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Contents - Weblog February 27 to March 16, 2003

Note: This Index to postings is by date, earliest first.  The postings themselves show the latest at the top, the earliest at the bottom. 

Weblog 2003-02-27, Thursday
An exchange on NeoCons and Jewish Intellectuals
Judiciary Jammin! Debora Cook Appointment
Domestic stealth bombs -  KRISTEN LOMBARDI
Weblog 2003-02-28, Friday
Soros blasts Bush
Weblog 2003-03-01, Satyrday
John Brady Kiesling's letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell
Weblog 2003-03-02, Sunday
There is a great contest - Enlightenment and fundamentalism, a clash of world views
War Catholics
Davis to Get $15 Billion From Kissinger-Bush Private Equity Firm "The Carlyle Group" for Vivendi Bid
The Bush administration's lies 'justifying' war in Iraq - Carla Binion
Religious overtones in Bush drive to justify war
The World Will Know the Truth - Pilger
Two men driving Bush into war
Every part of the Shrubbyist domestic and international agenda depends on perpetual war
Weblog 2003-03-04, Tuesday
Warren Buffet's Apocalyptic Vision
Fascism's Face in America
The White House had deeply angered the Iraqi opposition to Hussein
Shame!  Our Senate has Shamed Itself!
Weblog 2003-03-05, Wednesday (Wodin's Day)
A war policy in collapse  By James Carroll
Weblog 2003-03-06, Thursday (Thor's Day)
Pride, Arrogance, and War
Whitewashing the Shrubbyist "Mein Kampf"
Weblog 2003-03-07, Friday (Freya's Day)
National Security Agency spying on delegates at the UN
A Pakistani view of the conflict over Kashmir

Weblog 2003-03-08, Satyrday
Low Frequency Active Sonar Experiments
Self selecting straw vote site; a clientele of right wing voters makes for depressing results
Police powers move into your browser
This war came from a think tank
Tony Blair faces government resignations over lack of United Nations mandate for military action
"Let them hate as long as they fear" appears to be official US policy
Special Agent Colleen Rowley's letter to FBI Director Mueller
Last minute UN & religious proposals to head off war
Weblog 2003-03-09, Sunday
Iraq a Detour From the War on Terrorism
US Spying at the United Nations
Just War — or a Just War?  Jimmy Carter  - Linked to
Road to Armageddon!
The Immorality of Preventive War - Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man - Carla Binion
Weblog 2003-03-10, Moon day
For centuries, we've been 'liberating' the Middle East. Why do we never learn?
A Peace to End All Peace - David Fromkin
The Xanax Cowboy
One of those "Do you remember?" lists, with a few recollections and additions of my own!
Weblog 2003-03-11, Tuesday, Tiw's Day
Use a firewall!
A rightist disinformation campaign
Weblog 2003-03-12, Wodin's Day
Bush Calls For Ban on Judicial Filibusters
The White House's efforts to pack our Judiciary system with right wing extremists
It is Not the Oil, It is the Distraction
Where things stand today - the best summary I have found
Weblog 2003-03-13, Thor's Day 
Why was Richard Perle meeting with Adnan Khashoggi? - Seymour Hersch
Conscience versus the group mind
In my dreams I keep you
Weblog 2003-03-14, Freya's Day
The Madness of Empire - Scott McConnell in "The American Conservative"
A reminder for those of us who do not know war
When the bombs fall
A Third Way
War is Sell - Laura Miller
Weblog 2003-03-16, Sunday
A New Era?

Contents indexed March 10, 2004

Weblog 2003-03-16, Sunday

From Jerry Bass, via email

Pardon my French, the scapegoat of the day; but rest assured I have burned my beret, poured my expensive French wine down the drain, and castrated my French poodle! As a further patriotic gesture I am gorging myself on freedom fries and toast.

What remains to us in a sad time but humor, the time-honored response to tragedy?  And, make no mistake, this war will be a tragedy. Bush is right. It is a moment of truth for the world, most of which opposes this war. All the protests to no avail, it seems to me the chickenhawks planned this war for years, the beginning of the real American Empire. I had hoped we would have shown the maturity to exercise restraint, to foster the development of international law, to set a moral example. Polls show more and more Americans behind a war, the bandwagon effect, the inevitable rallying behind the flag, "our country, love it or leave it." We are poised to "liberate Iraq" at whatever the cost to Iraqis, American democracy, and global stability. What's left but "liberation" as a cause belli, the link between Saddam and Al Quaida unproven, no immediate threat from Iraq demonstrable? We could simply let the arms inspectors remain in the country indefinitely, support UN efforts, until Saddam is disposed or dies a natural death. Instead, it seems almost certain we will engage in an illegal, immoral, and unjustified war. The consequences will be with us for generations. We will reap the whirlwhind!

The Muller Email - This is an example of how a particular 'theme' can have much longer legs on the internet distribution channel than other closely related themes.  A copy of the email, a  report of a statement by Dr. Robert Muller, is posted HERE.

History Will Record This Is a New Era, By Lynne Twist, Posted on Mar 14, 2003
The theme of the statement by Dr. Muller is, in large, that the fact that the war on Iraq is drawing protest and discussion of the merits and demerits of the war before it 'formally' begins is in itself hopeful; that the fact that other nations in the UN are seriously questioning the United States in that forum is unprecedented and also hopeful; that in fact this is the very purpose for which the UN was founded and indicates the coming to fruition of the vision for that organization, not its end.

Surely, I think, it is the very optimism of that theme that has given the email reporting on Dr. Muller's remarks such  popularity on the internet distribution channel.  The remarks (as reported) provide a way to continue believing in the future of the UN, and of the effectiveness of that organization and of public opinion and protest in reigning in the abuses of power that seem otherwise so certainly to be leading us into an unjust and indefensible war.

I agree with Dr. Muller's statement, as reported.   That the dialogue he speaks of is happening is important, and a great step forward.  But the outcome is much in doubt, and I fear the vengeance of the powerful against those, individuals and nations, who have dared to ask these questions, and demand this dialogue.  We are walking a knife edge.

Yet, the fact that there is so much, compared to similar times in the past, knowledge of and discussion of these issues, and perhaps even more significantly of the European and US policies and actions that have created the tensions and divisions which have led us to this point is potentially even more important.

The fact that our policies and our agencies encouraged and funded Osama bin Laden, and Saddam Hussein, that we removed Mossadegh, a liberal secular Prime Minister from power in Iran and installed the Shah, resulting in the Ayatollah's revolution there, that the British and French callousness in failing to deal with the Kurdish and Armenian questions to the East of Turkey after WW I have led to genocide and ethnic cleansing of both groups by the Turks -- surely all of these known facts may result in people demanding information about, and voice in determining future foreign policy actions.

For if that does not happen, the same stupid, self interested mistakes will continue to be made, with the same disastrous consequences.

This should be a time for deep, conscience stricken self examination on the part of generations of Americans who were perfectly happy with the motto "don't know much about history, don't know much about geography".  For each and every one of us who have ever subscribed to that false doctrine bear responsibility for the deaths of all those Iraqi children, and I say also for the rise to power and criminal actions of Osama's Al Qaeda.

Edited for emphasis, March 10, 2004

We face a crisis in popular education, an epidemic of ignorance and lack of respect for learning and knowledge.  A crisis that I think must be managed in the same way that a Public Health crisis should be managed, with intense efforts to create public support for changes in the very culture itself so that effective preventive action can be taken.

Weblog 2003-03-14, Freya's Day

War is Sell by Laura Miller PR Watch, First Quarter 2003

"From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August," White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. told the New York Times in September. Card was explaining what the Times characterized as a "meticulously planned strategy to persuade the public, the Congress, and the allies of the need to confront the threat from Saddam Hussein." and
Read the rest of this exhaustive analysis of the government, right wing think tank, media talking head, and professional PR groups who have been laboring for the past year to bring us the Iraq war.  This is an excellent introduction to the methods used to manage the media and public opinion, and the resources brought to bear for that purpose. This is essential knowledge for anyone who wants to understand why mass political,  "direct action", and peaceful resistance actions are required to gain media attention and counter the drive toward war.

There Is a Third Way
By Jim Wallis and John Bryson Chane, Washington Post,  Friday, March 14, 2003; Page A27
"Soujourners" - Christians for Justice and Peace - is appealing to all who oppose War on Iraq to support a "third way" proposal of six elements developed by US and British church leaders.  The proposal is described in this Washington Post article.  The proposal may be naive and is somewhat suspect, in that while removal of Saddam from power is explicit in in the first element, the abjuring of military force against Iraq is noted only in the sentence pair:

"So let's separate Hussein from the Iraqi people. Target him, but protect them."
However, restraint from a military solution is also implied by a tacit acceptance, in the second element, of the proposal floated by Germany a few weeks ago for a greatly intensified inspections regime.

The fifth element of the six element proposal is that:

"we should recommit to a "road map" to peace in the Middle East. The United States, Britain and other European Union nations must address a root cause of Mideast conflict with a peace plan resulting in a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians by 2005,  structured to include meaningful deadlines enforced by the international community."
This is so close to the statement issued by GWB this morning that I am tempted, against my better and skeptical judgement, to hope that the rest of the proposal might be under consideration.   Just the chance that this is the case makes it essential, in conscience, that all who oppose unleashing 'shock and awe' on Iraq appeal, to every world leader they can reasonably hope to reach,  for adoption of this alternative to war.

Last week I logged on to  Sojourners web site, to read this six element plan.   I was sufficiently impressed to register my support for the proposal, and to forward it to 20 or so of my friends and relatives.

