MY 360 BLOGS From August, 2006 through January 2009
Yahoo 360, once a great blog-page site, closed July 13, 2009. May it rest in peace.

Page Views Since Jul 2006: 5,679

January 20, 2009 Inauguration
January 01, 2009 It's half full, and that's final.
October 6, 2008 McCain, McKeating, and beyond
September 4, 2008 DEEP IN THE HEART OF TAXES
July 5, 2008 Afghan Abuse, Fraud, and US Invasions
April 30, 2008 Not the Wright Time?
April 22, 2008 vote for the 'lesser of two evils'.

April 02, 2008 BLOOD MONEY
March 15, 2008 New Media Bias?
March 01, 2008 Thoughts on the Campaign
February 15, 2008 Warrant-less Wiretap
February 05, 2008 THE CAPTAIN VOTES
January 20, 2008 the Wrongness of Reagan
January 05, 2008 ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?
December 25, 2007 Tree Trimmed; BUSH ISN'T PRUNED
December 19, 2007 Weird Truth
Depleted Uranium is the gift that keeps on killing

December 06, 2007 THE NUCLEAR LIE
November 27, 2007 TRICKY TREATY
November 14, 2007 Iraq: A War to Remember
October 23, 2007 Priorities
September 24, 2007 Blackwater Exposes Bush
September 18, 2007 DO WE HAVE A FREE PRESS?
September 05, 2007 Impeachment
August 18, 2007 don't exaggerate!

July 22, 2007 still waiting for impeachment.
June 27, 2007 Does America have democracy?
June 11, 2007 How do politicians convince us to start a war?
May 22, 2007 What does 9/11 really mean?
May 06, 2007 PAY ATTENTION!
April 20, 2007 Insanity As a Natural Disaster
April 08, 2007 Decoding Obfuscation
March 15, 2007 Unnecessary wars
February 17, 2007 Controlling the power

February 08, 2007 Constitutional Ammendment
January 15, 2007 Bush plans to defy the will of the people.
December 31, 2006 Augusto Pinochet,Saddam Hussein
December 18, 2006 CUT THE FUNDS
December 09, 2006 The Baker Report
December 02, 2006 US foreign policy
November 20, 2006 anti-BIRTH CONTROL Eric Keroack
November 18, 2006 Forced Freedom
November 16, 2006 BEWARE THE BURNING BUSH!
November 15, 2006 To the rest of the world...

November 11, 2006 The people have prevailed.
November 07, 2006 election results
November 05, 2006 Arizona propositions
November 04, 2006 replacing Senator Jon Kyl
October 19, 2006 a serious problem in Washington
October 18, 2006 Air America
October 12, 2006 Have I got a proposition for you!

October 05, 2006 Political Labels
October 03, 2006 CUTTING THE CHEESE
September 19, 2006 sometimes, we overcomplicate
September 16, 2006 THE TORTURE ISSUE
September 12, 2006 LESSONS OF DECEPTION
September 09, 2006 WORD FUN
September 06, 2006 immigration
September 01, 2006 TIME
August 28, 2006 freedom of speech and press
August 27, 2006 You might not be reading this

August 24, 2006 TV commercials
August 20, 2006 SARA BELLUM
August 17, 2006 Depleted Uranium in Ammunition
AUTHOR: captainrat23

January 20, 2009

DATE: 01/20/2009 08:32:25

Many years ago, when I was 17, I had a summer job working on the railroad, in the freight yard near the river in Hannibal, Missouri. Though it was hard work, it was an good job, paying $2.18 an hour, about twice the minimum wage. That was because of the union. Some of my fellow workers were my age, but many were older and been on the job for years. Every time the Mississippi flooded, the tracks would sink into the ground, and they had to be raised up again and fresh gravel tamped underneath the ties.

For the first time then, I had a chance to get to know black people, which about half of them were. Though Hannibal schools were integrated, hardly any blacks were in my classes, because most of them lived in nearby Monroe City. I had no reason to think of them as any different. I knew history, and I knew there was prejudice, but that was in the South, in places like Little Rock.

One evening at dinner I was casually telling my stepmother about a car I was thinking about buying. One of the younger black guys I worked with had it for sale, and he had given me a ride in it to show it to me.

And my stepmother said, "You know those people are all right as long as they stay in their place."

That struck me as odd-- she had never really talked about "colored people" to me before. I asked "Where is their place?" I was surprised and disturbed by her attitude. I didn't think I knew anyone who was racist.

She didn't have an answer to that. Instead she started talking about the black housekeeper her family had when she was a child, a woman who helped raise her and who she "loved just like family". So she didn't hate black people; they just had their "place".

I had suddenly become aware that racism was not just a problem in the deep South, but one lurking beneath the surface within much of the older generation. That fact that I still remember that moment with absolute clarity over 40 years later indicates it was an important awakening for me.

A crack had appeared between generations-- one of serious principle, and it was time to move on alone in the realm of ideas.

Between then and now, millions of such moments have occurred-- moments that led to civil rights marches, peace marches, statements and commitments of principle, recognition of the essential unity of all of humanity.

I am proud of the accomplishments of my generation, though they may not have happened as quickly or as completely as we would have liked.

We're inaugurating Barack Obama today, not because anyone set out to specifically elect a black President. We just wanted a much better President, and he happens to be black.

It worked out that way because Jefferson wrote, and others signed, that "All men are created equal", and because year after year there were more and more who wanted to realize that ideal. Too many sacrificed their lives and suffered for it.

It happened because one generation more than those before it realized it was time to break from the past, because of leaders like Martin Luther King, and because many millions of newly thinking minds were solidly behind them

On top of the Capitol dome stands a statue representing Freedom. It was cast in bronze by a black man, a slave.

As the Grateful Dead sang, "What a long, strange trip it's been."
AUTHOR: captainrat23

January 01, 2009

DATE: 01/01/2009 01:20:05

It's 2009. No more pessimism. It's half full, and that's final. Maybe even a little more than half.

Some may look at all the things the Bush Crime Family has screwed up in the last 8 years and shudder at all the work we have ahead of us to fix it.

But how many times in a lifetime can we experience the relief of the end of the worst Presidency in American history?

There was a time when I thought Nixon was the worst. Then Reagan proved he could be even worse. But neither of them could match the pure power-motivated dishonesty of the Bush-Cheney co-Presidency.

Now that's almost ended. The reign by another name could have extended as McCain, but we got lucky.

True, we as a nation made most of our good luck, just as we had made most of our misery before with apathy and fear. But it's hard to avoid thinking that there was a little bit of unpredictable fortune involved too. Even though many of us saw the need, sometimes it really helps to have someone who can give voice to it, who can remind us to have courage and not fear, hope and not despair.

Now it would be easy for Obama to disappoint us simply by not being the greatest President since FDR. We're not ready for "competent, well-meaning, but unremarkable". We want GREAT. We need great.

Fortunately, the difference between good and great is often whether the people are behind a President. Behind following, and behind pushing. We can't just sit back and let him do it. We can't afford to let him back off or back down, whether it's changing foreign policy, converting to renewable energy, establishing national health care, or prosecuting the war criminals.

No matter how decent, honest, and intelligent the President, if we don't keep telling him what we want and need, loudly and often, and endlessly pester or Congresspersons and tell them, it can fail to happen.

But we got involved, and we're going to stay involved, right? The glass is half full. Throw in some ice cubes and a twist of lime, and we've got ourselves a drink. To 2009.
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AUTHOR: captainrat23

McCain, McKeating, and beyond

DATE: 10/06/2008 04:51:19

McCain's Charles Keating scandal is definitely still relevant, not just because it showed how easily he could be bought, but because it showed just how thoroughly detestable a character he was willing to befriend and vouch for.

It is interesting that McCain would pick a VP who favors censorship. That was his friend Keating's obsession, when he was not fleecing the savings of retired people. He tried to ban anything he thought was pornographic. The rights to free speech and press meant nothing to him.
He even tried to suppress a Presidential Commission report that found, after extensive study, that pornography was really not harmful at all.

Honesty also meant nothing to him. Investors in his Lincoln Savings, 23,000 of them, were cheated out of their savings. The company's failure cost taxpayers $2.8 billion. Keating spent over 4 years in Federal prison for fraud. He is now back in the Phoenix area working as a "business consultant".

McCain and 4 other Senators tried to intervene with Federal regulators for Keating, who had contributed heavily to all their campaigns. The Senate Ethics committee said McCain "exercised poor judgment." Poor judgment? That seems to be a habit with McCain.

In a desperate attempt to restore his reputation, he became an enthusiastic campaign reform advocate, a cause that other Republicans opposed.

However, he repeated the pattern in 1999, asking the FCC for "quick consideration" on behalf of a $20,000 contributor, Paxson Communications, a Florida company seeking to buy a TV station in Pittsburgh. One of the FCC commissioners' formal nomination was pending before McCain's Senate committee at the time. The FCC Chairman said McCain's attempt at influence them was improper.

In these shaky economic times, I'm sure the big corporate contributors to McCain are reassured that he'll probably come through for them.

--captain rat
October 5, 2008

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23


DATE: 09/04/2008 17:06:50

Republicans, and conservatives in general, have always liked to complain about taxes and 'spending'. Before the neoconservatives, they were relatively consistent about that, except for military budgets. Since everyone who works pays taxes, this gives them some appeal beyond the rich and the big business that they really represent. But, too often Americans seem to accept the crude basis of anti-taxation, which is I want to keep what I earn, and to hell with everyone else.

Naturally, when there is waste and improper use of public money, taxpayers should be upset. But let us consider the concept of legitimate taxation. It amounts to people cooperating to provide themselves with services and benefits that would be impractical and inefficient for each person to procure individually.

It is important to note that this is not a new concept. It is the very means by which mankind survived and became civilized. Our intelligence and dexterity would have availed us little without cooperation to take advantage of it.

As clans grew into cities and money was invented, systems of taxation got more complicated. They weren't always fair and reasonable, but the advantages increased with the numbers. It became possible to build infrastructure for common use and support protective forces. Commerce and trade became easier and safer, increasing prosperity and the quality of life.
It should not be difficult to understand that public projects and agencies provide service and convenience that would be difficult for even wealthy individuals to provide for themselves. Many services that could be either public or private are cheaper and more fairly distributed by public means. Whenever evaluating tax rates, one must consider the value of the benefits from public funds as well as the cost of taxes paid.

It is indeed odd that Americans should complain about taxation, since we pay lower taxes than most of the rest of the world.
Total Percents
1....Belgium: 55.6
2....Hungary: 52.6
3 ....Germany: 50.7
4....Sweden: 48.6
5 ....France: 48.3
6....Italy: 46.2
7....Finland: 45.9
8....Austria: 44.7
9 ....Denmark: 44.2
10 ....Turkey: 43.2
11...Czech Republic: 43
12 ...Poland: 42.9
13 ...Netherlands: 42.3
14 ...Slovakia: 42
15 ...Spain: 37.9
16 ...Norway: 37
17 ...Greece: 36
18...Luxembourg: 33.9
19 ...Portugal: 32.5
20...Canada: 30.2
21...United States: 30
22... United Kingdom: 29.7
23...Switzerland: 29.5
24...Ireland: 25.8
25...Iceland: 25.7
26 ...Japan: 24.2
27 ...Australia: 23.1
28 ...New Zealand: 19.6
29...Mexico: 15.6
Weighted average: 37.3

Corporate income tax
1....Luxembourg: _20.5
2....Norway: _18.9
3....Australia: _16.8
4....Ireland: _13.1
5....Korea, So_th: _12.8
6....Japan: _12.2
7....New Zealand: _12.1
8....Czech Republic: _11.8
9....Greece: _10.4
10...Canada: _10.1
11...Finland: _9.3
12...Spain: _9.1
13...Netherlands: _8.8
14...Switzerland: _8.8
15...Slovakia: _8.2
16...United Kingdom: _8.1
17...Belgium: _7.6
18...Italy: _7.6
19...Turkey: _7.1
20...United States: _6.7
21...France: _6.6
22...Poland: _6.3
23...Hungary: _6.2
24...Denmark: _5.8
25...Austria: _5.1
26...Sweden: _4.8
27...Iceland: _3
28...Germany: _2.9
Weighted average: _9.3

Total taxation as percent
of Gross Domestic Product.

Rank_Country_Percent GDP
1....Sweden: 54.2
2....Denmark: 48.8
3....Finland: 46.9
4....Belgium: 45.6
5....France: 45.3
6....Austria: 43.7
7....Italy: 42
8....Netherlands: 41.4
9....Norway: 40.3
10...Germany: 37.9
11...United Kingdom: 37.4
12...Canada: 35.8
13...Switzerland: 35.7
14...New Zealand: 35.1
15...Australia: 31.5
16...Ireland: 31.1
17...United States: 29.6
18...Japan: 27.1
Weighted average: 39.4

Lower taxation is not necessarily a good thing. Countries with higher tax rates usually provide more and better services to their citizens. Consider the fact that the US has by far the worlds biggest military budget, yet taxes here are lower than many nations that spend less. That is because our government spends far less on health care, education, infrastructure, and social services than other comparable countries.

You may notice that Mexico has the lowest total tax rate.

The U.S. ranks 4th in GDP, yet it is 92nd in distribution of wealth The richest 5 percent live the best of all nations. The bottom 25 percent live worse than in countries such as Greece.

The US, which has the world's most expensive medical system is counted as 37th as to quality of care by the World Health Organization.

In Germany, which has had universal health care since 1883, health care costs are 10.7 percent of the GDP. In the US it is nearly 16%. The UK, which provides all health care through the National Health Service, the cost is 7.7 percent of GDP. That system eliminates the need for private health insurance. It has what is called a single-payer system, which has proved most efficient.

In countries with universal health care, those which use private insurance require it for all, require insurers to accept all applicants, require the same charge for all, and ban capping payouts. These laws are needed to prevent the inherent problem of private health insurance in which companies try to maximize profits by insuring mostly healthy people.
By improving efficiency, universal health care would lower the overall cost of living. The benefits of increased life expectancy, reduced worry about costly health problems, and better quality of life through access to routine medical care throughout life, are beyond monetary value.

We should remember that those who want to sell the idea of lower taxes also mean to deny the public health care, adequate funding for education, repair for dangerous bridges. They deny these things for a little more corporate profit and a little less tax for the rich
Are low taxes really that important?

-captain rat
September 04, 2008 ----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23


DATE: 08/17/2008 03:03:25

August 17, 2008
In yet another of his long string of foreign policy errors, George W Bush has backed the wrong side in the Georgia-Russia conflict.
And, once again, the mainstream media has more or less gone along with him, to their discredit, but the knowledge of what actually happened has become available to all who are paying attention.

Georgia brutally attacked the capital of the small autonomous state of South Ossetia, killing Russian peacekeepers and over 2000 others, many of whom were Russian citizens. Russia responded with its superior force, driving the Georgian military out of South Ossetia, then began positioning their forces to protect the South Osetians from further Georgian aggression.

In the initial reports, we were not told of the Georgian attack, or the reason for Russia's action against Georgia. Bush knew, of course, but decided to act as if Georgia did nothing wrong, because Georgia had been a "pet project"-- a special ally right on Russia's border, with an oil pipeline going through it. Bush had tried to get Georgia into NATO, just to irk the Russians. NATO wisely rejected the idea.

The direct cause of this crisis was Georgia's president Mikhail Saakashvili, an aggressive authoritarian-minded politician who was too eager to use the supposed power of US alliance and the weaponry Georgia had obtained from the US and bought from Israel. To his chagrin, he has at least learned that alliances do not earn one the right to be stupid and get away with it.

Despite Bush's verbal support in scolding Russia, our President's stupidity is fortunately not infinite. His threats against Russia have been confined to diplomatic grumbling. McCain, on the other hand, began to sound more aggressive, and ended up making himself look ridiculous. His statement "In the 21st century, nations don't invade other nations", was memorably absurd, as if he had forgotten Afghanistan and Iraq, and as if he himself wouldn't invade Iran if he had a chance.

Part of the blame for the conflict lies with the Bush administration. The special "ally" status it gave Georgia contributed to the illusion of Saakashvili's that he could get away with his attack, even if the US State Dept. did warn him not to act rashly. In showing more favor to the Russian border state than to Russia itself, Bush committed an affront that would tend to destabilize the area, even if there had been no incidents.

Perhaps at this point it is too late to apologize to Russia, but Bush should now just shut the hell up and avoid repeating false accusations. So, for that matter, should McCain.

Few in the US had ever heard of Ossetia before recent events, but it has been around since well before the Russian Revolution, and has never considered itself part of Georgia. During the time of the Russian Empire, and then during the USSR period, Ossetians related well with Russia, considering themselves loyal citizens. When Georgia was made a part of the USSR, South Ossetia was made an autonomous region within Georgia, and North Ossetia was formed in Russia.

Even before the breakup of the USSR, South Ossetia began to express its intent to separate from Georgia. In 1989, Soviet forces had to intervene to quell violence between Georgians and Ossetians. In 1990 South Ossetia declared independence, and violent skirmishes again flared up, lasting into 1992, when an agreement was reached to deploy peacekeepers from all three. For a time while Shevardnadze was president of Georgia there was relative peace.

Saakashvili, however, wanted to rule with an iron fist. He declared his intention to retake South Ossetia by force. In November 2006 Ossetians held a referendum in which they chose independence by a landslide. Tensions had been high, and no resolution of the controversy could be reached.

One would think that Georgia, having long wanted independence from the USSR, would be sympathetic to South Ossetia, who wants the same thing from Georgia. In fact, many Georgians do feel that way, and strongly oppose their president's attempts to forcibly quash Ossetia's dreams of independence. An organization called the Georgian Peace Committee issued a statement disavowing the actions of Saakashvili and his supporters in the parlaiment, and ask the world not to blame the people of Georgia for the tragedy.

As an American I can certainly empathize with that, having many times hoped that the rest of the world would understand that we did not mean to inflict George Bush on them.

The issue of the right to independence of territories that so desire, is a controversial one throughout the world. An article in The Guardian titled
Plaything of the gods
explores the various viewpoints. If an legal right is established in international law, several nations fear being broken up into component parts. Obviously that was once an issue for the United States, resulting in a civil war. Before that, however, we declared our independence from Britain, which was virtually unprecedented at the time.

