Archive for February, 2007

Looking Back. With Regret. And Respect. (February 26, 2007)

Posted in China, Race on February 26, 2007 by

Another positive resolution.  Assembling on the grounds of the former Confederate Capitol, the Virginia General Assembly voted unanimously this past Saturday to express “profound regret” for the state’s role in slavery and for the exploitation of Native Americans.  The resolution states that government-sanctioned slavery “ranks as the most horrendous of all depredations of human rights and violations of our founding ideals in our nation’s history, and the abolition of slavery was followed by systematic discrimination, enforced segregation, and other insidious institutions and practices toward Americans of African descent that were rooted in racism, racial bias, and racial misunderstanding.”  Not an apology, yet a major step forward.

Many Saturday’s ago in February 1972, President Richard Nixon, National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger and Chinese leader Mao Zedong met in Beijing.  To talk.  Nixon aggressively sought out the meeting with an adversary.  The anti-communist met with one of the uber-communists.  Nixon took off without knowing whether the Chinese FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) would clear Air Force 1 to land.  Nixon engaged what was then the 800(0) lb. panda.  The United States had been in regular communication with the 800(0) lb. bruin, the former Soviet Union, the CCCP (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). Courageous and prescient, “Tricky Dick” worked some magic that week.

Bumper sticker of the week:

I Never Thought I’d Miss Nixon

Bush’s Valentine’s Day Message: “I’m Invading Iran. With Love” (February 19, 2007)

Posted in Bush, Iraq on February 19, 2007 by

Bush’s recent Valentine’s Day press conference did not show much love.  Bush sees red again.  He is looking for a pretext to invade or bomb another country.  Iran.  The wellspring of opposition may not stop him.

The House was able to pass a resolution on Friday that contains language challenging the escalation surge:

(1)  Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect the members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or who have served bravely and honorably in Iraq; and

(2)  Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.

Non-binding according to its terms but pivotal in light of the fierce opposition from Republicans.  The Senate Republicans would not even allow a debate on a similar resolution.  Congress needs some resolve.

Congress should introduce a resolution to condemn and oppose any invasion or bombing of Iran.

Congress also should introduce a resolution to withdraw the 2002 Resolution Bush used to excuse his invasion of Iraq because it was based on lies and no longer serves any national interest.

The Inspector General of the Pentagon found that Doug Feith, a former Undersecretary of Defense, and his office manipulated pre-war intelligence to heighten fear of a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard said that Barack Obama’s proposal to remove U.S. combat forces from Iraq by March 31, 2008 would create disaster in  the Mideast.  “If I were running al Qaeda in Iraq,” he whined, “I would put a circle around March 2008 and be praying as many times as possible for a victory, not only for Obama but also for the Democrats.”  American timetables are irrelevant to the Iraqis.  The Australians as a people are just exactly, precisely like Americans, except that they are smarter, better looking and far more laid back.  And they share a common problem with Americans.  Wankers in power. Howard has spent too much time in the sun.  Let him run al Qaeda.  He is out of his league even in Canberra.

The agreement with North Korea is a promising start.  Talk.  With no conditions.  Keep talking.

Abraham Lincoln is reputed to have said:  “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

“We won’t get fooled again.”  From the song “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who.

We might get fooled again.

Bumper stickers of the week:

Give War A(nother) Chance–Bush

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Is Afghanistan On The Map? A Failure That Hasn’t Succeeded? (February 12, 2007)

Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Law on February 12, 2007 by

Is Afghanistan on our radar?  What happened to Osama?  Iraq has diverted attention and resources from the true war on terrorism and from domestic needs in the United States.  Afghanistan should be the focus of national attention and resources.  The world supported the United States in the pursuit of a defined mission in Afghanistan.  Matters are percolating and festering over there.  There should be a national debate about undertaking a focused surge in Afghanistan.  The upcoming attack on Iran will compound an already almost intractable problem.