Sojourners indicates that overall more than half of the people to whom they sent action alerts  forwarded the plan to President Bush, Prime Minister Blair, and Secretary General Annan.  This is an astonishing response to such a mailing.  But still, the  Bush administration accelerates toward war on Iraq - unless the "Roadmap to Peace" in Israel and Palestine indicates that the six point plan has a chance of working.   Just in case that is so, let's try to hammer the point home, now.  Sojourners has issued another alert, providing tools we can use to press for that resolution.  Their suggested actions (including a fund appeal) are copied below.

1. Read the 6-point plan and forward it from to world leaders.
2. If you've already read the plan, forward this alert to everyone in your address book.

3. Read today's op-ed by Jim Wallis and John Bryson Chane in The Washington Post and other press coverage at .

4. New! Tell your church that the 6-point plan is available today as a FREE Sunday bulletin insert - please go to or call 1-800-714-7474 for details.

5. Support Christians for justice and peace.  We need you to invest in this plan.  Go to to make a tax-deductible donation with our thanks.  Or mail your check to:
2401 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009.

6. Please pray for all leaders striving for diplomacy during this eleventh hour.

Quoting the last paragraph of the Washington Post article:
Unless an alternative to war is found, a military conflagration will soon be unleashed. A morally rooted and pragmatically minded initiative, broadly supported by people of faith and goodwill,  might help to achieve a historic breakthrough and set a precedent for effective international action in  the many crises we face in the post-Sept. 11 world.
It's worth a shot, considering the alternative.

Also From the Lysistrata Project:

Terrifyingly, we are hours away from doing irreparable harm to our  democratic heritage by launching a risky, arrogant crusade that most of the world opposes, all at the behest of a small coterie of neoconservative  ideologues plotting to remake the world in their image and who unfortunately have the ear of our accidental president.
Bob Fisk has a reminder for those of us who do not know war:
On the road to Basra, ITV was filming wild dogs as they tore at the corpses of the Iraqi dead. Every few seconds a ravenous beast would rip off a decaying arm and make off with it over the desert in front of us, dead fingers trailing through the sand, the remains of the burned military sleeve flapping in the wind. "Just for the record,"the cameraman said to me. Of course.  Because ITV would never show such footage. The things we see---the filth and obscenity of corpses---cannot be shown. First because it is not "appropriate" to depict such reality on breakfast-time TV.  Second because, if what we saw was shown on television, no one would ever again agree to support a war.
There is more, lots more.  Well written piece.  If you need a reminder, read it.

From "The American Conservative": The Madness of Empire: The War Party’s militarized strategy will unite the world against us. By Scott McConnell. February 24, 2003.  The following paragraphs are excerpted, the rest of this longish and well argued article is worth reading.

...In 1998, the newly established Project for a New American Century (PNAC), an advocacy group chaired by Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, began sending open letters from prominent foreign policy hawks. First, it wrote to the Clinton administration calling upon the United States to “remove Saddam’s regime.” When its advice was ignored, PNAC asked Republican Congressional leaders to push for war. The signatories included Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz (now number two at the Pentagon), Elliott Abrams (recently appointed to the National Security Council as a director of Mid-East policy), William Bennett, John Bolton (now Undersecretary of State), and the ubiquitous Richard Perle, chairman of the Defense Policy Board and often considered the central figure in the interlocking web of neoconservative think tanks.

PNAC’s ambitions go well beyond Saddam’s overthrow. Immediately after 9/11, the group began pushing to expand the war against other Muslim states, calling for the U.S. to target Hezbollah and its sponsors, Iran and Syria. PNAC also wants the U.S. to stop trying to foster a peace between Israel and the Palestinians, advocating withdrawal of the small amount of aid the U.S. gives the Palestinian Authority and granting full support to Israel’s right wing Likud government.

These tactical measures are elements within a broader vision of a more militarized U.S. foreign policy, carried out without allies if necessary. In the final year of the first Bush administration, Paul Wolfowitz penned a memo under the aegis of then Secretary of Defense Cheney, calling for the United States to ramp up its defense spending in order to deter any other country from “even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.” China, Russia, Germany, and Japan were to be intimidated from seeking more power in their own regions. After the Wolfowitz draft was leaked to the press, it received widespread ridicule, and the Bush I diplomats rushed to reassure allies that Wolfowitz’s views did not truly reflect American foreign policy.

But during the 1990s they did become the views of the neoconservatives, packaged under the slogan “benevolent global hegemony” touted by Kristol and Robert Kagan. The positions of the neoconservative foreign policy team in exile (a sort of shadow subcabinet during the Clinton years) were fleshed out in a PNAC book, Present Dangers, which called for the U.S. to “shape the international environment to its own advantage” by being “at once a European power, an Asian power, a Middle Eastern power, and of course a Western Hemisphere power” and to “act as if instability in important regions of the world … affect[s] us with almost the same immediacy as if [it] was occurring on our own doorstep.” In practice this meant assertive risk-taking virtually everywhere. Jonathan Clarke, reviewing the volume in the National Interest, wrote, “If the book’s recommendations were implemented all at once, the U.S. would risk unilaterally fighting a five-front war, while simultaneously urging Israel to abandon the peace process in favor of a new no-holds-barred confrontation with the Palestinians.” This book has become the blueprint for the foreign policy of George W. Bush.

Only recently has it become commonplace (outside of the Marxist Left) to call this new policy imperialist. President Bush himself still shuns the word, telling a Veterans Day audience, “We have no territorial ambitions. We don’t seek an empire.” But a surprising number of foreign policy analysts, in the neocon orbit and beyond, have picked up the “I” word and run with it. Max Boot, a former Wall Street Journal editor who wrote a book about America’s splendid little wars writes in the Weekly Standard about “troubled lands [that] cry out for the sort of enlightened foreign administration once provided by self-confident Englishmen in jodhpurs and pith helmets.” Kristol co-author Robert Kagan prefers the term “hegenomy” to empire, and many neoconservatives stress that the new American imperialism will differ from the bad old European sort because it will be welcomed by its subjects. The American Enterprise Institute’s Joshua Muravchik has written a primer on “exporting democracy” whose phrases now pop up regularly in Bushite rhetoric.

The article concludes:
If America invades Iraq, the bottom will fall out of this argument. The first consequence would probably be sharp drop in international co-operation against terrorism, especially terrorism directed against the United States. After that, we can contemplate new alliances: Russia and China, Europe and the (unoccupied) Middle East, an international system in rapid flux but increasingly focused on restraining American power. Of course, the United States will always have Israel as its friend.
Consider America’s international situation: a country rich and technologicially advanced, blessed with unusually stable political system, separated from hostile countries by huge oceans, and still retaining durable long term friendships with the world’s most powerful and successful democratic states, and requiring serious international police and intelligence cooperation to deal with its most pressing enemy, al-Qaeda. For such a nation suddenly to decide that its best and only option to “save itself” is to embark on a course of imperial expansion, one that will be opposed vigorously by the rest of the world, seems almost a form of madness.
Yes, it is madness, but a madness  necessary for accomplishment of the rest of their megalomaniac agenda.

Weblog 2003-03-13, Thor's Day  

In my life I found you
in my dreams I keep you
in peace I will leave you
in another life I will look for you
Semper fidelis

Not exactly a day of peaceful meditation....

Call and answer 
 by Robert Bly 

 Tell me why it is we don't lift our voices these days 
 And cry over what is happening. Have you noticed 
 The plans are made for Iraq and the ice cap is melting? 

 I say to myself: "Go on, cry. What's the sense 
 Of being an adult and having no voice? Cry out! 
 See who will answer! This is Call and Answer!" 

 We will have to call especially loud to reach 
 Our angels, who are hard of hearing; they are hiding 
 In the jugs of silence filled during our wars. 

 Have we agreed to so many wars that we can't 
 Escape from silence? If we don't lift our voices, we allow 
 Others (who are ourselves) to rob the house. 

 How come we've listened to the great criers - Neruda, 
 Akhmatova, Thoreau, Frederick Douglass - and now 
 We're silent as sparrows in the little bushes? 

 Some masters say our life lasts only seven days. 
 Where are we in the week? Is it Thursday yet?
 Hurry, cry now! Soon Sunday night will come. 

Conscience versus the group mind: Missouri County GOP Chairman Resigns Over War
'Our Country Above Politics' by Jack Walters, March 10, 2003.  From "Old Conservative" site comes news of another resignation, this time of the Boone County, MO, Republican Committee Chair, Jack Walters.

Tide turns against Bush by Thomas Walkom, Toronto Star, Mar. 11, 2003. 01:00 AM

Tide turns against Bush "The Iraq crisis is no longer about stopping Iraq. It is about stopping the United States... Most countries outside the U.S. are no longer worried about rogue Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. They are worried about rogue American President George W. Bush.  ...     For now it is not Iraq, a minor Middle Eastern power, that is in potential defiance of the U.N. system, but the mighty U.S. In effect, Bush has served notice that the painstaking  logic of collective security, which the U.S. itself did so much to create 58 years ago, is to  be junked. War is to be no longer a last resort but an active part of superpower foreign policy.  Decisions on the international order are to be made not at the U.N. but in Washington alone. The sovereignty of other nations is now to be wholly contingent upon U.S. geopolitical interests.  No wonder the rest of the world is nervous. No wonder that France, Germany, Russia and (maybe) China have forged their unlikely peace coalition. No wonder that even Canada is alarmed."  (I  hear that the Wall Street Journal has a problem with this!)

