|General Note to
In May of 2003 difficult circumstances in my personal life interrupted my daily work on this weblog. In March of 2004 I recovered the ability to post to it, at least intermittently.
Despite being unable to post after July 17, 2003, web surfing and some writing continued. Material originated during that 'quiet' period will be included separately in the indexes to this weblog, even though it was not posted at the time created. Much of the material originated as email sent to my personal mail list, but some was in the form of notes made for my own record. This material will be indexed as opportunity permits and fortune provides, so the 'corpus' of the overall weblog will grow by backfilling, as well as at the tips of it's various branches.
This index is chronological (earliest is first), while the the postings are in reverse chronology (most recent is first).
Contents of Prior Weblog File (Archived)Weblog, 2004-03-05, Freya's Day
You want to do something about gasoline prices? Consider these optionsWeblog, 2004-03-08, Moon Day
American Ayatollahs and their "jihadi" schoolsWeblog, 2004-03-09, Tiw's Day
The Jihadi Who Kept Asking Why
Heinlein Society siteWeblog, 2004-03-11, Thor's Day
Recollecting February 27 to March 16, 2003
NeoCon Putsch at the DOD
Proven Reserves of Gas and Oil are Declining
Grassroots Kieretsu: A future direction for grassroots campaign organizing
|Indexing the Weblog
for February 27 to March 16, 2003 has been a gut wrenching
experience for me. In that short period of 18 days, the last days
befor the beginning of the war on Iraq, all of the issues that
are finally seeing the light of day in the news today were already
known, already being discussed.
Deja vu all over again is too mild an expression. The smell of smoke, blood, torn flesh, gunpowder and bombs, broken bodies and shattered buildings - all that I could not get out of my nostrils, awake or dreaming in those days recalls itself to me. Rereading my own notes, others appeals to reason, the disclosures of the corruption and lying at the highest levels of the Bush and Blair governments - which were already known then - is like some nightmarish "Groundhog Day".
The list of lies seems endless. Rereading it, knowing that the US major media organizations totally suppressed and pretended to be ignorant of these plain facts for over a year is painful. Realizing that only now - courtesy of plain speaking and "unelectable" Howard Dean and a few others, Claire Short in England among them, who never stopped insisting on the truth - are these long known truths being addressed, ever so gingerly, by the media is frankly revolting.
Revolting. Revulsion. The feeling you get in your throat and belly when you have eaten bad food, and your body is rejecting it. It is incredible to me that the people of this country are not now engaged in a massive 'hurl'; a spasmodic disgorgement, a projectile vomiting up of the Bush administration the people and institutions who allied themselve with it in originating and propagating those lies.
That includes the major media organizations -- Jim Lehrer and Charlie Rose of the Public Babysitting Service included. Faux News, Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch - these guys I understand to be predictable ideologues. But the betrayal of the public trust of CNN and PBS, the failure to admit to the cpublic (or perhaps to thier own consciousness) the extent and nature of the great lie of this war, I cannot accept. When we are so failed by the that part of the media which claims the trust of the people we are in danger indeed. As Colonel Kwiatkowski notes, "Ben Franklin's comment that the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia had delivered 'a republic, madam, if you can keep it' " has come to have special meaning.
Lt. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski reprises her "The American Conservative" articles of last winter for Salon. Colonel Kwiatkowski witnessed firsthand the distortion of intelligence, policy advice, and decision processes by NeoCon agents of influence within the Department of Defense, in a drive to war driven not by the needs of national security, but by eerily ideological personal interpretations of the geopolitical world on the part of political appointees imposed upon the DOD planning structure.
"My career started in 1978 with the smooth seduction of a full four-year ROTC scholarship. It ended with 10 months of duty in a strange new country, observing up close and personal a process of decision making for war not sanctioned by the Constitution we had all sworn to uphold. Ben Franklin's comment that the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia had delivered "a republic, madam, if you can keep it" would come to have special meaning."You can, and should read the whole thing -
The Pentagon has asked the Justice Department to join an inquiry into alleged fuel overcharging by Halliburton Co. in Iraq, indicating that Pentagon officials see possible grounds for criminal charges or civil penalties. The broadening of the fuel inquiry would give the investigation considerably more heft. Justice investigators have the power to indict and to press criminal fraud charges -- abilities denied the Pentagon's civilian watchdogs.Subscribe to the NY Times DealBook newsletter at http://www.nytimes.com/email.html
• Go to Article from The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required)
• Go to Article from Dow Jones via Yahoo News
Halliburton, the oil services company formerly headed by U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney, was awarded a $1.2 billion contract in Iraq just three days after Pentagon auditors warned about "systemic" problems in its cost controls. The warning was contained in a memo the Pentagon's defense contract audit agency sent on January 13 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
• Go to Article from The Financial Times
The energy industry is being shaken up by a habit of some of its major participants - especially Shell and El Paso Natural Gas - of overstating their proven reserves of their resource. This is basically more financial shenanigans along the line of all the others, but it has an additional non financial consequence. When companies of their size reduce their estimates of proven reserves by 30 and 40 % it significantly reduces the total proven reserves of those resources, worldwide. So far I have not seen a statement of what the impact on the total proven reserve estimate is, or a discussion of the price and economic effects of the reduction - but I sure would like to. If only I were more efficient, productive - or required less sleep, or something... if only...
future direction for grassroots campaign organizing?