Regardless of certain nations' interests, it would be a good thing overall if territories could, by clear democratic choice, become independent. It is always preferable not to have to govern the unwilling.
If each case is to be decided on its own merit, then it would seem that South Ossetia should indeed win its self-determination.
--captain rat
----- -------- AUTHOR: captainrat23

Afghan Abuse, Fraud, and US Invasions of the Past

DATE: 07/05/2008 15:03:08


Systematic brutality and torture of prisoners began well before the Iraq invasion, in Afghanistan at Bagram and Kandahar Airfield. Prisoners, many of whom were found not to be terrorists at all, were routinely kicked and punched repeatedly, hung by their wrists from the ceiling. At least two men were hung up and their legs beaten until they died. One officer was reprimanded for this crime. Another one was punished with reduction in rank.

It has been difficult to fully prosecute such abusers, who normally could even get the death penalty under the US War Crimes Act of 1996, because Bush ordered that prisoners not be considered prisoners of war, nor subject to Geneva convention Common Article 3. What was allowed was left undefined.

While Bush's acts were reprehensible, one wonders how McCain, himself a tortured POW in Vietnam, could have failed to object for years, until finally making a weak and ineffective attempt at compromise. Clearly he has as little sense of honor or morality as Bush and Cheney.


Has anyone been wondering what happens when you privatize a war, awarding huge no-bid contracts to such companies as Haliburton, etc.?

Well, we already know we get the most expensive war anyone has ever fought. Add to that the Bush administration's privatization of other government functions, and you get a backlog of 900 different cases of alleged fraud. Of course, the Justice Dept. is in no hurry to investigate and try them.


Iraq and Afghanistan are hardly the first countries the US has invaded and occupied. There were Germany and Japan, of course, but the history goes back further than that.

In 1909, Nicaragua was negotiating with Germany to build a canal. The US, in order to insure its Panama Canal was the only one, supported a rebellion against President Zelaya. The Zelaya government captured 500 rebels, including 2 Americans, and executed them. Using the excuse of protecting US lives and property, US warships and US Marines were sent. The Marines occupied Nicaragua from 1912 to 1933, except for a nine month period beginning in 1925, when a treaty was signed with the puppet government regarding the canal. Once the Marines left, however, a new rebellion started, led by Gen. Augusto César Sandino (from whom the later Sandinistas took their name), and the Marines returned, facing a sustained guerilla war until 1933.

Although the Marines left in 1933, they left a US-trained and supplied force called the Guardia Nacional, which enabled Anastacio Somoza to defeat and kill Sandino and begin a dictatorial dynasty which would last till 1979.

It is interesting to note how the wrongs done in the past seem to return to haunt our future. History is not a series of isolated stories, but a continuous flow of events, ideas, and people's lives.

--captain rat
July 5, 2008

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for June 10, 2008

DATE: 06/10/2008 12:58:42

of George W. Bush, Presented June 9, 2008

Article I
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq

Article II
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of

Article III
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War

Article IV
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States

Article V
Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression

Article VI
Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114

Article VII
Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.

Article VIII
Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter

Article IX
Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor

Article X
Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes

Article XI
Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq

Article XII
Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation’s Natural Resources

Article XIIII
Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries

Article XIV
Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency

Article XV
Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq

Article XVI
Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors

Article XVII
Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives

Article XVIII
Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy

Article XIX
Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to “Black Sites” Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture

Article XX
Imprisoning Children

Article XXI
Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government

Article XXII
Creating Secret Laws

Article XXIII
Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act

Article XXIV
Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment

Article XXV
Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens

Article XXVI
Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements

Article XXVII
Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply

Article XXVIII
Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice

Article XXIX
Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Article XXX
Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare

Article XXXI
Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency

Article XXXII
Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change

Article XXXIII
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.

Article XXXIV
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001

Article XXXV
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders ----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for April 30, 2008

DATE: 04/30/2008 04:48:13

Not the Wright Time?

If anyone wonders why many people prefer to get their news and commentary on the Comedy Channel's Daily Show instead of CNN or the broadcast networks, it was made clear last night, April 28th. It seems they are the only ones with any sense. After having a bit of fun with Rev. Wright's speech at the Press Club, Jon Stewart pointed out, as if explaining to the learning-disabled media 'journalists': 'Jeremiah Wright is not running for President. He is the guy who used to speak at the church of the guy who IS running for President.'

How much clearer does it need to be? Obama has explained that, and now Stewart has explained that, yet media talking heads seem to be unable or unwilling to understand this simple distinction.

Anyone who grows up developing an interest in public service and seeking an education to enable pursuing it should listen to every conceivable point of view at every opportunity and think about all of them in the process of developing his or her own world view and positions on issues. Even after forming firm opinions, all of us should listen to those with whom we disagree for a better understanding of the nature of the issue.

Perhaps those who never do that fail to comprehend that it is OK to have friends who disagree with you.

It is unfortunate that the media have made such an exaggerated issue of Obama's ex-pastor's statements and opinions, because Rev. Wright does have some very valid points. Perhaps they are not 'ready for prime time', but his central message is something that anyone seeking to restore principles to US foreign policy needs to realize: that what we call terrorism is indeed a response to the behavior abroad of the US government. I have described some of the history of that in previous articles. The fact that there is an understandable motive does not excuse September 11 or any other attack on civilians. A murderer is still guilty even if he had good reason to hate his victim. The point is that if our government continues to threaten, bully, attack, and exploit weaker nations and their people, they will continue to resent and hate us and attempt to get revenge.

The propaganda and purposeful obfuscation from the Bush administration has kept many Americans from understanding that basic truth. Rev. Wright's loud and confrontational style makes his message seem more extreme than it is. The line about the government developing AIDS to attack black people doesn't help his credibility. Though the virus may have been created with a purpose, chances are it was a private organization responsible, and the target was more likely gays than blacks, but even that hasn't been proved.

But the history of US foreign policy is indisputable fact that can be verified. The TV newscasters could actually practice investigative journalism and inform Americans of the facts. The relevant misdeeds go back much further than just Bush. The Cold War gave rise to myriad instances of violence and ruthlessness.

While anyone unaware of the dark side of US foreign policy should learn it, it is not necessary or helpful to bring it into the Presidential campaign. Obama has made it fairly clear that he wants to restore respectability to our country in the world, and has emphasized the need for meaningful diplomacy and dialog with adversaries. It is better to deliver a positive vision of the future rather than dwell on the past.

--captain rat

----- COMMENT:
AUTHOR: Cosmic Rose
DATE: 05/14/2008 13:20:20
Not only that... but most of what Wright as said isn't wrong.... unlike some of the televangelist type or fundamental extremists like Hagee. I used to be a Wright... yep... my first husband's name was Wright... thus... I was Rose Wright.

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for April 25, 2008

DATE: 04/25/2008 00:34:49

SMALL-MINDED OFFICIALS IN TEXAS have perpetrated a huge wrong on over 400 children and their mothers. Violating both their Constitutional rights and standards of common decency, bigoted bureaucrats are holding 411 children captive apart from their mothers, unnecessarily subjecting them to extreme emotional trauma.

Using the pretext of what was probably a false police report, the religious compound in
San Angelo, Texas was subjected to a massive raid and inquisition. Their only 'crime' is having a different lifestyle than the outside community. If anyone has actually been guilty of abuse, it is unlikely that either the children or their mothers are among the abusers. It is absurd and cruel to punish them.

Those in charge of law enforcement and protecting children have a responsibility to use their power intelligently, protecting the rights of the accused and of the innocent, acting only if there has been real harm done, and punishing only those who are convicted of a crime. In Texas they are doing exactly the opposite of that, acting out of prejudice and carelessly harming everyone concerned. They are behaving more like a lynch mob brandishing torches than civil officials.

There should be an emergency appeals court that is able to step in and stop local officials that are out of control. It is likely that these victims will later be able sue for the deprivation of their civil rights and for the emotional damage. By then, though, the damage will have been done.
captain rat
----- COMMENT:
DATE: 05/14/2008 13:05:07

I could not agree with you more Capt. I'm sure that before the agencies involved are finished with their investigations... these people will be found guilty of everything but baby eating and I wouldn't count that out either since David Koresh was accused of many things that were later determined to be lies. Indeed... just one more case of almost having to kill the children in order to save them. Luckily it didn't turn out as poorly as it did in Waco. What the hell is wrong with TEXAS? Something in the water or air perhaps?

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for April 22, 2008

DATE: 04/22/2008 04:41:15

There are some basic facts of American politics that everyone, not just political scientists, needs to know and to keep in mind while experiencing the distractions, media spins, and outright lies that always come with an election campaign.

With a 2-party system, neither party is going to be anyone's idea of perfect. We might as well accept that, because it is very important to vote for the 'lesser of two evils'. Otherwise you are helping the GREATER EVIL.

The main body of the Republican party is dedicated to the interests of large corporations and the wealthy, to whom the rest of us are only useful as workers and consumers. Obviously they need to convince enough of the rest of us to vote for them. How? There are several tactics that are used to manipulate people into voting against their own interests.
[1] They mis-use religion to appeal to religious and social conservatives. Taking positions on religious issues such as abortion and homosexuality that should be personal, not political matters, they imply that they will bypass the Constitution and legislate religious dogma. Sometimes they succeed in limited ways, just enough to retain the votes of those they have convinced that religion should supercede liberty.
[2] For many years they demonized communism, and by association, socialism, and would characterize any proposal by Democrats to benefit common people as communist or socialist. Since our supposed enemy, the USSR was communist, this was an effective tool. Though now less effective, it still affects attitudes.
[3] With cleverly crafted media propaganda, they falsely equate unrestricted capitalism with political freedom. Though there is no shortage of laws and enforcement against acts by the average person, they portray corporations and wealthy manipulators as somehow deserving of special priveledge, despite the fact that their crimes hurt the consumer and the worker far more than those of lower and middle classes.
[4] They sow division among those who might oppose them. They exploit racial, ethnic, and religious divisions. They do this more subtly than in the past, because most of America has come to realize that bigotry is wrong, but they know how to use the bigots that still remain. Prior to Lyndon Johnson's Presidency, southern Democrats were often guilty of this as well. When LBJ supported and signed important civil rights legislation, he knew the Democrats would lose the south for many years to come, until southern attitudes about race started to change. He believed that equal rights were more important. In the long run the Democratic party is better off without the racists, but in the short run it gave Republicans an undeserved boost.
[5] Taxes and government spending has long been a favorite Republican issue. Amazingly, they still bring it up despite the record spending by Bush, and the fact that his tax cuts only benefit the rich. America has lower taxes than most of the world, and taxes for most of us are not a burden.

We need to look closely at the deceptive tactics and propaganda that have been used to turn us against ourselves, and start thinking logically. Then we, the people, can take our country back

--captain rat

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for April 02, 2008

DATE: 04/02/2008 05:22:52


Having experienced nearly 8 years of the worst President in American history and over 5 years of the stupidest, most pointless war ever fought by Americans, most of us know that both have been a disaster, the magnitude of which we learn more about every day.

Some things remain seemingly incomprehensible. Things like: how can a
man graduate from Yale and still never learn how to pronounce 'nuclear'?
And, now that we know that all the reasons given for invading Iraq were
lies, why DID Bush do it?

We may never fully answer the first question. The second question seems
to have more than one answer. It least one of them contain the word 'OIL'
There have been clues all along, but the role oil played was not exactly
as first suspected.

The first American killed in combat in the invasion died fighting to
secure an oilfield. While libraries, museums, and armories were being
looted, American troops carefully guarded the oil ministry building.
Back in 1992 Wolfowitz was writing military strategy for war with Iraq,
with the stated purpose of securing its oil.
Yet anyone anticipating more and cheaper oil flowing from Iraq to the US
anytime soon will be highly disappointed. The predictable effect of
the war, chaos, and instability that the US has brought to the middle
east has been higher oil prices. Much higher. And the result? Exxon
has has made the
largest profit of any corporation in history. In
addition, the value of their reserves has increased by $666 billion.

So there we have one major effect of over 4000 American deaths, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths and 2 or 3 trillion taxpayer dollars. If Bush's job was to drive up oil prices so the big oil companies could rake in obscene profits, he succeeded in that.

Perhaps oil executives have seen the handwriting on the wall: when the US and the rest of the world begin dealing seriously with global warming, demand for oil-based fuel will drop long before the projected end of supply. Are they now taking their last opportunity to amass giant fortunes before they have to downsize?

The US is occupying --badly-- the number-3 oil-rich nation in the world, and using around 3 million gallons per day. Almost all of that is imported from outside Iraq, using 5500 tanker trucks at a total weekly cost of $923 million.

Naturally Dick Cheney's Haliburton is doing well for itself performing such tasks. Their 2006 revenue was $22.5 billion, 3 times what it made in 2004.
Though it is not something Bush brags about, the entire American economy has been artificially boosted by his military adventure. In all the discussion about the economy, it has not even been mentioned.

War is an effective economic stimulus in the short term, but obviously never one that any leadership should apply on purpose. In the absence of any other good reason for a war, one does wonder if that was not the motive in this case.

It's something worth examining more closely.

--captain rat
----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for March 15, 2008

DATE: 03/15/2008 02:49:56

New Media Bias?

I am infuriated by purposeful stupidity of the commentary on CNN about a few comments by Rev. Wright, the pastor of the church Obama attends in Chicago. To attempt to use this to turn voters against Obama as they are obviously doing is very wrong on many levels.

First, the preacher's statements were his own. Obama didn't make them. Obama was asked if he agreed with them, and he said 'NO'. That should be the end of that.

Secondly, airing short excerpts out of one or two sermons out of Rev. Wright's 30 years as a pastor could not possibly accurately characterize his world view. The excerpts could not even give an accurate picture of the sermon they are taken from.

Thirdly, it is clear that in the sermons in question, Rev. Wright is saying that much is very wrong with the way some people in this country treat other people, and with the way that America as a nation treats other nations. That is undeniably true. And the preacher would not be doing his job, and would be justifiably ignored, if he did not point those things out. What is left out is the conclusion of the sermons, in which it is likely that he suggested what his listeners could do about those wrongs. My guess is he was not advocating armed revolution, but getting involved peacefully to try to make a difference in the community, the state, and the nation.

Fourth, the implication that speaking out strongly against wrongs, bad policies, and bad attitudes of those in power is somehow unpatiotic, is an outrageous misinterpretation of the concept of patriotism. It is one the right-wing authoritarians use constantly, but we should expect better of the news media.

There is nothing patriotic about ignoring the problems and faults of one's nation. Apathy and hopelessness likewise do the country a disservice.

Our nation was founded on high and worthy ideals-- principles which Americans have always been taught and which we still proclaim to the world. Because of them our country has achieved greatness in many respects, and has the potential to be even greater. But also because of them, and because of our nation's power and importance in the world, we cannot afford to fall short of that potential. We cannot afford to let freedom and justice to be subverted by greed and by seekers of power.

Real patriots do not love America merely because of its pretty scenery, nor because of a watered-down incomplete version of our history, nor because we pretend everything is just fine. Real patriots will point out our country's faults before anyone else does, and then work hard to fix them.

The point Obama has been making all along is that it is wiser and more effective to try to calmly work together to bridge gaps and solve problems rather than antagonizing those who might otherwise be educated.

The blatant repetition of this story by CNN, with seeming inability of the commentators to put it in perspective makes it appear that they are pushing an anti-Obama agenda.

--captain rat

----- COMMENT:
DATE: 03/21/2008 16:05:30

I concur fully, but I think this whole thing has a distinctly Karl Rove stink to it!! Kudos to you on a great blog.

----- COMMENT:
AUTHOR: Cosmic Rose
DATE: 03/26/2008 16:07:14

Just goes to show once again Personal Responsibility is a bad word in this new AMERICA that we find ourselves more a witness to than a participant of... unfortunately. We had better straighten up and fly right or we are going to go the way of all other Empires. The people need stand up and speak out or else we will certainly get what we deserve since we aren't demanding anything better eh? Cosmicly speaking of course...

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for March 01, 2008

DATE: 03/01/2008 03:34:31

Thoughts on the Campaign

The petty bickering on the Republican side seems designed to convince independents that McCain is not really a conservative, and that he is not as ruthless and sleazy as most neoconservatives. There is no other reason for anyone on the Republican side to criticize their only possible candidate.

The corporate types who control the Republican party don't care about ideological details, or style. They just want to make sure the US military is used to support their ability to exploit world resources, whether it's oil or cheap labor. War is good for business. They don't want a President who cares whether it's justified, or how many people die. And if the war and the aggressive foreign policy produce more terrorists, so much the better for them. It provides an excuse for more intimidation and subjugation; more opportunities to exploit and profit.

They can use McCain just fine for that. Nearly everyone in the world knows how unjustified the invasion of Iraq was, how destructive it's been, and how wrong and pointless it is to continue occupying Iraq, but McCain is willing to continue it. For 100 years, he said.

It would be great if both Clinton and Obama would stop all negative campaigning against each other. They are both good people who would make good Presidents. It has been suggested that whichever loses the nomination be picked for Vice President. I think a better idea would be Secretary of State. It would be a shame to waste the talents of either of them.

There are those who agree with Hillary Clinton's positions on nearly everything, yet simply don't like her. Some will try to rationalize their feelings, but I suspect it comes from a subconcious fear or resentment of a woman in power. Most would deny having sexist attitudes. Some are even women themselves. The effects of our culture on even intelligent rational people are often subtle and pervasive. I would suggest to anyone who has such feelings to think about them, and look inside and examine them.

In the struggle to change our country the way it needs to be changed, to undo the damage, we need all the allies we have, and all the minds that understand and care. None of us are perfect. We may disagree exactly how to go about it. But we, the people, must become partners with our leadership and our representatives in government who care about people, who want to restore peace and liberty and remove the power from the grasping hands of the greedy.

It is unrealistic to expect politics to be ideal, but we, the voters need to ignore the irrelevant distractions, expect and counteract the dirty tricks from the opposition, and keep our minds on our basic common goals. The future depends on us.

--captain rat

AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for February 15, 2008

DATE: 02/15/2008 11:36:07

There are two related issues in the Warrant-less Wiretap bill that the
House of Representatives is now debating. Both deserve a resounding NO


First, the bill permits the Bush administration to violate the
Constitution by conducting wiretaps and other electronic surveillance
without a warrant. This is what Bush and the NSA were already doing
WITHOUT permission before Congress passed a temporary law allowing it.
Bush was violating the law. Even with the temporary law, which is
unconstitutional, he was violating the Constitution. Congress should not
continue to allow it.