New York City Council Approves Resolution Opposing Iraq War Until Options Exhausted

Lunch with the Chairman by Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker, 10 March 2003.  From

Why was Richard Perle meeting with Adnan Khashoggi?  This article details some of the dealings of Richard N. Perle, the chairman of the Defense Policy Board.  Perle, who is one of the most outspoken and influential American advocates of war with Iraq, is also a managing partner in a venture-capital company called Trireme Partners L.P., which was registered in November, 2001, in Delaware.  Its main business to invest in companies dealing in technology, goods, and services that are of value to homeland security and defense! Perle is ont of three of Trireme’s Management Group members who currently advise the U.S. Secretary of Defense by serving on the U.S. Defense Policy Board, the others are Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State who is, in fact, only a member of Trireme’s advisory group, and Gerald Hillman, an investor and a close business associate of Perle’s.  So why, on January 3rd at a seaside restaurant in Marseilles, was he meeting with arms broker and Iran - Contra - Reagan middleman Adnan Khashoggi (also a sometime former employer of Theresa LePore, Palm Beach Elections Supervisor of "butterfly ballot" fame) and Iraqi born Saudi industrialist Harb Zuhair?  (Perle, when questioned about Sy Hersh's article, called him a terrorist!)   Go to Original Story
See also Sy Hersh casts critical eye on Bush regime  and Goldsmith Award Winner Criticizes Bush Regime

More Mossad Mischief:
FBI probes fake papers on Iraq The FBI is looking into the forgery of a key piece of evidence linking Iraq to a nuclear weapons program, including the possibility that a foreign government is using a deception campaign to foster support for military action against Iraq. (from CLG)

Weblog 2003-03-12, Wodin's Day

Where things stand today - the best summary I have found

It is Not the Oil, It is the Distraction
Why the Domestic Agenda Must Still be A Primary Concern

As we know from having read these:

Two men driving Bush into war,12271,901118,00.html
The Project for the New American Century (aka the Shrubbyist 'Mein Kampf')
(Both articles are also HERE)

the true objective of the Shrubbyist schemes is not to 'gain control of Iraq's oil', or even to 'remove Saddam and liberate Iraq' or to 'fight terrorism'.   The true objective is the remaking of social and political institutions throughout the world, and especially in the US, in the image of totalitarian Shrubbyism.

The so called War on Terror and the War on Iraq are essential tools, but only tools,  in this plan for transformation of the liberal, democratic, and pluralist social and political arrangements, which world civilization has struggled to create over the last 400 years.  The progress in liberty, tolerance, pluralism, education, and equality which has been built on the foundation laid by the Renaissance and the Enlightenment will be  replaced by  a  neo medievalist, authoritarian, order based in religious fundamentalism and superstition, and friendly to the Feudal corporatist political and economic arrangements the Shrubbyists are so intent on instituting.

The  attacks of 11 September 2001 and the subsequent Wars on Terror and Iraq are in fact only the desired "catastrophic and catalysing event - like a new Pearl Harbor"  described as "the opportunity of ages" in the PNAC Master Plan.   There the 9-11 attack or a similar event was held out as the occasion to build the war machine and domestic political environment  that was needed for America to dominate much of humanity and the world's resources.  In the hands of Karl "Goebbels" Rove, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and others in the Shrubbyist White House it became the tool for the desired transformation of social and political institutions world wide, as well.  And that expanded agenda - not oil, and not some peculiar personality disorder -  is what motivates the White House's intransingence, arrogance, and immovability today.  That agenda is what we must not let their War on Iraq distract us from, for if they are successful in it, the fate if Iraq will be of small consequence in comparison.

I sometimes see speculation about 'what happened to Islam' that thwarted the further development of the  extraordinary cultural and intellectual achievements of the Arab and Muslim world up to and including the 17th Century.  My response:  The same as will happen to the civilization of the "West" if the Shrubbyist agenda goes unchecked; a slide back into the reign of fundamentalist religion, feudalism, superstition, ignorance, and the suppression, by military and police powers, of the peoples' liberties and aspirations.  Don't let the protestations of the Wolfowitz's and Kristol's fool you, that is where they have us headed.

The Political Agenda in the US
The agenda is multifaceted.  At its core it rejects nearly all of the political and social progress of the last 70 years, with goals ranging from the repeal of New Deal programs for the regulation of business activity and Social Security to the purposeful use of ballooning military budgets and excessive, socially regressive tax reductions to permanently impoverish the non military and police functions of  government at all levels.

The Shrubbyist objective for the 'perpetual war' strategy is twofold.  First, the passions and exigencies of military conflict has  acted to increase political support they recieve, even for this disastrous, un American agenda.  Second, the attention of the media, and of those Americans who oppose their agenda has been diverted, almost totally, from the legislative and executive actions putting it in place.

The point must be repeated:  It is the agenda for total control, for radical social change and political revolution - not oil, and not some peculiar personality disorder -  that motivates the White House's intransingence, arrogance, and immovability over Iraq. We must not let their War on Iraq distract us from that agenda, for if they are successful in it, the fate if Iraq will be of small consequence in comparison to what will follow - here and in the rest of the world.

The White House's current efforts to pack our Judiciary system with right wing extremists as Judges is but one example of the uses to which the distraction of war can be put.  The worst example, procedurally, is the Estrada nomination, where the nominee has NO judicial experience or record and has refused to give any indication of his judicial philosophy or to release to the Judiciary Committee of the Senate any records or writings which might give information about his qualifications.

The Senate Democrats have successfully prevented Estrada's confirmation with a filibuster, a device traditionally used for such purposes by Republicans and Republicrats from the South.   Now that it is being used against them, the Shrubbyists and their Republican sympathizers have decided it should be eliminated!   (See the reporting copied below.) Please, call or write your Senators, Republican or Democrat, and ask them to preserve this tool, which looks to be so essential in a coming protracted battle against Shrubbyism.   You may also want to make an appeal that they vote against closing debate on the Estrada nomination, that is to prevent a vote which would result in his confirmation.

Bush Calls For Ban on Judicial Filibusters
   Go to Original

     Editor's Note (from Amid all the hue and cry regarding war in Iraq, Senate Democrats have been quietly but sternly wrestling Bush's judicial agenda to the mat with the ongoing filibuster of conservative judicial nominee Miguel Estrada.  Republicans, frustrated by their inability to break the filibuster, have gone so far as to accuse the Democrats of anti-Hispanic bias on the matter.  This ignores Estrada's ultra-conservative views, and further ignores the fact that the Senate was given no data with which to judge Estrada's nomination.  Estrada refused to give up his papers, and has answered few questions before the Judiciary Committee.  Thus, the filibuster.

     Now, Mr. Bush and Senate Republicans have decided to try and overthrow a tried and true constitutional rule: the filibuster itself.  Apparently, says Majority Leader Frist, the Democrats are failing the Founders by using the Constitution as it was meant to be used.  Mr. Frist was apparently off practicing medicine when Republican Senators made rich use of the filibuster against Clinton's judicial nominees.  And so it goes. - wrp

     Bush Calls For Ban on Judicial Filibusters | Associated Press

     Tuesday 11 March 2003

     President Bush, his appeals court nomination of Miguel Estrada mired in party politics, called Tuesday for a ban on judicial filibusters and a mandatory vote on all court nominations he and future presidents send to the Senate.

     In a letter read on the Senate floor by Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, Bush called for a permanent rule "to ensure timely up or down votes on judicial nominations both now and in the future, no matter who is president or which party controls the Senate. This is the only way to ensure our judiciary works and that good people remain willing to be nominated to the federal bench."

     Senators in the past have called for similar changes but to no effect.

     Republicans have so far failed in their efforts to end the Democratic filibuster of Estrada's nomination for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

     Frist, with Vice President Dick Cheney presiding in the chamber, said Tuesday the Estrada filibuster goes against what the founding fathers wanted from the Senate on judicial nominations. Democrats have "brought us to the point to failing that charge," Frist said.

     Democrats cite 'precedent'

     But Democrats said GOP senators have blocked Democratic judicial nominees from getting confirmation votes in the Senate as well.

     "Because that precedent stands in the way of their political ends, Republicans now seek to deny their own words and their own actions," said Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota. "They're here today to claim that the Constitution is threatened by the very same procedures that they themselves have employed. They're here today to claim the Constitution is going to be threatened by the very same powers that it grants."

     But Bush called on the Senate to get beyond the past. "I ask senators of both parties to come together and end the escalating cycle of blame and bitterness and to restore fairness, predictability and dignity to the process," Bush said in the letter.

     Republicans are moving aside Estrada's blocked appeals court nomination temporarily as they turn their attention to other Bush nominees, including Texas Supreme Court Judge Priscilla Owen, who was rejected last year when Democrats controlled the Senate.

     Frist said Estrada's filibustered nomination won't be left behind. The delay is to move other controversial U.S. Appeals Court nominees such as Owen, Ohio appellate lawyer Jeff Sutton and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Deborah Cook.

     Not giving up

     "I'm not going to give up on the Estrada nomination," Frist said Monday. "We're going to pursue this nomination until we get an up or down vote."

     Owen, a Texas Supreme Court Justice who wants a seat on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, was one of two White House judicial nominees voted down by Democrats in the Senate Judiciary Committee last year. Committee chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has planned a Thursday hearing, hoping to rehabilitate her nomination and move her on to the full Senate for confirmation with his GOP committee majority.

     Democrats complained that Owen has been an anti-abortion and pro-business judicial activist whose opinions and rulings are overly influenced by her personal beliefs.
"The charge that she is a judicial activist was nothing more than a cynical trick of words from Washington special interest lobbyists," Hatch said Monday.

     The other nominee who failed to clear the committee last year was U.S. District Judge Charles Pickering of Mississippi, who also wanted a seat on the 5th Circuit. Hatch has said Pickering also will get another hearing.

     Democrats have said Owen and Pickering would face serious opposition from them, including possible filibusters.

