Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Death of the Dollar

Will the dollar collapse? Some say it will. James Petras says it will not. Democrats in congress are not worried. They are in on the exploitation of the working classes. Hell, isn't everyone but the workers?

Only a dramatic showing of protest of the current economic situations can turn the tide. But, the powers that be are not stupid. They know that it is safe to carry things only so far before the multitudes have had enough. They know just how far to take things. That being said, what do you plan to do about it? How do you plan to fight poverty in this country? Your vote alone will not do it. I have no hope that one person in the White House can change the world. It is going to take a lot more than that. There are far to many vested interests with far too much power. It is truly up to us.

The time has come for us to unite and rise up. I am ready. Will you get on board? Will you call your representatives and senators unrelentingly? Are you willing to write letters to the editor, carry a sign and help show others the way?

It is time to sink or swim. The neo-cons are organized and have plans. If you question that, look at what has happened in New Orleans. They are using Shock Economics in it's purest form there. Read about shock economics and see for yourself. After you do that, call a congress person, write a letter. Do something to be heard. The future of your family, country and the world depends on it.

Mitt Has Brass Balls

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/12/14/romneys-bain-capital-buy_n_76801.html

How about this guy? He buys the largest radio stations during a presidential campaign. Handy, no?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Remember Pearl Harbor

Today is the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Remember that? Who would have thought that we would come to a time in our history where a new memory would over shadow that day. Alas, sadly we do.

I recall going aboard the USS Arizona in Hawaii some time back. There are souls there, I swear it. I was lucky enough to get aboard a private launch with 3 other people and the navy color guard that morning. We got to be present when they raised the flag as they do every morning. As I stood watching, right hand on heart, I felt the presence of many others. They were silently watchful. They were there with us. Other people have spoken of this but I truly did not expect to experience this. It was eerie and sad. The ceremony over, I wandered the deck that had been built over what was left of the ship. Looking over the side, I could see oil, after all these years, still rising to the top of the water. I knew *they* were down there. They knew I could feel them. Needless to say, it was one of the most moving experiences of my life.

Please do take a moment today to remember Pearl Harbor and the men who gave their lives for our freedom. In so doing, perhaps a little vow that they may not have died in vain. We are so close to losing all we have fought for over the last 231 years. The time has come to make a stand, to fight again, this time without weapons but with as strong a determination as ever we have had. Remember "if you don't stand for something you will fall for anything".

The neocons have in place their plans to steal the election by changing the rules in the great state of California. New edicts make us technically their enemy. We are in dire peril and most Americans want to sleep, watch TV or go shopping through it. Those of us who are awake will have to take up the slack. We have a big job to do, no time for rest. Be ever watchful and determined to fight back, I beg you.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The New Wave

Five Guard Brigades Alerted for Deploymenthttp://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/120307S.shtml
These troops won't be deployed till summer of 2009. Hmmm, 2009! So I guess the plan is to be in both Afghanistan and Iraq two years from now. Here's hoping they will be entitled to health care (and won't need it) when they get back, assuming they do get back. Please note that thousands of troops are not qualified for VA benefits. Those who earn $30,000 a year or more are on their own. Of course they may not have a job when they get back. Many do not. Shame on you Mr. Bush.

Guilty Pleasures

It does not take much to amuse our pResident. Only this morning, the morning of Dec.3, in the cold, Mr.Bush held a news conference in the rose garden at OUR white house. What a sense of humor he has. Reporters waited in the cold from 9 a.m. for his nibs to appear from his warm abode. Is that a knee slapper or what?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

New Madness

Thanksgiving is over (maybe there is a god) and the madness of Christmas begins.
I don't happen to celebrate either holiday but if I did I would be thankful for every time I open a can without pain, bend over and can stand straight again or walk to the mailbox. It's those little things in life I love. I am grateful every time it rains and the roof does not leak, every time I can take a hot shower or turn the thermostat up to a comfortable temperature. Let me not get started on how wonderfully fortunate I feel for every single meal to which I am able to sit down . You see everyday is a day of Thanksgiving for me. My home is fully equipped with electricity so the lights work, the heat works, the TV works, the PC I am typing on works. My phone works too. I have everything I need.

Many people of the world cannot say these things. Sadly in Iraq, they do not even have clean water to drink forget the showers. Oh my! The air and the land has been fouled with depleted uranium, millions are homeless and the savagery continues with no end in sight. Those who still have homes have become accustomed to the sight of the dead on the streets outside their doors. Worse still are the injured they dare not offer assistance. Is this the freedom we sought to bring them? Is it any wonder they hate us?

The bottom line is clear. The Iraqi people are not now nor have they ever been a concern for George W Bush and his cronies. This is about the oil. More than that it is about controlling an oil rich region. Now they have set their sights on Iran. More death, more destruction, more human suffering, more plundering, pillaging and more madness.

While the oppressed of the world suffer needlessly, Americans ponder what junk they will buy from China to appease one another and assure themselves they are loving Christians. If I wanted to buy a Christmas gift for someone I think it might be a book. Something from Molly Ivins or Bill Moyers. Maybe Howard Zinn or Noam Chomsky. Perhaps a nice massage to help one focus on a bit of introspection. As it is the greatest gift I have to give is to share what I know and help Dennis Kucinich win the election.