The second issue is amnesty for the telephone companies who illegally
allowed the warrant-less surveillance. That should not be permitted
either. This is important not only so that the phone companies can be
held accountable for their part in the crime, but also because they are
the source of evidence of the crimes of the Bush administration. That is
why Bush desperately wants such a bill passed, and why he is still trying
to spread fear and intimidate Congress with more lies and blustering.

Will your Representative stand firm on this issue? Perhaps you should
ask. The right to privacy; to freedom from unreasonable search-- is
there for a reason

--captain rat

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for February 05, 2008

DATE: 02/05/2008 19:46:28

I arrived at my polling place in Glendale, Arizona at 12:30 pm to join a line of voters about 50 feet long. It was encouraging to see a good turnout, but a bit perplexing that the line was moving as slow as a Republican thinks. In the past I seldom had to wait at all, even with long multi-proposition ballots, and this one had only one choice to mark.

As the line crawled slowly forward, I could see that there were about 5 voting stations, but only one was being used at any one time. The holdup was at the table where the voter list was checked and ID's verified.

There were 3 sets of printouts-- a white one, a brown one, and a Last Chance list. The man checking the lists was the most ancient member of the staff, and while no doubt age had brought him wisdom, he was short on speed, visual acuity, and the ability to remember alphabetical order.

Because I had changed my registration from Libertarian to Democrat just before the deadline in January, my name was on the Last Chance list, which meant I had to vote with a Provisional Ballot, even though I had received my voter-ID card in the mail a week ago.

Free at last to cast my vote, I solidly connected the head and tail of the arrow pointing to Barack Obama.

I could have chosen Sandy Whitehouse, Bill Richardson, Frank Lynch, Karl Krueger, John Edwards, Peter 'Simon' Bollander, Leland Montell, Chuck See, Libby Hubbard, Loti Gest, Orion Daley, William Campbell, Phillip Tanner, Dennis Kucinich, Hillary Clinton, Edward Dobson, Tish Haymer, Rich Lee, Michael Oatman, Mike Gravel, Evelyn Vitullo, Chris Dodd, or Richard Grayson. All were listed on the Democratic ballot in Arizona.

My first preference, Dennis Kucinich, is no longer running.

Hillary Clinton would be a good President as well. I am not among those who pick on her for minor points of platform planks. I just think Obama's personality and skill at communicating would be better for enlisting the support he needs to restore our freedom and peace.

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for January 20, 2008

DATE: 01/20/2008 06:20:57

Remembering the Wrongness of Reagan

Recently Obama's words were twisted in order to criticize him for referring to Ronald Reagan as an innovator of his era. Such deliberate misunderstandings are shabby but common tactics in politics. Nothing in Obama's positions would indicate that he admires what Reagan did to our
country. He was giving an example of a President who was able to make significant changes. They were harmful changes, many affecting us adversely even today, but that is not the point.
In order to reverse the harm done by George W. Bush and by Ronald Reagan before him, we need a leader who is able to create solutions and inspire others to do the same.
And we need one who can and will go beyond merely fixing problems and lead America to fulfill its potential to be a truly just anSTATUS: publish BODY: d free nation, an example to the world, not a threat to it.

Republicans, on the other hand, actually do claim Reagan as a positive example. From the point of view of the very rich who hate paying taxes, and from the perspective of corporations who hate labor unions, perhaps he was a hero. No doubt there were some who thought it was clever of him
to sell arms to Iran during its war with Iraq and use the money to fund right-wing mercenaries attempting to overthrow a South American democracy.
A word was coined from Reagan's economic policies: reaganomics. It is based on the 'trickle-down' theory-- that is, if you enable the rich to get even richer, some of their money will drip like rain through a leaky roof so the poor and middle classes can scramble for it like thirsty
animals before it soaks into the parched earth below..

Those who would emulate Reagan's policies should hope no voters remember the Reagan recession. It was the worst since the Depression of 1929. Unemployment was near 10% for 2 years. The tax cuts were for the rich-- the total
tax rates increased, with middle and lower class workers paying a bigger share.

It was Reagan who invented the diplomantic tactic of calling an opponent nation 'evil'. His careless public statements were often taken as serious threats by the USSR, leading them to go on military alerts.

Reagan tried to take credit for the later failure of the Soviet Union, though actually he kept the hard-liners in power longer with his threatening stance, and unknowingly risked actual nuclear war.

It would be well to remember, every time Reagan's name is mentioned by a Republican candidate, that the example is a myth. Conservatives wish, and try to pretend, that Reagan's policies were beneficial and successful, when in fact they were harmful and destructive.

--captain rat

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for January 05, 2008

DATE: 01/05/2008 11:29:57


Jimi Hendrix asked that musical question back in the time when we were
trying to stop another bad war--Vietnam.

Experience can be a good thing, if you learn something from it.
Otherwise, it's just a history of repeating the same mistakes over and
over. Experience hasn't helped George Bush one bit.

Relying on personal experience of the past to deal with new situations of
the present can often be a detriment. What is much more important is a
keen analytical open mind, the ability to understand history, and an
willingness to look at all the facts before making a decision.

The people of Iowa, like the rest of us, have said they want CHANGE. We
need change not just in what is done, but HOW it is done.

--captain rat ----- COMMENT:
DATE: 01/18/2008 03:31:32

Give people a peace of cheese and they will come to it like rats ....Take it from them , and they will change ....This model has been coppyed all over the western world ...Example ...In Chech Republic , the students did organised a project of peoples needs and believes after by the way of FALSE ADVERTISING and make a Movie about it . So they went to local politicians who all are for the republic to vote and join the European Union, and ask them to spend few milion in thers money about THE OPENING OF A NEW SUPERMARKET TRADE WERE the pricess were slashed to almoust GIVE AWAY PRICE ....Instead the authorityes did not build any thing , but all they did was TO BUILD A LONG SKELLETON FRAME FOR A BANNER ABOUT 50 METRES LONG ON THE NEWLY GRANTED LOCAL AUTHORITYES LAND ....The day was anounced and a huge expected crowd of people was present at the day ...They all come by hundreds or even thousands , and instead the newly complex promised all they find was this huge banner canvas written with the words " DECEPTION OF A VOTING THE FUTURE OF OUR NATION " .............................................................................I will leave it up to your imagination to explain or express your point of view in regard to the MORAL OF THIS EXPERIMENT APROOVED BY THE CHECZH POLITICIANS ....Today there is still a very strong opposition of voters to join the European Union as part of the GLOBAL UNIFICATION OF EUROPEAN ALIANCE ...

Just a tought of mine ...DECEPTION OF A NATION . It is that the same experiment can be applyed to the SO CALLED WORLD IN MOTION TODAY under the new title " THE NEW WORLD WORDER " ? ?????...Your turn my friend .......Cheers ... ----- --------

AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for December 25, 2007

DATE: 12/25/2007 15:27:08

Tree is Trimmed, BUT BUSH ISN'T PRUNED

Peace on Earth and good will to all are prominently proclaimed ideals
expressed on this holiday, but they are unrealized ideals because we, the
people along with those we elected to represent us have not yet done
enough to stifle the Neocon Bush.

As you gaze upon your tree, glowing with strings of lights, remember that
many people in Iraq have no power to even light their homes.

As you feast and visit with friends and relatives, remember that many
American families are mourning the loss of parents, children, brothers and
sisters who died in Iraq. Many more are dealing with disabling injuries.

As tragic as that is, try to imagine hundreds of thousands of your
fellow countrymen dead. Imagine your city being bombed repeatedly.
Imagine thousands of foreign soldiers in your streets, taking power,
yet not really taking control. Instead they create chaos, turning one
sect against another, so that people are not just resisting the invaders
but fighting one another, and those who are not fighting anyone are still
often caught in the middle.

As you enjoy your gifts procured from trips to shopping malls, remember
that it is an act of bravery for an Iraqi to go to the market for food.

We are horrified at the thought of lead-based paint on our children's
toys. Iraqis must worry that their children may play in dust from
depleted uranium ammunition, which will give them cancer, leukemia, and
other diseases, and causes birth defects.

In the garden of peace and good will that is thought to bloom most
beautifully on this holiday, we should remember that an evil weed still
festers, its ugly thorned branches threatening the flowers of hope, the
lush green leaves of love, and the delicate petals of non-violence.

The Neocon policy is war on Earth and ill will to all who disobey
the American Empire.

Those of us who disagree with that should be working to weed the garden,
speaking out emphatically and often, not just on Christmas.

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for December 19, 2007

DATE: 12/19/2007 03:59:58

Weird Truth
When we're lied to for a while, and then the truth begins to come out, it seems weird. And some of it really is. It's amazing what the deceptive can get away with when we're not watching.

The Turks are bombing the Kurds in Iraq, and the government of Iraq, which is desperately trying to appear legitimate and sovereign to its own people, has naturally objected strongly. The US government, which pretends to want the Iraqi government to succeed, is not only not backing it but actually helping the Turks find Kurdish targets.

The Turks, famous for the Armenian genocide, severely repress their own
Kurds and other minorities. if our government were true to American
principles, it would be loudly denouncing Turkey and maybe even guarding
the Iraqi Kurds with our air force. But because Turkish territory is
logistically useful for the Iraq occupation, it does nothing.

Iraqi sovereignty also came under question in the issue of Blackwater's
crimes. In both cases the Bush administration has made it clear that the
Iraq government is only a puppet, insuring that it will not be respected
by its people, so that the turmoil in Iraq will continue, giving Bush a
rationale to continue the occupation.
Karl Rove, infamous for election rigging and other political dirty
tricks, including the Valerie Plame Wilson leak, was also instrumental in
railroading former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. The corrupt
Republican Justice Department conspired to create phony charges against
Siegelman, convict him, then moving him from prison to prison and stalling
paperwork, making it difficult for his lawyers to file an appeal.

Before this miscarriage of justice came a stolen election. Governor
Siegelman, a liberal Democrat, had narrowly won the election, but
Republicans falsified the count in one county to change the result.
Sound familiar? This time someone blew the whistle on the election
fraud conspiracy. They burned her house down.
The neocons are ruthless. Ruthlessness gives them an advantage over the
honest and principled. It is up to us, the voters, to make up for that.
Who would imagine that a Democrat would even think of voting to give
retroactive immunity to the crimes of the telephone companies that
illegally allowed the government access to customer records? Yet it took
a heroic determination to filibuster by Senator Dodd to prevent that from
being passed.

We need to remember which Democrats are willing to defend the
Constitution, and go the extra mile to stop the Bush neocon insanity.
Harry Reid is not one of them.

Once we get the neocon Republicans out of the way, we need to sort out
the Democrats from the Timid-crats.

Depleted Uranium is the gift that keeps on killing.

It will continue to kill and sicken innocent people in Iraq long after
the occupation ends. A National Lead plant in Colonie, NY where depleted
uranium was made into armor-piercing ammunition has sickened and killed
workers and nearby residents. Urine tests of 5 former workers showed
they were still contaminated 23 years after the plant closed, as were 20%
of those who merely lived nearby.

When DU projectiles impact solid targets, a percentage of the DU is
pulverized into an extremely fine dust that is easily airborne and
breathed in whenever the dust is disturbed. Once in the body, it never
A great deal of that dust is still in Colonie, NY, despite Federal
attempts to clean up the area after the plant closed. Children playing
in abandoned fields have had lifelong ill effects. Cancer, brain tumors,
kidney problems, decaying teeth, birth defects, and immune disorders.

DU shells were used in Desert Storm; in Bosnia and Kosovo;
and are being used now in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Studies are being done, but are not yet complete. It appears that US
veterans may not be as affected as residents of the area, but they are
affected. Specific birth defects are higher among children of veterans.
Returning soldiers have only recently been tested, and many have shown
detectable levels years after exposure. There is an organization called
Campaign to Abolish Depleted Uranium. It seems the British are more aware of the problem than the US. Birth defects are up 20% in the Baghdad area. 90% of them do not survive. Deformities include multiple fingers, unusually large heads, unilateral lips or no arms or legs.

The term 'depleted' is misleading. Although DU is less radioactive than
natural uranium, the natural kind is not not concentrated in one place,
and is not found as a fine dust that can be inhaled. It emits alpha particles,
which are most dangerous once they are inside the body.

After the First Gulf War in 1991 the effects of DU were known and
reported in Iraq, and UN studies were requested.
Cancer rates among children almost tripled. Congenital deformities in
Basra increased four-fold from 1990 to 1999. Incidence of cancers of the
breast, thyroid gland and lymphatic system also rose.
Thousands of fish have died at fish farms near Baghdad.
After lobbying from Washington, the U.N. General Assembly
voted against an Iraqi proposal for a U.N.-backed study into the effects
of depleted uranium used in the Gulf War. In addition the US blocked
sending cancer-treatment drugs to Iraq during the embargo.

Is anyone still asking 'Why do they hate us?'

--captain rat

----- -------- AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for December 06, 2007

DATE: 12/06/2007 01:43:12


When I point out that George Bush has once again lied to us, or that he
has said something incredibly stupid, I feel like I am repeating myself,
reporting something boringly obvious, like 'The duck quacked'.

But when I think of it, I realize that an unprecedented disaster has
unfolded over the last 6 years, slowly enough so that many barely
noticed. We have a Presidential administration that has lied to us so
often about so many important matters that now we have come to expect it.

That is a state of affairs that we would be stunned if we could have
predicted it just a few short years ago. It's not that we expect 100%
honesty from politicians, but the last President was impeached over an
absurdly irrelevant lie about his personal sex life. No previous President I have seen or read of in history has come even close to the number of lies
from the Bush administration, not to mention its outright violations of law and the Constitution.

The current lie is that he did not know what US intelligence agencies
have just made public, that Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program years ago, and that it would now be many years before it could build weapons even if it wanted to.

Bush knew this all the time he was making wild accusations against Iran,
and actually threatening war.

Fortunately, it seems that the intelligence agencies have realized that
they work for Americans, and do not exist merely to spin facts for the
neocons. Obviously Bush planned to lie his way into yet another war,
but his reputation is catching up to him, even among those who wanted to
believe him.

In yet another absurdly stupid statement, also intended to deceive. Bush
criticized Congress for not doing anything. What he wants it to do is
appropriate more money for his Iraq occupation-war, which is exactly what
Congress should NOT do. But then he had the nerve to refer to surveys
that say Congress does not have a high approval rating. Of course he did
not mention WHY Congress is down in the polls-- because they have not yet
managed to end the war, nor have they voted to IMPEACH BUSH.

Don't worry, Congresspersons-- if you de-fund the war and get Bush and
Cheney impeached, your rating will go right back up. We might even vote
you the Congressional Medal of Honor.

--captain rat
----- COMMENT:
DATE: 12/10/2007 20:56:17

Nicely put Captain... but perhaps the title should have been "the NUCULAR lie" haha.

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for November 27, 2007

DATE: 11/27/2007 10:40:55


In a transparently obvious attempt to perpetuate policies of occupation, intimidation, and empire beyond his tenure in office, Bush and his co-conspirators have concocted a treaty with their own puppet government in Iraq that calls for large numbers of US troops to stay.

Not satisfied with leaving a huge war debt for future generations to pay off, Bush wants to use a sham treaty to obligate us to continue to kill Iraqis and risk American lives. It is a reprehensible ploy-- another outrageous act in a long series of lies and betrayals of the American people.

Treaties, however, must be ratified by Congress to be valid, and we can certainly hope --and demand-- that they reject this abomination. It should offend not only Congressmen who want to end the occupation and obey the will of American voters, but also all those who believe that international treaties should be honorable agreements between nations, not cheap political tricks by ruthless, power-mad Presidents.

The fact that the Bush Administration has even tried this should show everyone that we need to impeach Bush and Cheney, because we do not know to what other extremes they might go to impose their will on the world. Martial law? Suspend the election? Are we SURE it can only happen in places like Pakistan?

I am concerned about the people of Iraq, upon whom our President has brought undeserved destruction and hardship and humiliation. They are people like us, who yearn to be free to run their own country and to rebuild it, to live in peace, to live without invaders in their midst. We need to let them. It will probably be a long time before most Iraqis will be friends of America, because of what we have done to them. But it is never too late to do the right thing...and stop doing the wrong thing.

Because I am an American, I am even more concerned about our own people. What does it do to us, as a nation and as individuals, to know that in our name our government is committing atrocities in other lands, that it is torturing and imprisoning people without trial, that it attacks and occupies without provocation; that it lies to us and seeks to curtail our freedom?

We were taught as children that we have a fair and equal system of justice, that our inalienable rights are guaranteed, that our nation stood as an example to the rest of the world for honor and for the protection of human rights for all. As we grew older we learned that, although those were our ideals, our country has not been perfect in following them, and it needs the help of many of us to correct its errors and and stay on the right path.

Now, we look around and wonder, 'How did this happen?' Did we turn into a nation of cowards, willing to blindly give up our freedom for a promise of security? No, we are not cowards, but too many were manipulated into fear and hate, and then into accepting ruthlessness. The propaganda was intended to confuse and misinform and maintain fear. It worked.

But though we were victims, we cannot escape the fact that we let it happen. If we don't fix it, how are we going to explain freedom and justice to our children? How do we teach them to treat one another with kindness and respect when our government kills, maims, tortures, and intimidates without reason or logic?

--captain rat

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for November 20, 2007

DATE: 11/20/2007 02:17:15


The Bush Administration has done so many things wrong that it is hard to keep track of them all. A complete list of just the impeachable crimes-- the violations of the Constitution and US law, would fill many pages. And then there are dozens, if not hundreds of actions which may be technically legal but were done to suppress and intimidate opposition, out of mean-spiritedness, or out of incompetence and stupidity.

There is Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi Associated Press photographer, who has been imprisoned for 19 months without charges. The military keeps changing the allegations and claiming their evidence is 'classified', making it difficult for AP lawyers to construct a defense.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has reported 7 similar cases of the US military detaining Iraqi journalists without charges.

About 14,000 people have been detained by the U.S. military worldwide, 13,000 in Iraq. Few are ever charged or given a chance to clear themselves of accusation.


