustice. He did not teach us to sit idly by as governmental arrogance and hatred run rough shod over us. He did not fear the violence and abuse that comes with fighting malignant power. He did not sit back and just voice discontent. He FOUGHT injustice.

We as a nation still have much to learn from this man. Racism and inequality MUST be challenged forcefully at home. Racist wars abroad must be stopped.

Bless you Brother Martin. You are a bright light in a long and dark national history.

 













We gave you the gavel. Now use it!


\

 

Dead Neocons Walking


About 6 months ago I was hearing a lot of talk about how the Neocons were dead. Many had openly turned against the administration. Of course those that jumped ship (with the exception of their first defector Francis Fukayama) blamed the whole mess on Bush execution of their otherwise brilliant vision of spreading democracy trough the middle east starting with their theorized beacon of liberty, Iraq. Fortunately the rest of the world now understands that these ideologs were wrong about everything from being "greeted as liberators" to Iraq being a model for other countries in the region. God forbid that other countries follow that lead.

Now with the election beating still a painful reminder to them just how soundly their grand plan has been rejected by America, the administration is looking for a "new way forward". Rather than dealing with the reality of the disaster that they and Bush have created and getting out, they are preparing to give it "one more shot" as they are now fond of saying. Rather than kicking the Neocons to the curb as America has obviously done, they are still taking the advice of think-tankers William Kristol and Fredrick Kagan.

Here's a short chunk of an article I just read by Kristol, chief deluded Neocon:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...574144,00.html

"To lose in Iraq would have real consequences. To succeed in reversing the deteriorating situation in Iraq would also have real consequences. The forces of liberty (if it's permissible to use so naive a formulation) could regain momentum in the Middle East. Jihadism could be set on the run. Individuals and nations might decide that it is once again wiser to be a friend of the U.S. than an enemy.

Why, the Bush presidency might even turn out to be a success! What a thought! Better to give up on Iraq, say the critics, and damn the consequences."

Bush a success? Is that how they got to him? Have they actually convinced our deluded commander in chief that he may still be able to go down in history as something other than one of our nation's worst presidents?

Wake up George. Rather than bringing success and saving your presidency, clinging to the same ideologs that gave you the terrible idea in the first place will only stand to further enshrine your terrible leadership for future generations.

It is long past time that such thinking be consigned to the waste bin of history and for this administration and their few remaining supporters to accept that Iraq was NEVER "winnable". It was not for lack of good planning on the administration's part (although there was plenty of failures to point to). The core assumptions are simply wrong.

Won't someone rid me of these troublesome (and delusional) neocons?


A few excerpts from, an interview with "economic hit man", John Perkins to go with this graphic. If you have not read his book yet, please do so...
DA
=================
http://www.democracynow.org/article..../11/09/1526251

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man: How the U.S. Uses Globalization to Cheat Poor Countries Out of Trillions

AMY GOODMAN: It’s good to have you with us. Okay, explain this term, “economic hit man,” e.h.m., as you call it.
JOHN PERKINS: Basically what we were trained to do and what our job is to do is to build up the American empire. To bring -- to create situations where as many resources as possible flow into this country, to our corporations, and our government, and in fact we’ve been very successful. We’ve built the largest empire in the history of the world. It's been done over the last 50 years since World War II with very little military might, actually. It's only in rare instances like Iraq where the military comes in as a last resort. This empire, unlike any other in the history of the world, has been built primarily through economic manipulation, through cheating, through fraud, through seducing people into our way of life, through the economic hit men. I was very much a part of that.