     The Republicans lost a filibuster vote on Estrada on Thursday, with only four Democrats voting with the GOP majority to give him an immediate confirmation vote. Frist said he would soon try vote on ending the filibuster, and Hatch said he expects such a vote perhaps as early as next week.

     (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

© Copyright 2002 by

Weblog 2003-03-11, Tuesday, Tiw's Day

A U.S. diplomat resigned from government service on Monday in protest at GWB's preparations to attack Iraq, the second to do so in less than a month.

The slapstick side of opposition: go to and (from Wink)  These seem appropriate for the war god's day.

Rightist Disinformation Campaign is Underway -  A reported trashing of a 9-11 memorial being maintained by residents of a mobil home park in Nixon's hometown, Whittier, CA, turns out to have been conducted by Shrubbyist sympathizing rightists seeking to stir up resentment against opponents of the Iraq war.  Naturally, the Whittier Police, who did observe the trashing of the memorial, did not detain the people long enough to identify them, let alone arrest them.   But the "agent provacateur" nature of the action and the Shrubbyist sympathies of the people involved are well enough known to locals.

Use a firewall!  All home and small office and 'traveling' portable computer users should be using a firewall which blocks all ports to incoming traffic, unless the port is controlled by an authorized application on the user's machine, and which blocks all outgoing traffic which is not originated by an application which the user has given permission to access the internet.  The free Zone Alarm personal firewall is one such firewall.

A worm using port 445 has been pretty active since Sunday.   I noticed the hits on my firewall, and now Brother has confirmed it with a forwarded note.

The worm does not rely on web browsing or email or file transfer to propagate, but installs itself over any internet connection which is not protected by a firewall which blocks Port 445.  Unlike firewalls, Anti Virus program tools do not detect, protect, or remove it if they were issued before the AV vendor discovered and covered this threat.

The worm installs a backdoor to the infected system which permits its control by any user from a remote location.

Win 2k and Win XP (and NT) machines unprotected by Port 445 blocking firewalls can be infected, and "owned" (to become 'sleeper' systems), if they use one of the 'candidate' passwords and the network share involved (IPC$ share) is not disabled.  Naturally, since we are talking MS, the default setting for the share is "enabled" and it is not easily disabled.  The IPC$ share is used with temporary connections between clients and servers by using named pipes for communications among network programs. It is primarily used for remote administration of network servers. (More at

The worm deletes the IPC$ and other shares.. so if you don't find the share, you may have the worm.

(Network Associates says:  The worm requires WindowsNT/2k/XP in order to spread, but the virus can copy itself onto Win9x/ME systems.   --- (but) does not function on Win9x/ME systems. )

>Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2003 01:54:12 -0500
>Reply-To: Windows NTBugtraq Mailing List <NTBUGTRAQ@LISTSERV.NTBUGTRAQ.COM>
>Sender: Windows NTBugtraq Mailing List <NTBUGTRAQ@LISTSERV.NTBUGTRAQ.COM>
>From: Russ <Russ.Cooper@RC.ON.CA>
>Subject: Alert: New Worm - W32/Deloder on TCP445
>Our Director of Malcode Research, Roger Thompson, has been monitoring the rapid increase in activity of the W32/Deloder worm;
>(Note: We're looking for someone in each country to run WormCatcher, drop me a note if you're interested and outside of North America)
>This worm, similar to previous worms on TCP445, spreads via network shares. Most corporate environments should be protected because they are not allowing untrusted connections into their network, however, he's identified a couple of scenarios where this may happen.
>1. Machines connected to raw Internet connections when out of the corporate environment, either at home or while traveling, which are then brought back into the corporate network.
>2. Machines which use VPN connections into the corporate network but are not properly protected from the raw Internet.
>Update your AV definitions and ensure such machines receive appropriate protection, as in Personal Firewalls and active AV.
>Russ - Surgeon General of TruSecure Corporation/NTBugtraq Editor

Weblog 2003-03-10, Moon day

I received one of these internet stories about an old Royal Crown Cola bottle. "In the bottle top was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it. The kind that sat on the end of the ironing board to "sprinkle" clothes with because we didn't have steam irons."  LOL, "didn't have steam irons".  I remember when the "gas iron" was new, replacing an unheated iron I do not remember.  Instead of a place for distilled water in the handle, there was a screw cap with a pump handle, so the gas could be poured in and then pressurized.  Then the iron was lit, and the gas burned, heating the iron.  Ah, the joys of modern, labor saving household tools.

There are a bunch of these "do you remember" emails floating on the internet, the list below is from a couple of them.  I don't remember quite all of them, but not because I am too young.  More likely because I am too old.  And in some cases because the items were too expensive or "urban" for me to come in contact with.  Here is one such list, with a few recollections.  (And some additions of my own.)  How Many Do You Remember???

Car head lights dimmer switches on the floor
Ignition switches on the dashboard
"Throttle" and "Choke" knobs on the dashboard
Wondering why the new cars lacked running boards
Heaters mounted on the inside of the fire wall
Driving to town to watch TV through the furniture store window (Also driving to a neighboring house while visiting Dad's sister near Ottawa to see the very first TV of my life.  There was a giant glass magnifier in front, to enlarge the picture.  I wonder where all those magnifiers went.)
Cisterns, and the hand pump to provide water in the house
Rationing, Savings Stamps, CARE drives, and when bananas came back after the War
Mixing dye into bags of white oleomargarine to color it yellow
Rail Road water towers (for the steam engines) and milk wagons (for the milk cans) by the RR depot
Real ice boxes - (Ours was in the basement, and I remember the ice house in town where we got the ice (when it was not delivered)).  I was a baby  when my Dad worked winters at the ice lake at Buena Vista, CO, cutting and warehousing the ice that was shipped out the next summer, cooling railroad 'refrigerator cars'.)
Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.  (Nope.  Remember my pant legs getting caught though, and lying under the bike while I tried to get uncaught.   I was alone, and pretty well trapped.)
Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.  (The burner was brass, gas fired like Mom's iron.)
Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.
Blackjack chewing gum
Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
Candy cigarettes
Sweeping compound for the wooden floors at school and in stores
Soda pop machines that dispensed bottles  (Recirculating ice-water soda coolers were the absolute best.  These deliver the best, coldest, soda pop ever sold.  Last winter, driving west across Arizona on I40 I saw a pickup truck with two of them in it, and three glass topped gas pumps too, probably heading for some celebrity's estate in L.A.  Not the glass globes, but the glass five gallon containers that you pumped full before draining them into your tank.  I barely remember my dad using one up in the Rockies one time.)
Coffee shops with tabletop jukeboxes  (What's to remember?  I still hang out in these places.)
Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers.  (Those are 'pogs' if I remember correctly.  And they confused me a bit when I first saw them, in town, because milk came from a jug in the icebox, which was filled from the milk bucket, which was filled from the cow.  And Dad separated milk and cream with the hand cranked cream separator.)
Party lines (The telephones were battery powered, with hand cranked magneto 'ringers'.  Our 'number' was two longs and a short, once we got a phone.  To learn how to crank a 'number' and talk to a neighbor or call town was kind of scary/exciting.)
Newsreels before the movie (Movietone.  I remember WWII, a bit - Mussolini hanging with his (buxom) girlfriend, the A bomb.  And Ghandi's assasination by a 'former' RSS fascist Hindu fundamentalist thug.  And the King David Hotel bombing, a 'terrorist' act by the Stern Gang that was instrumental in driving the British from Palestine.  Tanks, crowds, people running, explosions.  Yeah, I remember, it's hard to forget that stuff. Especially in black and white.)
P. F.  Flyers (Never heard of them.)
Butch wax(A new fangled substitute for good old American Vitalis.  Brother had a Mohawk cut, too radical for me.)
Telephone numbers with a word prefix (Olive - 6933) (Castle2-3492, we still have it.)  (Still used them in KC when I graduated college and went to the big city for the first time; there was an 'Olive' exchange there  too.)
Cork popguns - (No, I never had any use for them, as we had cap guns.)
Howdy Doody
45 RPM records
S&H Green  Stamps (And discussions of the 'savings stamp' phenomenon in the business press.  This is like yesterday, for pete's sake.)
Hi-fi consoles (My first memory of sound recording is Aunt Agnes's hand wound Victrola)
Metal ice trays with lever
Mimeograph paper
Blue flashbulb
Roller skate keys (And Melanie's wonderful song - "I've got brand new roller skates, you've got a brand new key", a singular, absolutely delicious  paean to young love.  I loved that song.)
Drive-ins (Passion pits!  YUMMMY!  Especially one long night when JB and I missed nearly all of "Around the World in 80 Days", and created the same in 80 ways instead.  Mmmmm.  We called it 'norgling', it had the relation to necking that  fine filet mignon would have to ground beef.  All perfectly innocent, mind you, though I doubt Ken Starr would agree.  So innocent that 'blue balls' or 'stones' could get to a fellow.  JB had Darvon for me, controlling the pain let us 'keep on truckin'.  And sometimes the poor girls thought they had 'upset stomachs'!  Gees.  And I have met kids (those under 50) who literally do not know or believe such conditions exist!  "Kids today don't have any idea what they are missing---instant gratification took a whole bunch of the fun out of  life" in the words of one of my sisters.)
Studebakers (I nearly bought an Avanti in '63, matter of fact.  And I hear they are trying to bring them back!)
"Nash today, trash tomorrow"
Packards (Brother and I drove two (48's?) in High School, but the 32 Chevy we drove before that was a better car.  That was a FINE machine, wish we had it still.)
Henry J.'s
Prefects (Was this some Ford product I have forgotten?)
Youngstown Steel kitchen cabinets
Wash tub wringers (And a green enameled washer, with NO motor or engine.  Mom, or the Aunts, or the older kids used a lever handle to drive the agitator.  The wringer had a spring release, in case it jammed or a hand got caught in it. The octagonal stick Mom used to push the laundry down in the tub is now used to hold up the lid of the automatic washer - still in use though semi-retired, after 60 years or more.  A later washer, in the new basement, had a Maytag gas engine, with a kick starter.  It was an SOB to start, Dad often had to do that.)
I also remember a bit of the first four years of my life in a log house in the Rockies, in Chaffee County, CO.   I took first and second grades in a one room country school (10 of us in eight grades, with double desks and inkwells, the pot bellied coal stove in the center of the room).  In first grade, BJ, a second grader, would often drive a Model A to school, sometimes giving the teacher a lift.  One time "the Dads" had to reposition the schoolhouse on its stone post foundation, after BJ didn't stop in time and almost knocked it off.   I  learned to read by the light of kerosene (its still here) lamp and gas lantern, and remember the installation of the "indoor plumbing" and electricity (initially a Kohler generator in the garage, then REA).

