Friday, May 25, 2007

O'Reilly in wonderland

Reading a Bill O'Reilly column is like entering another dimension. A dimension that might be called "O'Reilly's Wonderland." A wonderland characterized by two things: O'Reilly and his cohorts are always the victims. Who can forget his brave struggle against the infidels who wanted to violate the purity of Christmas by trying to include everyone in the holiday spirit by wishing people Seasons Greetings instead of the Christian-only narrower Merry Christmas.

The other is that any mistakes - no matter how deadly - made by O'Reilly and his cohorts are always someone else's fault. "... President Bush had no plan 'B' when the Iraqi people decided not to fight for their freedom after Saddam fell. That is the crux of the mess in Iraq" (NYP, 5/25/07) Heavens, we uninvited invaded a sovereign country to change regimes and the people of Iraq "...embraced ancient hatreds and corruption, and some even cooperated with al Qaeda. The ensuing chaos and death is heartbreaking to those of us who believe Iraq could be a free nation, if only the people had the will."

In other words, our crusade to turn the Middle East into a carbon copy of the U.S. was foiled by Iraqi's desire to be Iraqis.

Yesterday Bush claimed, "I'm credible because I read the intelligence."

But, according to the WP, "Months before the invasion of Iraq, U.S. intelligence agencies predicted that it would be likely to spark violent sectarian divides and provide al-Qaeda with new opportunities in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report released yesterday by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence."

O'Reilly asks: " there a rational person on earth who believes Bush, Blair ... lied to the world in order to remove Saddam Hussein." Well Bill, some of us believe - without claiming to be rational - that the removal of Saddam Hussein was the first necessary step toward taking control of Iraq's vast oil wealth. It's interesting that the word "oil" never appears in your column.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Iraq Veterans Against the War Memorial Day action

Rally to support Iraq Veterans Against the War

Sunday, May 27th, 2007
12 Noon,
Union Square, South steps

"In an effort to illuminate the true reality of the conflict in Iraq, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) will engage in a series of street theater actions around the New York City area on Sunday, May 27.

This day coincides with our national remembrance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 28, which bears particular significance this year as we are in the midst of the fifth year of a war that has claimed the lives of over 3,300 American service members and over 655,000 Iraqis."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Congressional Democrats capitulate and abandon the American people, the troops and the Iraqi people

I don't claim to understand why the Democrats have aligned themselves with Bush on Iraq. Except to realize once again that there is really only one corporate party.

On Nov. 9th - electorally victorious - the Democrats marched into Washington promising to respond to the voters and end the occupation of Iraq. Today they capitulated and proved that they couldn't stand up to Bush and agreed to continue to finance his immoral war. It's clear that they did not have the votes to overturn a Bush veto of a real bill that would end the occupation and bring the troops home. But that's not the point of the Nov. 8th election. The voters were demanding that the Democrats stand up and be counted. It seems that they can't.

Bush, as usual, has been playing politics with the troops. He vetoed (rejected) the bill to finance the occupation. And then blamed the Democrats for not supporting the troops. This is what magicians call misdirection. It's how they fool their audience. It seems that he fooled the Democratic leadership even if he couldn't distract the American people from their determination to end the occupation and bring the troops home.

Among the current Democratic candidates Joe Biden and John Edwards basically agree with Conn. Senator Christopher Dodd who said:

"Half-measures and equivocations are not going to change our course in Iraq,"
"If we are serious about ending the war, Congress must stand up to this president's failed policy now -- with clarity and conviction. ..."

As of this writing Sens. Clinton and Obama haven't said how they will vote. I guess they are waiting for word from the weatherman as to which way the political wind is blowing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Labor Chorus Benefit concert

Photo by Dan Cohen
New York City Labor Chorus

Saturday June 16th - 7:30pm

Ethical Culture Society
2 West 64th Street (off Central Park West)

Celebrate the great tradition of labor and folk music through song.

Seniors, Students, & Unemployed: $15

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Soap Opera humor:

"Renee Elise Goldsberry exits 'OLTL' ['One Life to Live'] May 21, when Evangeline slips into a contract-induced coma.

(from Soap Dish by Carolyn Hinsey in N.Y. Daily News)

Monday, May 07, 2007

May 8th second anniversary of Chelsea Stands Up Against the War

Tuesday, May 8Th, 6-7 p.m.
is the 104th consecutive week of the Stand Up against the war in Iraq.
Join with your fellow anti-war neighbors at the northwest corner of 8th Ave and 24th St to Stand Up Against The War in Iraq.
If you live in Chelsea (or not) and are against the war - be there!

With George Tenant for better or worse you get what you pay for

Tenant with his one time-White House
One thing you have to say about former CIA director George Tenant is that he's consistant. Whoever pays him gets what they need.

When he worked for the current axis of evil in the white House (Cheney, Bush and Rove) he gave them whatever they needed to market a very lucrative war. Although it seems as if yesterday's "slam dunk" has turned into today's "air ball."

Now that he is working for HarperCollins he is providing them what they need to market his reportedly $4 million tome. I suspect that this shot may also turn into an air ball.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Evolution and the right wing: theater of the absurd

Many Americans wonder why a great nation has become the world's laughing stock. After last Thursday evening's Republican party presidential debate it should be fairly obvious.

Three contenders for the Republican presidential nomination - Kansas's senator sam Brownback, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Colorado House member Tom Tancredo - actually said they did not believe in evolution.

I can only assume that they also believe that if they sail far enough they will fall off the end of the earth. Wait a minute. Maybe that's not such a bad idea.

Not only do these people make the U.S. look bad, but they also demean whichever religion they espouse. No religion demands that you be an idiot.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Are we once again back to the imperial presidency?

Why is the U.S. the only democratic nation that treats its leaders as untouchable? Shouldn't the current events in Israel tell us something?

"[A] report, by an Israeli government commission, set off a furious debate in Israel on whether [Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert should remain in office.

"The commission accused him of having decided hastily to go to war, neglecting to ask for a detailed military plan, refusing to consult outside the army and setting “over-ambitious and unobtainable goals.

"One result, the commission said, was that Mr. Olmert had been responsible for 'a severe failure in exercising judgment, responsibility and prudence.'" (N.Y. Times)

Doesn't all this sound familiar? Shouldn't the Bush administration be subjected to the same questions, only more so. The Bush administration has proven over and over again its historic self-indulgence and incompetence.

I don't know who is actually responsible for the disasters in New Orleans, Iraq, Walter Reade, for the politicization of every aspect of this administration, Justice, science, etc. Only history will tell us whether the real culprit is named Bush, Cheney, Rove, the ridiculous neo-cons, or maybe all of the co-conspirators, but since Bush claims to be the "decider," let's take him at his word. And investigate him for "a severe failure in exercising judgment, responsibility and prudence."

In the past it's been a two-bit robbery and cover-up (Nixon) and lying about blow jobs (Clinton) that has been grounds for impeachment (even if neither was ever convicted), these are penny ante "crimes and misdemeanors" compared to the behavior of Bush and his gang of war criminals.

Even arguments against challenging the Commander-in-chief in time of war pale before the Israeli situation. There they investigate the prime minister here we take impeachment off the table. The question is what's wrong with us? And what are we going to do about it?