Yes the time has come for America to educate itself about the world and spirituality. America has become a culture of greed and facades. I miss the old days when people really had values. I am old enough to recall them you see. Time we recognize the suffering of others in this old world, the one we have all but destroyed to satisfy our endless needs. We really are our brothers keepers after all. We are all members of the human family and as such we owe a debt to the world to be fair, honest, caring and just plain good world citizens.

So how do we do this? I know how we don't do it. We don't do it by dropping bombs. We do it the Jimmy Carter, JFK, MLK, Ghandi way. There are no winners in war and armed conflict. Every soldier who has ever fought a war knows that. Thousands of American and Iraqi families can tell you that no soldier who participates in war is uninjured. Those 18 years olds we sent to Iraq will never be the same kids they were before. The entire nation of Iraq will be old, sick, bitter, unhappy and have a good solid case of PTSD not to mention the birth defects that result from DU. Dick Cheney, GW Bush, at times like this I wish I believed in hell for there would surely be a special place there for you and Rummy and Wolfowitz and the rest who engineered this horror. I am angry and I curse you. May you rot before you die.

Letter From Iraq
By Jennifer Cecere

Please think of me in the morning,
When you rise to start your day.
Think of me when you do your job
For I am so far away.
They sent me here to fight a war
And I really don’t know what it’s for
But my days and nights are full of gore
Please think of me.

Please think of me in the evening,
When you turn your TV on.
Think of me as you watch the news
Remember I am gone.
Please know that I am wracked with fear.
I wish so much that I was there
With you where all my thoughts were clear.
Please think of me.

Please think of me in the desert,
Where the heat is so hard to bear.
Where my greatest wish is a shower,
In a place where there’s never a care.
It’s the simple things I miss so much,
A drive to the store, McDonalds for lunch
A lottery ticket bought on a hunch
Oh, think of me.

Some days are harder than others
It depends on how things go.
Like when they kill my brothers,
And my spirits sink so low
I sit down and cry,
I wish I could die,
And I know it was all for lies.
Think of me.

The things that I see are so awful.
There is never a beautiful sight
It’s all very grim and woeful
And the future does not look bright
I see babies die, I hear mothers cry
I hear fathers vow revenge.
They pick up their guns
For we’ve killed their sons
And the nightmare never ends.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Too Short to Be President?

Dennis Kucinich is NOT too short to be President.

James Madison was a mere 5'4". He was a fine president. Queen Victoria was 5' 0" and Barbara Boxer, power house that she is 4'11" tall. Is there such a thing as too short to be president?

Don't get me started on looks. I have two words to say about that. Richard Nixon.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zach-kanin/does-height-matter-in-pol_b_73129.html

Thursday, November 15, 2007

This and That

The Debates
After watching the Democratic debates I have come to the conclusion that Joe Biden is a pompus ass. Chris Dodd is a jerk. Obama is a twirp. Richardson is a Teddy Bear. Hillary is a shame. Edwards, eh, he's not bad. I could live with him in the WH. BUT, Dennis, now Dennis is the Bomb! MHO for what it is worth. I want Dennis in the WH in '08. There you have it.

Tazers
By now you have seen the video of the Polish non-English speaking immigrant who waited 10 hrs for his mother to meet him and in the end was tazered and killed by the police in Vancouver, BC, CA. In 10 hours no one was able to determine that the man needed some assistance? WTF? What are these people on? What planet is this? Don't people help each other anymore? Here is a man with no weapon who has not threatened anyone. He is lost, alone, unable to speak the language, just deplaned from his very first flight ever. He is tired, scared, anxious. This is not rocket science. Did no one in the airport notice this man in the baggage area for 10 hours? Of course he threw things. He was no doubt in a panic. So what do the police do, they taze and kill the man. He is tazed, on the floor writhing in pain, and they taze him again. Good grief. Then someone holds him down by putting his knee on the mans neck. Hello! Ever hear of breathing? I worked on some of the most dangerous psych units in this county. We did take downs all the time. We did not have tazers. We were trained to do a take down without harming anyone. Most of us were women, small women. If we could do it so can the police. It strikes me as sadistic somehow to repeatedly taze a person and even worse to kneel on a persons neck. The police departments need training in take downs. What is more, if the police cannot responsibly use their weapons they need to not be police. A tazer is a weapon. Supposedly non-leathal but people die from them too often to suit me. These same schmoos cannot find bomb parts in luggage. I am slapping my forehead here. How about you?

Tired of people being killed in the interest of safety.

Pakistan
Oh My Dog! Negroponte is being sent to Pakistan. I would bet the farm people will begin to die now. That seems to be his history. They don't call him Death Squad John for nothing.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thought of the Week

Americas Disgrace

Our treatment of veterans is a national disgrace. It is not new either. We have been abandoning those who have fought for us since the Revolution.

