Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Kucinich for President

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.

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 (
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.


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 Collapse

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.