Not only does our government disrespect and deny human rights of others throughout the world, but it actually operates a school for tyrants and ruthless counter insurgents.

Since 1946 the US has operated a training center for foreign nationals. Originally located in Panama, called the Latin American Training School, Ground Division, it was moved to Ft. Benning, Georgia in 1984 and renamed School of the Americas. It students mainly come from Latin American countries and are trained in counterinsurgency tactics.

Its students, according to a UN Commission report, have become some of the most brutal and deadly violators of human rights in Central and South America. In 2001 it was renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or WHISC, and due to negative publicity it was ordered to offer courses in human rights and democracy, which are largely ignored.

Check out
School of the Americas Watch for more information. The SOA/WHISC needs to be permanently abolished.

And of course policies of trying to control Latin American nations by installing vicious tyrants like Pinochet, wreaking havoc as in Columbia, or vilifying popular progressive leaders who resist economic domination, need to stop.

It should be obvious by now even to some of the neocons that the PNAC plan for an American Empire has only succeeded in making us more enemies and earning the distrust of our allies.

Chile is once again a democracy. Pinochet's former hit squad members have had to find jobs elsewhere. Some are now employed by BLACKWATER, along with some South Africans who can no longer find work enforcing apartheid. At $100,000 a year and up, they're probably better off than before.

One might wonder why the State Department decided to hire these mercenaries. The explanation Condi Rice gives for not using regular military guards makes no sense. Perhaps the Bush administration feels it needs its own hit squad.

.--captain rat

----- -------- AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for November 14, 2007

DATE: 11/14/2007 02:53:20

Iraq: A War to Remember

Wars always get remembered long after they're over. The memories of those who suffered, those who grieved, and those who had to kill and watch friends die-- those memories last a lifetime. Historians write down the details, and they try to understand them, and they never really do, because they never make sense.

But this particular war will leave much to remember, perhaps even more than bigger, more widespread wars of the past. Several things were different about this one.

It is the first time America invaded and occupied a nation that was at peace, for no legitimate reason. We have certainly fought mistaken wars before, but this one was premeditated and unprovoked.

It is the first time our government has used torture as a matter of policy to interrogate prisoners.

It is the first time the US has used mercenaries. As we have begun to learn, there are good reasons why that was a bad idea.

This war will be remembered for generations for the long-term effects of depleted uranium ammunition. The shortened lives, the birth defects, which right now are buried by news of rampant killing, will eventually be well documented as yet another cruel American policy.

And of course Americans will remember the war for quite some time, because we will be paying for it. Including interest, because it is being 'financed', it will cost us 2.4 trillion dollars by 2017.

If we default on the payments, could we get our war repossessed? Ah, if it were only that easy. Our President, and his co-conspirators need to be dispossessed. They have turned our nation into a monster, feared and hated throughout the world.

The occupation of Iraq needs to be immediately defunded and brought to an end. The people of Iraq are unlikely to want any Americans left there, but we should pay reparations so they can rebuild their own country. This war cannot be undone, but it can be stopped. Then we can begin to restore America as a nation with values.

--captain rat

----- --------

Entry for October 23, 2007

DATE: 10/23/2007 02:00:26


Pete Stark, a congressman from California, expressed it strongly and well:
You don't have money to fund the war or children, but you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President's amusement.
That's right-- a President who has spent over 462 billion dollars and plans to spend much more attacking and occupying an innocent nation has NO RIGHT complaining about spending. Yet he vetoed children's health care.

Meanwhile, the State Department doesn't know what it received for a billion-dollar contract with DynCorp International to provide training services for Iraqi police. And it doesn't seem likely it can find out.

As if civil liberties and privacy were not threatened enough, the Governator of California has gotten a law passed against people smoking in their own cars if their children are riding with them. How idiotic! Have they never heard of opening a window? Does that apply to open convertibles too? This law will do nothing except divert police from real crime and harrass innocent citizens.

Intolerance can happen anywhere, including right here in America. But in Turkey, it seems to be a national pastime. The Kurds, a 20% minority, are not even allowed to speak their own language or speak of their national identity. They can be charged with crimes of opinion. And Turkey not only refuses to admit its past genocide against Armenians, but doesn't want anyone else to acknowledge it either. If their regime has any use, it is to show the world how ugly a bigoted police state can be. Congress should recognize officially the genocide, and call the Turks what they are.


Putin, the Russian president, has publicly pointed out the international crime of of the US attack and occupation of Iraq, for control of the oil.

That was a simplification, of course. It was the petro-dollar, and the neocon drive to control, conquer, and profit. But, essentially, he was right. The world knows it, and the American people know it.

Putin, of course, is no angel himself, but that does not mean that Russia does not have a valid concern about US interference in other nations' affairs. And, if Bush will not listen to the American people, perhaps he will pay attention to the head of a still-powerful nation.

Ironic, isn't it, that the people of a supposedly democratic nation may need the help of another nation to stop our own warmongering President?

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for October 06, 2007

DATE: 10/06/2007 21:37:30

The human predators who prey on human rights, who feast on power and hunger for more, who spend human lives as easily as they spend tax dollars, can be especially dangerous as the tide turns against them. As they become desperate to avoid a disgraceful exit from public life and impending prosecution for their crimes, they may seek to again re-make reality.

An ominous sign is the increasing anti-Iran propaganda spewing from the Bush administration, complete with false 'intelligence' reports. We must clearly remember that the same tactic was used to deceive Congress into allowing the invasion of Iraq. It would be wise to anticipate the staging of a terrorist attack to be blamed on Iran, and/or to be used as a pretext for declaring a national emergency, and possibly martial law.

Though this may seem to be an extreme scenario to consider, there have been so many unprecedented and outrageous deceptions and violations in the last six years that we should be on guard for more. Can you say 'I won't get fooled again'?

It will be interesting to see how the Burma repression is handled. Though Bush has spoken against it, one suspects that he secretly admires the power of the military government. He should order Chevron to shut down its part of the natural gas operation there, and request that Total, the French company, do likewise. But will he? If not, Congress should.

It is not yet time to relax. We must stand firm on denying Iraq war/occupation funding, restoring the Constitution, and watching out for new deceptions. Remember the 2-word lesson of history we should know well: Bush lies.

--captain rat

----- COMMENT:
DATE: 10/11/2007 09:49:33

Declaration for All Life on Earth
The earth is an evolving living entity. Every form of life on earth is an important part of this living entity. Accordingly, we, as individual human beings, must cultivate the awareness that we are all members of a global community of life and that we share a common mission and responsibility for the future of our planet.

Every one of us has a role to play in the evolution of our planet, and to achieve world peace each of us must live up to our responsibilities and obligations. Up to the present time, few people on earth have been fully satisfied with life. We have faced conflicts all over the world in competition for limited resources and land. This has had a devastating effect on the global environment.

As we enter the new millennium, more than anything else, the realization of world peace depends on an awakening of consciousness on the part of each individual member of the human race. Today, it is imperative that every human being bears the responsibility of building peace and harmony in his or her heart. We all have this common mission that we must fulfill. World peace will be achieved when every member of humanity becomes aware of this common mission-when we all join together for our common purpose.

Until now, in terms of power, wealth, fame, knowledge, technology and education, humanity has been divided between individuals, nations and organizations that have possession and those that do not. There have also been distinctions between the givers and the receivers, the helpers and the helped.

We hereby declare our commitment to transcend all these dualities and distinctions with a totally new concept, which will serve as our foundation as we set out to build a peaceful world.


In the new era, humanity shall advance toward a world of harmony, that is, a world in which every individual and every nation can freely express their individual qualities, while living in harmony with one another and with all life on earth. To realize this vision, we set forth the following guiding principles:

1. Reverence for life

We shall create a world based on love and harmony in which all forms of life are respected.

2. Respect for all differences

We shall create a world in which all different races, ethnic groups, religions, cultures, traditions and customs are respected. The world must be a place free from discrimination or confrontation, socially, physically and spiritually-a place where diversity is appreciated and enjoyed.

3. Gratitude for and coexistence with all of nature

We shall create a world in which each person is aware that we are enabled to live through the blessings of nature, and lives in harmony with nature, showing gratitude for all animal, plant and other forms of life.

4. Harmony between the spiritual and material

We shall create a world based on the harmonious balance of material and spiritual civilization. We must break away from our overemphasis on the material to allow a healthy spirituality to blossom among humanity. We must build a world where not only material abundance but also spiritual riches are valued.


We shall put these principles into practice guided by the following:

As individuals:

We must move beyond an era in which authority and responsibility rest in nation states, ethnic groups and religions to one in which the individual is paramount. We envision an "Age of the Individual"-not in the sense of egoism, but an age in which every individual is ready to accept responsibility and to carry out his or her mission as an independent member of the human race.

Each of us shall carry out our greatest mission to bring love, harmony and gratitude into our own heart, and in so doing, bring harmony to the world at large.

In our specialized fields:

We shall build a system of cooperation in which wisdom is gathered together to derive the most from technical knowledge, skills and ability in various fields, such as education, science, culture and the arts, as well as religion, philosophy, politics and economics.

As the young generation:

In the 20th century, parents, teachers and society were the educators of children, and the children were always in the position of being taught. In the 21st century, adults shall learn from the wonderful qualities of children, such as their purity, innocence, radiance, wisdom and intuition, to inspire and uplift one another. The young generation shall play a leading role in the creation of peace for a bright future.

May Peace Prevail on Earth!

The Declaration for All Life on Earth was launched on 30 September 2000 at Nippon Budokan, Tokyo on the occasion of the Creating a Culture of Peace-World Peace Celebration 2000 event. This major Celebration has been designated by UNESCO as a Flagship Event for the International Year for the Culture of Peace. Supported by The Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNESCO Headquarters and The United Nations University, the Creating a Culture of Peace - World Peace Celebration 2000 was presented by THE GOI PEACE FOUNDATION in cooperation with The World Peace Prayer Society. More than 10.000 guests have attended that Celebration, among them members of the Imperial Family and more than 90 Ambassadors and Representatives to Tokyo.

For more information about the Declaration for All Life On Earth and The Goi Peace Foundation, please visit our website at

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for September 24, 2007

DATE: 09/24/2007 08:07:01

Blackwater Exposes Bush
The crisis over Blackwater's crimes in Iraq has caught the Bush administration in yet another lie. If Iraq were really a sovereign nation, the notorious hired guns would have been expelled, as Iraq requested, and the right of Iraq to investigate and prosecute crimes in their own nation would be unquestioned.

But that has not been the case. Instead it appears that the administration is admitting that they lied. Iraq's government is a puppet state, no more independent or sovereign than North Dakota.

We can see the exposed farce clearly now, and so can the people of Iraq.

Right on, Move On!
Criticized for telling the truth, deserves our support. Timid Democrats (should we call them 'Timocrats'?) should have sincerely thanked them for proclaiming that it is not only our power-mad President that has betrayed us, it is also every officer or official that lies for him, makes excuses for him, or aids and enables his unjustified occupation and his domestic attacks on our Constitution.

'I was just following orders' is not a valid defense.

I suggest that every lover of peace and liberty visit's site and thank them for speaking out courageously.

--captain rat

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for September 18, 2007

DATE: 09/18/2007 03:13:30


The press, as we call it, consists of all media that report news, not just in printed form. Free people need a free press. Perhaps freedom is not enough, though, if major news sources simply decline to do their job.

In years past it would have been unthinkable that major news outlets would ignore or minimize any event of national significance. On September 15 there was a very large demonstration in Washington DC against the occupation of Iraq. Estimates run from 10,000 to 100,000 people, though there is no official count. Although it was shown on CSPAN, it was not even covered by the major networks. Articles in various newspapers implied that about 1000 'pro-war' counter-demonstrators were a significant confrontation, though they numbered only 1% to 10% of those in the main event.

On network TV, including CNN, instead of live coverage of the demostration, or investigative reporting exposing the recent phony reort on Iraq, or analysis of the latest threat to our civil rights...what we get is O.J. Simpson, or another naughty celebrity of the week-- endless repetitive trivia.

Whether this is a result of an orchestrated corporate muzzle or just the sum of many instances of corporate thinking: a don't-rock-the-boat attitude, it amounts to an abdication of the responsibility, and a breach of the trust that should belong to the bringers of news, the searchers for truth, that should be an indispensable link between the people and democracy and freedom.

At least we got the story on Blackwater, though I'm sure the administration would like to supress that, too. Just the initial facts raise some interesting questions. Would the Iraqi government want Blackwater out if this latest incident were the only grievance they had about the mercenaries? If they are not subject to Iraq law, and they are not in the military, who are they accountable to? If Iraq now has a soverign elected government, why is the US decree exempting the mercenaries still valid? Doesn't that mean that Iraq is much more of a puppet state than Bush would like to admit? And what, besides being bodyguards for the State Department, is an army of mercenaries being used for?

Oh, yes, and we might be interested in knowing just how much of that 'support the troops' funding goes to pay Blackwater salaries. Let's see what the press does with that.
--captain rat

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for September 05, 2007

DATE: 09/05/2007 03:17:35

Recently I wrote my Congressman, Ed Pastor of Arizona to urge him to help with the effort to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney. I had hoped that as a Democrat he would favor impeachment and understand the importance of doing so. His response was disappointing. Although opposed to Bush administration actions and policies, he stated he didn't think there was sufficient 'proof' of impeachable crime.

I believe that what he meant was that there are not enough votes to impeach yet. That may be true, but that should not be allowed to impede the effort. It should only result in the highest priority on gaining more support for it, and in publicizing and presenting the Articles of Impeachment to the American people and to the entire world.

It is understandable to be cautious about the use of impeachment, so that it is not used for frivolous and entirely partisan reasons, as the Republicans did against Clinton. But no President has ever committed as many, and as serious, criminal acts as has George W. Bush. No previous President has ever been as dangerous to our Constitutional system of democratic government and justice. The danger continues and increases as long as Bush and Cheney are allowed to hold office.

A description of the wrongs done by the Bush administration could, and will, fill many books. Many of them may not yet be clearly known, and will require years of investigation. But there are several known and well-defined crimes that form an unquestionably valid basis for impeachment and conviction.

[1] Providing false information to Congress in order to gain approval to conduct an unprovoked war of aggression against Iraq.

[2] Conducting illegal surveillance on Americans in violation of the FISA Act and contrary to Constitutional protections against search and seizure without warrants.

[3] Detaining and imprisoning Americans and others and depriving them of the rights to an attorney and a speedy and public trial.

[4] Subjecting detainees to physical and mental torture in violation of both US and international treaty law.

[5] Conducting an unprovoked war of aggression against Iraq in violation of international treaty law.

[6] Willful failure to uphold the oath of office by not only failing to defend the Constitution, but striving to subvert and weaken its provisions. This may be defined as treason.

[7] Criminal neglect in failing to properly respond to a natural disaster, hurricane Katrina, causing many needless deaths and continued hardship of the victims long after the event.

[8] Providing false information to the American people regarding the danger from and intentions of other nations and organizations, in order to spread unreasonable fear and in order to suppress criticism.

Each of these charges involve both individual acts and conspiratorial acts between the President, Vice President, Attorneys General, and other members of the Bush administration.

International treaties signed by the United States carry the full force of Federal law.

More charges can certainly be added to these.

Some Democrats seem to believe it is enough to wait until January of 2009 when Bush's term will end. That is far too dangerous. Bush has assumed more power for the Presidency than the Constitution prescribes, and he has already shown that he will act without regard to the will of Congress, the people, or the law. He has already began propagandizing about Iran, laying a groundwork of fabricated intelligence which could easily lead to another war, one that would be devastating to our own country as well as the middle east.

The Bush administration's offenses are so reprehensible that we have nothing in our history to compare them to. To allow them to go unchallenged is an insult to the American people, and an affront to the principles of justice and liberty that we proclaim to the world.

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for August 18, 2007

DATE: 08/18/2007 21:35:50

If I've told you once, I've told you a million times: don't exaggerate!

Seriously, when conveying information about the current US political situation, the truth is enough. Adding exaggeration or speculation doesn't really motivate more people, and only detracts from credibility.

Certainly there are more than enough provable facts to justify impeachment of both Bush and Cheney, and every reason to proceed in order to prevent further crimes.

Speculation, of course, is a useful tool in investigating connections and motives, but it must be separated from the resulting factual conclusions. One often finds that there are many small conspiracies, but not one big one. Some like the idea of a physics-style unified field theory, and others have biases that lead them to unjustified conclusions.

Studying history in detail is extremely valuable. The point is not to prove a continuity of control of events over a long period of time, but to establish the tendencies of certain types of groups and individuals to behave in certain ways given similar motives and opportunity.

It enables us to see how much the neocons and their manipulations are like the Nazi party in Germany. Recognizing the symptoms, as they become more evident and ominous, perhaps we can act to stop it. That the Bush family has been involved in both says much about Bush 'Family Values', but does not explain the causes.

Is the NAU part of a plot? Certainly if is controlled by the Bush administration or any group of neocons, or if it evolves into a governmental entity without democratic control, it could be dangerous. But the Bush administration is already dangerous and proven to be harmful. For that matter, the US government has proven to be harmful to many foreign nations and people for decades, especially, but not only, under Republican Presidents. The answer is not to dismantle the US government, but to repair and restore it to work as it was designed.

As for non-governmental organizations, we need to investigate and determine their influence, but it is ultimately our elected officials who must make decisions, and regaining popular control of them is the way to remove undue corporate power.

To concentrate too much attention on side issues, especially with the irrelevant speculations about highway width and international currencies, only distracts from and impairs the credibility of the main focus.

I especially appreciate those like
Cosmic Rose who research and report the details of history that have been under-reported, hidden by government secrecy, and left out of history textbooks so as to give young people an unrealistic positive view of the past and the resultant present. Millions of people who never went beyond high school and never became curious enough to seek out the truth are still viewing political issues with inadequate and inaccurate information.

In analyzing information, it is best not to be too ready to make logical leaps beyond what the facts prove. There are those who encourage such theories in order to sell divisive messages of hate. We should avoid such traps.

--captain rat

----- COMMENT:
DATE: 08/19/2007 02:08:03

Well said and insightful as always.Your keen and profound analysis of the political situation both in the country and the world, short , but deep and exact observations of the world history, the importance of studying it, your great concern about future generations, your peaceful attitude seeking the truth show that today there is no place to be neutral about certain things. No sitting on the fence. Take care. A.