Homelessness in America

The word is out, 25% of the homeless are veterans of the US military. I am not surprised when I consider the reason that many joined the military in the first place. Many of these people could not find work (compliments of outsourcing), they still can't, of course. Of those who had jobs before they were sent to Iraq, many find their jobs are not there anymore, which btw is illegal. Then there are the men and women with PTSD who have become unemployable by this horrible fiasco Beelza-Bush likes to call a war. There are the maimed as well. Kinda hard to work for the phone company without legs. Bush had the audacity to have himself smilingly photographed with some of the disfigured on Veteran Day. What did he have to smile about. He should have wept knowing that he was the cause of their problems. Instead he smiles with glee as if he enjoys being in the presence of those with missing limbs and faces burned beyond repair. What happens to the men and women, throw aways to Bushco, after they learn to walk on their new legs and get to go home. Do they have homes? Do they have families? If they do have families, will those families be able to cope with the PTSD, the physical limitations, the health problems heaped on these veterans? Living with someone with PTSD can be the most difficult and demanding situation ever. I know, I tried it. I failed. I nearly lost my life. Yet Jr. Bush smiles happily.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bye Bye Blackwater

The Iraqi government is about to issue a new law ending the immunity of Blackwater and the approximately 8,500 contractors in Iraq. "The title of a letter sent by the interior ministry - and obtained exclusively CBS News - says it all: "Removing the legal immunity." Until now, security firms like Blackwater have operated under a grant of immunity issued in 2004 by the then-top American in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer. "

Paul Bremer, what a joke that guy is. The first thing he did in Iraq was to get rid of law enforcement there. To add insult to injury he uses private contractors like Blackwater to guard himself against the ensuing dangers. He btw was replaced with John Negroponte. What does that tell you about his job? Since Negroponte came along so did the death squads. Hmmm they seem to have followed him from South America.

Blackwater, Dyncorp, Triple Canopy and all the rest will not be missed. Though I cannot help but wonder what kind of chaos will ensue getting them out of there.

A Last Some Good News

Happily, Lt. Watada will not be tried again for refusing to participate in war crimes. On Nov. 8, the Honorable Bejamin Settle issued a preliminary injunction preventing the double jepaordy trial. Thank You Judge Settle.

During the initial trial the army shoot itself in the foot by disallowing crucial testimony. Is anyone surprised?

read the entire article: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111107A.shtml

Friday, November 9, 2007

TO PROTECT A WAR CRIMINAL

Sad Day For America

I am both sick and unhappy to read that by a 53 to 40 vote, Mukasey has been confirmed as our new Attorney General. What is most disturbing, over and above his background, is the fact that he cannot say water boarding is torture. He cannot admit that it is illegal. He cannot say those things because if he did he would obligate himself to accuse Beelza-Bush and his henchmen of war crimes. So it appears that once again we have an AG who thinks it is his job to protect the Chimp in Chief over and above our constitution.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110907J.shtml
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071109/ap_on_go_co/senate_mukasey;_ylt=AiW0iTe7JUJrjgRIaFsnq0Os0NUE

"Six Democrats joined 46 Republicans and one independent in approving the judge, with his backers praising him as a strong choice to restore morale at the Justice Department and independently oversee federal prosecutions in the final months of the Bush administration.
Thirty-nine Democrats and one independent opposed him."

"He felt that he could not make that pronouncement without placing people at risk to be sued or perhaps even criminally prosecuted," said Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

What has this country become?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

GO DENNIS

A nationwide poll shows Dennis Kucinich in the lead in 47 states. I think he is unstopable this time.

It seems to me that Americans are ready for an FDR type Democrat.

This gives me hope. Hope is something I have not felt for some time.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Thought of the Week

Have you done something this week to help turn our country around?

Torture The Topic De Jour

Rudy the Skull is either stupid or really does not want to be president. His idiotic comments about torture should be his total undoing. He is clearly unable to empathize with others and cares nothing about the eithical behavior of this country. Sound Familiar?

"His hyperbole is an insult to all American soldiers who have had to endure real torture," said retired Marine Sgt. Maj. Paul Chevalier, chairman of McCain's New Hampshire Veterans Advisory Committee.

"They talk about sleep deprivation," Giuliani told Iowa voters two weeks ago. "I mean, on that theory, I'm getting tortured running for President of the United States. That's plain silly."

Silly? Did he say silly? Not a word I would choose when speaking of sleep deprivation. I am not talking about getting to bed late and being up again early. That is nothing compared to this: "Orson Swindle, a McCain friend and fellow prisoner in Vietnam, says he underwent sleep deprivation for up to 20 days, and considered that torture." There are many forms of torture. Sleep deprivation is just one.

This brings me to water boarding. (Naturally we have to talk about water boarding.) Water boarding, according to those who have experienced it brings one to the brink of death. DEATH! The victim is then brought to life again and the process is repeated until they either tell all or actually do die.

BUT, what if you haven't anything to tell? Make something up? Such a dilema. What would you do?

It is time that this country made a move back to the way things were when our prisoners were treated well. When German POWs were held here in America, they did not attempt to escape. Why would they have wanted to go back to the front when they were not tortured, ate well and treated like human beings? It has not been our history to condone torture. Even George Washington during the Revolution found torture and maltreatment deplorable. Soldiers were admonished to treat prisoners kindly.

Don't misunderstand me, I know it has happened in the past even as far back as the Civil War. The thing is, it was always considered criminal behavior in this country. Now I hang my head in shame at the very idea that our government not only condones torture but encourages it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

KUCINICH YOU DA MAN

I am so proud of Dennis Kucinich today I am busting my buttons. Wow! What a courageous and sincere man. He is truly a modern day hero.