AMY GOODMAN: How did you become one? Who did you work for?
JOHN PERKINS: Well, I was initially recruited while I was in business school back in the late sixties by the National Security Agency, the nation's largest and least understood spy organization; but ultimately I worked for private corporations. The first real economic hit man was back in the early 1950's, Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of Teddy, who overthrew of government of Iran, a democratically elected government, Mossadegh’s government who was Time's magazine person of the year; and he was so successful at doing this without any bloodshed -- well, there was a little bloodshed, but no military intervention, just spending millions of dollars and replaced Mossadegh with the Shah of Iran. At that point, we understood that this idea of economic hit man was an extremely good one. We didn't have to worry about the threat of war with Russia when we did it this way. The problem with that was that Roosevelt was a C.I.A. agent. He was a government employee. Had he been caught, we would have been in a lot of trouble. It would have been very embarrassing. So, at that point, the decision was made to use organizations like the C.I.A. and the N.S.A. to recruit potential economic hit men like me and then send us to work for private consulting companies, engineering firms, construction companies, so that if we were caught, there would be no connection with the government.

AMY GOODMAN: Okay. Explain the company you worked for. JOHN PERKINS: Well, the company I worked for was a company named Chas. T. Main in Boston, Massachusetts. We were about 2,000 employees, and I became its chief economist. I ended up having fifty people working for me. But my real job was deal-making. It was giving loans to other countries, huge loans, much bigger than they could possibly repay. One of the conditions of the loan–let's say a $1 billion to a country like Indonesia or Ecuador–and this country would then have to give ninety percent of that loan back to a U.S. company, or U.S. companies, to build the infrastructure–a Halliburton or a Bechtel. These were big ones. Those companies would then go in and build an electrical system or ports or highways, and these would basically serve just a few of the very wealthiest families in those countries. The poor people in those countries would be stuck ultimately with this amazing debt that they couldn’t possibly repay. A country today like Ecuador owes over fifty percent of its national budget just to pay down its debt. And it really can’t do it. So, we literally have them over a barrel. So, when we want more oil, we go to Ecuador and say, “Look, you're not able to repay your debts, therefore give our oil companies your Amazon rain forest, which are filled with oil.” And today we're going in and destroying Amazonian rain forests, forcing Ecuador to give them to us because they’ve accumulated all this debt. So we make this big loan, most of it comes back to the United States, the country is left with the debt plus lots of interest, and they basically become our servants, our slaves. It's an empire. There's no two ways about it. It’s a huge empire. It's been extremely successful.
MORE


AMY GOODMAN: How closely did you work with the World Bank? JOHN PERKINS: Very, very closely with the World Bank. The World Bank provides most of the money that’s used by economic hit men, it and the I.M.F. But when 9/11 struck, I had a change of heart. I knew the story had to be told because what happened at 9/11 is a direct result of what the economic hit men are doing. And the only way that we're going to feel secure in this country again and that we're going to feel good about ourselves is if we use these systems we’ve put into place to create positive change around the world. I really believe we can do that. I believe the World Bank and other institutions can be turned around and do what they were originally intended to do, which is help reconstruct devastated parts of the world. Help -- genuinely help poor people. There are twenty-four thousand people starving to death every day. We can change that.

THE BOOK:
http://www.economichitman.com/




Merry Christmas folks.  No, scratch that.  Let's try this again:

Happy Holidays folks (take that Bill O'Reilly)!

I hope you all individually had a much better year than our country did collectively.  Here's to hoping that 2007 is much, much better all around!

I'll be traveling a lot this season so I just wanted to send out these somewhat early greetings to you all.

Best to you and yours,

DA


I have to wonder if this guy even listens to himself. 

We are still a free nation aren't we?  Aren't we?


I admit that I find myself both (naively) dumbfounded and (appropriately) annoyed that the right has now begun the inevitable process of blaming the Dems for losing Iraq.  The left lost Bush's war?  Really?

The same asshats were claiming that we would have won in Vietnam if it were not for all those damn hippies.  No sense of history at all.  It is amazing that all these people have learned from these two conflicts is that we win if we just stay (the course).  Nothing about military reality and the near total inability of occupiers to ever put down a homegrown insurgency.

I know that Colin Powell learned the important lesson of Vietnam.  His much discussed Powell Doctrine is much more than just the notion of overwhelming force as it is always boiled down.  It also states that you should never start a war that the public will not support in the long run.  Public opinion is just like any other military resource.  It is just like ammo on the battlefield.  You will lose without fail if you are not able to keep stocked up.  Too bad for the world that Powell sold out everything he believed in to be Dubya's "loyal soldier". 