----- -------- AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for July 22, 2007

DATE: 07/22/2007 17:58:27

We're still waiting for impeachment.
The longer we have to wait, the greater the danger to our Constitution and to the world.
The Bush administration continues to try to make us afraid of Muslim terrorists. What we really need to fear is Bush and Cheney and their co-conspirators. It is unwise to wait for the next election. That would allow time for the President to purposely stage or allow a major 'terrorist' attack in the US, and/or start a war with Iran. A declaration of martial law and suspension of the election is also a possibility.

Every American should read the following
Executive Order to Seize Funds
signed on July 17. Notice how broadly it could be interpreted and applied to almost anyone who is against Bush's Iraq policy. For an analysis, see Criminalizing the Antiwar Movement by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky.

It makes sense to impeach Cheney first, then Bush, to avoid the chance of Cheney becoming President for any longer than it takes to probe Bush's rectum.

We must keep in mind that Bush has lied about nearly everything, and he shows no signs of stopping. Mainstream media cannot be relied on to uncover and report the truth.
We must seek it out ourselves, and learn to recognize propaganda when we see it.

Here are some other places to look.

----- COMMENT:
DATE: 08/07/2007 00:26:57

dude where does staph(sars) come from? bat shit in china how did it get here hmmm then we got west nile mad cow hmmm bush who ,,,bullshit who, not here ,bro do your home work staph showed up with what dude hint, hint, brickwash lol 4 real too, you get it for life and its contaigous for @ 7 yrs now,started that 20 yr. asswhoopin suphurics how old hmmm dude websearch staph, i'm not bush and the answer is fuckin real too dude i'm mean fix that shit goodluck dude btw iran got pissy when it got fixed and we don't need them over here blowin shit up is bush po'ed,yep!!! r u ?probably now!!!best i know,for sure,i know i just hooked u up. -----

-------- AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for July 12, 2007

DATE: 07/12/2007 05:20:16


Every time I hear the army recruiting radio and TV ads I feel angry. 'If your son or daughter wants to talk about joining the army, listen...'

At least they're right about that part--listen
, and then try your very best to talk them out of it!

People join the military for various reasons: education, training, experience; financial need. But most of them also believe they are serving an honorable purpose, whether in peacetime or war. They, like most Americans, are willing to defend our country if need be.

When, instead, they find themselves misused to attack another nation without provocation and attempt to keep them in subjugation, not to defend America but to further the imperial aims of authoritarian leadership and secure huge profits for corporate interests, they have little choice but to obediently betray the very principles and ideals they pledged to defend.

This is no time to join the military. It is no time to stand by complacently while your sons and daughters join the military. It is not a matter of the danger they would face-- it is that their lives are being risked for wrongful purposes.

The recruiting commercials speak of 'making them strong'. What is more important than physical strenth is the belief in the principles of freedom and justice and the moral courage to resist authority when necessary. If you have taught your children that, then they know the answer already: JUST SAY NO!

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for June 27, 2007

DATE: 06/27/2007 12:45:51

Does America have democracy?
In theory, we do, but does it actually work? Can the will of American voters actually change anything that is really important?
The record of our government of the people, by the people and for the people is rather dismal, actually. Liberty and justice for all? Sure, unless someone calls you a terrorist, or a communist, or you belong to the wrong minority group.

I like to think, and say, that the will of the people does matter. We stopped the Vietnam war. True, but it took far too long. To the extent that those in power bother to propagandize us, we still matter, but now that propaganda has stopped working...we still have troops in Iraq. When the President doesn't even bother to make his lies halfway believable, we need to worry.

The history of the CIA shows that most of the time we don't even know what our government is doing until later, and wouldn't have liked it if we did.

Still, the will of the people matters, no matter what our real form of government. If voting doesn't work, we'll just have to find something that does.

Stopping the Vietnam war was not done with votes. It was done by organizing large numbers of people to hold peace marches, demonstrations, and other events including civil disobedience, demanding the attention of the media, which in turn got the attention of Congress.

Voters then were unable to clearly express their will. The anti-war candidate most likely to win, Robert Kennedy, was murdered. The war had been escalated by a Democrat, Lyndon Johnson, and it was hard to trust his Vice President, Hubert Humphrey, to end it. Richard Nixon said he had a plan to end the war. He lied; he continued it even more viciously for years.

Marches and demonstrations are backed by the power of future ballots. Beyond that, they express the desire of the people to act as well as speak. There is always the question: if their peaceful demonstrations are ignored, what might they do next?

We must remember that, whether our democracy works effectively or not, we are still ultimately responsible for what our government does, whether we approved it or not.

Those in military service should know that, whether or not you are legally responsible for your actions when you follow an order, you are still morally responsible. There should be no such thing as unquestioning obedience. It is not always easy to know what is right; it is simpler to let others decide. But letting others decide sometimes results in our killing fellow human beings for no real reason, and having to live the rest of our lives with the memory of having done that. Sometimes it is courageous and right to fight and to kill. Other times it may take even more courage to say: NO, I will not.

If we want a government we can be proud of, we must do much more than just vote. We all need to learn how it really works, what parts need repair, and how to fix it right. Democracy or not, no one is going to fix it for us.

----- COMMENT:
DATE: 07/08/2007 09:18:20

Hey!!!! There were more Americans like you, there would be love, peace , truth in the world!!! You are great! Also I like your outlook , your outrageous look and the tattoos!!! Wow!!!!!! Alina

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for June 11, 2007

DATE: 06/11/2007 12:06:53

How do politicians convince us to allow them to start a war?

Normally, despite any prejudices some people have, I think most people have at least a vague realization that people everywhere are very much like us in the basic important ways, wanting peace and opportunity to earn food, clothing, and shelter for themselves and their families. Most of us have no desire to disrupt the lives of people elsewhere, and if we think about them at all, would wish them well. In fact, when there is a natural disaster, many throughout the world offer to help.

Few of us are unaware of the effects of a war on the people of a country where it is being fought. Although we have not experienced it in our own time, we can imagine how we would feel, and perhaps what we might do, if we were invaded by a foreign power.

So, how is it that we are talked into doing this to other people? Of course, we are not asked directly whether we approve. Our elected Congress is there to approve or disapprove, thoretically to represent us in that decision. Does election to office somehow separate many of those representatives from their humanity?

What happened to the principle that war is a last resort, a response only to actual military aggression from the other side? Evidentally that was forgotten by a majority of Congress.

This is not just because a majority were Republicans. Though they have been stupidly loyal to the Bush administration, and they tend to favor the rich over the working class, the Republican party is not always pro-war. And many Democrats who should have been much more skeptical, weren't.

Two major factors that resulted in allowing the invasion of Iraq were a carefully orchestrated climate of fear and a finely-tuned campaign of anti-Muslim propaganda.

From the beginning, in the response to 9/11, repetitive use of the words terror and terrorist, and exaggerating the threats posed, the Bush administration promoted and maintained a high level of fear in the public. This helped enable the dilution of Constitutional rights and principles of justice in the 'Patriot Act', and made it much easier to portray an already defeated and weakened country as something to be afraid of.

Sowing prejudice against Muslims was tricky. Violence against Muslims domestically had to be minimized, but most foreign Muslims could be painted as part of an evil anti-Christian violent conspiracy. They were said to be against freedom, and it was implied that they had no rational motive for hating us, leading to the conclusion that the only solution was to attack and destroy them.

It is frightening to think that a nation of people can be so easily manipulated to accept authoritarianism and war against their natural inclinations.

One wonders if the results might have been different if the people directly had to decide on such very important matters as permitting a war or allowing their freedom to be curtailed.

If we personally had to vote to send bombers and soldiers to kill hundreds of thousands of strangers, might we put more thought into it?

As it is, many more people, Americans and Iraqis alike, are dying every day that the occupation continues. As it is, the Congress we elected to end the occupation is not doing enough to stop it.

--captain rat

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for May 22, 2007

DATE: 05/22/2007 12:17:50

What does 9/11 really mean? Does it really matter who did it?

I strongly suggest everyone read the article at the above link. Read the whole article carefully, and think about it.

The article I linked to above makes a very important point. On one hand, I believe that the truth matters very much, especially when the administration gives us so little of it, while it has done so many things so very wrong. It is important for all of us to learn as much of the truth as possible.

But on the other hand, right now it doesn't really matter who planned and executed the 9/11 attacks. It doesn't even matter that they happened at all! Whether members of the Bush administration engineered them, let them happen, or just got incredibly lucky, is irrelevant to what is happening NOW.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the systematic weakening of the Constitutional rights of Americans and of human rights worldwide, are neither a result of nor a response to the 9/11 attacks. A real and tragic crime has been turned into one of the most effective advertising gimmicks ever.

The sensible response to terrorism is to refuse to be afraid, yet Americans were manipulated into being very, unreasonably, afraid-- so much so that we willingly relenquished the liberty and justice our Constitution guarantees, and allowed an an unprovoked attack on an uninvolved and nearly defenseless country.

Aggression in the middle east has been calculated to increase terrorism, not stop it. The Bush administration needs a constant threat to justify its policies. If it can't stir up credible threats by keeping troops in Iraq, it will make up new ones, like the totally unjustified confrontation with Iran.

As much needless death and destruction as the Iraq invasion and occupation has caused, it was only part of the plan. The next step may be to start a real war, probably with Iran. Unlike Iraq, Iran is not defenseless. We would take heavy losses. It would require a major mobilization of resources, and a draft. If they can make the war scenario believable, they may hope to elect a Republican President, but if they cannot, it may still be difficult for any President to end such a war quickly.

It is unwise to underestimate the adversary. We like to think of our government as a representative democracy, and politics as being conducted by certain rules. But we must also take into account the influence of money and of the threat of lethal force. Neither are the least bit democratic, yet their effect is often overwhelming.

There are politicians that are idealistic enough, and perhaps wealthy enough, to resist the influence of money. But have any of them forgotten the fate of John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy? It is going to require real courage as well as conviction and understanding of the extent of the problem.

To make real changes to the destructive enemy-generating foreign policies, the next administration, with the help of Congress will need to rid itself of every neoconservative in the State Department and other positions of influence. Given the danger now lurking in the Executive Branch, it would be wise to start now, with impeachments.

The kid glove approach has obviously not worked well. If our calls, letters, email, and poll responses are not enough to express the will of the people, perhaps we need to march and demonstrate in the tens and hundreds of thousands, until it becomes clear.
America has many issues to take care of, but priorities demand that nothing else needs to be done until the occupation is ended, aggression toward other nations is ended, and our Constitutional rights are restored.

~~captain rat

----- -------- AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for May 06, 2007

DATE: 05/06/2007 01:57:13


Many of us are already paying close attention, but I said that because, more than ever before, we are being constantly lied to by the neoconservative Bush administration. Despite the election of and efforts by a Democratic majority, the struggle to restore peace and the American Constitution is not over.

The Bush administration continues to mischaracterize the violent and unwanted occupation of Iraq as a war on terrorists. It never was, nor is it now. Even some Democratic Congressmen are confused. The willingness of the neocons to lie in the face of obvious truth is an insidious tactic. It often works.

They are even trying to defend the Vietnam war, which was a disastrous mistake like Iraq, though far more deadly. Some 50,000 Americans and even more Vietnamese died because of that unnecessary war. Hundreds of thousands of Americans struggled long and hard to end it. When we did, we thought 'Never again!'

Vietnam was escalated mostly as a series of mistakes, but Iraq was planned and fabicated well before September 11.

The administration still speaks of winning and losing, though those concepts are totally irrelevant to Iraq. The Iraqis did not invite us, do not want us, and resent us more than ever for what we did to their country. We have inflicted more harm there than Sadaam ever did. We need to leave. It is not a matter of losing. It is admitting a mistake, and doing the only thing we can do to correct it.

The other part of our struggle must be to restore our Constititution. We have been told that those denied the right of habeus corpus, denied attorneys, denied fair trials, and tortured are only dangerous terrorists. This is another lie. Many of them are innocent. We won't know how many until they are allowed fair trials. As long as unconstitutional treatment of suspects is allowed, none of us are safe from mistaken injustice. And, America will still be known, not as a just and democratic nation but as a danger to liberty and justice throughout the world.

Those of us who try to inform others, and those in Congress who are trying to make things right-- some of us may be liberals, some libertarians, some true conservatives like Barry Goldwater, some Republicans like Dwight Eisenhower-- none of that matters. We just want our country back. We've always been proud of America's freedom and justice for all. We want it back.

Those who consider themselves conservative Christians-- America is the land of religious freedom. Let us agree to keep it that way.

You, too, have been lied to. You can see how little the Bush administration values human life; how little it values honesty. It is not about spiritual values of any kind. It is about the money, and the power. Whatever else we may disagree about, I don't believe that any real Christian can be in favor of killing many thousands of innocent people needlessly, based on lies.

We need to make clear the difference between supporting the troops and supporting the occupation. It may be necessary for Congress to refuse funding in order to end the occupation. Bush has vetoed the recent funding bill because it threatens his power to disregard the will of the people. Something must be done to stop him.

Yes, we would like this all to go away. But never in our nation's history have the people faced an administration so determined to defy the Consititution and to ignore the laws and principles of our nation. We must continue to pay close attention. And remember.

--captain rat

----- COMMENT:
DATE: 05/06/2007 09:44:31

You know what Captain? I really wish we lived closer to each other. I'd love to go out to eat (or drink, perhaps?) with you and really be able to talk. I think you're awsome. PEACE!!!

----- COMMENT:
DATE: 07/13/2007 04:08:48

Came back to read your speeches - passion for peace, freedom for Iraq, democracy for the US and the world - it is so true! It always comes, but the question is when? As it came to our country - Lithuania 16 years ago. Lithuania was the first country among the other 14 , which belonged to the Soviet Union to declare its Independence.We are proud of it. We did everything what was in our civil powers to tell the Parliament ( Seimas ) of the country to sing this Declaration of Freedom and Independence. Yes, thousands and thousands of civilian people stood day and night in cold weather then demanding those in power to sign the Declaration and pronounce it to the whole world. Lithuania was alone then, the Soviet millitary powers surrounded all the most important strategical centres, as TV tower, the Parliament, main industrial centres , radio stations , but wherever they went they met peaceful crowds of people there , who were ready to die , but once and forever to end that Soviet regime in our peaceful , independent country. The Soviet tanks were roaring day and night, they came as close as a metre from the crowds , but the people stood silent , armless ready for everything and defend the objects. Lithuania was absolutely alone separated from the world then, radio stations and TV reporters spoke to the world , asking for help, but none came !!!! Some commented as if it were the Soviet Union's inner problems, which will settle down. Due to the nation's demand to sing the Freedom Declaration the Parliament did it! Though you might imagine if you are interested in the world policy , that 16 years ago there were so many colaborants, so many people in the same Parliament, who did not believe it!!! But that was a demand from the bottom! There were very progressive people in power then , too. Moscow was scared of the world to start a milittary attack against Lithuania. The civilians stood day and night for a week until the Soviet tanks and soldiers backed off. We lost 10 people then, they were killed by the Soviet soldiers and one girl appeared under a tank and died. We stood our Freedom up!!! The country of 3.5 million people against the whole huge Soviet Union. Lithuania broke the ice for the other PreBaltic countries to declare their Independence. It was easier for the rest of them, much easier. Today Lithuania belongs to the NATO, Bush is a good friend of our President Valdas Adamkus , who lived and worked as an environmentalist in the States for 50 years. Lithuania is in the EU , too. But this is already a different issue. Keep going , America! Keep going towards the Justice for yourself and the world. Alina

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for April 20, 2007

DATE: 04/20/2007 12:40:06

Insanity As a Natural Disaster

In the aftermath of the mass killings in Virginia, we all agree that the victims and their loved ones deserve all the sympathy and support we can extend. Such events bring extreme media attention, and inevitably questions begin about whether such events can be prevented. While improved knowledge and a better mental health care system might help, we cannot absolutely control potentially violent insanity while maintaining the liberty that the rest of us have the right to expect.

When a disaster of insanity occurs, action is taken to stop it immediately. The deaths of 32 people is a tragedy, but that event is over. The deaths of over 3000 American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis is also a tragedy, and that event continues. The insanity responsible for that is disguised by the status of power and money.

Calling it insanity is neither hyperbole nor exaggeration. I believe Kurt Vonnegut was correct when he pointed to psychopathic personalities in positions of power, perpetuating policies that have dangerous and devastating results for most of mankind. These are individuals without consciences. They are mentally incapable of caring about the consequences of their actions on others.

Those of us with a normal sense of empathy are at a disadvantage. We expect everyone to have a conscience, especially our leaders. When we encounter those who are only pretending to have one, we might assume, when they lie to us, steal from us, and send thousands to their deaths, they are doing it for our own good, or at least that they mean well.

We may feel sorry for these people, but we must pry their hands away from the reins of power, before it is too late.

--captain rat

----- COMMENT:
AUTHOR: Joy, my name is Joy!!
DATE: 04/21/2007 13:29:01

Since I couldn't leave a message on your front page, thought I'd say hi to a fellow Arizonan! Tucson, here.And just a quickie thought--do you know Jordin Sparks who's great on American Idol.My Favorite! from Glendale!!!!! yeahhhh!

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for April 08, 2007

DATE: 04/08/2007 20:03:06

Decoding Obfuscation

In discussing issues, I may sometimes assume too readily that others are equally aware of the complete falsity, logical flaws, and irrelevance of the Bush administration's propoganda with which it seeks to promote and defend its military aggression in the Middle East and its assault on Constitutional liberty and justice in our own country.

I should occasionally reiterate, because out of the mouths of authoritarian neocons and unrepentant Republicans flow a steady stream of words intended to disguise the truth. Obfuscation, otherwise known as bullshit.

Even as we point out the absurdity and injustice of attacking and occupying Iraq because of what appeared to be a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, we hear them saying, 'But we must fight the war on terrorism. If we withdraw, our enemies will think we're weak.'

First, let us remember what it was that initially enraged us about 9/11. It was that it was a seemingly unprovoked attack on innocent civilians. It violated the rules of war. It was against international law, which we, as a civilized nation, believed we supported.