By now you have probably heard that he has succeeded in getting the votes to bring impeachment of Dick Vadar aka Cheney to the table. Way to go Dennis.

To my surprise most of the votes came from Republicans. Are they begining to wake up to the truth or is this a political manuver? I am not smart enough to know.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Bush vs Veterans

Senator Patty Murray urged President George W. Bush to approve legislation he has threatened to veto that would pay for veterans' programs including treatment for war wounds and mental health.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110407Y.shtml

Einstein on Religion

(Einstein) wound up in old age being irrelevant on both the religious and scientific front. His God was too impersonal for the religionists; his physics was too idealistic for the scientists (idealistic in the sense that Einstein never abandoned his belief in a non-random creation). What's so heartening about him today is that Einstein never adopted the arrogant small-mindedness of contemporary atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, neither of whom evinces the slightest awareness of the quantum revolution that occurred a century ago. Without a shadow of arrogance Einstein wrote, "What separates me from most so-called atheists is a feeling of utter humility toward the unattainable secrets of the harmony of the cosmos." I remain amazed that his beliefs are dismissed while those of much lesser minds earn general acceptance. Quite rightly, Einstein thought that atheists are slaves to the religious tradition they hate and hold such a grudge against traditional religion that "they cannot hear the music of the spheres."

Read the whole blog:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/einsteins-god-or-the-ho_b_63545.html

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Kucinich

Rumsfeld memos corroborate targeting of Iran, Kucinich charges


Rumsfeld memos corroborate targeting of Iran Thursday, November 01, 2007 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Public disclosure of private memos from former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld provides further evidence, from the highest level, that the Bush Administration has been targeting Iran for aggression for longer than previously acknowledged, Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich said today.Rumsfeld, one of the architects and chief advocates of the war against Iraq, wrote in one memo, "Iraq is only one battleground," according to revelations in today’s Washington Post. In other memos, termed “snowflakes” by Administration officials, Rumsfeld wrote of the need to "keep elevating the threat," and "link Iraq to Iran," according to the newspaper account. Further, the Post reported, Rumsfeld argued, “…if we fail in Iraq, it will advantage Iran," in an April 2006 memo. “From the Oval Office on down, this Administration has been targeting Iran as the next domino it wants to topple,” Kucinich said today. “They used lies and deceit to take this nation into war, and they have been fabricating justifications to launch a second war against Iran. The criminality of these actions must be addressed by the Congress of the United States of America.”Congressman Kucinich, (D-OH), introduced Articles of Impeachment against Vice President Richard B. Cheney earlier this year for his role in laying the groundwork for the Iraq war. In recent weeks, Kucinich has argued that not only Cheney, but also President Bush and other top-ranking members of the Administration must be held accountable for possible crimes under the Constitution, the UN Charter, and international treaties.“The Congress has abrogated its responsibility to hold this President and his Cabinet accountable for the deaths of thousands of brave U.S. military men and women and more than one million innocent Iraqi civilians,” Kucinich said. “We have a moral obligation and the Constitutional authority to end this war and stop the President from bombing this nation into another war with Iran.”“The Congress is not doing its duty, and the other Presidential candidates are failing to exhibit leadership in addressing this threat of yet another war,” Kucinich said.It is possible that the impeachment resolution may reach the House floor as soon as next week.

Friday, November 2, 2007

More Power for the President

Germany 1932 Reduex

I never dreamed I'd see the day,
Americans would ever live this way.
In fear and dread, our freedoms gone.
We dare not mention what is wrong.

What happened to the First Amendment?
Why does congress sit still for this?

http://www.libertynewstv.com/Documents/execorder.htm

Thursday, November 1, 2007

From Buzz Flash

GOP HYPOCRITE OF THE WEEK


LEARN MORE
Thursday, November 01, 2007

Richard Curtis
We have some advice for the macho-posturing Republican males. If you don't want people to think you are gay, a cross-dresser, adulterer, transsexual, or a child molester, you better become a Democrat or Independent.Because at the fast pace of sexual perversity being exposed among elected Republican officials -- almost all of whom are invariably publicly and sanctimoniously opposed to gays and adultery -- it's kind of de facto questionable whether any white GOP male who claims to be for "family values" is not a "pervert."Yes, a now resigned state representative from Washington State got himself in a cross-dressing, fellatio, male sex for hire "tight spot" the other day in Spokane, where not too long ago the Republican mayor was uncovered as a sexual harasser of his male employees.Our mind is dizzy with recent tales of right-wing debauchery. While Curtis has indeed taken it to a new level of tabloid sensation, the pattern is the same: repression and hypocrisy.
Read More >>>http://gophypocrites.com/2007/11/hyp07044.html
For More Than 180 Headlines