No wonder I love time with my parents.  Casual recollections in conversation don't so often go past them without recognition or understanding.

The Xanax Cowboy -
It still confuses many Americans that, in a world full of vicious slimeballs, we're about to bomb one that didn't attack us on 9/11 (like Osama); that isn't intercepting our planes (like North Korea); that isn't financing Al Qaeda (like Saudi Arabia); that isn't home to Osama and his lieutenants (like Pakistan); that isn't a host body for terrorists (like Iran, Lebanon and Syria).

A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1989, ISBN 0-8050-6884-8
 Review Copyright © 2002 Garret Wilson, 8 August 2002 8:43am  -  The review includes a brief history of how:

"The system of states as we know it in the Middle East (a term only invented in 1902),  was crafted by Europeans around 1922 as a way to grab new expansions to their empire, to carve up the fallen Ottoman Empire and establish influence as they had done with other countries after previous wars."
The chief offenders were England and France, and the disastrous deed was done by 1922.  The review, at least is worth a read.   To purchase try Amazon.

History:For centuries, we've been 'liberating' the Middle East. Why do we never learn? by Robert Fisk, Independent News, 06 March 2003  (Also HERE)

On 8 March 1917, Lieutenant-general Stanley Maude issued a  "Proclamation to the People of the Wilayat of Baghdad". Maude's  Anglo-Indian Army of the Tigres had just invaded and occupied  Iraq – after storming up the country from Basra – to "free" its  people from their dictators.
And in Iraq in the coming months? What will be the price of our folly this time, of our failure to learn the lessons of history? Only after the United States has completed its occupation we shall find out. It is when the Iraqis demand an end to that occupation, when popular resistance to the American presence by the Shias and the Kurds and even the Sunnis begins to destroy the military "success" which President Bush will no doubt proclaim when the first US troops enter Baghdad. It is then our real "story" as journalists will begin.

It is then that all the empty words of colonial history, the need to topple tyrants and dictators, to assuage the suffering of the people of the Middle East, to claim that we and we only are the best friends of the Arabs, that we and we only must help them, will unravel.

Here I will make a guess: that in the months and years that follow America's invasion of Iraq, the United States, in its arrogant assumption that it can create "democracy" in the ashes of a Middle East dictatorship as well as take its oil, will suffer the same as the British in Palestine. Of this tragedy, Winston Churchill wrote, and his words are likely to apply to the US in Iraq: "At first, the steps were wide and shallow, covered with a carpet, but in the end the very stones crumbled under their feet."

Mr. Fisk's theme is that European intervention has always been excused as an effort at liberation, has never succeeded in that, and that another such effort will likely be equally futile.  There are those who would hope a form of "intervention" could be found that would work to that end, I count myself among them.  But it will not happen in the hands of the lying Shrubbyist imposters and their fundamentalist allies, of that I am certain.

Saying No to War: New York times Editorial, Sunday 9 March 2003 -  From Truthout:  "Editor's Note:  Understand this for what it is.  The Times hedges its language to a degree here, but at the end of the day the message is clear.  The 'Paper of Record' for the Western world has come out against the war."

Weblog 2003-03-09, Sunday

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man
By Carla Binion, Online Journal Contributing Editor

  Thomas Paine said belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man. Paine biographer John Keane points out that Paine criticized organized religion and the cruel-God concept, while at the same time defending "the idea of a benevolent Creator of the universe."   George W. Bush's God is so cruel that he wants Bush to massacre Iraqi children in order to "get" Saddam Hussein and install a puppet government, which he mislabels "democracy."  The "God" whispering in George W. Bush's ear is cruel enough to sanction lying as a way to gain support for slaughtering innocents.  This "God" also approved the widely reported U.S. bugging of United Nations members as a means to his murderous ends.

  Evidently, this isn't the same God bending the Pope's ear, or speaking to the Dalai Lama, to former President Jimmy Carter, or countless other widely respected spiritual and political leaders and antiwar protesters, because that God is saying "don't massacre Iraqi babies based on lies."  Whether one is religious, spiritual, agnostic or otherwise, it's hard for the clear thinking reader to deny there's something deceptive and, well, diabolical about George W. Bush's "God."

  The Progressive magazine (February 2003) referred to Bush's belief he can purge the world of evil at the point of a gun as "messianic militarism."  Bush has referred to his mission to "democratize" the Middle East as his "crusade," calling perceived enemies "evildoers" and members of an "axis of evil."

  The Progressive quotes reporter Bob Woodward as saying that Bush characterizes his "mission" and that of the U. S. "in the grand vision of God's master plan."   According to Woodward's book, BUSH AT WAR, Bush often states he operates mainly by gut instinct.  He told Woodward, "I'm not a textbook player.  I'm a gut player."

  After spending long hours studying Bush's public statements and interviewing him, Woodward concludes that Bush's instincts "are almost his second religion."  With the power to go around the world making war on any nation his instincts tell him is "evil," Bush feels no need to clarify his reasons to critics or to seriously consider counsel from those with differing views.

  Bush told Woodward, "I don't need to explain why I say things.  That's the interesting thing about being the President.  Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."

  The Progressive points out that when Bush was governor of Texas he stated, "I could not be governor if I did not believe in a divine plan that supercedes all human plans."  His mother, Barbara Bush, told her son he was a Moses figure, and in Bush's campaign book, he claimed he had "a charge to keep."

  This messianic zeal combined with the militaristic goal of bombing the Middle East allegedly for the sake of "democratizing" the region, but in reality done for the purpose of dominating world events, endangers the entire planet.  Television news has barely touched on the fact that war hawks in the Bush administration, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, have long planned to use military force to remake the entire Middle East.  Fortunately, the print media have repeatedly shown evidence that Bush hawks consider Iraq a mere first step in a series of preemptive attacks on supposedly "evil" nations that Bush and company imagine might some day threaten U. S. global domination.

  In The American Prospect (March 2003) Robert Kuttner writes that "throughout the Cold War, the lunatic fringe - people like Gen. Curtis LeMay, who wanted to bomb North Vietnam 'back to the Stone Age' - often served in government.  But providentially, these radicals never seized control of policy.  Until now."

  Today the radicals of the far right have taken control of American foreign policy.  Kuttner says the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz contingent "are considered lunatic fringe" even among certain foreign policy realists.

  Kuttner concludes that though the Bush team's crusaders might wish it weren't true, it's impractical "to drain every political swamp" by removing every world dictator.  "Despite abominations like Vietnam and sundry CIA-sponsored coups," says Kuttner, "on the whole the United States has borne its vast power with a strategic sense of proportion.  Until now."

  Now we have the Dr. Strangelove types, the war-zealots, at the helm.  These messianic crusaders think they can do no wrong and that they therefore can totally ignore, or deem irrelevant, the United Nations, the Pope, countless other dissenting spiritual and political leaders and the masses of protesters around the world, because their cruel God is on their side.

  The "God" leading George W. Bush and his minions into battle says the ends justify the means.  This "God" condones lying and murder and has chosen cruel men as his vehicles.

  Not every stray Bush administration gut "instinct" or apparent spiritual "inspiration" is divine.  Don't wise spiritual leaders suggest we might distinguish between   good and evil "spirits" or individuals by their "fruits," or the results of their actions?

  In a Buzzflash interview (February 23, 2003), Mark Crispin Miller, NYU Professor and author of "The Bush Dyslexicon," accurately described Bush as "a swaggering contradiction of the Sermon on the Mount."  Miller also mentioned Bush seems to believe "that God has chosen him to be His instrument against 'the evil one.'"

  This "divine instrument" has promoted many lies in order to trump up support for his upcoming war(s).  As LA Times reporter Robert Scheer pointed out (Marcy 4, 2003), Bush has lied so often about such crucial matters that increasingly people in government are speaking out.

  For example, John Brady Kiesling, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, resigned recently, saying in his letter of resignation that because of the actions of the current administration, he no longer believed that upholding the policies of the president also meant upholding the best interests of America and the world.

  Kiesling said, "we have not seen such systematic distortion of intelligence, such systematic manipulation of American opinion, since the war in Vietnam."  Is "God" guiding the Bush team to distort intelligence reports and deceive the public?

  Robert Scheer notes that Bush lied when he claimed Iraq aided the September 11 terrorists.  Bush also lied when he claimed Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction are an imminent threat to the U.S.  Bush is lying when he claims his only interest is getting rid of Saddam Hussein and restructuring Iraq.  Scheer is another respected journalist confirming the fact that the Bush hawks have no intention of stopping with Iraq, but intend to reshape the entire Middle East.

  Other journalists criticizing the Bush administration's deception include Paul Krugman of the New York Times who has written that "the Bush administration lies a lot."  In an October Washington Post article, Dana Milbank listed eight Bush administration statements that were lies.  William Raspberry said of Colin Powell's report to the UN, "I don't believe him."