Despite his inability to pronounce the word correctly, Bush labelled the perpetrators 'terrorists'. Since few of us understood their motivation at the time, we went along with Bush's plan to hunt them down wherever they were. Yet soon we saw our own government blatantly breaking the same international law by mounting an unprovoked attack on another country, Iraq, one of the least likely suspects among Muslim nations. We see our government imprisoning people for years without trial and torturing them, also against international law and the US Constitution.

Because of this, it has become hard for the Bush administration to credibly say that we are fighting for freedom, democracy or justice. Of course, they say it anyway.

Fighting terrorists and fighting terrorism are phrases often used interchangably, but they are not the same. Terrorism is a form of warfare used by (1) groups who do not have the resources and numbers to fight a conventional war or (2) governments that want to control or change people in other countries, often covertly, without the expense and committment of conventional warfare.

The first type can be reduced only by learning which of our actions and policies so enrage and frustrate others that they are driven to perpetrate violence that is often self-destructive. In most cases we could eliminate or modify the motivations.
The second type, we must realize, has been a tactic of our own government, and is equally reprehensible no matter who uses it. We must set an example by stopping its use, so we can be credible when we oppose it by others.

When we speak of fighting terrorists, it is often entirely too general. Many divergent groups with quite different agendas and motivations, become labeled terrorists. Those who commit or plan terrorist acts should be pursued, arrested, and tried in a legitimate court. To use the term 'terrorist' meaning 'someone we don't like', and changing the rules of law regarding them only confuses the issue. Of course confusing us, exaggerating the threats; instilling fear, is exactly what the Bush administration has been intentionally doing.

So who is the enemy that we are supposedly fighting in Iraq? Terrorists? If they are attacking our military, they are not, by definition, terrorists. It's called guerrilla warfare. We are the foreign occupying power, and they are Iraqi resistance fighters. The majority of Iraqis want us to leave and believe it is acceptable to kill us. That is exactly the way we should expect them to feel.

It is absurd for us to make demands or set benchmarks for Iraq. The sooner we withdraw, the sooner Iraqis themselves can begin solving their own sectarian and economic problems. All we can do by staying is continue to kill more of the Iraqis that Bush once claimed we were there to help. Since we have already caused the deaths of well over 600,000 of them, how many more will be enough?

----- COMMENT:
DATE: 04/08/2007 20:19:38

NICELY PUT!!! I have noticed the exact same things but I've failed to be able to articulate them as effectively as you have in this blog entry. Cheers.

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for March 15, 2007

DATE: 03/15/2007 12:23:37

Those who have been paying attention to history know that the Iraq invasion and occupation is not the first stupid unnecessary war that the US has fought. Neither was Vietnam. Most wars, when carefully examined, turn out to have been avoidable

World War One is an excellent example. Many merely assume that it was just an earlier version of WW2, but it was quite different. There was no need for the US to become involved in WW1. The American people did not want war. Woodrow Wilson became President on a promise to avoid it. American business interests, along with pro-British and French interests, mounted a propaganda campaign. The sinking of the Lusitania, resulting in over 1000 deaths, was proven to be a staged plot to incite Americans against the Germans. Sounds strangely familiar, doesn't it?

It appears that the Senate is a bottleneck, due to insufficient majority, in directly legislating the end of the war. There is also a threat that Bush will simply ignore any war-limiting appropriations laws that do get passed, just as he has ignored existing laws in subverting justice and civil rights.

Congress needs to pursue all-out investigations of many of the worst abuses of law by the Bush administration, such as conspiracy to commit election fraud, providing false information to Congress and to the people. denying civil rights with illegal invasion of privacy and detention, conducting torture, allowing use of depleted-uranium weapons, with long-term devastating health effects, the corruption and waste involved in no-bid contracts

The Bush administration is not going to respect Congress or the voters, or the law. It never has. Investigations must assemble each and every legal case against it, presenting the evidence clearly to the rest of Congress and the people. Whether this results in impeachment, resignation, or just more cooperation by moderate Republicans against failed Bush policies, it's a worthwhile and necessary approach.

--captain rat

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for February 17, 2007

DATE: 02/17/2007 15:07:44

Why, in the midst of a struggle to end America's destructive occupation of Iraq, do I write of a Constitutional amendment for a national referendum that would take many months to ratify?

Indeed, we, the Congress and the people, must act NOW, with all the strength and determination we can summon, to force our misguided President to cease pursuing his harmful and abrasive course in the Middle East. We must use the tools we have at hand, such as withholding funds for the occupation, and preparing to impeach both Bush and Cheney.

At the same time, we must look further ahead to devise ways to prevent future Presidents from pursuing agendas based on their lust for power, the influence by corporate greed, or their allegiance to extreme and inhuman ideologies.

The power of the President was not as much a danger when the US was not a major world power, and when weaponry was less able to end life on Earth in a day.

The hazards of executive power are not only that a President can start a major war, but that covert actions can be ordered against foreign governments, secret shipments of arms and money can be made, and economic policies can be wielded with devastating effects. Many of the Presidents since WW2 have been guilty of these tactics. In most cases neither the action nor the purpose have been consistent with the principles and sense of justice of most Americans. As a result of these many actions, often unnoticed by Americans but strongly injurious or humiliating to the foreign victims, the level of resentment and hatred toward the US has built up over the years to a critical level. In other words, America has created enemies for itself, not because they threatened us, but because they were inconvenient for influential large corporations.

This is why the people must take control of American foreign policy. The Executive branch has been out of control for decades. This one is just more blatant.

Those who hesitate to cut the funds for the Iraq occupation fear the fictitious Republican rhetoric about not 'supporting the troops'. We must not let that impede us. When funds are cut, the intention of Congress is clear: bring the troops home. It is not to leave the troops there lacking supplies and protection. Perhaps some may think that Bush would do exactly that in an attempt to portray Democrats as betrayers. His record thus far shows he is capable of such tactics, but that would immediately place him outside his Constitutional powers, and I believe even many Republicans would then favor impeachment and conviction.

We must wage peace as vigorously as the warmongers wage war.

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for February 08, 2007

DATE: 02/08/2007 05:14:49

The American system of government was extremely well designed by the authors of the Constitution. Over the years, its protections against domestic tyranny have worked fairly well, evolving gradually to be more inclusive of all classes of people in its guarantees of civil rights.

Perhaps because it did not anticipate the corporation, which drasticaly increased the economic power of large business over individuals, the system has proved vulnerable to the influence of money, increasingly so as the cost of campaigning has risen. As a result, the US has lagged behind many other nations in providing for social welfare.

A more serious problem has become evident. Resulting from a combination of undue corporate influence and the technological transformation of travel, communication, and weaponry, foreign policy has gotten increasingly out of control of the will of the people, and the hazards of that lack of control has increased exponentially.

Occasionally a President will turn out to be unusually stupid, or intoxicated by the power of his office, or both. It may not be possible to prevent that, but better protection against the disastrous misuse of executive power should be put in place.

As we have seen, a Congress with a majority of the President's party is no protection at all, and even an opposing Congress may not be enough. However, if the Constitution were to be ammended to provide for a national referendum on important foreign policy issues, especially any use of force against another nation, and including any hostile threat or action toward any foreign government.

Exceptions would remain for defense against an uprovoked attack that posed an immediate and ongoing threat, and perhaps for UN multinational peacekeeping missions. Otherwise the referendum would be mandatory, and military action forbidden without majority approval.

The consequences of unwise use of American military and economic power have become potentially so much broader and more disastrous that we need this additional safeguard, which will encourage national debate and voter participation in international relations.

The US history of military action is much less honorable than we would like to believe. Our schools teach fantasy versions of justifications of our past Most of our military actions have been driven by the economic interests of large corporations, not by any credible threat to national security.

As voters we have become accustomed to powerlessness to prevent millions of faceless foreigners from being killed, maimed, and impoverished in our name. We have been resigned to being passive consumers of propaganda; we have been lied to so often that we're almost used to it. Many choose to accept the lies because it seems more comfortable to believe we are honorably led.

The truth may be disturbing, but it must be faced. We should have a way to not only hear the truth but to act on it, to use the control that is rightfully ours, to stop the abuses and correct the mistakes.

AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for January 15, 2007

DATE: 01/15/2007 03:34:15

It should be no surprise that Bush plans to defy the expressed will of the American people.

He has never been a fan of democracy in America. He has used the system when it worked for him, abused it with election fraud when he needed to, and will now ignore it for as long as he can. He eagerly claims every conceivable power, including the right to violate the law and the Constitution.

It is also not a surprise that his plan is one which is unlikely to produce an independent, occupation-free Iraq. That is not his real purpose. His vision for the Middle East is not peaceful coexistence, but increased American control of the resources and politics there by intimidation or military force if necessary.

Knowing this, we can avoid asking irrelevant questions, and recognize the lies and empty rhetoric that the Bush administration has been using all along.

Members of Congress are doing a good job of incisively questioning administration officials, making it increasingly clear to everyone, even some Republicans, that Bush must be stopped.

It has not gone unnoticed that, instead of negotiating with Iran and Syria to help bring stability to Iraq, Bush seems intent on provoking a confrontation with Iran. We do not even know for sure they even intend to build nuclear weapons. It's a convenient suspicion, like Iraq's fictitious "WMD's" designed to provide an excuse for an attack. Iran's real "crime" is to be openly defiant of the US, while, at the same time being an oil-exporting nation.

What has not received enough attention is the potentially deadly nature of the Bush plan for Baghdad. American soldiers will not be staying in a secure "green zone" base, but on the streets and in neighborhood police stations. They will be much more vulnerable to attacks by the insurgents and sectarian militias they are sent to eliminate. Sure, there may be 20,000 more troops, but there are 5.7 million people in Iraq, a majority of which approve of killing Americans, and even more who, justifiably, resent our presence.

In other words, there are going to be more American casualties and deaths. Many more. They will also kill and capture militia members, and some innocent civilians who get in the way. They will intensify the hatred Iraqis feel for their American conqurerss and occupiers

Yes, it can get worse, and Bush may have the perfect formula for making it a lot worse, and he will probably try to use that as an excuse to continue the occupation even longer. Unless we stop him.

Support your local Democrat. If you don't have one, support someone else's.

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for December 31, 2006

DATE: 12/31/2006 15:10:19

On December 10, 2006, Augusto Pinochet, former military dictator of Chile, died. Saddam Hussein, who needs no introduction, was executed December 30. The two men have some interesting things in common.

Both of them rose to power with the effective assistance of the United States government.

In 1970, Salvador Allende was elected President of Chile in a 3-way race. Two of the candidates, Allende and Tomic, liberals with similar platforms of economic reform, received 36% and 27% respectively. The third, Allesandri, was a right-wing conservative who got 31%. As a non-majority winner, Allende needed confirmation by the Parliament, which he received, 153 to 35.

Under orders from Richard Nixon, the CIA immediately began plotting to overthrow him. At first they were unsuccessful, and the Chilean economy began to grow and prosper. However, US economic sabotage soon effectively ruined that, while the CIA worked behind the scenes to arrange a military coup. A coup finally succeeded in the fall of 1973, and General Pinochet, the CIA's favorite, appointed himself absolute commander, ending democracy in Chile for the next 16 years.

The junta headed by Pinochet abolished civil liberties, dissolved the national congress, banned union activities, erased Allende's agrarian and economic reforms, imprisoned and tortured at least 29 000, and executed close to 3,200 Chileans.

Though it publicly denounced its abuses, the US supported the Pinochet government with economic and military aid, and the CIA continued to work closely with the Chile secret police, suppressing dissent and carrying out targeted assassinations abroad.

The attitudes expressed by Nixon, Kissinger, Richard Helms, and Gerald Ford were that the Chilean people, because they chose a socialist leader, were not entitled to democracy or human rights.

Saddam began his involvement with the CIA in 1959, in a US-backed attempt to help the Ba'ath Party assassinate General Quassim, of whom they disapproved due to 'Communist ties'. When the attempt failed, the CIA helped Saddam escape, gave him training provided him an apartment in Cairo, where he attended college while in exile. In 1968 the CIA-backed Ba'athists came to power in a coup, and Saddam soon rose to leadership.

Unlike Pinochet, Saddam built a socially progressive economy in Iraq, nationalizing oil production, providing free health and social services, agrarian reform, education, and industrial diversification. In fact, his programs were much like those begun by Allende in Chile.

But despite some success in building a sense of national unity, his popular support was threatened by a growing number of Shiites who opposed the secular nature of his government, and of course the Kurds, who wanted independence, and all the other factional tensions, that we, the American Liberators, have managed to release into unprecedented levels of violent chaos and bloodshed.

Saddam, as we know, suppressed any threat or perceived threat to his power ruthlessly, often with excessive force and cruelty. Like, Pinochet, as long as his rule served American interests, he got our military and economic support. In his case ideology was less important than his secularization of government, which, it was assumed, would make Muslim nations easier to deal with.

The Shiite majority, however, wanted more theocracy in their autocracy. Saddam feared the influence from the Shiite-led revolution in Iran, which was the motivation for the eight-year war. The war was Saddam's first great blunder. It accomplished nothing, and depleted Iraq's economy severely. He might well have lost the war if it were not for US assistance.

The economic problems from the war led to the attempt to annex Kuwait, Saddam's second major mistake, though it was partly due to a US diplomatic blunder. He was led to believe that the US would remain neutral. It was not until after he had invaded that he learned of the strong opposition.

True, when faced with an obviously superior force, he should have backed down, saving his nation from over a decade of poverty and humiliation, and probably from the even worse, though unpredictable, disaster to follow. Why didn't he? If he had, would he still be in power today? One cannot say.

Two dictators dead in December 2006. Both were brought to power by the US to serve American interests. Pinochet died of natural causes, which disappointed many Chileans who wanted him tried and convicted of his crimes. Saddam was deposed and captured by the US and obediently tried and hanged by the government we created to replace him.

In the Iran-Iraq war 500,000 Iranians and 375,000 Iraqis were killed or wounded. In Desert Storm 378 of the coalition forces (not including 235 American non-battle-related deaths),and 25,000 Iraqis were killed, and 1000 (not including the 183,000 Americans disabled by Gulf War Syndrome) and 75,000, respectively, wounded. That is a total of 1,159,613 casualties, as a result of American intervention in just one country, Iraq, not counting Iraqi victims of Saddam, well before the current invasion/occupation.

Is anyone still surprised that much of the world despises America as a terrorist nation? Can we finally see that we must STOP trying to control the world?

We need to leave Iraq post haste, but we must also change our foreign policies and the past and present means of implementing them in order to permanently improve our relationship with the world.

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for December 18, 2006

DATE: 12/19/2006 02:51:12

The effort to end our occupation of Iraq will not be easy. A Congressional majority is not enough, by itself, to get it done.
Each branch of government has its strengths and weaknesses. The new Congress must use every political strategy it can, without reservation, to force an end the the Bush administration's disastrous foreign policy, and we, the people, need to support them fully in this.

Removing the funding for the Iraq occupation is the most effective tool of the legislative branch. It was ultimately the way the Vietnam war was stopped when Richard Nixon attempted to continue wreaking senseless death and destructon in Southeast Asia.

Congressional leaders will need to clearly explain that cutting funding for the war has nothing to do with the concept of 'supporting the troops', since Bush's meaningless rhetoric to that effect is predictable.

While taking steps to assure both Americans and Iraqis that the troops will be withdrawing in short order, it is vital that we engage in intensive diplomacy with all parties within Iraq and with neighboring nations. This must be done not as an occupying or threatening power, but out of genuine concern for peace and willingness to help each find common grounds for peaceful coexistence according to their own interests. All other issues and conditions that we have raised in the past must be set aside. If Bush is unwilling to allow the State Department to help, then the most able of Senators and Representatives must conduct negotiations independantly.

Nothing would be more satisfying than to immediately impeach Bush and Cheney for their many offenses against the Constitution and Federal law. But without enough votes to convict, it would be a futile gesture. The first order of business is to stop the wrongdoing itself, and work hard to minimize further damage from it.

There will be more than enough to investigate for the next two years, until Bush, Cheney, and the rest are all private citizens and can be charged without impediment with each and every crime.
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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for December 09, 2006

DATE: 12/09/2006 11:42:30

The Baker Report is out of the oven.  Like a cake, especially one baked by a committee of chefs, it is a combination of ingredients, none of which have an overwhelming flavor.
To Bush, who prefers the taste of blood and raw power, it has a bitter flavor indeed, and he finds it hard to digest.
To the rest of us, who knew from the beginning, or realized some time ago, that invading Iraq was a plan doomed to failure, it is a little bland, despite the occasional tasty tidbit of truth it contains.
It does indeed burst the bubble of illusion that Bush has desparately tried to keep inflated, and makes an attempt to rethink the situation, but does not escape from the trap of thinking in terms of winning and losing, success and failure, and of goals and 'credibility'.
It was one small step in the right direction, but we need to keep walking.

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for December 02, 2006

DATE: 12/02/2006 01:39:39

Many aspects of US foreign policy need to be re-examined, re-thought, and corrected.  The leftover policies based on the Cold War, which ended with the dissolution of the USSR, are obsolete and counterproductive.  Policies based on the PNAC approach, which advocates all sorts of manipulation and outright aggression, with a goal of using American power to control the world, must be rejected and consigned to a garbage dump for  historical hazardous waste.

It is not enough to merely correct the most outrageous blunders like the Iraq invasion and occupation, although that DOES need to be done in the most expeditious way possible.
To consider Iraq as merely an error of tactics and execution would be a serious mistake.  Iraq is but one extreme example of an attitude toward foreign relations that would inevitably polarize the world between the US and its reluctant allies against everyone else, insuring that there would always be conflicts and motivation for using terrorist tactics against us.

The problem is not that the US has power, but in the way that it is misused.  Our blatant disrespect for the soveriegnty of less powerful nations is guaranteed to cause resentment.  The actual effects on the people of those smaller countries, whether we are humiliating their leaders by demanding compliance with a unilaterally imposed rule, manipulating and exploiting their economies, meddling in their internal politics, or plunging them into war and chaos, are often devestating.

The US motivation behind the Cold War was not fear of military conquest by the USSR, nor was it sympathy for its people's lack of political freedom.  The fear was that socialism would prove to be successful and would be increasingly adopted by independant nations, which would hamper capitalist opportunities to exploit their resources.  Russian style communism eventually failed on its own, though American economic mnipulation may have hastened its demise.  Meanwhile, the beneficial aspects of socialism were successfully combined with capitalism in most European nations, where there is less irrational fear of compromise.