Corp Watch

http://www.warprofiteers.com/img/original/protest%20lobby%2010-11.jpg

Iraqi Parliment Votes to End Blackwaters Immunity

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/103107B.shtml

"The Iraqi government's decision followed reports that the State Department had promised Blackwater guards immunity from prosecution in its investigation of the shootings. On Tuesday, the State Department confirmed that some Blackwater employees questioned in connection with the shootings had been granted a form of immunity in exchange for their statements.
The draft law canceling the private security firms' immunity was written by the legal adviser to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. It would overturn a measure known as Order 17, dating from the administration of L. Paul Bremer III.
Under the version approved by the cabinet, foreign security companies would have to meet several criteria, including a requirement that all their weapons be licensed by the Iraqi Interior Ministry. Their equipment, including helicopters and armored vehicles, would have to be registered with the appropriate Iraqi agencies and all foreign employees would have to obtain visas from the Iraqi Foreign Ministry.
Currently, many contractors in Iraq, including those who work for security firms, enter the country without regular visas because they have badges that say they work with the Defense Department or another agency either of the United States or of a country in the American-led coalition. The Iraqi government previously accepted the badges rather than requiring visas.
"This decision does not just cover Blackwater; it will cover all the foreign security firms operating in Iraq," said Thamir Ghadban, the chairman of Mr. Maliki's council of advisers. "This law will protect Iraqis and Iraq's sovereignty."

Quote of the Day

"Mercenaries are disloyal and disunited. They have nothing other to keep them in a battle but a meager wage which is just about enough to make them want to kill for you...but not enough to make them want to die for you."

Machiavelli, as translated by John Cale.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Kucinich for President

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goCq-4ZhDRk

http://Dennis4President.com

Bring Them Home

Letter From Iraq
By Jennifer Cecere

Please think of me in the morning,
When you rise to start your day.
Think of me when you do your job
For I am so far away.
They sent me here to fight a war
And I really don’t know what it’s for
But my days and nights are full of gore
Please think of me.

Please think of me in the evening,
When you turn your TV on.
Think of me as you watch the news
Remember I am gone.
Please know that I am wracked with fear.
I wish so much that I was there
With you where all my thoughts were clear.
Please think of me.

Please think of me in the desert,
Where the heat is so hard to bear.
Where my greatest wish is a shower,
In a place where there’s never a care.
It’s the simple things I miss so much,
A drive to the store, McDonalds for lunch
A lottery ticket bought on a hunch
Oh, think of me.

Some days are harder than others
It depends on how things go.
Like when they kill my brothers,
And my spirits sink so low
I sit down and cry,
I wish I could die,
And I know it was all for lies.
Think of me.

The things that I see are so awful.
There is never a beautiful sight
It’s all very grim and woeful
And the future does not look bright
I see babies die, I hear mothers cry
I hear fathers vow revenge.
They pick up their guns
For we’ve killed their sons
And the nightmare never ends.

General Hayden Can Hear Us But I Can't Hear You

"Comcast - the nation's No. 2 Internet provider - has acknowledged "delaying" some subscriber Internet data, but said the delays are temporary and intended to improve surfing for other users.

Verizon Wireless in late September denied a request by Naral Pro-Choice America, an abortion rights group, to use its mobile network for a sign-up text messaging program.

The company reversed course just a day later, calling it a mistake and an "isolated incident."

AT&T reportedly changed a service agreement that previously included language permitting the company to cancel accounts of Internet users who disparage the company."

I am wondering why MSN is not mentioned in this article since they no longer allow Truthout to come through on hotmail accounts in spite of the fact that one must subscribe to them. MSN calls this spam. ????? Spam? It is a subscription.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/103007R.shtml

Birth Defects Related to Pollution

China's Birth Defects Soar Due to Pollution - Report Reuters
Monday 29 October 2007
Beijing - Birth defects in Chinese infants have soared nearly 40 percent since 2001, a government report said, and officials linked the rise to China's worsening environmental degradation.
The rate of defects had risen from 104.9 per 10,000 births in 2001, to 145.5 in 2006, affecting nearly one in 10 families, China's National Population and Family Planning Commission said in a report on its Web site (http://www.npfpc.gov.cn/en/index.htm).
Infants with birth defects now accounted for "about 4 to 6 percent of total births every year," the family planning agency said. Of these, 30 percent would die and 40 percent would be "disabled."
The World Health Organisation estimates about 3 to 5 percent of children worldwide are born with birth defects.
China's coal-rich northern province of Shanxi, a centre of noxious emissions from large-scale coke and chemical industries, had the highest rate of defects, Xinhua news agency said in a report carried by Monday's Beijing News.
"The incidence of birth defects is related to environmental pollution," the newspaper quoted An Huanxiao, director of Shanxi's provincial family planning agency, as saying.
"The survey's statistics show that birth defects in Shanxi's eight large coal-mining regions are far above the national average," An said.
The report said about 2 to 3 million babies are born in China with "visible defects" every year, and a further 8 to 12 million would develop defects within months or years after birth.
Officials had also linked high defect rates to poor, rural areas, and regions that suffered "high rates of illness."
About 460,000 Chinese die prematurely each year from breathing polluted air and drinking dirty water, according to a World Bank study.
The report comes as Beijing tries to improve air quality in time for the August 2008 Olympics, with high levels of small particulate matter - which are sometimes more than 200 percent above recommended safe level - of particular concern.
China, home to some of the world's most polluted cities, has pledged to cut emissions and clean up its environment, laid waste after decades of breakneck development.
But lax local enforcement and an insatiable demand for energy to feed its booming economy continue to undermine environmental policy goals.
-------

Halloween

Who needs halloween anymore? Life is spooky enough. We have Blackwater, wars, fires, floods, earthquakes, hunger, rapes, torture and on and on. Yes life is spooky enough.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Thought of the Week

Have you done something today to help stop global climate change?