  The Bush team's many lies should raise questions about the motives and "divine" nature of their mission.  It also makes sense to ask whether "God" would approve their "dirty tricks" campaign, described in a leaked National Security Agency memo.  The memo ordered agency staff to spy on UN Security Council members in an effort to win votes for war against Iraq.  According to Martin Bright, Ed Vulliamy and Peter Beaumont in The Observer (March 2, 2003), the surveillance operation involved "interception of the home and office telephones and the emails of UN delegates in New York."

  A few months ago, the Dalai Lama sent a letter to George W. Bush, trying to talk him out of attacking Iraq.  The Dalai Lama once said his religion is about loving kindness, adding that if he had to choose, he would rather the world include larger numbers of loving, kind people than more Buddhists.  In contrast, Bush would apparently prefer to bully and blackmail the world into following his crusade than to cultivate loving kindness and worldwide good will.

  The Bush hawks claim that doing nothing would be more dangerous than going forward with their war plans.  However, in his January 2003 article, "An Alternative to War," former President Jimmy Carter suggested a third option, namely "a sustained and enlarged inspection team, deployed as a permanent entity until the United States and other members of the UN Security Council determine that its presence is no longer needed."  The earth might be a safer place if the Bush team would consider such options.

  The Bush administration's mindset and actions are leading the world toward a destructive future - toward a new and eerie "world order" of unprecedented darkness and peril - an order that would please the cruelest "God" imaginable.  People of conscience the world over would do well to oppose this.

The Immorality of Preventive War By Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.  was first published by the Los Angeles Times and is reprinted with permission of the author at the History News Network web site:

Just War — or a Just War?  (Or just the "Road to Armageddon!") (from CLG) --by Jimmy Carter "As a Christian and as a president who was severely provoked by international crises, I became thoroughly familiar with the principles of a just war, and it is clear that a substantially unilateral attack on Iraq does not meet these standards. This is an almost universal conviction of religious leaders, with the most notable exception of a few spokesmen of the Southern Baptist Convention who are greatly influenced by their commitment to Israel based on eschatological, or final days, theology."  

With Passion and a Dash of Pink, Women Protest War By THE NEW YORK TIMES March 9, 2003
Is it possible something is happening here?  Opposition to the war seems to be getting media coverage.  Very odd.
"All criticism is justified, all praise is unjustified. 
"You grow with criticism; you are diminished with praise."
Dominique Galouzeau de Villepin,
French Foreign Minister

  Dominique de Villepin Articulates the French Proposal 

US Spying at the United Nations - In another, continuing oddity Rupert Murdoch's Guardian Unlimited - The Observer has led the reporting about an American 'dirty tricks' surveillance operation to win votes at the United Nations in favor of the new US - British resolution on Iraq.   Wonder what the folks at Prince Rupert's Faux News think of this.

A Detour From the War on Terrorism --by Gary Hart "The urgent necessity to disband terrorist networks abroad and to secure the American homeland has been replaced by the Bush administration's puzzling preoccupation with Saddam Hussein. He has become George Bush's White Whale, an obsession that has cost us international solidarity in eradicating terrorism, the goodwill of tens of millions of people worldwide and the role of benign democratic world leader." (from CLG)Gary Hart was co-chairman, with former Senator Warren Rudman, of the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century, which originated the Homeland Security proposals during the Clinton administration.   Yeah... the ones that were put on hold until Al Qaeda produced GWB's 'trifecta'.

Weblog 2003-03-08, Satyrday

UN plan to give Saddam 72 hours to leave Baghdad or face March 17 invasion  The Scots "Sunday Herald" reports this rumored plan as a paragraph to be included in a new UN ultimatum resolution presented by Pakistan.  It supposedly has been brokered by the Vatican, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab states.   Administration of post Saddam Iraq would go directly to the UN under this rumored plan.  The theory is that such a modified resolution will be acceptable to the French, German, Russian and Chinese governments.  It also seems to be in line with the Sojourner proposal described below.

An Alternative to War for Defeating Saddam Hussein - A Religious Initiative  by Christians for Justice and Peace offers a six point plan for freeing the Iraqi peoples from Saddam's yoke and the Baath party autocracy, while still avoiding war.  At the link you can both send an appeal to GW Bush to reconsider the "destroy Iraq to save it" strategy and send messages to your friends encouraging them to do the same.

Special Agent Colleen Rowley's letter to FBI Director Mueller - From

Editor's Note:  You will remember Colleen Rowley as the Minneapolis FBI agent who 'blew the whistle' on the fact that the FBI had several serious warnings about the 9/11 attacks in hand before that fateful day, and failed to act upon them.  Ms. Rowley has once again stepped forward with this letter, written to FBI Director Mueller on February 26, which describes in detail her concerns about domestic safety issues in light of the looming war with Iraq.  This letter covers a wide variety of highly important issues, but foremost among them is the dire warning she delivers to her boss:  "The bottom line is this: We should be deluding neither ourselves nor the American people that there is any way the FBI, despite the various improvements you are implementing, will be able to stem the flood of terrorism that will likely head our way in the wake of an attack on Iraq." -
"Oderint dum metuant" translates, roughly, as "let them hate as long as they fear." It was a favorite saying of the emperor Caligula - and appears to be official US policy under the current regime.  -- Paul Krugman in the NY Times, in an excellent riff on the questions "Why does our president condone the swaggering and contemptuous approach to our friends and allies this administration is fostering, including among its most senior officials? Has 'oderint dum metuant' really become our motto?" asked in  John Brady Kiesling's letter of resignation from the US Foreign Service.

Talking Points Memo   Joshua Micah Marshall, up to now a supporter of war on Iraq now says "At this point, we truly have the worst case scenario on the international stage. And I think that those costs now  outweigh the gains."

Blair faces wave of resignations as ministerial aides issue ultimatumTony Blair will face a wave of government resignations if he commits British troops to a war on Iraq without securing a second United Nations mandate for military action.

A think tank war: Why old Europe says no This war came from a think tank --by Jochen Boelsche "It was in no way a conspiracy. As far back as 1998, ultra right US think tanks had developed and published plans for an era of US world domination, sidelining the UN and attacking Iraq. These people were not taken seriously. But now they are calling the tune." (from CLG)

Police powers move into your browser  By Declan McCullagh CNET March 3, 2003, 5:24 AM PT URL:
The discussion thread at [ Link ] is especially interesting, and the posting at [ Link ] is essential for its links on the subject of Voting Machine and Electoral System Abuse.  A copy of the latter is at  VoteMachAbuse-VClay030304.html

It is ironic to see the response of ZDnet posters.  As Atlant Schmidt notes:

One need only Google back to the time of the 2000 Selection to see that most ZDnet posters were salivating at the prospect of Republicans controlling all three branches of the US Government:
Now that's a fact, but it doesn't seem to be working out as well as they had all hoped.  As "The Onion" so succinctly put it on January18, 2001:
"Bush: 'Our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over'"
I don't think they realized at the time just how true their words would be!
The Onion's satirical note predicted today's headlines too well, including this:  US Payrolls Fall Sharply as Jobless Rate Rises to 5.8%  is one of those self selecting straw vote sites; this one has a clientele of right wing voters, which makes for some depressing results.

Low Frequency Active Sonar Experiments may be harming, even killing significant numbers of Whales and other Cetaceans.  A Yahoo email discussion group is at

Another Viral Worm (Lovgate.C) is spreading; it is only a moderate threat as it is confined to Outlook Express and Outlook email clients.  It is a slow acting automated social engineering worm, as it generates  viral replies to email in the OE inbox of the infected machines.  The recipients receive messages in apparent reply to mail they sent to the infected user, which induces them to trust the attachment.  It may be slow, but it looks like a troublemaker to me, if it can achieve critical mass or 'tipping point'.

Spy ware on your machine may be  more of a problem than worms and viruses, though.

Weblog 2003-03-07, Friday (Freya's Day)

A Pakistani view of the conflict over Kashmir, a call for peace and a description of the effects of the violence -5 March -

With  note from Mark Bruzonsky of MER:

                               KASHMIR, KOREA, IRAQ, PALESTINE, CHECHNYA, COLUMBIA...

MID-EAST REALITIES - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 3/7/2003:    This list of war areas -- a number of which could indeed erupt into some kind of World War III as the very nerves of the world grow more tense -- is hardly complete; but it dramatizes the exceedingly dangerous 'New World Order' of the current historical moment    After Iraq it's clear now the Americans (egged on by the Israelis and with a little help if Tony Blair remains PM in England) are planning to move on in their escalating crusade to enforce a new world order by superpower might and technology -- at huge cost in blood and treasure...and history.  Iran, Korea, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Syria, Occupied Palestine (Hamas), Pakistan -- they are all on the target list, make no mistake about it anymore.  This article about the tinder-box of Kashmir is a perspective from Pakistan -- a country the Washington Post just last week editorialized (as it often does on behalf of the Washington power establishment as well as 'liberal' American Jewish groups associated with Israel) should be warned that either it comply with the 'new world order' or it too will be put on the American hit list.

Early this morning I sent yesterday's posting, about the PNAC master plan and consequences, to my address book.  My hope in such things really is to clear the air, and provide information to those who know this war is wrong, but have to little time to track all the ebb and flow of media opinion, that their opposition cannot be discounted on "policy" grounds by "subject matter experts".   Representation of the war on Iraq as a step to liberation for Arab and Muslim peoples appears to be the latest example of such a "disinformation" effort.    My deepest gratitude goes to those who are opposing this war with their feet and active works in their communities.