"March us to certain death? YES SIR! HOW FAST SIR?

Now we are hearing about how the Dems would not give Bush the resources he needed to win in this unwinnable blunder.  As if the Dems did not roll over at every opportunity to authorize the war, approve every spending request, etc.  Stunning.

I guess when your whole worldview has come crashing down around you, you are left trying to put it back together with lies and rationalizations.  Of course that is only if you are such a miserable loser that you refuse to ever admit that you were just plain wrong to start with.

Prime example - Neocons such as Bill Kristol and Elliot Abrams are busy jumping ship while still clinging desperately to the notion that the underlying dogma was correct.  They now claim that it was just the execution that was flawed.  They blame Bush. 

I blame them all.

DA




He's right.  It's long past time to bring the troops home!




We should have kept this riff-raff out...



ELECTION 2006:

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Congratulations America!


SUPPORT DISTRESSED AMERICAN! VISIT THE STORE!

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Don't Miss The Hot New Flash Animation on Huffington Post!

See George try and please his mommy by seeking out his "special purpose"

Steve Martin is a comic genius who worked hard to create a character this dumb.  Right-wingers chose one for president?

If you like the movie, please share the link with all of your buddies!



BLASPHEMER - The Game is now available!

http://blasphemer.cf.huffingtonpost.com /

Punish Bush with everything from earthquakes and floods to locusts and frogs!

===========================================================================================================

Suppose that you had a button that you could push to call down all mighty God's wrath on George Bush.
How many times would you push it and how often?
Now ask yourself what you would do with 7 such buttons!

===========================================================================================================


BREAKING

Washington DC - In an attempt to reassure Americans that Ken Lay did not escape justice in the Enron accounting scandal, the Pentagon today released a set of photos of the body of Mr. Lay laying in the rubble of his bombed out Houston mansion. Responding to questions about the relatively good condition of the body the spokesman said, "The body was cleaned up to a certain degree. We felt that they were things that everybody did not need to see."

Plans for the strike were drawn up some time ago according to military planners saying, "We had the plan on the books for about the past 6 months. We were just waiting for actionable intelligence on Mr. Lay's whereabouts. I guess we found him." Apparently a tip was received from a former employee of Enron posing as a domestic servant inside the Lay home. "Without that valuable tip" spokesmen said, "this man would have remained at large destroying lives like the thousands he has already wrecked with his indiscriminate economic terrorism. It is a good day for all Americans."

The Bush administration, dogged by questions about its relationship to Mr. Lay both as a donor and as a joint-architect of the nations current failing energy policies, has preferred to remain quiet on the air-strike. White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow told reporters in the "morning gaggle" that Mr. Bush was sleeping quietly at the time of the strike. But refused to answer further questions.


PLAY THE NEW FLASH GAME

"SPOT THE PRESIDENT"

CLICK HERE!


http://erectionfraud.cf.huffingtonpost.com/


More Flash Animation For You

 They load a little slow so be patient.  I think you'll find it worth the wait!

Taliban Telemarketers - A public service announcement from the N.S.A. featuring J. Edgar Hoover, posterboy for government abuse of power

HTML VERSION

FLASH VERSION

 Earn It! - An exploration of the cycle of blood money that fuels the war in Iraq

HTML VERSION

FLASH VERSION

Chaos and Order - Watch George bust a move to a special dance mix of his making!

HTML VERSION

FLASH VERSION


The Bushbot Chronicles

The first five installments of an ongoing series...
 
Y2K passed and we felt safe. Little did we know...


 

Having taken the White House, the Emperor addresses his adoring red drones on the virtues of being wealthy as America is replaced...


 

Fierce fighting rages around the Pentagon as Bushbot drones with the help of their collaborators take sudden control of the armed might of the now defunked (not funky at all!) United States of America....