License to Kill

By David Johnston The New York Times
Tuesday 30 October 2007
Washington - State Department investigators offered Blackwater USA security guards immunity during an inquiry into last month's deadly shooting of 17 Iraqis in Baghdad - a potentially serious investigative misstep that could complicate efforts to prosecute the company's employees involved in the episode, government officials said Monday.
The State Department investigators from the agency's investigative arm, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, offered the immunity grants even though they did not have the authority to do so, the officials said. Prosecutors at the Justice Department, who do have such authority, had no advance knowledge of the arrangement, they added.
Most of the guards who took part in the Sept. 16 shooting were offered what officials described as limited-use immunity, which means that they were promised that they would not be prosecuted for anything they said in their interviews with the authorities as long as their statements were true. The immunity offers were first reported Monday by The Associated Press.
The officials who spoke of the immunity deals have been briefed on the matter, but agreed to talk about the arrangement only on the condition of anonymity because they had not been authorized to discuss a continuing criminal investigation.
The precise legal status of the immunity offer is unclear. Those who have been offered immunity would seem likely to assert that their statements are legally protected, even as some government officials say that immunity was never officially sanctioned by the Justice Department.
Spokesmen for the State and Justice Departments would not comment on the matter. A State Department official said, "If there's any truth to this story, then the decision was made without consultation with senior officials in Washington."
A spokeswoman for Blackwater, Anne E. Tyrrell, said, "It would be inappropriate for me to comment on the investigation."
The immunity deals were an unwelcome surprise at the Justice Department, which was already grappling with the fundamental legal question of whether any prosecutions could take place involving American civilians in Iraq.
Blackwater employees and other civilian contractors cannot be tried in military courts, and it is unclear what American criminal laws might cover criminal acts committed in a war zone. Americans are immune from Iraqi law under a directive signed by the United States occupation authority in 2003 that has not been repealed by the Iraqi Parliament.
A State Department review panel sent to investigate the shootings concluded that there was no basis for holding non-Defense Department contractors accountable under United States law and urged Congress and the administration to address the problem.
The House overwhelmingly passed a bill this month that would make such contractors liable under a law known as the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act. The Senate is considering a similar measure.
Some legal analysts have suggested that the Blackwater case could be prosecuted through the act, which allows the extension of federal law to civilians supporting military operations.
But trying a criminal case in federal court requires guarantees that no one has tampered with the evidence. Because a defendant has the right to cross-examine witnesses, foreign witnesses would have to be transported to the United States.
Several legal experts said evidence gathered by Iraqi investigators and turned over to the Americans, even within days, would probably be suspect.
Another law that may be applicable covers contractors in areas that could be defined as American territory, like a military base or the Green Zone. But the Blackwater security contractors in the Sept. 16 shootings were in neither place.
The government has transferred the investigation from the diplomatic service to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which has begun reinterviewing Blackwater employees without any grant of immunity in an effort to assemble independent evidence of possible wrongdoing.
Richard J. Griffin, the chief of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, resigned last week, in a departure that appeared to be related to problems with his supervision of Blackwater contractors.
In addition, the Justice Department reassigned the investigation from prosecutors in the criminal division who had read the statements the State Department had taken under the offer of immunity to prosecutors in the national security division who had no knowledge of the statements.
Such a step is usually taken to preserve the government's ability to argue later in court that any case it has brought was made independently and did not use information gathered under a promise that it would not be used in a criminal trial.
The episode began as a convoy carrying American diplomats and staffed by Blackwater guards approached Nisour Square in Baghdad at midday on a Sunday. A second Blackwater convoy, positioned on the crowded square in advance to control traffic, opened fire, killing 17 people and wounding 24.
Blackwater's original statement on the shooting said the company's guards had "acted lawfully and appropriately in response to a hostile attack," and initial assertions by the State Department stated that the convoy had come under small-arms fire.
But subsequent accounts from witnesses and Iraqi investigators indicated that the convoy had not been attacked and that the Blackwater guards fired indiscriminately around the square. Americans soldiers investigating the scene afterward also found no evidence of an attack.
F.B.I. agents have been at the Blackwater compound in the Green Zone interviewing guards involved in the shooting.
Immunity is intended to protect the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination while still giving investigators the ability to gather evidence. Usually, people suspected of crimes are not given immunity and such grants are not made until after the probable defendants are identified. Even then, prosecutors often face serious obstacles in bringing a prosecution in cases in which defendants have been immunized

Coming to Your Iraqi Neighborhood soon....

Iraqi Dam Seen in Danger of Deadly Collapsehttp://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/103007C.shtml

From the makers of war, disease, death and destruction comes the latest exciting event in Iraq. Yes folks, we never tire of bringing you fun.

If you thought Katrina was fun, watch for the remake in Iraq.

All together now, 1, 2, 3 ..... Thank You George Bush.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

WAR - What is it good for?