Tough Questions for Bush on Iraq Tonight  include:

Weblog 2003-03-06, Thursday (Thor's Day)

It seems it is time to get off the fence and be clear about where I stand on some things.

Whitewashing the Shrubbyist "Mein Kampf"

I see that  a news conference was scheduled for Thursday night.   If Drudge had it right Wednesday, GW Bush decided Wednesday night that we are going to war.  Or not.  It's reported that British troops have been told that 3/17 is the day their part in the invasion begins.  It's also reported that there will be no additional UN resolution.   The rocket and bomb assault will last 3 days before serious ground action by ground troops begins.

Before that, there will be an intense campaign to justify the war. That propaganda campaign began in earnest with  speeches declaring that the war was the solution to the problems of the Mid East.   No sale here.  I agree with Matthew Rothschild, editor of "The Progressive"

Until Bush stands up to Sharon, the United States could overthrow the governments of Iraq and Iran and Syria, for that matter, and still not solve the truly "growing threat," which is the ongoing crisis between Israel and Palestine.
The campaign continued on Ted Koppel's "Nightline" Wednesday night, with two segments whitewashing  the now famous "Project for the New American Century", which I call the Shrubbyist "Mein Kampf". Exposed by Jay Bookman in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution as early as September, 2002, it is also described in some detail at [McConnell], [Pilger  &], [Floyd&] and [Beeman].   For those who fear to click on links... here is the nutshell:

Material originally at this location has been moved HERE

If Drudge has it right, may God forbid, 6 hours or so from now - it is 2:00 am PT - we may well be at war.  The Shrubbyists have lost all credibility, support for their adventure in the Mid East is paper thin, and turning to ash by the hour.  All they have now is the authority of an unelected "Commander in Chief" of the US armed forces, unchecked by a weak and frightened Congress,  to order them into war.   It appears now that our only recourse, if he insists on this path, would be impeachment, a course that will be justified by his acts of war in violation of our Constitution.  (More on impeachment.)

The war may well be brief, so brief that the devastation of Iraq's cities and the deaths of tens or hundreds of thousands of its women, children, and aged through direct combat action and the indirect effects of that action will be ignored by the press and politicians.  It is reported that 300,000 bombs and missiles will be directed at Iraq by the US in the first 3 days of the assault.

The strategy has a name, Blitzkrieg or something like that.  But  Kierkegaard's "Fear and Trembling" is what gnaws at my mind.   The sense of wonderment, awe at our participation in this tremendous universe and the life brought forth within it is utterly lacking in the dead minds and spirits of the men and women in power who have brought us to this point.

The Dinosaurs lived on this earth for 250 million years, and featheredTheropods are here to delight and entrance us still.  The writ of genus Homo, species (oh so ironically) sapiens, looks to run well short of half a million, that of "modern" man perhaps a bit over 20,000 years, of "civilization" in the neighborhood of 7,000.  Ah, but such a proud race!

A Chorus Against War by Howard Zinn, The Progressive, March, 2003

Bush's Speech Falls Flat by Matthew Rothschild, February 27, 2003

Weblog 2003-03-05, Wednesday (Wodin's Day)

A war policy in collapse  By James Carroll, 3/4/2003 - Mr. Carroll's fine essay concludes:

All of this points to an administration whose policies are confused and whose implementations  are incompetent. The efficiency with which the US military is moving into position for attack is  impressive; thousands of uniformed Americans are preparing to carry out the orders of their  civilian superiors with diligence and courage. But the hollowness of that civilian leadership, laid  bare in the disarray of last week's news, is breathtaking.

 That the United States of America should be on the brink of such an ill-conceived, unnecessary  war is itself a crime. The hope now is that -- even before the war has officially begun -- its true  character is already manifesting itself, which could be enough, at last, to stop it.

Blue Ribbon Image What's needed now is an immediate, massive display of ongoing opposition to the War. And we can do it-Quickly and Easily-with a Blue Ribbon.  If even a fraction of all those who oppose this unilateral war wear a blue ribbon on their lapels, shirts, or  dresses and tie it to their cars (and anything else), we will create a force that can no longer be ignored.  You can get the ribbon to make your own in any craft or fabric store, or to learn more and purchase one  or a bunch of these cheap, check out the store at:

The Blue Ribbon Campaign is a project of the Win Without War coalition.

Please ask your friends to sign the Fair Taxes For All petition to Congress:

Weblog 2003-03-04, Tuesday

Shame!  Our Senate has Shamed Itself!
The noble, courageous, and ever courteous and civilized President of Afghanistan has been insulted and mistreated by the Senate of the United States.  Hamid Karzai risks his life every day, in service to the welfare and liberty of his people and Nation (as do many other Afghans, equally dishonored by the American press and political establishment), yet is treated as a vassal and supplicant by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.  This at a time when our country needs all the friends it can get, and when President Karzai has held fast in his friendship toward us.  Senator Lugar is showing signs of either senility or of infection by the virus of imperial delusion that is eating at the sanity of the Executive Branch.  The URL:

The Black Hole that is Shrubbyist imperial policy has spewed forth other signs of its accelerating spiral downward, into chaos:

 "The gap between who we are and how we wish to be seen and how we are in fact seen is  frighteningly wide."
Charlotte Beers, the former advertising executive who has been the Bush administration's  point person in efforts to improve America's image among Muslims, is quitting her State Department job after 17 months, the State Department said today.
The high contrast between Shrubbyist commitment to its imperial warmaking policies on their soil, and the Shrubbyists' vacillating and lily livered approach to supporting the development of democratic and pluralist institutions will not improve the US image among Muslims.

We noted a few days ago that the White House had deeply angered the Iraqi opposition to Hussein by greatly weakening its support for establishment of democratic institutions on "the day after" their planned invasion.  All of the major opposition groups, Kurds, Shia Muslims, Assyrian and Chaldean Christians, and the rest were angered, and some volunteered that they would fight against the imposition of the planned "regency" which the Shrubbyists have outlined.  One of the primary concerns was that the relatively free and independent Kurdish area in the North was being sacrificed, as the Turks were being encouraged to take control there.  Naturally, the Kurds are intensely upset by this.  Now we see that Anti-Saddam Shia are also pretty p.o.'d, and are taking steps to do something about it.

Kurdish officials say that several thousand troops who deserted Saddam's army after the Gulf War and have been sheltered by Iran are redeploying into Northern Iraq, 11 miles inside Iraq and about 135 miles from Baghdad, in territory outside the Iraqi government’s control and administered by Kurds!   In addition to preparing to fight against Saddam, they are reported to be  prepared to join with Kurds to resist a Turkish incursion  into northern Iraq.

The troops are part of Badr Brigade, estimated to have 15,000 fighters in all, and which is the military wing of the  Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a member of the Iraqi National  Congress, an umbrella opposition group that has supported US plans to oust Saddam - at least until the recent "double cross".  The brigade has long resided in Iran, and  sees itself as a prominent voice for Shias, who make up roughly 60 per cent of the Iraqi population.

The Supreme Council opposes the planned  American occupation in Iraq and, in a recent interview, a council official said the current American military build-up was the latest manifestation of a Washington blunder.  The official, Galib al-Asadi, a council representative in northern Iraq, noted that after the Persian Gulf war in 1991, the United States allowed Iraq to keep much of its Army and   to use helicopter gunships to suppress uprisings that almost toppled Saddam.   Mr Asadi also suggested that the brigade’s military activities would be wholly  independent of American plans.
(based on reporting HERE)

Fascism's Face in America
Stephen Downs was wearing a T-shirt bearing the words "Give Peace A Chance'' that he had just purchased from a vendor inside the Crossgates Mall in Guilderland, New York, near Albany, when he was confronted by two security guards and ordered to either take off the T-shirt or leave the mall.  When Downs refused the security officers' orders, police from the town of Guilderland were called and he was arrested and taken away in handcuffs, charged with trespassing.

And from Jerry Bass:
In a recent posting I suggested that we have no need for conspiracy theories when we have already identified the clique behind the rush to war, Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Abrams, et al. This is, in fact, a conspiracy in that they are deceiving the American people and the world about their real intentions, namely, to dominate the globe and even make the world safe for Christianity. These folks would probably welcome additional terrorist actions, in reprisal if we attack Iraq or otherwise, as generating the climate justifying their militarism and anti-democratic policies. Muslims speak about crusaders in their rhetoric, referring to the military expeditions by European Christians in the middle-ages to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. This may not be that far from the truth. There is a strong fundamental Christian component in the forces behind our born-again President, who credits Christianity for his overcoming of alcoholism! About fifteen years ago the conservative Harvard Political Scientist, Samuel Huntington, wrote an influential book that the coming wars would be between Western and Islamic civilizations. We see this emerging as a substitute for the political polarization of the Cold War. It will be far worse once everyone has God or Allah on their side. Earlier, driving into the Paradise Safeway parking lot, the car in front of me, festooned with American flags, had a bumper sticker reading, "I'm a child of God, not a slave of Allah!" I was tempted to ask the driver the last time he read the Koran, but was dissuaded by his tattoos! Paranoia has its uses!


Warren Buffet's Apocalyptic Vision
Apocalypse is nigh, Buffett tells Berkshire faithful:  Warren Buffett is poised to issue his most doom-laden forecast for the state of the world economy yet, including a damning verdict on the derivatives industry he fears could cause a global financial crisis.  To be truthful, the "Sage of Omaha" is not predicting financial apocalypse - a meltdown of the financial system resulting from instabilities in financial derivitives markets.  Rather, he is saying that though he cannot predict such a meltdown, he cannot believe it will not occur, based on the (lack of) information available to him.   Hey,  if the world's second wealthiest man and his partner throw up their hands and agree that the information provided by financial institutions about their risk exposure from derivatives is incomprehensible and essentially meaningless I am inclined to see a problem.