 

 

The emperor acting on advice of his top robovisors moves to formalize Christianity as the state religion, starting by converting that secular Washington Monument...


 

The Emperor,his Adminbots and his Corporate sponsors enjoy the adulation of the crowds while, not far away voices cry for freedom, a return to the republic and peace from behind the "Free Speech Zone" fences, dogs and "Security Contractors"...(set to a sweet Jimi style jam)


THE PEOPLE ARE LARGELY PROPOGANDIZED AT THIS POINT IN OUR STORY. HOWEVER, A FEW DARE TO STAND UP TO THE NEW ORDER.

IN FUTURE INSTALLMENTS, THEY WILL INSPIRE A NATION TO RESIST AND TAKE DOWN THE UNELECTED LEADERSHIP THAT HAS USURPED POWER IN OUR ONCE GREAT DEMOCRACY. STAY TUNED!


 

INCUMBENTS ARE THE DISEASE AND VOTERS ARE THE CURE!

This current batch of politicians on both sides of aisle are about the most repugnant group of generally corrupted shills to occupy the offices in my lifetime. The system breeds them and "lesser of two evils" voters keep them in their jobs, in some cases for decades at a shot. The longer they are allowed to stay, the more they rot, leaving a foul stench of failure reeking from one side of this country to the other.

Polls show a massive dissatisfaction with all of those in Washington these days. But, mark my words, more than half of those will not vote and of those that do, the vast majority will choose incumbent candidates in their local races. And on will go the rot.

There is only one mechanism left to the voter in this country to hope and effect any change, TO PUT THE FEAR OF THE VOTER INTO POLITICIANS. The fear that for once they will ALL lose their miserable and undeserved jobs and be sent back among the ranks of the rest of us to have laws passed over THEM.

Even folks that I have respected in past like John Conyers and Nanci Pelosi are slithering quickly away from threats of actual measures to impeach and hold this criminal administration accountable for the repeated and historic abuses of power under its grip. Even they refuse to simply stand on principle, consequences be damned. I have no respect for that. Nor will I support it with even one more vote.

The word is not Republican. The word is not Democrat. The word is INCUMBENT. Incumbents are the ones that have done "this" (Define that term for yourself America. What pisses you off?) to us and this country in general. They WILL continue to do "it" to us if we allow it. Every one of them had demonstrated that.

It is time to clean house. Time for the opinions of the people of this country to be heard over whatever voices have been controlling the corrupt and persistent beauracracy that has all but sent this country over the brink.

We will probably be be best served the throw them the hell out soon after, as the corporations, the lobbyists and the other insidious corruptions of power will likely always persist.

What we need are FRESH public servants. Let them sit and they ROT.

Stand up to an incumbent today. The country you save could be yours.

DA



Many on the right complain that the support is dropping out from under the war.  They blame it on the left, the media, anyone but Bush and his administration.

What they never seem to remember is that it was the administration that set the expectations for this war.  They failed utterly to live up to the expectectations they set.  America did not sign on for THIS WAR in Iraq.  They signed up for the one described by the administration in lead up in this way:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/11/15/world/main529569.shtml

Rumsfeld: It Would Be A Short War

Nov. 15, 2002

(CBS) There will be no World War III starting with Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared Thursday, and rejected concerns that a war would be a quagmire.

"The idea that it's going to be a long, long, long battle of some kind I think is belied by the fact of what happened in 1990," he said on an Infinity Radio call-in program.

He said the U.S. military is stronger than it was during the Persian Gulf War, while Iraq's armed forces are weaker.

"Five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that," he said. "It won't be a World War III."

--- 

Rumsfeld said the U.S. military at present is capable "to do the job and finish it fast.

 

So here we are 3 years in and we just launched what the Pentagon billed as the "largest air operation in Iraq since the fall of Saddam"?  What happened to five months tops?  So that deals with people's expectation that this should be wrapped up by now.  America did not sign on for an occupation like this.  We are all told not longer than five months.