Never the Same
by Jennifer Cecere

I can well recall with sadness the year that daddy went away.
He said he had a job to do but he’d return someday,
But, daddy never did come home, his mistress held him fast.
Now here I am all grown up, still sad about the past.
Two years old I was then and the war had just begun.
We spent our days just waiting instead of having fun.
The nights were often blacked out with sirens ringing clear.
My fear of darkness still remains, loud noised cause me fear.

I still can see my Grandma when the telegram arrived,
To say my uncle had been shot, though he was still alive.
She cried she screamed she agonized to think about her son.
But her grief was not near over, this was only number one.
Two more wounds he suffered before the thing was through,
But the biggest grief for Grandma was the fate of number two.

Uncle Carlo was a dashing man who really got around.
We nearly lost him to his wounds, today he’s wheelchair bound.
His courage is unfailing. He really does his best.
This tragedy we lived through put our family to the test.
At last the war was over but life never was the same
For afterward the scarring forever would remain.

Not too many years went by before the family men
Were carried off to Asia to fight a war again.
To ward off the old feelings, I made myself go numb.
With dread I prayed that we’d be spared the news that just might come.
When it was finally over I thanked God from my heart
And asked that he would never let another conflict start.
A child I was with hope and trust who really did believe
That mankind could forego war and work instead for peace.
I never dreamed I’d hear the words Danang or Hamburger Hill.
But I did and all the horror lives inside me still.

I was young and so in love with the man who went to fight.
I fretted all the day and often through the night.
My dry shoes caused me guilt, my warm meals caused me pain.
I wanted for my lover to be blessed with all the same.
I wanted him to have a bed to lay his body down.
A place with nice warm showers and no bullets flying ‘round.
It made me sad and miserable to know he suffered so.
And I often wished inside my heart it had been me to go.
For two long years I worried, I cried but carried on
Writing letter after letter while the time dragged on so long.
I prayed each day no telegram would come to say he died.
Instead I died daily, just a little bit inside.

And then one day my lover once again was by my side.
But, alas, to my amazement he had truly died.
Just a shell that looked quite like him was all that now remained,
And the truth was once again my life would never be the same.
A kind and caring man had been sent to Viet Nam.
The shell that now replaced him only filled me with alarm.
He was callous even cruel, the caring was not there.
His smile too was missing, in its place a vacant stare.
The man who once was patient now exploded into rage.
With his violent expressions, I could fill another page.
For two hard years I struggled to keep my love alive.
Finally in defeat, I put it all aside.
For eight more years I grieved my loss and vowed to stay alone.
To find new meaning for my life, a meaning all my own.


Eighteen years went by , some were happy, some were sad.
I came to terms with loneliness and thought it wasn’t bad.
I even learned to like it and then the day arrived,
When loving seemed quite safe again so I let someone inside.
A special man, a loving man and one, who loved me so,
But, he was in the navy so at times he had to go.
I thought, “I can take it, I’m accustomed to *alone*”
So many times he’s come and gone and left me on my own.

I managed to survive two years of part time couple hood.
The times we were together were inordinately good.
But, now the threat of war again hovers overhead.
My husband has been taken and it’s filling me with dread.
I miss him and I worry. I am frightened once again.
And I ask myself in silence, Will life ever be the same?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Sort of Book Review

The most shocking thing I have read today comes from Naomi Klein's book, The Shock Doctrine. In chapter 18 titled Full Circle, Naomi tells us that Lockheed Martin, the worlds largest manufacturer of of weapons, began buying companies in the healthcare market. "Lockheed is poised to profit not only form making the weapons and fighter jets but from rebuilding what they destroy, and even from treating the people injured by it's own weapons."

Bush's Private Army is prepared to be deployed at a moments notice just as our military reserves are. Bush referred to this as the *civilian reserve corp* in his 2007 state of the union address.

"A year and a half into the Iraq occupation, the U.S. State Department launched a new branch: the Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization. On any given day, it is paying private contractors to draw up detailed plans to reconstruct twenty-five countries that may, for one reason or another, find themselves the target of U.S.-sponsored destruction, from Venezuela to Iran. Corporations and consultants are lined up on *presigned contracts* so that they are ready to leap into action as soon as disaster strikes".

I consider Naomi Klein's work, The Shock Doctrine, a must read for anyone who wants to understand why we invaded Iraq and why we still occupy it. Further understanding can also be gleaned from John Perkins book Confessions of an Economic Hitman.

Now the question becomes, what is to be done to stop this?

The Sale

The Sale
By Jennifer Cecere

I represent a company of stature,
In this world the only one of it’s kind.
The largest and the greatest so they tell me.
Please keep my employer’s name in mind.

Uncle Sam is the company that pays me.
The capacity of salesman is my lot.
Next month I’ll be up for promotion
if the most in contract sales is what I’ve got.

I’ve an item here to sell, I know you’ll love it.
I have sold it to so many folks like you.
They all seem satisfied with this product.
I feel certain I can make you think so too.

The item that I offer is called Freedom.
A special brand of Freedom you will see.
It’s Uncle Sam’s own brand, the very best kind.
I will demonstrate it, watch me carefully.

I was one of the first purchasers of this brand.
As you can see I have no chains or strings on me.
But I believe all Uncle Sam has taught me.
He reared me from a pup so lovingly.