The Eric Blair Award for Orwellian Newspeak for 2006 was awarded in December.  In an interview on December 28, Ed Henry with CNN (Cable News Network) interviewed White House homeland security adviser Frances Fragos Townsend and pressed her to admit that Bush’s failure to capture or kill Osama bin Laden in the past five years is a failure.  “You know, going back to September 2001, the president said, dead or alive, we’re going to get him. Still don’t have him. I know you are saying there’s successes on the war on terror, and there have been. That’s a failure,” Henry observed.  “Well, I’m not sure,” Townsend said.  “It’s a success that hasn’t occurred yet.  I don’t know that I view that as a failure.”

Success is failure.  Failure is success.  Black is white.  Truth is ugly.  Beauty is a lie.  Up is down.

Bumper sticker of the week:

War Is Peace
Freedom Is Slavery
Ignorance Is Strength

[Love is intoxicating; toxins are poisonous; poisons can kill.  She did something awfully stupid.  Really stupid.  Profoundly stupid.  And maybe even embarrassing.  But not unusual for a human.  Poking out an eye, pulling a tooth or spraying her with pepper spray are counterproductive.  She has one role and duty in this life–feed, clothe, love, discipline, inspire, threaten, reward, punish, and cajole one son and two daughters.  In the name of family values, the condign punishment:  therapy; a lengthy probation; a desk job that allows her to repay the country that trained her; defendant pays all costs.]

Black Hawk Down. And Down and Down And Down (February 5, 2007)

Posted in Bush, Foreign Policy, Global Warming, Iraq, Military on February 5, 2007 by

A fourth American helicopter was shot down or crashed under fire in the last two weeks.  The Iraqis are now emboldened and have figured out how to evade the evasive measures undertaken by the American helicopters.  [See the concern raised in the e-ssay dated September 25, 2006.]

The decision by the Chinese to blast the satellite a few weeks ago is another ominous threat particularly because the officials most likely to oversee such an action indicated that they were not aware of the decision to launch.  Things may be out of control over there also.

The recent declassified version of the “National Intelligence Estimate” offers another bleak analysis of the quagmire in Iraq.  The situation is deteriorating and requiring more graves.

A soldier killed in a roadside bombing was the 100th British death attributed to hostile action since the invasion in 2003, according to the Ministry of Defense.  American deaths are one or two away from 3100.

One reader noted that more horses than soldiers were killed and wounded in the Charge of the Light Brigade.  The horses are the unnamed Iraqis whose deaths are unacknowledged if not disregarded.  The Barbaros of the battlefield.

Congress is debating a resolution that may express its resolve, yet Bush will not detour from his collision course.  It is time to take a stand.  Young kids are dying while old men (and women) debate and dawdle.

Congressman John Conyers (D-NY), the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced that he will soon hold hearings on President Bush’s use of presidential signing statements.  [See the concern raised in the e-ssay dated May 22, 2006 and the article entitled “Who’s Afraid of Presidential Signing Orders” by Stanley Fish in the February 4, 2007 edition of “The New York Times”]. 

A recent executive order requires each agency to establish a “regulatory policy office run by a political appointee” that “strengthens the hand of the White House in shaping rules that have, in the past, often been generated by civil servants and scientific experts.”  The agencies are becoming outposts of the White House.  Someone should monitor the organization charts for later repair.

The trial of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby is intriguing and filled with intrigue.  Truth may emerge.  Some justice may be done.  A Bush pardon?  Stay tuned.

“Man is impacting the environment.”–The science jocks.  Now the economists, moral philosophers and the public must join the debate.
Bumper sticker of the week:

War is not working

[Molly Ivins died on January 31.  Her last column “Stand Up Against The Surge” is available at  She concludes in part:  “We are the people who run this country.  We are the deciders.  And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war.  Raise hell.  Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous.  Make our troops know we’re for them and trying to get them out of there.  Hit the streets to protest Bush’s proposed surge.  If you can, go to the peace march in Washington on Jan. 27.  We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, ‘Stop it, now!'”]