We no longer have an ideologically opposed major power against which to contend.  There is only a decentralized resistance to our domination and unfair exploitation.  We no longer have the excuse that we are protecting the world from the 'evils' of Marxism.

There is no inherent conflict with Islam.  It is only that Muslims happen to control areas where large amounts of oil are found.  The oil, ironically, produces the friction...or, more precisely, our unwillingness to relinquish  control of the oil trade motivates those  who fabricate and exaggerate the threat posed by Muslims, terrorists, and others who dare to speak out against us. 

America would have a great deal more power to influence the future of the world by exersizing restraint in the use of military and economic force.  By joining the majority of nations who display respect for international law and justice, and by treating all nations as equals, we could lead by example and regain  respect and trust, far more valuable tools than weapons in creating a harmonious and prosperous world.
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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for November 20, 2006

DATE: 11/21/2006 01:58:29

Bush isn't done with attacking our freedom, nor with doing extraordinarily stupid things.  He has appointed as head of the Family Planning Program in the Department of Health and Human Services a man named Eric Keroack, a man who has made a career of telling women that BIRTH CONTROL, as well as abortion, is wrong!  Keroack is medical director of an organization called A Woman's Concern, which is anti-choice, anti-birth-control, and, of course, anti-sex.
Next, I suppose we can expect a Federal bank examiner who has religious objections to usury.  I suppose it would be too much to hope for a pacifist as Secretary of Defense, though.

Keroack is almost as bad a choice as David Hagar, who Bush tried to appoint as chairman of the FDA advisory committee, and did appoint as a member.  Hagar is another evangelical gynecologist who assisted a campaign against RU-486, and gained infamy by preaching "family values", although his ex-wife divorced him for, among other things, repeatedly anally raping her in her sleep.  He did not deny this, but offered the excuse that it felt the same, so he didn't know he was in the wrong orfice.  Now, that's something to think about.

Randi Rhodes, on Air America Radio, recently made an excellent suggestion:  we need a Federal law that prohibits any business or corporation from making a PROFIT from a war.  This would sharply curtail or eliminate corporations lobbying for aggressive foreign policies, and government officials receiving kickbacks from wartime contracts.  After all, if soldiers must risk their lives and limbs, and the taxpayers must support the cost of a war, why shouldn't corporations sacrifice profit, producing what is needed out of patriotic duty instead?  Such a law, if stringently enforced, might make unnecessary wars very rare indeed.

AUTHOR: captainrat23
November 18, 2006

Forced Freedom

Live Free or Die is the motto of New Hampshire.  We can admire the principle behind that statement.  However, it is not quite the same to say to the people of another nation, "Live Free or We'll Kill You".

Those who continue to suggest that we must make Arab and Muslim nations democratic  in order to stop terrorism miss the point in a big way.  Aside from the absurdity of the concept FORCED FREEDOM, does anyone fail to see that the only way to end terrorism is to stop walking all over smaller nations and their people? 
No matter what their form of government, our nation, which we naively like to think of as benevolent, routinely dictates their behavior, and, if they refuse to comply, wreaks all sorts of negative consequences, both economic and military.  This has been going on for years, long before the extreme Bush version.  Should we be surprised at being hated and resented?
True, terrorism is a stupid and counterproductive response, but, from their point of view, we have been terrorizing them for decades.  They probably started off with the polite request "PLEASE STOP!"  I suspect we failed to listen.

So, the Bush response (for which we, the people are partly to blame), has been to become EVEN MORE OFFENSIVE than before.

In 20 years, perhaps, we can look back on all this absurdity and laugh.  Right now, we've got some serious work to do.

AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for November 16, 2006

DATE: 11/16/2006 19:40:51

No, I don't mean the one Moses encountered.  I refer to George II, the current President, as he faces diminishing power under the new majority.  He will pretend to cooperate, but let us not forget that he constantly lies, that he still has the ability to cause further damage, and, like a vicious cornered animal, may strike in unexpected ways. 
He could escalate his disagreement with Iran.  Or, on the home front, his critics could start to suddenly 'disappear'. 
Under an ominous new program ironically called 'New Freedom Initiative', he proposes to screen teenage students for 'mental health'.  What, one wonders, does MENTAL HEALTH mean to a man who claims that God told him to invade Iraq?
The point is, let's not take victory for granted, just because we won Congress.

It seems that the
Aljazeera network
now has an English version, which may (or may not) be available on satellite or cable soon. 
Their website doesn't seem especially slanted, but no doubt they report news you might not hear on American TV.  It's important to hear both sides of the story. One would think that, in the land of free speech and press, that would not be a problem. We do have NPR, PBS, and, in some cities, Air America Radio, but why not go straight to the source?

Speaking of censorship, has anyone else had a problem with international email
?  It seems a friend of mine in Canada is not receiving my messages.  I hope the Department of Homeland Insecurity isn't to blame...or might it be Microsoft?

----- -------- AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for November 15, 2006

DATE: 11/15/2006 11:44:33

To the rest of the world...
To all the peace-loving, thinking people of other nations who, until our recent election, were probably wondering what was wrong with the American people.  How, after witnessing four years of dishonesty, stupidity, disrespect for human rights, human life, international law, and American law; after seeing how dangerous he was to peace, and to the liberty that we so proudly proclaim as our, in 2004, could we have re-elected George W. Bush?

Republican-engineered election fraud and fear-inducing propaganda were factors, but they do not excuse the apathy of so many, and the poor choices of many others.

Those of us who, from the beginning, saw the wrong that was being done, felt betrayed by our fellow voters, and embarrassed by the behavior of our government in the world community.

Finally a majority of us have stood up, determined to restore sanity to our leadership. Our numbers, this time, were large enough to overwhelm the effects of registration tampering, ballot miscounting, and other unethical Republican tactics.

Many of us were motivated by the real threat to our freedom posed by the authoritarian Bush administration, by the needless deaths of our own servicemen and women in Iraq, and by the knowledge that tens of thousands of innocent people in Iraq and elsewhere have been killed, millions of lives have been disrupted, and peace has been destroyed or endangered because of our county's actions.

I hope that a majority of my fellow Americans continue to realize that we are ultimately responsible for the behavior of a nation which can greatly affect the entire world for good or for ill. We need to learn more about the effects of American policies abroad-- not just the current ones, but over past decades, and demand that our representatives correct harmful policies and formulate beneficial ones in the future.

Meaningful, respectful diplomacy, non-exploitative economic cooperation, and a committment to peace are in the interest of Americans as well as the rest of the world. Those who profit from injustice, war, and chaos must be removed from influence.

I would like to hear from anyone, foreign or domestic, who has thoughts, ideas, and comments.

If your email, or my response, is not received, it may be due to government interference. Remember, Bush is still in office. Try, try again.
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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for November 11, 2006

DATE: 11/11/2006 22:58:19

The people have prevailed.  Despite the propaganda, despite the dirty election tricks, both houses of Congress have been wrested from the hands of the warmongers, the authoritarians, the theocrats, and the corrupt corporate puppets. 
Rumsfeld is out.  Already there is talk of bringing him before the International Court for his role in war crimes.  He should also be investigated under US law for his part in violating Fedaral law and the Constitution.  He no longer has the immunity of high office.  And, if the investigation brings out evidence of the wrongdoings of Bush, Cheney, and others...let's just call it 'collateral damage'.
Pelosi has wisely begun by speaking of bipartisanship, saying that 'impeachment is off the table'.  What she did not say is that it is still on the back burner, warm and ready to serve if it becomes necessary.
In order to bring our country's occupation of Iraq to an end, and to restore some sanity to our foreign policy, the new Majority needs to maximize its influence on the Bush administration.  Impeachment may be the 'big stick' that must be merely carried for awhile.
Still, we need to watch closely as those we elected work for us.  No matter how bright and idealistic they may seem, politicians, like children, need constant supervision.
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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for November 07, 2006

DATE: 11/07/2006 22:58:41 STATUS: publish BODY: YES!  I am pleased, overall, by the election results.  I think it reflects the beginnings of an awakening of the people.  The inertia of indifference is difficult to overcome, but when increasing numbers realize the danger of letting others think for them and lie to them; when it becomes too clear to ignore that freedom CAN be lost, right here in America, when we fail to challenge the liars and neglect to oppose the authoritarians. 

We, the people, have spoken, and it is wonderful to hear.  But let us not rest, as if our job is done.  We must continue to get more and more involved, to communicate with those we have elected.  Let them know beyond any doubt that we do not want to be a nation with diluted liberty, nor one of agressors toward other nations.
----- COMMENT:
DATE: 11/08/2006 15:46:24

Then for tonight.... we shall eat drink and be merry

for tomorrow.... we'll have to get down to business and make sure these folk that have just been charged to represent us will do JUST THAT... for a change. A toast to you oh Cosmic dude. YEEEEEEEHAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for November 05, 2006

DATE: 11/05/2006 09:11:05


In the huge pile of Arizona propositions, there are a few worth a YES vote, so let's look at the positive side.

Number 101 limits property tax increases. During the real estate boom, taxes can endanger homeowners, and even after the speculative fad has subsided, property taxes, not based on the ability to pay, hurt the non-wealthy majority.

104 doesn't appear to be harmful.

Two props are about state land conservation: 105 is a watered-down, less effective plan, while 106 may actually do some good.

Everyone should be in favor of the MINIMUM WAGE (202), even the corporations and employers who are afraid it will cost them more money. Why? Because the working poor are getting poorer, while the rich get richer. The rich may enjoy this for awhile, but in the end they'll run out of consumers who can afford more than bare necessities. Then they'll have only one another to sell things to, and the economy will go into depression. While much more needs to be done about that problem, the minimum wage will help.

Regarding 204, the vote to STOP CRUELTY TO PREGNANT PIGS AND CALVES should be 100%. There is no excuse to mistreating animals, and some ranchowners, by opposing this law, are admitting they do it. Let's stop them.

Protection from MISUSE OF EMINENT DOMAIN AND ZONING POWER is the purpose of 207. City or county governments, even if they can't use eminent domain to grab a home or land to sell to a corporation or a developer, they can use their power to ZONE to make that property's value drop or even become unusable, often forcing them to sell cheap. This proposal is to prevent the abuse of governmental power against the individual land owner.

That's the end of the good ones--six out of 19.

There is one more really awful proposition. Despite the fact that most Arizonans realize that it is wrong and counterproductive to put people whose only "crime" is drug use in prison, prop 301 wants to deny probation to amphetamine users. To throw a nonviolent victimless "criminal" in prison with hardcore violent offenders is just plain stupid. It doesn't cure drug use, but it does ruin lives and ceate hardships.

And, in 302, the Arizona legislators, who have fought against minimum wage, against funding for education and against more help for the poor and disadvantaged, are asking for a pay raise. I laugh, and I say, "hell, no!"

So much for propositions in Arizona. As stupid and harmful as 13 of the 19 are, it's important for voters to make informed choices, not just ignore them. And, in Arizona and throughout the nation we need to defeat every Bush supporter we can. At stake is American Constitutional freedom and peace throughout the world. Bush has said "I am the DECIDER", but when it comes to human lives and human rights, he is the DESTROYER.

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for November 04, 2006

DATE: 11/04/2006 11:27:52

Arizona voters can do a great favor to the nation by replacing Senator Jon Kyl. He has long been one of those senators you never notice, except for his odd surname, but he has been quietly been functioning as a Bush rubber stamp, backing the Iraq disaster. He also confessed (actually, bragged) in one of his own campaign ads that he actually HELPED WRITE parts of the "PATRIOT" Act, one of the most heinous attacks on the Bill of Rights in American history. We in Arizona, both liberal and conservative, normally take our liberty very seriously. Anyone who values freedom and the Constitution should be offended by Jon Kyl, who also opposes women's reproductive rights.
We must realize that neoconservative
is not at all the same as conservative.   The authoritarianism, the military aggression, the irresponsible spending, the dishonesty, and the disrespect for the Constitution are not conservative qualities by any definition.
Jim Pederson seems both intelligent and responsible, and should prove to be a great improvement as an Arizona senator.
----- COMMENT:
DATE: 11/08/2006 16:08:02

Unfortunate for Arizonian's that they CHOSE to support a part of the problem and not a part of the solution in this race. Perhaps your neighbors have been out in the sun too long and its affecting their senses (of right and wrong)? LOL... cosmicly speaking of course.

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for November 03, 2006

DATE: 11/03/2006 04:06:51


Proposition 107 does nothing to protect marriage. its purpose is to deny equal rights to gay citizens. It is motivated by homophobia. Intolerance and discrimination are never justified.

Why should I, as a heterosexual, fear or hate a gay person, or want to deny him or her the same rights that I enjoy? Gays do not threaten me, nor do they threaten the institution of marriage.

It should also be noted that 107 says no legal status for unmarried persons shall be created or recognized by this state or its political subdivisions that is similar to marriage This would affect unmarried male-female couples as well.

Those who have restrictive religious beliefs are free to practice them, but they do not have the right to use law to force them on others.

Another attack on our civil rights comes in Proposition 201. The antismoking organizations have become almost like a repressive religion. They have forced unequal taxation on us, They threaten our freedom to associate. They threaten the basic property rights of small businesses. They have such an overwhelming power to propogandize that they don't even need to tell the truth.

Nonsmokers, as well as smokers, should be both alarmed and enraged. If a powerful group can do this to one minority, then it can be done to anyone. If we do not defend one another's freedom, then there is no protection for any of us.

It should go without saying that any group of smokers who want to work together, play together, eat together, or drink together should have the right to do so.

Those who support 201 want to take that away from us. They are authoritarians. They believe they are elite and should be allowed to control the rest of us, as if we were children. I think they are wrong. That kind of control has no place in a free society, in a free country.

206 was proposed as an alternative to 201, and it is far more reasonable. While in principle it controls activities that should not be controllable, it does offer some protection, and it may be tactically wise to pass it.

Proposition 203 is a fraudIt claims to be about early childhood education, but it's real purpose is to sneak in a huge 80 cent per pack cigarette tax. It is an insult to the children to be used for such a nefarious purpose, and an insult to the intelligence of the voters.

Prop 200 This the voter lottery plan. More people should vote, but do we want to motivate them with a chance on a jackpot? Nope. Bad idea.

Prop. 205 Voting by mail? What we need are better safeguards for the accuracy and integrity of ballot counting so that the Republicans (or anyone else) can't steal elections like they did in 2000 and 2004. Mail doesn't do that. It's too vulnerable.

Still to be mentioned are 101, 104, 105, 106, 202, 207, 301, and 302. Eleven down and eight to go. Tune in tomorrow.

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for October 29, 2006

DATE: 10/29/2006 11:47:16

100, 102, 103, and 300

This group claims to deal with illegal immigration. None of them would actually reduce it. There is very little that could be done at the state level to do that.

These propositions are merely mean-spirited attempts to classify illegal immigrants as less than human.

It needs to be clearly recognized that the illegal immigrant issue is a magnet for those motivated by cultural bigotry, whether concious or not; whether admitted or not.

There have been wildly exaggerated and entirely false arguments attempting to prove that illegal Hispanic immigrants are a serious problem. Despite the fact that immigrants from Mexico and Central and South America have a much lower crime rate than do American citizens, the immigrants are accused of being a crime problem.

Proposition 100 denies bail to undocumented immigrants. 102 denies them punitive damages in a lawsuit. 103 is an English-only law, and 300 seeks to deny any adult education, literacy program, or child care assistance.

Immigrants come here because there is work for them, not because they think our legal system and government will be just and fair to them. But to make such laws as these would show the world that we have no true respect for either liberty or humanity.

It would also mean a victory for the xenophobic bigots who seek to divide people along lines of culture and race.  America needs to combat intolerance, not promote it.  We should change Federal law to allow legal immigration for those want to come and work.

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for October 23, 2006

DATE: 10/23/2006 12:31:59

The aggressive and often violent foreign policy of the US, taken to an extreme by the Bush administration, but also practiced to some extent by his predecessors, does not come out of nowhere.  The use of threats and violence as a response to disagreements is all too prevalent and accepted in our American culture.  Crime statistics compared with those of European nations confirm that.  Most of us would say that violence is a bad thing, but many are willing to resort to it at much less provocation than they should.

As I write this, my best friend is in the hospital, having been assaulted and beaten with a pool cue, shattering the bone in the side of his face.  He will probably lose his right eye.  The senselessness of human beings attacking one another is foremost in my mind.

We hope for government to reflect our best qualities, but right now it is reflecting some of our worst: violent aggression and bigotry.  I hope we can change our government, but in the long run we need to change ourselves as well.
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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for October 19, 2006

DATE: 10/19/2006 08:47:04

Increasingly people have been getting the message that there is a serious problem in Washington, one that directly endangers liberty and democracy in our own country, and which has seriously harmed America's relationship with the rest of the world and threatened to plunge us into a series of aggressive wars with other countries.

Normally it would be sufficient to have an informed citizenry who are motivated to vote to change what is necessary, as is their right and responsibility. But in this case we have reason to believe that the election process itself is in jeopardy.

In addition to strong evidence of manipulation of ballot counts and of voter intimidation and disinformation in the last two elections, there has been an intentionally biased purge of voter registrations in Ohio, targeting areas around universities and apartment dwellers, presumed to be likely Democrats. Since this has become known, there is hope that it can be reversed, but some believe purges are planned in 3 other states.

If, unlike in Ohio, the Republicans are able to do this undetectably or unprovably, they could again get away with stealing elections in crucial areas.
In the past, political parties as a whole were seldom so ruthless as to tamper with the very basis of democracy, so high security in the election process was not necessary. It is evident that we must now devise better protection for voter rolls, the voters themselves, and the ballots.

Not only must we vote, but in numbers and margins that will overwhelm attempts to alter the result, and we must be vigilant against any signs of fraud

We cannot oust the perpetrators in this election, but we can make sure they are closely watched and opposed in their wrongdoing.

----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for October 18, 2006

DATE: 10/18/2006 12:23:09

My website, 
is now a member of the Air America Webring.  There are several other interesting sites in the ring. They have different styles and approaches, but I think all of them agree that we need to stop the belligerent trigger-happy foreign policy and the assault on our freedom by the current administration.