That brings us to Saddam's supposed WMD stockpiles and the imminent threat they posed, the justification for the war.  Rummy had some choice comments on that too:

Rumsfeld also told radio listeners it is impossible Iraq does not have weapons of mass destruction. "What it would prove is that the inspections process had been successfully defeated by the Iraqis if they find nothing." 

The conflict with Iraq is about weapons of mass destruction, Rumsfeld insisted.

"It has nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil. It has nothing to do with the religion."

Rumsfeld defended the notion of a pre-emptive strike, saying the world has changed since the Sept. 11 attacks. The danger, the defense secretary warned, is that countries such as Iraq might give terrorist groups weapons of mass destruction, producing imminent threats can't always be seen.

No WMD stockpiles, no "imminent threat".  America was told repeatedly that an imminent threat existed because of Saddam's "WMD stockpiles".  When they failed to materialize, it became clear that the justification for the invasion (and now occupation) was simply not true.  Again, The administration set the American expectation level with its own words.  In the end their words ring completely false.

That covers length and justification.  How about the spiraling cost to the nation?  Here's what Wolfowitz was saying before the war:

http://www.house.gov/schakowsky/iraqquotes_web.htm

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz: “There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” [Source: House Committee on Appropriations Hearing on a Supplemental War Regulation, 3/27/03]

He made that comment just after the White House had fired Lawrence Lindsay for prediction the war could cost as much as 100-200 billion dollars. If only it had actually been that cheap. 

Here's what Don Rumsfeld was publicly predicting:

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
 

Ø     “Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question.” [Source: Media Stakeout, 1/19/03]


Here's what Rumsfeld was referring to (while deflating their estimated number even further):

Budget Director Mitch Daniels

Ø     On September 15th 2002, White House economic advisor Lawrence Lindsay estimated the high limit on the cost to be 1-2% of GNP, or about $100-$200 billion. Mitch Daniels, Director of the Office of Management and Budget subsequently discounted this estimate as very, very high and stated that the costs would be between $50-$60 billion [Source: WSJ, “Bush Economic Aide Says Cost Of Iraq War May Top $100 Billion,” Davis 09/16/02; NYT, “Estimated Cost of Iraq War Reduced, Bumiller, 12/31/02; Reuters News, “Daniels sees U.S. Iraq war cost below $200 billion,” 09/18/02]

By those publicly stated numbers, the Iraqi oil profits would have already paid for the war in its entirety, including reconstruction costs. 

The same view that Iraq would pay for its own reconstruction was still being expressed by Bush a full year into the war:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4734348/

And what else was part the question? Oh, oil revenues.

Well, the oil revenues, they’re bigger than we thought they would be at this point in time. I mean, one year after the liberation of Iraq, the revenues of the oil stream is pretty darn significant.

One of the things I was concerned about, prior to going into Iraq, was that the oil fields would be destroyed, but they weren’t. They’re now up and running. And that money is — it will benefit the Iraqi people. It’s their oil, and they’ll use it to reconstruct the country.

We are at 250 billion US tax payer dollars and counting right now.  Here is how those rosey predictions really turned out.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4825948/

"We are not structured for the security environment we're in," Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Richard Myers told senators and congressmen, including some angry Republicans. As part of his 2005 budget request, Rumsfeld had originally cut the Army budget by 6 percent. But the Army has identified nearly $6 billion in unfunded requests—and more are on the way. "The costs are going to be staggering," says Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat who has pestered the Pentagon for months for better estimates. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told the House committee that military operations in Iraq are now costing about $4.7 billion a month—a sum that approaches the $5 billion a month (on average) that the Vietnam War cost, adjusted for inflation.

Again, the right blames people for being mad when these were the expectations being set by those making the case for the war?  The administration sold us a lemon of historic proportions and it is the media and the left that are to blame for customer dissatisfaction?  That is simply nonsense.

If anyone is to blame for declining support for the war, it is those that made the promises and failed to live up to a single one (and frankly, those that blindly accepted them on both sides).

Happy Anniversary everyone! 


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