This one cannot be blamed on the current Shrubbyist crop.   The financial derivatives markets, which still have some fans who believe they are a great, positive innovation in the organization of capitalist markets, started their explosive growth after deregulation of financial institutions during Reagan's regime.

Weblog 2003-03-02, Sunday

The Shrubbyist Lust for War
This gun SMOKES!

Every part of the Shrubbyist domestic and international agenda depends on perpetual war.
They have no economic plan other than war.
It is the Shrubbyist political agenda that drives their need for perpetual war,
not oil and not terrorism.
Please read:
Two men driving Bush into war,12271,901118,00.html
The World Will Know the Truth
(Both articles are also HERE)

President[sic]'s overtones spark concern Bush's faith part of war rationale (Chicago Tribune) "As president [sic], Bush has infused his speeches with religious references and language that evoke evangelical Christianity. But as he talks about war with Iraq, many see increasingly religious overtones in his rhetoric, prompting blistering criticism from a more secular Europe and from Americans uneasy with his ready invocations."

When a government lies to its people --by Carla Binion "The Bush administration's lies 'justifying' war in Iraq should insult the intelligence and electrify the conscience of the American people and the world community. The fact that the administration has repeatedly exploited the September 11 tragedy and used it to build a case for unjust war is the most offensive lie of all."

Angry Hill Republicans say Bush is screwing his own party President [sic] George W. Bush has an interesting political strategy for why his domestic agenda may fail. Blame the Republicans... "That was an incredibly stupid thing for the White House to do," a senior House GOP aide complained Thursday." One Capitol Hill source said House Speaker Dennis J. Hastert, already angry at Bush's remarks, lost his temper when a staffer suggested he go public with his feeling about what Bush said. "What do you want me to do, call the President [sic] a liar? George Bush may screw his party. I don't!" Hastert is reported to have said.

Davis to Get Financing From Carlyle for Vivendi Bid, People Say Billionaire Marvin Davis will get financing from buyout firm Carlyle Group as part of his $15 billion offer to buy Vivendi Universal SA's U.S. entertainment assets, people familiar with the matter said. (jp note - Carlyle is a private investment firm, whose principals reportedly include George HW Bush, Al Haig, Henry Kissinger, and other Nixon/Reagan/Bush administration officials.  The group invests domestically and internationally in the media and armaments industries.  As a private corporation, no detailed information about its activities or profits are available."private+equity"+political&btnG=Google+Search    ) (From CLG)

Praying for Papal Intervention By Mary McGrory Thursday, February 27, 2003; Page A27
Pope John Paul II is causing heartburn among one of the president's key constituencies: conservative Catholics.

Catholic Scholar Going to Rome to Make a Case for War By Alan Cooperman, Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, February 6, 2003; Page A30 -- With Vatican officials increasingly outspoken in opposition to a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See is bringing a conservative American Catholic intellectual to Rome to help make the case that war is justified. The trip by Michael Novak, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington,  has generated fierce opposition from American Catholic leaders.

There is a great contest now between those of the Club of Budapest's vision, and the visions of Bush's supporters and Sharon's, and the rest of the fundamentalist haters of life and joy (e.g. the Hindu RSS fundamentalists who butchered 2000 Muslims in Gujarat a year ago, the Wahabbist fundamentalists who are radicalizing Islam throughout Sout Asia in their "schools").

I fear that the good guys of the Club of Budapest and those who share their vision are at a tremendous disadvantage in this contest, because they do not fully understand the importance of the political and military power arrayed against them in the hands of their sworn fundamentalist enemies.  Or the intensity of the hatred their fundamentalist enemies have for them.

They, we, are in fact in a struggle for our lives and freedoms at the most basic levels, at the levels that progressives and Jews were in in Germany, in the 30's.  And, we do not, largely, want to admit that it is that serious -- that it requires the intensity of commitment of time and financial resources and personal risk that such a stuggle necessarily requires.  Or that, if we fail to organize and act now, we will (within a very few years) face the same legal, financial, and physical oppression and retribution faced by victims of Fascism and Nazism in Europe in the 1930's.

Weblog 2003-03-01, Satyrday

U.S. Diplomat's Letter of Resignation

Text of John Brady Kiesling's letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. Mr. Kiesling is a career diplomat who has served in United States embassies from Tel Aviv to Casablanca to Yerevan. "...We spread disproportionate terror and confusion in the public mind, arbitrarily linking the unrelated problems of terrorism and Iraq. The result, and perhaps the motive, is to justify a vast misallocation of shrinking public wealth to the military and to weaken the safeguards that protect American citizens from the heavy hand of government..."  (From CLG)

Weblog 2003-02-28, Friday

Soros blasts Bush, calls on President to honor world opinion

Weblog 2003-02-27, Thursday

Domestic stealth bombs - from "The" by KRISTEN LOMBARDI
"While we stockpile supplies and wrap our windows in duct tape, the Bushies are quietly advancing a frightening domestic agenda that amounts to a far-right ideological assault on our civil liberties and social protections — and threatens to turn the clock back decades. Here are five Bush-administration domestic policies of enormous consequencethat have been overlooked in this time of impending war and national-security crises."

The piece continues with descriptions of Shrubbyist schemes in the areas of the assault on medical marijuana, the war on women, stacking the Judiciary Branch with right wingers, tax breaks for the wealthy and a broken budget policy, and the federalization of capital punishment.  Surely we all know what they are doing to the environment.

Judiciary Jammin!  Looky here! While we debate Bush's War, Cook is in, along with two other rightwing nutcases! Senate GOP Forces Approval of 3 Nominees --A Senate committee approved three of Dictator Bush's judicial nominees, overriding Democratic attempts to delay a vote as they have with the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the federal appellate bench. Deborah Cook Is the Typical Bush Judicial Nominee — So Watch Out --by Adam Cohen "The administration is loading the courts with judges who rule in favor of discriminating companies, abusive bosses and employers who injure their workers and lie about it. And it is counting on the rest of us not to notice."  (From CLG)

An exchange on NeoCons and Jewish Intellectuals:
Response to an email received today:

Jerry, your email discussing the NeoCons and Bush's speech to the American Enterprise Institute ends with the note:  "the transformation in political ideology among American Jews must be left for another time."

Let me suggest you check out a PBS program from several years ago, called something like "The New York Intellectuals", which deals with some of this in relatively fine and sophisticated detail, for TV.  The program may have had a book behind it, so you will want to Google for that.

I believe some of this shift occurred as a result of the strong anti-intellectual tendencies in the Boomer generation, which were exploited and exacerbated first by ultra-leftists in the Anti Viet Nam War movement, and then encouraged by the US rightists as a way to emasculate that movement.

As a result, we see some of the brightest of Post Boomer students drawn to organizations they see as a strong contrast to the silly, anti-intellectual movements and cults of  "The New Age".

These people form the intellectual core of very dangerous, rightist, trends and organizati0ns, including not only the NeoConservatism of Wolfowitz, Perle, and Rove, and but also the perpetual pseudo Democratic Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche's outfit, also Fascist in orientation.

The first academic study of this I have knowledge of is a book, "The New American Right", 1955, Criterion Books, NY, NY.  Daniel Bell, ed., with Richard Hofstadter, David Riesman and Nathan Glazier, Peter Viereck, Seymour Lipset, Talcott Parsons.

You'll want to look at the influence of Sidney Hook, as well.  Many of these guys were irreversably pissed off at the post liberal left of the Boomer generation after their students closed down their classes in protest against the Viet Nam War.

The Jews among them were affected as well by the ultra-leftist pressing of an anti-Israel agenda, driven at the time by Soviet foreign policy considerations, and not, as now, by the excesses of the Sharon and his extreme rightist supporters in Israel.   (And remember that the  NeoCon rightists in the US have subverted Irael's recent politics as well, and provided the impetus for much of what has happened in Israel of late, as

"Perle and Feith wrote a paper in 1996 called 'A Clean Break' for the then leader of Israel's Likud bloc, Binyamin Netanyahu; the clean break was from the Oslo peace process.  Israel's 'claim to the land (including the West Bank) is legitimate and noble,' said the paper.  'Only the unconditional acceptance by Arabs of our rights is a solid basis for the future.'  (When these people gained political power)  At the State Department, the 'Arabist' faction of regional experts favouring the diplomacy of alliances in the area was drowned out by the hawks, markedly by another new unit with favoured access to the White House.,12271,901118,00.html
Interesting stuff, Jerry.  Thanks for your mail.   If you (or any of the CC's) have corrections or additions to my notes here, I would be grateful for them. wrote:

But whipping up terrorist fears does serve the purpose of creating an atmosphere enabling the shift to the right we are experiencing, including the ever greater movement toward a garrison state and encroachments on our civil liberties and privacy. Well, you get my drift; and if you don't, it's essentially the importance, more than ever, of critical thinking as we will soon be exhorted to rally behind the troops.
Michael Savage, citing Ayn Rand on his talk show tonight, sang the praises of the individual standing up against the herd mentality. (I do agree with him on the merits of the Movie version of The Fountain Head, including Gary Cooper's acting.) If Dr. Savage (speaking as Dr. Bass) was serious, he would oppose this war. I don't see the courage in wrapping yourself in the flag and going along with the powers that be, all the while claiming to be a brave voice in the wilderness.
Why so many Jewish intellectuals have come to occupy important positions on the right, a titanic transformation from earlier generations, would make a fascinating study. Probably a significant proportion of the audience at the conservative think tank, The American Enterprise Institute, which hosted President Bush's speech on the Middle East yesterday, including two he singled out for special mention, were of Jewish extraction. But the transformation in political ideology among American Jews must be left for another time.


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