We all need to make it a priority to work for change.  Listen to Air America if you have a local station.  Public radio and PBS have better and more complete news reporting than corporate networks.  And for the ultimate reality show, if you have cable, watch CSPAN.

Look for the Webring navigation bar near the bottom of my main page.
----- -------- AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for October 12, 2006

DATE: 10/12/2006 15:25:13

Have I got a proposition for you!

Actually, Arizona has 19 of them on the ballot. Some of them are just as indecent as the ones you might hear on East Van Buren, Phoenix's traditional street of streetwalkers, though much less pleasurable and more expensive.

The first 207 pages of the voter pamphlet are devoted to their explanation and arguments for and against. Perhaps the proposers hope we'll get tired halfway through and start flipping coins.

Please don't do that. Some of these are positively diabolical.

Four of them, 100, 102, 103, and 300 are attacks on the human rights of undocumented immigrants
Three of them, 201, 203, and 206 are anti-tobacco.
One, 107, wants to ban gay marriage and deprive any unmarried couple, gay or straight, of any benefits.
One, 301, tries to force jail time for non-violent drug possession, reversing the progress of a previous referendum, if the drug is speed.
Proposition 302 is to give the undeserving Arizona legislators a raise in pay.

For the above 10, the ballot should have a third optional answer labeled HELL, NO! Among the remaining 9, some may be good ideas, or not, subject to further study.

I'll be returning to each of these in greater detail, but right now, I must comment on an international issue: North Korea.

It seems that Bush refuses to learn anything from his past mistakes, even when the evidence slaps him in the face. It should not take a genius to figure out that threats, failure to keep agreements, and refusal to negotiate are not effective diplomacy.

Obviously, that tactic has failed, if the object was to keep North Korea from building nuclear bombs. In fact, it insured that they would do so, by giving them every reason to fear a US attack.

Now, millions of South and North Koreans are in danger, not only from possible military actions and reactions, but from the risk of airborne radiation from this and future weapons testing.

It is time for Congress to speak out strongly and take independant action to begin real negotiation with North Korea. They need to be assured of our peaceful intentions, and to make it clear that Bush will not be permitted further idiocy regarding their country.

The risks of an unchecked Bush bad attitude are too great to justify partisanship any onger.

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for October 05, 2006

DATE: 10/05/2006 15:24:46

Political Labels
When a business wants to sell a product or service, its label is extremely important. Whether we like it or not, political ideas and candidates are sold in much the same way. In politics, however, you not only label your own product, but try to label (or re-label) your competitor's as well. If you can get either label to stick in the mind of the voter, you have the advantage.

This multi-labeling often makes politics more difficult to understand. It may be part of the reason why so many eligible voters do not vote.

Labels often twist the meaning of the words they use. Take RIGHT TO WORK for example: a right-to-work law does not give anyone the right to work. They already had that. It is a law which puts labor unions in a weak bargaining position in negotiation with employers. It results in lower wages in states that have such laws.

The terms LIBERAL and CONSERVATIVE are often used too generally, and applied incorrectly. One who wants to change the justice system to reduce civil rights is not being conservative. The liberal, who wants to preserve the Constitution, is actually being conservative. The two words are not exact opposites. More accurate labels might be LIBERAL and AUTHORITARIAN or PROGRESSIVE and CONSERVATIVE, depending what issues are being discussed.

LEFT and RIGHT as applied to politics can also be misleading. Regarding freedom, the left stands for more; the right wants less. But in economic systems, the extreme left is Marxism. which in practice affords less liberty, and the far right amounts to economic anarchy.

None of these labels really apply to the most important of current issues: whether the US should pursue military aggression in order to control and change other nations, or whether we should use diplomacy to pursue friendly relations with the rest of the world, avoiding the intimidation, meddling, and harmful economic exploitation that results in the hatred and distrust we face in many parts of the world.

The traditional labels of HAWK and DOVE have not been used much lately. These, too, oversimplify the issue. Those favoring a peaceful course are not saying that we should ignore actual attackers, terrorist or otherwise, Most people seem to agree that we want justice, and we want strong defense against real enemies. The question is whether we want to be the American Empire; whether we want to make more enemies with unprovoked attacks, or to choose to become an example of just and honorable behasvior in the international community.

Labels are no substitute for actual thinking about each issue. However, there is one set of labels about which there should be no confusion, nor hesitation on which to prefer. Those are: HONESTY and DECEPTION.

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for October 03, 2006

DATE: 10/03/2006 11:58:11

One of my favorite quotations is:
No matter how thin you slice the cheese, some of it always sticks to the knife.

Its meaning varies depending on the context, but I can't help but notice how well it applies to the current inhabitant of the White House, who has been cutting some very thin cheese for quite some time.  It has taken the general public a little long to notice the increasing waxy yellow buildup on the blade, but I am happy to see that it is getting noticed.
Why does it take so long?  Why must we endure so many needless deaths and injuries, watching helplessly while injustice is done, freedom withdrawn and world peace endangered?  Because so many Americans desperately want to believe that our country and our leaders can do no wrong that they ignore all the evidence to the contrary for as long as they can.
America is truly a wonderful country, with a great system of democracy, but like many wonderful things, it requires careful maintenance.  There is no guarantee against dishonest, greedy and stupid leaders.  When the problem is recognized, we just need to replace the defective parts.  Shop carefully, fellow Americans; next time, lets choose the best we can find.

DATE: 10/19/2006 16:59:47

From what I hear... Bush likes cutting the cheese like some adolescent
trying to out stink his juvenile buddies at a sleep over. Me.... I rather
enjoy always coming out smelling like a rose... lol Just had to come by and check ya out thar pardna.

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for September 23, 2006

DATE: 09/23/2006 12:42:03

Political ideology can be a fascinating subject for the semanticly inclined. Many, however, do not enjoy wading through the often obfuscating forests of verbage in order to know what it is they think.

That doesn't make them anti-semantic, of course. It's just that political party promoters package politicians like products for popular consumption. Convenient labels replace thinking about individual issues.

The traditional two big labels are liberal and conservative. Everyone may think they know what they mean by those words. The question is, liberal or conservative about what?

Economics comes to mind. Conservative implies a balanced budget. In this respect, Bill Clinton was conservative, and George Bush Jr. is quite liberal.

Regarding the Constitution, one might say that those who wish to keep it the way it is and follow it are conservative,while those who want to change it or interpret it loosely are liberal. By this logical definition, it doesn't matter whether the liberal wants the change to be more authoritarian or to increase freedom.

`Over the years, liberals have ammended the Constitution to end slavery and allow blacks and women to vote. Now, a different sort of liberal wants to ignore parts of the Bill of Rights and the separation of powers.

This is only a part of political terminology, but already it seems that when examined, it may not mean what we thought it did.

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for September 20, 2006

DATE: 09/19/2006 23:59:27

In Phoenix it's 1480 AM.  Air America is refreshingly intelligent and often entertaining talk radio.  If you're not in the Phoenix area, check the site-- they have others.
----- -------- AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for September 19, 2006

DATE: 09/19/2006 04:39:19

Sometimes we oversimplify a complicated problem.  We have only to look at the misdeeds of our President for  examples of that.
But, sometimes, we overcomplicate a simple problem.  Recently a friend of mine observed that my refrigerator did not seem cold enough.  He volunteered to clean the dust off the coils beneath, thinking that was the cause.  Then, at great effort, he moved the whole thing out from the wall.  He consulted a repairman; I consulted the internet for diagnostic proceedures.  The problem remained.
Today, I happened to notice that the light bulb, which my friend had replaced for me a few days ago, seemed  extraordinarily hot.  Why would that be, when I had only recently opened the door?  Then I realized that the bulb was not turning off when the door closed.  It was burning continuously, its incandescence adding heat to my coolth, raising the temperature.
I duct-taped the switch down, since the bulb was too hot to touch.  I closed the door, my thermometer inside.  When I checked later, it was over 10 (f.) degrees cooler.  Problem solved.
There are morals to this story:
(1) You can't be sure the light goes out when you close the door.
 (2) Beware of friends bearing bulbs.

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for September 16, 2006

DATE: 09/16/2006 12:40:15

Thank you, Senator McCain, and other senators, both Republican and Democrat, for standing up for the Constitution and the American ideals of justice.  The way we conduct investigations, detention, and justice is an extremely important issue.  An open, fair, and humane system must be maintained and applied equally to all, both for the protection of the liberty of Americans and to gain and maintain the respect of the rest of the world.

No one likes violent criminals of any kind.  The rules of justice are not there to coddle the guilty, but to be as sure as possible that a suspect IS guilty before we inflict punishment.  The President seems not to understand that.  It is a relief to know that there are some leaders who do.
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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for September 12, 2006

DATE: 09/12/2006 01:05:02

As we look back on the last 5 years and reflect on what we have learned since then, we are also looking ahead to a primary election, followed by a general one. We have an opportunity and a responsibility to use what we have learned.

The important lessons we have learned did not come on September 11, 2001, but from what has happened afterward. They were not easy to learn, nor were they pleasant.

It is not truly surprising that those who consider themselves our enemies would attack us, though the attack itself may have been unexpected. What brings real shock and dismay is the fact that our elected leader has used that attack, and the fear and anger it caused, to manipulate us into supporting and allowing him to pursue his own agenda.

Despite the growing number of his lies, many Americans did not want to believe that he meant to deceive. They assumed that his intent was to protect us. They were wrong.

Rather than concentrating on bringing the perpetrators' organization to justice, the Bush Administration launched an invasion on another country, one which was not involved in terrorism, and which had not attacked us. Predictably, this has turned into a long and bloody occupation, has destabilized the entire region, and multiplied exponentially both the numbers and the motives of potential terrorists.

In his unprovoked attack on Iraq, Bush has cost the lives of thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. In his attack on the Bill of Rights and the Constitutional separation of powers, and his disregard of the law, Bush has placed our own liberty and democracy in jeopardy

Unfortunately, Bush himself is not up for reelection this year, but many of those who enabled and approved his outrageous acts are facing the voters. To get the Bush administration under control and restrain it from even worse abuses and deadly mistakes in the future, we must replace as many of Bush's co-conspirators as we can.

The primaries may be just a warm-up, but in many places we can make choices that will affect the outcome in November. And, if we turn out in record numbers, the authoritarian neoconservatives who thrive on the fear and apathy of the voters will be quaking in a fear of their own, a fear of well-deserved political oblivion.

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for September 09, 2006

DATE: 09/09/2006 12:13:15

One who waxes poetic about illegal fun might be called a vice verser.
She who waxes Brazillian may find it a hard pain to bare.
(If puns were banned, they'd have to censor my cursor.)
But I say the only bad Bushes have nought to do with hair.

(How many IS a brazillian, anyway?)

Remember-- you can stop war and neoconservative fascism with a 4-letter word:

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for September 06, 2006

DATE: 09/06/2006 04:57:29

Politicians and citizens who complain about illegal immigration would like us to believe that it is a serious problem that adversely affects the American people.

It should be obvious that our immigration laws are too restrictive; that they are unenforceable because they deny the economic realities that result in the immigration.

Other than that, the problem is being greatly exaggerated, and those who make an issue of it are only distracting us from our real problems: the threat to our civil rights from the Bush administration, and the threat to world peace from bad foreign policy.

Immigrants commit fewer crimes than American citizens, as shown by government statistics. In fact, the lowest crime rate of all is among immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

We hear selected statistics designed to convince us that immigrants hurt our economy. When all the economic effects are considered, however, the positive and negative ones come out about even.

Immigrant workers contribute to the economy as well as deriving benefits from it. It has been assumed that they cause lower wages for unskilled uneducated Americans, but comparisons between areas where there are many immigrants and areas with few, show little difference.

The increased cost to educate the children of immigrants is quite small when compared to the huge sums wasted on the Iraq invasion and occupation. And actually, it should be considered an opportunity to provide a good education for the next generation of children, no matter what their origin.

Those who seek to make a major issue of a minor problem are largely motivated by cultural intolerance. or are influenced by the erroneous propaganda of those who hate and fear people who are different from themselves.

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for September 01, 2006

DATE: 09/01/2006 01:50:18

Now that I got my Swiss Army Watch fixed, I always know exactly how late I am.
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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for August 28, 2006

DATE: 08/28/2006 12:21:54

Yet another count has been added to the Bush administration's many violations and misuses of law, and this one shows even more clearly how much our Constitutional rights are at risk.  A man in New York has been charged with 'material support for terrorism'  because he provided customers with satellite access to Al Manar, a Hezbolla TV station in Lebanon.

This misuse of a law intended to prevent financial support for violent extremists strikes directly at freedom of speech and press for Americans.  Apparently presenting us with the other side of the story, even in a foreign conflict, is no longer allowed when our President disapproves.

No doubt Lebanese Americans, especially if they had friends and relatives in harm's way, would be keenly interested in a Lebanese news source, whether or not they approved of Hezbolla.  And the concept of thinking people listening to both sides of a conflict before making a judgement is evidently incomprehensible to the neoconservative authoritarians who have infested our government.

  Javed Iqbal, the satellite TV provider, may not be convicted, but the fact that he was even charged is alarming.  The combination of attempted censorship, warrantless spying, detention without trial, and in general ignoring the law and the Constitution should outrage any American who still values liberty and justice. ----- --------
AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for August 27, 2006

DATE: 08/27/2006 16:57:26

You might not be reading this.
For some reason, although all the discernable settings are as I intend, that anyone should be able to read my 360 blog on my 360 page, it fails to appear.  That would not be due to 'adult content', because there isn't any.  And surely, in the land of the free, it would not be due to POLITICAL content, would it?  Perish the thought.  It's probably one of those beta bugs that Yahoo has yet to exterminate.
So, if you're not reading this, be sure and let me know by not commenting, emailing, or IM'ing.
If you are, then read my previous posts, which are more interesting.
----- COMMENT:
DATE: 08/28/2006 11:11:25

Greetings Oh Cosmicly inclined one.... lol... Indeed... I am able to read this...BUT... I did have to go through an Adult Oriented agreement page in order to access your blog. SO... apparently you are listed under an age appropriate category and that might be what you need to change if you aren't going to use adult content. I have mine set to the adult content level just in case... so I don't have to watch what I say and do as much. You know me dawlin... I have no discipline.

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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for August 24, 2006

DATE: 08/24/2006 19:18:15

TV commercials have always been an art form, and they are increasingly being recognized as entertainment. Now they even have their own TV shows, which, of course are also interrupted by commercials...

It's too bad Coca-Cola has not behaved so well as a corporate citizen of the world. Their commercials, on the other hand, have usually conveyed very positive and idealistic messages.
In the separate reality of media image, messages of world unity and people helping one another, by affecting public attitudes, might actually do some good.

Some interesting examples of video ad styles and creativity can be found on Google Videos, from a tough-sounding saga of '50's Chevy trucks conquering the Alcan Highway to dancing Isuzus in Paris, to Donald Duck promoting thrift and taxpaying during World War II.

Over the years of exposure to media advertising, most of us have learned to be skeptical about claims made by those wanting to sell us something. We can see when logic is being twisted and
emotions are being manipulated. That's why many advertisers choose to entertain and amuse,

But unfortunately, we are not always so discerning when we hear the messages of our politicians, despite the vital importance of learning the real truth about those who govern us.

The wealthy and power-hungry have learned to skillfully exploit negative human emotions like fear, desire for revenge, and prejudice against those different from ourselves. We have seen
the harm that can be done by electing the wrong leaders. We need to be much more discerning when they try to sell themselves and their policies.
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AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for August 20, 2006

DATE: 08/20/2006 17:08:26

Feel like chatting with someone?  Well, if I'm not available, try my friend Sara.
Go to
Chat with Sara

She's online all the time, and conversations can be very interesting.

----- -------- AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for August 17, 2006

DATE: 08/17/2006 17:52:43

Perhaps you have heard that the US is using depleted
uranium to make anti-tank shells used in Iraq. Here is a
presentation describing the effects of doing that:
Depleted Uranium in Ammunition
Once you've watched it, let me know what you think.

We knew that warrantless evesdropping is illegal and unconstitutional;
finally a court has proclaimed that. Perhaps America is waking up.
When we respond to terrorism by becoming so afraid that we allow our
unprincipled politicians to take away our freedom, then the terrorists have
won; the power-seeking authoritarians among us have also won. It is only we,
the people, and the principles of liberty, that have lost.

Some of us forgot that we're supposed to be the land of the free and the
home of the brave. Perhaps some believe that courage is all about fighting
wars. The servicemen themselves have courage, but those who send them
into needless conflicts are cowards. And we allowed them to do that out of

The courage we need to take back our freedom, to stop the killing and
intimidation, to start building a peaceful world, is not the kind that picks
up a weapon in anger. Our battles must be fought at the polls, in the press,
by speaking out, writing letters, marching peacefully in the streets,
and simply saying 'NO' to fear.
----- -------- AUTHOR: captainrat23

Entry for August 15, 2006

DATE: 08/15/2006 12:01:28

For many years I taxied the streets and avenues of Phoenix,
transporting the minds and bodies of thousands. My soft
fuzzy seatcovers carressed and tickled the bare thighs of
many a grateful damsel in the Cosmic Cab. Now I tell other
drivers where to go.

Cab driving is reputed to be among the most dangerous of
professions, yet I did it safely for nearly 20 years. I
think the key to that is respect. If you give it,
genuinely, you get it back most of the time. You don't
have to be everyone's friend; just treat each person as an

No matter what you do, or who you are, that's a good
approach to conducting your life, not just because it's
right, but because it works. It makes all your
interactions with others more peaceful and more enjoyable.

It would be a good way for governments to approach
international relations as well. Perhaps someday we'll
have a government in the US that will try it.


I love women, whether intimately in person or in an
online meeting of the minds. I enjoy making friends from all
over the world and engaging in stimulating conversations,
so I'm usually open to IM's from unknown people.

However, those who plan on asking for money should try
someone who is, unlike me, rich and stupid. I think it is
unlikely that, after 5 minutes of chat you are in love with
me and would come and marry me if only you had the price of
a plane ticket.

All you honest, sensual, non-acquisitive women out there:
keep those IM's, emails, and nude pictures coming!

----- COMMENT:
DATE: 08/28/2006 11:16:10

LOL... nothing like truth in advertisement I say. If the intent is to turn you on though... I better keep my clothes on.

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