Uncle Sam has made it easy life to cope with
For he’s given me his thoughts in place of mine.
When in doubt I need but stop and let him whisper,
Then I do as he directs and all is fine.

You see this is how it works, my uncles freedom.
It relieves me of the need to be me.
Why be bothered with the trouble of thinking
When Uncle Sam as mapped it out painstakingly.

His plan removes the need to make decisions
Consequently possibility of error,
Making life a carefree game that doesn’t matter.
Is something wrong? I see on you a look of terror.

Does it worry you to cast aside life’s problems?
Are you fearful of what you might cease to be?
Don’t worry friend, I wouldn’t steer you wrong now,
Uncle Sam would not allow it. Look at me.

I met a few like you who wouldn’t purchase.
In fearfulness they’d argue and they’d say,
“I refuse to forfeit my own powers of reason.”
It is sad but they regret it to this day.

I’ll say simply then continue with my sales pitch,
Uncle Sam was sore displeased with their intentions.
To break down our sameness was their plan.
Enough of them, the price is still not mentioned.

Yes, I’ll tell you of the price Freedom will cost you,
For Uncle Sam has instructed me.
We simply feel beforehand you should know it,
After all is it important we agree.

In order to unload life’s dreary thinking
And accept my Uncles’ Freedom in its stead,
You must agree to let my uncle without surgery,
Replace his thoughts for yours within your head.

One more thing is required. Yearly payments,
Outside of income tax and such as that.
And you must happily respond if you are needed.
In times of strife you may be called to bat.

Any questions? Yearly payments – Oh that’s easy.
There are times when other nations disagree.
They won’t buy Uncle Sam’s brand of Freedom.
Yet our uncle wants them all to be free.

The result is always war, my poor uncle,
So we ask that you do forfeit every year,
The life or the limb of a loved one.
It need not be a relative, a friend that’s dear.

Oftentimes folks run short of relatives.
So to make it easy on the ones that do,
And in order to ensure yearly payments,
Any precious, close, dear friend will do.

Oh and yes! They need not die in the melee.
Uncle Sam is not unfair you understand.
If death does not occur he will consider,
An arm, a leg, a hand.
So you see it’s really all very simple.
And I hope that I have made it very clear.
Uncle Sam has in mind your best interest.
Here’s my pen, please sign right here.

Sir, I’m holding out my pen, won’t you take it?
Well then, I’m forced to tell you the news.
There is a new law in effect as of this morning.
It is compulsory, you cannot refuse.

It is essential that we all are in agreement.
It is the most important part of Freedoms plan.
If you refuse then more are bound to follow.
You must become like every other man.

If you don’t pick up that pen and sign that contract
I must stamp upon your forehead LIBERAL!
Then in every place you go, you will be target,
Of free men who may cast their stones at will.

Surely you will not abide your own destruction.
Don’t you want the safety numbers have to give?
I do not understand your refusal.
A relative, a friend, so what, you’ll live.

You seem like such a likeable young person
So I’ll give you one last chance to sign
And if you refuse this time,
The guilt for your fate cannot be mine.

Alright, have it your way, I will stamp you.
There it’s done, you’re now one of them who dares
And like all the fools thus labeled throughout history
You’ll be laughing as I descend those stairs.

What is it makes them laugh I always wonder.
It’s their lives, their very futures they have canned.
They could have saved it all by simply signing.
Yet they laugh and I will never understand.

Uncle Sam keeps telling me I mustn’t worry.
It’s unfree to come to him with such sad tales.
Then he tells me I’ve done well and pats my shoulder.
And we smile and gaily total the day’s sales.

Friday, October 26, 2007

America The Pitiful

The Reign Of King George The Myopic
by Jennifer Cecere

Once a proud nation, once a bright star,
Once the people of earth longed to be where we are.
Once the model of freedom now no more to be
King George the Myopic has changed things you see.
He has fouled the oceans, the rivers, the air.
And betrayed the worlds trust with never a care.
Ravaging nations that were never a threat
He has made us a monster no one will forget
With torture and cruelty he seems to enjoy
He has been this way since he was a boy.
Now depleted uranium permeates all
Of the lands we held dear and will be our downfall.
Our land has been poisoned, our food supplies too.
The world now is toxic for me and for you.
With jobs all but gone and no money for school
The poor join the army, old George is no fool
Our children are sent to kill children of others
And all that is left now are the grieving mothers
The wives and the siblings cry day and night too
King George has created a sad point of view
Tax cuts for the wealthy in a time they call war.
Work for the rich, abandon the poor.
Get rid of the unions, move jobs overseas.
Make slaves of the masses, bring them to their knees.
Habeas Corpus, throw that in the trash.
The first amendment, burn that to ash.
Send Jenna to war, have Barbara go too.
They need to know what it’s like for the few
The proud and the dying while daddy spins lies
And shows the whole world his criminal ties.
Evangelical Christians, I call upon you
Pray hard for this land, what else can you do?
Shout to the heavens, call out His name
And after you’re done it will all be the same.
It’s sad but it’s true so understand this.
The Land of the Free no longer exists.
Progressives get ready, there is work to be done
It is time to clean up what King George has done.
Demand a fair vote, march to the beat
Never give in, take to the street.