The quoted paragraphs are from the website of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers. Knowing nothing else about them, I do like their focus on the funding and creation of new businesses based on new products and technologies, which I think of as "disruptive" in the sense that they reorganize existing markets through the introduction of dramatically improved products and production technologies, which both helps to counter the effects of monopoly/oligopoly control of old markets and accelerates improvements in productivity and resource utilization.
But I am especially intrigued by the possible application of their "Kieretsu" model to grassroots political organizing:
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is committed to helping entrepreneurs build sustainable technology businesses.After restructuring for our intentions, the last lines might read:
"an informal network, which we call a Keiretsu. (Candidates/campaigns) gain access to our unmatched portfolio of (progressive advisers and office holders) and associations with (senior progressive opinion and political) leaders. These relationships are the foundations for strategic alliances, partnership opportunities, and the sharing of insights to help build new (grassroots organizations) faster, broader and with less risk."
The Dean grassroots is in the process of attempting self organization at the level of individual atoms/enterprises/campaigns with loosely self managed information and resource exchanges. Is there a place for a political "venture capital" organization in this picture? Is that a need that Governor Dean's organizaton can address?
I hope that Burlington answers these questions in the affirmative, in some fashion at least. Governor Dean, in my mind, is the right leader for such an effort. Perhaps Al Gore could be interested.
Funding might come from the investors, managers and executives of high tech enterprises who have suffered at the hands of the NeoCons "about face" of the economy from technology based enterprise back toward the "old exxonomy" of entrenched oligopolies (RIAA/MPA etc.) and resource intensive extractive industries (oiligopolies?). The folks at O'Reilly may have ideas about that, among many others.
If you want to consider this kind of need further, from another vantage point, check out Robert Reich's January 29, 2004 New York Times article "The Dead Center". If you cannot see it at the NYTimes site try Common Dreams or Truthout or this link: http://www.jimpivonka.com/unpublished/LiberalMovement040129REIC.html
The New York Times' David Kirkpatrick reports on the "influence" that "Christian home-schooling is having on the political right" and looks at the students who matriculate to Patrick Henry College, with its, "knack for political job placement." LINK
The Jihadi Who Kept Asking Why
By ELIZABETH RUBIN
Mansour al-Nogaidan has undergone a radical transformation, from ultra-Islamist to lonely liberal. Can he and other reformers bring change to the kingdom? http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/07/magazine/07SAUDIS.html?th
|Understandably, we are shocked at rising
gasoline prices. Desperation is producing another round of
'consumer action' proposals for ways to force prices down. The
latest of these, likely written by marketing at Shell or Chevron, is
trying to organize a boycott of Mobil and Exxon "to start a price
Sorry, but gasoline price wars of the past were a product of a diverse, competitive retail market for gasoline - classical free market competition with large numbers of buyers and sellers to set a market price. What we have now is restricted, oligopolistic competition moving into a cartel organized monopoly with no competition at all. Prices are administered by MegaCorp, and there will be no price wars.
You want to do something about gasoline prices? Consider these options:
But, if you are into "personal responsibility movement activism" and are above addressing mundane politics and economics, don't give up. You can still:
Prior Weblog File (Archived):
Ruth Group and Friends - Good links2003-05-15 - Lunar Eclipse!
Oraibi Hopi, two factions of Hotevela Hopi, Black Mesa Navaho, Peabody Coal, Eco-politics, New Age religion2003-05-13
The Place of Smallpox Vaccination in Biowarfare Strategy2003-05-12
They Thought They Were Free by Milton Mayer - http://www.thirdreich.net/Thought_They_Were_Free_nn4.html2003-05-08
"strong enough not only to crush their mighty enemies but to ruin themselves too"2003-05-06
Hazara Students - Photo and notes2003-05-02
Understanding Information Warfare by the Right2003-04-30
"Equal Rights is the Responsibility of Every American" - Governor Howard Dean2003-04-27
Confession - Bukowski2003-04-18
A War to Remake the World2003-04-11
The Rape of Baghdad
An Agent of Armageddon --Is George Bush Crazy?
Sorry Charlie, III (Charlie Rose, that would be.)
A letter to America by Margaret Atwood (Direct link > Here
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